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114 Name results for Germany

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Andrews, Paul W, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/818
  • Person
  • 10 January 1927-27 November 2018

Born: 10 January 1927, Campsie, Omagh, County Tyrone
Entered: 14 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1962, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 27 November 2018, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1951 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1960 at Nth American Martyrs, Auriesville NY (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1964 at Selly Oak, Birmingham (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/a-man-of-many-talents/

A man of many talents
Milltown Chapel was packed on Friday morning, 30 November, for the funeral of Paul Andrews SJ, who passed away peacefully in Cherryfield Nursing Home on 27 November. A large number of family members joined Paul’s fellow-Jesuits, and they paid tribute, both by bring up gifts and by recounting stories, to the deep and meaningful role he played in their lives. In his opening remarks, the principal celebrant Bill Callanan SJ noted the many talents Paul had received and the generous way in which he responded to them. Paul was a writer, a therapist, a psychoanalyst, an educationalist, and a spiritual director. He was also a pivotal presence at critical moments in the life of the Irish Jesuit province.

In his homily Bruce Bradley SJ picked up this same theme, emphasising Paul’s willingness and enthusiasm when it came to a new venture. He was particularly heartened by his work in the 1970s chairing several national committees and writing their reports, most notably the ICE (Intermediate Certificate Examination) and FIRE (Future Involvement of Religious in Education). But his involvement in education was not only at a policy level. Over the years he taught in Clongowes, head-mastered in Gonzaga, and was rector of Belvedere College. He also, for 18 years, directed St Declan’s special school, a venture founded by the Jesuits for primary school children who need special attention and support for personal or emotional reasons. He was especially dedicated to this work. Both in St Declan’s and through private practice, Paul served about 10,000 individual clients in psychotherapy or spiritual direction. As Bruce Bradley said, “Paul was effortlessly intelligent and correspondingly but unselfconsciously articulate, but he wore his learning lightly and what he knew and what he could achieve through his education was essentially in aid of the pastoral ministry to which he had dedicated his life.”

Fr Bradley also recalled a curious accomplishment of Paul’s from his time as editor of the Old Clongownian, when he was a scholastic:
In 1955, well-read and highly cultured man that he was and always remained, with full knowledge of what he was doing, he invited a near-contemporary of Joyce to write his reminiscences of the college in the 1890s, in which the writer recalled what he had heard of Joyce at that time. This was the first occasion when any reference had been made to the school’s most famous past pupil for more than fifty years, even his death in 1941, as by then a world-renowned writer, having been passed over without comment in the college magazine and in other Jesuit quarters. Undeterred, not setting out to shock or act as the enfant terrible and draw attention to himself, which was never his way, but judging that it was time and, although even – as it used to be said – ‘a mere scholastic’ (how we wish we had a few more ‘mere scholastics!’) and in his mid-twenties, Paul was quite prepared to break the disapproving silence and begin the process of setting the record straight at last.

In many ways throughout his Jesuit life, Paul proved himself to be a skilled communicator. He wrote over 300 articles for the Sacred Heart Messenger, about 1700 contributions to Sacred Space, a best-selling book called Changing Children, and many sections of other books and magazines, in psychology, Jesuit history, and spirituality. In 2010 he began working in Irish Jesuit communications, editing Irish Jesuit News and Interfuse, and writing the obituaries of Jesuits.

The enthusiasm which Paul showed in all his work ventures also showed in his more leisurely activities. In particular he was a very keen fisherman, in Ireland, England and even New Zealand, which he loved to visit in the later years of his life.

Ar dheis Dhé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at Cross & Passion, Lytham St Annes; CBS, Great Crosby; Belmont Abbey, Hereford; Wimbledon College, London; St Columb’s Derry; Blackrock College, Dublin
1946-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying Classics at UCD
1950-1953 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1953-1955 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; CWC Cert in Education
1955-1959 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1959-1960 Auriesville, NY, USA - Tertianship in Our Lady of the Martyrs
1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Minister of Juniors; Inspector of Studies in Colleges of Province; Psychology Studies at UCD
1963-1966 Birmingham, England - Studying Pedagogy at Birmingham University
1966-1972 Gonzaga College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher of Religion; Province Prefect of Studies
1971 Directory of Province Organisation Project
1972-1976 Loyola House - Special Secretariat; Writer
1976-1982 Belvedere College SJ - Rector; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD & Milltown; Director of St Declan’s, Northumberland Road, Dublin
1982-1989 Gonzaga College SJ - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD; Writer
1988 Psychotherapy Studies - St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin
1989-2000 Leeson St - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD
1992 Province Consultor; Chair Board of St Declan’s School
1996 Consultant Psychotherapist; Lecturer; Writer
1999 Sabbatical
2000-2006 Manresa House - Rector; Continuing Formation Delegate; Treasurer; Counselling; Writer
2006-2010 Leeson St - Director Communications; Associate Editor Sacred Space; Therapist; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Board Jesuit Communications
2008 Editor “AMDG” & “AMDG Express”
2010-2018 Milltown Park - Assistant Editor Sacred Space; Editor AMDG Express; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Therapist; Writer
2012 Editor Irish Jesuit News; Editor Interfuse; Editor Province Obituaries; Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2015 Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2016 Editor “Interfuse”; Province Obituaries; Rector’s Admonitor
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Balligan, Michael, 1680-1731, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2284
  • Person
  • 1680-06 September 1731

Born: 1680, Antwerp, Belgium
Entered: 05 October 1699, Mechelen, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLAN)
Died: 06 September 1731, Halle, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLAN)

◆Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries

DOB 1680 Antwerp; Ent 05/10/1699 Mechelen;
Son of Michael and Catherine née de Hertoghe
Made his Humanities at Antwerp under Jesuits.
Admitted by FLAN Provincial Havet, September 1699, and then went to the Novitiate at Mechelen 05 October 1699 (Mechelen Novitiat Album Vol vi p 109)

Barnewell, Luke, 1642-1668, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/894
  • Person
  • 1642-12 March 1668

Born: 1642, Ireland
Entered: 08 November 1661 - Upper Rhenish Province (RH INF)
Died: 10 March 1668, Köln, Germany - Upper Rhenish Province (RH INF)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Studied at Köln and was promoted to Minor Orders 08/04/1667, but died there the following year

Bellew, Christopher, 1818-1867, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/63
  • Person
  • 25 July 1818-18 March 1867

Born: 25 July 1818, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 11 February 1850, Issenheim, Alsace, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1856, Montaubon, France
Final vows: 03 December 1866
Died: 18 March 1867, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Older brother of Michael RIP 1868

by 1853 at Vals, France (TOLO)
by 1854 in Cologne, Germany (GER) studying Theology 1
by 1855 at Malta College (ANG) for Regency
by 1857 at Montauban, France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Older brother of Michael RIP 1868. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.
After his early education in Grammar and Humanities, he went to Trinity. As he was an eldest so, his family wanted to prepare him as the future representative of the family in an understanding of Society and Politics. So he also travelled much in Europe for that purpose.
In about 1840 a “fashionable marriage” was announced in the Press between the eldest son of and old Catholic Baronet, and the eldest daughter of an old Protestant Baronet, Sir John Burke of Marble Hall. All preparations were in place and the bridegroom went to Clongowes to make a Retreat before his marriage. His younger brother Michael, already being in the Society, meant that the interest of the Community is Christopher was higher than usual. he impressed all with his piety. Waiting for news of the marriage, it seemed to have been delayed, and after a while, there was a rumour that he was in a Novitiate on the Continent. Apparently an issue had arisen which had proven a stumbling block, namely Christopher’s insistence that any children should be raised Catholic. He communicated this to his bride whilst on retreat. A suggestion came back from her family that perhaps any girls would stay with the mother’s religion. Christopher responded by saying that he could not accept this arrangement. He wrote again indicating that the only solution was to relieve her of her promise, and to declare arrangements at an end. Her family wrote back acceding to his request that the children would all be Catholics, but this letter arrived too late - he had left Clongowes, and nobody knew where he was. For some years he did not return to Ireland, and when he did, he was Rev Christopher Bellew SJ. In the meantime, Miss Burke had herself become a Catholic, and lead a very holy life, remaining single, and devoting her life to charitable works.
Christopher joined the Society at Issenheim in France, and after First Vows, began studies in Philosophy at Vals, France. He was later sent to teach Grammar at a TOLO College. While there he became ill, and so was sent to Malta, where he remained as a Teacher for two years. He then returned to France and was Ordained there 1856 at Montaubon.
He then returned to Ireland and spent three years teaching at Colleges.
1859 He was sent to the Dublin Residence as Operarius, and remained there until his death 18 March 1867. He had been very zealous in the hard work of the Confessional.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christopher Bellew 1818-1867
The life of Christopher Bellew reads like some edifying romantic tale. He was born in Mount Bellew County Galway, the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Baronet. From his earliest years he had a great knowledge and love of the Society, for during his father’s lifetime “Ours” used frequently visit the family mansion, and stay a few days there.
Having completed his early studies, he was sent by his family to Trinity College Dublin, where he went through a distinguished course. He then travelled extensively on the continent to complete his education.
About the year 1840, his forthcoming marriage to the eldest daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, was announced in the Press. The bridegroom came to Clongowes to make a retreat prior to his marriage. Needless to say the Community at Clongowes were intensely interested in the matter, especially as Christopher’s younger brother Michael was already a Jesuit. Weeks passed, and still no account in the papers of this fashionable marriage. At length a rumour started which grew into a certainty, that the bridegroom was in a Jesuit noviceship somewhere on the continent.

What had happened was this : All the preliminaries to the marriage had been settled except one, the religion of the children, as the intended bride was a Protestant. According to a custom, which rightly or wrongly existed at the time, the bride’s family insisted that the girls of the marriage should follow the religion of their mother. To this condition the bridegroom would not agree, and he wrote to say that he released the young lade from her promise and that the negotiations were at an end.

The upshot of this was that the young lade became a Catholic and led a holy life in single blessedness, devoting her time to works of charity.

Christopher entered the noviceship at Issenheim in Alsace. He was ordained priest at Montaubon in 1856. Recalled to Ireland, he taught for three years in the Colleges, and then was stationed for the rest of his life at Gardiner Street. There he was an outstanding operarius, zealous and untiring in the confessional.

He died on March 18th 1867. He succeeded his father Sir Michael Bellew in 1855, and is listed in Burke’s Peerage as the Reverend Sir Christopher Bellew.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Christopher Bellew (1818-1867)

Was master at the Crescent from 1860 to 1861 and again from 1862- to 1864. He was the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Bart, of Mountbellew Bridge, Co Galway. After his studies at Clongowes, he entered Trinity College, Dublin and later got a commission in the army. He was heir to the title and family property but resigned his claims in 1850 to enter the Society. The story of his call to the religious life is curious, if not even romantic. From his family's viewpoint, he had made an excellent match in becoming engaged to the daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, Co Galway. Unfortunately, his bride-to-be was a Protestant, and her family insisted, according to the custom of the time, that any daughters born of the marriage should follow their mother's religious beliefs. Young Bellew, as the time for the marriage-ceremony approached, decided to return to Clongowes to make a retreat under one of his old masters. During his stay at Clongowes, he wrote to Sir John Burke, insisting that all children of the marriage must be Catholics. The Burkes replied that they could not accede to his demands. Bellew now intimated that he felt bound in conscience to terminate the engagement. This time, the Burkes, anxious that the marriage should be gone on with, waived their demands on the religion of their future grand-daughters. But the letter arrived too late to find him. Christopher Bellew had gone abroad. Later it was learned that he had entered the Society in Alsace. On the completion of his noviceship, he entered on his philosophy studies at Vals in the Lyons Province of the Society, and is next heard of as master in a Jesuit College of the Toulouse Province and later in Malta. He returned to France for the study of theology and was ordained at Montauban. Here, it can be recalled, that his former bride-to-be, Miss Burke of Marble Hall, on learning of Christopher's vocation, became a Catholic herself. She never married but spent her life in works of zeal and charity.

Father Bellew's priestly life was short. After his time in the Crescent, he was transferred to Gardiner St Church where he died three years later. Old newspapers of the time refer to him as “The Rev Sir Christopher Bellew, Bart, SJ”. He never used the title himself, although he could not legally renounce it. He was long remembered at Gardiner St Church as a zealous priest, especially in the laborious work of the confessional.

Bellew, Michael, 1825-1868, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/916
  • Person
  • 27 July 1825-29 October 1868

Born: 27 July 1825, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 28 August 1845, St Andrea, Rome, Italy (ROM)
Ordained: 1858
Final vows: 02 February 1865
Died: 29 October 1868, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867

by 1855 in Palermo, Sicily Italy (SIC) studying Philosophy
by 1856 Studying at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by 1859 at Paderborn Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1868 at Burgundy Residence France (TOLO) health

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867, but Entered four years before him. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.

He was sent to Rome for his Novitiate, but he was not long there when his strength began to fail. General Roothaan, seeing how valuable a man he might be in the future, sent him to Issenheim (FRA) to complete his Noviceship. When he had completed his study of Rhetoric, he came to the Day School in Dublin, where he trained the boys to great piety. Then he was sent to Clongowes as a Prefect.
1855 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology, spending his 2nd Year at Montauban, his 3rd at Belvedere, and his 4th at Paderborn.
After Ordination he was sent to Belvedere for a year.
1860 He was Minister at Tullabeg
1861 He was an Operarius and teacher in Galway.
1864-1867 He was appointed Rector at Galway 26 July 1864, taking his Final Vows there 22 February 1865.
1867 His health broke down, and he was sent to the South of France - James Tuite was appointed Vice-rector in his place. When he returned to Ireland, he stayed at Gardiner St, and died there 29 October 1868.

Birmingham, Alan, 1911-1991, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/642
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-03 October 1991

Born: 02 January 1911, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 03 October 1991, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Alan Birmingham, S.J.
Former editor of “Sunday Examiner” dies in Hong Kong
R.I.P.

Father Alan Birmingham, a long-time editor of the “Sunday Examiner” died here after a brief illness on 3 October 1991.

Father Birmingham, a Jesuit, had lived in Hong Kong for almost 50 years, having first arrived here in November 1936.

Born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, in 1911, he joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1928 after secondary school and went on to take an honours degree in mathematics in the National University of Ireland.

After his arrival in Hong Kong in 1936 he studied Cantonese and then taught for a year in Wah Yan College, then in Robinson Road, before returning to Ireland a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War to complete his Jesuit training.

Ordained a priest in Dublin on 13 May 1942, he became a Catholic chaplain, with the rank of Captain, in the wartime British Army, thus delaying his return to Hong Kong.

Having served in England and Northern Ireland, he was assigned to land with the Allied forces sea and air assault on the north coast of France on “D-Day”, 6 June 1944.

He afterwards said that his main task on those fateful first days ashore was burying the dead on the beaches where they had landed.

He stayed with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid-August 1945.

He was then re-assigned to India from where he was “demobbed” (returned to civilian life) in October 1946.

After returning to Hong Kong in February 1948, he was sent for some months to Canton (Guangzhou) where a Jesuit colleague, Father John Turner, was lecturing at Chung Shan University.

That summer he moved back to Hong Kong, becoming a professor of Dogmatic Theology and later of Sacred Scripture at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where Chinese priests from many dioceses in South China received their professional training. He held these posts for nine years.

During those years he also lectured briefly on philosophy and English literature at the University of Hong Kong.

In 1957, he was appointed editor of the “Sunday Examiner.” He was by far the longest-serving editor of the paper, remaining in the position for 33 years until his 80th birthday on 2 January this year.

On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Having graduated from UCD with an Honours degree in Mathematics he was sent to Hong Kong in 1936.
He studied Cantonese in Hong Kong and then did some years of teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong.

After Ordination in 1942 he was appointed Catholic Chaplain with the rank of Captain in the wartime British Army. He was assigned to land with the Allied force on “D-Day”, June 6th 1944. He remained with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid August 1945. He was then reassigned to India until October 1946, when he returned to civilian life.

He returned to Hong Kong in February 1948and took up a post as Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and later Scripture at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He also lectured in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”. He also celebrated Mass regularly at St Joseph’s Church on Garden Road for over thirty years.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father Alan Birmingham SJ

Learned Priest Who Served Faithfully for “Fifty” Years in Hongkong.

Fr Biriningham did not say Mass in the Catholic Centre Chapel, in busy Hongkong Central District on Wednesday, October 4th. He had done so the day : before, and for many months since Fr F Cronin had died. Instead, Fr S Coghlan and Fr M McLoughlin took him to St Paul's Hospital Causeway Bay. He was feeling groggy and could not lift one of his arms. That afternoon, in the Intensive Care Unit, he died. A little more than a year previously, he had had heart surgery (aneurysm) but recovered. But he had a long beard which made him look like a retired sea captain. All his life he had had good health. He fought a cold on his feet, and though he did not feel so well in the mornings, regained his strength by the afternoon. For thirty years, he was never a patient in a hospital.Priests throughout East Asia and beyond will have known him as the editor of the Sunday Examiner, which was appreciated for his wide cover age of church news in the world, as well as for its well written editorials. In the diocese, he was not so much widely known, as well known. Some priests remember his kindness from the days he taught them Theology in the Seminary (1949-1956). Those who went to the nine o'clock Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's remember him since the days of Fr Franelli, which go back more than thirty years previously. His deep voice was often remembered as a mutter, inspiring devotion and trust. He often heard confessions in St Joseph's and the Catholic Centre Chapel.

He first went to Hongkong in 1936, where he spent time learning Cantonese, and then teaching in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road. He was born in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, where the family had a wholesale business. His father qualified as a medical doctor, but never practised, taking on the family business, but retiring to Dublin when he was 45 years old. Alan first went to the Carmelite Fathers in Terenure, and retained an affection for the Carmelites. He then went to the Jesuit Colege, Belvedere, and after five years entered the Society of Jesus in 1928. His university studies at UCD were in Mathematics, and sometimes it was said that, in later life, the prime numbers gave him sleepless nights. After three years in Hongkong he returned to Ireland to study Theology and was ordained in 1942. While he was a priest in the Jesuit Church of Gardiner Street, the Provincial requested him to be a Chaplain in the British Army. He gave family reasons for not doing so, and he was told that these were valid but not sufficient to refuse the pastoral needs of those in the War. He joined as an Army Chaplain as part of christian charity and out of human solidarity. He was with the first wave to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day June 1944. He remembered a day when he saw 700 wounded and 250 burials. He was demobolised in 1947, and did Tertiaship in Dublin under Fr J Neary, who also had been in Hongkong.

When he returned to Hongkong as a priest in 1948, he went to join Fr Tumer at Chung Shan University, Gaungzhou, but after a few months was asked to teach in the South China Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He taught Dogma and Scripture until he was asked to assist Mgr C Vath at the Catholic Centre, with the editing of the Sunday Examiner. And he did it for 33 years! Quietly working as a priest, he slowly did his writing. He always used a pen, and never a typewriter. He was a very slow worker, and always worked deliberately and accurately. He was never in a hurry and always had time for people. His clear English style was highly esteemed. His funeral was at St Joseph's Church, where he was known as the priest at the Sunday Masses for thirty years. The main celebrants were Cardinal Wu, whom he taught, Archbishop Tang, Fr W Lo, and 39 of his fellow Jesuits, thirty other priests; more than a dozen diocesan, a dozen Maryknollers, and those of other con gregations, not least being the PIME Fathers. The Mass was at 12.30 to enable the people from government and business offices to be present, and about
150 of them were there.

His brother had been a medical doctor teaching at University College Dublin. His father was anti-clerical, but a devout Catholic. “Alan” was more pastoral than clerical, and though his theological thinking was conservative, it was always kind, and at the service of people. Learned and kind, writer and at the service of all, such was the man all remembered.

Boehmer, Peter, 1869-1938, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/927
  • Person
  • 09 March 1869-11 March 1938

Born: 09 March 1869, Hüttseifen, Niederfischbach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Entered: 05 July 1890, Barrô, Aveira Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Final vows: 30 March 1902
Died: 11 March 1938, St Joseph’s, Macau, Hong Kong - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)

Came to Australia1912 - 1927
1912-1915 St Aloysius, Sydney
1915-1924 Sevenhill, Australia
1924-1927 Manresa, Norwood, Australia
Hong Kong 30s

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was German born, but because of his love of the Missions in Africa, he joined the Portuguese Province (LUS), which at the time accepted foreign candidates because of the work on the Zambesi Mission.

1894-1910 After Noviciate in Barrô, he made his way to Africa and Boroma in the Zambesi, until 1910 when the Jesuits were forces to leave the Mission because the junta of the Masonic Lodge had assisted in the change of government in Portugal.
1912-1913 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point.
1913-1924 He went to Sevenhill and was cellarer, sacristan and did general house duties.
1924-1926 He was at the Norwood Parish doing domestic duties and infirmarian.
1926-1931 On the advice of a missionary, Fr Neto, he left Australia for Hong Kong. He began at an Industrial School of the Mission Shiu-Hing (Zhaoqing/Shiuhing) in Tau-T’au. When he was replaced there he helped in various houses of the Mission.
1931 He went to St Joseph’s Seminary in Macau and worked there until his death. During 1937, having suffered repeatedly over the years from troublesome African fevers, he was struck by a mild paralysis, which became more serious and began to affect the brain. This cause considerable disability which eventually led to his death.

He was experienced by his brethren as a man of severe disposition and harsh words, failing arising more from intransigence than ill will. He was also steeped in spiritual life and a very observant religious. He enjoyed spending his life helping missionaries.

Note from George Downey Entry
He became the first Australian winemaker at Sevenhill and a very successful one. He succeeded Brother Boehmer, and he was able to bring some order into the affairs of the winery

Booler, Arthur J, 1907-1986, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/930
  • Person
  • 11 July 1907-20 August 1986

Born: 11 July 1907, Carlton, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Entered: 27 March 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Final vows: 15 August 1944
Died: 20 August 1986, Canisius College, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Ent as Scholastic Novice

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He lived in Huntsville, a South Sydney suburb and he was educated by the Christian Brothers, first at St Charles and then Waverley College where he had gained a scholarship. he then went on to begin an apprenticeship in pharmacy. A year into that he entered St Columba’s Seminary at Springwood for priestly studies. There he read the story of William Pardow, an American Jesuit, and the inspiration and attraction he got from this led him to ask to be released by the Archdiocese.
Having entered as a scholastic novice at Loyola Greenwich, he was subsequently sent to Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin for his Juniorate, graduating from University College Dublin with First Class Honours in Hebrew and Aramaic, the first Jesuit to attain this distinction at that time. From there he was sent to Pullach in Germany for Philosophy, in the process leaning German, which he attempted to maintain through the rest of his life.
During his time abroad the first signs of epilepsy appeared. He returned to Australia and was sent to Xavier College, Kew for Regency. Because his condition continued it was decided that he would not proceed the scholastic course of studies to ordination. This decision brought him to a crossroads which tested his vocation. The Provincial of the time, John Fahy earnestly urged him to leave the Society, which advice was a source of resentment for the remainder of his life. He was obsessed with scholarship, and becoming a Brother would mean the end of his studies. He was pained by being separated from his scholastic companions and joining in with the Brothers, who in general would have had simpler tastes than his, but he decided to do so in order to remain a Jesuit.

1938-1940 He went as a Brother to Sevenhill, which was something of a refuge for men in difficulty of one kind or other, and it was thought that the climate would be good for his condition.
He was then sent to the Noviciate at Loyola College Watsonia as kitchen hand, occasional cook and infirmarian. The latter did not suit his temperament, but he was faithful to his duties. Here he also learned some basic bookbinding from Brother Maurice Joyce. With characteristic thoroughness he decided that he wished to master this craft. He was unable to do this until such time as a retired chief bookbinder of the Sydney Municipal Library gave him weekly lessons.
1944-1986 His remaining years were spent doing the work of bookbinding at Canisius College Pymble, and the Theologate Library contains many of his professionally bound books and periodicals.

At times he felt frustrated that much of the work given to him was unworthy of his talents, and in addition when many of the Latin Missals he had bound he took to the incinerator following the liturgical renewal. As with everything he faced these trials with a brave and humble heart.
Even in his later years he could be called on in an emergency, stepping in to cook meals or help clean up a room of one of the older men when nobody else could, and he did so with a certain joy in facing the challenge presented.
For many years he had shown a degenerative condition of the spine which occasioned spondylitis, and this caused him increasing pain and distress. It was a relief to his sufferings when he died at Babworth House, the Sydney mansion at Darling Point that had been the home of Sir Samuel Horden and his family, but acquired by the Sisters of Charity and used as an adjunct to St Vincent’s Hospital. He would have been pleased to die in the midst of such expired affluence.

He was a great raconteur and enjoyed talking about his time in Europe and about the sayings and doings of Ours. In his earlier days he enjoyed walking and went on many long hikes with scholastics, especially in the region around the holiday house at Geoora. Each year he joined the Riverview Villa (holiday) in December and was a regular member of the card players. He was a good companion and a faithful Jesuit.

Brangan, P Dermot, 1932-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/351
  • Person
  • 20 July 1932-04 January 2021

Born: 20 July 1932, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 18 March 1965, Tokyo, Japan
Final Vows: 15 January 1978, Japan
Died: 04 January 2021, Loyola House, Tokyo - Japoniae Province (JPN)

Transcribed HIB to JPN, 15 August 1967

Born : 20th July 1932, Dublin
Raised : Drumcondra, Dublin
Early Education at Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin
7th September 1950 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1952 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1952-1955 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – 3rd level studies at University College Dublin
1955-1958 Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany - Studying Philosophy
1958-1960 Eiko Gauken, Yokosuka-shi, Japan – Regency Studying Japanese language
1960-1962 Hiroshima Gaukin, Hiroshima-shi, Japan - Regency : Teaching
1962-1966 Iesus Kai Dhudoin, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Japan - Studying Theology
18th March 1965 Ordained at Tokyo
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – Tertianship
1967 Transcribed to Japanese Province [JPN] (15/08/1967)
15th January 1978 Final Vows in Japan

◆ Obituary and Tribute
FR PATRICK DERMOT BRANGAN, SJ
July 20, 1932 ~ January 4, 2021

Perhaps because there are too many “Patricks” in Ireland (and because his father’s name was Patrick), he was always known by his middle name “Dermot,” frequently shortened to “Derm.” His mail address, however, was “branganpatrick,” and it might have been the influence of St Patrick, the great British missionary to Ireland, that prompted the Irishman Fr Dermot Brangan to bring Christ to another island country, Japan.
He was born in Dublin on July 20, 1932, the last of five siblings, and was baptised four days later. As a teenager, Dermot attended an Irish-language high school, where he acquired a great love and appreciation for Irish culture and traditions. Surely these enhanced that enjoyable Irish wit that he carried with him throughout his life.
On graduating from high school at the age of 18, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo on September 7, 1950. He was fortunate to have as his novice master Fr Donal O’Sullivan, a man known to be very wise and even “ahead of his times.” Three years of humanities (1952-55) at University College Dublin followed on his novitiate, and then he was sent to Pullach in Germany to study philosophy (1955-58). While there, he became proficient in the German language, which was to prove useful in his future community life among German Jesuits in Japan. In fact, someone mentioned that it might have been as a preparation for missionary work in Japan that he was sent to Germany for philosophy.
Having been accepted for missionary life in Japan, Dermot set out with a group of Irish Jesuits going to Hong Kong and fellow scholastic, Donal Doyle, who was also destined for Japan and would be a close companion for the duration of Dermot’s life and a valuable family contact on his demise. (Not even Donal Doyle could fill in the blanks about what drew Dermot to the Jesuits in the first place or why he took an interest in Japan.)
The missionary group traveled by train to Lourdes and then to Rome, where they met with Fr General Janssens at Villa Cavaletti and received Pope Pius XII’s blessing at Castel Gandolfo. They set sail from Naples, auspiciously enough on the feast of St Ignatius, July 31, 1958 and on a ship named “Asia.” Transferring to a smaller ship at Hong Kong, Dermot and Donal sailed on to Japan, stopping off overnight at Kōbe, unaware of the many years Dermot would eventually be spending in that port city. Their final port of call was Yokohama, where they were met by a Father from the language school in Yokosuka and were taken there for the usual two-year Jesuit language program.
After successfully adding Japanese to his familiarity with Irish and German, he was sent to Hiroshima in the summer of 1960 for the first stage of a long career teaching English to Japanese students. Hiroshima Gakuin had opened only four years earlier and was still struggling to set firm roots in the city that had rebuilt itself with surprising vigor from that fateful August day of 1945. While Dermot was teaching there, he was involved in an incident which threatened to leave a deep scar on the name of the school.
As a young scholastic not unfamiliar with mountain climbing, Dermot was asked to go along with the teacher in charge of a group of students on a trek into the mountains just after Christmas of 1961. Along the way the group got caught in an unexpectedly heavy snowstorm. Totally exhausted from plodding through the deep snow and with their destination stopover a mere 100 meters ahead of them, one of the students collapsed and died on the spot. The incident got newspaper coverage, and the young school was both saddened at the loss of a precious life and panicked over what might ensue. Public attention soon passed, but this tragic incident remained in Dermot’s heart as one traumatic downside of his two years of regency in Hiroshima.
The next step in his formation was four years of theology studies at the Jesuit Kamishakujii scholasticate in Tokyo (1962- 66), with ordination to the priesthood on March 18, 1965 at the hands of Cardinal Peter Doi in the newly erected Tokyo cathedral. Those were the days when the professors of theology were rapidly attempting to catch up with the spirit of Vatican II, some more successfully than others. It was also the time when Japan’s phenomenal post-war recovery startled the world with its flawless staging of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Immediately after theology, Fr Brangan returned to his native Ireland for tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin under Fr Michael Connolly (September 1966 to July 1967). Returning to Japan after that, he began a 27-year career that took him in and out of three Jesuit high schools, mainly teaching English and always being available for consultation with students and teachers. He was a good listener, always trying to understand and help.
The first assignment was to Kōbe to teach English and introduction to Christianity for nine years at Rokkō High School (1967-76). Then there was a twelve-year presence in Hiroshima (1976-88), where he served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community at Hiroshima Gakuin and Chair of the school’s Board of Trustees (1977-83). During that time, the school celebrated its 25th year with the building of a new classroom wing, not without all the troubles and tensions that normally accompany such a project.
On finishing his term as Superior and Trustee Chairperson, he was awarded a year’s sabbatical, which he spent in a rather unusual way. To quote a letter which he wrote to Fr Provincial Awamoto on February 7, 1983:
“I would like to live for three months at Fr Oshida’s place in Nagano ken. ... Life there is extremely simple, primitive in fact. So whether I can stand it for three months remains to be seen. I would like to live with the greatest simplicity possible in terms of material things and spend a lot of time in prayer and silence for three months.”
The same letter asking for permission to live with Dominican Fr Shigeto Oshida’s group in a simple house in the Nagano countryside also contains a very revealing note about how he would like to spend the rest of his life:
“I would like to say that I do not wish to spend the rest of my life in a school. Put simply, I would like to get out of schools around 55 and certainly before 60.” (He was 50 years old at the time.)
After the three months with Fr Oshida, Fr Brangan’s sabbatical took him to Ireland and a renewal course at St Beuno’s in Wales. Despite that plea in the letter already quoted, he was told to go back to Hiroshima Gakuin. His four remaining years in Hiroshima (1984-88) were spent commuting uphill to the school from the Kōgo Catholic Center. Another letter to Fr Awamoto, dated September 6, 1984 shows clearly what he felt at the time:
“After being out of schools for a year, the prospect of returning to the high school situation in Japan was painful and crushing. Being asked to return to Hiroshima Gakuin, where I had been Board Chairman just one year before, and start working again with the staff, some of whom I had had painful dealings with as Chairman, was a hard blow which exacerbated my negative feelings. ... I found my teaching assignment very taxing in terms of physical and psychic energy.”
What, then, must have been his shock when in 1988 he was assigned to move to Taisei High School in Fukuoka, where teaching would be even more taxing than at the previous schools! However, great consolation was soon to come his way a year later. Beginning in April 1989, his teaching load at the school was lightened, and he was asked to serve as pastor of the local parish Jōsui-dōri, which had been entrusted to the Society. Even during his busy days in Hiroshima, his pastoral zeal had urged him to go to the Hiroshima Cathedral every weekend to help, mainly with hearing confessions. Now he was able to dedicate himself more fully to the work he mainly desired.
And he was good at it. Over the years serving in various posts of responsibility, he had learned how to get people to work together. The parishioners greatly appreciated his style of leadership. He remained at the Fukuoka parish until April 1992 (with a brief sabbatical interlude March to August 1991), then returned to the Taisei residence until 1994. By then he was 62 years old, well beyond the desire he had expressed to leave schoolwork “around 55 and certainly before 60.”
In 1994, Provincial Nicolás wrote to him, with profuse apologies, asking him to serve as secretary in the province offices, saying he had looked over the list of Jesuits “from top to bottom and up again to the top,” only to find that Fr Brangan was the only man for the job—but that he need work only in the morning and could have the rest of the day for pastoral work at St Ignatius Church!
But the moving around did not stop there. After two years in Tokyo (1994-96), he was sent back to Kōbe, this time as Superior of the Kōbe Community, which was comprised of both the high school and the parish Jesuits. He was to live in the parish during his six-year term as Superior (1996-2002) doing pastoral work in the parish and being named officially as associate pastor in 1998. Fr O’Malley was pastor, followed by Fr Sakurai. Being familiar with the Spiritual Exercises, Fr Brangan was often asked for retreats. His contacts with parishioners and former students also occasioned preparing couples for marriage and presiding at their wedding.
When his term in Kōbe was over, in 2002, Fr Renzo De Luca, Superior in Nagasaki, wanted someone to replace Fr Clarkson for pastoral work in the residence and retreat house, concomitantly serving as Minister of the small Jesuit community. After three years there, when he was now 73 years old, he was asked to return to Tokyo to live in SJ House and take over from Fr Barry as translator for the Japanese Bishops’ Conference. This he continued to do until 2009, when failing eyesight prevented him from continuing that work. He made a three-month visit to relatives in Ireland and Germany that year and another to Ireland and Vancouver, Canada in 2012.
He continued with regular pastoral work in St Ignatius and retreat work as occasions offered until, by the beginning of 2020, he showed signs of mental confusion, not being able to find his keys, or wandering into other people’s rooms looking for his things. He moved to Loyola House on January 24, 2020.
A year later, in the evening of New Year’s Day 2021, he collapsed in the chapel and was taken to a hospital, where he was found to have suffered from a left subcortical hemorrhage. There being no room for him there, he was transferred to another hospital the next morning, where he passed over to the Lord two days later, just before 10 a.m. on January 4, 2021. He was 88 years old and had been a Jesuit for 70 years. Due to the raging COVID-19 corona virus, a modest funeral was held in St Ignatius Church and live-streamed for simultaneous participation in Ireland, with Fr Doyle speaking.
In conclusion, though written 20 years ago for Fr Brangan’s golden jubilee in the Society, Fr General Kolvenbach’s encomium is still so fitting as to warrant its repetition here. Each of us can make these our own parting words to Fr Dermot Brangan:
“As I look back on your life, dear Father, I esteem the fine spirit of availability that you have shown so gently and so constantly. Your obvious love for the spiritual things in life has had and continues to have an uplifting effect on those in your care and on all those whom God places in your path. I thank God for your wisdom, your gentle graciousness, and your spirit of availability.”

By Robert Chiesa, SJ

Brennan, John F, 1920-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/587
  • Person
  • 23 September 1920-03 July 2002

Born: 23 September 1920, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Frankfurter Dom), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Final Vows: 15 August 1964, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 03 July 2002, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1955 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1978 at Toroto ONT, Canada (CAN S) sabbatical

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Obituary

Father Jack Brennan SJ (OB 1937)

My brother, Jack, was born on 23rd September, 1920, at 7 North Frederick Street, Dublin, our mother's home town. He was christened John Francis Joseph Brennan - sometimes, particularly with and to me, he was Seán Ó Braonáin. At that time, the family, of which he was the fourth child, was living in Caherciveen, Co. Kerry, our father's home town. He was about six months old in May 1921 when our father's house and others in Caherciveen were blown up by the English Army towards the end of the War of Independence in what were called “official reprisals”. The family then moved to Dublin, which is how Jack came to be educated at Belvedere College. He also spent a brief period at St Vincent's College, Castleknock.

Following school, Jack worked for a time with the Hibernian Insurance Company. After the outbreak of the Second World War, during the Emergency as it was called here, Jack joined the Irish Army, rising to the rank of Captain. The family lore tells, somewhat humorously, that initially when he was a Private, the Hibernian paid him the difference between his army pay and what he had been paid by the company. This did not happen in the case of our eldest brother, Charlie, our first Belvederian, who also joined the army, having been working in our father's insurance brokerage! Jack joined the latter in 1945 after leaving the army.

On 7th September 1946, about a fortnight before his 26th birthday, Jack entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Emo where he took his first vows two years later. He then spent a year in the Jesuit Juniorate, College St Michel, in Laval, France, after which he went to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Co Offaly, to study philosophy. He was a scholastic in Belvedere College from 1952-'54, following which he went to the Jesuit college, Sankt Georgen, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to study theology and was ordained there on 31st July 1957. He returned in 1958 to Dublin, for his year's Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, then went to Mungret College, Limerick (1959-'64) where he took his final vows on 2nd February 1964. I believe, and heard from some of his fellow Jesuits, that, in his period as Minister there and subsequently as Principal in University Hall, Hatch Street, Dublin (1964-68 and 1978-'95); as Rector in Milltown Park (1968-'71); and as Rector in Clongowes Wood College (1972-'77), his talents for organisation, administration, and dealing with others were helped by his experience in the Irish Army. With regard to the latter, he celebrated the annual Mass for many years in commemoration of the tragic accident in the Glen of Imaal which happened at the time he was in the army.

Jack had a very fruitful and varied life. It was a life of true spirituality, generous helpfulness and unfailing good humour, a life which touched the lives of so many others. He was involved in the Samaritans, of which he was Director in Ireland (1970-'72). He had a particular interest in the second Vatican Council and was noted for his sympathy and understanding on the one hand and his encouragement on the other, in relation to those considering or dealing with its varied aspects. He was also noted for his commitment to ecumenism. He spent a sabbatical studying at Regis College, Toronto (1977-'78) where he obtained an MA in Theology. He enjoyed his spells of summer parish work in the state of New York, where he brought the word of God to many in his quiet, humorous and spiritually effective way. Messages of sympathy and great affection came to us from the friends he made there.

Jack is remembered with affection by our family and by his Jesuit family, to whom we are so closely tied; by those who looked after him so well and so lovingly during his year of reasonably good health at first and eventual last illness in the Jesuits' nursing home, Cherryfield Lodge; and by all who knew him at home and abroad. I was privileged to be among those of the family and of the Jesuit community who were with him when he died peacefully on 3rd July 2002. My other Jesuit brother, Joe, now of Gonzaga College, asked me to compose the prayers of the faithful to be recited by three of Jack's nieces and by one of his nephews (my son Cormac) at the funeral Mass. Cormac, who had frequently visited Jack with me, added his own composition which I include here as it reminded us of that good humour which Jack showed so often:

“Some of you may know that in his room, Jack had a plaque which said, ‘Working for the Lord doesn't pay much, but the retirement benefits are out of this world’! Let us pray that he is now enjoying those benefits”.

l and many fellow-Belvederians and others join in that prayer with certain hope and in gratitude to God for bringing Jack among us. Guim Solas na bhFlaitheas ar a anam uasal, dilis.

Anraí Ó Braonáin (O.B. 1949)

Brennan, Joseph A, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/809
  • Person
  • 13 November 1929-08 January 2018

Born: 13 November 1929, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 15 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1981, Gozaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 08 January 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1966 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/he-was-a-good-man/

‘He was a good man’
Jesuits, family, friends and colleagues of Joe Brennan SJ, packed the Church of the Holy Name in Beechwood Avenue to bid him a fond farewell at his funeral Mass, on Friday 12 January, 11am. They were joined by the staff and students of Gonzaga College. John O’Keeffe SJ presided at the Mass, and Myles O’Reilly SJ, a former superior of the Gonzaga Community that Joe was a member of for 43 years, gave the homily. Joe had taken ill in late December and was moved to St Vincent’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with a respiratory illness. He died peacefully on the morning of January 8th 2018, aged 88.
Fr Joe was born and raised in Dublin, and he joined the Jesuits in 1948 at the age of 18. He was a keen sportsman, playing inter-provincial rugby for Leinster. He was also an accomplished musician, particularly on the piano, so he would have appreciated the singing of the Gonzaga student choir at his funeral Mass.
Most of his Jesuit life was spent as a teacher of religion and philosophy. He taught in Mungret, Clongowes, Belvedere, and finally Gonzaga. Brian Flannery, Education Delegate, said Joe had been fully engaged with Gonzaga in one way or another right up to the time of his illness in late December. “He was known for always encouraging students to think for themselves,” said Brian; “Also for instilling values. ‘If you don’t stand for something,’ he loved to say, ‘you will fall for anything.'”
Fr Joe had a few such sayings that he was famous for repeating, and the school had them printed on the back of his funeral Mass booklet. “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved”, he would say. Or, “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.” And he would remind the students, “Faith is not against reason, it’s beyond it.”
In his homily, Fr Myles O’Reilly referred to the first reading from Isaiah and the banquet the Lord prepares for His trusted servants. He spoke of the many years of faithful service Joe had given as a follower of Jesus. He had served his fellow Jesuits, his students and his family, all with great generosity and wisdom. It was his turn now to be served and take part in the banquet prepared for him, as promised by the prophet Isaiah, said Myles.
Joe’s many nieces and nephews also attended the Mass. One of them, Ross Brennan, paid a warm tribute to their uncle at the end of the service. He spoke of how loved Joe was by his extended family, of the kindness he always showed, and of the help he always gave to them.
The funeral Mass preceded that of his fellow-Jesuit Kennedy O’Brien, also a teacher in Gonzaga, who had died suddenly, earlier that week. The principal of Gonzaga, Damon McCaul said that it had been a very difficult week for the staff and students in the school. He said that Fr Joe had made such an impact on his students that older past pupils still remembered him with deep regard and gratitude. “And it’s the same with Kennedy for a new generation of pupils and past pupils. Both men were outstanding teachers and educators.”
The final word on Fr Joe was a simple line in the funeral Mass booklet, underneath a photo of him saying Mass in Gonzaga: ‘He was a good man’.

Early Education at Sacred Heart, Leeson St, Dublin, Ring College, Waterford & Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
1950-1953 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1953-1956 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1956-1959 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1959-1963 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1963-1964 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1964-1965 Trier, Germany - Liturgy Studies at Benediktiner Abtei St Mathias
1965-1966 Brussels, Belgium - Catechetics Studies at Lumen Vitae
1966-1968 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Prefect; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1968-1969 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Musical Director; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1969-1974 Mungret College SJ - Teacher; Gamesmaster
1974-2018 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1983 Rector; Director of Pastoral Care
2010 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Dublin; Assistant Treasurer; Teacher of Religion
2014 Ceased Teaching

Briones, Thomas, 1582-1645, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/955
  • Person
  • 1582-12 February 1645

Born: 1582, Jenkinstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 21 January 1605, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Final vows: 22 May 1622
Died: 12 February 1645, Irish College, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Alias Bryan

“Thomas O’Brien - see Briones”
Studied 2 years Philosophy and 2 years Theology
1609 was at Ingolstadt (Bavaria) further studies after 4th year Theology; subsequently Superior of Seminary for 4 years (dates unclear)
1609-1610 sent to Ireland with Daton and R Comeford
1617 was in CAST Province
1619 Master of Irish students at College of Salamanca
1625 College of Montforte (CAST)
1628 Rector of Irish College at Compostella
1633 Rector of Irish College at Seville
1639 at Malaga College
Was Master of Novices at some stage

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1613-1645 Rector of Salamanca and Seville; Writer
1609 Appears in Ireland
Because of the confusion over his aliases (above) he appears as two persons in Foley’s Collectanea : Thomas Brian (O’Bryan) and Thomas Brion (Briones)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Joanna née Hoyne
He began his studies at Salamanca in 1600 before Ent 21 January 1605 Rome
After First Vows he resumed studies at the Roman College, and then a final year at Ingolstadt.
1609-1613 Sent to Ireland and worked in the Kilkenny region
1614-1622 Recalled to Spain as Rector of Salamanca
1622-1626 Rector at Santiago
1626-1627 Rector of Salamanca again
1627 Went to Madrid as Procurator of the Irish Mission and Irish Colleges on the Iberian Peninsula
1631-1637 He changed Province from CAST to BAE and immediately appointed Rector at the Irish College Seville
1637-1641 Operarius at the Marchena Residence
1641 Reappointed as Rector of Seville in response to the reiterated demands of the students who resented the government of the College of Spaniards.
1644 Forced by illness and blindness to retire from Rectorship, but remained there as Spiritual Father to Seminarians until his death 12 February 1645.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Note from Richard Lynch (1611-1647) Entry
Lynch was appointed Rector of the Irish College Seville on 1 February 1644, replacing Father Thomas Briones

Bürger, Peter, 1841-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/994
  • Person
  • 18 April 1841-29 March 1922

Born: 18 April 1841, Köln, Germany
Entered: 01 October 1859, Friedricksburg Germany - Germaniae Province (GER)
Ordained: 1872
Professed: 02 February1877
Died: 29 March 1922, Exaten, Limburg, Netherlands - Germaniae Inferioris Province (GER I)

by 1884 came to Milltown (HIB) to lecture in Metaphysics for 1 year

Butler, Thomas, 1718-1779, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2291
  • Person
  • 20 November 1718-04 May 1779

Born: 20 November 1718, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1739, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1746
Final Vows: 02 February 1757
Died: 04 May 1779, Eyne, Hereford, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Hon Thomas Butler alias Thompson, Baron Caher - Son of Thomas 6th Baron Caher and Frances Butler - Older brother of John RIP 1786

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BUTLER, THOMAS, was born on the 20th of November, 1718, commenced his Noviceship at Watten, on the 7th of September, 1739, and was Professed in the Order on the 2nd of February, 1757. I am informed that he had been Minister of Clermont College at Paris : afterwards he was in Spain, and was there involved in the expulsion of his Brethren, on the 4th of April, 1767. F. Thomas Butler died at Eign adjoining Hereford, (where the Chapel probably was, before the house in Byestreet was purchased) on the 4th of May, 1779. For a short period he had resided at Home Lacy, a seat of the late Duke of Norfolk, about five miles distant from Hereford.

Byrne, Vincent, 1848-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/5
  • Person
  • 5 May 1848-21 October 1943

Born: 05 May 1848, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 March 1880, Munich, Germany
Died: 21 October 1943, Dublin, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Henry Byrne LEFT as Novice 1875 due to ill health resulting in death

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from James Redmond Entry :
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.
Note from Thomas P Brown Entry :
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne
Note from Br Philip McCormack Entry :
Father Vincent Byrne said his funeral Mass which was attended by many of the Brothers from the city houses.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Fr. Byrne died on 20th October at Milltown Park at the age of 95. He was a brother of the late Mr. George Byrne, of the firm of Messrs. Byrne, Mahony and Co., flour and grain merchants, wbo was for a number of years chairman of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. His nephew, Mr. George Byrne, is a member of the present Port and Docks Board.
Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1866, studied rhetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work, as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector, from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forcefui personality.
The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, were all due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State - like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev. Dr. Curley - the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev. Dr. Killian, Mr. Frank Fahy, T.D - he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.
An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.
Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoilation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.
He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. R.I.P.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 38 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

FR VINCENT BYRNE : 1848-1943

Seán Hughes

  1. Memories:
    As a young lad: of a quiet gentle confessor in Gardiner Street - though he had a disconcerting habit of dozing in the Box, with the additional alarm caused by the peak of his biretta, on the nodding head, descending like a blackbird. At a later time: or the elderly silk-hatted, frock-coated priest with his umbrella, setting out from Gardiner Street. I never, though, saw him in a tram - like some others of his distinguished-looking, silk-hatted community. As a scholastic: particularly at funerals, when he hatted, gazing down into the open grove of soneome junior to hio. Lastly, in Milltown, pathetically helping or being helped up the two steps to the chapel corridor - Fr. Vincent Byrne, in his nineties, and Fr. Nicholas Tomkins, in his eighties, linking one another from the refectory....

  2. The Official Record:
    Fr. Vincent Byrne was born in Dublin, 5th May 1848. He went to school to Belvedere, and entered the Society in Milltown Park on 7th September 1866. He went to St. Acheul, Belgium, for his juniorate, and was sent to Rome, to the Roman College, for phisolophy. After the fall of Rome, 1870, he moved to Germany to Maria Laach for his second year of philosophy. Then came a five-year regency - a year each in Tullabeg (still a college) and Crescent, and three years in Clongowes where he was Third Line Prefect. To Innsbruck then for theology - and he was ordained on St. Patrick's Day, 1880, in the private Chapel of the Archbishop of Munich: his health having broken down during his second year of theology. A leisurely return home, recuperating his health, became a Grand Tour.

As a young priest, before his tertianship, he spent seven years teaching in different colleges - three years in Tullabeg, two in Galway, one each in Clongowes and Crescent. Apparently a good teacher of languages (he has four to offer) and drama. Fr, Byrne was “in demand”...

In 1889, he was posted to Mungret - first as Minister, for two years; then as rector for nine years. For four of these, 90 - 94, he was in addition Moderator of the Apostolic School. Those years were the apex of his career - the man who Made Mungret - the tangible evidence being the embellishment of the College Chapel. But there was more: those years of Mungret's history were marked by its remarkable successes in the University Examinations of the old Royal University of Ireland. Fr. Byrne claimed that of his pupils in the Apostolic School, nine became Bishops, Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, USA, being the most notable. Ichabod!

After Mungret, Fr.Byrne went to Gardiner Street, where he was to spend all but four years of the rest of his long life. The first four years in Gardiner Street were spent as a member of the retreat and mission staff. There followed, 1904 - 07, three years as rector of Clongowes, then a return to Gardiner Street - as an operarius until 1934; as Conf. Dom., until 1942 - when he retired to Milltown, where it all began seventy-six years previously. He died on 20th October 1943. I don't remember his funeral - but being choir-master, I must have been there.

  1. The Legend:
    Arriving in Mungret, thirty-seven years after Fr. Byrne had left it, I found a green memory of great days and deeds of derring-do. To sift out the facts from the folklore would take a gift of discernment of very high order: so let us be content with the legend w some of the tales may well be apocryphal - but what matter? As Chesterton said about the legends of St. Nicholaus - “He was the kind of man about whom that kind of story was told”. So too “the Pie” - as he was nicknamed, because, it is said, he had a somewhat un-Ignatian “affection” for the dish.

I suppose the legend begins in Rome in 1870 - when he saw “service” with the Papal Army making its token stand at the Port Pia against the invading arny of Victor Emmanuel. The service was, no doubt, as a medical orderly - but, no matter; it was a signal beginning. When we were in Milltown, 1942-43, we understood that Fr Byrne was writing his Memoirs - I wonder where that piece of archives is? The stay in Maria Laach coincided with the beginning of Bismark's Kultur Kampf - and the saving of the library from confiscation by the process of pasting in the book-plate of a friendly Baron in each of the books was another tale.

Although Vincent's health did break down in Innsbruck, he must have been a man of extraordinary stamina and strength. He related, himself, how, when Third Line Prefect in C.W.C., he walked to Dublin (and back) to beg £5.00 from the Provincial to buy a small billiard table for his Line. He rode a bicycle - on what we would seem cart-tracks of roads (and not even a three-speed gear on the machine): he swam - whenever he could, until he was literally rescued from the stormy waters of the Forty-foot in his eighties/nineties and forbidden to swim again. And he died, the oldest member (then) of the Province - but was often heard to say: “That man” (the late E. de Valera) “has taken ten years off my life”. Did he die disappointed?

But the Mungret Legends: Fr Byrne's term as rector of Mungret saw stormy days - on two fronts. The then Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Edward Thomas Dwyer, a man of strong, positive views and irascible temperanent, apparently decided that the Jesuit occupation of Mungret was irregular. His predecessor had invited Ours to run the Diocesan Seminary which he had opened at Mungret. Bishop Dwyer withdrew the seminarians - and left us in occupation. He pursued his case in Rome - and lost it. But Fr Byrne had to face up to the tensions of such a situation. One story may indicate how he coped. He met the Bishop at a funeral. Said the Bishop: “Did you get the letter I sent you?”. Replied the Rector: “Your letter arrived but I did not receive it”. It was related that on another occasion, the Rector was cycling down the Mungret avenue. The Bishop in his coach was driving up to the College. Noticing his visitor, Fr. Byrne continued on his way. The Rector was not at home when the Bishop arrived. The failure of the Bishop's case in Rome did nothing to improve relations.

There was a further assault on his beloved College from quite another quarter. This arose from the complex history of the Mungret establishment. In the 50's the British government decided to do something for the agricultural community. It set up two (I think) agricultural colleges - one of them on land taken from (”ceded by”) the Church of Ireland diocese of Limerick, namely, the Mungret property. The college had a short and unsuccessful life. In or about 1870, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick secured a lease of and premises of the agricultural college, for the purposes of having his diocesan Seminary established there. There was, I believe, some kind of commitment to maintain instruction in agriculture in the new enterprise.

As already related, we remained in occupation of the former agricultural college - now Mungret College and the Mungret Apostolic School. The Protestant Dean of Limerick now challenged our right to be there: the land had been ceded for a specific purpose - which was not being carried out: the agricultural instruction had become a mere token. So, nothing less than a Royal Commission was set up to determine the matter. With the good help of Lord Emly a friend and neighbour, the Commission found a solution - and the Technical School in O'Connell Avenue, Limerick was the British Government's restitution to the people of Limerick.

But more intimate and family adventures: Community relations between Crescent and Mungret were normally very amicable. Whenever one Community was rejoicing, the other was invited to join in the celebration. Indeed it is related that the citizens of Limerick (who always knew, somehow or other, what was going on in either community!) used assemble at Ballinacurra Pike to enjoy the spectacle of the Mungret Long Car bringing one or other community home - rejoicing. Well, on one occasion the Minister of Crescent forgot to invite the Mungret Community to the party. Result: a breach in diplomatic relations - which went unhealed until the said Minister came out to Mungret and read an apology to the Mungret Community - Rector and all present in the Library. (A Community Meeting of a different kind). I mentioned the Long Car which transported the Community of Mungret: all, Rector down, had apparently bicycles: but there was some kind of coach too - for the Rector would be driven to Limerick (or Tervoe, Emly's place). Any respectable coachman would wear a tall-hat: but the Mungret coachman had no such thing. So a tin, black japaned headgear was provided for occasions when the Rector went driving. All was well - until in a bad hail storn descended. The hailstones on the tin hat made such a racket that the horse bolted... History doesn't recount the sequel.

There were tales of cycling expeditions. “Be booted and spurred at such a time” was the Rector's goodnight summons to his men. And off they would go - on their gearless, fixed-wheel bicycles, on the Limerick roads - trying to keep up with the Rector - and trying not to outstrip him when going downhill - a lesson that had to be learnt the hard way! The quality of the lunch depended on the Rector (a) not being overtaken coming down hill and (b) arriving first at their destination. Not all the picnics were cycle runs: there is a tale of an expedition to Killarney (cycling to Limerick Station, of course) with a return in the company of one of the Circuit Court Judges (Adams was his name, I think) who spoke highly of the gaiety of the journey - the bottle had the colour of lemonade (and maybe the label!). One of the party assured me that he found himself in bed the following morning with no recollection of getting there - nor any idea of how he cycled out from Limerick on a bicycle with a buckled front wheel.

There were tales, too, of adventures on villas - the Rector's requirement of his swim before lunch often the nub of the tale - as, for instance, once the party went to the Scelligs (by row boat, of course). Lunch was to be on the rock: but the Rector had to have his swim. The brethren sought to persuade him otherwise - no doubt, it was a hungry and thirsty journey. So they alleged that the waters were shark-infested. Nothing daunted, Fr Byrne had his oarsmen beat the waters - to scare off any intruding shark, while he had his daily plunge...

At home, of course, life was apparently of the “semper aliquid novi” ex Mungret type. Once, the orchard was raided - and the very angry Rector threatened the assembled boys with cancellation of the next free day - unless the culprit owned up. There was silence - and then, Pat Connolly one of the Rector's favourite pupils stood up and confessed. By no means nonplussed, the Rector's anger melted away and in volte face, he cried out: “May God forgive the boy who led this poor child into error. The poor child entered the Society and in the course became the devoted editor of “Studies” for many a long year. It is said that an application from Bruree for a boy with the unusual name of Valera did not meet with the Rector's sympathy - and went to WPB unacknowledged: so the boy went to Rockwell - and, maybe, history was made... With all, the Rector was a forceful personality where the religious, literary and artistic life of the College was concerned. He took his share of teaching and was Proc. Dom. in addition.

His triennium at Clongowes left no such harvest of Folklore. There, he had an outstanding Minister (Fr. Wrafter) and a dymanic Prefect of Studies (Fr. James Daly, in his prime): so Fr Byrne let then run the School while he went to Dublin regularly - coming back every few days to collect his post. It is related that the return was often by the “Opera Train” - the last train from Kingsbridge bringing county theatre goers home - and then by coach from Sallins - the coachman, no doubt, properly attired...

To the end of his active days, he attended both the Spring Show and the Horse Show on each of the four days. Every International Rugby Match and/or Cup Final saw him ensconced on the East Stand at Lansdowne Road, The umbrella element of his tenue on these social occasions, was wielded with vigour on those enthusiasts who stood up at thrilling moves on the pitch and blocked his reverence's view. He was a keen bridge player and commanded his friends to provide “a good four”. However, he developed a habit of pausing during play to recite his favourite poetry - with feeling. The provision of “a good four” became increasingly difficult.

But despite all these eccentricities, Fr, Byrne was one of the devoted and faithful members of the Church staff at Gardiner Street. In a time when the Province rejoiced in having a number of eloquent and sought after preachers - Fr. Robert Kane, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Michael Phelan - Fr Vincent Byrne was 'an eloquent and graceful speaker. A panegyric of St. Aloysius is noted in the Clongownian obituary as outstanding. Some ten years before his death he published a volume of his sermons - and the edition was sold out, which, in 1933 must say something about them.

We shall not see his like again.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, studied. rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama; and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the chapel at Mungret with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, all were due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev Dr Curley; the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev Dr Killian ; Mr. Frank Fahy, TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving' alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Rector (1904-1907)

Although Fr Vincent Byrne was for over seventy years a member of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, his connection with Clongowes was very short, being practically confined to the three years of his Rectorate. He had indeed been Third Line Prefect and had taught here for a short time, but it was so long ago that it is almost beyond the memory of even the oldest Clongownian. He was, however, known to many of more recent years who remember his eloquent occasional sermons, particularly his panegyric of St Aloysius, which is included in the volume of his published sermons which was published a few years ago and was so well received by the public. His venerable figure was well known to those who live in Dublin where he will be greatly missed by his numerous friends.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Vincent Byrne, veteran of the Irish Province and “clarum et venerabile nomen” to Mungret men of his day here, passed away last October, To the last, in spite of his venerable age, he was interested in life and up to a short time before his death, he was one of the best known men in the city of Dublin. Police, newsboys, tram-men, everyone whose business it is to be abroad knew him and recognised him familiarly. His old pupils never forget him and he is a very vivid memory to them indeed. He came to Mungret full of vigour and he was not niggardly of his energy in her service. He built here, decorated, furnished and encouraged every side of college life whether it was sport of music or debates. His own humorous comment in old age when he revisited us “I made Mungret” has its quantum of truth.

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park in 1866, studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens; philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Authority on Shakespeare
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and, through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare.

Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil-paintings, were all due to his initiative.

With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Dr Curley the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Dr Killian; Mr Frank Fahy TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship.

Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Dean of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over thirty years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with per severing fidelity, and preserved his keer interest in all that touched human life.

Mungret boys of every vintage will not forget to pray for the soul of this great old campaigner. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Vincent Byrne (1848-1943)

A native of Dublin, at the time of his death was one of the oldest priests in Ireland. He was in the Crescent as a scholastic, 1873-1874 and again as priest, 1883-1884. Father Byrne was later Rector of Mungret College (1890-1900) and for a brief period Rector of Clongowes. He was for nearly four decades a member of the Gardiner St. community and was in his day a distinguished preacher. A volume of his occasional sermons was published some twenty years ago.

Carroll, James, 1717-1756, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1020
  • Person
  • 05 August 1717-12 November 1756

Born: 05 August 1717, Ireland
Entered: 07 September 1741, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1747
Final Vows: 02 February 1752
Died: 12 November 1756, Newtown, Maryland, USA - Angliae Province (ANG)

1746 at Münster in Westphalia in 3rd Year Theology

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1749 Sent to Maryland Mission
RIP 12 November 1756 Maryland aged 39 (Peter Kenney’s papers)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CARROLL, JAMES,was born on the 5th of August, 1717. He joined the Order in 1741, and died in the Maryland Mission on the 12th of November, 1756

Carroll, Joseph F, 1892-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1021
  • Person
  • 31 July 1892-12 December 1955

Born: 31 July 1892, Baltinglass, County Wicklow
Entered: 20 October 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly/St Andrew-on-Hudson, NY, USA
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1928
Died: 12 December 1955, Milwaukee, WI, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Transcribed HIB to MARNEB : 1911; MARNEB to MIS

◆ Mungret Annual, 1956

Obituary

Father Joseph Carroll SJ

Fr. Joseph Carroll was born in Baltinglass in 1892. He was in Mungret in the years 1907-10. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of eighteen. Shortly afterwards he went to America to continue his studies. He studied at St Andrew's on the Hudson, Woodstock and Georgetown. As a scholastic he taught for two years at Regis College, Denver and two years at Marquette University where he taught physics. This was when he first became acquainted with the Marquette seismograph. After that he went abroad to complete his theological studies in Holland and to study physics, mathematics and chemistry at the University of Munich, and the University of Bonn. There he received the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. After ordination at Milltown Park in 1928, he returned to Marquette University as head of the physics department. He taught physical optics and spectroscopy to advanced students. His main interest however was in the seismograph. With the wit that was characteristic of him, he used to recall the first seismograph he saw at Mungret. “It stood in a little shed in the middle of a pasture. But it was never of mạch use. The cows would come up to the shed and scratch their backs against it. Every time they did County Limerick had a major earthquake”.

In his classroom work Father Carroll was respected by both students and faculty members for the seriousness and thoroughness of his teaching. Besides this he took an active interest in the spiritual welfare of the students. When ever he heard that anyone was ill he went to see him. Besides these visits to the sick his duties included leadership of the Jesuit Mother's club an organization of mothers whose sons were Jesuits. To his two surviving brothers we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Comerford, George, 1598-1629, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1074
  • Person
  • 23 April 1598-14 August 1629

Born: 23 April 1598, County Waterford
Entered: 24 August 1618, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1624
Died: 14 August 1629, Waterford Residence

Parents : Philip C Comerford and Anne Goeghe or Joeghe or Gough?
Fellow novice of St Jan Berchmans
Studied Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy at Douai
1622 in Flanders Province
1626 Catalogue In Ireland (Comerfortius)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries
Son of Peter Philip Comerford and Ann née Geoghe
Studied Humanities at various places in Ireland for five years and then Philosophy at Douai under the Jesuits at Aachen
1626 In Ireland
Admitted to the Society by Charles Scribano at Courtray (Kortrijk) 19 July 1618 and then began his Noviceship at Mechelen 24 August 1618 (”Mechlin Album” Vol I p449, Burgundian Library, Brussels)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Philip and Anne née Geoghe
Studied Humanities and Philosophy under the Jesuits at Douai before Ent 24 August 1618 Mechelen
After First Vows sent to Louvain to complete his studies.
1621 He received Minor Orders 04 June 1621, but the date and place of Ordination are unknown (probably c 1624)
1624 Returned to Ireland but in poor health and was at the Waterford Residence until his death in August 1629

Comerfort, Richard, 1580-1620, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1080
  • Person
  • 22 November 1580-21 April 1620

Born: 22 November 1580, Waterford
Entered: 11 January 1605, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1609, Rome Italy
Died: 21 April 1620, Waterford - Romanae Province (ROM)

Alias Comerton

Had studied 2 years Philosophy and 1 year Theology before entry
1609 at Ingolstadt after 4 years Theology repeating studies
1609-1610 Sent to Ireland with Daton and Briones
1610-1611 Librarian at Limoges
1611 at College of Limousin doing Theology
1614 Teaching Theology at Limoges
1615-1616 called to the Irish Mission
1617 in Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica”
Brother of James 1st and Thomas
1607 Was in Rome and received a letter from his brother James dated Madrid 28 September 1607. He was in bad health that year and Father Archer recommends his being sent to the Irish Mission (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS, who calls him Quemford)
1609 In Bordeaux
1617 He appears in Ireland (IER 1874)
(Comerton entry suggests that he was Rector at Salamanca 1621-1624, but this is more likely to have been James Comerford 1st)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ
Brother of James (Senior) and Thomas (infra)
Had studied at the Irish College Salamanca before Ent 11 January 1605 Rome on the same days as his brother Thomas
1607 After First Vows he was sent to resume Theology studies - most likely in Rome - and was Ordained there 1609;
1609 Arrived with Richard Daton in Bordeaux. Both had been sent to and were on their way to Ireland but in fact both were detained in France for some years.
Richard taught Philosophy for four years at Limoges College
1617 Arrived in Ireland and Waterford where he remained until his death there in 1620

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
QUEMERFORD,RICHARD. He was in bad health at Rome in the autumn of 1607, and F. Archer recommended his being sent to the Irish Mission.

Counihan, John, 1916-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/650
  • Person
  • 29 December 1916-07 March 2001

Born: 29 December 1916, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 09 February 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Charles Lwanga College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died; 07 March 2001, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1st Zambia Province (ZAM) Vice-Provincial: 03 December 1969
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969-1976

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John was a man for whom decisions came before sentiment and who rarely changed his mind once he had made it up. This was the basis of the affectionately critical nickname given to him by some scholastics and others, namely "Dr No" because of his "no" to many requests. After finishing as provincial, he returned to Charles Lwanga TTC to lecture in education. One evening at table, a member of the community said to him, "John, you are right. You seem to know everything”. John replied, 'They do not call me" "Dr. Know" for nothing'!

He was born in Ennis, in Co Clare, Ireland, into a large family. He went to Clongowes Wood College for his secondary education and left laden with academic prizes. He attended University College in Dublin to study classics and after an M.A. won a traveling scholarship in ancient classics which brought him to Leipzig University in Germany. His academic habits served him well in studying the scriptures which would be his favourite spare time occupation for the rest of his life. Later a Greek New Testament and a Tonga dictionary helped him prepare Sunday homilies.

At the age of 26, he entered the Society at Emo in 1942. After the customary study of philosophy and theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park in 1951. He went to teach Latin and Greek at Belvedere College in 1953 but three years later found him in Zambia. He learnt ciTonga after arrival and then moved to Canisius Secondary School until the newly built Teacher Training College across the river was opened. Then he went there to be its first principal, 1959 to 1964.

He then went to Monze as education secretary for the diocese and Bishop's secretary. However the unification of the two Missions of Chikuni and Lusaka brought about the creation of the vice-province of Zambia with John as first provincial from 1969 to 1976. This was no easy task, to get the different nationalities of Jesuits to think of themselves as one province. He organised an international novitiate for Eastern Africa, built Luwisha House near the university for future scholastic undergraduates and encouraged the recruitment of young Zambians into the Society. Such recruitment had been inhibited for a long time by the necessary policy of building up the local clergy. In 1975, the province began working in the Copperbelt. He was duly gratified at the end of his term of office when Fr Mertens, the Assistant for Africa said to him, “You have done a good job, you have set up a Jesuit province”.

After being provincial, he returned south again to the Monze diocese to the staff of Charles Lwanga TTC from 1978 to 1984, and then to Kizito Pastoral Centre, 1985 to 1998, to help in the formation of local religious.

A colleague paid the following tribute to him: "I recall some of John's characteristics. Such an intelligent man can hardly have been blind to the difficult spots in the characters of some of his confrères. Yet, I never heard him speak negatively of another. His tendency was to idealise them. Even if he was firm to the point of inflexibility in his decisions, he was unfailingly courteous, considerate and kind to others. You could always count on him being in a good humour. He did not wear his prayer life on his sleeve, yet he was everything that is implied in the term, ‘a good religious’. Without being overly pious he clearly gave priority to his spiritual life, took an Ignatian view of life's details and sought God in everything".

In 1999, John retired to Chula House in Lusaka, the infirmary for Jesuits, where he died peacefully on 7th March 2001.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
He was pulled back to Charles Lwanga TTC as minister and bursar where he looked after the brethren well. Later the first provincial, Fr John Counihan used to tell the story of how, as he was being transferred to Monze, went into to John and asked him where the week-end refreshments appeared in the books, which he had carefully scrutinised but failed to locate. Fr Indekeu replied laconically ‘Look under jam’.

Note from Philip O’Keeffe Entry
I was privileged to live, for Philip was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 12 June 1946. Two genuinely saintly men. The elder statesman, John Counihan, would stand up promptly at eight pm and announce ‘All right boys, I'll leave you to it. It's time for me to retire’. And he'd toddle off to his room to the Greek New Testament and Tonga New Testament laid out side by side on his desk – no English – and he'd prepare his homily for the following day

Coyne, Edward J, 1896-1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/50
  • Person
  • 20 June 1896-22 May 1958

Born: 20 June 1896, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly - Hiberniae Province (HIB) for Sicilian Province (SIC)
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1932, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome Italy
Died: 22 May 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for MA in Economics at UCD

by 1927 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1932 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
1930-1931 at Haus Sentmaring, Münster, Germany
by 1933 at Vanves, Paris, France (FRA) studying

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Coyne, Edward Joseph
by Anne Dolan

Coyne, Edward Joseph (1896–1958), Jesuit priest, was born 20 June 1896 in Dublin, eldest of five children of William P. Coyne (qv), head of the statistical section of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, and Agnes Mary Coyne (née Martin). Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, from 1908, he joined the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore (1914). After an academically distinguished student career at UCD, he taught for three years at Belvedere College, Dublin, during which time he published a series of articles in the Irish Monthly under the name ‘N. Umis’. He studied theology (1926–8) at the Franz Ferdinand university, Innsbruck, returning to Ireland for his ordination (1928) and to begin an MA in economics at UCD. On completing his religious training at Münster, Westphalia, he divided his time between the Gregorian University in Rome, the Action Populaire, and the Sorbonne, Paris. A term at the International Labour Office, Geneva, marked the first practical application of his special studies in sociology and economics. In 1933 he was appointed professor of ethics at St Stanislaus College, a position he held until becoming (1938) professor of moral theology and lecturer in sociology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Although he remained at Milltown Park for the rest of his life, he played a prominent part in the development of Irish social and economic thought. The driving force behind the 1936 social order summer school at Clongowes and the foundation of the Catholic Workers' College (1948), he was selected by Michael Tierney (qv) to organise UCD's extramural courses in 1949.

Editor of Studies and a regular contributor to Irish Monthly, he also placed his knowledge at the disposal of several individuals, institutions, and organisations. As a member of the Jesuit committee assembled in 1936 to contribute to the drafting of the new constitution, he corresponded regularly with Eamon de Valera (qv) and had a significant influence on the document submitted. In 1939 he was appointed by the government to the commission on vocational organisation and was the main author of its report (1943), which was highly critical of the anonymity and inefficiency of the Irish civil service. Despite later government appointments to the Irish Sea Fisheries Association (1948) and the commissions on population (1949) and emigration (1954), he was always prepared to question government decisions, querying the report of the banking commission (1938), the wisdom of plans by the minister for social welfare, William Norton (qv) to unify social insurance schemes (1949), and the morality of the ‘mother and child’ scheme (1951). Serving on several public boards and industrial committees, including the Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry (1939), the Central Savings Committee (1942), the Law Clerk's Joint Labour Committee (1947), the Creameries Joint Labour Committee (1947), and the National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades (1957), he worked closely with both employers and workers. He also took an active role in the cooperative movement, becoming president of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (1943). A staunch supporter of John M. Hayes (qv) and Muintir na Tire, he was a frequent speaker at the organisation's ‘rural weeks'. He died 22 May 1958 at St. Vincent's nursing home, Dublin, after a lengthy illness, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery. Among the many mourners was his brother Thomas J. Coyne (qv), secretary of the Department of Justice (1949–61). His papers are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.

Ir. Times, Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, 23 May 1958; Clongownian, June 1959, 6–11; J. H. Whyte, Church and state in modern Ireland 1923–1979 (1984), 88, 180, 259; J. Anthony Gaughan, Alfred O'Rahilly I: academic (1986), 95–6, 186–90; Seán Faughnan, ‘The Jesuits and the drafting of the Irish constitution of 1937’, IHS, xxvi (1988–9), 79–102; J. J. Lee, Ireland 1912–1985: politics and society (1989), 274–5; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991), 277, 285–7; Dermot Keogh, Ireland and the Vatican (1995), 324–5; Dermot Keogh & Andrew J. Mc Carthy, The making of the Irish constitution (2007), 58, 95, 98–100

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Counihan and Edward Coyne are acting as members of a Commission set up by the Government Department of Social Welfare, at the end of March, to examine Emigration and other Population Problems. The former is still working on the Commission on Youth Unemployment, while Fr. Coyne, who served on the Commission on Vocational Organisation appointed in 1939, and whose Report was published five years later, is at present Deputy Chairman of the Central Savings Committee, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council for Beads Industry, Chairman of the Joint Labour Committee for Solicitors, Member of the Joint Labour Committee for the Creamery Industry, Member of the Council of the Statistical Society.

Irish Province News 33rd Year No 4 1958

Obituary :

Fr Edward J Coyne (1896-1958)

I want to set down in some detail the record of Fr. Ned Coyne's life because I think that the Province would be the poorer were the memory of him to grow dim. I shall attempt no contrived portrait; in an artless narrative I run, less risk of distortion. Indeed in a bid to avoid being painted in, false colours, Fr. Ned played with the idea of writing his own obituary notice; in the week following his operation he succeeded in dictating several fragments, but realising later on that they were written in the exultant mood that followed his acceptance of his death-sentence, he insisted that I should destroy them.
Edward Joseph Coyne was born in Dublin on 20th June, 1896. He was the eldest son, of W. P. Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College and founder-member of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. To mention these positions indicates at once the influence of father on son. As that influence ran deep, I must say something more of his father whose name lives on in U.C.D. in the Coyne Memorial Prize. Though struck down by cancer at a comparatively early age, W.P. had already made his mark both as an economist and an administrator, Gifted with a clear head and tireless industry, he was not content to remain master of his own science but read widely outside his professional field of economic and social studies. One aspect of his interests.is best illustrated by recalling a favourite saying of his : “the old philosophy will come back to us through Dante”; another aspect by the mention of his special competence in the art and literature of the Renaissance. When I add that W.P. frail of physique, possessed unusual powers of head and heart, of incisive exposition and innate sympathy, it will be indeed clear that Ned was very much his father's son. Were he now looking over my shoulder as I write, he would be quick to remind me of what he owed also to his gentle, sensitive mother of whose bravery as a young widow bringing up five children. he was so proud.
After a short period at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Ned was kept at home to be educated privately from the age of seven to twelve on account of his frail health, Next came the decisive influence of six and a half years in Clongowes which he entered in 1908. He was second to none in his generous appreciation of all that Clongowes had given him. He belonged to the fortunate generation that knew Clongowes in her hey-day in the years before the centenary : Fr. Jimmy Daly and Fr. "Tim” Fegan were at the height of their powers and were supported by a team of brilliant masters. If I single out one, the then Mr. Boyd Barrett, I do so for two reasons: from him Ned derived lasting inspiration in class-room and in the Clongowes Social Study Club; to him Ned gave a life-time's gratitude expressed by constant letters all through the “misty” years. And when he came to die, a letter from his old master cheered him greatly on a hard spell of the road. Anyone who turns up the Clongownians of his time will see the role he played in every part of school life. Fond as he was of books, his school career is not merely a long list of exhibitions and gold medals; he played out-half and won his “cap” of which he was proud, he kept wicket, he was second-captain of his line, he was the first secretary of the Clongowes Social Study Club which Mr. Boyd Barrett founded. In these pages I can but skim the surface of his life, but however brief the treatment I must find room for some quotations from his Union Prize Essay on “The Necessity of Social Education for Irishmen”, published in the 1914 Clongownian :
“It is sheer folly and shameful conceit for anyone to think he can remedy Ireland's social disorders without social education. There are very few really active workers in Ireland today; but these few are of more value than three times their number of 'social adventurers. For they are trained in the school of experience to have a definite knowledge of what they know and what they do not know. There is no room for social amateurs; if we want to succeed, we must be specialists and experts....
What we plead for is that all the great Catholic colleges of Ireland should start at once some system of social education, If they did so, we should have fifty or sixty young sons of Ireland coming forth each year, full of energy and fire, ready to take their proper places in the great social movements of today. The young men are the hope of France,' said Pius X, and the young men are the hope of Ireland too. The suggestion made recently by a learned Jesuit of having University diplomas for social work is certainly a very good one. But I would wish to begin earlier. It is not every schoolboy who goes to the Universities; many enter business or do some other work. I would have these trained for social work; trained well, too, in those vital questions which are now so much discussed.
That august and venerable College to which I have the honour to belong has taken up the task of social education for her children. It is to be hoped that many will follow her example.

On 31st August, 1914, he began his noviceship in Tullabeg under Fr. Martin. Maher; eleven others entered with him that day and all stayed the course. After the noviceship they remained in Tullabeg for a year's Juniorate which Fr. Ned always regarded as one of the most rewarding years of his life : Fr. Charlie Mulcahy, Fr. W. Byrne and Mr. H. Johnston gave them of their best.
In U.C.D. Fr. Ned read history and economics for his degree, taking first place in both subjects. He was the inspiration of a lively English Society that included Fr. Paddy O'Connor, Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien, and Gerard Murphy among its members, and was auditor of the Classical Society in succession to Leo McAuley (now Ambassador to the Holy See) who in turn had succeeded the present President of U.C.D.
Moving across to Milltown Park for philosophy Fr. Coyne managed to combine with it fruitful work on a first-class M.A. thesis on Ireland's Internal Transport System. Next came three successful years in Belvedere : his pupils and a series of articles under the thinly-veiled name of N. Umis in the Irish Monthly provide the best evidence for his zest for teaching. He made his theology in Innsbruck, returning home for ordination in 1928. On completing his theology in Innsbruck, he made his tertianship in Munster in Westphalia under Fr. Walter Sierp, He divided his biennium between Rome and Paris, studying in the Gregorianum under Fr. Vermeersch and later in the Sorbonne and at the Action Populaire. He also spent three months at this period in Geneva at the International Labour Office,
On returning to Ireland he was posted to Tullabeg to teach ethics and cosmology. Those who sat at his feet found in him a professor of outstanding clarity, who had, besides, a rare gift of stimulating interest. In November, 1936, he was transferred to Milltown Park. It was not long before his influence began to be felt in various spheres. In due course he was appointed to the Moral Chair and by that time he was more than fully occupied. He did signal service as a member of the Commission on Vocational Organisation, appointed by the Government in 1939 to report on the practability of developing functional or vocational organisation, in Ireland. Ten years later he was named a member of the Commission on Population,
In 1940 he was elected Vice-President and in 1943 President of the I.A.O.S. From his first association with the society be took an intense interest in the co-operative movement; he knew the movement from every angle, legal, economic and above all, idealistic. He astonished the members of the many societies he visited over the years by his complete grasp of the technical problems involved. Some years ago he delivered an address in London at the annual general meeting of the Agricultural Central Co-operative Association of England which created an extraordinarily favourable impression and resulted in invitations to address a number of English co-ops. Even before his active association with the I.A.O.S. he had already been early in the field supporting Fr. John Hayes in the founding and developing of Muintir na Tire at whose Rural Weeks he was a frequent speaker,
Besides his interest in rural affairs, Fr. Coyne was also closely in touch with industrial problems; he was chairman of the Law Clerks Joint Labour Committee, of the National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades, and of the Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry
In 1949, Dr. Michael Tierney, President of University College, Dublin, invited him to organise an extra-mural department. Thanks to the generous co-operation of the members of the staff of U.C.D. and of many graduates, and to the enthusiastic support of leaders and members of the trade unions, this department has proved very successful. Before undertaking the organisation of the extra-mural courses, he had already laid the foundations of the work now so well developed by Fr. Kent and his confrères in the Catholic Workers' College.
So much for the external story. Though he lectured widely with rare clarity and power and wrote convincingly from time to time in the periodical press, Fr. Coyne may well be best remembered for his outstanding gifts of personal sympathy and insight which enabled him to guide and encourage men and women from surprisingly varied walks of life. Few men can have meant so much to so many. All through his illness one constantly stumbled upon some new kindness he had done unknown to anyone but the recipient; and after his death the striking sincerity of the tributes paid to him on all sides was convincing evidence of his superb gift for friendship. One and all found in him understanding and help given without stint with a charm and a graciousness that reflected the charity of his Master, Christ.
Those who made his eight-day retreat or who were formed by him in the class-room will recall his insistent harping on the need of integrity of mind. It is only right that I should say how acutely conscious he was of his own extreme sensitivity that made him petulant by times, and of his shyness which made him. often hold himself aloof. Best proof of all of his clear-sightedness was the occasion when he was playfully boasting to Fr. Nerney of his docility. Taking his queue from Buffon's “Cet animal est très mechant”, Fr. Nerney, with Fr. Ned's help, composed this epitaph, feeling his way delicately, as if trying out chords on a piano : “Le biffle est un animal très docile : il se laisse conduire partout ou il veut aller”. Fr. Coyne, with a self-knowledge and a humility that deserves to be put on record, often quoted that verdict, smiling wryly and beating his breast. As I watched him in his last sickness that phrase often rang through my head. On first hearing that his condition was hopeless, he was lyrically happy in the knowledge that he was going home to God. But as the weeks dragged on he began to see that the way he was being led home was one which humanly speaking he was loath to choose. In that familiaritas cum Deo which he commended so earnestly in his retreats, he won the immense courage which buoyed him up in the long weeks of humiliating discomfort so galling to his sensitive nature; however much, humanly speaking, he shrank from it, by God's grace he gladly accepted and endured, proving himself indeed completely docile to God's Will. May his great soul rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Coyne 1896-1958
In the death of Fr Ned Coyne, the Province lost one of its most brilliant, active and charming personalities that it has been blessed with for many a long year.

Born in Dublin in 1896, he was educated at Clongowes, and after a brilliant course of studies, entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg in 1914.

His career in the formative years as a Jesuit fulfilled the promise of his schooldays, culminating after his Tertianship in his specialising in Social Science at Rome and Paris.

After some years as Professor of Philosophy in Tullabeg, he moved to Dublin, filling the chair of Moral Theology at Milltown Park.

In 1950 he was elected President of the IACS, and took an intense interest in the Co-operative Movement, acquiring a complete grasp of the technical problems involved. He was a wholehearted backer of Canon Hayes and the Muintir na Tire movement, was closely associated with various labour organisations, and ran the Department for Extramural Studies at University College Dublin. He also laid the foundations for our own Catholic Workers College. All this while Professor of Moral Theology at Milltown.

A full life, a rich life – a spiritual life – for in spite of the multifarious occupations Fr Ned always managed to keep close to God and to maintain that “integrity of mind” he so often harped on in his retreats.

He had a rare gift for friendship, and rarely to such a man life would be sweet. Yet when sentence of death was announced he took it gladly. His heroism in his last illness is sufficient testimony to the spirituality of his intensely active life and to his own integrity of mind.

He died on May 22nd 1958 aged 62 years.

◆ The Clongownian, 1959

Obituary

Father Edward J Coyne SJ

Edward Joseph Coyne was born in Dublin 20th June, 1896. He was the eldest son of W P Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College and founder member of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. To mention these positions indicates at once the influence of father on son. As that influence ran deep, I must say something more of his father whose name lives on in UCD in the Coyne Memorial Prize. Though struck down by cancer at a comparatively early age, W P had already made his mark both as an economist and an administrator. Gifted with a clear head and tireless industry, he was not content to remain master of his own science but read widely outside his professional field of economic and social studies. One aspect of his interests is best illustrated by a recalling favourite saying of his: “the old philosophy will come back to us through Dante”; another aspect by the mention of his special competence in the art and literature of the Renaissance. When I add that W P frail of physique, possessed unusual powers of head and heart, of incisive exposition and innate sympathy, it will be indeed clear that Ned was very much his father's son. Were he now looking over my shoulder as I write, he would be quick to remind me of what he owed also to his gentle, sensitive mother of whose bravery as a young widow bringing up le children he was so proud.

After a short period at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Ned was kept at home to be educated privately from the age of seven to twelve on account of his frail health. Next the the decisive influence of six and a half years in Clongowes which he entered in 1908. He was second to none in his generous appreciation of all that Clongowes had given him. He belonged to the fortunate generation that knew Clongowes in her hey-day in the years before the centenary: Father Jimmy Daly and Father “Tim” Fegan were at the height of their powers and were supported by a team of brilliant masters. If I single out one, the then Mr Boyd Barrett, I do so for two reasons: from him Ned derived lasting inspiration in classroom and in the Clongowes Social Study Club; to him Ned gave a life time's gratitude expressed by constant letters all through the “misty” years. And when he came to die, a letter from his old master cheered him greatly on a hard spell of the road.

Anyone who turns up the “Clongownians” of his time will see the role he played in every part of school life. Fond as he was of books, his school career is not merely a long list of exhibitions and gold medals; he played out half and won his “cap” of which he was proud, he kept wicket, he was second-captain of his Line, he was the first secretary of the Clongowes Social Study Club which Mr. Boyd Barrett founded. In these pages I can but skim the surface of his life, but however brief the treatment I must find room for some quotations from his Union Prize Essay on “The Necessity of Social Education for Irishmen”, published in the 1914 “Clongownian”:

It is sheer folly and shameful conceit for anyone to think he can remedy Ireland's social disorders without social education. There are very few really active workers in Ireland today; but these few are of more value than three times their number of “social adventurers”. For they are trained in the school of experience to have a definite knowledge of what they know and what they do not know. There is no room for social amateurs; if we want to succeed, we must be specialists and experts.....

What we plead for is that all the great Catholic colleges of Ireland should start at once some system of social education. If they did so, we should have fifty or sixty young sons of Ireland coming forth each year, full of energy and fire, ready to take their proper places in the great social movements of today. The young men are the hope of France, said Pius X, and the young men are the hope of Ireland too. The suggestion made recently by a learned Jesuit of having University diplomas for social work is certainly a very good one. But I would wish to begin earlier. It is not every schoolboy who goes to the Universities; many enter business or do some other work. I would have these trained for social work; trained well, too, in those vital questions which are now so much discussed....

The august and venerable College to which I have the honour to belong has taken up the task of social education for her children. It is to be hoped that many
will follow her example....”

When you link up those lines written in 1914 with the work he did in the last decade of his life, you see immediately how his life was all of a piece, how indeed the boy was “father of the man”.

On 31st August, 1914, he began his noviceship in Tullabeg under Father Martin Maher; eleven others entered with him that day and all stayed the course. After the noviceship they remained in Tullabeg for a year's Juniorate which Father Ned always regarded as one of the most rewarding years of his life: Father Charlie Mulcahy, Father W Byrne and Mr H Johnston gave them of their best.

In UCD Father Ned read history and economics for his degree, taking first place in both subjects. He was the inspiration of a lively English Society that included Father Paddy O'Connor, Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien and Gerard Murphy among its members, and was auditor of the Classical Society in succession to Leo McAuley (now Ambassador to the Holy See) who in turn had succeeded the present President of UCD.

Moving across to Milltown Park for philosophy Father Coyne managed to combine with it fruitful work on a first-class MA thesis on “Ireland's Internal Transport System”. Next came three successful years in Belvedere: his pupils and a series of articles under the thinly-veiled name of “N Umis” in the “Irish Monthly” provide the best evidence for his zest for teaching. He made his theology in Innsbruck, returning home for ordination in 1928. On completing his theology in Innsbruck, he made his tertianship in Münster in Westphalia under Father Walter Sierp. He divided his biennium between Rome and Paris, studying in the Gregorium under Father Vermeersch and later in the Sorbonne and at the Action Populaire. He also spent three months at this period in Geneva at the International Labour Office.

On returning to Ireland he was posted to Tullabeg to teach ethics and cosmology. Those who sat at his feet found in him a professor of outstanding clarity, who had, besides, a rare gift of stimulating interest. In November, 1936, he was transferred to: Milltown Park. It was not long before his influence began to be felt in various spheres. In due course he was appointed to the Moral Chair and by that time he was more than fully occupied. He did signal service as a member of the “Commission on Vocational Organisation”, appointed by the Government in 1939 to report on the practability of developing functional or vocational organisation in Ireland. Ten years later he was named a member of the “Commission on Population”.

Father Coyne was also closely in touch with industrial problems; he was chairman of the “Law Clerks Joint Labour Committee”, of the “National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades”, and of the “Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry”. After his death messages of sympathy were received from many trade unions, amongst others: The National Agricultural and Industrial Development Association, Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, Workers' Union of Ireland, Congress of Irish Unions, The Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks, Post Office Workers' Union, National Executive of the Irish Post Office Engineering Union, The Provisional United Trade Union Organisation, Marine Port and General Workers' Union, and the Irish Bookbinders' Union.

So much for the external story. Though he lectured widely with rare clarity and power and wrote convincingly from time to time in the periodical press, Father Coyne may well be best remembered for his outstanding gifts of personal sympathy and insight which enabled him to guide and encourage men and women from surprisingly varied walks of life. Few men can have meant so much to so many. All through his illness one constantly stumbled upon some new kindness he had done unknown to anyone but the recipient; and after his death the striking sincertity of the tributes paid to him on all sides was convincing evidence of his superb gift for friendship. One and all found in him understanding and help given without stint with a charm and a graciousness that reflected the charity of his Master, Christ.

RBS

-oOo-

Ned was one who liked to count his blessings. Among these, his grateful nature valued especially the happy home of his childhood and the last pre-war years at Clongowes. He loved Clongowes. He often spoke of the security and confidence and hopes these years had held. It is true that the latter half of his school life saw the most bitter economic struggle Ireland has known since the Land League and the re-birth in controversy and schism of the policy of physical force as a political weapon. He was not unaware of these things, but their implications were not clear enough to daunt a fighting spirit and, as we shall see, they rather stimulated than oppressed him. He was never an angry young man and like most of his tragic generation of young men, he foresaw in his schooldays little of wbat has since happened.

He was at Clongowes from 1908 to 1914 - the full six years and each year with its victories and its successes seemed to be prelude to the fitting end, the happy sunshine of the Centenary Celebration. On his death bed, Ned could recall details of those June days of carnival and triumph. Less than two months later the first of all world wars had begun, but that lay in an unguessed-at future.

Ned also liked to believe that he belonged to a remarkable generation of Clongowes boys. He had as classmates and rivals for the Imperatorship of Rhetoric (successful rivals, be it said) such men as John Gilligan and Louis Carroll, both destined to bear back bright to the Coiner the mark of the mint, and many others not less gifted were his class mates: Father Hugo Kerr and Father Arthur Little, as well as Mr Justice Sheil and Mr Alban O'Kelly.

Of course it was not only among his classmates that he had friends and companions. To one of these, destined to the most dis tinguished future of all that group, he spoke on his death-bed of his pride and privilege in having rubbed shoulders on gallery, class room and playing-field all unawares with so many fine men in the making. Yet it is not too much to say that of all that galaxy, his star shone even then with a unique lustre.

He had, literally, all the qualities of the ideal schoolboy. His physique was graceful, if slight, his looks bright and cheerful. If he was certainly no Hercules, he had quite remarkable gifts as an athlete. He won the Backs cap for Rugby, playing on a side that included future internationals. He kept wicket and goal for Cricket and Soccer elevens. His skill matched his courage and his dash, but all the time one was conscious that he played games, so to speak, with his left hand. An intimate school friend, who sat beside him in the refectory, could not recall his ever talking about games and was not surprised when after Ned's death he mentioned his outstanding prowess to a niece, to be met with the reply: “But was Father Ned good at games?” It was no pose on his part to get a companion to stand by the Soccer goal-posts when he was “keeping” in a big match and when play drifted up-field to read for their discussion bits of the poets. He was then in love with Thompson, Browning and Belloc.

He comes back to the eye of memory with a book always under his arm, but it would be a mistake to think of him as a book-worm, still less as an academic pot-hunter. He collected each year his exhibitions, often duplicate ones, his medals in English and History and all the highest Clongowes honours except the Palles Medal. Religious Knowledge twice, the first time from Poetry year, the Prize Essay, the Debate. He was an honours mathematician and first-rank Grecian. At the University, in First Arts, he was to take six subjects and be first in four and second in two, and in Clongowes his range was much wider than the class-room demanded. Literature, history, religion, even the unlikely by-paths of aesthetics or the infant science of psychology were as likely to be topics of his talk as school gossip or current events. But he was never anything of a prig. Already he had at his command a prompt and sharp sword of repartee. And it must be admitted that he had a temper. He did not lose it often; it only came when provoked or even justified, but it was frightening, quite devastating and sometimes ferocious. This quality, I think, disappeared completely and at once in the Jesuit, and the older man was ashamed even of the occasional sharpness of his tongue. That was to be expected, for even as a boy, thc formation of his character was Ned's conscious aim and his integrity (a word he loved) was already remarkable. He was not only twice Line Captain but a Sodality Prefect, and from his Third Line days he and all his friends took it for granted that he would be a Jesuit.

The boy is father to the priest and perhaps it is in view of the work of his mature years that two elements of his schooldays seem especially memorable. Among the boys his was certainly the inspiration in a quite new development, the birth, as we might call it, of a social conscience, In holidays he gave a good deal of his time to practical work, especially in the first of all Boys Clubs in Dublin, that run by another Old Clongownian, Dr. Lombard Murphy, At school he was secretary and leader of the newly-founded Social Study Club. During the Centenary Celebration the club showed its paces and its secretary read a paper at a special meeting. The subject was of his own choosing: The Patriotism of Social Work. He was in future years to address many distinguished gather ings, but, as one of his friends liked to remind him, none more so than this one. The cardinal, seven bishops, the national leaders in politics, law and medicine came, perhaps to hear his father's son, but certainly to hear as balanced, as lucid and as noble an appeal as any schoolboy could be expected to make. It was characteristically his own thought and had not even been read by any of his friends in the Community.

If one incident in his Clongowes career lives in the memory of those who were with him it must surely be a night when the Higher Line Debate met under the flaring gas-jets of the Higher Line Gallery. The motion asked for support for the Irish Volunteers and the boys were to hear both Tom and Laurence Kettle make worthy speeches; but surely the night's honours fell to a boy. In lucid, simple speech, such as he was to use on hundreds of platforms to audiences learned and unlearned, he developed his theme. But then, throwing down his few notes, he said slowly: “I have appealed to your heads; I would rather trust your hearts”. In a couple of minutes he had voiced for us all just those aspirations to which the country was awakening, a passionate love of Ireland and a passionate love of liberty.

Yes, the social worker, the speaker - he perhaps came to eschew oratory but never lost his power to move - were already there, and there too was the third quality in the man we have lost. It is impossible to express his gift for friendship, his cult of it, and perhaps still less all he has meant to so many friends. But those who knew him best in Clongowes do not think of the athlete, the wit, the orator, the scholar or even the leader, but of their friend-for ever.

Two men were probably responsible for directing the varied and outstanding talents of young Edward Coyne into the field of social and economic studies. He was a son of William P Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College, Dublin. When his father died, the young schoolboy came under the influence of Father Thomas Finlay SJ, himself an experienced economist and later Professor of National Economics at University College, Dublin, Two such men could not fail to inspire the talented boy towards that branch of knowledge in which each had attained such eminence. His interest in Ireland's social and economic problems were further stimulated by individual masters and school companions. Both he and they took a lively interest in the Dublin labour troubles of 1912-13. In his final year at Clongowes, 1913-14, he was among the founder-members of the Clongowes Social Study Club, a society which gave the boys of those years the opportunity to learn and discuss some of the grave social problems of the day. The Dublin members of the club sacrificed a goodly portion of their Christmas and Easter holidays to visit boys' clubs, night shelters, hospitals and the homes of the poor and destitute. This study and experience gave the young Edward Coyne much food for thought. In “The Clongownian” of 1914 we find him setting down his thoughts in an essay on “The Necessity of Social Education” which won for him the Clongowes Union Silver Medal. This essay reveals a mature understanding of the gravity of the social problems of those days. His own studies and experiences had already convinced him that education had an important and necessary role to play in solving such problems. Moreover, he asserted then that the social teaching of the Church was, as Pope Pius XII was later to say, “the only teaching capable of remedying the widespread evils existing in social life”. A lifetime of study and experience only served to convince him of the correctness and wisdom of his schoolboy convictions.

He entered the Noviceship of the Society of Jesus, as has been said, in September, 1914. Of the nineteen years that followed, six were devoted to special studies in sociology and economics at first in Ireland and later in Rome, Paris and Geneva. He returned to Ireland in 1933 and from then until his untimely death in 1958 he placed his knowledge of the social sciences at the disposal of countless individuals, clerical and lay, government commissions, public boards, trade unions, industrial committees and Co-Operative societies. No person or group was unimportant in his eyes and he availed of every opportunity-private con sultations, public lectures and discussions and lucid articles in “Irish Monthly” and “Studies” - to relate the social teaching of the Church to the problems of the times. His was a busy life, a life spent in the service of his fellowmen, a life modelled on that of his divine Master, Who came into our world not to be served but to serve.

His studies led him to realise the impor tance of agriculture in Irish economic and social life. From the start, he supported the late Canon Hayes in developing Muintir na Tire. And, following in the footsteps of his boyhood guide and friend, the late Father Thomas Finlay SJ, he took a keen interest in the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, of which he was president from 1943 until his death. He came to know this co-operative movement from every angle-legal, economic and above all, idealistic. In so far as the many calls on his time would allow, he visited and spoke to the members of co-operative societies in many parts of Ireland. At the same time he was not unmindful of the needs and problems of Irish industry. He served for many years on Joint Industrial Councils and other bodies connected with industrial life. Businessmen and trade union officials frequently consulted him about their many problems and all found in him a wise counsellor and sympathetic friend.

But despite his varied interests and activities, he did not lose sight of the subject of education as a basis for social reform and economic progress, a subject which had held his attention since his days at Clongowes. In the mid-thirties, we find him taking a prominent part in the Clongowes Social Summer School. A little later he is collaborat ing with Dublin Legionaries of Mary in organising social study groups in the City of Dublin. Towards the end of the second world war, we find him in the company of the late Father Joseph Canavan SJ and Father Thomas Counihan SJ, planning for a more permanent educational institution for social studies. This led to his founding the Catholic Workers' College in 1948. Today, as it enters on its second decade, the college, which he founded, is staffed by seven Jesuit priests and two Jesuit Brothers who are assisted by the voluntary labours of twenty-four lay lecturers; there are over one thousand students on its rolls; and it is housed in specially designed, modern buildings. It will remain for future as a lasting monument to his wisdom and courage. Nor is this the only legacy he bequeathed to his fellow countrymen in the field of social education. In 1949, at the request of Dr Michael Tierney, President of University College, Dublin, he organised the University College Extra-Mural Courses in Social and Economic Studies and in the Liberal Arts. These courses later spread to the towns of Leinster. He personally super vised this work and found time to visit the provincial centres and encourage both teachers and students alike. He was Director of this important work until he died.

As one who was privileged to work with him in the later years of his life, the writer of these lines can testify that all this varied activity was possible only because he was prepared to work from early morning until late at night all the year round. He was a worker, but he was much more. He was, first and last, a religious man, a man of prayer who brought to all his activities a deep spirit of Christian idealism. He saw his daily work, not merely as a service to his countrymen, but as his way of serving God. His lively faith and deep insight into the true meaning of life, personal and social, inspired all his activities and enabled him to “keep going” when many a more robust man would have cried “enough”. Considerate for others, he did not spare himself where work was concerned. In his case, as in the case of his divine Master, it is a question of where one man has sown, others have reaped, Those who carry on the work he started, are ever mindful of the debt they owe him. Father Edward Coyne has passed to his eternal reward but his memory and ideals live on in the minds and hearts of countless men and women. May his great soul rest in peace.

EK

Cross, Bernard, 1715-1785, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1132
  • Person
  • 08 April 1715-22 April 1785

Born: 08 April 1715, County Kilkenny/Tenerife Canary Islands
Entered: 08 May 1737, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained” 1744
Final Vows: 15 August 1755
Died: 22 April 1785, Worcester, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Was on the Mission of Vera Cruz
1764 Rector of St Ignatius College (London) 13 November 1764 for many years
Subsequently he served the Worcester Mission, where he died 22 April 1785 aged 70

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CROSS, BERNARD, born in Tenerife, 8th April, 1715, and on his 22nd birth-day consecrated himself to God in the Society. He was admitted to the profession of the Four Vows on the Feast of the Assumption, 1755. For some time he exercised his missionary functions at Vera Cruz : for several years, I am informed, he was stationed in London, but died at Worcester, 22nd April, 1785; another account say 22nd October, and another 3d February that year. 1 think the first date is the correct one

Daly, Oliver, 1845-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/115
  • Person
  • 02 July 1845-11 January 1916

Born: 02 July 1845, Ahascragh, County Galway
Entered: 27 April 1861, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1873
Final vows: 22 April 1878
Died: 11 January 1916, St Ignatius College (Coláiste Iognáid), Galway City

Second brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Francis - RIP 1907; James - RIP 1930 Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter.

by 1869 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1871 at Pressburg Austria (ASR) studying
by 1872 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1877 at Lyon France (CAMP) making Tertianship
Early Australian Missioner 1877
by 1906 at St Joseph’s Glasgow Scotland (ANG) working

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Second brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; James - RIP 1930; Francis H - RIP 1907. He was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter. They were a very old Catholic family who resided in the Elphin Diocese. Three of his brothers Entered the Society. Oliver joined earlier than the others in Rome and was allotted to the Irish Province.

1858-1859 He first appears in HIB as a Teacher at the newly opened Crescent day school.
he then studied the long course in Theology at Innsbruck, and at the end of his fourth year acted as Minister at Tullabeg.
1876 He was sent on Tertianship (Laudunensis, CAMP)
1877 He sailed to Australia with Daniel Clancy, James Kennedy and Thomas McEnroe.
He was in Australia for about twenty years, including being Superior at Hawthorn, and he returned in charge of Father John O’Neill who had become deranged.
He then spent some time in Glasgow and Milltown.
1907 He was sent to Galway, and remained there until his death 11 January 1916

Note from Thomas McEnroe Entry
1877 He set sail for Melbourne with Daniel Clancy, Oliver Daly and James Kennedy

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was the first of four brothers to become Jesuits, the others being Hubert, Oliver and Francis.

His early education was at Crescent College Limerick

1864-1868 After First Vows and his Juniorate he was sent for Regency to Crescent College teaching Rudiments, Writing, French and Arithmetic.
1868-1871 He went to Maria Laach College in Germany for Philosophy
1871-1876 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology
1876-1877 He made Tertianship at Lyon in France
1877-1880 He arrived in Australia on 12 December 1877 and went to Xavier College Kew, where he was one of the first staff at the College
1880-1881 He was sent to St Patrick’s College Melbourne as Minister and Prefect of Studies, where he also directed the Sodality and did some pastoral work
1881-1882 He went to St Kilda’s House in Sydney as Minister and Teacher
1882-1886 He was sent to Hawthorn and was appointed first Superior and Parish Priest (1883-1886)
1886-1889 He became involved in rural missionary work
1890-1893 He was sent as Superior and Parish Priest of St Mary’s North Sydney
1893-1897 He was sent as Superior and Parish Priest of St Ignatius Richmond
He was subsequently at St Mary’s Parish, North Sydney and Loyola Greenwich for a few years each
1902 He returned to Ireland on 18 December 1902, and he worked in Glasgow Scotland, Milltown Park Dublin and finally at Coláiste Iognáid Galway as a rural missioner.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Oliver Daly (1845-1916)

Brother of the two preceding, (Francis and James) was a scholastic here in the first decade of the existence of the Crescent, 1864-1868. He was many years on the Australian mission but returned to Ireland some ten years before his death.

Daton, Richard, 1579-1617, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1166
  • Person
  • 1579-10 July 1617

Born: 1579, County Kilkenny
Entered: 05 November 1602, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1609, Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: 10 July 1617, Slíabh Luachra, Co Cork - Acquitaniae Province (AQUIT)

Alias : Downes; Walsh

Had studied 2 years Philosophy before entry
1606 At Ingolstadt (GER) 1st year Theology with now 3 years Philosophy
1607 Came from Venice (VEM) to Germany. Was “repetitor domesticus physicoru”
1609 He and Fr Richard Comerfortius came to Ireland from Germany. Future Superior of Mission
1609-1610 Is at Professed House Bordeaux from Irish Mission
1610-1612 Teaching Philosophy at “Petrichorae” (Périgueux); or He, Richard Comerfort and Thomas Briones sent to Ireland; or in 1611 in Périgueux College teaching Philosophy
1612-1615 Teaching Philosophy at Bordeaux. Destined for Ireland
A Fr Richard Daton is mentioned as having studied at Douai in 1613

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Dayton or Daton alias Downes
1615 At Bordeaux (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
A Writer; A most popular Preacher; In the highest favour and esteem of the people of Limerick for his virtue and learning.
He edited Fr O’Carney’s sermons
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Philosophy at Douai before Ent 05 November 1602 Rome
After First Vows he resumed his studies at Rome, but he was sent to Ingolstadt for health reasons, and there Ordained in 1609
1609-1616 He was on his way to Ireland with Richard Comerford but both were held, Daton at Périgueux and Bordeaux by the AQUIT Provincial to teach Philosophy at Périgueux (1610-1612) and Bordeaux (1612-1616)
1616 Returned to Ireland for a very brief time as he was struck down by brain fever. He was very hospitably received by a Catholic noblewomen and and carefully nursed to his death at Slíabh Luachra Co Cork 11 July 1617

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Richard Daton 1579-1617
Richard Daton was born in Kilkenny in 1579. His name is sometime taken as equivalent to Downes, by some authors.

He entered the Society in 1602. He is mentioned as being in Bordeaux in 1607. As a priest he laboured in the Munster area, was a most popular preacher and held in the highest esteem by the people of Limerick for his virtue and learning.

He had some claim to be considered a writer, inasmuch as he edited the sermons of Fr Barnaby O’Kearney SJ.

He died near Slieveclocher County Cork on July 10th 1617.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DATON, (alias Downes) RICHARD. I meet with him in August, 1607. He was at Bordeaux eight years later.

Donnelly, D Leo G, 1903-1999, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/595
  • Person
  • 09 August 1903-31 January 1999

Born: 09 August 1903, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 31 January 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Younger brother of Don Donnelly - RIP 1975

Second World War Chaplain.

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.
Brother of Fr Don Donnelly SJ.

by 1923 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1936 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1952 in Australia
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi India (RAN) teaching

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

Mr Leo Donnelly has already commenced his career as an author by the publication of a small but very readable and interesting book entitled “The Wonderful; Story of the Atom”. It is meant to cater for the popular taste, and does so admirably. Possibly, in a few places, it may be a little too technical and learned for those not initiated into the mysteries of modern science.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

India.
Fr. Leo Donnelly, St. Mary's College, Kurscong, D. H. Ry, India, 24-8-46 :
“Fr. Rector here and the Community received me very kindly and are doing their best to make me feel at home. I left Southampton on July 25th and reached Bombay on August 10th after an uneventful voyage. There were two other Jesuits on board : Fr. Humbert of the Aragon Province for the Bombay Mission, and Fr. Shields, a Scotsman. for the Madura Mission. Fr. Shields was an Army officer in the first war and an R.A.F. chaplain in the second. In addition there were seven Redemptorists : the Provincial and another priest and five students en route for Bangalore. Don met me at Bombay and brought me to Bandra, where I spent a week. He introduced me to his ten Chinese candidates. They are certainly splendid boys, industrious, serious-minded, but withal very cheery. At Calcutta I met the eleventh candidate, a medical student who is returning to Hong Kong where he will either complete his course or apply for admission to the Society, immediately, as the Superior decides. He has been held up since May, but hopes to leave on August 31st. The riots in Calcutta delayed me for two days, as Sealdha Station (from which the Darjeeling Mail leaves) was a centre of disturbance and was unapproachable. In the end I got a military lorry to take me. It will take some time adequately to prepare myself for my job here, but I suppose allowances will be made for my lack of ‘Wissenschaft’.”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Vice province of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Fr. Donnelly's name was published in the London Gazette on 8th November, 1945, as mentioned in a Despatch for distinguished service as Army Chaplain. The document from the Secretary of State for War recording His Majesty's high appreciation was not received till early in September, 1948.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Vice province, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November. Fr. Leo Donnelly reached Sydney by air from Hong Kong (on his way from India to Australia) on 16th November ; after a week's stay he resumed his journey to Melbourne where he was welcomed by Fr. Provincial; he is doing temporary work at St. Ignatius Richmond until the status when he will be assigned to one of the Colleges.

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Leo Donnelly (1903-1999)

9th Aug. 1903: Born in Dublin.
Early education at Belvedere College.
1st Sept. 1920: Entered the society at Tullabeg.
2nd Sept. 1922: First vows at Tullabeg.
1922 - 1923: Fourvière, start of Juniorate
1923 - 1926: Rathfarnham, study science at UCD
1926 - 1927: Milltown Park, study philosophy
1927 - 1928: Pullach / München
1928 - 1931: Belvedere, teaching
1931 - 1935: Milltown Park, study theology
31st July 1934: Ordained at Milltown Park
1935 - 1936: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1936 - 1941: Belvedere, teacher, games master
1941 - 1946: British Army chaplain (England, France, Germany) Crescent College, teacher
1946 - 1948; St. Mary's, Kurseong, teacher of church history
1949 - 1950: Newman College, Melbourne & St. Patrick's College, teacher
1950 - 1954: Holy Name Seminary, N.Z., teacher of philosophy
1954 - 1981: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, teacher of philosophy and church history
1981 - 1999: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, church work

Fr. Donnelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September 1998. He had recently become frail and needed treatment for leg ulcers. He remained reasonably well and mobile up to mid-January. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Private Hospital on 24th January 1999 for investigation and was due to return to Cherryfield Lodge on the 31st, but died peacefully early on the morning of the 31st January 1999 at the hospital.

Father Leo Donnelly was born in Dublin on August 9, 1903 and died there in a private hospital on January 31, 1999. He had his early education at Belvedere College in Dublin too. He was, therefore, a truly Dublin Irish-bred Jesuit for the whole of his life. He entered the Society on September 1, 1920, and pronounced his First Vows there on September 2, 1922. His studies brought him in contact with much of Western Europe's culture: juniorate at Fourviere, philosophy at Pullach, Munchen and back to Ireland for Theology. He displayed his talents for sports during his six years teaching at Belvedere. Enlisted in the army in 1941, he took part in the Normandy landing on the second day of the offensive. Six years of roving with army units developed in him a liking for adventure. After the war he looked for wider horizons: Ireland was too small for his dreams. We find him successively as professor of Church History at St. Mary's, Kurseong; teaching at Newman College, and St. Patrick's College, Melbourne; professor of philosophy at Holy Name seminary in New Zealand; till he finally landed at St. Albert's College, Ranchi for a long spell of 27 years (1954-1981). There he had been teaching philosophy, Church History and Science. In 1981 he returned to Ireland and resided at Limerick where for some years he exercised priestly ministry. He fell sick towards the end of 1998 and died peacefully at St. Vincent's Private Hospital on January 31, 1999.

-oOo-

I have known Father Leo only when I joined the staff of St. Albert's in 1962. Father L. Donnelly belongs to that large group of Jesuits who are steady workers, fulfilling their tasks quietly and conscientiously, who make no noise and are not in the limelight, yet have a great impact because they are fine religious men.

Not withstanding his keen intelligence and vast knowledge, he was a truly humble man, aware of his limitations. He never spoke about his past achievements, but acknowledged and appreciated the success of others. He had a deep faith, firmly rooted in his Irish past; sober, not too ostentatious, but ardent and apostolic. Being a fiery Irish nationalist, he would never fail to celebrate the Mass of St. Patrick, Sunday or no Sunday, Lent or no Lent. That day he would appear at breakfast proudly displaying the three-leafed clover freshly received from Ireland. He was a regular visitor of the Irish Sisters at Loreto Convent, Doranda. He led a life of poverty and his room was rather bare. He often gave to the poor the little he had. He showed a keen interest in the life of the church. His liturgical and biblical education, however, did not keep pace with Vatican II, and he would often censure persons in Rome who dared to tamper with the liturgy, abandoned cherished prayers and novenas. He could really get excited when the conversation turned to those new-fangled” ideas of some biblical scholars, who then got rough treatment from him. He found it difficult to adapt himself to the changes in the Society during Father Arrupe's generalate. Yet he remained totally loyal to the Church. In the sixties and seventies, he used to give regular monthly instructions in Manresa House, Ranchi to all the Jesuits of the neighbourhood, an ungrateful task to such a critical audience.

He was a very prayerful person. One of his chief preoccupations was to instill in the Seminarians, especially in those who went to him for spiritual direction, a taste of prayer, and helped them to lead a life of solid virtue. He would often give meditation points, especially on the mystery of the rosary in the month of October. He often meditated with them in the philosophate chapel. With his students he was kindness itself, very understanding and encouraging. He kept a regular correspondence with so many of his old students. After his return to Ireland he often inquired from me how his former students were faring, and also about the seminary and the Church in India.

He was a great lover of sports, and he could get excited when the philosophers did not play football as well. He was impatient with a referee who whistled too many off-sides. In a hushed voice he would give the team a tip on how to win the match. “You know what you have to do to win?” he would ask. The magic reply to their question then came. “You have to score!” Like his elder brother he was a lover of horses. On the day of the great derby in Ireland, he would be glued to the radio so as not to miss any word of the commentary. One of his distractions was a game of bridge with some colleagues.

As a teacher he was rather dry and monotonous. The students found it difficult to understand his Irish accent. He was not gifted for languages and his Hindi was restricted to a few words.
This is only a glimpse of Fr. Leo Donnelly's personality, a very likable, intelligent, kind and generous person. “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Flor Jonkheere

-oOo-

When I came back to the Crescent in 1990, I met Fr. Leo Donnelly for the first time. He was then well into his 80's. He had returned to Ireland after over 25 years as a lecturer in Church History in a Jesuit Seminary in Ranchi, India. He was posted to the Church here as operarius. After a while I noticed that he never read the Limerick Leader or the Limerick Chronical. His vision was wider. Every day he spent much time after breakfast reading the national papers. He often wrote to the Prime Minister of England or to government ministers at home. He pointed out mistakes that they were making and told them how things should be done. I discovered that he was born in Rutland (now Parnell) Square in Dublin, around the corner from Belvedere. Belvedere was in his blood, you might say. He was a very independent character and this showed itself early in life. As a young boy he was brought out early one evening by his nurse-maid. In Parnell Street she met a friend of hers and stopped for a chat. Leo quietly slipped his hand loose and ran home. He stood up on the mud scraper and rang the bell. His mother answered the door.

“What brought you home Leo?” she said, “Oh”" said Leo, “the nurse met a friend and stopped for a chat. I had no interest in their conversation so I thought I would come home and not waste my time”.

Because Leo had a brother Don in Belvedere his mother managed to persuade the Rector to take Leo also, although he was not yet the required age. He did well at school but always in the shadow of his brother Don whom he idolised. After school he entered the Jesuits. He followed the normal course of studies but went on the continent for two periods. He picked up a good knowledge of spoken French and some German. He did his regency in Belvedere where he trained a junior rugby team which won the Leinster Junior Schools cup. From time to time we were to learn of this in the Crescent. "Bertie" was the nick-name given to him by the boys. This name in brackets was given in the announcements of his death in the newspapers, at his own request. After ordination he was again sent to Belvedere. Then he was appointed Chaplain to the British Forces and landed on the Normandy beaches on “D” Day. While stationed in a small town in Normandy, he was invited to lunch by a local countess who had a very pretty daughter. On walking down the street with them he noticed the young officers eyeing him with envy as he chatted away in French with the two ladies. He had a twinkle in his eye as he told us of this incident. He later spent a year in Australia, then in New Zealand, before being appointed to India, as I have already mentioned.

As a man he was very fixed in his ideas. He did not take kindly to many of the changes made after the second Vatican Council. He had a bias against anything American. He was a very pleasant person to live and had many worthy stories. Belvedere always remained a big part of his life. He did not interest himself in the local scene in Limerick. In India he was not, it seemed to me, that interested in the way of life of the people and never learned any Indian dialect. To use an old fashioned word, he was very edifying in his life style. Mass at 6.30a.m. every morning. Altar prepared the previous night. A simple room and a regular prayer life. He was a “fear ann féin”!!

Seán Ó Duibhir

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

The Travelling Donnellys

Don Donnelly SJ (1915) died in 1975 after a varied life in a different world. His brother Leo (1920), now in Sacred Heart Church Limerick, sends this report which he calls “The Travelling Donnellys”:

The older, Donal or Don (later Latinised into Daniel or Dan), Belvedere 1903-1915, was always first in his class. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1919 after taking his MSc in UCD After two years in Tullabeg, Rahan, he went for Philosphy to Valkenburg, Holland, with the German Jesuits expelled from Germany by Bismarck. After three years teaching in Clongowes, he studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Ordained in Dublin in 1929, he spent a year in Rome attached to the Jesuit Mission Secretariat. Then, after Tertianship in North Wales, he sailed for Hong Kong in July 1932.

Having learnt the Cantonese version of Chinese mainly with the Portuguese Jesuits in Shiu Hing, he worked as Headmaster of Wah Yan College in Hong Kong until the second World War broke out. No more Scholastics would come from Ireland, so the house intended for their Language School was vacant, and was utilised as a Minor Seminary for boys intending to become Jesuits. Don was put in charge. Then, on 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong. The Irish Jesuits, as neutrals, were not interned. So, after things had quietned down, Don made his way into Free China with a dozen of the “Little Lads”. He settled down with the American Maryknoll Fathers at Tanchuk. Alas, a year orso later, the Americans began to construct an airfield nearby. Whereupon the Japanese Army made a drive to occupy that part of China as well, so the Maryknoll Minor Seminary had to be abandoned.

With his charges Don made an adventurous journey westwards by antiquated train, up turbulent rivers in over-crowded boats, and finally up steep mountain roads in delapidated trucks, ending in Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan Province, the nearest to India. To Kunming the Allies were bringing supplies by air over the “Hump” for the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Chek. The planes were returning empty to India, so Don succeded in getting passage for himself and the twelve boys. Eventually they settled in St Stanislaus School, Bandra, Bombay. When the war was over and the older boys had completed their matriculation, the party returned to Hong Kong by sea.

Don went on to Canton, now liberated, to act as Headmaster in the Archbishop's school. But all too soon the Communists took over the whole of China, and Don was on his travels again. He asked to return to India and worked in Bombay for twenty five years as Headmaster in various schools until his death of a stroke in 1975.

The younger brother, Diarmuid Leo (the second name was always used) Belvedere 1908 - 1920 was never first in his class. He entered the Jesuits straight from school. After two years in Tullabeg, he was sent for a year to study Humanities in France. Then after three years Science in UCD, he began Philosophy in Milltown Park. However, owing to illness, a colleague returned to Ireland and, to replace him, Leo was transferred to Pullach-bei-München in Germany.

There followed three years teaching and coach ing Rugby in Belvedere. Then, after Theology and Tertianship he returned to Belvedere to teach Mathematics as a side-line to coaching Rugby.
In September 1941 he was appointed Chaplain in the British Army. He spent nearly three years in various posts in Great Britain, then transferred to Normandy on D-day. Always remaining safely behind the lines, he ended the war in Ostend, Belgium. Shortly after he was appointed to the Irish Guards in Germany, and was demobbed early in 1946.

On suggestion ot his brother he was appointed Professor of Church History in Kurseong, the Theologate of the Jesuits in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, After a little over two years, he was transferred to Australia, visiting Hong Kong on the way. There followed one year in Newman College, Melbourne, and then five years in the Holy Name Minor Seminary, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Belgian Jesuits in India were having difficulty in securing Visas for new blood from Belgium, so a “swop” was arranged. Leo went to Ranchi, Bihar, India, while a Belgian went to the Irish Jesuit Mission in Zambia. Leo remained as Professor of Philosophy in the Regional Seminary, Ranchi for twenty six years, and finally returned to Ireland in 1981.

(Editor: Fr. Leo forgets to mention something about his 1938 SCT...)

Draycott, George, 1598-1629, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1220
  • Person
  • 1598-14 June 1629

Born: 1598, Stadalt, Stamullen, County Meath
Entered: 1616, Trier, Germany - Lower Rhenish Province (RH INF)
Ordained: 1622, Würzburg, Germany
Died: 14 June 1629, Drogheda, County Louth

1626 Catalogue In Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied at Würzburgh
1624 At Drogheda
In Catalogue HIB 1627

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had already completed Philosophy studies before Ent 1616 Lower Rhenish Province
After First Vows he was sent for a year to Fulda, Germany for Regency, he studied Theology at Würzburg where he was Ordained 1622
1624 Sent to Ireland and to Drogheda where he remained until he died 14 June 1629

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DRAYCOTT, GEORGE. This Father had arrived from Germany, and was stationed in Dublin in the winter of 1622.

Egan, Thomas, 1889-1915, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/761
  • Person
  • 06 May 1889-28 November 1915

Born: 06 May 1889, Glountanefinane, Ballydesmond, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 28 November 1915, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1914 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Clongowes. He was a great student and won exhibitions in all grades of the Intermediate, and showed promise that he might be a first class Mathematician.

After First Vows he was sent aside for Mathematical and Scientific studies. He was one of the Juniors chosen to attend lectures at the newly founded UCD. He graduated BSc 1912.
He studied at Tullabeg (1909-1910) and Milltown (1910-1912).
1912-1914 He studied Philosophy at Valkenberg, excelling at Philosophy and German.
1914-1915 He finished his Philosophy at Stonyhurst.
Towards the end of 1915 his health, which was never robust, began to fail and he underwent several operations for intestinal tuberculosis. When the Great War broke out in 1914, he had barely the strength to journey to Stonyhurst to continue his Philosophy. Gradually he grew weaker, and in the following summer he returned to start work in the Colleges. He bore his illness with resignation, and a quiet edifying life was ended by a peaceful and holy death. He died in Dublin 28 November 1915.

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Thomas Egan SJ

Early in last November Rev Thomas Egan SJ, died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, after a protracted illness. He was in Clongowes from 1903 to 1907, after which he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg. From 1910-12 he studied with success for his degree at the NUI, after obtaining which with honours he was sent by his superiors to Valkenburg in Holland, the Philosophate of the German Jesuits, to study philosophy and learn German. Towards the end of his second year there he fell ill, and had to be removed to hospital at Aix la Chapelle, where he underwent several very serious operations. Though he got over them successfully for the time, he never recoveered his old health again, and when after a stay in Stonyhurst he returned to Ireland, it so became evident that the fatal disease was returning. He lingered on, however, several months in hospital, enduring sufferings with great resignation, and ready for death's call. His death, like his life and character, was a peaceful one. After receiving the last sacraments he became unconscious, and thus calmly passed away.

Eustace, Richard, 1562-1597, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1260
  • Person
  • 1562-25 February 1597

Born: 1562, Harristown, County Kildare
Entered: 02 February 1585, San Andrea, Rome, Italy (Romanae Province)
Ordained: 1590, Dilingen, Germany
Died: 25 February 1597, Fribourg, Switzerland - Upper Rhenish Province (RH INF)

Studied Philosophy before entry, then at Rome.
1587: In Augsburg College Germany.
1589: Studying Theology at Ingolstadt.
1590: At Dilingen Prefect of Boarding School and studying Theology.
1592: Teaching at Rudiments Brunthurst College.
1593: In Augsburg College and Brunthurst College.
1594-1597: At Fribourg College - Minister, Consultor of Rector, Confessor.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica”:
Probably the same who was in Augsburg in 1593 and appears in the HIB CAT of that year.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
He was the younger brother of James, Viscount Baltinglass who died in Spain some months after Richard was received into the Society.
Had studied at Rome before Ent there 02 February 1585. After First Vows he was transcribed to the Upper Rhenish Province and completed his studies at Ingolstadt and Dillingen where he was ordained 1590. 1590-1597 After Ordination he taught Humanities for a brief period before being sent as an Operarius at Freiburg until his death there 25 February 1597.
Robert Rochford, then in Lisbon, wrote to the General on the occasion of the death of James, Viscount Baltinglass, brother of Richard. He indicated the precarious health of the heir to the title, their brother Edmund, who was also unmarried and childless. Fr Rochford was inquiring about the wisdom of keeping the heir apparent in the Society. The General’s response is not on record, but Richard stayed in the Noviceship.

Eustace, Thomas, 1636-1700, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1261
  • Person
  • 25 November 1638-30 January 1700

Born: 25 November 1638, Craddockstown, County Kildare
Entered: 01 December 1658, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1669, Palermo, Sicily
Final Vows: 02 February 1676
Died: 30 January 1700, Irish College, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

1675-1686 at Fermo College (ROM) teaching Philosophy and Grammar - and 1681 teaching Theology at Macerata College
1693-1700 At Irish College in Rome taught Theology, Philosophy and Humanities : Rector 1695-1698

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1692-1695 Rector at Rome. While there in 1692, he received letters from Fathers Relly and Wesly at Poitiers. He sought and procured for the “meritorious and afflicted Irish Mission” 50,000 reales from Fr Emmanuel de Sylva SJ, Lisbon. In 1693 he received a further letter from Father Relly, which was directed to the Greek College, Rome. On 05 February 1695, he received from Father Ininger of Ingolstadt, 500 scudi, or 1,000 florins for the Irish Mission.
In 1690 he was at Poitiers when his nephew William, a lieutenant Sir Maurice Eustace’s infantry writes to tell him that his brother has been killed at the siege of Limerick, “riding as a volunteer”. He also asks him to get him transferred into Tyrconnell’s Horse, in which regiment he would have less work and more pay.
1697 There is a petition against him by his sister-in-law, Mrs Eustace at Craddockstown.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of William and Jane née Whyte (daughter of Nicholas Whyte at Leixlip)
Had already studied Philosophy at Antwerp before Ent 02 December 1658 Rome
After First Vows he was sent for Regency at Fermo, and then studied Theology at Palermo where he was Ordained c 1669
1669-1671 Sent teaching at Ascoli
1671-1672 Tertianship at Florence
1672-1678 Taught Philosophy and Theology at Fermo, and also spent one year during that time as Penitentiary at Loreto
1679-1681 Sent to Macerata College to teach Philosophy
1681-1683 Sent to Irish College Rome as Prefect of Studies
1683-1684 Sent to Fermo College again to teach Dogmatic Theology
1684-1690 Sent to Ireland and was appointed Superior of the Dublin Residence and school, and was also made a Consultor of the Mission, and was though to be a very suitable candidate for Mission Superior. He remained there until the Williamite conquest, and the Mission Superior Lynch sent him to Rome as Procurator of the Irish Mission. On the way he spent a year at Poitiers to attend to urgent financial business of the Mission in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Dublin.
1691 Arrived in Rome and proved himself a tower of strength of the mission during the darkening years that preceded the penal times acting as procurator of the Irish Mission.
1694 Appointed Rector of Irish College Rome 10 October 1694 and died in office 30 January 1700.

Fackler, Johan, 1907-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1266
  • Person
  • 04 September 1907-12 May 1969

Born: 04 September 1907, Lamerdingen, Bavaria, Germany
Entered: 28 April 1927, Feldkirch, Vorarlburg, Austria - Germaniae Superiors Province (GER S)
Ordained: 28 August 1938
Final Vows: 15 August 1944
Died: 12 May 1969, Augsburg, Germany - Germaniae Superiors Province (GER S)

by 1932 came to Tullabeg (HIB) studying
by 1940 came to Belvedere (HIB) teaching
by 1941 at Rathfarnham (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1942 at Milltown (HIB) working and studying 1941-1946
by 1947 at Mungret (HIB) teaching 1946-1948

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Mungret College, Limerick :
Fr Fackler on the request of the Bishop of Raphoe spent the month of September as Chaplain to the German children at Killybegs, Donegal. The month was a very busy one for him, but he feels that it was well worth while. His Lordship sent a letter of thanks and very high praise on Fr. Fackler's return.

Fegan, Henry B, 1855-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/41
  • Person
  • 01 October 1855-27 September 1933

Born: 01 October 1855, Newry, County Down
Entered: 28 October 1875, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1888, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare
Final Vows: 15 August 1895, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 27 September 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Obituary :

Father Henry Fegan

We owe the following to the kindness of Father E. Masterson :

Father Fegan was born at Newry, Co. Down, on October Ist, 1855. He received his early education at two Jesuit Colleges, at Clongowes, where he was for several years, and at Feldkirch, where he was for one year. He entered the Novitiate of the Irish Province on October 28th, 1875. After the noviceship and a little more than one year in the Juniorate he was sent as Prefect to Tullabeg in 1878. With the exception of four years, he passed the time from 1878 to 1901 either prefecting in the colleges or making his philosophical and theological studies , studies that were interrupted more than once, partly because of ill-health, partly because of the exigent demand for such an efficient prefect. Sometimes he combined prefecting with teaching , and whenever and whatever he taught he taught well. But it is as a prefect the that he is best remembered and most spoken of, and it is by his unbroken and uniform success as a prefect that his work in the colleges ought to be judged. Of that success let us take just one test case :
In the year 1886 the colleges of Clongowes and Tullabeg were amalgamated. The Tullabeg boys went in great numbers to Clongowes. The amalgamation caused a critical situation. Clonqowes had its oven history and traditions, and Tullabcg its own. It was natural to expect rivalries end jealousies between the two sets of boys. If such difficulties should arise who would compose them? That would be the Higher Line Prefect’s job, and Father Fegan was made Higher Line Prefect. Another daring experiment. For Father Fegan, a Clongownian to his backbone and spinal morrow, was wedded to Clongowes and the Clongowes traditions for a long term of years. Would such an enthusiastic Clongownian show himself duly impartial? Would he be able to hold the balance in equilibrium between Clongowes and Tullabeg, or would he be able to steer an even keel between Scylla and Charybdis? His superiors hoped that he would, and they were not disappointed. Father Fegan was pre eminently just to the Tullabeg boys. He was even generous. By tactful conversations, without at all interfering with their freedom of choice, he brought it about that a Tullabeg boy was elected Captain of the college. The most critical Tullabeg boy would not accuse Father Fegan of the very smallest partiality towards the Clongownians. The year passed without jar or jolt of any sort or kind. The amalgamation became a real union of the two sister colleges , a consummation which Father Fegan did much to achieve. Even in that critical year, his prefecting was a splendid success.
It was during the “Amalgamation Year” that Father Fegan was ordained priest in the old chapel of Clongowes , in which also he celebrated his first Mass on the following day. Always influential with his boys, his ordination added greatly to his influence, for from that time on he took his turn at preaching.
His sermons and bis Retreats were always distinguished by wonderful energy. Dr. O'Neill, late Bishop of Father Fegan's native diocese, speaking of the energy which he put into his
sermons, said : “It is not to be wondered at, for, if Henry Fegan were only playing a game of football, he would put every ounce of his energy into it.” Dr. O'Neill knew Father Fegan from his childhood, and his judgment of him was strictly true. Even if he tried to, Father Fegan could never act remissly - his whole heart and soul were in everything he did. In his sermons and Retreats he said things that no other man would or could dare to say, but no matter what he said, no matter how he said it, his words always stirred the consciences, and took lodgment for ever in the memories of his audience. Clongowes boys of over forty years ago still speak of his college sermons with rapturous admiration. One such boy, now a distinguished member of another Religious Order, said lately that he is still able to say by heart many passages of Father Fegan's Clongowes sermons. And priests and laymen who heard his Retreats in after years speak of them in terms of equal praise. A Parish Priest once said at the end of a Retreat : " I have made nine Retreats given by Father Fegan, and I would gladly begin a tenth Retreat to morrow with Father Fegan to conduct it.” Since his death every priest and layman who knew him is filled with a joyous regret, regret for their own loss, joy that God has called him to wear the crown of justice that the just judge had laid up for him.
In 1901 the long laborious spell of pretecting came to an end. In that year Father Fegan was made Spiritual Father at Clongowes to the community and to the boys. In 1939 he was transferred to Milltown Park. From 1909 to the day of his holy, happy' death on September 27th, 1933, he lived at Milltown Park, as Spiritual Father to the community, and as giver of Retreats to countless secular priests and laymen. God alone can tell the tale complete of his successful efforts to help both priests and laymen in their supernatural lives and one can hardly exaggerate when one speaks of their admiration of and gratitude to the giver.
Father Fegan's relations of more than twenty years with the Milltown Park Community were too intimate and sacred to be written about at any great length. He was dowered with many natural gifts to fit him for the work of his life. For his work in the colleges he was equipped with an extensive knowledge of boys and of schoolboy life. The youthful heart, whirls he kept to the end, always beat in sympathy with theirs. And in all manly games he was more than a match for the best of them. His generosity was superb - it is impossible for anyone who knew Father Began to think of him as refusing or shirking any work which was given him to do. But no accumulation of natural gifts can explain his unity eighty years of incessant
work in the Society. In his noviceship he specialised in devotion to the Sacred Heart, to our Blessed Lady and the saints, especially to the saints of the Society. In his domestic exhortations omitting, more often than not, the prefix “Saint”, he would speak of Ignatius and Xavier , of Aloysius, John Berchmans and Stanislaus. His conversation was in heaven
and so the Jesuit Saints were as real and as present to his thoughts as were the members of the Society amongst whom he lived and moved. To these latter he was a model of a well
ordered religious life. Not for a single day of his fifty-eight years in the Society did he abate, by one jot or tittle, his noviceship fervour. From the beginning he scorned delights and lived laborious days, He bore with unflinching courage and with humble submission the manifold bodily ailments with which God tried him in the closing years of his life. He never
complained. He was ever cheerful and kind. He never entirely rested from work. He celebrated Mass every day until within a week of his death - he said Holy Mass for the last time
on Monday, September I8th. He died on September 27th. May his soul rest in peace.
As Father Fegan's devotion to St Stanislaus Kostka was quite remarkably tender, this slight tribute is offered to his memory on the feast of his favourite saint.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Fegan 1855-1933
Fr Henry Fegan, or “Fr Tim” as he was familiarly known for some unknown reason, will long be remembered for two reasons. First he was the ideal boys Prefect. Due to his tact and kindliness, the boys of Tullabeg and Clongowes were united in peace and harmony in the year of the amalgamation. Secondly, Fr Fegan was an outstanding retreat giver and spiritual director.

His career as Prefect finished, and after a few years here and there, he settled down in Milltown Park, where for more than twenty years he held the office of Spiritual Father to the community and retreat giver on the Retreat Staff. His name was a household word with priests and laymen throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. He was second to none as a retreat giver to nuns. In his sermons and retreats, he said things no other director would dare say, but his words always lodged in the conscience and were remembered years after their utterance.

His interior life was like a flame that glowed brightly until the end, which came peacefully on September 27th 1933, in his 78th year.

He was born in Newry on October 1st 1855.

◆ Irish Jesuit Directory 1934

Father Henry Fegan SJ 1855-1933

Henry Fegan, S.J., was born at Newry, October 1st, as the second son of his parents. His father had built up a large and flourishing business by his industry and the confidence he inspired, which won for him the creditable title in a wealthy merchant of “Honest Tom Fegan”. The considerable fortune he acquired went largely in charity. He built The Widows' Home in Newty, and did much unostentatious almsgiving. When the elder of his two children had been drowned, and Harry had left him for religion, the preoccupation of his later years became almost exclusively the practice of piety and the relief of distress. At his death a bishop preached his panegyric before a large congregation of mourners.
Henry was sent to Clongowes in 1867, and remained there till 1874. It was the Clongowes of pre-Intermediate days, which, if it lacked the stimulus of public examinations yet had a fine classical and literary tradition, and did impart to its pupils something of that older culture now passing from the land, without being replaced as yet by anything conspicuously superior. It had excellent libraries; and Henry Fegan always loved reading. He browsed widely amid their books, and early developed that taste for literature and historical biography which remained with him all his life. He excelled in declamation, and early showed his bent for public speaking. The debates in those days were more important and solemn occasions than they later became, and the boys prepared for them much more seriously. Henry Fegan threw him self into them with his characteristic zest, and the duel between him and John Redmond for the Clongowes Gold Medal for Oratory made the year 1872-3 stand out for a long time in the memory of the school. The medal went to Redmond; but both then and afterwards many thought the honours lay with Henry Fegan. He was also good at games, especially cricket, and ended by being Captain of the House. Yet he was so small that he used humorously tell how at a certain out-match the umpire quite justly declared him “Leg Before Wicket” to a ball that hit him on the head!
After his stay in Clongowes he was sent for a year to Feldkirch in the Vorarlberg, Austria. Shortly after his return he entered the Jesuit Noviceship, then at Milltown Park (October 28th, 1874). On the completion of this he began his studies, but very soon the shadow of that ill-health which was always to be his fell across his path and made the succeeding years of his life very kaleidoscopic in their changes of place and occupation. He began spitting blood. Later the story gained currency among the boys in Clongowes that he had only one lung: and they were proportionately impressed by the loud shouts he could send echoing across football field and cricket ground, encouraging them to play up. With or without the help of a second lung he did manage to put life into the games. He was to them what Fr. Daly was to studies, a sort of human dynamo communicating energy throughout the school. This aspect of his activity had its critics, as every aspect of every man's activity must have apparently. But he defended it energetically. He believed in games, not only as a device for keeping the restless energies of youth occupied and out of mischief, but as a very important element of character formation, He used to say that he felt at ease about the conduct of his charges when he saw them keen on their games, and vaguely uneasy when they grew indifferent. To those who claimed the games interfered with study, he would point triumphantly to the fact that when Clongowes did best in its out-matters it also did best in the Intermediate examinations. And he was insistent in his talks to his boys that games ceased with the sounding of the whistle and much more important duties began.
But his enthusiasm for his side of the school life was such that it could easily be mistaken. The present writer once said to him in later life : “As a boy I thought at first that football and cricket were more to you than the movements of the spheres”. He smiled and answered : “Well. in my own school-days I certainly enjoyed them. But prefect the sight of bat or ball often gave me a sense of pause, I had to labour hard at my priedieu before facing the playground, and my loud shouting was often a last resource to keep me from bursting into tears”. He had to labour hard at his prie-dieu before facing the play ground! How many of his youthful flock suspected that?
But we have not yet reached this part of his life, and we must return to what might well be called his Wander jahre. We find him studying Rhetoric in Clongowes (1877-78); acting as Prefect in Tullabeg (1879-83), and at Belvedere College (1883-84); studying Philosophy in Milltown Park (1884-85); reading Theology in Tullabeg (1885-86).
In 1886 he is once more switched off from books to prefecting, this time in Clongowes, where he soon had the delicate task of fusing the boys of Clongowes and Tullabeg, now arnalgamated, into one harmonious community - a task in which he succeeded admirably (with the help, as he always most gratefully acknowledged, of some splendid boys from both, whom he ever after held in unfading memory and affection). While so occupied he was ordained priest (1887), with much of his sacred studies yet to accomplish. Hence in 1888-89 he is catalogued as studying Theology at Mold. But in the following two years he acts as Minister in Clongowes.
The next year (1891-82) he is once agajn immersed in his Theology at Milltown Park. Between 1892 and 1894 he made his own Tertianship and acted as Socius to the Master of Novices in Tullabeg. In 1894 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect, a position he held till 1900. In 1901 he became Spiritual Father in Clongowes, and remained there till 1905, when he went in the same capacity to 86 Stephen's Green, the focus at that time of such communal existence as was possible to students of the late Royal University in Dublin. After a year there he spent a short time in Gardiner Street; but soon crossed the city to Milltown Park, which was to be home to a somewhat storm-tossed mariner for the rest of his life. Here he gave retreats to priests and layınen, and acted as Spiritual Father to the Scholastics and Community.
Such in outline was his career. But how little all these bewildering details give us of the man! And how hopeless must be every attempt to make his dynamic personality or complex character live again in the dead medium of print! Yet one would fain rescue something. “tam cari catritis”. The pity is it must be so little. Perhaps it will help towards clearness if we consider him first as a prefect of boys, and secondly as preacher, retreat-giver, and spiritual director.
As a prefect his outstanding characteristic was his devotedness. He spent himself in the services of the boys entrusted to him in a manner little short of heroic, calling upon a delicate frame and an enfeebled constitution for physical exertions that would tax the robustest health. Higher Line Prefect in Clongowes is at once a responsible, an anxious, and an arduous task, No one has more to say to the character training and moral formation of the pupils. He is pivotal for all that part of the school life which is not confined to class-room and study-hall. He has to supervise and answer for the conduct of nearly 300 youngsters while they are at recreation and at play, that is to say, when they are most likely to make trouble or get into trouble. He must be a disciplinarian, of course, with a firm wrist. But if he is only that he may be held in awe; he will not win confidence, affection, veneration, he will never exercise any beneficent influence.
Fr. Fegan, or “Tim”, the unexplained name he early acquired, was much more than a disciplinarian, for he somehow managed to acquire an ascendancy over the most wayward. He laid himself out to study the character of each individual with sympathy and tact. He had the art of making every little egoist - and how egocentric the boy in his 'teens can be - as if he were a special object of solicitude and his future career a matter of no small importance to the cosmos. . He did not give him too much piety to swallow, especially at the start. He knew the instinctive recoil of youth from “preaching”.
Even in his sermons - the best and most practical that the boys heard - he knew how to get down to their plane of thought and emotion. He did not pretend to assume hat they were all saints. He did not ask too much of them at a time. He showed that he knew and felt their difficulties and was only anxious to help, to make them find out and develop what was best in themselves. He reasoned with them about things in language that was often very homely, sometimes startlingly unconventional, but generally effective. When the word went round, “Tim is up to-night”, meaning that Fr. Fegan was to preach. there was a lively sense of expectancy in all. Even the few that would like to mock were at least compelled to listen; and with the vast majority “Tim” prevailed. He had periods of partial unpopularity, engineered by some malcontents. But they never lasted, and never survived the close of a term.
On one occasion he had a triumph which recalled in a certain way the story of a sermon of Savonarola's. He had preached on reading, and, among other things, begged them not to waste their time on, trash - Penny Dreadfuls and the like. In the after-supper recreation some youngsters half-jestingly, I fear-took out tattered copies from their pockets, tore them up, and threw them down under the corridor clock. The idea took on, and soon a hamperful of torn paper littered the ground. Fr. Fegan laughed at the scene; but he was not untouched; notwithstanding the fact that the young urchin who started the movement went up to him and said : “I had read mine three times over and was tired of it”.
More than anyone else in a devoted community, Fr. Fegan sought to replace father and mother for youngsters subject to the changing moods of adolescence. If he saw one looking glum or unhappy he would stop him on the corridor and rally him over it till a smile returned. In sorrow or affliction he could be singularly kind, and he was always scrupulously just. He had a peculiar way of dealing with “hard cases”. He would pretend to have been himself no end of a wild fellow in his day, who was capable of anything, had it not been that his Angel Guardian took him by the hair of the head and transported him in time to the noviceship. Or he would give some poor Ishmael who thought himself in everybody's bad books, a “tack” at a football match (to which a “feed” attached), to the amazement of all, particularly of the recipient. But. most of all, Fr. Fegan took pity on and thought for those luckless youths who, being somewhat uncouth, or ungainly, or unable to play games, lived isolated even amid a crowd. and were perhaps the object of others' raillery. These lonely ones found in “Tim” a real friend, and I have known a few such who in after life could hardly speak of him without something like a lump in the throat.
The first impression was that all this was just the natural character of the man. But soon there was borne in upon even the schoolboy's mind the realisation that something higher was operative than natural kindness. Without formulating it in words, even to himself, he became conscious that the boisterous prefect, cracking jokes, saying surprising and unconventional things, rattling keys to hurry things up, or shouting with force of three lungs instead of one to keep the games alive, was really and fundamentally a man of God, and at heart chiefly or only concerned with trying to make all understand that they had immortal souls to save. There was no mistaking the supernatural basis of his restless energy.
This alone would explain the pains he would take to help anyone who confided in him - by conversation while they were still under his care, by correspondence when they had left school and entered the larger arena of life. For he was a believer in the apostolate of letter-writing, He was a great correspondent, and many thousands of long epistles, in his fine calligraphy, must have followed his ex-pupils into every corner of the earth, often just to give such school and home news as might interest, oftener still to insinuate some words of encouragement or consolation in trial. Many a one only came in later years to appreciate how staunch a friend their old prefect really was.
As a result of his devotedness he won from most a life long remembrance, and from many an affection rising to veneration. This was very conclusively demonstrated at the Centenary Celebrations in Clongowes in 1914. At the dinner in the Gymnasium, where some 600 old boys were assembled, a scene took place which no one who it forget. Various toasts had been proposed and responded to, among others by John Redmond, just then at the very apex of his career, who made a most graceful and even eloquent speech. At length Fr. Fegan's turn came. But when he rose to speak pandemonium seemed to break loose. Nearly everyone sprang to his feet some mounted on chairs, all waved napkins or clapped hands, and round after round of cheering rose and fell for eight full minutes before he could begin. It was more than a possibility that such a reception, acting on a highly emotional nature, would have reduced him to tears, preventing him from speaking at all. And his first words were, indeed, tremulous; but he controlled himself, and for ten or twelve minutes treated the assembly to one of the happiest and most moving utterances even he ever made, a mixture of humour and pathos it would be hard to surpass. Then the cheering began again, and ended only with exhaustion. It was a personal triumph such as rarely occurs in the lives of men living far from the noise of crowds.
It was also I think, the amende honorable on the part of many for anxieties caused in less reflecting days, and for whatever lack of cordiality or understanding there might have been in that now vanishing past when the peculiar shyness or gaucherie of boyhood made a display of emotion impossible. It was the appropriate and merited epitaph on “Tim's” dead life. With this ovation the ex-prefect passed finally over to the Spiritual Father and Preacher and Retreat Giver, who would nevertheless not quite lose touch with his former subjects, but meet many again in a changed relationship.
It is far from easy to delineate him in his new capacity; for the most striking feature of Fr. Fegan's discourses was just his power of surprising his audiences. One never knew what to expect when he began, what strategy he would employ. He realised that a speaker's first duty is to arrest attention, and he had innumerable devices for doing so. It cannot be denied that these were some times almost disconcerting. Certainly they were novel, and they succeeded invariably in establishing control with his hearers and giving him an easy command me their attention for the rest of the time. Few ever slept while he spoke.
A priest who had heard it as a student once told me the story of Fr. Fegan's first retreat in Maynooth, the tradition of which still survives in parochial houses all over the land. He was as yet prefecting in Clongowes when he was invited to give it. At the beginning of the first talk he paused dramatically, looked around him stroked his chin - a favourite gesture - and broke out “Boys o' boys! Just think of it! Henry Fegan talking to the very elite of Ireland; the hope of the Church of St. Patrick; its future parish priests, professors, and bishops, already deep in the learning of the Schools! And who is Henry Fegan? Why nothing but an old Higher Line Prefect from Clongowes, with the clauber of the football fields still hanging to his heels!” This last touch so took the students that they nearly forgot the Presence and cheered. At least all sat up to listen, and from that on he held them in the hollow of his hand. When the retreat was ended he was inveigled over to the Aula Maxima, and received an ovation not unlike the one that was to greet him some years later in Clongowes, when the clauber had long been polished from his heels.
But it would be a mistake to imagine that Fr. Fegan's power derived solely from his unconventionality and raciness of manner. He was often most impressive when he read in quiet tones and without gesture of any kind one of those carefully-prepared and finely-written discourses he would sometimes give. Even when speaking impromptu he had a wide range of manner, while his influence as a speaker sprang most of all from his earnestness, from a zeal that was unmistakable, and a holiness that was manifest. Sometimes he exploited that dramatic skill which would have made him a successful actor had he taken to the stage. Some took exception to this and thought him histrionic. For some it was the least pleasing feature of his talks. But for many others, especially those who did not hear him constantly, his gestures, his animation, his amusing asides, his shrewd and sometimes very clever epigrams, were the chief part of his attraction. 'At any rate, whatever was the reason,
few speakers of his time had anything like the same power of addressing again and again the same audiences without palling.
Nor were these uncritical or uncultured audiences. With no class of listener had he more success than with the priests of Ireland, who, either in Milltown Park or in the diocesan retreats, nearly all heard him once, and many several times over. It is not too much to say that he made the reputation of Milltown Park as a House of Retreats, and won a place in the regard of the diocesan clergy second to none. With nuns and the various religious congregations he was not a whit less popular. It can safely be said that for over twenty years no retreat giver in Ireland was more in demand.
Curiously enough, he rarely entered a pulpit after leaving Clongowes For some strange reason he seems to have shrink from the ordeal. Yet he was splendidly equipped for success in the pulpit. Indeed, I have always thought that if only fate had been a little more propitious to him in those early years, and he had, after a due course of preparation, been dedicated to the pulpit, he would have been Ireland's greatest preacher since Fr. Tom Burke. Dis aliter visum. It can still be said that few men of his generation had a more persuasive tongue, or used it better for the glory of God and the good of souls. In spite of handicaps which would have reduced weaker wills to inactivity, ħe kept active to the end. Even when his voice failed he did not cease to preach; for nothing he ever uttered equalled in eloquence the example he gave in those years of gradual decline and crowding infirmities.
Saint is not a word to be lightly used. In its primary significance it means one possessed of sanctifying grace in life and death. And in this sense who can doubt it applied in a high measure to Fr. Fegan? But there is another more specific meaning which the Church for bids us to apply to anyone till her verdict has been sought and obtained. Let us abstain, then, from the word in this technical sense. But let us add that by those who knew him intimately it is as a man of God he will be remembered most; as one, who though always delicate, and later weighed down by four or five major maladies. yet never complained, never surrendered, never lost gaiety, not to speak of courage; who would meet sympathetic inquiries with a shake of his stick and the fantastic reply that he was “lepping”, when he was actually half crippled; whose kindness was in the philological sense catholic, ie., universal, embracing most of all the sick, the lonely, the sorely tried; who, with certain undoubted idiosyncrasies and limitations, was essentially and always. a man to trust, a man to honour, a man to love; the meeting with whom was for not a few the greatest external grace of their lives, as it is a simple duty of gratitude to add it was for him who pens these lines.

PATRICK J GANNON SJ

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 28 : September 1983

FR HENRY FEGAN SJ

Fergal McGrath

One on our two octogenarian contributors to this issue of Interduse, Fr McGrath recalls the life and labours of a dedicated man who worked in the Colleges till 1909 and spent the remaining twenty-four years of his life giving retreats.

Fr. Henry Fegan died just fifty years ago, on the 17th September, 1933. În one sense his life in the Society of Jesus presents no particularly remarkable features. It was all spent on traditional ministries. For the first twenty years he was prefect in Tullabeg and Clongowes, with intervals for the usual studiesa, Then came six years as Spiritual father in clongowes, followed by twenty-four years as a retreat-giver in Milltown Park. But what was remarkable about this career was that Father Fegan carried out these traditional ministries superbly well.

He was born in Newry in 1861. His baptismal name was Henry, but during the greater part of his life he was universally known as “Tim”. I have never been able to ascertain at what stage or why this appellation began. Most probably it was bestowed on him by the boys during his prefecting days. He was sent to Clongowes at a very early age. The official record states that he was six, but other indications seem to show that he was eight. In any case, he was apparently well able to look after himself. In the Clongownian, 1934, Father George R Roche recalls a tradition that a Higher Liner, seeing this diminutive arrival, greeted him with a popular catch cry of the day: “Does your mother know you're out?” and received the reply: “Yes, and she gave me a penny to buy a donkey for sale?” The Higher Liner was to become the small boy's Rector at Clongowes and life-long friend, Father Matthew Devitt.

Harry Fegan, as he was then called, rapidly distinguished himself at Clongowes by his gift of leadership and athletic prowess, and was elected Captain of each of the three Lines in succession and Prefect of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. His future gift of oratony was fore-shadowed by the fact that he came second to his distinguished schoolfellow, John Redmond, in the competition for the Debate Medal. On leaving Clongowes, he spent a year at the Jesuit College of Feldkirch in Austria, and then in 1875 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg.

After a very short Juniorate, he was plunged into the work of prefecting, which was to last for twenty years. It is difficult, after the lapse of so many years, to give an idea of the extraordinary loyalty and enthusiasm which he inspired in the long succession of boys who passed under his care. During his lifetime, and indeed for many years after, the mention of his name would evoke affectionate praise from any old Tullabeg or Clongowes man one might happen to meet. Only recently one of my own community remarked in conversation that his father had had “Tim” as his Higher Line Prefect, and “adored” him.

A most remarkable manifestation of the power of father Fegan's personality was displayed at the time of the amalgamation of Clongowes and Tullabeg in 1886. It was, not surprisingly, a time of tension. The Tullabeg boys in particular, felt a sense of grievance. They knew nothing of the financial difficulties that seem to have been the deciding factor in the decision. All they knew was that their school had so much to be proud of. Its candidates had won distinction in the examinations of London University; its football and cricket teams had shown themselves a good match for the teams of local clubs; it had a flourishing dramatic society and orchestra (which on one occasion travelled together to Limerick and performed there for a week); it had its “rowing club” on the Grand Canal. It could be understood that the Tullabeg boys felt a. natural resentment at being apparently subordinated to what what appeared to them to be a far less distinguished establishment, and that there was a real danger of serious friction. In the end, all went well, and credit for the happy ending must largely be attributed to Father Fegan, who, though not yet ordained, was appointed Higher Line prefect. A Tullabeg man, Joe Donaghy, a well-known Belfast. Solicitor, writing on the Amalgaamation in the Clongownian of 1909, that all boys in general and the Higher Line in particular, were under the control of and in close contact with a Higher Line Prefect, for whom individually they would have gone through fire and water, A particularly critical issue was the election of captain of the school, which was then by vote of the Higher Line. Mr Fegan tactfully suggested to the Clongownians that they should do the big thing, with the result that they elected Jack Meldon, the former Tullabeg captain, and the Tullabeg boys responded by electing as second captain a. Clongownian, Richard Skerrett Volding. After his first year as a prefect, Mr. Fegan was ordained in the Boys' Chapel (now the People's Church), an event which even further increased his influence over the boys.

Many years later there was another outstanding manifestation of the esteem in which Father Fegan was held - this time by his past pupils. This was on the occasion of the centenary celebration of Clongowes in 1914. At that time Father Fegan had been some five years absent from Clongowes, but his memory was still fresh among the many generations of Clongowes and Tullabeg men who were present. At. the centenary banquet the most distinguished guest was John Redmond, then at the height of his powers as leader of the Irish party. He spoke, as always, most eloquently, and was applauded loudly. But then there came a spontaneous cry of “Tim! Tim!” and when Father Fegan rose to speak, the applause was tumultuous, dying down more than once only to burst forth again. It was some ten minutes before he could begin to speak, and when he had finished, it seemed again as if the applause would never end.

Father Fegan ceased his connection with the colleges in 1909, and, as has been said, passed the remaining twenty-four ye life giving retreats, mainly in Milltown Park, but also around the country. It was a complete change of work, but he brought to it the same gift of personality which had made him such a success as a prefect. He was in particular demand for priests retreats, and his reputation soon spread far and wide. In an obituary in the Province News Father Edward Masterson records a typical appreciation from a parish priest. “I have made nine retreats given by Father Fegan, and I would gladly begin a tenth retreat to-morrow with Father Fegan to conduct it!” In the Clongownian for 1934 there appeared a tribute by Mgr. James MacCaffrey, President of Maynooth, who had known Father Fegan for thirty years. A few passages may be quoted which give a faithful picture of their subject:

“I can say with truth that in my long experience in Maynooth no man ever succeeded in captivating his audience as did Fr. Fegan, and no man since or before made such a profound and lasting
impression.”

“Father Fegan's style was unique, his language simple. There was no sign of careful preparation. On the contrary at times he spoke as if he had given little thought on the subject and with a certain amount of disorder. But this was only apparent. No man prepared more carefully, not indeed in words but in ideas. His discourses were the fruits of his own earnest meditation. In the silence of his own room or kneeling before the tabernacle, he convinced himself of the truth that he was about to deliver to his audience, with the result that he spoke with the earnestness and enthusiasm that can come only from true conviction .... And what a realisation he had of the love, the mercy, the goodness of our Divine Lord. How he swept aside in his enthusiastic outbursts the cold formalities that are to be found in so many professional treatises on the spiritual life, and in his own homely but burning words would exclaim: “Man alive, boys, isn't He a grand Master to serve!”

I can supplement this testimony by a personal recollection that when Father Fegan, in his old age, felt obliged to refuse to give the Maynooth students' retreat, Mgr. Caffrey offered to supply all. the other lectures if Father Fegan would give one in the day.

Father Fegan was equally successful in the retreats for laymen which he gave regularly at Milltown Park. Mr. Leon O'Broin, in his recently published biography of Frank Duff, recalls the high regard in which Frank held Father Fegan, and how Frank constantly organised groups of government officials and Vincent de Paul workers to make retreats at Milltown. Mr. Ó Broin heard from Frank an anecdote concerning Father regan which still lives in the folklore of the Province. There was a retreat for a group of doctors, amongst whom his friends were rather suprised to see Dr. Johnny McArdle, well known as a brilliant surgeon and also as a bon vivant. As the retreatants were assembling, “Johnny” was heard to remark ruefully: “What the hell brought me here?” The query was reported to Father: Fegan, who delighted his audience by beginning the opening lecture with the words: “What the hell brought me here? Words taken from Johnny MacArdle”. He then proceeded to give an eloquent discourse. on the End of Man.

I may suitably conclude with a few personal reminiscences of Father Fegan. It will be realised that, after the lapse of more than half a century, they must be only fragmentary.

The first time I ever saw and heard him was when I was a small boy, before I went to Clongowes. My parents brought me to a Passion preached by him at St. Mary's, Haddington Road, our parish Church. I can recall nothing of the sermon itself, but I have a clear recollection of seeing a hospital nurse (nurses then wore a distinctive outdoor uniform) weeping openly at the preacher's moving description of our Lord's sufferings.

When I went to Ciongowes in 1908, Father Fegan was Spiritual Father to the community and boys. I was in a group of young boys who were being prepared for confirmation by him. An amusing incident comes back to me. In the course of one of the classes, a boy developed a persistant hiccup. Father Fegan stood it for some time but at last astonished us by addressing the sufferer in a thunderous voice: You impertinent boy. How dare you interrupt me! There was an awed silence, and the hiccup ceased like magic. Then Father Fagan addressed himself in his usual genial voice to a boy in the front row, Ned Coyne (later the brilliant Jesuit economist.)
“Ned, was I really angry with that boy?”
“NO, Father”, Ned was quick to reply.
“Then why did I pretend to be angry?”
“To give him a shock and cure his hiccup”.
A sigh of relief came from the class.

I entered the noviceship in 1913, and on a visit to me at Tullabeg, my father related to me how he had recently met Father Fegan in Dublin, and confessed to him that he was feeling somewhat lonely at the loss - at least temporarily - of his only son. Father Fegan's words of consolation were couched in a typically unexpected way. “Man dear, do you realise that that boy is going to be able to do something that Our Lady herself could not do - to say Mass”.

Another chance memory probably dates from the time when I was a scholastic in Clongowes, 1922-24. Father Fegan then stationed at Milltown Park, paid a visit to the school, and, strolling with some of us around the playing fields, came across a football match which was being played in a listless fashion by 2nd Division of the Third Line. Father Fegan, who had a very penetrating voice, proceeded to address a series of comical exhortations to the players, with the result that in a few minutes they were playing up as if their lives depended on it. No one but “Tim” could have carried off this little tour de force.

My last glimpse of Father Fegan is from the years I spent in theology at Milltown, 1924-28, when he was still at the height of his. powers as a retreat-giver and was also Spiritual Father to the community. I recall with what pleasant anticipation we looked forward to his domestic exhortations. They were usually startling in their originality and most inspiring. But Father Fegan's best exhortation was his own prayerful self. I remember how, being out for a country walk and turning the corner on a quiet road, we came suddenly on him. Characteristically, he was saying his rosary as he walked along.

I treasured for over sixty years the letter Father Fegan wrote me on the death of my father in 1923, but in a recent change of rooms it was lost amidst a confusion of papers. That I kept it so long is testimony of how deeply it moved me.

These scattered gleanings out of the recesses of memory hardly do justice to the great and holy man they recall. To recall them, however, has given me happiness and inspiration. I trust that they may, in some degree, do the same for my readers.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1934

Obituary

Father Henry Fegan SJ

Notice of Fr Henry Fegan SJ, would appear much more natural in the pages of the Clongownian than here, for Clongowes and Fr Fegan to many are almost synonymous. Still, for the sake of those who knew him in Belvedere we must not pass him over without at least a brief mention of the ending of his pilgrimage. Our readers of last year's number may remember an allusion to him by Mr Timothy Justice Sullivan ('84-91) who related that after one year only, Mr Fegan left this College in very bad health, in fact as everybody thought, he went away to die. His call did not come, however, and he lived to do such work that his name is held in grateful veneration by many thousands, especially of his “boys”.

The fiery enthusiasm and eager zeal so strange in so weak a frame were as evident in the “eighties” as in all the years until the end, and the memory of these his most noticeable traits is still vivid in the minds of those who knew him here.

We shall leave to Clongowes, which he loved so well, the task of writing fittingly of so remarkable a man. In one short sentence we shall sum up his tireless life he had great gifts and he used them greatly Surely few will have so many prayers from those whom he befriended!

◆ The Clongownian, 1934

Obituary

Father Henry Fegan SJ

Educated at Clongowes : 1867–1874
Entered the Society of Jesus : 28th Oct., 1875
Prefect at Clongowes : 1879-1883
Ordained Priest at Clongowes : 8th May, 1887
H Line Prefect at Clongowes : 1886–1888
Minister at Clongowes : 1889--1891
H Line Prefect at Clongowes :1894-1900 & 1901-1902
Spiritual Father at Clongowes : 1902-1906 & 1907-1909
Director of Retreats at Milltown Park : 1909-1933
Died at Milliown : 27th Sept., 1933

To write an appreciation for “The Clongownian” of the late Father Fegan would require a pen such as he himself wielded (witness his obituary notice of Father Conmee in “The Clongownian”, I910) and the present writer feels how utterly inadequate his efforts must be to discharge the debt that Clongowes owes to one who for so many years filled such a big part in its life as did Henry Fegan. As boy, Higher Line Prefect and Spiritual Father he spent in all over a quarter of a century in Clongowes, in addition to being for several years on the staff in Tullabeg.
He came to Clongowes as a very small boy in 1861 and the story has it that on the evening of his arrival, which was after the term had opened, a Higher Line boy, seeing for the first time the diminutive new arrival, accosted him saying, “Hullo ! does your mother know you are out?” “Yes”, was the reply, “and she gave me a penny to buy a donkey, are you for sale?” The Higher Line boy was later fated to be the small boy's Rector in Clongowes for many years and his life long friend - Father Matthew Devitt. During the five years that he spent as a boy in Clongowes Harry Fegan's powers at games and his gift of leadership were fully recognised, and he was elected captain of each of the three Lines in succession, an unusual distinction.

Some appreciations and recollections of these years by a few of his co-temporaries will be of interest to those who only knew him in later life. One writes “I first remember him when I was in Rudiments, and he was in Poetry, a slight delicate boy who played the games of the school as they should be played. When later he was elected Captain of the House he was indubitably the idol of the school. That year the Cricket XI was very strong, winning every out-match played”. How it became so strong is told us by one who is possibly its last surviving member, Sir Thomas Stafford. “It was as Captain of the XI that he was best known and idolized by us boys. He made a rather young and inferior XI into a match-winning team by means of enthusiastic leadership, for what ever Henry Fegar undertook, he carried out with his whole strength. We just obeyed him and the XI developed, won its matches, and the foundation was laid of the notable cricketing teams of Clongowes which carried all before them in the ensuing years. Our chief victory of the year was over a powerful Phoenix XI. Henry Fegan never forgot that match, it was his triumph as a leader, and he spoke of it to me only a few months ago with pride - it meant more to him than many of his greater successes in life to know that he had trained us boys and fashioned us into an instrument to obey his leadership. We see in this the boy being ‘Father of the man’. Success in the leadership of men, in what was an unusually successful career in bringing men to follow him, commenced in the playing fields of Clongowes. Henry Fegan was not a brilliant boy; the Holy Ghost gave him the gift of knowledge, but He made him gain it in pain and grief by means of hard work. Of all the successful men of his day at Clongowes I don't remember one who in later years reached his high standard of life or whose influence over men was greater. We have only to look at the crowded halls of Milltown Park when he gave his retreats to men to form an idea of the influence he exercised. One incident in his life at Clongowes, I know, gave him the greatest pleasure, it was his selection by the boys as head of the Sodality. He made quite as great a success of the Sodality as he did of the XI”.

Another schoolfellow presents a picture of him in what would have been his first year in the Higher Line. “He and I were almost invariably Captains of our different sides when the football matches between the Higher and Lower Lines took place, and, needless to say, feeling ran high and invariably disputes, to put it mildly, took place and were apparently ended on the tield of play. But that would not suit Henry by any means. We sat near each other in the Study Hall, I a few benches behind, and my dear Henry at once produced pen, ink and paper and addressed lengthy and vitriolic letters to me on the subject of the dispute on the football field, and tried to convince me that I was wrong and several sorts of fools, etc. I had to reply, of course, for the honour of the Lower Line but I was not in it with him when it came to the written word in which he was an adept”. Many of us who knew him afterwards can well imagine the scene.
The most coveted distinction in the Clongowes of those days was the Debate Medal Speeches were prepared with the greatest care and the merits of the rival orators were discussed by all. For many years afterwards the debates of 1873-4 were recalled as veritable battles of giants, for the issue lay between John Redmond and Henry Fegan. The medal was awarded to the former, but many thought that Fegan was the better speaker. Just forty years afterwards on the occasion of the College Centenary the “Past” had an opportunity of hearing and comparing the two great rivals of other days.

After completing Rhetoric Father Fegan left Clongowes and went to Feldkirch, Austria, where he spent a year. Shortly after his return to Ireland he entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Milltown Park, Dublin, on October 28th, 1875. He spent there two years, and then was sent to Clongowes to study Humanities, but his health did not allow him to continue his studies and in 1878 we find him in Tullabeg as Third Line Prefect, later to become Lower Line Prefect. He threw himself heart and soul into his work and things moved in whatever Line he had. His fellow Jesuits dubbed him “the Little Enthusiast”.

At that time the winters were very severe and there were long spells of frost. As there was no sheet of ice in the neighbourhood of the College large enough to allow of skating, the boys had to content themselves with sliding on the gravel playground, There was much emulation between the different Lines as to which should have the best “slide”, and consequently could travel furthest, but Mr Fegan's Lower Line always came off best, the secret being that during the night the Prefect had been out pouring water on their slide which by morning had become a sheet of polished ice. One other story connected with his time in Tullabeg may be recalled. As the College was dedicated to St Stanislaus, the feast of its Patron was always celebrated with special solemnities, including High Mass and sermon. On one occasion the preacher had failed to turn up on the morning of the feast and it looked as if there would be no sermon. This was more than Mr Fegan, who had a great devotion to St Stanislaus, could stand, so he offered to preach, the sermon. It was not unusual in those days in Tullabeg for a scholastic to preach as the Community contained only a very few priests. On this occasion, though he had had no time for special preparation, Mr Fegan preached a most eloquent panegyricon his favourite saint. How deep and characteristic was his devotion to St Stanislaus may be shown by a story that he once told the present writer. On one occasion during the vacation he was sailing in Carlingford Lough when the boat was caught in a squall and upset. Believing that all was over with him he prayed: “St. Aloysius”, then he corrected himself, “I beg your pardon, I mean St Stanislaus, help me”. He was a boy in Clongowes at the time but his devotion to the patron of his school was exceeded by his love for his favourite - the boy - saint Stanislaus.

When in 1886 the “Amalgamation” of Clongowes and Tullabeg was decided upon, it was recognised that the success of the fusion of the two schools would depend very largely upon the line of conduct adopted by those who would come most in contact with the boys, for there were distinct possibilities of trouble. Neither side liked the idea, We Clongownians were not inclined to look with friendly eyes upor the boys of a rival school invading oui most sacred precincts, possibily trampling upon our customs, introducing a foreign spirit and disturbing the quiet tenor of our lives. Nor were the Tullabeg boys more favourably disposed. They resented what they naturally looked upon as a slight upon their old school that not it, but Clongowes, had been chosen to survive Mindful too of the great fame that Tullabeg had won during and since the days of Father Delany's rectorship, they felt it hard that they should be merged into a school that held no such record. But these fears and forecasts were destined to be proved ill founded. In Father Conmee, then beginning his second year of office, Clongowes possessed a Rector who was ideal in the circumstances But after all, the Rector comes but little in direct contact with the boys, and in such a delicate situation the slightest friction might cause serious trouble the success of the experiment would depend not on the highest authority but on sub ordinates, and in Clongowes chiefly upon the Higher Line Prefect.

Fortunately there was at hand one who was specially and exceptionally suited to meet the occasion. During the previous year 1885-6, Mr Fegan had been in Tullabeg studying Philosophy privately. He had held no post of authority over the boy but had been in very close contact with them, especially with the leading boys o the school, most of whom came on to Clongowes in the following September. To the Clongowes boys he was of course no so well known. I had only seen him once on an occasion when he came on a short visit to Clongowes, but the word had gone round, and we were interested to see on of whom, especially of whose prowess at games, we had all heard. Evidently the “Fegan was the name and Fegan was the man”, the hero-captain of Clongowes of some dozen years before, and the friend and confidant of the Tullabeg boys of the day. Who else united in himself such qualifications? So, though not yet a priest he was entrusted with the important post of Higher Line Prefect of the amalgamated colleges of Clongowes and Tullabeg. On him would chiefly depend the succes or failure of the great venture.

One of the first matters to be decide was: who would be Captain of the school in Tullabeg the choice of captain was absolutely in the hands of the Higher Line Prefect. In Clongowes he was elected by the boys of the Higher Line. It was decided to continue the Clongowes custom of election. The Tullabeg Captain of the previous year had come on to Clongowes. He was Jack Meldon, an outstanding cricketer even at that time. The Tullabeg boys were in a considerable majority in the Higher Line hence they could easily have elected the boy of their choice. Had the voting been on party lines rivalry and jealousy would have ensued which would have caused lasting friction and unpleasantness. However when the election came off it was found that the Tullabeg boys were refraining from voting and the Clongowes boys unanimously elected Jack Meldon. An influence had been at work behind the scenes with the result that the term started in a spirit of harmony and good-fellowship that lasted throughout the whole year. It is needless to say what the influence was that had been at work. With what painstaking effort the Prefect worked to bring the boys of the two schools together! The writer can give his own experience. He was appointed gamekeeper, representing the Clongowes interest. His confrère from Tullabeg was Charlie Moore. Neither at first knew the other, but in a short time, as a result of the same influence, we became the closest of friends. How would things have gone had the Prefect been other than Mr Fegan? It is hard to tell, but if one episode be typical, they would not have gone well. That winter there was heavy frost and the Clongowes boys who had had the advantage of a pond close to the college showed themselves very much better skaters than the Tullabeg boys who had not had the same opportunities. It happened that during the skating time Mr Fegan was taken ill and confined to bed. His place was taken by a member of the community who was considered by the Tullabeg boys as being partial to Clongowes. The word now went round among them that he had made some disparaging remarks about their skating powers. They retaliated by starting a kind of boycott of skating. Things looked serious, but were righted when Mr Fegan left his sick bed and resumed his place at the helm.

In the May of that school year the boys had the pleasure of seeing their Higher Line Prefect ordained in their chapel by the Most Rev Dr Donnelly, Bishop of Canea. An address, which is still to be seen in the parlour of the Infirmary, was presented to him on this occasion. On the next day he said his first Mass at the High Altar and the writer was one of those who were privileged to serve it.

The next year, 1887-8, Fr Fegan rernained as Higher Line Prefect and Father James Daly came to take over the charge of the studies, and the combination of these two, so exceptionally gifted, yet so different in their ways, continued almost unbroken for fourteen years.

In 1902 Father Fegan exchanged the life of Prefect for the more congenial one to him of Spiritual Father. Though during all the years of his Prefectship he had been apparently immersed in games and kindred matters, he had been leading a most spiritual and even mortified life. He had ever worked for the glory of God. He had spent whatever spare time he had in reading, which would help him in preaching and giving retreats. He read very carefully, taking copious notes of what he read. In after years many of the striking and apparently impromptu passages in his sermons and lectures were suggested by what he had read and noted at his table in the Higher Line Prefect's room.

As Spiritual Father he mixed a good deal with the boys in order that they might get to know him and have confidence in him. He took a special interest in their games, and “Father Fegan and his umbrella” were familiar sights on the touch-line, and his voice, produced by the mythical “one lung” was to be heard all over the grounds (some said as far off as Clane itself,) especially when he encouraged the Lower Line in their efforts to win their cup matches against the Higher Line. On winter evenings parties of Third Liners loved to assemble around his fire, while he told them stories in his own inimitable way.

He was now able to preach much oftener than previously, and his sermons and sodality talks to the boys were eagerly looked forward to, when the word went round that “Tim is up to-night”. He had a most original and gripping way of putting things, and “Boys O' Boys” or “Boys dearest isn't it grand” was sure to rivet their attention on some truth which he wanted them to take away with them. The “People's Church” too, used to be crowded those Sunday mornings, and many a homely truth, such as the necessity of keeping windows open so as to ventilate the houses, or of the women folk having the supper ready for "himself" when he came home after the day's work, was conveyed to them together with wonderfully told lessons from Our Lord's life. These sermons are still talked of around Clongowes.

The year 1909 saw the severance of Father Fegan's long connection with Clongowes, as in that year he was transferred to Milltown Park, Dublin, there to act as Spiritual Father to the Community and to conduct the retreats that are given to priests and laymen. In this latter work he was singularly successful and the influence that he exerted, especially by means of the week-end retreats was widespread. None, however, were more welcome than those who had been in Clongowes, and on tlone was he more anxious to spend himself. This work for the “Past” by word or with pen was almost the only connection that he had with the old school during the last twenty-four years of his life. Though Clongowes was so much in his thoughts, very seldom did he visit it. One visit, however, stands out pre-eminently. It was when the College celebrated its Centenary and he was asked to reply to the toast of the College to be proposed at the Centenary Dinner by John Redmond, MP. The dinner was held in the gymnasium and there were seated at the tables, besides Cardinal Logue and several Bishops more than 600 old boys. When John Redmond rose to propose the toast of the College he was greeted with tumultuous applause. He was just then at the summit of his fame. His life's ambition had been realised, for Home Rule had just been put upon the Statute Book. His speech was worthy of the great orator that he was. Worthy of his high position, and worthy of the occasion, the honour of his Alma Mater which he loved with an almost passionate devotion. But eloquent though he was and enthusiastic as was the reception that he met with, the scene while Father Fegan was on his feet was even more wonderful. Never had he spoken with so much pathos and with such power and eloquence, and the enthusiasm both before and after his speech was indescribable. For almost ten minutes on each occasion it lasted, dying down more than once only to burst forth again. This his last public appearance in Clongowes had been of the nature of a personal triumph showing how attached to him were the Clongownians of so many generations.

In striking contrast was his last visit to Clongowes which took place about two years ago. He came down one afternoon for a few hours and was present at Benediction in the College Chapel. Few of the boys noticed, and none recognised the old priest who was kneeling at the back of the chapel, nor did he know them individually, but they were to him the dearest thing in life, Clongowes boys. He remained kneeling until the last Third Liner had passed out, and when he arose tears were in his eyes. He told the Rector how he had prayed for them during the Benediction, prayed for their fathers and uncles whom he had known, and for all “their dear ones”. He who prayed thus fervently before The Presence in the school chapel for Clongowes and its boys will surely pray with still greater earnestness and far greater efficacy in the fuller Presence, which he now enjoys. It is but natural to link his name with that of one better known to recent generations of Clongownians, his successor in the office of Spiritual Director, Father John Sullivan, who died last year. In the persons of these two holy souls, Clongownians have powerful friends and inter cessors to present their petitions before their Father in Heaven.

Father Fegan's funeral in the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, was attended by a very large number of Clongownians for whom special places had been reserved. After the Mass the coffin was borne down the church to the hearse by the officials of the Clongowes Union, and in Glasnevin from the mortuary chapel to the grave in the Jesuit plot by the boy Prefects of Clongowes. How fitting these last tributes to one who had borne in his heart Clongowes and her boys, Past and Present, for so long,
May he rest in peace.

Geo R Roche SJ

-oOo-

Fater Henry Fegan : The Retreat Giver

It is now close on thirty years ago since I first heard the late Father Henry Fegan. Dr Mannix, who was then President of Maynooth, had invited him to give the Retreat at the opening of the academic year.

His fame as a preacher had already preceded him, and it was with the greatest interest I looked forward to his opening discourse. Nor was I disappointed. But unfortunately after the first day his voice, never strong and slightly overtaxed by the dimensions of the college chapel, failed and it was necessary for him to seek for assistance among his colleagues of the Society.
The following September, however, he returned, this time in perfect form, and conducted the Annual Retreat without the slightest sign of fatigue.

On many occasions since then, until the state of his health forced him to refuse the most.pressing invitations, he conducted the spiritual exercises at Maynooth. Indeed, if the wishes of the community had been followed and if his own engagements had permitted it, no other person should have been invited

I can say with truth that in my long experience in Maynooth no man ever succeeded in captivating his audience as did Father Fegan and no man since or before produced such a profound and lasting impression.

Father Fegan's style was unique, his language simple. There was no sign of careful preparation. On the contrary at times he spoke as if he had given but little thought to his subject and with a certain amount of disorder. But this was only apparent. No man prepared more carefully, not indeed the words, but the ideas. His discourses were the fruits of his own earnest meditation. In the silence of his own room or kneeling before the Tabernacle he convinced himself of the truth of the message he was about to deliver to his audience with the result that he spoke with the earnestness and enthusiasın that can come only from conviction.

Father Fegan was not and never attempted to be an orator in the technical sense of the word. Probably he was all the better for that, for the effect he produced was much more lasting than that of mere oratory. He spoke not for the ear of the moment, but for the mind and afterthought, He held his audience spell-bound, but it was not the over-ruling, dominating spell binding of the orator, but it was the spell binding of a wonderful personality, whose whole being was quivering with intense realisation of the message he was conveying, and who was stamping the impress of his own mind on the minds and hearts of his hearers. And what a realisation he had of the love, the mercy, the goodness of our Divine Lord. How he swept aside in his enthusia

Finegan, Francis J, 1909-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/717
  • Person
  • 18 February 1909-07 March 2011

Born: 18 February 1909, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland / Castleblaney, County Monaghan
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 March 2011, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at St Macartan's College, Monaghan
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi, India (RAN) teaching
by 1976 at Nantua, Ain, France (GAL) working
by 1979 at Belley, France (GAL) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fin-again/

The country, the Society of Jesus, the Irish Province and the Gardiner Street community combined beautifully and joyously to celebrate the first Irish Jesuit to reach the venerable
age of one hundred years. Forty Jesuits gathered on 18 February to toast Proinsias O Fionnagain, our “great gift of grace”, as Derek Cassidy, Superior of the Gardiner Street community, said in his warm, welcoming words. What were the messages and gifts? Read more: President Mary McAleese sent a moving letter and a cheque which topped €2500. From Derek Cassidy a card for one hundred Masses. Fr Provincial read a letter from Fr General who mentioned, among many compliments and accomplishments, the fact that Frank’s piano playing has not led to arthritic fingers. John Dardis also read from a poem composed by Fr Tom McMahon before he died, for this special milestone in Frank’s life and the life of the Province. Then the man himself spoke: in Engliish, Irish, French and Latin we heard lovely lines from St Paul and Cardinal Newman. The emotions must have been bubbling away inside, but the voice, apart from a faltering pause, was clear and strong. Then a lovely surprise: Mrs Bridie Ashe and her staff (who pulled out all the stops with the balloons, banners and photos all over the house of Frank wearing the Lord Mayor’s chain of office) presented a beautiful sculpture of St Ignatius, brought from Spain.
The beginning was memorable. All forty diners were upstanding when Frank made his entrance, led by Tom Phelan playing the bagpipes. Tears were wiped from eyes as the musical melody harmonised the room, and Frank took his place between Derek Cassidy and John Dardis, and opposite his nephew who had flown in from Berlin for the party. Next month there will be another celebration for family. Finegan, fin, the end, is again and again and fin-again!

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/our-first-centenarian-an-t-athair-o-fionnagain/

Our first centenarian, An t-Athair Ó Fionnagáin
Wednesday 18 February sees a unique birthday. For the first time an Irish Jesuit has turned a hundred. In the face of Fr Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin you see a man prone to gratitude, with a wardrobe full of memories: of a Spartan early life in Monaghan during World War I; of noviciate in Tullabeg – Frank is the last survivor of that house. He was a teacher of classics in Crescent, Galway and Clongowes; and of philosophy in Ranchi, India. He is a writer, pianist, historian, archivist and librarian, and by his researches contributed heavily to the beatification of Dominic Collins. In 1975, as he qualified for the old age pension, he volunteered for the French mission, and dressed in beret and clergyman served two under- priested areas, Nantua and Belley, for seven years before returning to research and the Irish Mass in Gardiner Street. We thank God, as Frank himself does, for the blessings of his first hundred years.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-who-taught-saint-101/

Jesuit who taught saint turns 101
The Jesuit priest who taught Saint Alberto Hurtado English, Fr Frank Finnigan SJ, celebrated his 101st birthday on Thursday 18 February. He is the first Irish Jesuit to live to
such an age. As well as receiving the birthday wishes of his fellow Jesuits in the Gardiner St Community, he also got a congratulatory telegram and cheque from President McAleese. Fr Finnegan’s student Alberto Hurtado was a Chilean Jesuit who died in 1952 and was canonised on 23 October 2005. After joining the Jesuits he came to Ireland and stayed with the Jesuits in Rathfarnham where Fr Finnigan taught him. Fr Finnegan is a fluent Irish speaker. Also, he was a teacher of classics in Crescent, Galway and Clongowes, and a teacher of philosophy in Ranchi, India. He is a writer, pianist, historian, archivist and librarian. His researches contributed heavily to the beatification of Dominic Collins.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/oldest-ever-irish-jesuit-goes-to-god/

Oldest-ever Irish Jesuit goes to God
Yesterday, 7 March, Fr Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin died peacefully in his room in Gardiner Street. Last month he had been touched and delighted to receive a message from President
McAleese, congratulating him on his 102nd birthday. He was the first and only Irish Jesuit to reach 100, and up to recently he thought nothing of walking across the city from Drumcondra to Milltown. In the last few days he had been rising later in the morning. On Sunday he celebrated a public Mass in Irish in Gardiner Street church. Then his strength faded rapidly, and yesterday he went to the Lord peacefully in his own bedroom. While he is remembered by many Irishmen as a teacher of Greek and Latin, he had also given years of his life as a missionary in India and a Curé in France. May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Prionsias Ó Fionnagáin (1909-2011)

18th February1909: Born in Glasgow (Nationality: Irish)
Early education at Castleblaney Boys' School and St. Macartan's Seminary
1st September 1927: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
2nd September 1929: First Vows at Tullabeg
1929 - 1932: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1932 - 1935: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1935 - 1937: Mungret College - Teacher
1937 - 1938: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
1938 - 1942: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1941: Ordained at Milltown Park
1942 - 1943: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1943 - 1952: Crescent College, Limerick – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
2nd February 1945: Final Vows
1952 - 1954: Clongowes – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
1954 - 1957: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, India - Teaching Philosophy
1957 - 1961: Crescent College – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
1961 - 1973: Leeson Street
1961 - 1973: Writer; Librarian
1962 - 1966: Assistant Eitor of Studies
1973 - 1974: Province Archivist
1974 - 1981: France - Curate in Parishes Nantua and Belley
1981 - 2011: SFX Gardiner Street - Work included assisting in the church; Writer; Librarian; House Historian and, in recent years, Aifreann an Phobail
7th March 2011: Died at Gardiner St

Fr Ó Fionnagáin was delighted to receive a message of congratulation from Her Excellency, President Mary McAleese, on the occasion of his 102nd birthday on February 18th last. In subsequent days he became noticeably weaker and tended to celebrate his Mass later in the day than usual. However this did not prevent him from preparing his sermon and celebrating the Sunday Mass as Gaeilge on the day before he died peacefully in his room.

Obituary by Barney McGuckian
Father Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin died peacefully, aged 102, in his room at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, on the morning of March 7th, 2011. No other Irish Jesuit had ever reached such a venerable age. In command of all his faculties right up to the end, he had celebrated Aifreann an Phobail the previous morning and preached as Gaeilge as he had been doing for several years. In the last month of his life he was still capable of a full genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament each time he entered and left the omestic Chapel.

Of Monaghan Finegan (the one “n” was significant) farming stock, of which he was intensely proud, he was born in Glasgow on 18th February, 1909 but was taken to Ireland in early infancy. As an alert five-and-a-half year old, he remembered the start of the First World War. He was aware that the "big men were going out to fight”. His First Communion, a couple of years later, took the form of Holy Viaticum, as he was not expected to survive the night! He recalled distinctly his father telling him that the War was over, After early education in Castleblayney he became a boarder at St Macartan's Diocesan College. A thorough grounding in Greek, Latin and Irish would later stand him in good stead when he joined the Society at Tullabeg in 1927. A recurrent theme in his later conversation was the reasoning behind his appointment to teach in the Crescent, Limerick. The late Jimmy McPolin, a Crescent student and nephew of the Socius, John Coyne, could benefit from a good course in Classics! He used his knowledge of Irish to good effect through the years, celebrating Mass frequently through Irish after Vatican II authorised the use of the vernacular in Liturgy. He also published in Irish a number of monographs and biographies based on his assiduous research into Jesuit and Irish Church History. Although there is no evidence of his ever having concelebrated Mass himself, he assisted at community Concelebrated Masses. Even after his 100th birthday, with the help of Brother Gerry Marks, he often made his way on Sundays to the Latin Mass in St Kevin's, Harrington Street, where he was held in high regard by members of the Latin Mass Society. He never expressed any preference about the form his funeral should take but, as a mark of respect, Latin, Irish and English were all used in his Concelebrated Requiem Mass at St Francis Xavier's.

At UCD, he studied Classics, although his preference would have been for History. He subsequently taught Latin and Greek in Mungret, Crescent and Clongowes where his pupils still recall the invitation to join in the struggle to turn back the tide of barbarism'. Besides three years teaching philosophy in India and seven as a curate in France, at Nantua and Belley, most of his life was spent in historical research. He was in his element among documents, foraging around archives. Perhaps his most notable contribution in this area was his work on the Causes of the Irish Martyrs. Without his efforts, the Cause of Blessed Dominic Collins could well have been rejected by the relevant Roman Congregation. He argued strenuously and convincingly that although the Blessed had been a professional soldier at one stage in his life and was not an ordained priest, consequently not qualified to be a full Chaplain, his contribution during the Battle of Kinsale was purely religious. His only objective in coming to Ireland was to help consolidate the Catholic faith. Frank deduced from the documents, in particular those of his English captors, that Blessed Dominic could have been set free on condition of denying his faith and abandoning his Jesuit vocation. This Dominic resolutely refused to do.

A highpoint in his life was to have taught English to the future patron saint of Chile, Saint Alberto Hurtado, in 1931. He enjoyed recalling a day in the Dublin Mountains when the Saint volunteered to have a go when the proprietor of the land where they were having a picnic asked “Is there a shot among you?” Confidently, Alberto grabbed the proffered shot-gun and blew the billy-can tossed into the air to smithereens. He had done his military service in Chile and had his eye in.

Anything Frank did he seems to have done to the best of his ability. He was an accomplished pianist but in later years only played for personal pleasure. His attention to the garden was much appreciated in the houses where he lived. In later years he concentrated on flowers and plants, enhancing a number of window-sills around the house. He was tending his beloved gloxinias right up to the end of his life. He attributed his lack of interest in sport to the fact of ill-health in childhood that precluded much involvement in games.

Frank was devoted to his family and friends and carried on a correspondence with them, frequently inviting them to meals in the house. As his hearing was adequate right to the end (although occasionally selective), he could add to the table-talk with his inexhaustible store of anecdotes and corroborative details about events in Irish, British and Jesuit Province history. He never made the transition to the computer but remained faithful to his typewriter. One touching Mass card was from the family who serviced his typewriter over the years. Unfortunately he destroyed his diaries of many years, written in Irish and in his beautiful “copper-plate” hand-writing.

Frank was a man of strong and definite opinions to which he clung tenaciously. At times he could be feisty, a word he would never have used himself. He would have considered it in the same category as “ok” which he eschewed as an instance of encroaching “American vulgarity”. As the decades rolled on he seemed to mellow somewhat and learned to live with things as they were. However, even when well into his second century, there could be the occasional flare-up about personalities, attitudes, situations and decisions from an age long gone. Towards the end, although he would never accept help in preparing his breakfast porridge or doing his own laundry, symptomatic of a deep-seated independent streak, he admitted to some limitations and willingly conceded that it “can be lonely to be so old”.

He was delighted to receive what he described as a “splendid silver medallion” from Mary McAleese, Uachtaran na hEireann, on the occasion of his 102nd birthday. Members of the community who wished were formally invited to a private viewing in his room before 12 30 p.m. each day. The President's warm message of congratulations contained words, most à propos, from a speech she had given before Christmas 2010 at a Reception for Senior Citizens: bua na gaoise toradh na haoise (the gift of wisdom is the fruit of age). In the three weeks left to him after this event he began to become visibly feebler but this did not prevent him walking around the house and carrying on as usual. On Friday, February 25th he actually walked to the Polling Booth to cast his vote in the General Election. Ten days later, he died peacefully on his own in his room.

The “Nunc dimittis” of Simeon, that upright and good man, from Luke, the Gospel read on the occasion of his Final Vows over sixty-five years earlier in the Sacred Heart Chapel, the Crescent, Limerick, on February 2nd, 1945, featured again at his Final Requiem. On that day so long ago, the much desired peace of the nations following World War II was almost in sight. We can rest assured that an tAthair Proinsias is now enjoying a much more comprehensive and lasting peace. Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.

Finlay, Peter, 1851-1929, Jesuit priest and theologian

  • IE IJA J/8
  • Person
  • 15 February 1851-21 October 1929

Born: 15 February 1851, Bessbrook, County Cavan
Entered 02 March 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, Tortosa, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1886, St Beuno’s, Wales
Died: 21 October 1929, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at time of death.

Younger brother of Tom Finlay - RIP 1940

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1879 at Poyanne France (CAST) Studying
by 1880 at Dertusanum College, Tortosa, Spain (ARA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1888 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) Lecturing Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.

1868 He was sent to St Acheul (Amiens) for a year of Rhetoric, and then to Stonyhurst for two years Philosophy, and then to Maria Laach for one more year.
1872 He was sent for Regency teaching Latin and French at Crescent for two years, and the four at Clongowes teaching Greek, Latin, French, German, Mathematics and Physics.
1878 He was sent to Poyanne in France with the the CAST Jesuits, expelled from Spain, and then three years at Tortosa, Spain where he was Ordained 1881. He also completed a Grand Act at the end of his time in Tortosa which attracted significant attention about his potential future as a Theologian.
1882 He returned to Ireland and Milltown where he lectured in Logic and Metaphysics for three years.
1885 He was sent to St Beuno’s as professor of Theology and made his Final Vows there 02 February 1886.
1887 He was sent to Woodstock (MARNEB) to help develop this Theologate with others from Europe - including Aloisi Masella, later Cardinal.
1889 Milltown opened a Theologate, and he was recalled as Professor of Scholastic Theology, and held that post for 40 years. During that time he hardly ever missed a lecture, and his reputation as an educator was unparalleled, shown in the quality of his lecturing, where the most complex was made clear. During this time he also took up a Chair of Catholic Theology at UCD from 1912-1923. In addition, he was a regular Preacher and Director of retreats, and spent many hours hearing Confessions of the poor.

He was highly thought of in HIB, attending two General Congregations and a number of times as Procurator to consult with the General.
His two major publications were : The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution” (1915) and “Divine Faith” (1917).
He died at St Vincent’s Hospital 21 October 1929. His funeral took place at Gardiner St where the Archbishop Edward Byrne presided.

“The Catholic Bulletin” November 1929
“The death of Father Peter Finlay......closed a teaching career in the great science of Theology which was of most exceptional duration and of superb quality, sustained to the very close of a long and fruitful life. ..news of his death came as a shock and great surprise to many who knew him all over Ireland and beyond. ...in the course of his Theological studies at Barcelona he drew from the great tradition of Suarez and De Lugo. ....Behind that easy utterance was a mind brilliant yet accurate, penetrating, alert, subtle, acute in its power of analysis and discrimination, caustic at times, yet markedly observant of all the punctilious courtesies of academic disputation. ...The exquisite keenness of his mind was best appreciated by a trained professional audience .... and with his pen even more effective in English than Latin. Those who recall “Lyceum’ with its customary anonymity failed to conceal the distinctive notes of Peter Finlay’s style, different from, yet having many affinities with the more leisurely and versatile writing of his brother Thomas. The same qualities...
were evident in the ‘New Ireland Review”, from 1894-1910. Nor were the subjects ... narrowly limited ... he examined the foundations and limitations of the right of property in land, as viewed by English Law and Landlords in Ireland. On the secure basis of the great Spanish masters of Moral Philosophy, he did much to make secure the practical policies and enforce the views of Archbishops Thomas Croke and William Walsh.
He had a close relationship with the heads of the publishing house of ‘The Catholic Bulletin’. That said, this relationship was far outspanned by his marvellous service in the giving of Retreats to Priests and Religious and Men, added to by his work in the ministry of Reconciliation among the rich and poor alike, the afflicted and those often forgotten.”

Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

From St Acheul Peter Finlay went to Stonyhurst College, England, for two years philosophy, and spent a further year in philosophic studies at the Jesuit college of Maria Laach in Germany. Returning to Ireland (1872), he taught for two years at Crescent College, Limerick, and for four years at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. His theological studies were conducted with distinction at Poyanne in France and Tortosa in Spain. Recalled home, he lectured in philosophy at the Jesuit seminary college, Milltown Park, and at UCD for three years; and then in theology at St Beuno's, Wales, for three years. The next six years were spent at Woodstock College, USA, where he professed theology. When in 1889 a theologate was established at Milltown Park, Peter was summoned home. He professed theology there from then till his death. His lectures, said to have been models of clarity, were presented in fluent and exact Latin, the medium of the time for such lectures. He also lectured (1912–22) in catholic theology at UCD. In constant demand for retreats and lectures, and with a heavy weight of correspondence, he was also rector (1905–10) of Milltown Park, and was three times elected to represent the Irish province at general congregations in Rome. Peter Finlay did not have his brother's range of interests nor his literary productivity, but his published writing on theological and apologetic themes were widely read. These included The church of Christ: its foundation and constitution (1915), Divine faith (1917), and smaller works reflecting the issues of the day, such as The decree ‘Ne temere’; Catholics in civil life, The catholic religion, The catholic church and the civil state, The authority of bishops, Was Christ God?, The one true church: which is it?, and Is one religion as good as another?. He was an unassuming man, dedicated to a life of poverty, obedience, and obligation – never, it was said, missing a lecture for thirty-nine of his forty-four years as lecturer. He died of cancer of the kidneys on 21 October 1929, having lectured till 2 October, the day before going to hospital for the final time.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

On March 2nd, Fr Peter Finlay celebrated his Diamond Jubilee. After a brilliant Grand Act at Tortosa, Fr. Peter was working at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study at Beyrouth, when a telegram summoned him back to Ireland to be Prefect of Studies at Tullabeg. From Tullabeg he passed to Milltown to Professor of Philosophy, thence to St. Beuno's where he professed theology, but Fr General sent him to Woodstock instead. From Woodstock he was transferred to Milltown in 1889; he took possession of the Chair of Theology and held it ever since. Fr, Finlay has spent 42 years professing theology, and during all that time never once missed a lecture till he fell ill in March, 1924.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary :

Fr Peter Finlay

Fr. Peter Finlay died at St. Vincent's hospital, Dublin on October 21st of cancer of the kidneys. Some twelve months previously, he felt the first symptoms of the attack. But so far was he from giving in, that he continued his lectures during the entire scholastic year that followed. This year he gave his last lecture on October 2nd, went to hospital on October 3rd, and died on October the 21st. His loss will be keenly felt far beyond the limits of the Society, for his opinion on all questions of theology was eagerly sought for and highly valued here at home in Ireland, and in many another country outside it, into which his wide learning and wonderful power of exposition had penetrated.

Fr. Peter was born in Co. Cavan, on the 15th February 1851, and educated at St. Patrick's College, Cavan. He had just turned his 15th year when on March 2nd 1866, he began his novitiate at Milltown Park. He made his juniorate at St. Acheul, France, two years philosophy at Stonyhurst, a third at Maria Laach in Germany, and returned to Ireland in 1872, Two years were passed at the Crescent and four in Clongowes as master. Theology was commenced at Poyanne in France, where the Castilian Jesuits, driven from Spain, had opened a theologate. The remaining three years of theology saw him at Tortosa in Spain, and the course was concluded by a very brilliant Grand Act.
Fr. Peter was working away at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study when a telegram recalled him to Ireland. Milltown Park had him for three years as Professor of philosophy, and St. Beuno's for two as Profcssor of theology. It was said that at the end of these two years he was under orders to start for Australia, but Fr. General sent him to America instead to profess theology at Woodstock.
In 1889,the theologate was established at Milltown Park, and of course Fr. Peter was summoned home to take the “Morning” Chair. That chair he held with the very highest distinction, and without interruption, until less than a month before his death. In all, Fr Finlay was 44 years professing theology, and it is said that he never missed a lecture until he fell ill in the year 1924. And often, these lectures were given at a time when suffering from a bad throat.
Milltown Park had him for Rector from 1905 to 1910, and he was Lecturer of Catholic Theology in the National University Dublin, from 1912 to1922.
Fr. Peter was three times elected to represent the Irish Province at General Congregations, and on three other occasions at Procuratorial Gongregations at Rome.
His published works are : “The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution”, 1915; “Divine Faith” 1917. In addition, he has left us several smaller publications, such as : “The Decree Ne Ternere”; “Catholics in Civil Life”; “The Catholic Religion”; The Catholic Church and the Civil State”; “ The Authority of Bishops”; “Was Christ God”; “The One Church, which is it”.
Fr. John McErlean, who had the privilege of having him as Professor for four years, writes as follows : “Merely to listen to his lectures was an education, for he was gifted with a wonderful power of exposition before which difficulties dissolved, and his hearers became almost unconscious of the subtlety of the argument. A past master of the Latin tongue, he poured forth without an instant's hesitation, a stream of limpid language in which the most critical classicist failed to detect the slightest grammatical inaccuracy in the most involved sentences”.
In addition to his duties as professor, he was frequently employed as Preacher, Director of the Spiritual Exercises etc. His correspondence alone must have been a heavy tax on his time, for his advice was much sought after by all classes of society. All these manifold duties did not prevent him from spending many hours every week hearing the confessions of the poor in Milltown village.
Fr. Finlay's piety was not of the demonstrative order, but was very genuine. He was a model of regularity. Day after day he said one of the very earliest Masses in the Community. He was most careful to ask permission for the smallest exemption. In the matter of poverty, he was exact to a degree that would astonish a fervent novice. He never parted with a trifle nor accepted one without leave. Devotion to duty, to the work in hand, accompanied him through life. His brother, Fr. Tom, gave his usual lecture in the University on the very morning that Peter died, and another lecture on the day of the Office and funeral. When some one mildly expostulated with him, his answer was : “I have done what I knew would please Peter, and what I am sure he would have done himself under like circumstances”.
Peter is now, please God, reaping the rich fruits of his 63 years loyal and devoted services to the Society.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930

Obituary : Fr Peter Finlay
We owe the following appreciation to the kindness of Fr, P. Gannon
“No man is indispensable, but some create by their departure a void that is very sensible and peculiarly hard to fill. To say that Fr. Peter Finlay was one of these is certainly not an exaggeration. Milltown Park without him causes a difficulty for the imagination. He was so large a part of its life since its foundation as a scholasticate, its most brilliant professor and most characteristic figure. Others came and went, but he remained, an abiding landmark in a changing scene. Justice demands that some effort be made to perpetuate the memory of a really great career, which, for many reasons, might escape due recognition. In this notice little more can be attempted than an outline sketch of his long and fruitful activities.
Fr. Finlay was born near the town of Cavan on Feb, 15, 1851, of a Scotch father, and an Irish mother. He was one of seven children of whom three girls became Sacred Heart Nuns, and two boys Jesuits.
The boys of the family attended St. Patrick's College, the seminary to Kilmore. Diocese, - then situated in the town. In 1866 Peter, now barely fifteen years of age, entered the Noviceship, Miiltown. Park, where his elder brother Torn soon joined him, and thus began a brotherly association in religion that was to be beautifully intimate and uninterrupted for over sixty years - par nobile fractum.
In 1868 he went to S. Acheul for his Juniorate. In 1869-70 he did his first two years Philosophy at Stonyhurst, and his third at Maria Laach (Germany) in company with his brother (1871-2). On his return he commenced his teaching in the Crescent (1872-74), passing to Clongowes in 1874, where he remained till 1878. The versatility of the young scholastic may be gauged from the fact that he is catalogued as teaching Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Latin, Greek, French and German.
In 1878 he was sent to Poyanne, France, where the exiled Castilan Province had opened up a house of studies. Here he commenced his study of Theology (1879-9). This was continued in Tortosa, Spain, (1879-82), and crowned by a Grand Act which became historic even in that land of theology, and marked him out at once for the professor's chair.From 1882 till 1885 we find him in Milltown Park teaching Philosophy and acting as Prefect of Studies. From 1885-1887 in St. Beuno's, Wales, teaching Theology (Short Course), In 1887 he was invited to Woodstock USA. where he lectured on Theology for two years with Padre Mazella, the future cardinal, as a colleague. In 1889 he finally cast anchor in Milltown Park, as professor of “Morning” Dogma. and this position he held till within a few weeks of his death in 1929 - over forty years. He was also Prefect of Studies from 1892 till 1903, and Rector from 1905 (Aug.) till 1910. In 1912 he was requested by the Bishops of Ireland to undertake the Lectureship in Dogmatic Theology which they were founding in the National University of Ireland. This he retained till 1922 when he insisted on resigning. The weekly lectures he delivered during Term time were published in full in “The Irish Catholic” and made his teaching accessible to wide circles. They formed the basis of his two published works “The Church of Christ” and “Divine Faith”. Earlier in his career he had written some articles for The Lyceum, under his brother's editorship, which caused no small stir and led to certain difficulties. It would almost appear as if this disagreeable experience had frozen a promising fountain at its source. For a long time it ceased to play. The invitations of The Catholic Truth Society and the pressure of friends to reprint his University lectures were needed to win him back to authorship, For the C.T. S. he wrote several very valuable pamphlets such as “Was Christ God”, The “Ne Temere Decree” etc. Occasionally also he penned public utterances of great weight and influence as, for example, his letter to the Press vindicating the Bishop's action in regard to Conscription (1918 and his article in Studies on Divorce when that topic occupied the attention of the Dáil (1924-25).
To finish with his literary activities a word of criticism may not be out of place, And the first thing that occurs to the mind is a sense of regret that he did not write more, he, who was from every point of view so well equipped for the task. What he has left us is very precious. All he wrote was solid, practical and beautifully clear. He had in a high degree the gift of exposition and could render the abstrusest questions of theology intelligible to any educated reader. He passed from the technicalities of the Schools to the language of the forum with instant success. Only those who have attempted something similar will be in a position to appreciate the skill with which he could combine thoroughness, accuracy and lucidity. His style was very correct. Indeed he was a good deal of a purist. He abhorred slovenliness, slang, journalese and Americanese. His prose is consequently classical clear, flexible, fitting his thought like a well-made garment, but perhaps a trifle cold, lacking colour and emotional appeal.
The occupations hitherto outlined might seem enough to fill his days and hours, But Fr. Finlay managed to add many other zealous endeavours. He was one of the founders of the Catholic Truth Society and remained to the end an energetic member of its committee. He played a large part in the creation of The Catholic Reserve Society, which has done such good work in the fight against Protestant proselytism in its meanest form.
During his Rectorship and under his auspices Week-End retreats for Laymen Were inaugurated in Milltown Park. And it would be difficult to estimate all the good these have done in the intervening years, He was a lover of books, and all through a busy life found time to keep an eye on booksellers' catalogues for rare and useful volumes, especially in Theology,
Philosophy, Church History and Patristics. More than anyone else he is responsible for the excellent library which Milltown possesses.
It was he who built what is sometimes known as “the Theologians' wing” and sometimes as “Fr. Peter's building” with its fine refectory characterised by beauty of design without luxury or extravagance. Finally he did much for the grounds and garden, planting ornamental and fruit-bearing trees. And unlike Cicero's husbandman he lived long enough to enjoy the fruit and beauty of the trees he planted.
In his relations to the outer world Fr. Peter never became as prominent a public or national figure as Fr.Tom. But he was well known in ecclesiastical circles, where his advice on theological questions was often sought. Through diocesan retreats and in many other ways he came into contact with most of the Irish bishops of his time, and he was on very intimate
terms with Cardinal Logue. He was regularly invited to examinations for the doctorate in Maynooth, when his mastery of theology and dialectical skill were conspicuous.
He counted many of the leading Catholic laymen of Ireland among his friends, such as Lord O'Hagan and Chief Baron Palles, to name only the dead. His inner, personal knowledge of Catholic life in Rome, Spain and England was also considerable , and in private conversation he could give interesting sidelights on much of the written and unwritten history of the Church in his generation.
As a confessor and director of souls he enjoyed a wide popularity. His prudence, wisdom and solid virtue fitted him peculiarly for the ministry, and his labours in it were fruitful Since his death the present writer heard quite spontaneous testimony from two nuns in widely different places as to the debt they owed him. They went the length of saying that they attributed their vocation and even their hopes of salvation Under God to his wise and firm guidance in their youth. He possessed a rare knowledge of human nature and he spared no pains in helping all who came to him. His fidelity to the Saturday-night confessions in Milltown parish chapel to the very end, in spite of obviously failing health, was truly edifying. And spiritual direction involved him in a wide correspondence that must have made big inroads on his time. In general Fr.Finlay was prodigal of time and trouble in helping others, whether by way of advice, theological enlightenment, or criticism of literary work. This seemed to spring from that strain of asceticism in him which was noticeable in his whole life - in his regularity, punctuality and devotion to duty. There was some thing of the northern iron in his composition or, as some might style it, Scotch dourness. He could be steely at times in manner, but most of all he was steely with himself. This was seen very clearly in the closing years of life when he really kept going by a volitional energy and a self-conquest which, though entirely unostentatious, was yet unmistakable to close observers, and revealed to them as never before the fundamental piety of his character - a piety made manifest in his death .
It was, however, as a professor that he won his high reputation and gave the true measure of his greatness.Only those who had the privilege of knowing him in this capacity were in a position to appreciate his real eminence. He seemed the incarnation of what Kant calls a the “pure intelligence”. He united qualities rarely combined, subtlety, profundity, clarity. He had something of the nimbleness of a Scotus without his obscurity. And that perhaps explained his marked leaning to Scotistic views on disputed questions, and his liking for Ripalda. His mind seemed attuned to theirs, though he was too independent to be addictus iurare in verba magistri. When we add to these characteristics a conscientious care in preparation, an admirable method, and a power of expressing himself in a Latin which Cicero could hardly have disowned (allowance being made for the necessary technicalities of the schools), it will be seen that his. equipment for his life's task was very complete. At his best he was a model of scientific exposition. Theology is a vast and difficult science. How would it be otherwise in view of what it treats? And to expound it adequately demands a combination and gifts granted to few. Fr. Finlay's pupils were nearly unanimous in the belief that hardly anyone of his generation possessed this combination in a higher measure or more balanced proportions than he. The only exception that could be taken to his lecturing was perhaps that it was more analytical and critical, or even destructive, than constructive. But these very features of it gave one the assurance that a conclusion which had stood the test of his scrutiny was sound indeed. Moreover he was genuinely tolerant of dissent from his views. Though a professor of dogma he was the least dogmatic of men and even strove rather to elicit your own thinking than to impose his on you. He revelled in the thrust and parry of debate and respected a good fighter. This could be seen best during the repetitions at the end of the year, and in the examinations, where he sought to test the pupil's understanding and grasp of principles rather than mere memory of councils or scripture texts. His objections were clear, crisp, to the point and faultless in form. There was no side-stepping them, no escape into irrelevancies, no chance of eluding him by learned adverbs or ambiguous phrases. Patiently, with perfect urbanity, but with deadly insistence he brought the candidate back to the point and held him there till be solved the difficulty or confessed that he could not do sol which was often enough a saving admission. Yet on the other hand no examiner was really fairer. For he seemed to see one's thoughts before they were uttered, and could penetrate through the worst Latin periphrases to what one was really trying to say. Hence no one was ever confused by misunderstanding him or lost by being misunderstood.
Neither did he keep urging a difficulty when it was solved. The answer once given he passed, easily and lightly, to something else.
Again, in Provincial congregations, of which he was the inevitable secretary, his conduct of business was a sheer delight. His writing of minutes, his resumés of previous discussions were masterly. Many a speaker was surprised, and perhaps a little abashed, to hear all he had laboured, in broken Latin and through many minutes, to express, reproduced integrally, in a few short sentences, which gave the substance of his remarks without an unnecessary word. As this was done almost entirely from memory, with the help of a few brief jottings, it compelled a wondering admiration. His election to represent the Province in Rome was nearly automatic. He attended every Congregation, general or procuratorial, which was summoned since the election of Fr. Martin, After the last general congregation he was specially thanked by our present Paternity for his signal services as head of the Commission in the Reform of Studies. These services taxed his strength severely and on his return the first clear signs of serious infirmity made them selves manifest. If even then he had taken due precautions, his essentially robust constitution might have enabled him to live for many years. But he would not take precautions and no one dared suggest any remission of work. He obviously wished to die in harness. And he did. His last lecture, as brilliant as those of his prime, was delivered within three weeks of his death, which took place on Monday Oct. 21, 1929.
No life escapes criticism, and it would be idle to pretend that Fr. Peter did not come in for his share of it. It would be even flattery to deny that he afforded some ground for it. But, take him all in all, only blind and incurable prejudice can deny that he was a very remarkable man, intellectually and morally, an ornament to the whole Society and a just source of pride of the Irish Province, which is the poorer for his loss and will feel it for many a day. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Peter Finlay 1851-1929
In the death of Fr Peter Finlay at Milltown Park on October 21st 1929, the Province lost its greatest Theologian. His death ended a teaching career in Theology, which was of exceptional duration and superb quality, which made him renowned not only in Ireland, but far beyond.

He was born in County Cavan on February 15th 1851 and was educated at St Patrick’s College Cavan. He was accepted for the Society by Fr Edmund O’Reilly at the early age of 15.

His teaching career began in 1872 at the Crescent, followed by four years at Clongowes, during which his curriculum included Greek, Latin, French, German, Physics and Mathematics. At the end of his theological course at Tortosa Spain, he was chosen for the Grand Act, the public defence of all Philosophy and Theology. His brilliant defence placed him in the front rank of the rising generation of Theologians. He lectured in Philosophy at Milltown, Theology at St Beuno’s and at Woodstock USA.

On the opening of the theologate at Milltown Park he was recalled to fill the chair of Dogmatic Theology, a chair which he held for a full 40 years, even during his Rectorate of Milltown Park from 1905-1910.

When a chair of Catholic Theology was established at the National University, Fr Finlay was appointed and continued to held it from 1912-1923.

He was an able administrator and builder. The old Refectory at Milltown, which later burnt, was built by him. He often represented the Province in Rome. He was an able controversialist and an incisive writer, as may be seen by the numerous articles of his in the Lyceum and the New Ireland review. His writings, popular and appreciated even today, include “The Church of Christ”, “Divine Faith”, “Catholics in Civic Life”, “The Authority of Bishops”, “Was Christ God?” and “The one Church, which is it?”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Peter Finlay (1851-1929)

A native of Co. Cavan and educated at St Patrick's College, Cavan, entered the Society in 1866. He did all his studies abroad, in France, Germany and Spain. His future work in the Irish Province was in the chair of dogmatic theology at Milltown Park, where he was engaged for the next forty years. Father Finlay was one of the most brilliant theologians of his time. He spent two years of his regency at Crescent College along with his brother, Thomas Finlay (q.v. infra).

Finlay, Thomas A, 1848-1940, Jesuit priest and economist

  • IE IJA J/9
  • Person
  • 06 July 1848-08 January 1940

Born: 06 July 1848, Lanesborough, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 November 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Final Vows: 25 March 1885
Died: 08 January 1940, Linden Nuring Home, Dublin

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Older brother of Peter Finlay - RIP 1929

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Lacens College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Peter Finlay Entry
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.
Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

See: Morrissey, T. J. (2004). Thomas A. Finlay: Educationalist, editor, social reformer, 1848-1940.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

Thomas Finlay went (1869) to the Gregorian University, Rome, and thence, after Garibaldi's invasion, to Maria Laach where he was trained (1871–3) in modern scientific methods and was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government, an experience he drew on in his later work. On his return to Ireland (1873) Tom joined his brother at the Crescent, Limerick, where he stayed till 1876, acting as headmaster as well as teaching German and French. He also found time to publish, under the pseudonym ‘Thomas Whitelock’, a best-selling novel, The chances of war, based on the life of Owen Roe O'Neill, which went through several editions. In addition he wrote pamphlets and was co-founder of the periodical Catholic Ireland, which became the influential Irish Monthly. In 1877 he went to St Beuno's for theology, and was ordained in 1880. His self-reliance, great energy, equable temper, and gifts for making and keeping friends were already in evidence, as also his prowess as a conversationalist and a fisherman. In 1881 he was placed in charge for a short time of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, near Tullamore, before being entrusted with the joint task of rector of Belvedere College, Dublin (1882–7), and fellow of the RUI in classics. In 1883 he and Peter were appointed joint professors of philosophy at UCD. He occupied the chairs of philosophy (1883–1900) and political economy (1900–30). Hence his unusual distinction of professing in three different disciplines – classics, philosophy, and political economy. Like Peter, he was a highly successful lecturer, noted for his clarity of exposition, and popular also with the students for his human qualities and his policy of promoting responsibility and independence. At Belvedere he built a new wing and purchased additional playing fields, while at the same time reconstructing the philosophy programme of the Royal University and responding to demands for retreats and spiritual lectures from the clergy of different dioceses. In 1887 he took up residence at UCD and turned again to writing as well as teaching. He translated articles from German on philosophy, and Stockle's History of philosophy. The extent and range of his articles during a busy life may be judged from the incomplete list of titles in R. J. Hayes's Sources . . . articles in Irish periodicals. He founded and edited the Lyceum magazine (1889–94) and the New Ireland Review (1894–1911), which was succeeded by Studies in 1912. In addition, as part of his deep involvement in the Irish cooperative movement, he founded and was an incisive editor of the Irish Homestead. In support of the movement, he traversed the country preaching the merits of being industrious and self-supporting, and won support among northern unionists as well as southern farmers. Sir Horace Plunkett (qv), founder of the movement, termed him ‘a remarkable living Irishman’ who had ‘largely moulded my own life work’, and who, ‘for a full half-century, laboured disinterestedly for the moral, social, and economic uplifting of the Irish poor’ (A page of Irish history, 246–7). Finlay's strong advocacy of high moral standards in public life made him enemies in the Irish parliamentary party; and his critical review of Cardinal James Gibbons, Our Christian heritage (1889), led to complaints to Rome from American Jesuits and his suspension from writing (1890–92).

Despite these varied activities, he was primarily an educationalist. Apart from his teaching in Jesuit schools and at UCD, he was a commissioner for intermediate education for many years, was active in establishing and administering a system of technical education at the start of the century, was editor-in-chief of the ‘School and College’ series of books for pupils and students, and inspired and guided those who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. Moreover, he was for many years a prominent member of the senate of the NUI and of the governing body of UCD, and was chairman (1909–38) of the trustees of the NLI. Little wonder that his successor to the chair of economics, George O'Brien (qv), remarked in Studies (1940) that ‘to write about him is like writing about a number of persons rather than a single man’. He alleged that in forty-seven years Finlay ‘never broke an engagement, never missed a lecture, never was late for a meeting’. Finlay's retirement (1930) was marked by a collection to provide a presentation portrait (now in UCD) by Leo Whelan (qv). It was so generously subscribed that funds were available to endow an annual Finlay lecture on an economic theme; the first was given by John Maynard Keynes. Tom Finlay died 8 January 1940 in his ninety-first year. He had been an invalid from 1936.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

University Hall :
On November 16th the Community at Lesson St. celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Fr T Finlay. As a scholastic, Fr Finlay helped Fr. Matt Russell to found the Irish Monthly and the Messenger. The latter periodical ceased to appear after a short time; it was to be revived later, again under Fr Finlay's inspiration. He took a leading part in conducting the brilliant but short-lived “Lyceum”, and its successor the New Ireland Review. For Belvedere College his rectorship represented, until quite lately, the high-water mark of its success. Since 1883 he has been a Professor at University College, first under the Royal and then under the National University. During that time he has been prominent in many movements for the betterment of his Country. He was a member of the Boards of National and of Intermediate Education, is still Chairman of the National Library, Committee, has organised food depots for the poor, while his work for industrial and agricultural co-operation has won him fame in many lands. As a preacher and a lecturer his success has been extraordinary. And though he no longer appears in the pulpit, his power and his popularity as a lecturer are as great as ever. From 1912 to 1922 he was Superior in Leeson St, and President of University Hall.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland. A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia. Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 15th Year No 2 1940
Obituary :
Father Thomas Finlay
When the Editor of “Province News” did me the honour of inviting me to write a notice of Father Finlay's life, he added a comment on the usual summary of dates which he
enclosed from the annual Catalogues : “Never did Catalogues conceal so completely the life of a Jesuit as Father Finlay's Catalogues conceal his splendid and most active life.” There is a great deal of truth in this comment, though the fault does not lie with the compiler of the annual Catalogues. From his early years as a Scholastic in Rome, Maria Laach, Limerick and St. Beuno's, Father Tom was never lacking in that remarkable power of initiative which enabled him to attempt and accomplish so much during his long life of ninety-one years. His initiative was largely personal, and many of the works for which he was known throughout the country are not even mentioned in the official records of the Catalogues. Apart from his activities, Father Tom's fame was largely due to his great gifts of personal charm, sympathetic kindness and quiet humour. No man was better. fitted to make friends everywhere, and Father Tom made and kept a host of friends during his long and most useful life. Even his birthplace is matter for dispute among the learned. He was always claimed as a Cavan man; but a record is extant from his novitiate, in which he himself has entered his birth-place as Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon. The mystery is solved by a reminiscence, of which he was proud. His father was an engineer on the Shannon River works, and young Tom Finlay was born on an island just north of Lough Ree, which his father was later to submerge beneath the waters of the Shannon. One of his favourite reminiscences was of a Hedge-schooI which he attended somewhere near the Shannon in the early fifties. The master used to test the ability of his pupils by making them spell “Antitrinitarian.” But discipline was too severe for the engineer's young son, and he ran away home from class on the second or. third day. He was then sent to school at St Patrick's, Cavan, where he remained until he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, on November 12, 1866. He took his first vows at Milltown on the Feast of St. Stanislaus, 1868. Just seventy years later it was any privilege to say Mass for Father Tom at Linden Convalescent Home on the Feast of St Stanislaus, 1938. He had then been an invalid for two years and was almost ninety years old. He had been wheeled into the Convent Chapel in a chair, and heard his Jubilee Mass in the midst of the patients and children of Linden. “Consummatus in brevi explevit tempera multa.” The young novice of 1868 can have little dreamed how many long years lay before him. But there was a great deal of simple novice's piety about Father Tom in his last years. Day by day he was wheeled into the Chapel for his morning Mass; and it was seldom indeed that he would allow his nurse to keep him away from the Chapel for the daily Rosary, which he loved to recite with the other patients every evening. From Milltown he was sent to the French Juniorate at Saint-Acheul. where he spent part of the year 1869. Then, with Father Vincent Byrne as his companion, he was sent to the Gregorian at Rome, where they witnessed the stirring scenes of the Vatican Council and Garibaldi entry into Rome. In 1936, Father Vincent McCormick, then Rector of the Gregorian visited Dublin, and stayed in Lesson Street, where Father Finlay was still resident. He was introduced as a past student of the Gregorian. “And when were you in Rome?” asked the Rector, not realizing how old his new acquaintance was “At the Vatican Council” was the smiling answer, and Father Tom’s eyes were twinkling, for he felt that he had scored a point. Garibaldi's entrance into Reine threw the Gregorian into confusion, and Father Tom was sent to Maria Laach, where he spent the next two years (1871-73). It was here that he was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government - a lesson in practical economics that he was later to turn to most practical uses. And it was from the German Fathers at Maria Laach that Father Tom received his training in modern scientific methods, which (for a time, at least) made him anxious to specialise in Biology. His intellectual activity during these years must have been remarkable. When he became Professor of Metaphysics in Father Delany's University College ten years later, one of his chief enterprises was to bring Irish Catholic students into contact with modern German thought by the translation of German works on Scholastic Philosophy.
From 1873-76 Mr. Thomas Finlay was teaching his class at the Crescent College, Limerick, with extra work as French and German master and (for the last two years) as Prefect of Studies. A full programme for most men. and the work was not lessened by the fact that the Irish schools were adapting themselves to the new Intermediate System in these years. Mr Finlay's results were brilliant in the new system of competitive examinations, but that did not prevent him from writing his historical novel, “Chances of War,” during these same years. As an old priest, with a long record of useful work behind him, he was fond of telling a story that happened in these Limerick years. Some of the older Fathers found this young scholastic too enterprising, and complaints reached the Irish Provincial, who was a firm believer in the established order of things. Father Tuite summoned the budding author to his presence, and gently suggested to him that “he should remain in his legitimate obscurity.” But the Society has its own ways of checking too great enterprise for a time, and Mr. Finlay was sent to St. Beuno's for his four years of Theology in 1877.
Father Tom was ordained in 1880, he lived to say the Jubilee Mass of his ordination in 1930. There is no trace of his Tertianship in the official Catalogues, and the reason is not far to seek. When Father Tom emerged from Theology in 1881 the Irish Province was faced with an unusual responsibility. The Catholic University which had been founded, with Newman as Rector, in 1851, had failed, so far as practical results were concerned. But the long struggle for equality of rights in University education had at long last met with a partial response from the English Government of the day. The Royal University of Ireland was founded as an examining body, with a limited number of endowed fellowships, in 1881, and the Irish Hierarchy invited Father William Delany, whose energy and ability had made Tullabeg a centre of intellectual life, to take over control of University College under the new conditions. Father Finlay was sent to Tullabeg without further delay, to assist Father Delany as Assistant Prefect of Studies. From Tullabeg a small group of Jesuit Fathers came to Temple Street in Dublin, whilst the Bishops were negotiating the final transfer of University College. As soon as the teaching staff of the new College was formed, with Father Delany as first Rector, Father Finlay was nominated to one of the fellowships in the Royal University, and was appointed Professor of Metaphysics. He held this chair until 1900, when he resigned it in favour of his most brilliant student in these early years, the present Professor William Magennis. Meanwhile, another of his brilliant students, William Coyne, had been appointed Professor of Political Economy. University College suffered a sore loss by William Coyne's death in 1904 and Father Tom Finlay, who had meanwhile taken a leading part in the Co-operative Movement throughout the country, took over the vacant Chair of Political Economy in the same year, He held this chair until the end of the Royal University in 1909; and was immediately appointed to the same chair in the new National University of Ireland. It was this chair that he resigned in 1930, having taught his classes without interruption for forty-seven years (1883-1930). It was his boast that, during all those years he had never omitted a lecture for ill-health or any other reason. God had certainly blessed him with a wonderfully strong and harmonious constitution.
During the first five years of his new career, Father Finlay was not resident in St. Stephen's Green, but was Rector of Belvedere College (1883-87) with his duties as fellow and professor of the Royal University as an extra charge. It is indeed hard to understand how any man can have thrown himself with such energy into his various activities as Father Finlay did during these early years. In Belvedere the new school-buildings were rising as proof of his keen organising ability; and they were only the symbol of an active intellectual life that was attracting general attention to the College. Father Finlay planned a whole series of school text-books and copy books that were to help him pay off the debts incurred in the erection of the new buildings. But this policy was checked for a time, and Father Finlay left Belvedere for University College in 1887. Memories still survive among some old inhabitants of North Dublin : Father Tom Finlay, as a young, vigorous and good-looking priest, riding a fine, black horse down the streets of Dublin to the Phoenix Park. For the Rector of Belvedere College was a conspicuous figure in the social life of Dublin City at that time. The friendships which Father Tom made in the 'eighties and nineties opened up a new sphere of activity, which led to his becoming one Of the best-known and influential priests in the country. His influence in Government circles was very great. He was appointed a Commissioner of National Education, a Trustee of the National Library, and a member of various Royal Commissions. His word was often decisive in the appointment of some Catholic to a post that had hitherto been jealously reserved by the Protestant ascendency, and Father Tom had the knack of making himself liked as well as respected for his solid judgment and courageous support of what he held to be good and true. During these same years he founded and edited two notable monthly magazines : “The Lyceum” (1889-94), and the “New Ireland Review” (1894-1911). There is no space here to tell in any detail the story of Father Tom Finlay's work for the Irish Co-operative Movement, by which he will probably be chiefly remembered in Irish history. It was work that could only be done by a man who had attained the special position which he held in Irish public life. But it is worth recording that gratitude to Father Tom was felt by the poor as well as the rich, for he would spare no time and trouble if he thought the Irish people could be helped by his labourers. His memory is perhaps most cherished .in Foxford Co. Mayo, where he took a leading part in the establishment of the Providence Mills, that have been founded and managed from the first by the Irish Sisters of Charity. During his last illness two of the workers in the Mills were married in Foxford. They were old friends of Father Tom, and they were not satisfied until they had travelled to Dublin in one of the lorries owned by the Mills, to get the old priest's blessing on their married life. When news of his death reached Foxford this year, telegrams of condolence were sent by the staff as a whole, and by some of his personal friends in the Foxford Mills. A notice of Father Finlay's life would be incomplete without some reference to the out-door sports which he had always clung to, in the midst of his busiest years. He was a firm believer in the policy of one good holiday a week, for which good Jesuit tradition can be quoted. His own tastes favoured fishing and shooting, and his friendships. through the country gave him opportunities that were sometimes perhaps the subject of envious comment. Father Tom and his brother Father Peter were keen sportsmen, but it is not certain that their skill was equal to their interest in the sport. Both men were individualists; and their individualism was sometimes erratic in quality, One leading Irish statesmen still has memories of a day's shooting on the lands of O'Conor Don. The party went to to the bog after breakfast; and a council of war was held during the lunch interval. The more cautious members gave it as their opinion that there was only one completely safe position in the field. You could get it by drawing a straight line between the two brothers Finlay! Even his brethren in Leeson Street were sometimes inclined to be sceptical. To the very end, when Father Tom was already long past eighty he made it a practice of. going off for a few days fishing in the Easter holidays, and Good Friday was not complete unless Father Tom brought home a salmon for the community. It was always welcome; but some at least of the Fathers used to murmur that perhaps a faithful Gilly in Co. Wexford was as much responsible for the salmon as Father Tom. But that was a joke that no one would venture to make in Father Tom’s presence. The end came, after four long years of illness, on January 8th. 1940. Father Tom had been stricken down in Leeson Street in the early autumn of 1936, and ever since he had been confined to his bed-room and an invalid chair. It was a long trial, which he bore with wonderful patience, and it was good to think that so many of his friends showed their loyalty and gratitude to him by their frequent visits and messages of sympathy. He died peacefully, having spent the last two days in almost continuous prayer. The funeral Mass at Gardiner Street gave a last opportunity for a tribute of respect and affection, which, once more, revealed the wide connections that Father Tom Finlay had made in his long and laborious
life. May he rest in peace. “A. Gwynn”

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1931

A Disciples Sketch of Father Tom Finlay SJ - William Magennis

When I first saw Father Finlay he was the youthful Rector of Belvedere College. Of middle height, squarely built - so the ordinary man of his physique would be described. But in Father Finlay's case, the face at once captured and held one's notice. It was a strong, somewhat Milesian face, marked with firm decision; not stern, however, for the shrewd bright eyes were always ready to light up with a genial smile. Even then they had that surround of wrinkles which are supposed to indicate advancing age but are more likely to be born of frequent laughter. His hair was coal-black and it lay on his shapely head just as Mr Leo Whelan's masterpiece of portraiture shows it in the painting with which he has immortalized himself.

Like, “Father O'Flynn”, Father Finlay had and still has - the wonderful way with him. Tho' he was Rector and I was an Intermediate boy, he treated me - or so it seemed to me as an equal. Never in his career, not even when in later years he was an intimate of Mr Gerald Balfour, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and Lady Gerald Balfour (a very exceptional and gifted woman of influence) and was high in the councils of the great, did he ever “put on side”. He was invariably simple, and unpretentious, apparently unconscious of his own per-eminence.

At the time I first came under his spell, he had built Belvedere College, for he was full of enterprise and courage. In spite of his humility he had faith in his own designs and projects. To me he is the living embodiment of Russell Lowell's dictum. The confidence of the world is guided to a man by a well grounded confidence in himself.

The building was erected on the grounds of Belvedere House, one of those glorious mansions which serve to make us realize to what a level of superb culture the eighteenth century Anglo-Irish - or were they Irish English? - had attained. The Rector's reception-room was at the back of the grand salon, a former music-room probably, and its windows looked out on the facade of the new building. It was there I saw him first, and the memory of him, in his fine environment, remains to me a living vivid memory unduled by all the years between.

Not the least, by the way, of his minor contributions to Dublin's improvement, was the pious care with which he had the exquisitely beautiful stucco enrichment by Italian artists that decorate the hall and staircase of the mansion, restored and delicately picked out in refined colouring.

In those years Belvedere had no playing fields; but later on, he bought grounds between Palmerston Road and Cowper Road, and constructed a bridge across the railway line to give access to them.

He was then a Nationalist in politics, and had considerable weight with not a few of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He secured entrance into the Party for Sir Thomas Grattan Esmonde, but Parnell rather suspected the neophyte as a possible instrument of a Jesuit intrigue. That superstition about Jesuitry dies hard, or rather, it lives hard; Even John Dillon, a devoted Catholic, shared it: he said to me one day - in a moment of expansion during our campaign for a new University - “That friend of yours, Father Finlay, is one of the d---est intriguers in Ireland!” When I expostulated that others might engage in intrigue, but Father Finlay never, Mr, Dillon retorted, “That only shows how he has hoodwinked you!!!”

In course of time I became a teacher of English Literature in Belvedere, and as I was simultaneously a student of Father Finlay in Philosophy, I enjoyed the inestimable advantage of walking with him from his house to the old University College in St Stephen's Green, where he lectured as a Fellow of the Royal University in Mental and Moral Science - as Philosophy was then nicknamed for prudential reasons.

T D Sullivan, poet and patriot, had fallen on evil days financially and was losing heavily on the weekly which he had acquired from his more eminent brother, “A M” Sullivan. This, “The Nation” (founded by Thomas Davis, the elder Dillon and Gavan Duffy) lived largely on recollections of its past, and had a slender circulation. Father Finlay came to T D's rescue by suggesting that three of us, of University College, should be permitted to contribute articles. The present Professor Robert Donovan, who was a tutor in English and several years our senior, Joe Farrell (long years dead) and I were thus introduced to Journalism under Father Finlay's auspices.

The mention of this serves to introduce another of his projects - provision of a Club which would serve as a social centre for Catholic professional men and others in Dublin who had passed through “Tullabeg” (then a College for laymen), Clongowes, Mungret or St. Ignatius. The late Sir Joseph McGrath (who died Registrar of the National University) and his partner “Dan” Croly, MA, who was lecturer in many Catholic institutions, were the only people connected with it whom I ever knew. It was called the “Lyceum Club” and it had the ambition, I heard, at one time to rival the Trinity College Club in St Stephen's Green. It was, however, a vaulting ambition, and it “fell on the other” financially. It was still alive, tho' moribund, when Father Finlay had us made members of it, that we might have the facilities it provided for reading magazines and reviews.

Writing and publishing had always a powerful attraction for Father Finlay. While a “scholastic” he wrote an Irish historical novel treating of the times of Owen Roe, “The Chances of War”, by Rev Thomas Whitelock - I had the pleasure in later years of making it a school reader with my photograph of the author as a frontispiece. He helped the Land Movement, I remember, by pamphleteering - one pamphlet, I remember “Ricardo on Rent”. The Lyceum was a more ambitious - undertaking, a monthly magazine cultivating philosophic politics, sociology, and the Arts, especially Literature. In the first years, Father Finlay was The Lyceum. But I need not recite its history in detail here, for my old friend and college companion-Professor John W Howley of University College, Galway has performed that service with consummate ability and considerable accuracy, in view of the fact that he was not a Lyceum-ite, his history of it forms a chapter in “A Page of Irish History” (Talbot Press). His tireless anxiety to develop his students led him to initiate all sorts of College Societies, not to speak of the Sodality. One of these was a Shakespeare reading society, and Father Finlay was fond of explaining to us different interpretations of favourite passages. I fear, however, few of our number had any histrionic capacity. He promoted, notwithstanding, college theatricals and one of his younger “stars” Tom Molloy, grew stage-struck and joined the company of Beerbohm Tree. I saw him on the boards of the “Gaiety” as Roseneranz or was it Guildenstern? - in Hamlet. He worked up also a Debating Society; and under its favouring conditions “Alex” Sullivan, now Sergeant Sullivan, KC, of the London Bar, first displayed his hereditary powers of oratory.

As regards public speaking, Father Finlay taught by example. He was never what I would call an orator. He was always a finished speaker. He himself, I fancy, rather scorned those elements, rhetorical turns of expression, semi-poetical diction, ornament and emotional appeal, which mark out oratory from the less ornate utterance of ideas. There are sincere souls to whom these “flights” savour of insincerity, or affectation. Where Father Finlay excelled was in the orderly marshalling of his facts, in lucid exposition, and ice-cold, clear-cut, hard, close reasoning that never turned aside until it had remorse lessly demolished the opponent's case. I have always thought what a magnificent equity lawyer and Lord Chancellor were lost to fame when T A Finlay entered the Jesuit Order.

There is, indeed, in the present generation a young T A Finlay who has already made his forensic mark, is an KC and TD, and will assuredly one day ornament the bench of the Supreme Court.

At the expiration of his rectorship, Father Finlay took up residence in University College, where Father Delany reigned as President, The building, famous from long before, as the city dwelling-house of Buck Whalley (a Hell Fire Club-inan with Curran) had been the scene of Newman's ill-starred attempt to found a Catholic University. Father Delany and Father Finlay, aided by colleagues like the historian of Cromwellian Ireland, Rev Denis Murphy; the Irish Mezzo-fanti, Rev J O'Carroll; Rev Gerard Hopkins, the poet; Rev Joseph Darlington (friend of Everyman), were able in some miraculous fashion, to galvanize the corpse that Newman's failure had left unburied, into healthy, vigorous life. And its activities made the National University of Ireland possible.

In St. Stephen's Green, Father Finlay found more leisure - if “leisure”can be used, without a “Bull”, to name a host of varied occupations. He gave scholarly courses of Lenten Lectures, making dry-as-dust Theology a popular “draw”; he organised Needlework Depots, creating industries, and enlarging employment for women and girls; helped to establish woollen mills; founded a publishing firm; was controlling editor of “The New Ireland Review”, and editor-in-chief of “The School and College Series” of books for pupils and students; assisted the Creamery movement; lectured all over Ireland in praise of co-operative industry; inspired and guided the men who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.

During the Parnell leadership controversy, Father Finlay, who, in virtue, perhaps, of his semi-Scottish ancestry, had always been rigidly austere in moral matters even to Puritanism, assailed Parnell vigorously, and joined with the late Mr Tirnothy Healy in calling for his deposition. To me, an ardent Parnellite, it seemed an unhappy alliance. The friendship of the two men, thus begun, remained firm and unbroken till death, some months ago, severed it rudely.

Father Finlay magnanimously forgave my political break-away from his leadership; and it speaks eloquently for his tolerance, that the strong divergence of opinion which grew up between us as the years went by never threw its shadow on our relations as co-workers in the production of school-books, and as colleagues in the University Department of Philosophy.

The hero-worship with which from the first years I could not but reverence him, survived in spite of his union with the Horace Plunkett group in a movement into which Nationalist prejudice did not permit of his being followed. Father Finlay, thanks to his reaction against Parnellism, and his deepened sense of the vital importance of economic matters in the life of the Nation, had come to consider direct, constructive effort among the farmers a more potent instrument of building up a prosperous, Catholic Ireland than political action in way of agitation could ever provide. His satirical humour, of which he has a fund, loved to play its blistering tongue on the moving and passing of resolutions, and “voicing the aspirations of a down-trodden and oppressed nationality”. Clap-trap, raimeis, make-believe, falsities and lies, he abominates by instinct. And, I fear, he relegates our political propaganda to that infamous dust-bin of things despicable.

They who have only an external acquaintance with Father Finlay cannot even guess what depths of genial humanity lie hidden from them in the man. It would, I know, displease him were I to make public here even a fraction of what I know of his innumerable benefactions. St Francis of Assisi was happily styled the “friend of every friendless beast” : Father Finlay I would style the
friend of all the friendless poor. He has a strong sense of duty; but his large heart gives as strong an urge.

Father Finlay has a keen zest for shooting and fishing, he has fished trout from every lake in the Comeragh hills, in Galway and Mayo, Sligo and the North-West. He has no less zest for humorous narrative; and can rival, at times, even Dickens in giving a comic colouring to the most unpromising materials.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1940

Obituary

Father Thomas Finlay SJ

Though he was not educated at Belvedere it would be the blackest of ingratitude if Belvedere did not recognise in Fr Tom Finlay one who had paramount claims upon the School. Others have spoken and written of the wider activities with which this great man's later life was crowded, but we cannot o help rejoicing that the educationalist, who was for many years a pillar of the
National University and an outstanding force in the intellectual life of his country, served his apprenticeship to education and public affairs in Belvedere.

He was a young man, a very young man as Jesuits go, when in 1883 he s became Rector of Belvedere. Yet, he had already about him the elements which were to build up his great prestige. He was already associated with those views and projects which made him not only an ideal Commissioner of Education, and Dean of the Philosophic Faculty in his University, but Founder of the Irish Co-operative Movement and of University Hall. In a true sense, he was the second founder of Belvedere. Materially; certainly. For with the widest vision, backed by the financial resources of his own active brain and pen, he set to work to provide adequate accommodation for a great School for over fifty years.

Incredible as it seems, Belvedere had then carried on with no larger accommodation than the stately drawing-rooms and parlours of Lord Belvedere, where ugly partitions hid the beauty of the decoration and familiarity exposed it to damage. It is hard to-day to realise what those improvised class-rooms and mutilated halls must have been like; what handicaps it had of air and light and heat and cold, and noise and crowding. Fr Finlay swept all that away. First, built the new school buildings in solid red brick which now, as then, though almost doubled by recent additions, housed the Senior school. There was a fine, if small, chapel, excellent laboratories, a “manual work” room, and plenty of class-room space, well lit and warmed. It was work done, not for a day or a year, but for a century or two at the least. Not content with this achievement, he built our theatre and gymnasium, built it so well that it serves admirably the needs of what has become one of Belvedere's most remarkable activities, our popular opera week. In its construction vision, vision once again united with common sense, the spacious and solid with the practicable and the useful. Lastly, he acquired that fine mansion, fit neighbour to Belvedere House, which had been the residence of the Earls of Fingal. Part of this was designed as club house, it has since served to house the Irish Messenger Office, whose connection with Belvedere has been so happy a thing for the School. But for many years before Fr Finlay's policy could be carried further by the acquisitions Nos 7 and 8 Great Denmark Street, it served as a Preparatory school, too, and generations of Belvederians began their school life in the “Little” House. Such a record needs no emphasising. Fr Finlay's was a unique opportunity. He rose nobly to it, and all future generations have only to follow his lead..

Spiritually, perhaps, he meant even more to the School. For Fr Finlay was anything but a mere efficient machine, a juggler with bricks and mortar pounds and pence. To those who knew him that idea is so absurd as to be laughable. For those who did not, one glance at the fine countenance in Leo Whelan's portrait should reveal that wonderful combination of head and heart which made him the great man he was. One misses indeed the little smile the eyes began and the fine, sensitive lips finished, but there is in that broad clear brow and firm glance, and in the enviable repose of the features, a summary of Fr Finlay's qualities. He was one who loved knowledge greatly for herself but more for her kindness to mankind. He was one who loved boys, but again loved manhood more. This made him a teacher, a director of studies and a inspirer of studies at once zealous and not fanatical, wide and not wasteful, noble and not visionary. Of his government of boys. it can be said with certainty that it was much ahead, both in theory and practice, of the normal expectation of his time. Father Finlay was as incapable of harshness, even of what could fairly be called severity, as he was unyielding in his demand for the essentials and just in his sense of proportion. Character in him was fused with kindness. Only a few months before his death a distinguished Belvederian priest, whose picture adorns our pages, found himself in Ireland for a brief spell and learn of his old rector's accessibility even in retirement. He was on the eve of his departure to what is perhaps the world's most arduous and dangerous mission On the day he sailed he went out to Linden. There the two had long talk. Who shall say what they remembered or what they anticipated. But as his visitor rose to go Fr Finlay, with real feeling, asked for a last blessing and with tears in his eyes, his admiring son did for the last time what he was bidden The episode is characteristic. To hear Fr Finlay talk of his old boys was to hear him tell stories of the happy intercourse that can exist between master and boy almost in proportion to the humility, nay, the reverence of both.

He was too short a time (1883-1888) in Belvedere, for it was impossible to expect he should be allowed to give to one limited sphere and group the talents which have enriched the nation. But he never altered his allegiance to his old School. At the Centenary Celebrations in 1931, when he was well over eighty he preached the sermon at the commemorative High Mass, and linked with glowing words, a worthy past to the hopes of a proud future. God spared him to his ninety-second year, with all his wonderful powers of mind and affection intact, and in the final years he would enquire from his visitors after the health and happiness of the School which he had led out of the stages of childhood to the full growth of manhood and maturity. Always it was with a mind eager to hear of new effort and fresh achievement, so that his hearers surely cannot doubt that it will be part of his reward to assist from the Kingdom of Glory those who still struggle with the problems, the works and the opportunities in which he merited so splendidly of boyhood, of his country and of God.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Thomas Finlay (1848-1940)

Entered the Society some eight months after his younger brother. He also did all his higher studies abroad, as, in those days, the Irish Province of the Society had not enough men to maintain their own houses of studies. Thomas Finlay was a student of philosophy in Rome when Garibaldi took the city. He finished his philosophy in Germany and it was during this time he first acquired his interests in scientific methods of agriculture. He spent his regency at Crescent College, 1872-1877. In 1875, although he was still only a scholastic, he was appointed prefect of studies. His versatility was remarkable during his years in Limerick: he was master, prefect of studies, master of the choir and novelist! it was at this time he published his novel, “The Chances of War”. Shortly after his ordination in 1880 a new and brilliant career lay ahead for him. He became a Fellow of the newly established Royal University of Ireland and until 1900 was professor of metaphysics. It is a significant tribute to his physical, no less than his mental energy, that for the first five years of his professor ship at University College, Dublin, he was also Rector of Belvedere College.

In 1900, Father Finlay, who for years had taken a leading part in the co-operative movement, was appointed to the chair of Political Economy, and held this post with distinction for the next thirty years.

Finn, Daniel J, 1886-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/150
  • Person
  • 24 March 1886-01 November 1936

Born: 24 March 1886, Cork City
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 January 1919, Zakopane, Poland
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 01 November 1936, London, England

Part of the Holy Spirit Seminary community, Aberdeen, Hong Kong at time of his death.

by 1910 at Oxford, England (ANG) studying
by 1914 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Zakopane, Poland (GALI) working
by 1920 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Presentation Brothers College Cork. While still underage he won first place in Ireland in the Preparatory Grade, 1896, against over 2.600 competitors, securing 90% all round in his subjects. He was presented with a large gold medal and chaired through the College by his school fellows. Two years later he came second in the Junior Grade, winning four first composition prizes in Latin, French, German and Italian. He obtained a First Class Exhibition in his Middle and Senior Grades, while still underage, and in the Middle Grade, a gold medal for first place in three modern languages. During these years he also showed special devotion to Our Lady, and was noted for a certain gravity and cheerfulness of disposition, which he never lost.

He Entered the Society under Michael Browne in 1902 at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg
1904-1907 He remained at Tullabeg for his Juniorate.
1907-1909 He was sent to Rathfarnham Castle and University College Dublin gaining a BA in Archaeology.
1909-1910 He taught the Juniors at Tullabeg and went to St John’s College Oxford, where he gained a Diploma in Archaeology, and working under Sir Percy Gardner.
1910-1913 He was sent to Clongowes for regency, teaching Bookkeeping, Latin and Greek. His lectures to the community at this time on the great works of painting and sculpture were much appreciated.
1913-1917 He was sent to Innsbruck for Philosophy, and while there he learned Hungarian and some Slavic languages. His first sermon was in Irish on St Brigid, and while there he continued his interest in art and archaeology. Then because of the Italian entry into the war he was banished from the Tyrol and went to Kollegium Kalksberg close to Vienna, and he began Theology there in private, and gaining a sound knowledge of Hebrew.
1917-1920 He joined the Polish Theologate at Dzieddzice in Prussian Silesia. As a result of a severe cold here he contracted TB and was sent to the Jesuit residence at Zakopane, a famous health resort. He was Ordained there on 24 January 1919, in order to have consolation of dying a Priest. However, he was able to return to Ireland at the end of June that year, after spending the winder of 1919-1920 at Petworth Sussex in England.
1920-1922 He was sent to Australia and completed his Theology studies there and made Tertianship at Loyola Greenwich, whilst at the same time teaching the Juniors.
1922-1926 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview as a Teacher and Prefect of Studies. Here he was remembered for swimming in the baths, rowing on the river in the Gladstone skiff of a four, or throwing himself into a production of the Passion Play. Meanwhile, he taught one boy Japanese. During his time in Riverview he volunteered for the Japanese Mission, but he was diverted by Superiors to the Hong Kong Mission.
1926-1928 He resided in Hong Kong, engaged with the language and was employed at the University as a lecturer in pedagogy
1928-1931 He was in Canton in charge of the studied at Bishop Fourquet’s Sacred Heart School. There he also began the study of Chinese archaeology. He also translated several volumes of “Researches into Chinese Superstition” written by Fr Henri Doré SJ.
1931 He returned to Hong Kong he was appointed Spiritual Director of the Seminarians, Professor of Church History, and also a Lecturer in Geography at the University. In addition he found time for the research for which he would be chiefly remembered - his archaeological research in Lamma Island and other regions around Hong Kong which greatly enhanced the reputation of the Church in the Far East.
He represented the University and the Government at an International Congress in Manila and Oslo in 1936. His paper at Oslo was entitles “Crucial Doubts about the Most Important Finds in the Hong Kong Region”. At this same time he also managed to have published thirteen articles in the Hong Kong “Naturalist” entitled “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island 1932-1936”
1936 he left Dublin for the British Museum on October 05, to continue his reading and discussion of the prehistoric specimens he had brought home with him. He was engaged in this work up to the 10th when he developed a carbuncle which indicated a general blood infection. He was transferred to hospital on the 16th, where despite expert treatment he failed to respond and he died.

He carried his learning lightly, and he laughed amusedly at the pedantic and ponderous. He was extremely humble, unassuming and simple, though a man of intense intellectual concentration and power for work. He was gifted with a strong robust character that knew no temporising or equivocation. His literary gifts were of a high order, as appeared from the little that was left in the way of letters written during his first years in China. He was an extraordinarily fine linguist, speaking Chinese, Irish, Latin, Greek, French, German, Polish and Japanese.

His early death saddened both his Jesuit and scientific colleagues.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Daniel Finn, S.J.
(1886-1936)
By Thomas. F. Ryan SJ

The news of Father Finn’s death came as a shock to all who knew him even by name, and it was a painful blow to those who knew him personally. He was one of those rare characters that are equally conspicuous for qualities of heart and of head, and among all who came in contact with him his genial disposition will be as well remembered as his brilliant intellect. His death is a loss to science and especially to Hong Kong, and it is particularly tragic that he should have died abroad while on a scientific mission, representing both the Government and the University of Hong Kong.

It is close on forty years since I first met Father Finn, and I can still remember the first occasion on which I heard his name. It was at the first distribution of prizes which I attended at school. As a new boy and a very diminutive member of the lowest class, I listened with awe to the Headmaster’s account of the successes of the year, and I can recall his attitude and the tone of his voice as he told how one Daniel Finn found himself in a very enviable dilemma after his first public examination - he had to choose which of two gold medals he would accept. He had qualified for two, one for being first in Ireland in whole examination, and the other for being first in modern languages, but even in those amazing nineties when gold medals were awarded so liberally, no student in this examination could receive more than one. I forget which he chose, but I remember that the Headmaster fully approved of it - as headmasters always do on such occasions.

It was not long before the “Daniel” of the Headmaster’s speech gave place to “Dan.” Three years is a considerable gap between school-boy ages and to me Dan Finn was one of the Olympians, but he was a very cheerful divinity and was as much a hero to the smaller boys as if he were a proud athlete who never passed an examination. He never changed much in appearance from what he was as a boy. He was of the same build then as later, short and sturdy, with the same quizzical look about his eyes, and the same pucker of the lips, and the same odd angle of the head when he was hesitating about something. He grew careless about his clothes as the years went on, but as a boy in Cork forty years ago he was neatness itself, and the wide white collar above the Norfolk coat of those days was always spotless. He took no active part in games, but his best friend was a prominent athlete, and at school football-matches he was constantly to be seen on the touchline, leaning on the shoulder of some companion, and talking incessantly.

He had many family sorrows during his school-days, but they left no scars, and his good-humoured disposition never varied. His success in studies was phenomenal. It was commonly said of him in our school-days that he got first in every examination for which he sat. I am sure that this was an exaggeration, but it cannot have been very far from the truth. He was the only boy I remember whose photograph was hung in the school immediately after he left it. It was put over the fireplace in my classroom, and as we sat around the fire before class or during recess, remarks were often made about him.
“Where is he now?” someone asked one day.
“He is gone to be a Jesuit,” someone else answered.
That was the first time that I heard of anyone I knew becoming a Jesuit.

After a few years he began his University studies in Dublin, and before long the name of Rev. D. Finn, S.J., began to head the lists of examination results. As a boy he had taken up modern languages - French, German and Italian - for no other reason than that the school which we both attended cultivated them particularly. At the University he took up classics, and it was classics that formed the basis of the wide culture that was afterwards his. His entrance into classical studies was almost sensational, for after six months study of Greek he won a scholarship and first place in Greek and Latin in the University entrance examination. First with first-class honours in every examination, and every scholarship within reach, would be a correct summing up of this university career.

Recording examination successes is a monotonous thing, and in the case of Father Finn the less said about examinations the better if a proper estimate of him is to be given. He hated examinations. The humdrum work which they demanded was nauseating to him, and it was fortunate that preparation for them demanded such little effort on his part. He was always at his best when off the beaten track. I remember once meeting him in a country place when he was resting after a bout of examinations. He had a geologist’s hammer in his hand and was off to a railway cutting to look for fossils. The byways of the classics soon interested him. He stopped his first reading of Homer to make a model of a trireme, and a very ingenious model it was, with the oars made to scale and of a much more reasonable length than some antiquarians suggested. A year later he had developed a new theory for completing the friezes of the Parthenon, and he beguiled a number of people into adopting statuesque poses and allowing themselves to be photographed to demonstrate his theory. I have a vivid recollection of the sheepish look of a village shoe-maker who found himself dressed in a trousers and a long red curtain, standing on one leg and holding his arms at unnatural angles.

Whenever he seemed on the point of demanding a return to modern clothes and village dignity, Father Finn used tactfully to interject a remark about his splendid muscles, and so secure a continuance of the pose for another photograph.

On being awarded a Travelling Studentship from the University in Ireland, Father Finn went to Oxford, and from his time his classical studies were carried on more and more in museums rather than from books. His reading indeed was then as at all times, enormous, but he was by nature an explorer in unusual spheres and henceforth his reading was mainly a background for his explorations. In Oxford he devoted himself to the writing of a thesis on the colouring of Greek sculpture. It won him the highest praise, and one of the professors excused himself from the usual examination on the plea that the reading of the thesis showed that the writer know more about it than he did. When he returned to Ireland the first thing that he did was to look up the Greek professor in Dublin who had whetted his interest in archaeology and suggest to him that they should start some excavations on the hill of Tara.

A few years teaching classics in a secondary school followed. These were undistinguished years, for preparing boys for examinations was emphatically not Father Finn’s strong point. But he interested some of his cleverer pupils in all kinds of strange branches of study, and years later many men acknowledged their indebtedness to him for an interest in intellectual pursuits which they would otherwise never have had.

When it was time for him to go abroad to do further studies I received a letter from him. I was then in Italy and he wanted to know if it would be good for him to go to study in Rome, as was suggested. His idea was that an alternation of lectures in philosophy and visits to museums would be better than whole-time philosophical studies. But before my reply reached him it was decided that residence in a German-speaking house would be most useful for his future studies in the classics. So he was sent to Innsbruck, in the Tyrol. This decision, with which he was delighted, was to prove a fateful one for him.

In the December before the war broke out I was passing through Austria and met him in Innsbruck. I was bewildered by the number of new interests that engrossed him. Munich was near enough for an occasional visit to its museums and picture-galleries, but now the social movements in Germany and Austria had begun to attract him, and Austrian folk-lore was tugging at his attention too. He had always been a student of art, and his special leaning was towards Gothic architecture and Gothic sculpture, and he found time to give considerable time to it in Innsbruck. There was a problem here, too, to attract him, and I was not many hours in the town before he had me standing beside the Emperor Maximilan’s tomb while he expounded his theories about the identity of the famous figures surrounding it.

In the following summer the war broke out and Fr. Finn, from being among friends, became a stranger in a hostile land. Though the Austrians treated the alien residents with all that courtesy in which they excel, yet war is war and conditions were hard. At first things were not so bad, he was allowed to continue his studies, and all that was demanded was that he should report regularly to the police authorities. Then he had to do hospital work; then supplies began to run low - then his health gave out. The remaining years were difficult ones. An effort to get permission for him to leave the country did not succeed. But within the possibilities of wartime conditions he was treated with every consideration. He was moved from place to place, to countries that have since changed their names, and after some time in Lower Austria, in Hungary and in Czechoslovakia he was sent finally to Poland, where he could continue his studies. He was fond of Poland, and spoke more of it than of any of the other countries in which he lived. He learned the Polish language and a certain amount of Russian. It was in Poland that he was ordained to the priesthood.

After the war he returned to Ireland sadly broken in health. He had developed tuberculosis, and the only hope of saving his life was to go to a drier climate. He went to Australia and there he made a rapid recovery. To anyone who knew him in Hong Kong it would seem fantastic to suggest that he was a delicate man, but it is true that his health was never the same after the period of semi-starvation which he had gone through in the last years of the war, and it was only by adopting a special diet that he could keep going. The diet was not an attractive one, but he certainly kept going.

In Australia he became Prefect of Studies in Riverview College, near Sydney, and there as usual he continued his interest in all kinds of side issues. It was one of these latter that eventually brought him to the East. There were some Japanese pupils in this College, and in order to be able to help them in their studies Father Finn began to study Japanese - a language more or less never worried him. Inevitably he soon became interested in Japanese antiquities, and before long he was in communication with some fellow-Jesuits in Japan.

There is a Jesuit University in Tokyo, directed by German Fathers, and when they found that a man of Father Finn’s standing was interested in things Japanese, they declared at once that the place for him was Tokyo, and they made demarches to get him there. After some negotiations everything was arranged, and he left Australia on a boat that was to bring him to Japan. That was in the beginning of 1927.

Then happened one of those things that people say happen only to Jesuits. When the ship was on the high seas and Father Finn was immersed in his Japanese studies, a wireless message came to him, telling him that he was not to go to Japan after all, but that he was to get off at Hong Kong and go no further. It had happened that between the time that arrangements were made for him to go to Tokyo and the end of the Australian school year, when it would be possible for him to start, it had been decided that some Irish Jesuits were to come to Hong Kong, and it was felt that this colony had first claim on the services of Father Finn. So, a little bewildered by the unexpected change that blew all his plans sky-high, Father Finn landed in Hong Kong in February, 1927. He was then forty-one years old.

It happened that during his years in Australia his position as Prefect of Studies in a large college had brought him a good deal into educational circles and aroused his interest in pedagogical matters. As interest for him found expression in deep study, he set to work to master the theory of education. In a few years whatever he had to say on matters connected with education was listened to with respect, and when he was leaving Sydney there was public expression of regret that New South Wales was losing a leading authority on education. Hong Kong at that time was looking for a substitute for Professor Forster, to take his place as Professor of Education in the University while he was on leave, and the result was that Father Finn was only a few days in the Colony when he was asked to take the position, So his connection with the Hong Kong University began.

Always a conscientious worker, Father Finn took the greatest care to do his work in the University in a way that was worthy of his position, and this was little short of heroic on his part, for, having come to China, his one desire was to go as deeply and as quickly as possible into the new field of antiquities that was open to him. He found time to begin the study of Chinese, however, but it was not until his temporary occupancy of the professorship was at an end that he was able to devote himself with all the intensity that he desired to his new studies. But he was not long free, and his next move was to Canton, where he taught, and later directed, the studies in the Sacred Heart College. Here his colleagues had an opportunity of seeing the way in which he worked, for, while most of his day was given to work in the classroom, he managed at the same time to give from five to seven hours each day to the study of Chinese. He made rapid strides in the language and, though he never acquired a good pronunciation, he learned to speak fluently Cantonese and some other local dialects and to read Chinese with such ease as is rarely acquired by a foreigner.

From that time forward Chinese antiquities occupied every moment that was free from his regular duties. When he spent some time in Shanghai, part of it was given to translating some of the Recherches sur les Superstitions en Chine, by P. Doré, S.J., and in whatever house he lived in Hong Kong his room soon took on the appearance of a museum. There was never any such thing as leisure time in his programme-study of one kind or another filled every available moment. He worked with great rapidity. He got to the “inside” of a book in a very short time, and every book that he read was a work of reference to him ever after, for at a moment’s notice he seemed to be able to trace any passage or any illustration in any book that he had read. In the few years that he had it was remarkable how much ground he covered in Chinese antiquities. On this subject his reading extended to practically every work of note in English, German and French, and to a considerable number of books also in Chinese and Japanese-for he had worked hard at Japanese when he realized that it was necessary for his antiquarian studies. His appointment as Lecturer in Geography in the Hong Kong University revealed another side of his interests, for it was only when his name came up in connection with the position that it was realised how fully abreast he was of modern methods of geographical study, and how detailed, in particular, was his knowledge of the geography of China.

His interest was gradually converging on archaeological research in Hong Kong when an accidental circumstance threw him right into the midst of it. He was living in the Seminary at Aberdeen, and one morning, about five years ago, he crossed the creek in the early morning to go to say Mass in the Convent of the Canossian Sisters in the village. As he climbed up from the sampan he saw a pile of sand being unloaded from a junk by the shore. His eye caught a fragment of an arrow-head in the sand. He picked it out, put it in his pocket and went on. But on his return an hour later he stopped to examine the sand, and found that it came from an archaeologist's gold mine, for within a short time he found several other interesting stone fragments and a few pieces of bronze. He questioned the men who were still engaged in unloading it, and found that it came from Lamma Island out in the bay. Further inquiries revealed that the work was being done under Government authority, and the sand was being removed rapidly by shiploads. To him this was vandalism and tragedy combined. He knew already from the work of Professor Shellshear and Mr. Schofield how important were the archaeological remains to be found around Hong Kong, and how illuminating they might be in their relation to many of the unsolved problems of pre-history, and here he found valuable evidence of the past being used to build walls and make drains. He had to act at once if he was to do his part for science and Hong Kong, he got through preliminaries as quickly as possible and within a week he was excavating on Lamma Island.

The results exceeded all expectations. To the uninitiated the stones and bits of earthenware which he handled so reverently were a disappointing result after hours of digging in the glaring sun, but to him and to others that were able to read their message, they were keys to unlock new storehouses of knowledge of the past. He now began to communicate his discoveries to scholars in other lands, and their interest was manifest. The Government of Hong Kong was alive to the importance of this new field of research and it gave a grant towards the expense connected with it. Henceforth Father Finn’s big interest in life was the archaeology of Hong Kong.

It would seem as if all his previous life was a preparation for these few years. Up to this time one might have said of him that he was taking too many things in his line of vision and that he would have done better if he had concentrated on some one branch of study. He had in him the capacity to do really great work in some one direction, but the multitude of his interests made him just a man of encyclopaedic knowledge when he might have been a specialist of eminence. But now all the jigsaw elements of his previous studies seemed to fall together and to make the essential background for his work in an almost unexplored branch of science. His classical training, his long study of classical archaeology, his scientific interests, his close study of history and geography, his knowledge of art-these were all essential to him now, but they could only be utilised because he possessed the archaeologist's flair that made him know what to seek and how to interpret, and gave his work in this field the character of genius. He enlarged the field of knowledge in this particular branch of archeology, even though, as he claimed, his work in it had hardly begun. His numerous articles in the Hong Kong Naturalist, ably illustrated by his esteemed friend Dr. Herklots, and the collection of objects excavated by him are all that remain as a record of his work. What he might have done if he had been spared for a few years more we can only surmise. It is the possibility of great achievement that makes his death so tragic.

And what of the man behind the student and the scholar? I have told of him as a well-liked boy even though of a class rarely conspicuous for popularity. As a man, among his Jesuit associates and with his few other friends, he was known and will always be remembered for his delightful disposition and perennial good humour. I am sure that no one who ever came into contact with Father Finn ever found in him a trace of conceit. The mere suggestion of it is ludicrous to anyone who knew him, and when any were led by ignorance of his own particular field of research to be critical of its utility, he was never provoked-even in their absence-to anything more than a good-humored sally. His wide interests embraced the work of all his companions. He knew what interested each one, and he was genuinely interested in it too. In everything he was always ready to help those who wanted his assistance, and much as he deplored the loss of a moment of time, he gave it unstintingly when the need of another claimed it. His thoughtfulness and sympathetic kindness made him a friend of all who knew him, and it is those who were associated with him most closely that will miss him most.

When writing of a priest-scholar it is often thought enough to add a paragraph at the end stating that, of course, this scholar was also a priest, and that he was all that a priest should be. To do so in the case of Father Finn would leave the picture of him very incomplete. His life was essentially that of a priest and religious devoted to science and scholarship rather than that of a scholar who happened to wear a Roman collar. The principles that moulded his life were visible in his attitude towards every duty assigned him and every branch of his study. If at any time, for any reason, he had been told to drop whatever work he was doing and turn to something completely new, he would have done it without question at a moment’s notice. Everyone who knew him realised that. From the moment he came to China he regarded himself as a missionary. His work was to spread the knowledge of God’s Truth, and he was ready to do it in any way that came within his scope. He did it abundantly by his example alone, and the testimonies about him since his death show that this influence of his example extended over a far wider field that he would ever have imagined.

In June, 1936, he left Hong Kong to attend an Archaeological Congress in Oslo. His report there on the work in Hong Kong attracted wide attention. Invitations poured in on him-to go to various centres of learning in Europe and America, to join in excavations in many lands. He was able to accept only a few, for he had already arranged to join in some research in the Malay Peninsula next spring. But he visited Sweden, Denmark and France, and then made a brief visit to his native Ireland. From there he went to London, to study in the British Museum. While in London he was attacked by some kind of blood poisoning-the result, he believed, of something he contracted in his archaeological work in Hong King, but who can tell? The doctors could not trace the source of the infection, but it proved fatal after a month’s illness.

When the news of his death came to Hong Kong it was felt as a personal sorrow by those whose sympathy he would have valued most. Poor boat-women on the sampans at Aberdeen wept when they were told it, and little children on Lamma Island were sad when they were told that he would not come back. It was the welcome of such as these that would have pleased him most if he returned; it is their regret at his death that most reveals to us his real worth. May he rest in peace.
The Irish Jesuit Directory and Year Book 1938

From Milan to Hong Kong 150 Years of Mission, by Gianni Criveller, Vox Amica Press, 2008.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaelogical Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He excelled at school in modern languages, being awarded Gold medals for French, German and Italian. He did a brilliant thesis on the colouring of statues by the ancient Greeks.
1913 He was sent to Innsbruck Austria for Philosophy. There he took up a keen interest and fascination in Austrian folklore.
1931 Chinese antiquaries absorbed him when he taught at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He made a study of the deities and statues of the Aberdeen boat people, ad then he sent these to the Lateran Museum in Rome. In the 1930s he lectured also at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in Geography.
1932 While teaching Theology and Scripture at Aberdeen he came across a fragment of an arrowhead in sand brought from the south western shores of Lamma Island. He traced the source and found stone fragments and bronze pieces along with pottery fragments. This led to his writings on the Pre-Han and Stone Age history of the South China coast, which at the time was new to the archaeological world. He was a pioneer in archaeology in Hong Kong

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Dan Finn SJ :

  1. “Researches into Chinese Superstitions," by Rev. H. Doré, SJ (Shanghai - Translated into English by Father D. Finn, S.J.
  2. Vol IX : Taoist; Taoist Personnages, 1931 - pp xx + 227, 76 plates
  3. Vol X : Boards of heavenly Administration, 1933 - pp ix + 179, 39 plates (Both published at Tusewei Printing Press, Shanghai)
  4. A booklet : “Some Popular Indulgences Explained” - Messenger Office
  5. A series of articles on “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island” - They appear in the Hong Kong Naturalist (Quarterly), From Vol. III, Parts 3 and 4, Dec. 1954, up to current issue.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 1 1937

Father Daniel Finn

Following so soon on the loss of Father Lyons, the unexpected death of Father Finn in a nursing home in London on Nov. 1st comes as a tragic blow to the Province and the Hong Kong Mission. Had he been allotted the normal span of life he would in all human probability have emerged a savant of the first order. He died just as he was winning a European reputation through his archaeological discoveries in China.
Born in Cork city, 24th March, 1886, he was educated at the Presentation College. When still under age he won 1st Place in Ireland in the Preparatory Grade, 1896, against over 2,600 competitors, securing 90 per cent all round in his subjects, and was awarded by his school a large gold medal, and was chaired through the College by his school-fellows. Two years later he came second in the Junior Grade, winning four first composition prizes in Latin, French, German and Italian. He got first-class exhibitions in Middle and Senior Grades, while still under age and, in the Middle Grade, a gold medal for first place in the three modem languages.
In these youthful days he had a wonderful and outspoken devotion to Our Blessed Lady and was noted for a certain gravity and cheerfulness of disposition which he never lost.
He began his noviceship in Tullabeg 6th September, 1902, remained there for two vicars' juniorate, during which he won 1st Place in the Classical Scholarship Examination (Royal University) and then went to College Green, where he began the study of Archaeology. After getting his B.A. degree he was sent for a year to Tullabeg to teach the juniors. In 1909-10 he studied Archaeology at Oxford, and secured a diploma in that subject. For the next three years he was a master at Clongowes. He could scarcely be pronounced a successful teacher on Intermediate lines and was given other classes. In them, with a number of other subjects, he taught book keeping with characteristic zest and humility. The delightful lectures he gave to the Community during these years reveal an astonishingly detailed acquaintance with all the great works of painting and sculpture.
He began his philosophy at Innsbruck in 1912, and during the three years acquired a certain fluency in Hungarian and in three at least of the Slav languages, keeping up his knowledge of Irish all the time. His first sermon in the refectory on St. Brigid was preached in his native tongue. His first loves, art and archaeology were by no means neglected.
in July 1915, in company with Father Halpin, and with the writer of the present lines, he alas banished from the Tirol by the War authorities, on Italy's entry into the struggle, and went to our College at Kalksberg near Vienna, where he began theology in private. While there he acquired a profound knowledge of Hebrew.
In 1917 he was able to join the Polish theologate at Dziedzice in Prussian Silesia. It was here, as a result of a severe cold he contracted consumption and was sent to the Jesuit Residence at Zakopane, a famous health resort. He was ordained on 24th February, 1919, in order to have the consolation of dying a priest.
However, he was able to return to Ireland at the end of June, and after spending the winter of 1919 at Petworth, when he continued his study of theology, he was sent to Australia. At Loyola he did his “third year”, and spent another year teaching the Juniors, getting completely rid of his delicacy. His chief work in Australia was done as Protect of Studies at Riverview 1922-26.
During that period he volunteered for the Japanese Mission and, after a splendid send-off from Riverview, set sail. A letter of his to Father Fahy best explains that he landed not at Yokohama but at Hong Kong.
For a year he resided at Hong Kong engaged on the language and employed at the University as lecturer in pedagogy. From 1928 to the summer of 1931 he was at Canton in charge of the studies of Bishop Fourquet's College. Just then things were looking bad, and there was a possibility of martyrdom. It was at Canton he began the study of Chinese archaeology. Returning to Hong Kong he was made spiritual director to the Seminarians, their professor in Church History, lecturer in geography at the University. Notwithstanding all this, he found time for that fine work for which he will be chiefly remembered - his archaeological researches on Lamma island and other regions around Hong Kong, by which he greatly enhanced the reputation of the Church in the Far East. He represented the University and the Government at the International Congress of Manila in 1935. and at Oslo in 1936. This latter was the occasion of his return to Europe, His paper read at Oslo was entitled - “Crucial Doubts about the Most Important Finds in the Hong Kong Region”. The full bearing of his discoveries he had not yet been able with certainty to divine, and herein lies the full tragedy of his untimely death. However, we have an enduring monument of his powers of research in the thirteen articles printed in the “Hong Kong Naturalist”, entitled “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”. They date from December, 1932, to 1936.
On October 5th Father Finn left Dublin for the British Museum to continue his reading and discussion of the prehistoric specimens he had brought home with him. He was engaged in this work up to the 10th when he was attacked by a carbuncle trouble which indicated a general blood infection. On the 16th he was transferred to SS. John and Elizabeth's Hospital, where, despite expert treatment, he failed to put up an effective resistance, and died at 10.10 am. on Sunday, 1st November, having received Holy Viaticum for the last time about an hour before his death. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery on 3rd November.
Father Dan carried his learning lightly. He laughed amusedly at the pedantic and ponderous when he met them, he was extremely humble unassuming and simple, though a man of intense intellectual concentration and power of work. He was gifted with a strong, robust character which knew no temporising or equivocation. His literary gifts were of a high order, as appears from the little he has left in the way of letters written during his first years in China and preserved in the Province News of that period - in them are best mirrored his character and gifts of imagination and heart, his profound humility, his Ignatian spirit of obedience, his exquisite sensibility, his love of Christ and souls.
We owe the above appreciation and record of Father Finn's life to the great kindness of Father john Coyne, Socius to Father Provincial.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937

Father Dan Finn - Hong Kong Letters
News of Father Finn's death came as a very severe blow. It is unnecessary to say how much the Mission feels his loss. both as a member of the community and as a worker who had won for the Society very considerable honour by his industry and erudition.
Many letters have been received from all sections expressing their sympathy. The following is that received from the Vice Chancellor and Council of the University :
Dear Father Cooney,
There is no need for me to write to tell you how profoundly affected I am by Father Finn's death. Father Finn was a great scholar and his was an all-winning personality. His death is a
severe loss to this University, to this Colony, to China, and indeed to the rapidly disappearing world of scholarship and culture. What Father Finn’s death means to his fellow Jesuits in Hong Kong I can faintly imagine but am totally unable to express. The University Council will, at its next meeting, record a resolution. Meanwhile, on behalf not only of myself, but also of the University. will you please precept my sincerest sympathy.
Yours Sincerely,
W. W. HORNELL

Extract from the minutes of the seventh meeting of the Council held 6th November :
The Council learned, with great regret, of the death of the Rev. D. J. Finn SJ, the University lecturer in Geography, and passed the following resolution - “The Council wished to place on record its poignant regret at the death of the Rev. Father Finn of the Society of Jesus. The Council realises the devoted work which Father Finn did not only for the Colony of Hong Kong and its University but also for the world of scholarship, learning and culture, and is painfully conscious of the loss which his untimely death involves. The Council hereby instructs the Registrar to convey to the Superior and Procurator of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong its profound sympathy with the Mission in its heavy loss. The Council will be grateful if the Superior would convey to the members of Father Finn's family the assurance that the University shares with them the affliction of their bereavement.” The members indicated the adoption of the resolution by standing in silence.

On 7th November there was a Sung Office and Solemn Requiem Mass at the Seminary. The Bishop presided at the special invitation of the Italian Fathers, who said that they regarded Father Finn as “one of their own priests,” a Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral on 26th November. Amongst those present were His Excellency, the Governor of Hong Kong, the Vice-Chancellor and Professors of the University, and many friends, both Catholic and non-Catholic. The newspapers gave a full account with the title “Tribute paid to Jesuit - Governor attends Requiem Mass for Father Finn” “Indicative of the high esteem in which Hong Kong held the late Rev. Daniel Finn, S.J., who died in Europe three weeks ago, was the big attendance of distinguished non Catholic mourners who attended the Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul in the Catholic Cathedral this morning. Among them was His Excellency the Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott, who took his seat with Sir William Hornell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, near the impressive catafalque” etc.

Father Finn's last letter to Father Cooney, dated London, 10th October, ran :
“Here I am enjoying myself as usual. Most days at the British Museum from I0 am. to 5.30 pm. l have developed some boil trouble which I am getting a local doctor to overhaul. I suppose it will be nothing.”
At the Mass the Seminarians. from Aberdeen formed the choir. Father G. Bvrne preached a short panegyric.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Daniel Finn 1886-1936
Fr Daniel Finn, a native of Cork, entered the Society in 1902. With his University studies over, he went to the continent for his philosophical and theological studies.

In 1919 he returned to Ireland in poor health, and for this reason he was sent to Australia, where for seven years he was Prefect of Studies. He was on his way to Japan in 1926 when notified of his attachment to the Hong Kong Mission. Here he turned to what was really the big work of his life, for from his University days in Oxford he had excelled in Archaeology.

In spite of all his work, travels and successes, he never forgot the primary object of his life – God’s greater glory, and he always had a notable devotion to Our Lady.

He went, on his way to an Archaelogical Congress to in Oslo, when he fell ill in London, and he died there on the Feast of All Saints 1956, being only fifty years of age.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1928

Letter from Father Finn

Dear Mr Editor,
Here I am living this past month under the comforting shadows of a pair of Gothic spires in the heart of a fascinating Chinese city - and I have been too lazy to stir out! I have settled down again to being a school-master-and a very uneventful schoolmaster at that.

It is over a year and a half since I left 'View and since then I have seen many a new sight in China - yet it is always China. There are the full-breasted waterways with their traffic of ill-assorted craft where the Western built steamer hustles about the little sampans or the statelier junks; then there is the setting of the rivers, amid vast fertile alluvial plains, or cutting through crowded. hills. But these rivers have come thousands of miles and they bring down timber, produce, refuse, the living and the dead. Even the very earth itself. On them live people in their hundreds of thousands, even millions, who never quit them; their boats are their homes. I have only to walk two short streets to reach the Canton Bund, and there I can see one of the most characteristic sights of all China. It is a long quay beside the water-way that runs be tween the City proper and its suburb - Ho-nam. How many miles long, I don't know, but it is a very long way to the Railway station at the one end and it is over a quarter of an hour to Shameen at the other end, and this latter we count as near, All that long stretch is lined thick at both sides with craft, mostly small things, a little bigger than a Lane Cove fisherman's boat, but covered over for about half the length by a tunnel-like cover of matting. Down towards Shameen, every day when the Hongkong steamer comes in, there is a sudden scattering of these like the disturbance of an ant's nest, when the big river-boat makes for her berth. At places these boats merely cater for the pleasures of the Cantonese, and on them you can have meals-music-opium perhaps, but far more interesting are the other boats that earn a hard-won livelihood as passenger or cargo boats.

On board you can see all the members of a family, from the grandfather and grandmother down; all of them work. You will see an old woman at an oar, and on her back is strapped one of the newest members of the family. whose neck seems to be made of rubber, to judge by the case with which he sleeps amid all sorts of movements to which his head bobs about. The younger limbs of the household who can crawl about or walk for themselves are usually clad in full costumes of sun-tanned skin with a little crust of dirt to deepen it. Perhaps a charm hangs about the neck, but almost certainly a gourd or a kind of wooden drum will be hanging about the waist, with perhaps a bell tied at the child's ankles; still more cautious parents have a light rope tying their valuable offspring to some post.on board; such methods help to lessen the inevitable risk of tumbling overboard. A further stage of boyhood hops in itself for a swim in the yellow brown water, but that is not yet and it needs no precautions. Domestic animals dogs, cats, hens, pigs, are equally carefully guarded against the useless process of getting into the water.

Life is lived in all its stages on board: sleep at night on a mat-spread floor and completely under a padded quilt; the meals of rice with scraps of fish and vegetables - all washed down with tea - are cooked in an ingenious kitchen-well on board, and often eaten under the oar-handles in very movement. But it was the rowing that interested me. Here, I said to myself, is the solution for 'View. They have a style - of course it is not for outrigged racing boats - but it is a “style”. They row facing the direction in which the boat is going--and only in difficult currents do they need a steersman aft; they row standing and they fling their weight on to the long oar or sweep when it is fairly deep; the oar handle is then as high as their heads. To secure their rhythmic swing of the body, there is a definite scheme of foot-work, resembling, too, that of the Chinese carpenter as he uses his long saw with a similar movement. Now, actually the youngsters of four, five and six have got that body swing and foot-work by imitating their father and mother in play before ever they can contribute to the driving force of the boat. Hence the lesson! Put your “Eight”
into the boat from say four years of age - let them pick up “style” while they are young! The Prefect of Studies would be happier later on.

The social life of these people reproduces the life on land. They have their floating shops, mostly for comforts or food things, cakes, fruit, cigarettes, and wonderful brews; they have their beggars afloat in their own tubs; they have religious rites for marriages and deaths with the same squealing music and the droning chants; they have magic decorations in red with the fascinating characters; they probably have the wise-acres, who will write letters for them or tell their fortunes. Even just as you see men and women on the road ways tugging huge loaded trucks (where we are accustomed to see only draught animals at work), so you will see the boat people towing from the bank their boats up some river. against a heavy current. I don't know whether they have schools afloat; usually the people know enough characters for ordinary purposes - but there is no place for a library. We hope later to get into closer touch with these people when we have our place at Aberdeen (Small Hong Kong); perhaps then, we shall have to rig up a floating church. Up in the Shanghai Mission, however, they get such Catholics to bring their boats in groups to certain churches situated convenient for them.

But what is the use of all this writing? One must leave half the scene untouched. The accompaniment of unending chatter, of warning shouts, of abuse at times, of bumping boats, of creaking oars, the yelling in emergencies, the monotonous two-note chant of the coolies loading or unloading cannot be produced in ink. The heat, the glistening perspiration, the strange smells - tobacco being one and joss sticks another - the streams of rickshaws moving along the Bund, the thick current of white or black clad pedestrians, the big buildings and their green, red or blue signs with gold characters; you cannot get all in the picture if you want the Canton Bund on paper.

Now you see how long it takes me to get finished once I start with one thing here in China. So I must jettison all the notes I wrote on the back of your letter. I then intended to make “a short article” (your words) on the Hongkong New Year (Chinese) Fair which comes about the end of January; if anybody wants to get something distinctive let him come himself and see its booths, its crowds, its varieties. or again, if I were to start on Zi-ka-wei Shanghai with its Ignatius Church and College, I should take pages to tell you of the Communion rails crowded daily and of the Corpus Christi procession, wonderful displays of Chinese Catholicity. No Sydney man would feel homesick in Shanghai - but of its European flavour I shall not waste space. Personally, I prefer the Chinese town with its three-century-old Church (which has been in one interval a pagoda), its quaint tea-house in a gold fish pond, its temple with a stream of men worshippers. But there I am again! I seem to discover bits of myself in different places - -a library in Zi-ka-wei, ruins in Macao, unbroken quiet in the rice fields of Tai Wan or the snug village of Wong Tung, art at Tsat-Shing-Ngam, sea and hill at Hongkong, mediaevalism at Wai Chan - and I love to rehandle the fragments. And yet - and yet - the Riverview fragment still gets mixed up with the others, and somehow blends with the scheme. If Riverview but helps with prayer, it will fit in perfectly.

Yours,

DJF.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1936

Obituary

Father Daniel Finn

A cable announcing the death of Father Daniel J Finn SJ, on November 2nd, arrived as the Alma Mater was due to go to press. It is fitting that some account, how ever inadequate, should appear of a remarkable man and one to whom Riverview owes much,

Memories of a quarter of a century's friendship call up many varied scenes, some lived through together, others known from delightful letters and from reminiscences in later years - a Greek class in Clongowes (Ireland) clustered round Mr Finn's desk while he expounded the glories of Greek architecture and sculpture and coinage, as a change from reading Euripides and Thucydides; Mr Finn in his shirt sleeves arranging the Greek antiquities in the University museum in Dublin; revelling in the beauties of the mountain scenery and the historical associations of the Tyrol; teaching youthful Grafs and Freiherrs in Vienna; adventures in the midst of great battles on the Polish-Russian frontier during the war; at Riverview, swimming in the baths, on the river in the Gladstone skiff or in a four (Joe Alagna and other small boys of the time will remember coxing on these occasions); throwing himself heart and soul into the production of the Passion Play; then years later at Hong Kong, lecturing to Chinese students; with his gang of coolies excavating on Lammas Island; in his museum expatiating on the significance of the prehistoric pottery and arrow heads and rings he had discovered, or hunting in the glorious confusion of his room to find some notes on the ancient Chinese constellations.

Fr Finn was born in Cork just fifty years ago, After a brilliant career at Oxford, where he acquired a reputation in Greek archaeology, he taught for some years at Clongowes. In 1913 he went to Innsbruck to study philosophy and was interned in Austria, and later in Poland, during the war. For some time he taught at the College of Kalksburg, Vienna, then was sent to the college of Hieruf in Poland. This college was the chief building for many miles around, and, during the fierce battles that raged there, was used as headquarters by Russians, Austrians and Germans in alternation as the tide of war ebbed and flowed. Fr Finn was not ill-treated - that is not the Austrian way. He was not put in prison or in a concentration camp. Nevertheless, the privations he underwent, in common with the rest of the population, undermined his health so seriously that the doctors did not give him long to live. He went to the Carpathian mountains, where he studied theology and was ordained very soon, so that he might die as a priest. However, he was able to leave Austria in 1919, though quite broken in health.

He came to Australia in 1920, and in time his health was completely restored. During his five years as Prefect of Studies at Riverview (1922–1926) he got through an amazing amount of work. Many Old Boys will recall with gratitude now much their education owes to him. In addition to the ordinary routine of teaching and work as Prefect of Studies, he maintained a number of other activities. Each year saw a play excellently staged, due largely to his untiring exertions (as Mr. Harry Thomas testifies)—Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, and, culminating triumph, the Passion Play in 1925.

A boy wanted to learn Japanese. Father Finn agreed to teach him. That was the overt reason why he undertook the study of Japanese. The main reason was not known until later.

For some years Fr Finn had been interested in missionary work in Japan. From a close friend of his, a German Jesuit, who worked for years in Tokyo, he obtained detailed information about the tasks and prospects of Catholic missions in Japan. He was fired with the desire to devote his life to helping on the conversion of Japan. The difficulties of the work, about which he had no illusions, did not deter him. The first of these difficulties, the language, he tackled vigorously in the intervals of his work at Riverview. When he had mastered it sufficiently, he obtained leave from Father General to transfer himself to the Japanese mission and sailed for Tokyo at the end of 1926.

At Brisbane a cable from the General reached him to say that the Irish Jesuit Province had been commissioned by the Pope to undertake a Mission in Hong Kong, and that his services would be wel comed there. Father General realised, however, that it would be hard, after lab ouring for years to prepare himself for work in Japan, to abandon that work and start all over again on the extremely difficult Chinese language. Accordingly, Father Finn was left perfectiy free to go on to Japan if he thought well. He left the ship forthwith and took the next boat to Hong Kong.

On arrival at Hong Kong he was at once offered a temporary chair in the (State) University. Later on he was given a regular professorship there. He acquired a profound knowledge of Chinese, and in particular of ancient Chinese characters (incidentally, he already spoke Irish, Latin, Greek, French, German, Polish, Japanese). He has produced several learned volumes on Chinese religion and mythology. The branch of learning which owes most to him during these years is archaeology. His thorough training under expert archaeologists, his wide learning and real flair for the subject were given adequate scope. He carried out systematic excavations on Lammas Island, near Hong Kong. One day each week was spent on this island, directing the operations of some thirty coolies which the Government put at his disposal. He made many important discoveries, and seems to have opened up a whole new phase in the prehistory of Southern China.

In Hong Kong, Father Finn lived in the Seminary in which the Irish Jesuits educate for the priesthood Chirese students from all Southern China: He did his share in this work of training.
This year he went to Norway to attend an archaeological congress. Apparently he died while still in Europe, but no details have reached us so far. The results he achieved in the short space of not quite ten years in Hong Kong gave promise of a truly remarkable output had he been granted the normal span of life. Talents and labours and labours were devoted unstintingiy to the service of God. For that he has earned his reward, but the Chinese mission and the learned world are the losers by his early death. His learning was tempered by modesty, humour and charm, and friends in many parts of the world will mourn his loss.

D O’C SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1937

Obituary

Father Daniel Finn SJ

The Irish Province of the Society of Jesus was deprived of one of its ablest members by the death of Father Finn on 1st November last. Although he was not at school at Clongowes, he spent three years here as a master (1910-13) and during that time the boys knew him as a man of extraordinarily varied interests with a particular flair for archæology and a deep enthusiasm for the study of Greek and Roman antiquities. He wrote several articles for “The Clongownian” in which he described the Clongowes Museurn and gave an exhaustive account of some classical coins in the collection.

At the National University he specialized in Classics, and won distinctions innumerable. Afterwards he went to Oxford to write a thesis on the colouring of Greek sculpture, a work that brought him the highest praise from the professors there. He began theology in Austria, but owing to the outbreak of the Great War he was transferred to Hungary and finally to Poland. Through this period, his genius in mastering languages enabled him to add Polish and Russian to his knowledge of French, German and Italian, in all of which he had been proficient since his schooldays. However, on his return to Ireland, it was found that he had contracted tuberculosis, and the only hope of saying his life was to go to a drier climate. Accordingly he went to Australia and spent some time in Riverview College as Prefect of Studies. But here he became interested in Japanese antiquities, and the staff of the Jesuit University of Tokyo hearing of him obtained permission to have him transferred to Japan. It was while he was on his way there that he got orders to change his destination for Hong Kong where the Irish Jesuits were just starting a mission.

In this seemingly fortuitous way he came to be living in a land teeming with relics of bygone ages. With the kind assistance of the Government, he carried out extensive excavations on Lamma Island close at hand, and made numerous valuable finds. His reports on the new field of discovery won world-wide attention at the Archælogical Congress held in Oslo last year, which he attended as the representative of the Government and University of Hong Kong. It was shortly after the Congress, when he was working in the British Museum that he began to suffer from some curious type of blood-poisoning of which he died within a month.

The fifty years of his life had been years of unceasing toil, not merely as a student and archæologist, but also in his later years as a priest and missionary. No more fitting tribute could be paid him than that at the Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul offered in Hong Kong, the congregation numbered people of all classes; HE the Governor, University officials, merchants, boat-women and little children: a truly representative gathering of many who esteemed him as a friend as well as a scholar. RIP

FitzGerald, Richard, 1624-1678, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1294
  • Person
  • 25 November 1624-09 March 1678

Born: 25 November 1624, Vienna, Austria
Entered: 1640, Vienna, Austria - Austriacae Province (ASR)
Ordained: 1655, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 01 November 1658
Died: 09 March 1678, Vienna, Austria - Austriacae Province (ASR)

Alias Geraldine

Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Born of illustrious Irish parents
Writer; Professor of Theology and Philosophy (cf Balthazar Geraldini in de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)

Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows studied Rhetoric and Philosophy at Vienna. He was so talented that he was chosen to make a public defence of his Philosophical theses.
He then went on Regency to Tyrnau and Sopron (now in Hungary)
Then he went to the Roman College for Theology, showing outstanding ability, and was Ordained there 1655 and graduated D Phil
He then held a Chair of Philosophy at Vienna and also taught Theology there and later at Munich
1671-1674 Rector at Linz College
1674-1678 At Vienna until he died there 09 March 1678

FitzSimon, Henry, 1566-1643, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1297
  • Person
  • 31 May 1566-29 November 1643

Born: 31 May 1566, Swords, County Dublin
Entered: 13 April 1592, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1596, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 04 October 1610
Died: 29 November 1643, County Kilkenny

Parents Nicholas FitzSimon and Anne Sedgrave
Cornelius Lapide was a fellow Novice
Studied Humanities at Manchester - being an MA before Ent
Studied 3 years Philosophy 1 year Theology at Pont-á-Mousson
Studied 3 years Theology at Louvain
1596-1597 Taught Philosophy at Douai - gave the Bollandists the Life of St Feichín and other MS
1603 Tertianship at Tournai
Then 4 (or 20?) years as Military Chaplain at Castris
1608-1611 Called to Rome regarding Irish Mission and remained there till 1611. Then sent back to Douai for 5 years writing and confessing
1619 at Liège and 1625-1628 at Dinant
1625 published at Frankfurt a 12 mo on Philosophy of 704pp. It appears that he was an SJ from “Palface” and that such was not a real name - was it a Holy word? Or was it “Fitzsimon” or “White” or “Kearney”? P396 shows he professed at Douai. Hogan thinks it is “Fitzsimon” (Foley "Collectanea" p 524)
1630 To Ireland (7 years, 2 free, 5 captive)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Sir Nicholas, Kt and Senator of Dublin, and Ann née Sidgreaves
Early education was at Manchester School, and then matriculated at Hart’s Hall Oxford, 26 April 1583. He then studied for four years at at Pont-à-Mousson, graduating MA, followed by some months at Douai in Theology and Casuistry, and received Minor Orders.
He was received into the Society by the BELG Provincial Manaereus and then went to Tournai.
After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for Theology and was a pupil of Father Lessius there. He also taught Philosophy for a while.
1597 At his own request he was sent to the Irish Mission. His zeal soon led to his arrest in 1598.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Sir Nicholas and Anna née Sedgrave
Early education was in England and he matriculated to Oxford - though unclear if he graduated there.
He drifted into or was enticed into Protestantism, becoming a convinced one. In 1587 he went to Paris where he met the English Jesuit, Darbyshire, who reconciled him to the Church. He then went to study at Pont-à-Mousson where he graduated MA, before Ent 13 April 1592 at Tournai
After First Vows he studied Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 1596
1597 Initially he was sent to teach Philosophy at Douai. However, as an Irish Mission was under consideration Henry was chosen to be part of this venture, and duly arrived at the end of 1597. He was based roughly in the Pale, and established a reputation for zeal and success in arresting the growth of Protestantism, and in encouraging the Catholics of the Pale to stand firm in their allegiance to the Catholic Church. His most powerful weapon in this ministry was the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin.
1599-1603 Arrested in December, 1599 he was imprisoned in Dublin Castle at the end of May 1603. Even from his prison cell his influence was felt and he debated theology with bitter opponents of the Church such as Ryder and Hanmer who visited him in prison.He was released and then deported back to the GALL-BEL Province.
1603-1608 He was based at Douai and for five years was an Operarius, a Military Chaplain and a Writer, as well as making his Tertianship.
1608-1611 Sent to Rome to advise on Irish Mission affairs.
1611-1618 He was sent back to Douai and continued his earlier ministries of Writing, Military Chaplaincy and Operarius
1618-1620 He was sent to follow the same ministries at Liège
1620-1623 At the outbreak of the Thirty Years War he left Belgium to minister to Irish soldiers in the Imperial Army (Hapsburgs), and was with them until 1623
1623-1631 Was at Dinant, and by 1628 had served twenty years as a Military Chaplain
1631 He sent to Ireland after a thirty one year exile. Over the preceding decades he repeatedly sought permission to return, but the Mission Superior (Holywood) decided that Fitzsimon's return if discovered by the Government could only jeopardise if not ruin the works of the Irish mission. On return he lived at Dublin as Confessor and Preacher until the surrender of Dublin and expulsion of priests. After a difficult time he eventually arrived in Kilkenny, where he died 29 November 1643

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Fitzsimon, Henry
by David Murphy

Fitzsimon, Henry (1566–1643), Jesuit priest and controversialist, was born on 31 May 1566 at Swords, Co. Dublin, son of Nicholas Fitzsimon, merchant, and alderman of the city of Dublin, and Anna Fitzsimon (née Sedgrave), one of the Sedgrave family of Killeglan and Cabra, Co. Dublin. She was related to Henry Ussher (qv) and James Ussher (qv), both of whom were later Church of Ireland primates. Henry Fitzsimon's paternal grandfather was Sir Knight Fitzsimon.

In 1576 Henry went to England for his education, where he converted to protestantism. He studied grammar, rhetoric, and humanities in Manchester for four years, and on 26 April 1583 he matriculated for Hart Hall, Oxford. By 1587 he had moved to Paris, where he carried out further studies. He also encountered an English Jesuit, Fr Thomas Darbyshire, and after instruction from him, reconverted to the catholic faith. Entering the university at Pont-à-Mousson, he studied rhetoric and philosophy, graduating MA (1591). Further theological studies followed, both there and at Douai, and, taking minor orders, he was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Tournai (April 1592). He completed his noviciate in Tournai and in June 1593 he went to Louvain to complete his theological studies, where he associated with prominent counter-reformation theologians such as Dr Peter Lombard (qv) and Fr Heribert Rosweyde. Appointed as professor of philosophy at Douai, he also began to collect manuscripts with the intention of writing a history of Ireland.

In 1597 he was sent to Ireland at his own request as a member of the first Jesuit permanent mission to the country. He travelled in the company of Fr James Archer (qv), who was being sought by the English authorities, and this made life extremely dangerous for him. Nevertheless, he concentrated his work in the Dublin area, where the greatest efforts were being made to convert the local population to the protestant faith. He began preaching in public, often to large crowds, and was successful in reconverting many catholics who had converted to protestantism. Touring the county of Dublin, he called on prominent catholics, exhorting them to remain loyal to their faith. A catholic nobleman also gave him the use of a house, which he converted into a chapel where he celebrated high mass. The atmosphere in Dublin was so tense at the time that many men came armed to mass, determined to resist any attempts to arrest them.

Fitzsimon was a flamboyant character by nature and rode around the city and county with three or four retainers. Openly hostile to the government's religious policy, he was arrested in 1599, and in many ways his imprisonment served to enhance his public status. Many protestant divines came to his cell to debate points of religion and it soon became known that he was more than a match for them. Among those who debated with him were Dr Luke Challoner (qv), Dean Meredith Hanmer (qv), Dean John Rider (qv), later bishop of Killaloe, and an extremely young James Ussher (qv). These debates resulted in further written exchanges. In January 1601 he sent a manuscript to Dean Rider entitled ‘Brief collections from the Scriptures, the Fathers, and principal protestants, in proof of six catholic articles’. Rider published an answer to this manuscript in 1602 entitled A caveat to Irish catholics. Fitzsimon in turn replied to Rider's Caveat in a manuscript, which he sent him in 1603, Rider publishing his pamphlet Rescript in response to this in 1604. These exchanges only served to create a friendship between the two men, and Rider not only later acknowledged Fitzsimon's superior debating skills, but also began to send him food, drink, and other comforts. Among those who petitioned for Fitzsimon's release was Hugh O'Neill (qv), and in March 1604 James I signed an order that he be freed. In June 1604 he left Dublin and travelled into exile on the Continent.

He spent periods in Spain and Flanders, and in 1608 travelled to Rome. Most of his publications date from this time and he established himself as one of the most erudite minds of the counter-reformation. In 1608 he published A catholick confutation of Mr John Rider's claim to antiquitie and a calming comfort against his Caveat etc., which was printed in Rouen as a last exchange in his debate with Rider. Attached to this publication was another pamphlet, An answer to sundrie complaintive letters of afflicted catholics. By 1611 he was also writing an ecclesiastical history of Ireland, ‘Narratio rerum Ibernicarum’, which, if ever completed, was not published. Later publications included The justification and exposition of the divine sacrifice of the masse (Douai, 1611) and Britannomachia ministrorum in plerisque et fidei fundamentis, et fidei articulis dissidentium (Douai, 1614), a defence of catholic doctrines and a refutation of theories of reform. In 1619 he edited Catalogus sanctorum Hiberniae, published in Liège.

In 1620 he travelled to Bohemia as a chaplain to the forces of Emperor Ferdinand II, later publishing a history of the campaign using the pseudonym ‘Constantius Peregrinus’. He volunteered to return to the Irish mission and travelled in 1630 to Ireland, where he resumed his work among the poor of Dublin. After the outbreak of the 1641 rebellion, he was condemned to be hanged on suspicion of being involved with the rebels. He spent his last years on the run from government forces, finally reaching the relative safety of the confederate camp in Kilkenny. Worn out by work and hardships, his health finally broke and he died in Kilkenny on 29 November 1643.

His papers and writings have remained a focus of interest for historians of the period. Edmund Hogan (qv), SJ, included many excerpts from his papers in his publications on Henry Fitzsimon, and in 1881 edited a collection of Fitzsimon's papers, publishing them under the title Diary of the Bohemian war. This included Fitzsimon's An answer to sundrie complaintive letters of afflicted catholics under the new title Words of comfort to persecuted catholics. There is a large collection of Fitzsimon's papers in the Jesuit archives in Dublin.

Webb; Allibone; Edmund Hogan, SJ, Life, letters and diary of Father H. Fitzsimon (1881); id., Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894), 196–311; Dictionary of catholic biography; James Corboy, SJ, ‘Father Henry Fitzsimon, SJ’, Studies, xxxii (1943), 260–66; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); information from Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, of the Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962
FATHER HENRY FITZSIMON SJ 1566-1643

Henry Fitzsimon was born at Swords on the 31 May 1566. His father Nicholas, a Dublin alderman and an eminent merchant of his day, was the son of Sir Knight Fitzsimon. His mother was Anna Sedgrave or Edgrave, and he was related to Henry and James Ussher, both of whom where afterwards Protestant Primates of Armagh, At the age of ten Henry Fitzsimon went to England, where he lost the (faith) and became a zealous Protestant. On the 26 April 1583, he matriculated as a member of Hart's Hall, Oxford. It is not known how long he remained here; but after a few years we find him in Paris, where according to himself he was “so farre overweening of my profession, that I surmised to be able to convert to Protestancie any incounter whosoever ..... At length by my happiness I was overcome by F.Thomas Darbishire ane owld English Jesuit long tyme experienced in the reduction of many thowsands to the Catholic religion”.

After his conversion in 1587 he went to the University of Pont-à-Mousson, where he studied rhetoric and philosophy, becoming. a Master of Arts in 1591. On the 15 April 1592, he entered the Society of Jesus, Having spent only fifteen months in the novitiate of Tournai, he was sent to Louvain in 1593 to finish this theological studies, where he had already begun before his entry into the Society of Jesus. Here he made such great progress, under the able supervision of the famous Fr Lessius, that in a short time he was appointed professor of philosophy at Douai. Here also he made the acquaintance of Fr Rosweyde, the pioneer of the future Bollandist Fathers, and Dr Peter Lombard. In his writings he frequently recalls these two scholars as having been intimate friends. At this time, already interested in Irish history, he says that he “ransacked all the libraries in his way for our country's antiquities, and found a hand-written life of St Patrick in the library of our college at Douai”. He remained at Douai until his return to Ireland towards the end of 1597.

To appreciate the value of Fitsimon's work in Ireland, we must review briefly the political and religious state of the country at the end of the sixteenth century. The Reformation in Ireland during the sixteenth century - i.e., under the Tudor dynasty from Henry VIII to Elizabeth - was primarily a political movement. Not until the advent of James I, was any real attempt made to establish a Protestant mission all over the country. Ireland had been saved from undue religious persecution because the English could not exert political control except in or about Dublin and in some of the other towns. But the results of the Nine Years' War changed the whole aspect of the situation. In 1603 Ireland lay at the feet of her conqueror. Never before was there such an opportunity for propagating the reformed doctrines. It was in these years, so crucial for the Catholic religion, that the Jesuits of the first permanent Mission in Ireland arrived. Among them few had wider influence than Father Henry Fitzsimon.

Although Fitzsimon was imprisoned after the first two years, the result of his work was lasting. During that short period he had visited most of the influential families of the Pale. He has been particularly active in the City of Dublin, where he knew the brunt of the battle was borne. Every Sunday and feast-day he said Mass in the city and preached at least one sermon. On week-days he travelled into the country and visited the houses or the gentlemen of the Pale. His exhortations to remain steadfast in the Faith were generally successful and he converted to a more fervent life several who had grown remiss in the practice of their religion.

One instance typical of his work will suffice to give some notion of the nature of his activities. Describing the actions of the Dublin Council prior to the death of Elizabeth, he says: “A sudden and violent persecution burst upon the Catholics. By order of my Superior (Fr Holywood), I confirmed the chief men of the city by letters of consolation, by messages and by many other ways. The other fathers also performed their duty with increasing care and with ardent zeal and devotion”. But unfortunately the Catholics had not been well instructed in the doctrines of Faith and therefore might easily be duped by the reformers. In several parishes in Dublin the people were ordered to attend the Protestant Services, but all refused. Finally, a number of the inhabitants were summoned to appear before the magistrates. Fr Fitzsimon visited them all personally and instructed them before the meeting. In his own words “all stood firm, rejoicing that they were deemed worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus”. This victory strengthened the Catholics in the other cities of Ireland.

Of his work in Dublin we have an interesting account from the pen of Fr Hamill, a secular priest. Writing on the 25 December 1598 he says: “As the Catholics increased daily, Fr Fitzsimon thought it well to erect a chapel in the house of a nobleman, at which the faithful night assemble. He got the hall lined with tapestry and covered with carpets, and had an altar made, which was as handsome and as elegantly furnished and decorated as any altar in Ireland. In this chapel Fr Fitzsimon celebrated High Mass, an event which was phenomenal in the Dublin of the time”. Fr Hamill, referring to his apostolate, says: “He converts hundreds to the faith. Not to speak of others who have returned to the Catholic Church in Dublin, one hundred persons, who last communicated according to the Protestant fashion, this year received instruction, reconciliation, confession and communion for the good father”. For two years he worked incessantly and indeed most successfully to stem the tide of reform, but his good fortune did not last long. In November 1599, he was captured by the authorities and imprisoned in Dublin Castle.

Had Fitzsimon devoted himself solely to the active ministry of preaching and administering the sacraments, his main work would have ended here and his period of imprisonment would interest us both little. But his apostolate was more varied, and his most notable achievements lay in another field. As a controversialist he scarcely had an equal during his time in Ireland. On his arrival in 1597 We find him issuing challenges to all comers. Like St Paul, he excalimed that he himself had been defiled with almost the very same errors which he now sought out and refuted. “Why do I spend”, he says “so precious time and so much pains? Only to confound my errors and to do satisfaction to truth and religion which I impugnated. This also was the cause that, for two years after my return to Dublin, I was burning to dispute with the ring-leaders of the Reform - I wished it even, for this reason alone, that where my error had given disedification, my condemnation of error might wipe away the stain”.

His imprisonment did not put an end to his controversial activities. On the contrary it seems that it increased his opportunities for disputing with the reformed leaders. Prison life in Ireland at this time was not always a pleasant experience, as anyone will understand who peruses the accounts left of the suffering of Father David Wolfe or Archbishop Creagh. Fitzsimon himself gives us a description of his life during these days and of the hardships he had to endure. “From the time the Spaniards landed (September 1601) care was taken that I should be kept in the closest confinement, and be deprived of books and of every comfort that might alleviate the monotonous misery of prison life. By employing the most savage keepers he (the Governor of the prison) can find, by flogging some for being over-indulgent to me, by dismissing eight of them on that ground alone, and by suborning false witnesses against me, he shows the excess of his hatred against the name we bear (Jesuits) and the end we have in view”. It is a remarkable fact that, before he left the prison-cell, Fitzsimon had made a fast friend of the governor, Yet in spite of these hardships Fr Fitzsimon never ceased to carry on the work of the apostolate. The Protestant historian Wood, speaking of him at this time, says that he was the most able defender of the Catholic religion in Ireland. In prison he was always eager for the fray, and he compared himself to a bear tied to a stake waiting for someone to bait him.

It is interesting to note that Hugh O'Neill, on hearing of Fr Fitzsimon's imprisonment, demanded his instant release. He threatened even to renew hostilities with the government if his request was not granted, saying: “Wherefore as ever you think, that I shall enter to conclude tieher peace or cessation with the State, let him be presently enlarged”. But he added that he was “no more ‘beholden’ to him than to an Irish Catholic that is restrained in Turkey for his religion”. The precise reason for O'Neill's antagonism to him is not clear. Some authors infer that Pitzsimon had no sympathy for the Irish in their effort to withstand by force of arms the efforts of the English to conquer the country. But there is no evidence for these assertions, and all we can say is that Fitzsimon's primary interests lay not in matters of state or politics, but as far as possible in purely spiritual affairs, his love for Ireland rests not merely on such meagre proofs as his desire to write her history and, as an exile, to forward her religion, but above all, as we shall see later, it is shown by his longing to return to a country wherein he knew that death would surely be his destiny if only he were once more captured by the authorities.

During his imprisonment Fr Fitzsimon had controversies with many of the Protestant ministers, including the most outstanding men in the Dublin of the time. Among these were Dr Challenor, Dean Meredith Hanmer, James Ussher and Dean Rider. To assess the moral value of this work, we need only recall the great advantage secured by the reformers in Germany - and by Luther in particular - on account of the lack of outstanding supporters of the Catholic cause. The history of the Catholic Church in France in the eighteenth century evinces the same defect. And we need only glance back over the history of the sixteenth century in Ireland to understand the vital necessity to the Catholic Church of able defenders of the Faith. Fr Fitzsimon fully realised the inestimable advantage that would accrue to Catholics by the overthrow of the most prominent of their opponents. He saw that what the Catholics most needed was leadership. He would seek out their enemies, therefore, and refute their false doctrines, thus strengthening his own people in their Faith.

The language Fitzsimon used in the disputations might be considered unbecoming or even vulgar in our age, but such was the in language of controversy of the time. That he has no personal enmity for his opponents is shown by the extraordinary number of them whom he converted. Even the gaoler, who had been so antagonistic to him, became a Catholic before Fitzsimon was released. Hanmer too, as we shall see, became his friend and never molested him again. Fitzsimon was too good-humoured to be easily upset by criticism and too disinterested in his work to take personal offence at every slight indictment.

Of his encounter with Challenor, Fitzsimon gives us a short account. “As I knew the Protestants considered Challenor as one of their champions, I challenged him. He refused to have any dealings with the Jesuits, because they were disliked by his sovereign. This was an excuse created by his cowardice ...” When Challenor failed, Hanmer, nothing daunted, accepted the challenge. He had already written against Edmund Campion and was esteemed very highly by the reformers. Fitzsimon, with his usual candour, gives us an account of their meeting. “Dean Meredith Hanmer.... came with many high people to my prison. As he remained silent, I, trusting in the goodness of my cause undertook to defend what was weakest on our side and to attack what seemed strongest on theirs”. But Hanmer, unable to uphold his side, yielded and, from that time forward, refused to debate on controversial subjects with Fitzsimon. It is typical of the latter that after their dispute he should make friends with his discomfited rival. Hanmer, on his part, was not ungrateful, as we learn from Fitzsimon, who in a time or great need received from his former adversary a barrel of beer, a sack of flour, and the use of his library.

His next opponent was James Ussher, who was appointed Archbishop of Armagh later. Even at the age of fourteen Ussher had shown signs of genius. At that time he had already made a careful study of Ancient History, the Scriptures and the Meditations of St Augustine. Soon afterwards he made an extensive study of Latin and Greek authors, became interested in polemics, and was eager to read all the Fathers of the Church from the earliest tines up to the Council of Trent. Whether Ussher really understood what he had read is extremely doubtful. But at least the vast learning that he had attained - superficially or otherwise we cannot discuss here - incited him to undertake the defence of the reformed doctrines against anyone who would dispute with him. He visited Fitzsimon in prison and had several discussions with him. Finally Ussher sought a public disputation, which Fitzsimon refused. Many writers, following Elrington, hold that the Jesuit shirked a trial of strength with this brilliant young man of eighteen. But even the Protestant historical Wood is of opinion that Fitzsimon grew weary of disputing with Ussher, as he probably saw that further argument was futile. Even though we admit the talent of Ussher, yet when we compare the age, experience, and theological training of the two, we prefer to accept the statement of Wood, which in fact is corroborated by a letter or Fitzsimon himself. In it he says: “Once indeed a youth of eighteen came forward with the greatest trepidation of face and voice. He was a precocious boy, but not of a bad disposition and talent as it seemed. Perhaps he was greedy of applause, Anyhow he was desirous of disputing about most abstruse points of divinity, although he had not yet finished the study of philosophy. I bid the youth bring me some proof that he was considered a fit champion by the Protestants, and I said that I would then enter into a discussion with him. But as they did not think him a fit and proper person to defend them, he never again honoured me with his presence”. Even a cursory glance through Fitzsimon's writings is enough to convince one of his vast erudition, his prodigious knowledge of Scripture and the Classics, and his innate ability to turn an argument against an opponent.

Fitzsimon's final encounter was with Dean Rider, who later was appointed Bishop of Killaloe. Rider himself provoked the disputation but once Fitzsimon had accepted the challenge, he lost heart and kept postponing the ordeal. Finally Rider was forced to admit of his adversary “that in words he is too hard for a thousand”. Fitzsimon remained in prison for five years, but during that time he defended the Catholic cause with such success that, at the end of the period, he could sincerely declare that the reformers in Ireland were “clouds” without water, wafted by the winds: they are autumn trees, barren and doubly dead”. On the 5 April 1604, Fitzsimon gave an account of his five years' imprisonment. “I have been five years in prison, and I have been brought eight times before the Supreme Court... The Governor of the prison has been my deadly enemy.... At present they deliberate about driving me into exile... this is dearer to me than anything else in this world except death for the Faith”. Soon after this he was released and banished from the country.

For the next twenty-six years Fitzsimon worked on the Continent. Many of his written works belong to this period, and he attempted even a History of Ireland, which unfortunately is not extant. He was chaplain to the Emperor in the Bohemian Campaigns of 1620 and was an intimate friend of the greatest generals on the Austrian side. Little is known of his activities during these years, but in 1630 he was sent back to the Irish Mission. He was then about sixty-four years old. From casual references here and there we can gather that age had not damped his zeal or enthusiasm. In 1637 it was reported that he was in good health for his years (he was then seventy-one) and that he still preached and heard confessions. In 1660 his contemporary Fr Young wrote a sketch of his life where we find a description of his last years.

In the winter of 1641, Fitzsimon then about seventy-five years old was condemned to be hanged. In company with many other Catholics he fled to the Dublin mountains, where he sought shelter in a shepherd's hut, Even at this time he did not remain inactive, but went from house to house instructing the children of the poor and administering the sacraments. At last, worn out by fatigue, and hardship, he was taken to the quarters occupied by the Irish army - probably at Kilkenny. There he was entrusted to the care of his religious brethren, but in a few months he was dead. The date of his death is uncertain, but it was probably the 29 November 1643. Writing of Fr Fitzsimon, Fr Young says that heresy feared his pen, and that Ireland admired and loved him for his piety and for the great gifts of nature and grace with which God had endowed him.

Fr. Fitzsimon's end was marked with a note of tragedy and even of apparent failure. An outlaw on the hills, he died far from the scene of his constant toils. Probably no priest had done more for the Catholics in the Pale than he had. No opponent had ever encountered him and gone away victorious. Yet, despite all his controversies, he had very few personal enemies. “By his death” says Wood “the Catholics lost a pillar of the Church, being esteemed a great ornament among them, and the greatest defender of religion, and the most noted Jesuit of his time”. From these facts it is clear that Fitzsimon played a large part in the Catholic counter-reformation in Ireland.

Perhaps, before concluding this brief sketch of the life of Fr Fitzsimon, it might be well to refer to his literary activities. He was one of the most voluminous writers of the time. Two of his books were written in refutation of the theories put forward by Dean Rider, whom we have already mentioned. These are “A Catholic Confutation of it, M John Riders clayne of Antiquitie” and “A Reply to M Riders Postscript!” These and another book, “An Answer to certain complaintive letters of afflicted Catholics for Religion”, were printed at Rouen in 1608. The latter has been edited by Fr Edmund Hogan, SJ, under the title of “Words of Comfort to Persecuted Catholics”. It gives a description of the persecutions which Catholics had to endure at the beginning of the seventeenth century in Ireland.

His next book was a treatise on the Mass. Printed at Douay in the year 1611, it is entitled “The Justification and Exposition of the Divine Sacrifice of the Masse, and of al rites and Ceremonies thereto belonging divided into two bookes”. In the words of Fitzsimon, his first book treats of “controversies and difficulties, and devotion belonging to the Masse”, while in the second book “the first masso in the missal is justified, and expounded for all and everie parcel thereof”. This treatise, which contains almost 450 pages, displays remarkable intimacy with Sacred Scripture and with the writings of the Fathers of the Church.

The next work we know of is entitled “Britannomachia ministrorum in Plerisque et Fidei Fundamentis, et Fidei articulis Dissidentiunt”. Divided into three books it contains a defence of Catholic doctrines and a refutation of the theories propounded by the reformers. In 1619 Fitzsimon edited at Liège the “Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae”, which has been annotated by Fr Paul Grosjean, SJ, in "Feil Sgribhinn Eoin Mhic Neill”. The “Bohemian Campaign” he published in 1620 under the pseudonym of “Constantius Peregrinus”. This work is really a diary written during the wars in Bohemia. He also published another work, in connection with this campaign, under the title of “The Battle of Prague”. After his return to Ireland in 1630, Fitzsimon was so harassed by persecution that no opportunity was given him for further literary work.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Henry FitzSimon 1566-1643
Our ablest and unsurpassed controversialist was Fr Henry FitzSimon. He was born at Swords County Dublin on May 31st 1566 of wealthy and prominent parents. These latter, dying when Henry was young, he was brought up a Protestant.

He got his early education at Manchester, and studied later at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was converted to the Catholic faith in his infancy by Fr Thomas Derbyshire in Paris. He retained one relic of his Protestantism, an aversion to holy water. One morning however, on his way to Mass, having a violent pain in his thumb, he plunged it into the Holy Water font, and was instantly cured.

In 1592, at Tournai, he entered the Society, and he came to Ireland with Fr James Archer in 1597. Most of his work was carried on in the Pale. He displayed a fearlessness in the face of Protestants in Dublin, which in the opinion of his Superior, almost amounted to recklessness. For example, he set up a chapel in the house of a nobleman, and had High Mass celebrated with a full orchestra, composed of harps, lutes and all kinds of instruments, except the organ. The like had never been seen in Dublin for years, and hundreds flocked to the ceremony. Most important of all he founded the Sodality of Our Lady, the first in Ireland.

Arrest followed in 1599 and he was lodged in Dublin Castle. But “stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage” was certainly true of him. He held conferences in prison with the leading Protestant divines, Challenor, Ussher and Dean Rider. On the naccession of James I, he was released and banished to Spain.

In Spain he did trojan work for the Irish Colleges from 1604-1630. In that year he returned to Ireland. In the Confederate War, he was forced to take to the Dublin hills, where he ministered to the people for a year. Finally, overcome by old age, exposure and hunger, he collapsed, and being conveyed to Kilkenny, in spite of tender care, he died on November 29th 1643.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
FITZSIMON, HENRY, was born in Dublin, in 1567,his Father was an eminent merchant. He was matriculated at Hart’s-hall, Oxford, 26th April, 1583. Nine years later, at the age of 25, he associated himself to the Society of Jesus at Douay. Under the instructions of the great Lessius, he soon was qualified for the chair of Philosophy, which he filled for several years. An ardent zeal for Religion urged him to solicit his return to his native Country; and I find that he reached Dublin late in the year 1597. Here he gave abundant evidence of commanding talents as a Preacher, of a fearless spirit and unbounded charity. Strange to say, he ventured to have a solemn High Mass, performed with great variety of musical instruments a sight that Dublin had not witnessed for Forty years before : and he also instituted a Sodality or Confraternity in honour of the B. Virgin Mary. But he was at length apprehended and detained in prison for five years, during which period, at eight different times, he was brought into Court; but was always remanded. Soon after the Accession of K. James, great interest was made for his discharge, and alter much negotiation, he was hurried as an exile on board a ship bound to Bilboa, without being allowed to take leave of his friends. Before he left the jail, he had reconciled many to the Catholic Church, and during the voyage his zeal produced the happiest effects among the crew and passengers. On the 14th of June, 1604, he landed at Bilboa. Rome, Liege, and the Low Countries admired his devotion to the labours of his Ministry : it was his pleasure and delight to visit the sick, to attend the infected, to assist prisoners and persons condemned to death; but his heart panted to re-enter the field of hardship and danger in his beloved and afflicted Country; and at last Superiors allowed him to follow his own inclinations. Like the giant he exulted to run his course : and the fruits of his industrious activity everywhere appeared in the numerous conversion of heretics, and in the strengthening of Catholics in practical religion. The Civil and Military Authorities marked him out for vengeance. In the winter of 1612, in the darkness of the night, he effected his escape from Dublin. Winding his way through sequestered woods and dells, he took up his quarters in a wretched cabin that he found in a Morass, where he was safe from those who hunted after his blood. Though exposed to the pitiless storm, and suffering every privation, this blessed Father never lost his serenity and elastic gaiety, and was always ready to administer consolation to others. But this Winter campaign broke down his constitution. Removed to a place of comparative comfort, he was treated by his brethren with the most affectionate care and charity; nature however was exhausted, and after a short illness, full of days and fuller of merits, he passed to never- ending rest, with the name of Jesus on his lips, on the 29th of November, 1643, or as another account has it, on the 1st of February, 1844. “By his death the Roman Catholics lost a pillar of their Church, being esteemed a great ornament among them, and the greatest Defender of their religion, in his time”. Wood’s Athenae. Oxon, vol. II. p. 46. This eminent writer left to posterity,
1 “A Calholic Refutation of Mr. John Rider’s claim of Antiquity”. N.B. This Rider was Dean of St. Patrick, and subsequently appointed to the See of Killala.

  1. “Reply to Mr. Rider s Postscript”.
  2. “An Answer to certain Complaintive Letters of afflicted Catholics for Religion”.
    All these were printed in a 4to. Vol. Rouen, 1608.
  3. “The Justification and Exposition of the Divine Sacrifice of the Masse, and of all Rites and Ceremonies thereto belonging”. 4to. 1611, pp. 356. I think printed at Douay.
  4. “Britannomachia Ministorum in plerisque et fidei fundamentu a Fidei Articulis dissidentium”. 4to. Douay, pp. 355.
  5. “Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae” Svo Liege, 1619, pp. 117.
    This was appended to the Hibernice sive Antiquioris Scotiae vindicia adversus Thomam Dempsterum, an 8vo. printed at Antwerp, 1621. Its author adopted the initials G. F.

Fleming, Richard, 1542-1590, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1314
  • Person
  • 1542-26 August 1590

Born: 1542, County Westmeath
Entered: 1561, Louvain, Belgium - Franciae Province (FRA)
First Vows: 24 June 1563, Louvain, Belgium
Ordained: 16 December 1569
Final Vows: 4 June 1576, received by Peter Canisius
Died: 26 August 1590, Pont-à-Mousson, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

1565-1566 Theology in Roman College and German College. Master of Arts
1567 CAT Teaching Logic at Dillingen - sent from Rome by Fr de Borgia. Peter Canisius at Dillingen then - Fleming brought a letter to him from Borgia in Rome
1570 Licenced, Teaching Theology at school. Confessor
1572 At Ingolstadt
1576 Was Professor in France (Vatical Arch Inghilterra). Rector of Bordeaux College
1577 Sought by Fr Genat from Fr General for Pont-à-Mousson
1583 In Pont-à-Mousson teaching Theology Doctor of Philosophy and Theology. Chancellor 1584-1585
Wrote first Catalogue of Irish Saints - published by Fitzsimon
Fr General wrote to him at Bordeaux referring to him as Socius to Maldonatus

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica”
He was a man of great virtue; A Writer; First Chancellor and Professor of Theology at Pont à Mousson, also Professor at Clermont and Paris (succeeding the celebrated Maldonatus)
The Blessed Virgin revealed to him in Paris that Fr Aquaviva would be elected General of the Society (cf Fr Hogan’s Irish list). Sacchini Part V Hist. Soc. mentions this prediction at Paris in 1581, of the election of Fr Claudius Aquaviva as general of the Society. He is mentioned in the “L’Université de Pont-à-Mousson” by Fr Nicolas Abram SJ (publised by Fr Carayon SJ, Paris 1870) - “He was of a noble Irish family and of noble and religious bearing”; Probably the “Richard” mentioned in Shirley’s letters; Stanihurst in “Description of Ireland” 1586 says “..of him I hear a great report, to be an absolute Divine and Professor thereof”. His name stands first in the list taken from the original in Vol II Anglia Hist. in ARSI. He appeared to Fr Derbyshire after his death.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Fleming 1540-1592
Our most eminent and honoured Theologian of the early years of the Penal times was Fr Richard Fleming. Born in 1540, in what was afterwards known as Westmeath, he came from the family of the Lords of Slane, a family which later have an Archbishop to the See of Dublin. Richard entered the Society in 1561, the year the first Irish Jesuit, Fr David Wolfe, landed at Cork.

He became the first Chancellor of the University founded at Pont-à-Mousson by the Cardinal of Lorraine in 1573. Two years later he was called upon to fill the chair of Theology at the College of Clermont, Paris, vacated by the celebrated Maldonatus. This eminent post he held for nine or ten years, professing with ever increasing success amid the full blaze of Parisian party spirit.

He retired to Pont-à-Mousson where he died on August 25th 1590. Before his death he had a vision of Our Lady, in which he was left into the General Congregation then in session in Rome, and heard Our Lady say to the Electors “Choose Claudio Acquaviva as General”.

Fraser, Charles, 1789-1835, former Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 26 February 1789-12 March 1835

Born: 26 February 1789, Scotland
Entered: 07 September 1810, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England (ANG)
Ordained; 1820
Died 12 March 1835, Aberdeen, Scotland

J 707 - change to ADMN/7

Left 1830

in Clongowes 1817;
in Friburg Switzerland 1826

Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Father Murphy says that at the age of 10, he entered the Scotch College at Ratisbonne, at 16 he went to Stonyhurst. His inscription is “Carolus Fraser, Miss : Ap : in Planis Scotiae ob : Aberd. xii Mar 1835, aet xlvii”. (cf FD Murphy’s “Collections”

He belonged to HIB and was very much esteemed by all his brethren in Ireland.
He was a Professor and Prefect at Clongowes and a most distinguished Preacher, as well as the author of a History of the Suppression, which is in the Milltown Park Archives.

Although he left the Society, he kept up a correspondence with the Irish Jesuits.
Loose leaf note in CatChrn : Entitled “Left Stonyhurst for Castle Brown” :

Gaffney, David G, 1941-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/864
  • Person
  • 23 April 1941-06 May 2020

Born: 23 April 1941, Dangan, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 06 September 1958, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1977, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 06 May 2020, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, community, Dublin at the time of death.

by 1963 at Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1974 at Guelph ONT, Canada (CAN S) making tertianship
by 1975 at Lusaka, Zambia (ZAM) working
by 1978 at Pleasanton, CA USA (CAL) studying
by 1981 at Chicago IL, USA (CHG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/david-gaffney-sj-a-gentle-and-dedicated-jesuit/

David Ga(ney SJ: a gentle and dedicated Jesuit
Irish Jesuit David Gaffney, a native of Thomastown, Kilkenny, passed away in St Vincent’s Hospital on 6 May. He was 79. Due to current government guidelines regarding public gatherings, the funeral is private. A memorial Mass to celebrate David’s life will take place at a later date.

The condolences posted on the RIP.ie website display the high regard and warm affection which people had for him wherever he lived and worked. The same adjectives are used repeatedly: kind, wise, gentle, pleasant, peaceful, caring.

“We joined the Jesuits on the same day, September 6, 1958,” writes Barney McGuckian SJ; “He always edified me with his gentleness but also his tenacity in following the highest ideals of a Jesuit vocation. Gifted intellectually, he placed his God-given talents at the service of ordinary people, both as a writer and as a “hands-on” visitor to their homes.”

In the decades after he joined the Jesuits, David gained a great deal of intellectual and pastoral experience in many parts of the world. After an Arts degree in UCD, he went to Germany to study philosophy, returned to Ireland to study theology, then did further Jesuit formation in Canada before working for three years in a parish in Lusaka, Zambia.

He then worked in the United States in marriage counselling for four years before his definitive return to Ireland in 1982.

In the years since then he worked in marriage and family apostolates and as an editor of various publications. He was a regular columnist at the Kilkenny People and later with The Avondhu for a number of years, writing reflective opinion pieces regularly.

Regarding this work, Conall O’Cuinn, former Jesuit and Rector of Milltown Park, notes that in his articles David wanted to promote truly human values and “worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye-catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality...”

In all of David’s activities he worked with great grace and devotion.

Read below the appreciation by Conall. He had not known of David’s illness and so says, ” I write this piece as my way of mourning David’s passing, for a passing it is, into the permanent presence of Jesus who leads him into the Joy of the Father.” :

A Gentle Giant
I ‘met’ David first in 1989 when I sent him a letter from Zambia on hearing he had taken over the editorship of Interfuse, an internal Irish Jesuit Province magazine. I had had an article rejected by a previous editor, and, once David took over, I immediately resubmitted it for consideration. By return post, he accepted the article. Since then on he has remained in my good books!

David took his editing and writing seriously, and later, during the years I lived with him in Milltown Park, I witnessed him faithfully send out his articles to provincial newspapers which were still accepting spiritual reflections. He worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye- catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality, full of a depth that promoted true human values.

His other ‘apostolate’ at that time was Parish Visitation. Day after day he left the comfort of Milltown Park in his legendary anorak, in good, bad, or indifferent weather – “you’d never know, it might rain, or turn cold “- to travel by car across to Cherry Orchard Parish to visit the parishioners in their homes. He went with such dedication that I am sure he had many fans over there who appreciated his sincerity and his unassuming and unimposing manner.

David did not like fuss. He came quietly into a room and left quietly. Ideal for him would be a chat with one or two people in a quiet corner, where his sense of comedy and humour would show. A gathering was enhanced and deepened by his presence, even if he never took centre stage.

Many will remember that driving was not his forte. Smooth transitions from gear to gear eluded him, and he kept the local garage busy in clutch replacement. Eventually, we got an automatic in the community, and he liked that.

David was a member of the Milltown Park Consult. I valued his quite, gently proffered, wisdom. He always looked for the kind step to take, never encouraging harshness, always advising to proceed with gentleness and prudence.

I will always remember him as a gentle giant. He was personable and encouraging, always able to meet you in a way you knew afterwards you had been seen, had been regarded, esteemed, and valued. You felt bigger, never smaller. He did not crush the bruised reed, not extinguish the flickering flame. May he rest gently in the bosom of his Lord.

Conall O’Cuinn 12 May 2020

Early Education at Thomastown NS, Kilkenny; Mungret College SJ

1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1963-1966 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1966-1968 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD
1968-1972 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1972-1973 Manresa House - Socius to Novice Master; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1973-1975 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher
1974 Guelph, ON, Canada - Tertianship at Ignatius Jesuit Centre
1975-1978 Lusaka, Zambia - Assists in Matero Parish
1978-1980 Pleasanton, CA, USA - MA in Counselling at Santa Clara University & Parish work at St Augustine’s Church
1980-1982 Chicago, IL, USA - Marriage Counselling at Our Lady Mount Carmel Church
1982-1987 John Austin House - Marriage & Family Apostolate; Community Co-ordinator; Minister; Bursar
1987-2020 Milltown Park - Parish Assistant, Most Holy Sacrament, Cherry Orchard; Marriage & Family Apostolate
1989 Editor “Interfuse”
1992 Parish Assistant, St Vincent de Paul Parish, Marino
1994 Assistant Editor of “Messenger Booklets”; Family Apostolate
1998 Assistant Editor “Pioneer”
1999 Family Apostolate; Working in “Studies”; Writer
2017 Family Apostolate, Writer

Galwey, James, 1655-1732, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1347
  • Person
  • 07 March 1655-17 February 1732

Born: 07 March 1655, Co Cork
Entered: 18 February 1677, Naples, Italy - Neapolitanae Province (NAP)
Ordained: c 1688, Naples, Italy
Final Vows: 15 August 1695, Bavaria, Germany
Died: 17 February 1732, Amberg, Bavaria, Germany - Germaniae Superioris Province (GER SUP)

1683-1685 Theology at Naples
1685-1686 Not in Catalogue
1689-1691 Procurator at Irish College Poitiers
1695 At Louvain 16/08/1695 and then left that Province
1699-1700 In Poitiers

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
1683-1688 Studies in Germany
1689 Intended for the Scottish Mission this was prevented by the Revolution and consequent persecution, so he spent the next 10 years at Colleges in Europe
1699-1702 Accompanied Fr John O’Daly to the West Indies and was stationed at St Kitts until English occupation in 1702
1702-1732 Returned to Europe

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GALWEY, JAMES. I read in a letter of the Superior Anthony Knoles, dated Waterford, the 21st of November, 1695 “I have written to F. James Galwey to continue in Belgium until I can be a better judge of the state of the times, as to his disposal”. In consequence of the dangerous illness of his brother, a merchant of St. Sebastian, he was allowed to quit the College at Poitiers to visit him in the beginning of the year 1697. Two years later, Pere Garganel, Superior of the Mission at Martinique, made application for some Irish Father to assist in that Mission and the neighbouring islands : he represented that there was a great number of Irish in his district that an abundant harvest of souls was opened to the view, and that he and his brethren would cheerfully provide a maintenance for one or two Irish Jesuits, who would assist these souls, together with the French population. It is an historical fact, that with Cromwell’s usurpation began the system of transporting the Irish, as slaves, to the West Indies : for a long time, says the letter, dated the 16th of April, 1699, almost every year, and sometimes often in the year, the English convey from Ireland shiploads of men, boys, and girls, partly crimped, partly carried off by open force, for the purpose of their slave-trade, and thus in process of time, an immense multitude of Irish has been scattered in these islands, but destitute of spiritual succor. This Mission was proposed to F. Galwey, and how it was received the following letter of F. James Kelly, the Rector of the College of Poitiers, the 6th of August, 1699, will best demonstrate. “With the most intense delight F. James Galwey embraces the Mission of Martinique, offered by your Reverence, and he does so with the more confidence in God, as the lot has fallen upon him not in consequence of any expressed wish on his part (for though he wished it, he durst not apply for it); but now he is solely guided by the spirit of obedience. With alacrity he is getting ready for the voyage. F. Garganel, who from his arrival from Martinique, has been on intimate terms with him, is desirous of having him for his companion. In the meanwhile, we cannot but humbly request, that you will not give up, but merely lend F. Galwey to the Martinique Mission; for should our affairs lift up their head again in Ireland, he will be very necessary for us”. Whether F. Galwey ever returned, I have yet to learn.

Glannon, Christopher, 1711-1773, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1368
  • Person
  • 10 May 1711-02 September 1773

Born: 10 May 1711, Dublin
Entered: 11 September 1731, Landsberg, Germany Germaniae Superioris Province (GER SUP)
Ordained: 1739, Ingolstadt, Germany
Final Vows: 02 February 1752
Died: 02 September 1773, Watling Street, Dublin

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1741 Sent to Irish Mission
1755 Assisting a PP in Dublin (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
His brother lived at Kilmainham (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Educated at Jesuit school in Dublin and then began Priestly studies at Canon John Harold’s Academy
After First Vows he was sent for studies at Ingolstadt and was Ordained there 1739
1741 Sent to Ireland and to the Dublin Residence. He worked as an Assistant Priest at St James, and he died 03 September 1773 at Watling St Dublin (St Michan’s)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GLANNAN, CHRISTOPHER, born on the 10th of May, 1711 : entered the Society in Germany, on the 12th of September, 1731, and was Professed in the Order, on the 2nd of February, 1752. I find that he came to the Irish Mission in 1741 and was assisting a parish Priest in Dublin, 14 years later, when I lose sight of him.

Gould, Anthony, 1685-1730, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2327
  • Person
  • 16 October 1685-16 August 1730

Born: 16 October 1685, Ostend, Belgium
Entered: 08 September 1704, Mechelen, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLAN)
Died: 16 August 1730, Halle, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLAN)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries Goold

Son of William and Agnes née Bauwen. William was of an ancient Cork lineage, and possibly was the William Goold named in the inscription upon a white marble slab in the Virgin Chapel of St Giles’ Church, Bruges). William Goold, Mayor of Cork, died in 1634; Ignatius Goold of Cork, was attainted in 1691.

Studied in various places for seven years ending with a year under the Jesuits at Douai before Ent
Made First Vows at Antwerp.
Defended his Theological Theses on the Incarnation at Louvain, which were printed at Louvain (de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” art Feytens)

Probably Ent FLAN, as no record in ANG CAT

◆ In Old/15 (1) and Old/16

Gwynn, Aubrey, 1892-1983, Jesuit priest and academic

  • IE IJA J/10
  • Person
  • 17 February 1892-18 May 1983

Born: 17 February 1892, Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Entered: 30 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 18 May 1983, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin Community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Gwynn, Aubrey Osborn
by Noreen Giffney

Gwynn, Aubrey Osborn (1892–1983), Jesuit priest and academic, was born 17 February 1892 at Clifton, Bristol, England, the second son among six children (four boys and two girls) of Stephen Lucius Gwynn (qv), writer and MP, and his wife and first cousin, Mary Louise Gwynn, daughter of Rev. James Gwynn of Dublin and Bath. Born into an esteemed Church of Ireland family, he was the great-grandson of William Smith O'Brien (qv), the grandson of Rev. Dr John Gwynn (qv), regius professor of divinity at TCD (1888–1907), and the nephew of Edward John Gwynn (qv), provost of TCD (1927–37). On his mother's conversion to Roman catholicism (1902), Aubrey, his brother Denis Gwynn (qv), and their siblings were received into the catholic church at Farm Street, London, and brought up as catholics. Due to the nature of his father's work, much of Aubrey's early life was divided between London and Dublin.

Educated at the Jesuit Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare (1903–8), Gwynn spent a year of private study in Munich before becoming the first student to sign the register at the newly chartered UCD, where he later gained first-class honours (BA, 1912; MA 1915) in classics. When Fr William Delany (qv) admitted him to the Jesuit noviceship in Tullabeg, Rahan (1912), Gwynn intended to join the Chinese mission and work in Hong Kong, but under the guidance of Delany's successor, Dr T. V. Nolan, he entered academic life. After studying for a year at Rathfarnham, he went in 1916 on a travelling studentship to Oxford (Campion Hall), where he was awarded the Cromer essay prize (1917) and graduated B. Litt. (1919). He taught classics and German for two years at Clongowes (1917–19) before spending two years studying philosophy at the Jesuit College, Louvain (1919–21), and a further four years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained at Milltown Park on 24 July 1924 and trained for a final year in Exaten, the Netherlands (1926), then took his final vows in Dublin on 2 February 1929.

Initially employed (1927) as an assistant lecturer in ancient history at UCD, Gwynn replaced Daniel A. Binchy (qv) as lecturer in medieval history on the latter's appointment as Irish Free State minister in Berlin. When John Marcus O'Sullivan (qv) resumed his duties as professor of history in 1932, he was so impressed with the young lecturer's abilities that he had his position made permanent. Sixteen years later, in 1948, Gwynn was appointed first professor of medieval history. Actively involved in the administration of UCD, he was a member of the governing body, dean of the faculty of arts (1952–6), and a member of the NUI senate. He also served as president of the RIA (1958–61).

A pioneering scholar, Gwynn wrote or edited numerous contributions to ancient, medieval, and modern history, on such subjects as Roman education, Archbishop Richard Fitzralph (qv) of Armagh, and Irish emigrants in the West Indies. His many articles, numbering over one hundred, as well as his reviews, which he often initialled P. D. (‘Poor Devil’), were published in various journals, including the Journal of Hellenic Studies, Analecta Hibernica, and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record. As a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission (1943–74) he revived the study and publication of the Calendar of Papal Letters. He was exonerated after being accused, by Regina Zukasiewicz, of stealing her deceased husband's manuscripts (1956). Despite being plagued by bouts of depression, he gained international recognition and an array of awards, among them offers of honorary doctorates from QUB (1964), and TCD (1965) – the second of which he declined. However, Gwynn was not impressed with his honorifics asserting that the only qualifications he required were SJ – alluding to his membership of the Society of Jesus.

Gwynn lived mostly with the Jesuit community at 35 Lower Leeson Street (1927–62), where he was superior of residence (1932–45). A keen supporter of the Missionary Sisters of St Columba and St Joseph's Young Priests’ Society, he helped to establish the latter's civil service branch (1930), advised on the preparing of their constitution (1945), and was editor of their quarterly magazine, St Joseph's Sheaf (1927–49). After he retired from UCD in 1961 he moved to Milltown (1962), where he lectured for two years on church history and tended to the library (1962–6). He remained active, despite failing eyesight, until a fractured femur left him in St Vincent's Hospital; he then moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, where he died 18 May 1983. He was buried two days later, following funeral mass at the Jesuit church, Gardiner Street.

Aubrey Gwynn's private papers, Jesuit archives; file of correspondence between Robert Dudley Edwards and Aubrey Gwynn (1950–68), UCD Archives, LA 22/782–3; F. X. Martin, ‘The historical writings of Reverend Professor Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Medieval studies presented to Aubrey Gwynn, S. J., ed. J. A. Watt, J. B. Morrall, and F. X. Martin (1961), 502–9; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Professor Aubrey Gwynn’, Hibernia (1962), 10; University College Dublin. Report of the president for the session 1961–62 (1962), 72–4; Burke, IFR (1976), 532–3; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Father Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Ir. Times, 21 May 1983, 8; Irish Province News, xx, no. 11 (1983), 348–50, 367–9; Report of the president, University College Dublin 1982–83 (1983), 154; R. D. Edwards, ‘Professor Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Anal. Hib., xxxi (1984), xi; F. X. Martin, ‘Aubrey Osborn Gwynn, 1892–1983’, Royal Irish Academy Annual Report, 1983–4 (1984), 2–6; Clara Cullen, ‘Historical writings of Aubrey Gwynn: addendum’, Aubrey Gwynn, S. J., The Irish church in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, ed. Gerard O'Brien (1992), xiii–xiv; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the person’, Studies, lxxxi (1992), 375–84; Fergus O'Donoghue, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the Jesuit’, Studies, lxxxi (1992); 393–8; Katherine Walsh, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the scholar’, Studies, lxxxi (1992), 385–92

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Recent articles by Fr. Aubrey Gwynn in the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” were the subject of a very flattering notice in the 4 October issue of the 'Times Literary Supplement'. They referred to valuable contributions made by him to the history of the Dublin diocese in the 11th century, and in particular to interesting discoveries about Bishop Patrick of Dublin, whom he proves to have been a monk at Worcester under St. Wulfstain and author of the medieval scholastic poems in one of the Cotton MSS.

Irish Province News 58th Year No 3 1983

Milltown Park
Fr Aubrey Gwynn (†)
Aubrey Gwynn went to his Maker at 6.45 on the morning of 18th May: requiescat in pace! The Province will hardly see his like again. From his childhood days in London at the turn of the century, he could remember great events like the funeral of Queen Victoria, and the celebrations on the relief of Mafeking. Yet right to the end he took an interest in everybody and everything; he was in no way out of touch or out of sympathy with the times; he and the scholastics greatly enjoyed each other's company. Again, he was both a consummate scholar and a zealous, devout priest. In his late eighties he was still contributing learned articles to Seanchas Ardmhacha, and was rarely, if ever, missing from his accustomed spot at community Mass. In his earlier years he had been closely associated with St Joseph's Young Priests Society and the Columban Sisters, and both these bodies have contributed appreciations which are printed below. It is also perhaps worth recalling how well Aubrey succeeded in being on excellent terms with staff at Maynooth College and with members of the Hierarchy. At the funeral, Maynooth was represented by Mons. Patrick J. Corish and Dublin archdiocese by Bishop James Kavanagh: Cardinal 0 Fiaich regretted being unable to attend, owing to the death of his own brother (Dr Patrick Fee).
Aubrey is remembered with great affection by the Milltown Park community (here we are gathering into one many golden opinions) as a Simeon like figure, who redeemed the dignity of old age, never grumbled, complained or criticised, was so full of gratitude for his Jesuit vocation; who forty years ago treated scholastics as adults; the last of the generation of giants. He will continue to be remembered for his patient faith, his independence of spirit, tolerance of change, good humour, conviviality at table, debonair gentlemanliness, desire for life and determination to live, helpfulness and encouragement, graciousness, faithfulness and dedication, simplicity and humility.
One member of the community writes as follows: “Every day for ten years Aubrey concelebrated the Community Mass: at 10 am on Sundays, at 5.30 pm on weekdays in term, at 12.15 pm on weekdays in vacation and on Sundays. This showed an impressive willingness to adapt to different hours - a strength of faith which enabled him really to enjoy such varied styles of worship.
His loyalty to ‘The College’ (UCD, represented at the funeral by Mons. Feichin O'Doherty) showed me that an institution can be served with discrimination, with neither cynical detachment nor bland adoration.
His warm interest in each of us in the community was enormously encouraging - so different from the intrusive questioning by those who want to pigeon hole me for some future use, and different from the inattention of those who seem afraid to make human contact with me even for the length of a meal.
Another member expresses his appreciation in the following words: “I will remember Aubrey as a big man, a man who spanned the centuries and felt at home in many of them including much of our own. I will remember him as a grateful man, grateful to God and to us at Milltown. I will remember him as a lovable man who aged with grace and dignity. Finally I will remember Aubrey the priest, who celebrated the daily Eucharist with us faithfully and with determined step.
A fellow-historian and friend of Aubrey's, Katherine Walsh, who dedicated to him her recent work on Archbishop Richard FitzRalph, wrote from Vienna to the Rector as follows: “Kind friends contacted me by telephone and telegram to break the sad news of the death of Fr Aubrey Gwynn, May I offer through you my deepest sympathy to the community of Milltown Park, also to the Irish Jesuit Province, of which he was for so long a distinguished and respected ornament at home and abroad. My personal sense of loss is great - it was not merely FitzRalph that bound me to him. His personal and scholarly qualities were such that I valued his friendship, advice and encouragement very much. Also my husband Alfred learned to share my very deep affection for him and wishes to be associated in this word of appreciation. Our subsequent visits to Ireland will be the poorer without the pleasure of his great company. Requiescat in pace”.
Mr Brendan Daly of Waterford, who was National President of St Joseph's Young Priests Society from 1975 to 1982, sent the following appreciation: “For over forty years, Fr Aubrey Gwynn played a very important part in the formation and development of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. Space will allow for only a brief mention of the highlights of these activities. From 1927 1949 he was the Honorary Editor of ‘Saint Joseph's sheaf’, the Society's quarterly magazine. During most of this same period, he was also a member of a the Society's governing Council. In 1930 helped to establish the Civil Service Branch, and was its chaplain until 1936. He was also actively involved in the formation of other vocational branches. He advised on the preparation of the Society's 1945 Constitution.
Fr Gwynn gave of himself quietly but building up a Lay Society that its identity, purpose and motivation in the Eucharist and membership of the Mystical Body of Christ. He encouraged greater lay participation in the Apostolate of the Church, and imbued members with those ideals that were subsequently to be voiced in the decrees of the Second Vatican Council. He was a true priest of Jesus Christ who helped many lay people to live their own royal . priesthood. He has helped St Joseph's Young Priests Society to build up a rich heritage - a heritage which it values and shares with many, many others'.
The Vicar-General of the Missionary Sisters of St Columban, Sr Ita McElwain, sent the following tribute: Fr Aubrey Gwynn had a long and happy association with the Missionary Sisters of St Columban. This came about through his relationship with Mother Mary Patrick, formerly Lady Frances Moloney, who was a friend and contemporary of his mother. Mother M. Patrick knew Aubrey from his childhood and followed his career with interest. He, in turn, had a lifelong regard for her, and greatly admired her spirit and courage when, at the age of fifty, she joined the little band of women who were destined to become the first members of the Columban Sisters.
“Fr Gwynn was a regular visitor to the Motherhouse at Cahiracon, Co Clare. On at least two occasions he gave retreats to the sisters there, as well as an occasional triduum of prayer to the to student sisters at the house of studies located at Merrion square at that time. The house at Merrion square was cquired in 1942 when Mother M Patrick was superior-general of the he Columban Sisters and Fr Gwynn superior of the Jesuit house at Leeson Street. Father offered to provide a weekly Mass for the sisters, and this continued He advised on the preparation of the for many years. He came whenever he could and took a keen interest in the sisters studies and in the sisters fully in themselves when they were missioned finds overseas. Especially worthy of note was his invaluable help and support to the sisters doing medical studies: this was at a time when it was quite a departure for sisters to undertake the study of medicine and surgery. Fr Gwynn is remembered by us as a devoted priest and renowned scholar; a loyal friend whose invaluable advice and experience were greatly appreciated by a comparatively young and struggling congregation; a very open-hearted and good-humoured man who kept in close touch with us through all the years of our existence. May his great soul rest in peace”.
The following is the text of Aubrey's last letter to the Columban Sisters: 2nd Dec. 1982.
Dear Sister Maura.
Very many thanks to you all at Magheramore for the splendid bird that was duly delivered here yesterday evening as on so many other happy occasions. And my special greetings to those of your community who may remember me from the old days in Merrion square and Fitzwilliam square. I shall be 91 years old next February, and am beginning to feel that I am an old man.
For the past 21 years I have been very happy here, where everyone young and old about here is very kind. And I am ever more grateful for the many blessings I have received during my 91 years. Blessings on you all at Magheramore, and may Mother Patrick, who was my mother's friend, rest in реаcе.
Yours in Xt, / Aubrey Gwynn, S.J.'
The appreciation by Professor Geoffrey Hand appeared in the columns of the Irish Times on Saturday, 21st May.

Obituary & ◆ The Clongownian, 1983

Fr Aubrey Gwynn (1892-1912-1983)

By the death of Fr Aubrey Gwynn the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus has lost one of its most distinguished and well-loved members.
He was born on the 7th February, 1892, at Clifton, Bristol, where his father, Stephen Gwynn, man of letters, historian, poet and member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, was at that time tutoring in a private crammer's. The Gwynn family were descended from Welsh settlers in Ulster during the 17th century, and were noted for the number of them who entered the ministry of the Church of Ireland. They also had a long and distinguished connection with Trinity College. Stephen's father, Rev John Gwynn, was Regius Professor of Divinity 1888-1917, and author of the great edition of the Book of Armagh, whilst his brother, Edward John Gwynn, was Provost of Trinity 1927-37. But the later generation of Gwynns had a strong infusion of Celtic blood, for Stephen Gwynn's mother was the elder daughter of William Smith O'Brien.
In 1896 the Gwynn family settled in London, where Aubrey attended a private preparatory school. He used to relate how amongst the small pupils was one Harold Macmillan – later British Prime Minister - who in some way made himself obnoxious and was sent to Coventry by his schoolfellows. The head master complained to their parents, with dire results for Aubrey, since at that time his father relied largely for income on his work as reader for the firm of Macmillan. In 1902 Mrs Mary Louise Gwynn was received into the Catholic Church and was followed by her children. Two years later Stephen Gwynn decided to return to Ireland and Aubrey was sent to Clongowes. He was accompanied by his elder brother, Lucius, a promising scholar who died at the age of twenty-nine after a long struggle against tuberculosis, and his younger brother, Denis, later a distinguished biographer and Professor of Modern Irish History in University College, Cork. Whilst at Clongowes, Aubrey already displayed his brilliance. He spent two years in Rhetoric class, winning in the first year the medal for first place in Senior Grade Latin, and in the second year the corresponding medal for Greek.
On leaving Clongowes, Aubrey had a year's private study in Munich and then entered University College, Dublin, becoming a member of Winton House, the predecessor of University Hall, He took his BA degree in 1912 and entered the noviceship at Tullabeg. After the noviceship he studied at Rathfarnham for a year, preparing for the MA and travelling studentship. The two years of the studentship were spent at Oxford, ending with the B. Litt. degree and Cromer Greek prize. Then followed two years teaching classics at Clongowes, philosophy at Louvain, theology at Mill town Park, ordination in 1924 and tertianship at Exaten, Holland, 1925-26.
Father Gwynn's first entrance into the life of University College was in 1927, when he was appointed lecturer in Ancient History. From then on, he was the recipient of one distinction after another. He became lecturer in Medieval History in 1930, professor of Medieval History in 1948, Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1951-56, member at various periods of the Governing Body of University College and of the Senate of the National University, President of the Royal Irish Academy 1958-61. In 1964 he was awarded the honorary degree of D. Litt. by Queen's University, Belfast.
As lecturer and professor Father Gwynn won universal praise. On his retirement in 1962, he was made the recipient of a Festschrift, a volume of essays on medieval subjects, edited by three of his colleagues, J. A. Wal . B. Morrall and F. X. Martin, OSA. The contributions by some twenty scholars from Irish, British, continental and American universities, were evidence of Father Gwynn's reputation outside Ireland. In the Foreword Professor Michael Tierney, president of University College, Dublin, emphasised the esteem in which Father Gwynn was held in his own country.
The essays gathered in this book are a well-deserved tribute to a man who has been a leader in historical work and in general scholarship for more than thirty years ... His unanimous election as President of the Royal Irish Academy was already evident of the position he held in the Irish world of learning... for a quarter of a century he has been the leader and teacher of a band of young scholars, and his pupils have achieved fame outside Ireland in countries where his own reputation had preceded them.'
Reviewing this volume in the Irish Times, another tribute was paid to Fr Gwynn by Professor F. S. Lyons, (later Provost of Trinity College) :
“Perhaps we are still too close to assess the full impact of Fr Gwynn on medieval studies in Ireland. But even now we can recognise that it has been very great. Great not only by virtue of his talents which, rather casually maybe, we have tended to take for granted, great not only because of the extent and quality of his published work, but great precisely through the influence he must have exer ted as a teacher”.
In addition to his constant work as lecturer or professor, Fr Gwynn displayed throughout his life an extra ordinary activity as a writer. Three of his major books are considered to be standard works of their kind, Roman Education from Cicero to Quintilian, Oxford, 1920, The English Austin Friars in the time of Wyclif Oxford, 1940. The Medieval Province of Armagh 1470-1545, Dundalk, 1946. He also collaborated with District Justice Dermot F Gleeson in producing the monumental History of the Diocese of Killaloe, Dublin, 1962. But, in addition, a flood of articles poured out from his pen, or rather typewriter. In the volume above referred to, Rey Professor Martin has listed over fifty of these articles, which are not articles in the ordinary sense, but learned monographs on ancient, medieval and modern topics. And this does not include the book reviews which he contributed steadily over the years to Studies and other learned journals. In this connection, a piece of Province folklore is worth preserving. Formerly book reviews in Studies were signed only with the writer's initials. Fr Gwynn felt that the initials AG were appearing with monotonous frequency, and alternated them with P.D. Asked what these letters signified, he smilingly replied ‘Poor devil'.
Although Fr Gwynn played such an active part in the life of University College, this did not mean that he he was in any way remote from the life of the Province. On the contrary, he was a most loyal and devoted member of it. He was a good community man, always in good humour, interested in the doings of others and ready to put his talents at their disposal. During his long stay in Leeson Street (he was Superior, 1932-'45), he did much to advise, encourage and help our Juniors who were passing through University College. For a considerable period he acted as editor of St Joseph's Sheaf, the organ of St Joseph's Young Priests Society, and enticed to write articles for it, thus giving them a useful introduction to the apostolate of writing. His loyalty to the Society in general was manifested by his constant study of its history, and many his articles dealt with the apostolate of Jesuits in various ages, especially on the foreign missions. Fr Gwynn had a special interest in the missions, and had close links both with our own missionaries and with others throughout the country, notably the Columban Fathers and Sisters.
On his retirement from University College, Fr Gwynn moved to Milltown Park. He lectured for two years on Church History and acted as librarian, 1962-6, but it became clear that he was no longer able for such tasks, and the rest of his retirement was devoted mainly to the revision of his articles on the medieval Irish Church, with the purpose of publishing them in book form. This again proved too much for his failing powers, and his final years were spent as a semi-invalid, consoled by the kindly care of the Milltown community, who came to regard him as a venerable father figure. His ninetieth birthday was signalised with a concelebrated Mass and a supper at which he received an enthusiastic ovation. He was reasonably active to the last until a fall resulted in a broken femur, the effects of which he was unable to recover. After some was weeks in St Vincent's Hospital, he was moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died peacefully on 18th May. His funeral at Gardiner Street was the occasion of a remarkable ecumenical event. It was presided over by BishopJames Kavanagh, representing His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, and some of the burial prayers were recited by Right Rev.George Simms, former Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and of Armagh, whose wife is a cousin of Fr Gwynn.
Fr Aubrey used to relate an incident which occurred when he was studying at Oxford. When the time came to submit part of his thesis to his supervisor, he followed the old Jesuit custom of inscribing the letters AMDG at the top of each sheet. The manuscript was returned to of him addressed to Rev A M D Gwynn, The writer unconsciously hinted at a truth. The familiar letters may not have been Fr Aubrey's initials, but they were most certainly the inspiration of his life.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 30 : December 1983

PORTRAIT FROM THE PAST : FATHER AUBREY GWYNN

Sister Sheila Lucey

A Columban Sister working in the Philippines pays tribute to the life and work of Father Aubrey

I first met Father Aubrey Gwynn in August in 1945, when I was assigned, straight after my profession, to our house of studies at 56 Merrion Square. Even then he had become a kind of Guardian Spirit to our young student sisters - some were studying medicine, others nursing, and I and a companion were taking up arts.

It was through Mother Mary Patrick that our sisters had come to know Father Gwynn. It seems that she had been a friend of his mother's. So, when the Columban Sisters came to Merrion Square in the early 40's a friendship started .which was to last throughout Fr Gwynn's long life.

His special concern was for the young student sisters. It was he who started the tradition of an eight o'clock Mass on Sunday morning, for the Merrion Square community, so that the students could have a longer sleep. He made it clear that there was to be no getting up earlier to study! When he couldn't come himself, he arranged for one or other of his brethren in Leeson St, to say the Mass, In later years, in the late 40's and early 50’s, he came for daily Mass.

Invariably he came for Midnight Mass at Christmas, in his very best attire, a beautifully-cut long clerical dress-coat. That was always a big occasion, and he seemed to enjoy every moment of it. Indeed, he was part of so many community celebrations in those years.

I remember how well he cooperated with all our clandestine preparations for Sister Mary Veronica's Silver Jubilee.

Right from the beginning, I found him a fascinating and stimulating personality, and a warm friend. He took a keen interest in each of us and in our studies. At the end of my first year I was asked to switch from German, as a degree subject, to history, which it was considered would be more useful on the missions. Certainly he made a difficult change easier for me. For two years I was his student. He initiated me into realms of history which were new to me, so I found his lectures valuabie, though I learned more from him outside the lecture-room than inside. Each vacation he arrived over to our house with an armful of books for me to read during the break, and he didn't limit himself to history - he also brought along some critical works on the English writers I was studying.

But it was after I finished my basic degree, and was sent on for graduate studies, that I really got to know Fr. Gwynn. At that time, he was coming for daily Mass, and at least a few times each week I was asked to see him in the parlour while he was having his breakfast, Those breakfast sessions stretched out longer and longer! He was so much of a medievalist that he could enter into all aspects of my MA thesis, on The Ancren Riwle (a medieval rule for anchoresses, which was also a treatise on the spirituality of that kind of life).

Later, when I got into my doctoral thesis, he got even more involved. This was right into his field, because the topic (English Prose Written by Irishmen in the Seventeenth Century) turned out to be as much historical as literary. It couldn't be otherwise in such a century, so full of religious and political controversy. From Professor Hogan I had imbibed a life-long appreciation of seventeenth century Eniglish literature. Now under Fr Gwynn's unobtrusive prodding I discovered for the first time that I had a glimmering of and historical sense after all!

Working on those seventeenth century writings, many of them anonymous, or written under pseudonyms, one had to be something of a literary sleuth. To satisfy" Fri Gwynn the evidence had to be exact and complete. He was a scrupulously honest scholar, and he expected those he worked with to be the same.

I certainly owe it to Fr Gwynn that I was able to persevere with my research and complete my PhD thesis. Theoretically Professor J.J. Hogan was my adviser, but he was an extremely busy person in those years. Besides he wasn't, familiar with the writings I had got into. In practice, Fr. Gwynn was my adviser and strong support throughout the years when I worked on my PhD thesis.

Indeed, many growing points of my life I seem to owe to Fr Gwynn. He it was who first launched me into print. While I was still a student he got me to review a book for Studies, a distinct honour in those days. (in fact, Fr Burke-Savage, the editor, asked that I used a nom de plume because “he didn't want all the nuns in Ireland to be wanting to get into the pages of Studies”. Shades of women's lib!). This was how I earned my first cheque for writing, and no later cheque ever made me feel so proud, (Strictly speaking my payment should have been the book, but Fr Gwynn purchased this for the Leeson St. house).

Another growing-edge of the mind happened when I'r Gwynn persuaded my superiors to allow me to go to Oxford and to the. British Museum in London, so that I could research by topic more thoroughly. Many of the writings. by Irishmen of the seventeenth century survive as very rare books, some indeed as single copies. The British Museum has some of them, others are in Oxford and Cambridge.

Father got quite a thrill out of sending me off on my Grand Tour, and he went to great pains to ensure that my visit would be a success. I went armed with letters of introduction to David Rogers of the British Museum, Fr. Basil Fitzgibbon of farm St.,and the library authorities in Oxford, He wrote beforehand to the Holy Child Sisters in Cherwell Edge, Oxford, where he knew some of the Sisters - his own sister had been a member of the congregation - and enjoyed their hospitality while I was in Oxford.

Of course, I fell in love with Oxford, as he intended me to, and he listened with happy amusement, as I shared my excitement with him on my return. This happened more than thirty years ago, in November December, 1950, yet it is still vivid in my memory. There was I, a young inexperienced person, given a welcome into the fellowship of scholars, and accepted as one of themselves. Ah, the daring and courage of youth!

Thinking back over all this, I believe I have hit on something very basic to. Fr. Gwynn's character, and very important: he helped people to grow. His own standards were high, and he helped others to live up to their highest potential, to a potential they weren't aware of until he pointed it out.

He was, too, a man of great patience and kindness. I'm sure a scholar of his calibre must have had to make many adjustments in trying to understand us young students. But his kindness bridged all distances. He had a genuine respect for others, and he paid: tribute to any gifts a person had, even if still in the bud!

It wasn't all an academic interchange. He had a puckish sense of humour, and those eyes could twinkle even over such daily dilemmas as “the problem of toast and butter: If I take more toast, I'll need another butter-roll, and if I take another butter-roll I'll need more toast to finish it!” At breakfast, one morning in our basement dining-room, I heard my gong ring upstairs. When I emerged at the top of the stairs, there was Fr. Gwynn, with a quizzical look on his face, saying: “How do you expect a fellow to eat his porridge without a spoon?” I had brought him in his breakfas. “You'd better stick to the History!”

Another time - I think it was when I was about to leave on my Oxbridge adventure - Fr Gwynn told me to kneel down for his blessing. Then, as I got up off my knees, he chuckled and told an anecdote about some Irish bishop, who was reputed to have said to his priests: “How did I get this cross on me belly? ... HARD WORRUK, YOUNG MEN, HARD WORRUK!” And he acted it out, standing tall and sticking out his chest.

He had a delightful sense of humour. I wish I could recall other incidents. I remember a letter he wrote shortly after he retired from UCD. He had been offered a chair of Philosophy (or History) in Milltown Park, he said, only to discover it was a sofa he had to share it with Fr. John Ryan!

It was while I was a student in Merrion Square that his father died. In fact, I answered his phone-call telling us the news. His father had been failing for some time - he lived to be a great age - and all the time Fr. Gwynn kept hoping that his father might be given the gift of faith before death. That did not happen I can recall the grief in his voice that morning over the phone. Later he described the funeral for us, saying how strange it felt to be an outsider at one's own father's funeral. As far as I remember, a dispensation had to be got from the Archbishop of Dublin, so that he could attend and, at the graveside, it was the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin who officiated and blessed the remains, while Stephen Gwynn's priest-son stood apart, on the fringe.

The faith; not given to his father, was very precious to him. In those years immediately after his retirement from UCD he got joy and great fulfilment from instructing some young. TCD students, converts to Catholicism. He referred to this in a number of letters written in those years.

It was in such things, and at such times, that the quality of his own spirituality shone through. It was never obtrusive. Yet, when he sensed that a person was anxious, or that obedience was hard, he knew how to say the right thing, or do just what was needed, tactfully, with gentleness and good hunour. He seemed to have a great, yet sensibly balanced, respect for obedience. But it was
his kindness and compassion, a compassion learned through his own suffering, that made him the person he was for others. There was always that the feeling that he too had been through it all.

He was a marvellous person to give anything to. He received as graciously as he gave, and never took a gift for granted. About two years ago I had a letter from him, thanking.me for the gift of a book on Philippine culture. Actually I hadn't been the person who sent it, but I had talked about him to someone who sent him the book as a result of our conversation - Fr. Miguel Bernad, SJ.

During all my years in the Philippines we corresponded a few times each year. Then, while I was in Ireland, from 1970 to 1979 I met him many times, mostly in Milltown Park, but once in the University club. On that last occasion we walked across St. Stephen's Green together - just imagine that!

There were times, too, when I went over to Milltown Park, only to learn that Fr, Gwynn wasn't well and couldn't see visitors. Then I knew that my old friend was deep into one of his bouts of severe depression, and I suffered with him. That finely-honed, brilliant mind, and yet the dark shadow of depression that hung over him so often ...

The last time I saw him, before I left for the Philippines in 1980, he was in great form, and he took some mischievous delight in my reaction to his beard. When I remarked that he looked the spit image of George Bernard Shaw, he said, “Sister Helen (he liked to call me by my old name), I would expect more originality from you!” Then he told me about all the other people who had made the same comparison, including a lorry-driver who had stopped beside him on the road and called out, “I thought Bernard Shaw was dead!” He was really enjoying his masquerade.

In his last letters to me, he told me about his latest and dearest research, the paper he was requested to write for the Royal Irish Academy, on the Mass in Ireland in the early Middle Ages. Much of it was based on a missal that had come to light in recent times. (Am I right?) He spoke of this paper with warmth and enthusiasm, as being the culmination of his life-work. I do hope that his failing eye-sight allowed him to finish this work, so dear to his heart.

I marvel at the courage of this man who, even at the age of ninety, was still using to the full those rare gifts God had given him, and sharing with us the fruits of his long years of reflection and study. I do not know now he died. I hope that his mental faculties were as sharp as ever. It would be poignantly sad if such a brilliant mind were dulled.

I thank God for the gift of this most dear friend, and for all that he has been to all the Columban Sisters.: His death is a personal loss for me. I miss him very deeply.

Gwynn, William, 1865-1950, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1397
  • Person
  • 17 March 1865-22 October 1950

Born: 17 March 1865, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 20 October 1883, Milltown Park Dublin; Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 29 July 1900, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 22 October 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin

First World War Chaplain

Older brother of John - RIP 1915

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1890 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia 1902
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 8th Australian Infantry Brigade, AIF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway. Gwynn entered the Society at Milltown Park, 20 October 1883, and studied rhetoric as a junior up to II Arts at the Royal University while living at Milltown Park, 1885-87. Philosophy was at Louvain and Exaeten. 1887-90, and regency at Belvedere Clongowes, and Mungret, 1890-97. Theology followed at Milltown Park. 1897-1901 After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John, Gwynn, he was sent to Australia where he taught at Riverview, St Aloysius' College and St Patrick's College, 1902-11, before engaging in parish ministry at Sevenhill, 1911-13, and Norwood 1913-17. He taught for a further few years at St Patrick’s College 1917-18, before becoming a military chaplain of the 8th Infantry Brigade AIF, 1918-20, travelling to Egypt, France and Germany. Gwynn returned to Ireland after the war and taught philosophy and mathematics at Mungret. He was later in charge of the People's Church at Clongowes until 1930, and then performed rural missionary work retreats with great vigor and success throughout the country, a ministry he enjoyed while in Australia. In 1930 he was transferred to parish work at Gardiner Street until 1944. In earlier he was in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality. For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, living in great cheer and contentment, praying for the Society.
The Irish Province News, January 1951, described Gwynn as an original character. In whatever company he found himself he became the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects. At first sight, he might have been seen as egotistical or cynical or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humor and a pose, it helped to make him interesting and to amuse. He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, every day work. He wanted change and variety. He liked to plough a lonely furrow a man of original mind, who had his very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher - appearance, voice, personality, an original approach to any subject, and a gift for a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats were memorable for their freshness and originality. As a confessor some respected him for being broad, sympathetic and understanding.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 1 1951

Milltown Park :
We regret to record the death, on. Oct. 22nd, of Milltown's Grand Old Man, Father William Gwynn. Only a few days before we had celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his priesthood and heard a message from him, wire-recorded in his sickroom.

Obituary :
Father William Gwynn
Fr. Gwynn, who died after a brief illness at Milltown Park on 22nd October, was born at Youghal, Co. Cork, on the 17th March, 1865. His father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. So, it was at St. Ignatius' College in that city that they both received their education. William entered the noviceship at Milltown Park on 20th October, 1883, and had Fr. William O’Farrell for Master of Novices and also for Superior when the new novitiate at Dromore was opened in May of the following year. He took his Vows at Milltown Park on 1st November, 1885, and studied rhetoric up to II Arts at the Royal University. He went to Louvain and Exaten (in Holland) for his philosophy, 1887-90, and in the latter year began his Colleges. He taught for six years at Belvedere, Clongowes and Mungret, in that order, and then studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained on 29th July by Dr. William Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin. After his fourth year's theology he went, with his brother Fr. John, to Linz in Austria for his tertianship. In the autumn of 1902 Fr, William was sent to Australia, where he taught at Riverview, Sydney, for a year and then at St. Aloysius for six and at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, for two years. He was operarius at Sevenhill 1910-12 and at Norwood Residence for the following four years when he had charge of the men's sodality and the confraternity of “Bona Mors”. When at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, as master and operarius in 1918, he was appointed chaplain to the 8th Australian Infantry Brigade and travelled with his men to Egypt, France and Germany. He was not “demobbed” till 1920, and thereafter remained in the Province. For the next two years Fr. Gwynn was philosophy and mathematics master at Mungret College and then went to Clongowes, where he had charge of the People's Church till 1930. During this period he conducted retreats with great vigour and success up and down the country, a ministry to which he had devoted himself zealously when in Australia.
In 1930 Fr. William was transferred to Gardiner Street and was operarius till 1944. For the first dozen years of this period he was also in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality, in which he took a great interest. For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, where he lived in great cheer and contentment, discharging his task of “orans pro Societate” agreeably and, we may well hope, fruitfully. Two days before his death a graceful tribute to him appeared in the papers on the occasion of the golden jubilee of his Ordination to the priesthood.
Fr. Gwynn was emphatically a character, an original. In whatever company he found himself, he became at once the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects, about those little manifestations of self-interest which most people keep discreetly veiled. He was equally frank and outspoken about others. At first sight, one would think him egotistical, or cynical, or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humour and a pose. It helped to make him interesting and to amuse.
He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, hum-drum, every clay work. He wanted change and variety; lie liked to plough a lonely furrow. He was a man of original mind, who had his own very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher, appearance, voice, personality, a very original approach to any subject, and a gift of a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats, too, very memorable for their freshness and originality.
He was the least pharisaical of men. He aimed sedulously at concealing his solid piety and simple lively Faith. His rather disconcerting frankness, his trenchant wit, his talk about himself, were really a pose by which he tried to mask his spiritual inner self. It could not be said that he had a large spiritual following of people who looked to him for help. But what he missed in numbers was made up in quality and variety. It was well known that men of the world who got no help from other priests made Fr. Gwynn their confessor and friend. He was broad, sympathetic and understanding and no one knows the amount of good he did to those who came to depend on him. R.I.P

Händl, Karl, 1847-1915, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/173
  • Person
  • 25 August 1847-02 August 1915

Born: 25 August 1847, Weißenohe, Bavaria, Germany
Entered: 20 November 1878, Turnov, Czech Republic - Austriacae Province (ASR)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 19 March 1890
Died: 02 August 1915, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia

Transcribed ASR-HUN to HIB - 01 January 1901

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was originally of the Austrian Mission in South Australia before amalgamation with HIB in 1901.
He was Minister at Sevenhill in 1914, and Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer for the diocese of Adelaide.
He was also Superior for a time at Sevenhill.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Karl Händl entered the Society 20 November 1878, as a secular priest, and was sent to Australia four years later, arriving in June 1882. He was at Manoora, 1884-86; St Mark's, Port Pirie, 1889-90, doing missionary work in the Crystal Brook district; Kooringa, 1891-92; Norwood, 1893-983 Kooringa, 1899; and Georgetown, 1900. That year he was also a mission consulter. Then he went to Sevenhill as vice-superior and minister and was involved in pastoral work.
In 1901 he transferred to the Irish province From 1901-05 he was superior and parish priest of Norwood, and then 1905-15, was minister at Sevenhill, and superior for the year 1912. In his later years he was moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer for the Adelaide archdiocese.

Hannigan, Edward, 1907-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/175
  • Person
  • 07 July 1907-15 February 1960

Born: 07 July 1907, Edinburgh, Scotland
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 15 February 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1929 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1940 in Rome, Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 2 1960
Obituary :
Fr Edward Hannigan (1907-1960)

Fr. Hannigan died very suddenly on 19th February, shortly before 10 o'clock. He had said Mass and had his breakfast and gone through his post. He went down the corridor to use the telephone and on the way back to his room felt weak, sat down and died a few ininutes later. He had however time to make his confession before he lost consciousness and was anointed before he expired.
He had been educated in Mungret and did his noviceship in Tullabeg and juniorate in Rathfarnham. He went to Pullach for philosophy and then taught in St. Ignatius' College, Galway. After theology in Milltown Park and tertianship in St. Beuno's he was sent to Rome to do a biennium in Moral Theology in 1939. His work in Rome was interrupted when the war became active and he sailed for Ireland in May 1940 on a Japanese liner from Naples, possibly the last boat to reach England from the Mediterranean that year,
He was not given an opportunity to complete his studies after his return to Ireland but was asked to teach both Moral Theology and Canon Law in succession to Fr. John MacMahon who had just been appointed Provincial, and it was not until 1949 that he was able to return to Rome to present and defend his thesis. The thesis was a model of method and precision. The subject was: “Is it ever lawful to advise the lesser of two evils?” Fr. Hannigan carefully summarised all the recent and many ancient opinions of this difficult topic and then his own conclusions. The thesis was accepted and praised by his examiners; but what really impressed them was the brilliance of his Lectio Coram and his oral defence of the thesis. His ten years of teaching in Milltown had made him confident and self-possessed in his exposition; his command of Latin came as a surprise to them and he showed exceptional skill in dealing with the objections and difficulties which were urged against him, never allowing himself to be cornered or led into a false position. As a result not only did he receive the doctorate summa cum laude but negotiations were begun to have him assigned to the staff of the Gregorian. It was not due to any lack of earnestness on the part of the authorities of the Gregorian that these negotiations did not succeed.
It is not easy to form a just estimate of his work as Professor of Moral Theology at Milltown Park. It was widely felt that he did not do complete justice to his very great abilities. However he did bring to his work some very useful qualities. In the first place he spoke Latin fluently and accurately and so reduced to an absolute minimum the difficulties which inevitably arise from the use of Latin in teaching Theology. He was able to do this because of his remarkable gifts as a linguist. These gifts appeared at other stages in his life in the Society. He had an extremely good knowledge of Irish. As a scholastic he had proved that he was fully competent to teach through Irish, which he had done for three years in Galway; and although he did not frequently speak Irish he never lost his command of grammar and idiom. So too he brought back from Pullach a very good knowledge of German, which was still accurate and idiomatic when he came to Rome to defend his thesis twenty years later.
Again he planned his course carefully and finished it at the appointed time omitting nothing. Indeed one of the points of which he was often criticised was that he treated in class matter that anyone with intelligence could have made up for himself; but perhaps some of the weaker members of the class were grateful to him for this. However, he was unwilling to expand the matter contained in the textbook. This was a pity because his comments would have been interesting and reliable. He preferred to illustrate Genicot with quotations from other books. But when consulted in private on a case his opinions were very good indeed, clear and accurate and well supported. Priests who made retreats or days of recollection in Milltown Park were very loud in their praises and grateful to him for the help he gave them.
An account of Fr. Hannigan cannot omit to mention his very narrow escape from a tragic death during the fire at Milltown Park. He was living on the top storey of the Finlay wing and must have been slow in getting up after the alarm had been given. He was trapped in his room with the roof on fire and the corridor impassable with dense smoke. Fr. J. Johnston who was in the next room was similarly trapped, but opened the door of his room in a vain attempt to reach the fire escape, was overcome by the fumes and perished in the fire. Fr. Hannigan wisely stayed in his room and kept the door shut and waited for the fire brigade to run a ladder up to his window. The ladder was found to be too short so the fire-man handed him up a supplementary ladder which he hooked on to the window sill and so climbed down the twelve feet which separated him from the safety of the fire-brigade ladder. He must have been the last man to have left the top storey alive, saved by his own courage and self-possession.
Fr. Hannigan could give a good retreat although he could not often be persuaded to undertake this work. As procurator he will be remembered for his unfailing courtesy and for the quick and efficient way in which he did business with those of the community who had to visit him. He made the same impression on all with whom he came in contact especially on the tradesmen with whom he had to deal and with his assistants in organising whist drives for the building fund. The very numerous letters of sympathy received by Fr. Rector gave ample proof of this.
Fr. Hannigan had a very intense interest in life. He was a keen follower of almost all sports, rugby, soccer, golf and racing; also of politics national and international and of the obscure workings of the stock exchange. But above all he was remarkable for his charm and friendliness as a member of the community. Those who lived with him will be conscious of a deep sense of personal loss for a long time to come. We extend very sincere sympathy to his brother and sister.

Hanregan, Thomas, 1592-1623, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1408
  • Person
  • 1592-1623

Born: 1592, Clonmel, CoUNTY Tipperary
Entered: 1616, Landsberg, Germany - Gemaincae Superioris Province (GER SUP)
Ordained: 10 June 1622, Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: 23 October 1623, England in transit

1619-1621 At Ingolstadt, in Theology and teaching Philosophy
1623 Sent from Germany to Ireland via England (1622)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1617 In Bavaria
1622 In Fourth Year Theology at Ingolstadt
Sent for by Christopher Holywood

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ
Had studied at Douai and graduated MA with a brilliant public defence before Entry 1616 Landsberg
After First Vows he studied at Ingolstadt and was Ordained there 1622.
1622 Sent to Ireland for health reasons. He was so poorly that he had to spend a year convalescing at Munich before departing for Ireland. He then died 23 October 1623 England in transit

Heelan, Patrick A, 1926-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/766
  • Person
  • 17 March 1926-01 February 2015

Born: 17 March 1926, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Fordham University, The Bronx, New York, USA
Died: 01 February 2015, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community, Dublin at the time of death.

by 1950 at St Louis University MO, USA (MIS) studying geophysics
by 1960 at Münster, Germany (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1962 at Franklin Park NJ, USA (MAR) studying at Princeton
by 1963 at Leuven, Belgium (BEL S) studying
by 1966 at Fordham NY, USA (MAR) teaching

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-fr-patrick-heelan-sj/

RIP: Fr Patrick Heelan SJ
Fr Patrick Heelan died in Cherryfield Lodge on 1 February. In one of the many entries online, he gives a succinct account of his life and work: I am a Jesuit priest, a theoretical physicist and a philosopher of science. I was born in Dublin in 1926, and studied theoretical physics, philosophy and theology in Ireland, Germany and the USA. I moved permanently to the USA in 1965. In my studies in theoretical physics I was fortunate in having been supervised by three Nobel Prize winners: Schroedinger in Dublin during the war, Wigener in Princeton and Heisenberg in Munich, all of whom were among the founders of quantum physics. I am grateful for having had such a wonderful life as a priest and a theoretical physicist.
Patrick learned his love of mathematics in Belvedere, and looked forward to becoming a Jesuit scientist. During his first spell in USA he won a doctorate in geophysics by devising mathematical formulae to enable seismographs to distinguish between natural earthquakes and seismic activity from nuclear explosions. What he called his first conversion was the experience of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, which remained a crucial resource for him through his life. In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University, before retiring, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield in 2014. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews.
In 2005 Patrick wrote a memoir which fills in the factual features of his life, structured round five conversion points. It is meaty but not easy reading, concerned as it is with quantum theory and the perception of space. Here are the five conversion points, each followed by its date and location:
The role of Ignatian discernment: 1951: Wisconsin Lonergan: transcendental method: 1957: Tullabeg Consciousness’ role in quantum physics: 1962: Princeton Van Gogh’s pictorial geometry: 1966 Fordham
Space perception and the philosophy of science: 1982: Stony Brook
These five stepping stones still omit much of Patrick’s range of interests. His seminal work on Van Gogh’s paintings reflected a broad and sharp-eyed knowledge of European art. He explored “Music as a basic metaphor and deep structure in Plato” in a paper that showed familiarity with studies of music’s origins and structures. At the end of his life he was deep into a serious study of Islam. A friend compared Patrick to a high Renaissance Florentine prince, a polymath at home in the full range of arts and sciences, illuminating wherever he cast his attention.
In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University, before retiring, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield in 2014. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews and his friends.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/pat-coyle/georgetown-salutes-fr-heelan/

Georgetown salutes Fr Heelan
in Pat Coyle

Fr Patrick Heelan SJ’s death has been well noted by Georgetown University, Washington, where he spent so many years and did so much good work as academic and as administrator. The current President, Dr. John J. DeGioia, has written to the university community as follows:
February 11, 2015
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
It is with great sadness that I share with you that Rev. Patrick A. Heelan, S.J., a beloved Georgetown administrator, professor and member of our Jesuit community, passed away earlier this month.
Fr. Heelan came to our Georgetown community in 1992 as Executive Vice President for the Main Campus before becoming the William A. Gaston Professor of Philosophy in 1995. As an administrator, Fr. Heelan helped to guide our community through a difficult financial period with an unwavering dedication to our distinct values and a vision of long-term excellence. In his role, he oversaw changes to the structure of the administration and strategic investments in our community to better advance our mission and meet the needs of our growing student population. He was also deeply dedicated to our policies of need-blind admissions and our commitment to meeting full need in financial aid, seeing them as cornerstones of our University’s future success. Fr. Heelan’s leadership strengthened our community in so many ways and was integral to bringing us to where we are now.
In addition to his contributions as a leader, Fr. Heelan was a renowned physicist and a philosopher, whose extensive scholarship sat at a unique intersection of what he called “the hermeneutic philosophy of science”—or the study of how we make meaning from scientific observation. His scholarly research spanned disciplines, including theology, philosophy, psychology and physics. His many scholarly contributions included publications on spatial perception, quantum mechanics and human consciousness and drew upon the intellectual tradition of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Bernard Lonergan.
After retiring from Georgetown in 2013, Fr. Heelan returned to his native Ireland for the duration of his life, where he passed away surrounded by loved ones earlier this month.
I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing, and I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences to the many faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of our Jesuit community who had the chance to work with him.
Should you wish to express your condolences, please direct notes to: Irish Jesuit Provincialate, Milltown Park, Sandford Road, Dublin 6, Ireland.
Please join me in expressing our deepest sympathy to the friends, family and many lives that were touched by Fr. Heelan’s kindness, leadership and good will.
Sincerely,
John J. DeGioia

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 159 : Spring 2015

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Heelan (1926-2015)

17 March 1926: Born Dublin
Early education at Belvedere College SJ
7th September 1942: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1944: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
1944 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Studying Maths & Maths/Physics at UCD
1948 - 1949: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1949 - 1952: St Louis, MO, USA - Studying for PhD in Geophysics at St Louis University
1952 - 1954: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy; Research Associate at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
1954 - 1955: Clongowes - Regency: Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1955 - 1959: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1958: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
1959 - 1960: Westphalia, Germany - Tertianship at Münster in Westphalia
1960 - 1961: Bronx, NY, USA - Fullbright Fellowship post Doctorate Studies in Physics at Fordham University
2nd February 1961 Final Vows at Fordham University, Bronx, NY, USA
1961 - 1962: St Augustine's Parish, Franklin Park, NJ, USA - Fullbright Fellowship post Doctorate Studies in Physics at Palmer Laboratory, Princeton University
1962 - 1964: Louvain, Belgium - Studying for PhD in Philosophy of Science at Catholic University of Louvain
1964 - 1965: Leeson St - Lecturer in Maths & Maths/Physics at UCD; Assistant Prefect University Hall; Research Associate at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
1965 - 1970: Bronx, NY, USA - Assistant Professor (later Associate Professor) of Philosophy at Fordham University
1968: Visiting Professor of Physics at Boston University
1970 - 1992: Stony Brook, NY, USA - Professor of Philosophy, Chair of Department of Philosophy, Dean of Arts and Sciences at State University of New York
1972: Acting Vice-President, Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean of Arts & Sciences; Professor of Philosophy
1975: Vice President for Liberal Studies
1990: Dean of Humanites & Fine Arts
1992: Present Emeritus Professor
1992 - 2013: Washington, DC, USA - Executive Vice-President for Main Campus; Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University
1995: William A Gaston Professor of Philosophy
2013 - 2015: Milltown Park - Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Fr Patrick Heelan was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in June 2013. He settled in well and was very content as a member of the Community. In recent months his condition deteriorated, and he died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge on Sunday 1st February 2015. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

In 1958 Archbishop McQuaid laid hands on Patrick as he knelt in the Milltown Park chapel to receive the sacrament of ordination. It would be fair to say that we, his peers, revered Patrick (the long form will be used here, though he was Paddy to his peers; in USA, where he settled in 1965, he was unhappy with the overtones of Paddy). By the time of his ordination he was already a seasoned scholar, with a Master's in maths from UCD, a rigorous apprenticeship with Schroedinger in the Dublin Institute of Higher Studies, and a doctorate in geophysics from St Louis. Even at that stage he had already worked in two of the seven universities he was to join (UCD, St Louis, Louvain, Fordham, Princeton, Stony Brook, Georgetown).

What mattered more to him was what he called his first conversion, when he gained an insight into the role of discernment in Ignatian prayer. This was the practice of assessing, during a time of peace and recollection, the spiritual authenticity of one's thoughts, feelings and desires; a new level of self-awareness and interiority. It remained with Patrick as a resource through the ups and downs of his life.

You might think it was mostly ups. He routinely got first honours in exams (with one explosive exception when J.R. McMahon, then Rector and Professor of Canon Law in Milltown, awarded Patrick a Fail mark in Canon Law, with the aim, it was said, of giving him a useful experience of failure). God, on the other hand, was generous to young Patrick. He was born into a stable home in Dalkey, with an aloof father and a remarkable warm and gifted mother to whom he was always close. He had an older brother, a successful lawyer and financier, and Esther, who he said was all you could look for in a young sister.

Patrick himself was generously endowed, with a brilliant mind, and a healthy body. He was not athletic, but was never sick, never in hospital till old age. He was hugely responsive to beauty, whether in mathematics (”I liked maths because it was clear, logical, beautiful and unassailable”), in music, especially Bach and Mozart, in flowers and in visual art. He loved his friends, though in his early years he described himself as a selfish introvert. On top of that he had excellent schooling, first in Belvedere, and then with formidable third-level mentors. He sought God in the created world; his search focussed particularly on how we perceive that world, and give it meaning,

Patrick was quickly in demand for third-level posts, but as a Jesuit under obedience he experienced the limits to his freedom. He was at first dismayed when he was commissioned to spend his travelling studentship in geophysics rather than his beloved maths. He was being used; superiors fingered him for the management of the worldwide network of Jesuit seismographs. The US army used and surreptitiously funded him to find a way of distinguishing natural earthquakes from nuclear explosions. The Russians translated his doctoral thesis for the same reason, and claimed the pirated version as a triumph for the Leningrad Acoustical Institution. The Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, sought his services to teach neo-scholastic philosophy to seminarians.

So Patrick was used by the Jesuits, the Pentagon, Russian scientists, the Archbishop of Dublin, and no doubt several others. In face of this he became not angry but wise. Without losing his joie de vivre he recognised and welcomed the down-sizing of his ego. A written comment from his later years suggests his use of discernment in his development: "I came to experience my life in the Jesuit order, not as a career to be established, but as a story always under editorial revision and reconstruction, continuously discontinuous, yet with persistent Catholic and catholic threads and an interiority that tended to be affirmative and to bring, as was promised in the gospels, rest to my soul.”

In three issues of Interfuse in 2005-6, Patrick wrote Le petit philosophe, a 3-part memoir which fills in the factual features of his life, structured round five conversion points. It is meaty but not easy reading, concerned as it is with quantum theory and the perception of space. Here are his five conversion points, each followed by its date and location:

  1. The role of Ignatian discernment: 1951: Wisconsin
  2. Lonergan: transcendental method: 1957: Tullabeg
  3. Consciousness' role in quantum physics: 1962: Princeton
  4. Van Gogh's pictorial geometry: 1966: Fordham
  5. Space perception and the philosophy of science: 1982: Stony Brook

These five stepping stones still omit much of Patrick's range of interests. His seminal work on Van Gogh's paintings reflected a wide and sharp-eyed knowledge of European art. He explored “Music as a basic metaphor and deep structure in Plato” in a paper that showed familiarity with studies of music's origins and structures. At the end of his life he was deep into a serious study of Islam. A friend compared Patrick to a high Renaissance Florentine prince, a polymath at home in the full range of arts and sciences, illuminating whatever he gave attention to.

In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University. He lived through the inevitable power struggles of academic life, especially in Georgetown, where he worked hard at the reform of structures.

In 2014 he retired, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much-loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews. He was 88 years of age, and in his 73rd year as a Jesuit. He wrote of himself: “In my studies in theoretical physics I was fortunate in having been supervised by three Nobel Prize winners: Schroedinger in Dublin during the war, Wigener in Princeton and Heisenberg in Munich, all of whom were among the founders of quantum physics. I am grateful for having had such a wonderful life as a priest and a theoretical physicist”.

Paul Andrews

Interfuse No 114 : Summer 2002

60 YEARS IN THE SOCIETY OF JESUS

Patrick Heelan

A homily delivered by Patrick Heelan, on September 7, 2002, in St. Ignatius Chapel of Holy Trinity Church, Georgetown.

At the age of 11, I was enrolled as a student in Belvedere College in Dublin, Ireland. It was my first encounter with the Jesuits. Not many years before, another fellow Dubliner, James Joyce, had a similar encounter with the Jesuits at roughly the same age at Clongowes Wood College, the Jesuit boarding school. He later moved to Belvedere College, my school. Even at that early age Joyce was a sophisticated observer of the Jesuits. In his Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Joyce tells of his early encounter. Under the name of Stephen Daedelus, he recounts his reverie during a Latin class taught by Fr. Arnall, SJ. Fr. Arnall had been angry, “in a wax”, as he says, because the whole class had missed the declension of the word “mare”, the Latin word for “sea”. I will quote this piece because the narrator could easily have been me when I first encountered the Jesuits; it began with a reflection on Fr. Arnall's being “in a wax”.

“Was that a sin for Fr. Arnall to be in a wax? Or was he allowed to get into a wax when the boys were idle because that made them study better? Or was he only letting on to be in a wax? It was because he was allowed, because a priest would know what a sin was and would not do it ... hmm! BUT if he did it one time by mistake, what would he do to go to confession? Perhaps, he would go to confession to the Fr. Minister of the Jesuit community. And if the minister did it, he would go to the rector: the rector to the provincial: and the provincial to the general of the Jesuits. That was called the order ... hmm! He had heard his father say that they were all clever men. They could all become high up people in the world if they had not become Jesuits. And he wondered what Fr. Arnall and Paddy Barrett would have become, and what Mr. McGlade and Mr. Gleeson would have become, if they had not become Jesuits (Mr. McGlade and Mr. Gleeson were scholastics at the time; I knew Fr. McGlade as a priest and a great teacher.) It was hard to think WHAT, because you would have to think of them in a different way with different coloured coats and trousers and with beards and moustaches and different kinds of hats”. (p. 48)

There was already a sophisticated awareness, even in the eleven-year old, of the reality of sin and confession, and of what the Oxford English Dictionary calls “jesuitry'; also he knows of the high regard people had for the worldly abilities of Jesuits - but notes that the clerical uniform was an obstacle to the imagination. If only they dressed “in different coloured coats and trousers, wearing beards and moustaches”. There was a certain prophetic character to this last phrase - Jesuits today often dress “in coloured coats and trousers and wearing beards and moustaches”, but no one these days wears hats, not even priests!

At the end of his schooling in Belvedere, Joyce was invited to join the Jesuits, but he turned it down because he felt, mistakenly, I think, that the Jesuits frowned on the Eros of beauty -- but Stephen admitted that in his case the Eros of beauty had led him astray from the path of – well! - let us say good Jesuit behaviour. However, as for me, I did not have these challenges or reservations, but knowing something of the history of Jesuit accomplishments in natural science, I accepted the invitation, for I wanted to be a Jesuit scientist. Sixty years ago to a day, on September 7, 1942, I entered the Jesuit Novitiate at a Paladian Villa once owned by the Earls of Portarlington, then called St. Mary's, Emo, Co. Leix, to become, as I then thought and hoped, a Jesuit scientist.

Let me now draw down the spiritual lesson from the gospel reading (In. ch. 9). In the gospel story the blind man was changed by bathing in the waters of Siloam, but at first this only gave worldly sight to his eyes; he came to see only the world around, a splendid sight to see as he saw it for the first time in his life, a world of different people in their various coloured costumes. What did he think of Jesus, his benefactor? The great scholar Raymond Brown says he probably thought of him as just an ordinary miracle worker - not that being an ordinary miracle worker was a small thing. But it took events – like challenges from the Pharisees, parents, and bystanders – to make him see the spiritual realities underlying the opening of his eyes. Only when his spiritual eyes were opened did he come to recognize Jesus as God's presence in the world as a fully human person.

The theme of my homily then is that I am the blind man; I was washed in the waters of baptism; at first, like the blind man, I too only saw the business aspects of the world. Like the blind man, I came to see the spiritual context of human life and labour only by being challenged by events in the world and by its institutions. Reflecting on the other anniversary that we memorialize at this time, I recall that this is one of the frightening lessons of 9-11!

Returning, however, to my own story: the Jesuit part of my training was not easy; it consisted in adopting a certain kind of askesis, or spiritual practice, founded upon the Exercises of the founder, St. Ignatius. This was fundamental to the Jesuit life. I'll come back to this later. And then came science.

My scientific career began well at University College, Dublin, and at the School of Theoretical Physics of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. During World War II, this latter was a haven for refugee European scientists from Germany and Central Europe. I studied there under Erwin Schrödinger, one of the founders of the quantum theory, and John Synge, a famous cosmologist. Later I was to study quantum field theory and elementary particles under Eugene Wigner at Princeton, and came to know and correspond with Werner Heisenberg of the Uncertainty Principle fame. In 1964 I wrote a book about Heisenberg, which was accepted as a doctoral dissertation in philosophy at the University of Leuven.

But my first Jesuit assignment in 1949 was to study earth science, particularly seismology. As it turned out, my pursuit of a scientific career was terminated when I was told to move from earth science and physics to philosophy. You must understand that the context of decision making within every Jesuit life includes both worldly and religious dimensions. The story of a Jesuit's life is always a dialogue with the world around, a kind of spiritual “reading' of the worldly environment, called the “spirit of discernment,' within the context of that practiced way of life characteristic of the founder, St. Ignatius. Like the great spiritual practices of old such as Stoicism and Epicureanism, Christian spiritual practices, like the Jesuit practices, were the practices of a certain philosophical way of life - the human side – that linked up with the primacy of Christian faith -- the religious side.

The Jesuits are an institution that from the time of its founder, took on the world, teaching both worldly and sacred knowledge or more accurately, they adopted ways of living that are both in the world, worldly, while being spiritually attuned according to the practices of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Some may find this paradoxical. Monks live in closed monasteries and behind high garden walls all the time; they have little or no contact with the world. Religious orders older than the Jesuits, such as the Dominicans and the Franciscans, live in tight supervised communities and sally forth only to meet the world for pre-planned sessions of preaching, prayer, or charitable work The Jesuits' special mission, however, has been to promote worldly and spiritual life together, not separately. That is a complex, difficult, and paradoxical project. Like all spiritual projects, however, this is a deeply human social project but also marked by personal and social decision making requiring a special spiritual training, or askesis. This is the charism of the Jesuit way of life, of living in the Company, or Society, of Jesus.

To return to my own story: I was assigned to become a Jesuit scientist, like so many other Jesuit scientists of the past. But it did not work out the way it was originally conceived. My first assignment was to work with the great Jesuit seismologist, Fr. Macelwane at St. Louis University, with the intention possibly of taking charge of the great worldwide Jesuit network of earth science observatories established at Jesuit schools everywhere and linked globally. This was a unique network of its kind and had been in existence for over a hundred years. But in 1954, two years after my doctorate in geophysics, the U.S. Government put billions of dollars into the International Geophysical Year. This moved the earth sciences far beyond where they were. It was done mostly for military purposes to monitor underground nuclear test activity and to track underwater nuclear powered naval craft in the great oceans of the world, and much of the new research was top secret. In a short time, the Jesuit global seismological network became redundant and as a consequence there was no longer any need within the Jesuit Order for experts in this field. I then entered the field of high energy physics at Princeton University under the mentorship of Eugene Wigner, one of the original founders of the quantum theory. But this, too, was soon interrupted, when the Faculty of Philosophy at University College, Dublin, requested that I be assigned to teach the philosophy of science. This required further training, which took me to the University of Leuven, Belgium, where I finished a book on Werner Heisenberg's physical philosophy.

And so, at the age of 38, I began my first serious teaching job. This was in the physics department at University College, Dublin, as professor of relativistic cosmology, waiting for an appointment to philosophy. There followed my one and only - and most satisfying - job teaching science! But in the middle of my first year, I received an invitation from Fordham University in New York, to go there to teach my new specialty, the philosophy of science. I then began in 1965 a new career in the philosophy of science.

But further challenges were to follow. Five years later, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, was given the mission to become a great research university, to become, as it was then said, an 'instant Berkeley. Out of the blue, it invited me to become chair of the philosophy department, and to begin a doctoral degree program in philosophy. In a few years, Stony Brook became the leader in continental philosophy in the US with vast public funding and with the full backing of the administration. A few years after the successful establishment of that program, I was invited to become Vice President and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook. After the establishment of the Staller Fine Arts Centre, I was recalled to administration as Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts. I spent 22 years in all at Stony Brook. Then in 1992, on the invitation of Fr Leo O'Donovan, then President of Georgetown University, I left secular public higher education and re-entered the domain of private Catholic and Jesuit higher education, as the person responsible for the Main Campus of Georgetown University.

You might want to know how I experienced secular higher education in a top research public university. In retrospect, I have to say that I found extraordinary respect for one who was, oddly, both a priest and a Jesuit. Of course, being also a card carrying scientist did help a lot. Catholic friends in higher education have since said to me: 'You must have horror stories to tell about the secular values of public education. Not really! Academic life in both the public universities and the Catholic universities is much the same - commitments to social justice, public responsibility, and “What's new!” are not much different in the practical order. The big difference is in the limitations of public discourse and the public practices of life. Religious language and ritual are absent; motivations are expressed in terms of human rights, professional ethics, and other secular humanistic doctrines - or without further definition, the pursuit of excellence! My frustration was mitigated by the discovery that many of the values we know as Christian values have by now migrated beyond the Church, they are no longer challenged but taken for granted as due to humanity and human society. I asked: How did this come about? I think the reason is that universities grew up under the Christian umbrella before they came to shelter themselves under the shadow of the state, and they carried much of the Christian tradition with them.

I often found beneath the surface a hidden quasi-religious commitment clothed in secular and human rhetoric. I came to feel sure that Jesus would not condemn these people. Many, both Jewish and agnostic, were like Nicodemus, or like the blind man emerging from the pool of Siloam, they shared the vision of Jesus, but they had not been challenged in such a way as to recognize the divine presence that he represents in the world.

My years at Georgetown University have also been a challenge and a gift. I am so happy that we celebrate religious rituals, and that religious motivations and spirituality can be spoken of, and are needed and heeded by many students and faculty without interfering with the usual and expected academic standards of the disciplines. It is so comforting to be in a community where the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are known and used to promote a way of life that gives spiritual sight to the business of the world. Since the time of Stephen Daedelus and of my youth, changes have taken place: Jesuit priests now go round in different coloured coats and trousers, [even some with beards and moustaches.' And in doing so they are affirming a world vibrant - Yes! - with divine life....

Interfuse No 125 : Autumn 2005

PATRICK HEELAN : “LE PETIT PHILOSOPHE” (1)

Patrick A Heelan

‘Le petit philosophe’
My family tells me – usually with good humored teasing -- that, when I was baptized, my godfather, a lawyer and a philosopher of sorts, looked at me in the cradle bemused, and said, “Le petit philosophe!” Recalling who the “philosophes” were, it could have been an ironic comment on the promises just made on my behalf but, if it was intended as a prophetic statement, this is where my “evangelium” should begin!

When I was young, I lived with my family in a pretty seaside town, Dalkey, on the South side of Dublin – once the home of George Bernard Shaw and today of U2's Bono. It was then about one and a half hours commute by bus or train to and from my Jesuit high school, Belvedere College, on the North side of the River Liffey. Consequently, neither before nor after school did I have the companionship of other Belvederians, nor indeed much other young companionship. As the second son, I was eclipsed by my brother, Louis, who seemed to have a large circle of friends and colleagues, boys and girls, which I did not have. I enjoyed reading, mathematics, music, home carpentry, and the company of my mother. She had come from Antwerp, Belgium as a young girl during the first World War, to study English and accountancy, and she stayed in Dublin after the war, met my father in Dalkey and married him. I had a younger sister – still living - and an older brother - now gone. My sister was a good junior partner. She tried hard to keep up with her brothers but sadly she was derided for being a girl! She was the first among us, however, to become a doctor, a real M.D. She married a dentist, and devoted her life to raising a large family and serving on Catholic medical boards. My brother became a cautious lawyer; also raised a large family; worked in venture capital investment, including the film industry; and was a lifelong active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for helping the indigent. My father was a senior civil servant, an economist, fluent in French and German, aloof, given to three hobbies - rose gardening, musical composition and, after retiring, the translation of theological works from the German - even some from Karl Rahner, S.J. I was an introverted and selfish kid.

At Belvedere, I had good math teachers. I liked math because it was clear, logical, beautiful, and unassailable, and, as I thought, did not require company. Mathematical physics seemed to me to be the true model of all authentic knowledge of the world. My attitude towards the world was abstract and aloofly contemplative. This attitude was only to be confirmed by my scientific, philosophical, and theological education in the Jesuit Order - until wisdom made its entrance.

Reflection:
What follows is the story of several conversions, each connected with unplanned zigs or zags, contingent events from which, by divine grace - for how else explain it? -- an intelligible narrative emerged that was accompanied by - or eventually brought - wonder and joy, as well as “rest to my soul.' The frustrations along the way were met with unexpected gifts of help, from people, some living and some now dead, too numerous to name. Some will be mentioned in the following narrative. Among them is St. Ignatius Loyola whose Spiritual Exercises were indispensable; Bernard Lonergan, S.J., whom I had the privilege of knowing personally though only in a small way, whose books, Insight and Method in Theology found their way to me at crucial moments of transition. With the help of them and many others on the way, I came to experience my life in the Jesuit order, not as a career to be established, but as a story always under editorial revision and reconstruction, continuously discontinuous, yet with persistent Catholic and catholic threads and an interiority that tended to be affirmative and to bring, as was promised in the gospels, rest to my soul.

UCD and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (1944-48)
Now for some particulars! In 1942, at the age of 16, I joined the Jesuits, directly from high school. I knew that I was joining a society that respected science and mathematics, and looked forward to a possible Jesuit career in the sciences. Spiritually, I was no more than a cultural Irish Catholic who felt comfortable with the way of life of the Jesuits he knew. An eventual career in the sciences seemed to be confirmed by my early university studies as a Jesuit in mathematics and mathematical physics (BA, 1947; MA, 1948, all with first-class honors) at University College, Dublin (UCD). In 1948 I was awarded a fellowship in Mathematical Physics to study for a doctorate wherever in the world I could find a perch.

The years of my mathematical studies in Ireland coincided with the chaotic post-war years in Europe during which the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies offered hospitality to many émigré European scientists. I was privileged then to be able to attend seminars given by very eminent theoretical physicists at its School of Theoretical Physics in Dublin. Among those resident there at the time were Erwin Schrödinger and John Synge, both mathematicians famous for their work in General Relativity and Cosmology. Relativistic Cosmology explained gravitation as due to curvatures of four-dimensional space-time related to the presence of physical masses in space time; these warp the geometry in ways not compatible with Euclidean geometry. But as a classical theory, it is clear, logical, elegant, deductive, and mathematically unassailable. These descriptors also fitted Schrödinger's own teaching, the elegance of his style, and what he expected of others. It set the tone for his students among whom I was happy to be counted.

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies with its School of Theoretical Physics was founded by Eamon de Valera, the Prime Minister of Ireland during those years, who was a mathematician. I remember being told, when I was small, that only seven people in the world understood Einstein's Theory of Relativity and that de Valera was one of them. Wanting to belong to this small group, I took courses with Schrödinger and Synge. From Schrödinger I came to understand that the General Theory of Relativity did not support the 'relativism' of truth; to the contrary, it was founded on constancy, invariance, and symmetry, as befitted the rational design of Him whom Einstein called the “Old One”. Einstein's motto was, “Der Herrgott würfelt nicht' - God does not throw dice!” It was carved above the fireplace of his office in the old Palmer Laboratory of Princeton. It was Einstein's challenge to Heisenberg and to quantum mechanics. At this time, I felt I was with Einstein.
One class episode with Schrödinger opened my mind to a new way of thinking about human consciousness. He spoke about the foundations of mathematics and cosmology in the intuition of non-Euclidean geometrical spaces. Since the dominant scientific and philosophical view before Einstein was that real Space as intuited by our imagination was necessarily Euclidean, a fundamental principle of both mind and body had been breached and needed to be re-studied at all levels of relevance.

Reflection:
The notion that cosmology forced us to imagine curved three- and four-dimensional spaces that can be both finite in size and yet have no boundaries grabbed me in a profound way and gave me a new concern, with consciousness and its role in psychology, physics, philosophy, and spirituality.

In 1948, my final year at UCD, I won a prestigious Fellowship (called a Travelling Studentship) that paid for doctoral studies abroad anywhere in the world. I was sent to pursue doctoral studies at St. Louis University as a junior Jesuit scholastic. My provincial wanted me to study geophysics and seismology. Why seismology? And why at St. Louis? In the late 1940's, the Vatican Observatory managed several scientific research programs besides astronomy. Among them was an international network of seismological stations not just at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, but at Jesuit colleges around the world. The Director of the Vatican Observatory in 1948 was Father Daniel O'Connell, SJ an Irish Jeşuit. He spoke to my Provincial and, much to my chagrin, requested that I be sent to study geophysical seismology at St. Louis University, a Jesuit university that had a special Institute of Geophysics.

The Director at that time of the Institute of Geophysics at St Louis University was Father James Macelwane, SJ, a scientist of considerable fame. He worked closely with the oil exploration industry and the Pentagon. Under his direction, my assigned research project: was to find a means of telling from seismic records whether a seismic disturbance was of artificial or natural origin. This involved finding a correlation between the seismological signatures of underground disturbances and their source. Being, like Schrödinger, a mathematical physicist, and not at all an experimental physicist, I transformed the practical problem into a mathematical one. I studied no records, but instead, using simplified assumptions, I looked for solutions of the elastic wave equations that seemed to define the problem. My research was supported by the US military though I did not know this until much later, for its real purpose was to find the seismic key to monitoring underground nuclear tests (for a retrospect, see, Broad, W. New York Times, 2005). In response to the great success of Soviet science with the launching of Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite, in 1957, Russian scientific papers began to be translated into English. To my great surprise a copy of my doctoral papers appeared in 1961 – as translated from the Russian complete with the identical mathematical typos that appeared in my papers - seemingly attributed to the Leningrad Acoustical Institute. Following the major U.S. Federal government investment in geophysics during the International Geophysical Year (1957-58), the Jesuit Seismological Network folded, and there was no longer a potential job in seismology for me with the Jesuits.

Conversion #1: Insight into “discernment” in Ignatian prayer
My first breach with the orientation towards mathematics as the preferred instrument of reason occurred while making the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with other scholastics, I think in the sutnmner of 1951, in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The retreat master was Father Charles Hertzog, SJ. For the first time, I had insight into the role of 'discernment in Ignatian prayer. I had made many retreats before this, but the meaning of discernment had escaped me. This is the practice of assessing, during a time of peace and recollection, the spiritual authenticity of one's interior thoughts, feelings, and desires, as they emerged into consciousness against the background of faith in and love for the crucified and risen Jesus. I don't any longer recall how spiritual discernment was presented by Fr. Hertzog, but the impact on me at that time was certainly due to his expositions and my deep need for something of that kind. It breached a barrier in my consciousness that brought about a 'conversion' event. After that time, I began to notice and take seriously how people and events came to me. They came differently from before now they seemed to carry messages for concem, invitations to new tasks, either as providers of peace and consolation, or as warnings against involvement, and so on. This brought about a new level of self-awareness and interiority that challenged the anonymous, often self-serving habits, practices, and conventions of the unconscious self. I was not yet curious about the cultural origins of that unconscious self, but a route was opened that had not been there before.

I returned to Ireland in 1952. My science studies had to be put aside for eight years. I spent two years in philosophy, one in regency teaching, four in theology- my ordination was at the end of my third year in 1958 - then after theology there was Tertianship, a final spiritual and pastoral year (1959-60) that I spent in Münster, Germany. My studies in philosophy were done at the Jesuit School of Philosophy, in the farming community of Tullamore, Ireland. My theological studies were done at the Jesuit School of Theology, Milltown Park, in a suburb of Dublin. Jesuit seminary philosophy made little mark on me; it did not have the clarity, elegance, and explanatory function - nor even the empirical outlook – that I was used to in science, and it seemed to me also at the time that its insights were anonymous and lacked the joyful and sublime moments that might have saved it from irrelevance. There was one notable exception, the course on sacred scripture at Milltown Park, which introduced us to the historical, archaeological, and literary studies of biblical texts.

In the middle of my theological studies, I was summoned to the Provincial's office nearby, and was told that the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, wanted me to be assigned to teach philosophy at UCD. The Faculty of Philosophy at that time served almost exclusively the seminarians of the Archdiocese. But there was agitation from a group of lay students to open the philosophy curriculum to modern topics such as the philosophy of science. The Dean and Professors of the Faculty, all priests of the Dublin Archdiocese, persuaded the Archbishop of the need to make this possible. I, however, had no knowledge of this situation and was at a loss to know how I came to be chosen for this job. I was shocked at the Archbishop's proposal and my consideration of it gave me no joy. Aware that the Archbishop was not a patient listener to contrary advice, I, nevertheless, dared, like Job in the Old Testament, to argue with the Almighty! I represented that I was not competent to teach the philosophy of science because I found little joy in the subject and because my scientific training was badly in need of an upgrade for such a task after so many years away from science. The Archbishop's reply came to me from my Provincial: “Tell Patrick Heelan to read a good book!” He made no suggestion, however, as to what book I should read.

Conversion #2: Lonergan's transcendental method of Insight
As it happened, Bernard Lonergan's Insight, was published in the summer of 1957. It hooked my interest from the start, perhaps because it began with mathematical examples. I found it exciting, and it gave me great joy. I found it intensely illuminating with respect to philosophical method. It seemed to me to describe correctly the role of intuition in mathematics as well as the role of experience in concept and theory formation. It gave me notions, such as transcendental method, intentionality, assessment, interiority, empirical residue, that expanded my mind with pleasurable excitement. After finishing the book, I lent my copy to Fr Eamonn Egan, a brilliant young Jesuit who professed philosophy. He read it through, from cover to cover - and, it is said, that he neither ate nor slept during that time and was found lying on the floor of his room exhausted, three days later. Others at Milltown Park also read Insight and their excitement led to the formation of a Lonergan caucus or “fan club” at Milltown Park that has continued to the present day, The Archbishop was right, I needed a good book ... and the good book had found me!

Course notes on De Methodo Theologiae (in Latin) were also being passed around from courses Lonergan gave at the Gregorian University in Rome. They were early versions of what later became his Method in Theology, which appeared in 1972. I also noted the coherence between Ignatian discernment and Lonergan's notions of interiority and authenticity. That summer I had my second “conversion” - to a better understanding of the kind of human cooperation that divine grace needed when working for the Kingdom of God in today's scientific culture.

Lonergan's approach to philosophy was his discovery in Aquinas of an account of human knowing that was based on the recognition of (what is called today) transcendental method. A transcendental process is one that affects all human processes, 'transcendental' being the Kantian term for “a priori, universal, and necessary”. Lonergan's transcendental method went beyond Kant and described a sequence of four functions (processes) that operate sequentially and recursively in the process of all human inquiry. They are: 1. experiencing, 2. understanding, 3, judging, and 4. decision-making. The four functions operate on experiencing and from this draw their objective content. Their actions are recursively used again and again to review, revise, update, confirm or drop. This recursive use is called hermeneutical since each use shapes some aspect of meaning: the first produces perceptual meanings (related to descriptive concepts); the second produces theoretical meanings (related to networks of mutually related phenomena); the third, produces judgments of truth/falsity (after evidence is assessed), and the fourth and final phase produces practical action (related to human values and sensibility). A cycle of the four functions is called a transcendental hermeneutical circle (or spiral).

This new way of thinking changed the emphasis of my thinking from the mathematical to the practical, from the world as object to the interiority of the inquiring subject's engagement with the world, and from formal language to descriptive language. I began to see these recursive interior processes as the source of all human and cultural development in historical time and the natural sciences as the domain in which the embodied character of transcendental hermeneutical method is most clearly to be seen.

This new start in philosophy convinced me all the more that I needed to update my physics and learn more philosophy. So I applied for a Fulbright Fellowship to Princeton University to do post-doc work in quantum field theory. My application was accepted. Much to the chagrin of the Archbishop, however, I requested that my two years in the United States be followed by two years at the University of Leuven (Louvain), Belgium, to study the philosophy of science. I believed I could with luck finish a doctorate there in two years.

Conversion #3: Role of Consciousness in Quantum Physics
After a few months of preparatory work at Fordham University, I went on to Princeton arriving there around Christmas, 1960. My experience at Princeton was, indeed, mind blowing. The Princeton physics department at that time was probably the best physics department in the world! I worked with Professor Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Laureate and one of the founders of the quantum theory, and Fr Matsuo Yanase, SJ, a Japanese Jesuit physicist who was soon to become the President of Sophia University, Tokyo. Wigner was Hungarian, Jewish by birth and Lutheran by faith. He had been trained in chemical engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. He had a very keen sense of both the empirical and the technological side of science. Ironically, Wigner occupied Einstein's old office in the Palmer Lab with the famous inscription I already mentioned. I soon switched my allegiance from Einstein to Heisenberg, and from General Relativity to Quantum Theory.

Einstein loved the objective order of geometry where everything had its determinate time and place. This is characteristic of classical physics - roughly all physics with the exception of quantum physics - where it is assumed that theoretical terms in physics exist and have determinate properties independently of any engagement with human culture, with observers or their instruments. Classical objects are thought to be, using Lonergan's phrase, 'already out there now real,' that is, present beyond human culture and history and in principle independent of human filters. Such a view tends to see the world entirely in material terms. Wigner's view was that the only evidence we can rely on is given in experience. Experience, however, involves contingency and risk, for what is observed is observed through many human bodily, instrumental, and linguistic filters. None of these filters can sift incoming signals with infinite precision and, as the quantum theory predicted, some of these filters are mutually incompatible. The question that most quantum physicists and philosophers of science found troubling is the epistemological one: What CAN a physicist know absolutely about the real world? - which is probably unanswerable. Wigner, however, changed the basic question to an ontological one (Wigner 1967, 171-184): What IS knowing in quantum physics? This was the same move that Kant, Lonergan, Husserl, and Heidegger had made. Wigner in an interview towards the end of his life said: “My chief scientific interest in the last 20 years has been to somehow extend theoretical physics into the realm of consciousness consciousness is beautifully complex. It has never been properly described, certainly not by physics or mathematics”. (Szanton 1992, p. 309).

At the end of my Fulbright Fellowship in the Fall of 1962, I went directly to Leuven, to begin my doctoral work in the philosophy of science. It was natural then for me to focus my research on the problem of objectivity in Heisenberg's quantum mechanics and the role of consciousness in measurement.

Leuven (1962-4) and Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity (65)
I arrived at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in September, 1962, to begin work towards a PhD in the philosophy of science. There was no philosophical program there in the field of the natural sciences, but only in logic and the social psychological sciences. The Institut Supérieur de Philosophie was, however, the home of the Edmund Husserl Archives, brought there by Fr HL Van Breda, OFM, a Franciscan priest, who in 1939 with great personal risk had saved Husserl's papers from confiscation and destruction by the Nazi regime in Germany. My mentor was Professor Jean Ladrière, a brilliant and most beloved logician and mathematician, whose interests included Husserl and the social sciences. During this time, I studied the principal published writings of Husserl. Husserl was a trained mathematician. From 1901 to 1916, he taught philosophy at the University of Göttingen in what was then called the Faculty of Philosophy, which included Natural Philosophy. Among its faculty were also the mathematicians and physicists who were responsible for the early 20th century revolution that committed mathematics to the service of physics. Aquinas, Kant, Lonergan, Husserl, and Martin Heidegger, provided the resources I used to study the philosophical questions I brought from Wigner's Princeton. I read all of Heisenberg's published papers up to the time of my writing, visited with him several times at the Max-Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, and discussed with him what I found unclear in his presentations. I found him most cordial and open, and our relationship continued after I left Leuven until his death in 1976. I defended my dissertation in 1964 and received the grade of félications du jury, 'which is the highest honors. I was told by my good friend and Heidegger counsellor, Fr. Bill Richardson, S.J., of Boston College, that it was an invitation to prepare for a faculty appointment at Leuven.

My dissertation was published under the title: Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity: A Study of the Physical Philosophy of Werner Heisenberg (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1965). I will refer to it below as QMO. Of QMO, Heisenberg wrote in the personal letter to me (dated November 10, 1970): “I very much enjoyed reading your book. Precisely the connection between a description of the historical development and a very careful philosophical analysis seems to me to be a felicitous foundation for the reader being able to really penetrate into quantum theory and its philosophy”.

QMO has been widely read and, until recently, was part of the history of science curriculum at Oxford. Some years ago, I was happy to learn that parts of it were being read at the elite Dalton School in New York City in a seminar for the best and brightest among New York high school seniors.

The thesis of the book sustains Wigner's point that there is in quantum physics the emergence of a distinctively new and explicit role for subjectivity at the moment when a datum observation is made. By 'new', I mean 'absent from classical physics. By 'explicit,' I refer to a conscious discrimination between two types of discourse, 1) theoretical (model) discourse and 2) empirical (fact) discourse. Facts occur only in appropriate practical horizonal situations. By horizon/horizona! I mean the practical situatedness of an event - here, a measurement event in a laboratory environment. The principal (but not exclusive) function of a horizon is to specify the space/time and momentum/energy variables. In classical physics, all such horizons are assumed to be mutually compatible. This compatibility breaks down in quantum physics, where cross-correlations exist between data taken in different complementary horizons, for example, the space/time horizon and the momentum/energy horizon are 'complementary. The choice of horizon is controlled by a free decision of the measuring subject. Wigner took this dependence of 'what is factual' on 'what humans have chosen to measure to be evidence of the presence of a human interpretative (and cognitive) role inside the new physics that is absent from classical physics. He saw this as evidence for the existence of an immaterial factor within human consciousness that plays a role in the practice of the new physics.

Reflection:
Much of my later work was inspired by Wigner's problem and the desire to understand it better. In doing so, I read deeply about the biological, historical, and cultural origins of the four functions that in Lonergan's account, constitute the transcendental core of human conscious living. I asked: How did they come to be structured the way we find them today? and How do they operate within the contexts of history, culture, and religion? In the light of Wigner's view that quantum physics implies a role for human consciousness, I began to think that it might be possible to describe the individual embodied human being as a Quantum MacroSystem (CMS).

Return to the USA (1965)
I returned to Ireland from Leuven in the mid-summer of 1964, ready to teach the philosophy of science at UCD in the Fall of that year. Earlier that year I had received some telephone calls from Ireland telling me that there was a crisis brewing about what I would teach in the Fall, but the cause of the crisis was not mentioned. Arriving back in Dublin, I found that I was not listed among the Faculty of Philosophy, but among the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Physics, assigned to teach the graduate course in General Relativistic Cosmology. It was some time before I learned what had been going on in the last few feverish months while I was completing and defending my philosophy dissertation. I was told that the Jesuit professors at UCD had voted – no doubt with others - to give the Chair of Medieval History to someone other than the Archbishop's candidate for that position. The Archbishop then pressured the university to appoint the Archbishop's candidate to a Chair of Medieval Philosophy in the Faculty of Philosophy, and to assign to him the budget line that up to that time was being kept for me. As part of the deal, I was given a position in the Department of Mathematical Physics. I was encouraged, nevertheless, to offer a course in the philosophy of science but only for science students, but I was told that the course would not be listed among courses in philosophy. When I asked why, the reason given me was to ensure that my name would not be put forward as a candidate for Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy when the present Dean retired. The Archbishop had his own candidate for that position. My Provincial had no option but to acquiesce in this matter. The students thought otherwise, however, and showed their disapproval by briefly occupying the office of the Dean of Philosophy.

And so le petit philosophe plus the 'good book that was sent his way “to clear his path” returned for the time being at least to be un petit scientifique hastily boning up on material learned sixteen years earlier at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. But destiny was to win out!

References:
Broad, W, 2005. “Listening for Atom Blasts, but Hearing Earthquakes”. New York Times, January 18, 2005.
Heelan, P. 1965. Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity: A Study of the Physical Philosophy of Werner Heisenberg. The Hague: Nijhoff.
Szanton, A. 1992. Recollections of Eugene P Wigner as told to Andrew Szanton. Plenum Press.
Wigner, E. 1967. Symmetries and Reflections. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Ingram, Richard E, 1916-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/33
  • Person
  • 27 July 1916-06 October 1967

Born: 27 July 1916, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1951, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 06 October 1967, St Ignatius House of Writers, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

by 1947 at Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (MAR) studying
by 1949 at Seismology Institute California (Holy Family, Pasadena), USA - studying
by 1962 at Holy Family Pasadena CA, USA (CAL) studying

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Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
America :
Fr. Ingram will avail of his travelling studentship in mathematics in the John Hopkins University, Baltimore (Maryland Province). He will study under Professor Murnaghan (an Omagh C.B. boy), a student of Dr. Conway at U.C.D., and head of the mathematics department there. He hopes to leave Rineanna on October 18th, for New York.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Fr. Ingram secured his Doctorate, D.Ph, in Mathematics, at the John Hopkins University, U.S.A. on 8th June, thus crowning success fully the two years of the Mathematical Studentship awarded him some years back by the National University. He will be lecturing at the Summer Course organised by Loyola University, Los Angeles, for the months of June to August.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Ingram remains in the United States for another year; he has accepted a Fellowship in the Californian Tec. at Pasadena, where he will have opportunities of research work in seismology under two eminent theoretical seismologists, Guttenberg and Richter and the distinguished instrument designer, Benioff.

Fr. Jeremiah McCarthy of the Hong Kong Mission writes from the U.S.A, where he is examining possibilities of setting up an Institute of Industrial Chemistry in Hong Kong :
New York, 23rd September :
“I have spent some time at Buffalo and Boston and at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. The Professors there were most kind, and I learnt a good deal. I expect to be here for a month or six weeks, visiting factories and Colleges in New York. I met Fr. Ingram at Boston. He was doing some work at Harvard. I have heard from several sources that he had a great reputation at Johns Hopkins. I went yesterday to the Reception for Mr. Costello at Fordham and the conferring of an Honorary Degree. Cardinal Spellman was there. In his speech Mr. Costello avoided politics, except to say that the Government would stop emigration altogether, save that they would still send priests and nuns wherever they might be required. Most of the speech was taken up with a very graceful tribute to the Society and its work. He referred to the debt of Ireland to the Society in times of persecution, and again in modern times, and hoped to see an extention of our work in schools and Colleges in Ireland. The address was broadcast”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

LETTERS :

Fr. Ingram, writes from Holy Family Church, 1501 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, California, 25th October :
“I am living in a parish rectory (not S.J.) to attend Cal-Tech. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to the Institute by street car. The nearest S.J. house is about 13 miles from Cal. Tech, more than 1 hour by bus and not practical... All my work to date is geophysics. I shall not leave U.S.A. until probably July.
You wonder what life is like in a Seismological Observatory. I report at the Institute in the morning at 8 a.m. and take in a lecture or two. If time permits before lunch I am taken out to the Pasadena Observatory and help in the morning work of inspecting the charts for earth tremors. As there are two or three small shocks nearly every day, this is quite a job. Then we shuttle back to the Faculty Club for lunch and back again to the Observatory in the afternoon - the professors supplying transport. At 5 p.m, we depart from the several different works that the Observatory is handling. I return to my parish to join the pastor and senior curate at supper. By the way, all pastors out here are Irish - very much so - mine played in an All-Ireland in 1911, and his friend, Fr. Masterson, was one of the greatest footballers Cavan ever had, playing for 6 years in All Irelands, etc., 1916-22”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

LETTERS :

From Fr. R. Ingram, Holy Family Rectory, 1501 Fremont Ave., South Pasedena, Cal., U.S.A. :
“I have just missed a trip to the Marshall Islands and Hawaii. Shell Ox Co. is sponsoring a world-wide experiment op gravity observations to be taken simultaneously at many different stations. We had arranged a party to take the observations in the Pacific, they were to be made every 1 hour, and the Navy had agreed to co-operate by flying the personnel and instruments to the locations. But an automatic recorder was perfected by La Coste (the designer of the ‘gravy-meter’) and off he went alone. God bless American efficiency! Instead of fiying across the Pacific a party of us have charge of the observations for the Los Angeles region. We hope to get a lot of information.
I plan to leave the West for St. Louis at the end of July. I sail for Ireland with Frs. Kent and Keane on 7th September”.
(Fr. E. Kent has been acting as Assistant Chaplain in City Hospital, New York.)

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 1 1968

35 Lower Leeson Street
In the closing days of September we heard with sadness and shock the news that our Superior, Fr. Ingram, was seriously ill. He had gone to hospital with what appeared to be a slight but painful injury to the shoulder. Medical tests were soon to reveal that the cause of trouble was leukaemia in a form so acute that the end could not long be delayed. He died peacefully on the morning of Friday, 6th October. President de Valera was present at the solemn Mass of requiem, In the huge congregation representatives of the two Universities, of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, of the Royal Irish Academy and of other learned bodies were conspicuous. Father Tyndall was celebrant of the Mass, with Fathers O Catháin and Troddyn as deacon and subdeacon. For the Month's Mind there was a Mass in our community chapel, celebrated by Father Troddyn and attended by the Ingram family... father and mother, twin brother and three sisters. These met later the Fathers of the house and expressed their deep appreciation of this small act of courtesy and gratitude. Perhaps the finest tribute to Father Ingram's memory was paid by a colleague in U.C.D. who said “He was the kindest man I ever knew”.

Obituary :

Fr Richard Ingram SJ (1916-1967)

“Dick” Ingram was born in Belfast on 27th July, 1916, one of twin boys. His father, John Ingram, was an Inspector in the then Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, who later was largely responsible for drafting the legislation which brought the present Vocational and Technical Education system into effect in 1930. Dick's mother, Edith Kelly, came of a Galway family which settled in Dublin.
His family moved to Dublin, after a spell in Cork, about 1922 and the children were sent to a private school in Rathgar where the intelligent lady principal was so much ahead of her time that the boys began Algebra and Geometry at the age of 8 or 9. So Dick had an early introduction to mathematics. He and his twin brother, Jack, went on to school in Belvedere. There he played Rugby pluckily on the fringe of the teams in his age-class, but cricket was the game which really attracted him, and he was on the Senior XI in his final year, 1933. In class, the fact that he shone less at languages than at mathematics kept him away from the top until he distinguished himself by taking first place in Ireland in Physics in the Leaving Certificate. He entered the Society at Emo that year, on 7th September, 1933.
One might say that he remained a novice, in the best sense, all his life. He never lost the regularity of observance of spiritual duties, the habit of punctuality, the non-equivocating acceptance of obligation and a considerable measure of simplicity, which mar ked him from then on. A fellow-novice recalls something which may illustrate this. Perhaps because he was over-studious, or perhaps from his cricket-playing, Dick had badly hunched shoulders. The Master of Novices proposed a remedy, and for months Brother Ingram was to be seen at voice-production every morning walking around resolutely with a walking-stick tucked through his elbows and behind his back, to straighten him up. Many years afterwards he would say his Office in the garden at 35 Lower Leeson Street, walking as if the stick was still there.
For some years after 1935 experimental-science degrees were out of favour for Juniors, so - despite his Leaving Certificate distinction - Dick did Mathematics and Mathematical Physics at Rathfarnham. He had a remarkable power of application to his studies, which became increasingly apparent and he seemed to feel almost a special vocation, rather than a personal ambition, to do well it mathematics. In this he succeeded, taking First Honours in all his examinations and being one of four Juniors who were chosen to do fourth years in 1938-39. Meanwhile, in his first year he worked at the Seismograph Station with Mr. (now Fr.) Joe McAsey, and was in charge of it himself for the next three years. Earthquakes were never quite obedient to the Juniors' order of time, and plotting their epicentre at odd and even late hours often provided a welcome break in routine. .
In the B.Sc. examination of 1935 Dick was disappointed to be ousted from first place by a few marks by Sheila Power, afterwards a colleague of his at U.C.D. as Mrs. Tinney, but he made no mistake the following year when he took his M.Sc, and beat her and all-comers for the N.U.I. Travelling Studentship in Mathematics. As the Second World War had just begun he was allowed to postpone taking up the studentship, and went to Tullabeg for Philosophy. Along with one other philosopher Dick took up an option given him by the Provincial, Fr, Kieran, of doing the three-year course in two years, and the whole time-table was re-arranged to suit them. Thus they were faced with the formidable task of beginning right away with the third-year as well as the first-year subjects. Having successfully negotiated this crash-course, and securing a further postponement of his studentship, Dick went straight on to Milltown Park in 1941.
In a sense he was returning home, His parents lived at Dartry, half-way between Milltown and Rathfarnham, and from then until his death, save during his four years in America, he seldom missed a Sunday visit to them. Dick was no socialite, and these visits were quiet family affairs which he valued for the pleasure he knew they gave to his mother and father.
Dick took his theology studies and examinations with the serious thoroughness he had given to mathematics, and passed the Ad Gradum successfully in 1945. He had been ordained on 31st July 1944 by the Archbishop of Dublin. He did his tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1945-6, under Father Hugh Kelly.
The time had come to take up the long-postponed studentship. This was no easy matter, for a great deal of mathematics can be forgotten in seven years devoted to other demanding work. Not only that but, during those years, Mathematical studies had moved away from the Cambridge Maths. Tripos pattern little changed from the end of the nineteenth century to the time Dick did his M.Sc. Now, after the war, newer approaches were in vogue. Dick. was not deterred, and he was fortunate enough to find a friendly sponsor for his postgraduate studies at Johns Hopkins, America's foremost mathematical university, in Professor F. D. Murnaghan, a distinguished U.C.D. graduate. He worked for two years under other mathematicians of world-wide reputation, and obtained his Ph.D. degree with distinction in 1948.
During the following year he did further work at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. He appears to have enjoyed this year more than any other in his life, save perhaps that spent later as a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, Washington. He lived at the rectory of a friendly pastor whom he helped with Church work on Sundays and with whom he played a regular game of golf. “We both ‘shot in the middle eighties’”, he said on his return home. It was towards the end of that year that he was to have been flown by the U.S. Air Force to be an observer of a test atomic explosion in the Pacific. The trip, to his disappointment, was cancelled at the last minute because an instrument was found to do the observations automatically.
With his very high-ranking degree Fr. Ingram was sought after by many Jesuit universities in the United States, and he could have had various appointments had he wished to “push” for them, but instead he returned to take up in 1949 what was at first a relatively unimportant lecturership at U.C.D. Indeed, although he passed through several grades of appointment there, it was not really until 1966, when he became Associate Professor of Mathematics in Modern Algebra, that he was given a status in keeping with his qualifications. In his formal application for that post he was able to mention, in an incomplete list, ten contributions of research papers to scientific journals, as well as membership of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy and the Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society.
From 1949 to 1963, save for a further year in America (1961 62), Fr. Ingram was stationed at Rathfarnham Castle. He made his Solemn Profession there on 2nd February, 1951. He took charge again of the Seismogaph Station, re-organising its work on a thoroughly scientific basis. As a result of contacts he made in the U.S. in 1961-62 he was offered additional equipment in that year, but he judged it better that this should go to a new station at Valentia which then took over the Rathfarnham work, as is more fully reported in the Province News for January 1963.
That number of the Province News also gives an account of a visit through the Iron Curtain to Jena in Eastern Germany which Fr. Ingram made for a European Seismological Congress in Summer 1962. He attended many such conferences as representative of University College, Dublin. It was typical of him that he regarded them not as sight-seeing holiday trips, nor yet as instructive through the papers heard, but as occasions for making “fruitful personal contacts in one's own field”, as he said on his return from the last one he was at, in Oxford, this Summer. As a result, indeed, he had correspondence with mathematicians in many parts of the world. His friendly manner as well as the fact that he could talk and write on their own high level of knowledge helped him to get on well with these men, often scientists of inter national repute. He was not unaware either that this is a form of Christian witness regarded as essential for the Church by Vatican Council documents. One such scientist, Dr. Cornelius Lanczos, now at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, writes of him in the Winter 1967 issue of Studies : “The premature death of this great scientist and much beloved human being left an irreparable void in the Irish intellectual scene”.
Dr. Lanczos's tribute appears at the end of a review of the book which occupied much of Fr. Ingram's time during the last five years, the monumental (672 page) Volume III of the Mathematical Papers of William Rowan Hamilton, which he edited with Professor Halberstam (of T.C.D. and Nottingham) for the Royal Irish Academy. Into this exacting work he put an immense amount of careful scholarship at a level which even the mathematically illiterate can infer from the review quoted. It was a consolation to Fr. Ingram's community that he had had the sati faction just before he fell fatally ill of distributing the first half dozen copies of the book to some of his professor friends.
How highly these friends and other colleagues regarded him is shown by a tribute published in the Sunday Press of 8th October, 1967 from the pen of Dr. J. R. Timoney, Professor in the Mathematical Faculty at U.C.D., reprinted in part at the end of this notice.
Fr. Ingram was mainly responsible for the foundation of the Irish Mathematical Teachers' Association in 1963 and he devoted himself with characteristic enthusiasm to making it the success it has become. A good deal of the work of preparing its regular News Letters was done, synonymously, by him.
Father Ingram was appointed Superior of 35 Lower Leeson Street in August 1963. It was not an ideal appointment. The office was a burden to him which his shyness especially made difficult. He felt responsibility too heavily : he was a poor conversationalist, and awkward in meeting strangers : he felt hurt if his authority seemed not to be respected or if his opinion was not asked for, even in small matters. These were defects of his qualities. His contacts with University Hall students illustrate both. On the one hand he was most thoughtful in arranging each year to, drive some of them out to Belfield for early morning maths lectures : on the other he was fussy about their tenure when they played in the handball alley at the back of 35. Again, although he was most anxious to be hospitable to visitors he found it difficult in practice to reconcile this with his own rather rigid attachment to an almost monastic way of life. But here, once more, his personal friendliness made up for the shyness which merely meant that nature had not made him the perfect “mine host”. He could and did win many hearts, even in occasional contacts. Thus, when the news of his death got abroad on Friday, October 6th, it was no matter for surprise to see the number of telegrams and letters of sympathy that began to arrive. Many of these were from priests, brothers and nuns for whom he had conducted seminars in the teaching of mathematics, and who now recalled above all his courtesy, patience and humility. But what was really astonishing was the number of neighbours in Leeson Street single-room dwellers for the most part, clerks, typists, shop-hands who stopped Fathers in the street to express their grief at the sudden passing of the gentle priest who had always a cheery good-morning or good evening for them as he hurried along. And nearly all of them said that they had only learned he was Superior of the house from the obituary notice in the newspapers.
Father Ingram's pupils praised him highly for the obvious care with which his lectures were prepared, but even more so for his accessibility and helpfulness out of class. He sometimes mystified them - as must happen with a difficult subject and a professor whose standards are high and exacting - and here perhaps there peeped out a little touch of natural playfulness which for the most part was kept controlled almost to the point of suppression. This was a pity, but for it the fault lay less with Dick than with a traditional system of formation less favoured today than formerly. It did not make him less a good man, a fine Jesuit or a holy priest.
Inevitably newspaper obituaries listed “Professor Ingram's” academic achievements. They remain on record. But those who lived close to him realised that between the status of priest and that of professor he esteemed the former faraway first. Those who served his morning Mass in Leeson Street could not fail to notice the care with which he vested for the altar, his scrupulous observance of the rubrics, the atmosphere of recollection that he radiated. And when in turn he served his priest-server's Mass there was a punctiliousness and decorum about him that would do credit to a novice. He said the Sunday Mass for the domestic staff and the greater part of his Saturday evening was spent in preparing the Sunday homily. Opportunities for Saturday confessions seldom came his way, but when they did he took them eagerly. The Director of Retreats could testify to the humble thankfulness of Dick on being assigned to give a retreat or triduum. His solicitude for the sick in nearby '96' or the Pembroke was just another characteristic of his priestliness. Late on Friday nights anyone who called into the chapel would become aware in the dim light of Dick doing the Stations of the Cross. His piety was never obtrusive but no one could fail to notice it. He could be seen at his rosary more than once a day, and his beads were seldom out of his hand during his last illness.
He liked simple fun at recreation, and the little light reading he indulged in was always of an uncomplicated kind. He enjoyed a good game of golf and almost to the day when he went to hospital to die he was a regular swimmer at the Forty-foot.
The fatal illness was mercifully brief, A shoulder sore all through the Summer did not improve under massage : in early September there was loss of weight and a general feeling of sickness and, finally, double-vision. On 20 September, having said Mass with difficulty, he went into hospital. Blood and other tests were made and meanwhile his condition deteriorated from day to day. A diagnosis of leukaemia was confirmed, and Fr. Shaw, (Spiritual Father) gave him the Last Sacraments on Saturday, 30 September. For the next few days Fr. Tyndall (Minister), visiting him regularly, found the Superior clear in mind only at intervals. Perhaps he did not fully realise how near he was to death. His one anxiety was about the effect his illness would have on his parents, both in their eighties. They saw him for the last time on Tuesday, October 3rd. Next evening he said, only half consciously, to one of his community : “I told them I was all right”. Under sedation all day on Thursday, he was deeply unconscious when two of the Fathers saw him and gave him a last blessing at about 8 o'clock. The special nurse who was attending him wrote afterwards :
“When I arrived on duty at 10 p.m, on Thursday night Father was in a coma and did not speak at all : he went deeper into unconsciousness towards Friday morning at 4.15 a.m. I had lighted the Blessed Candle and had said the prayers for the Dying, then the other nurses on duty joined me in saying the Rosary. Father seemed very peaceful in his last moments : at 4.30 a.m., without any struggle, he just gave a long sigh and his suffering had come to an end”.
It was the First Friday, 6th October. Father Ingram was just over 51 years of age.

REVEREND R. E. INGRAM - A TRIBUTE

By PROFESSOR JAMES RICHARD TIMONEY

It is an understatement to say that everyone connected with mathematics in Ireland, and many not directly involved in that discipline, has been deeply shocked by the almost sudden death of Fr. R. E. Ingram, S.J. The simple title “Fr. Ingram”, is used here for he was always referred to in this way during his life.
It is not necessary to recall the brilliant mathematical career and achievements of Fr. Ingram, for these have been dealt with in many places since his death. What is not so well known is the great human personality which was behind the kind and unassuming exterior which he presented to the outside world. He was kind, humble and always cheerful.
He was a simple man, without a trace of vanity, and although he had a very heavy work-load at all times, he seemed to have plenty of time to listen to all who approached him for help with their problems.
Not only his students will recall the kindly unhurried manner in which he dealt with their difficulties, but also many people who in recent years consulted him about unusual problems in computer programming.
The poser of a seemingly impossible problem who had given up hope, would receive, after a few days, a neatly written note containing an elegant solution.
Fr. Ingram was a natural priest, for such was his great humanity that although his deep simple piety was evident, one forgot that he was a priest. In religious discussion he was tolerant and open-minded but quietly firm. When he thought the occasion demanded it, he could be outspoken and bluntly critical.
The mathematics departments in University College, Dublin, and all interested in mathematics have lost a great and enthusiastic colleague by his untimely death. The best tribute his many friends can pay to his memory is to carry on his work in the many fields where he laboured.
The Sunday Press, 8th October, 1967.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1968

Obituary

Father Richard E Ingram SJ (OB 1933)

Father Richard Ingram SJ, died on October 6th, 1967 after a brief illness. At the time of his death he was Associate Professor of Mathematics at UCD and Superior (since 1964) of the Jesuit House of Studies in Leeson Street. Born in Belfast in 1916, he entered the Society in 1933 and soon gave evidence of outstanding ability. He obtained his BSc in Mathematical Science with first class honours in 1938 and won the MSc and travelling studentship in the following year. As the latter had to be postponed because of the war he resumed his ecclesiastical studies and was ordained in 1944,

Returning to Mathematics in 1946 he went to Johns Hopkins University, obtaining there the PhD degree with the highest distinction in 1948. For the following year he held a Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. In 1949 he was appointed Lecturer in the UCD Mathematics Dept and at the same time became Director of the Seismological Observatory at Rathfarnham Castle. In 1961-2 he acted as Visiting Professor of Mathematics at Georgetown University, Washington DC, and also did research work for the US Coast and Geodetic Survey. In 1966 he was appointed Associate Professor of Matematics (Modern Algebra) at UCD.

Among his other distinctions Fr Ingram was a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. As well as representing UCD at various conferences he contributed research papers to many mathematical journals and conducted Courses in Modern Mathematics for Secondary Teachers. On of his most important undertakings-in conjunction with Professor H Halbestam of Nottingham University was the editing of the third volume of the works of Sir William Rowan Hamilton, a very substantial scientific work which was published this summer.

Kane, Robert I, 1848-1929, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/25
  • Person
  • 29 March 1848-21 November 1929

Born: 29 March 1848, Dublin
Entered: 03 November 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880, Laval, France
Professed: 02 February 1888, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 21 November 1929, Milltown Park, Dublin

Oldest brother of T Patrick - RIP 1918 and William V - RIP 1945
Cousin of Joseph McDonnell - RIP 1928

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1869 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1875 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying
by 1877 at Laval, France (FRA) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Oldest brother of T Patrick Kane SJ - RIP 1918 and William V Kane SJ - RIP 1945

Paraphrase/Excerpts“Irish Catholic” :
“Father Robert Kane SJ, well known as ‘the Blind Orator’ died at Milltown Park.... The son of William J Kane of Dublin and his wife Mary MacDonnell of Saggart ... he was a nephew of Sir Robert Kane, distinguished Irish scientist, author of “The Industrial Resources of Ireland”, and first cousin to the famous Admiral Henry Kane. He received his early education at Clongowes (1859-1864) and Ushaw (1864-1866).

After First Vows he went to St Acheul and then Roehampton for studies. He then spent three years Regency at Clongowes teaching Classics, and then back to France at le Mans, then two years Philosophy at Laval and followed by three years Theology and he was Ordained in 1880. Ill health forced him back to Ireland where he finished his Theology.
When the Philosophical school was opened at Milltown in 1881 he was appointed Professor of Physics and Ethics, which due to failing sight he was forced to abandon after a couple of years. He made his Tertianship at Roehampton and was then sent to Gardiner St. for two years and where he made his Final Vows. Then the Theology faculty was opened in 1889, and in spite of his disability, he was appointed Professor, and again after three years he had to abandon this post due to poor sight.
He remained at Milltown after he finished as professor, with the exception of two years at Crescent (1901-1903). He now devoted himself to the ministry of Preaching, Confessing and giving Retreats. Though totally blind for almost 30 years he would not abandon work. His strong and determined character would not consider a life of inaction or repose. He was fifty-six when he started teaching Philosophy and an oculist told him his eyes would not stand the strain, but he went ahead anyway. Instead, knowing blindness would come, he resolved to acquire a thorough knowledge of Philosophy and Theology, a store on which he would have to draw in the future. In the darkness of his blindness he sat composing his sermons and committing them to memory. He was then continuously sought after as a Preacher both in Ireland and England. His style was florid and rhetorical, but the matter was solid and profound. He could make dry scholastic argument live by the touch of his poetic mind.
Although blind he was able to prepare many works for publication, ad so he kept working right until the end. His last illness lasted 10 days and he died peacefully at Milltown.
Shortly before his death the Senate of the National University of Ireland notified him that they intended to confer the Degree ‘Doctor of Literature’ on him, in recognition of his published work.”

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930
Obituary :
Fr Robert Kane
Fr. Robert Kane ended his long and heroic life at Milltown Park, Dublin, on Thursday Nov. 21st. 1919. Fighting a battle against blindness for 40 years, and during all that time preaching sermons, many of them on great occasions, giving retreats, writing books, travelling alone through a crowded city, going on long missionary journeys, surely all that lifts a man's life to the heroic level. And such was the life of Fr. Robert Kane.

He was born in Dublin on the 29th March 1848, His first school was the Loreto Convent, N. Gt. Georges St, in which street his family then lived. He spent a short time at a school in Gloucester St., then for a year was with the Carmelites in Lr. Dominick St., another year at Newbridge, went to Clongowes in 1859, and finally to Ushaw in 1864 where he put in two years. When at Clongowes he began to think of joining the Society. At that time he was a Ward of Court, under the authority of the Lord Chancellor, and the change to Ushaw was, possibly, to test his vocation. He remained firm and entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park on the 3rd. Nov. 1866. He went to St. Acheul for his juniorate, where, on his 21st birthday, 29th March 1869, he took his vows. A second year's juniorate, spent at Roehampton, followed, and then Clongowes for three years teaching 1st Grammar and Poetry.
It was during these three years that his eyesight, in consequence of a neglected cold, first became affected. A distinguished Dublin oculist, a protestant, told him that he would eventually lose his sight, that he would he unable for a life of severe study, and suggested settling down in the country to farm land. Fr. Kane went to our College at Le Mans instead, and put in a year as lower line prefect.
Next came philosophy, two years at Vals, and a third at Laval. On his way to Vals he got leave to visit Lourdes, and he ever afterwards believed that the result of the visit was a special grace that enabled his eyesight to hold out during the long years of severe Jesuit study. Theology followed immediately - three years at Laval, (at the end of them came the expulsion
from our houses in France), the fourth year was passed in private study at Clongowes. Fr. Kane was ordained in the Cathedral at Laval on the 8th Sept. 1880, travelled to Dublin and said his first Mass at St Francis Xaviers, Gardiner St. on the feast of the Dolours BVM.
Those who made their studies at Laval will remember the excellent custom of having a long sleep to 5am during the minor vacation. Fr. Kane would not avail of this privilege. Up at 4am., and, when the morning devotions were over, pounded hard in his room until 11.45. On Villa days there was a forced march of some 40 or 50 miles. On getting back to Ireland
this too strenuous work was increased rather then lessened. People say that he burned the candle at both ends.
However the studies were get through without serious mishap. From issi to 1991 the 1883 the philosophers of Milltown had him as one of their professors and their immediate Superior. In the latter year tertianship was commenced at Milltown, but did not last long, the eyes were getting ominously bad, and for nearly two years he was laid up partly at Milltown, partly at Dusseldorf. In 1885, all the Catalogue says about him is “Cur Val”. In 1886-87 he made his tertianship at Roehampton, and when it was over went to Gardiner St., remained there for two years and then returned to Milltown as professor of the “Short Course”. He held this position for three years, but the eyes seem to be getting slowly, steadily worse, and by 1892 his energies were confined to “Exam. NN., Trad. exerc. spir., conf. ad jan”. From that date he remained at Milltown until his death, with the exception of two years spent at the Crescent, Limerick . Limited space inexorably compels to postpone a further sketch of Fr. Kane's life to the June number.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930

Obituary : Fr Robert Kane continued

Up to about the year 1901, Fr. Kane was still able, under favourable circumstances, to read his own manuscripts, large, heavy writing. But about that date the sight failed completely. He became stone blind.
It was then that the heroism of the man asserted itself. He did not lie down under the weight of his heavy cross. He continued to preach, to give lectures, retreats, to move about the country on missionary journeys. And he prepared all his discourses with the upmost care. At first sight this would seem impossible, but with the help of a secretary, and the aid of the more than willing scholastics of Milltown, the work was done.
Fr. Kane's style of preaching had many ardent admirers and many very severe critics, He was quite alive to this fact, and defends himself as follows : “I frankly and most willingly admit that there are able and admirable men who don't quite approve of my style of preaching. To them, and to all those who share their views, I offer my “Apologia”. I never for a moment thought my style is the only good style, nor did I ever fancy that it is the best style. My position is this : My style is the best style for me, and for those amongst my audience whose character and sympathies are like my own.
“Nothing is too good, too beautiful, to he the living shrine of the living Word. The inspired practice of the Church has been always, when this is possible, to build her grand Cathedrals., her humble pretty Chapels for her King to dwell therein. No gold is too pure, no precious stones too costly or too brilliant to enshrine His Precious Blood, no silk too fine, no lace too delicate to adorn His Altar or its ministers. So, too, no oratory is too elevated, or too touching, or too beautiful to be the medium of His teaching or His appeal.
This is true of the personal character of the Priest, as he is Christ's Preacher. To his Divine work, the individual Priest must put all the thinking of his mind, the knowledge of his study, the care of his writing, the accuracy and finish of his speech, the power and attraction of his voice, the fitness, the reverence and the subdued sacredness of good taste in gesture. In all this the Priest must he himself, his very own best self. This is my ideal, and I have tried to realise it in myself.”
The depth of Fr. Kane's holiness has been, fortunately, revealed to us by a little book, a few copies of which were distributed on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee. It consists of a collection of prayers composed by himself. The prayer for patience occupies just six pages of that book. Though he does not say so, it is quite obvious that his own heavy cross was pressing on him, and the prayer tells us how he bore it. Only a few lines of those six pages can be given : “Jesus Christ, my God and my Redeemer, I accept my cross as a result of my own folly, ignorance, or obstinacy, as a result chosen or permitted by Thy Supreme Will. I accept it as a punishment inflicted by Thine Absolute Justice, As a keepsake sent from Thy Sacred Heart; As the Sign of the Cross upon my life; As a moulding of my life into a likeness of Thine own life. I accept it in union with Thine own most bitter Passion, and in union with the Dolours of Thine own most Blessed Mother. I accept it with unquestioning resignation, with thanksgiving, with gratitude for Thy goodness to me and mine, in reparation for my faults and sins”. He confided to a friend, that it costs him years of struggle to say this prayer with his whole heart. The “Prayer of a Religious” is very striking. Again no mention of himself, and again quite obvious that he is unconsciously laying bare his heart . He thanks God for the “inestimable grace of vocation”, for God's “mysterious mercy”, in keeping him true to that vocation, and then, in impassioned words, begs for the grace to he faithful to that vocation in life and in death. Those who can speak with certain knowledge tell us of his tender devotion to Our Blessed Lady, from boyhood. Of course the “Few Special Prayers” contains prayer to the “Virgin Mother”. But there is scarcely a prayer in the book in which Mary is not called on with tender devotion and absolute confidence. Fr. Kane was very honest when telling us of the praise or blame meted out to him during life. Surely he was not less honest when dealing heart to heart, with God, and these Special Prayers tell us how he dealt. His piety did not lie on the surface, but every page of that book reveals the true Jesuit, the real, genuine A “Man of God”
During his period of total blindness Fr. Kane prepared for the press and published the following : “The Eucharist”; “From Peter to Leo”; The Virgin Mother”; “The Sermon of the Sea and other Stories”; “Socialism”; “The Plain Gold Ring:’ “Good Friday to Easter Sunday”; “God or Chaos”; “From Fetters to Freedom”; “Worth”; “A dream of Heaven and other Discourses”. A poem of his “From out the Darkness” appeared in the Irish Monthly, October 1885, 1885, that gives a good idea of his character.
Shortly before his death, the Senate of the National University notified him that they intended to confer the degree of Doctor of Literature on him in recognition of his published work.
We are again indebted to Fr. P. Gannon for the following appreciation It appeared in the : Standard” 1of Nov. 30th. :
After Fr. Finlay, Fr. Kane, and another link is snapped with the ecclesiastical Ireland of the last half century. Much more, too, than his younger colleague did Fr. Kane pertain to that past. The final years of blindness naturally lessened contact with men and passing events.
Yet Fr. Kane refused to be alone, or to be severed from the world of men. He did not retire to his tent embittered and inactive. He came of a fighting race and continued the good fight, as he saw it, with a gallantry well nigh heroic. He reminded one a good deal of an abbé of the ancient régime - perhaps because so much of his education was received in France. He had the dignity and stately courtesy of older times. His appearance in the pulpit suggested even a prophet of the Old Testament - The handsome face, the flowing beard, the voice, rich and sonorous till age weakened it, the gestures graceful and impressive, the moral earnestness, the air of conviction of this sightless seer caught the attention and stirred the imagination of his listeners. These external characteristics, united with a genuine gift of eloquence which he had cultivated with his wonted thoroughness and assiduity, made him perhaps the most distinguished pulpit orator in Ireland for a whole generation. Loss of sight, making its insidious approach from early manhood gradually forced him to relinquish the professor's chair, for which he was highly qualified, and compelled him to devote all his energies to the pulpit and the lecture platform. He became “the blind orator”, widely familiar as such throughout Ireland and Great Britain, and rarely has success been more nobly won. The style of his oratory is less in harmony with the taste of to-day, and never lacked its critics. It is studied, self-conscious and somewhat artificial. It abounds in antitheses, alliteration, and elaborate cadences, which would have earned for him the reproach of Asianism among the ancients. His very dedication to his art, so admirable under the circumstances, rendered him a victim to its wiles, which are not without their seduction. The loving care which he devoted to his periods robs them too often of naturalness and spontaneity.
But when criticism has had its say, it remains true that he was a very polished, impressive and at times even great preacher, who exercised an undoubted spell upon crowded congregations for almost fifty years, and has left eleven volumes of sermons and lectures to perpetuate his fame.
They are, perhaps, a little too rhetorical, but they are not mere rhetoric, They are informed by a sound knowledge of theology, and philosophy, and give evidence of an earlier literary formation which an almost phenomenal memory kept at his disposal even to the end. This would be no mean achievement for any man, and for him, with his tragic handicap, was a triumph of will-power and brain-power which none can fail to admire.
Indeed we may say that, though he preached frequently and eloquently, the noblest sermon of all was just his life-long fight against disabilities that would have daunted the courage of any heart less resolute than his, or less stayed on God. For the secret of his strength was just an unwavering faith in “HIM who rules the whole”.
His cousin, the admiral, rescued the Calliope from a storm in southern seas in which all others perished. Father Kane saved the vessel of his own career from similar shipwreck by moral seamanship not less wonderful. In addition to his activity in the pulpit he was an assiduous giver of retreats to priests, religious and laymen, He was also a very popular and trusted confessor, and the director of many souls. Many still remain who will mourn hint and miss the cheery tones inculcating courage and confidence all the more persuasively because coming from one who had never failed to exemplify these virtues in his own sorely tried life.
Fr. William Kane once asked Fr. Robert, by letter which of his sermons or sets of lectures did he himself prefer. The reply was a straight and as honest as the passage in which he gives us the criticisms of those who disliked his style of preaching : “The dearest to me of all my writings is my set of lectures on “the Virgin Mother”. They are the realisation of a long cherished hope. They are inferior from a literary point of view to many other sermons and lectures which I have written , yet, as I told you once, I want to have a copy of them put in my coffin. The sermon on Dr. Nulty was the greatest triumph which I have achieved. The fierce feud between the Parnellites and anti-Parnellites, the rancour of anti-clerics, with many other causes, made the occasion one of almost unparalleled difficulty. To my own mind it appears that I never got so near the highest oratory, as in the way in which I approached the subject, marshalled my materials, interested my audience, and won their sympathy for my hero before they were conscious of it, brought his enemies to lay down their arms, brought his friends to be generous towards their opponents. and left the feud buried with the great old Bishop. That will sound very conceited, but it is not really so, I had prayed with the most intense earnestness, and I relied exclusively on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Against the entreaties of my greatest friends and those whose wisdom I esteemed most highly, I neither asked nor took advice. I let my own thought and feeling follow implicitly the inspiration which I knew l had a right to claim from God in the doing of His work.
“Good Friday to Easter Sunday” puzzles me. On the one hand, it is my natural expression of my most intense reverence and feeling, and, as far as I can look upon it coolly and impartially, it seems to me very good literature, as far as my own personal style goes , but, on the other hand, it falls so immeasurably below its subject, that 1 should wish to to rewrite almost every sentence of it, but 1 know and feel that if I were writing and re-writing it for ever I should always remain dissatisfied.
If you find all this too long and too egoistic, you have only got yourself to blame for asking an imprudent question”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Kane 1848-1929
Fr Robert Kane, well known as the “Blind Orator”, died at Milltown Park on November 21st 1929. He was born in Dublin on March 29th 1848, brother of two other famous Jesuits, Frs Patrick and William. He was a nephew of the renowned scientist Sir Robert Kane, and a firsst cousin of Admiral Henry Kane.

Fr Robert entered the Society in 1866, and he professed Philosophy at Milltown Park, a post he had to relinquish owing to weak sight. On the opening of the Theological faculty at Milltown in 1889, he was appointed to a chair there from Gardiner Street, in spite of his defective sight. Again, after three years he had to give up. From 1889 he resided at Milltown Park, apart from two years at the Crescent.

During all those 37 years he devoted himself to preaching and giving retreats. Though totally blind for 30 years, he never ceased working for God.

At the beginning of his philosophical studies he had been warned that his eyes could not stand the strain of study. Yet he persisted, and he refused to renounce his vocation. Knowing the affliction that would ultimately come upon him, he laid up a store of learning in the Sacred Sciences, that never failed him during his years of darkness.

He was in continual demand as a pulpit orator, both in England and Ireland. His style eas florid and rhetorical, but the matter was solid and profound. It was during this long night of the soul that he prepared for the press those numerous volumes of his including “Sermon on the Sea”, “God or Chaos” and “Socialism”. Thus he kept working up to the very end.

The character and determination displayed by him iin overcoming his handicap, and the vast amount of good he accomplished for religion, are a lasting and inspiring example to all Jesuits.

◆ The Clongownian, 1927

The Past

Father Robert Kane SJ

We take this opportunity of offering to Fr Robert Kane our very sincere felicitations on the celebration of his Diamond Jubilee in the Society, in November last.

His service in the good cause has not been that of those who stand and wait. Through forty long years of the darkness he himself has suffered he has continually upheld the torch to light the way for others. In the pulpit, in the confessional, with the pen, he has laboured with un rernitting vigour, with undaunted courage, with a vision before his eyes which is denied to many who look upon the beauties of this world. Only last year his most recent book, “The Unknown Force”, was reviewed in the “Clongownian”, while large as is the number of his published works, the body of his unpublished work, sermons, lec tures and addresses of various kinds, is greater still. Thus, even in his eightieth year, is his sword not rusted.

Contre mauvaise forturte bon coeur is a motto which Fr Kane will recognise, should these words come to his ears. Courage is the word which seems most effectively to sum up his character and his outlook. His is a courage in the truest and highest sense of the word, a courage which finds its strength in God, and which, relying on Him, has fought its way through black difficulties which most men can but dimly guess at.

◆ The Clongownian, 1930

“My Star” (Ave Maris Stellis)

Father Robert Kane SJ

Hid in tumultuous gloom, the winds made war
On the sad sea, which, wild with pain and white
With terror, leaped from the storm's stroke to height
Of cloud ; then stunned, fell moaning back afar
Down to vague chasms. Forth flashed forked fire to mar
Death's sacred horror with its demon light,
When, through the gale, the gloom, the rage, the night,
Appeared a lull, a gleam, a hope, a star.

Thus did a storm of sorrow , my day
In tangled violence of woe, that tore
My heart with wreck and havoc. But the gray
Grim tempest fled in scattered drift before
My star, and, as its mutterings died away,
The waves still sobbing, smiled and slept once more.

Written by the late Father Robert Kane, S.J.. and first published in “The Irish Monthly”, May, 1896,

-oOo-

Obituary

Father Robert Kane SJ

Nowhere ought the memory of Father Robert Kane be enshrined with more reverent care than in “The Clongownian”. Father Kane was the soul of loyalty to the College, and represented the best type of its sons. From nature he had received striking gifts, but to Clongowes he owed very much of their development and of his life-long characteristics in mind and manners. Holy, priestly, learned, a cultured gentleman-such he was in gerin when in his eighteenth year he left the College walls to enter the novitiate of the Society of Jesus; such he was when he returned thither to form the minds and tastes of another generation of Clongowes' boys; such he was in fullest development when, on Whitsunday, 1914, in the new chapel, he hailed with enthusiastic eloquence the joyful occasion of the College centenary. He was proud of Clongowes, and Clongowes has had good reasons to be proud of him.

Undoubtedly, other influences also moulded him into what he became. Of his early surrender of himself to the Society of Jesus I will not speak, save to recall that it was followed by sixty-two years of unwavering loyalty. He spent altogether nine years in France. There his mind was trained to the orderly and disciplined habits that go to make the clear thinker and the thoroughly Catholic theologian, and that in other ways too help to render life successful and beautiful. But he was too much of an Irishman to like everything he met in France. I think he sensed there a certain narrowness and rigidity which repelled him and which made him throughout life to use a French expression something of a “rondeur” a ready critic of what he thought impostures, and a tendency (controlled, no doubt) to be “agin the government”. He was not always patient with the failures of other people to reach the high ideals he had conceived as to life's conduct; and his refined idealism, combined with a quick wit and a cultivated power of epigrammatic expression, were not gifts calculated to win him unvarying popularity. One thing they would have done, combined with his strong intellect and eager ...ness as a student-that was to make him a brilliant professor. He was beginning to find himself thoroughly, it seemed, as an exponent and disputant in theology or philosophy. But it was not so to - continue at least not in the obvious way.

And so. We come to the last great formative influence in his career. This was his blindness. Induced by whatever causes - imprudence on the part of others, or imprudence in his own application to study - this dread affliction fell upon Father Robert in the prime of his manhood, came as a death-in-life when he was beginning to add to the successes of a gifted professor those of a popular preacher, when, too, he was physically full of a still-juvenile activity. A harder trial could not easily be imagined. Inexorably the shades of i night crept on, while hope after hope faded out, the long succession of forty-three years began to build round the sufferer an ever-closer prison of darkness and repression. No longer could he pick out from their shelves and skin through at will the great tomes that were his chief nental food, no longer stride forthi at four miles an hour to drink in the beauty of mountain Or sea, no longer wander freely through the pictured pages of poet or novelist or essayist.

Yet it was a wonderful proof of his elasticity and resource that he made life for himself so livable in a simply natural way as he did. He was astonishing, even in his completely blind days, as a walker, a skater, a swimmer, a diver, In such recreations he often proved his light-hearted courage in feats that left onlookers open-mouthed. But better than all this was his victorious battle against idleness and uselessness. Early he acquired the habit - afterwards so marked a feature of his career, and his success - of composing sermons and other discourses in his mind not in a vågue or haphazard fashion, but with complete grasp of the whole and the parts, and with exacting choice of every word. {In his published volumes one notices with regret that his inability to revise printers' proofs has often played false with this text). He could then dictate without pause the finished discourse to whatever scribe presented himself or was sent to him by Superiors.

In and above this activity there was something greater than a merely natural force of heroism. The supernatural was needed - and it was there. A temperament that might have been drawn, too violentīy to love of the external world, an abundance of gifts that might have proved intoxicating all these were secured for the highest aims by those angels of Providence that bring at once the chalices of pain and the mystic words of strengthening. Not only of the Greatest of Sufferers has it been written : “And, being in an agony, he prayed the longer”, but also of many a weak human follower. Robert Kane prayed long and well in his cell of darkness, and strength from above was given to him.

It was my good fortune to live on somewhat intimate terms with him during two of the earlier years of his great calamity, when, kept within a shuttered room and plagued with useless drugs, he was still encouraged to keep up the hope that sight would one day again be his. His patience and good humour were uniform. Sometimes he varied graver occupations with verse-making. His fastidiousness as a poet was all that one might expect from such a writer of prose. He anused himself with polishing and refining. I can recall how long he wavered between “whin” and “gorse” as the fitting word for a certain line of a certain sonnet. I wonder does that sonnet - or do others of his poems - survive in accessible form? I made no copies for myself - in those days, of course, carbon copies were a thing undreamt of. But my memory retains something of the most pathetic piece he dictated to me - a sonnet suggested by the first sense of despair as to his cure. It ended thus :

“My eyes shall light with joy no more
Until they look upon His face”.

But, throwing aside despair, he set himself to walk along his lightless way. He performed, during some forty-three years, work oratorical and literary that was, considering his difficulties, both in quantity and quality really astonishing. It had an immediate reward in great popular successes. As to its absolute and lasting value there may be, as there has always been, some difference of opinion. He showed himself a thoroughly-equipped philosopher and theologian - of that there need be no doubt. His literary expression he consciously and conscientiously worked up to the highest standards he knew of. He would rival Ruskin, Chateaubriand and all the literary florists in effectiveness and beauty of language. No flowers were too brilliant to set before the altar of Truth. At the same time he detested along with boldness of expression and commonplace simplicity, the exclusion of emotion, even passion, from religious art - whether music, oratory, or any other. All such negations he anathematized as puritanism, Jansenism, pharisaism. Not going into the deeper questions thus raised, I will merely say that these views of Fr Robert's had for their literary result a deliberate letting loose of emotion, a warmth (or heat) of language and an accumulation of ornament which did not win the admiration of all hearers or readers; and which in some respects such as the abuse of alliteration will be defended by few persons of good taste.

Many, undoubtedly, listened with more complete satisfaction to his less formal, less carefully prepared discourses such as those, for example, that he delivered, during a long series of years to the Students Sodality at University College, Dublin. No one was so frequently invited to help at its meetings, because no one was so surely trusted to please and to do good. Personally, I thought a little discourse of his on St Joseph delivered to that audience the most beautiful thing I ever heard spoken by him.

If there were only room for it, I should have liked to quote here, as a fine specimen of his fully-elaborated rhetorical passages, a piece which is'to be found at page 77 of the volume entitled “The Sermon of the Sea and other Studies”. Its theme is the Church as the friend of human intellectual effort.

Such a passage may well suggest to some of my readers that they have lost a good deal by not reading and studying Father Kane's books. To the more thoughtful, to the youth (for example), who is facing newly a world uncatholic and argumentative, one night suggest - as a first choice - the volume named “God or Chaos”. It was much admired by a school-fellow and unchanging friend of the author's, who was also a man of the keenest judgment - Chief Baton Palles. He said of it that though it seemed at first approach “deep” and “hard reading”, yet, when one read it slowly and thoughtfully, it is “very simple”. It has, in fact, the simplicity that belongs to clear and logical thought; it is a repertory of philosophical and theological argument clothed in a vivid and trenchant style.

Much else might be said concerning Father Kane. Here are set down merely the chief impressions and recollections of one among the many who cherish his memory. His soul is beyond concern for these human appreciations - perhaps already in bliss; still, let none of us forget him in prayer.

G O’N

◆ The Clongownian, 1941

Tribute

Father Robert Kane SJ

In the first four numbers of “Black and White”, a new magazine devoted to the cause of the blind in Eire, there appeared a series of articles on Father Robert Kane SJ, the great preacher and conferencier, familiarly known as the “Blind Doctor”, who died in 1929. These articles are from the pen of Fr Hugh Kelly SJ, and they give in eloquent and touching words the life story of that truly great Jesuit and loyal son of Clongowes. As an obituary notice of Fr Kane appeared in “The Clongownian” of 1930, it will not be necessary to do more than to recall briefly the main features of that wonderful life,

Fr Kane's blindness came upon him just when he felt himself facing his life's work and longing to do great things for The Master. In spite, however, of his great handicap he did the great things that he dreamt of, and did them with a success that he would hardly have attained had he not to face difficulties that would have daunted a less determined spirit. There was hardly an important occasion, or a great ecclesiastical function in Ireland during almost 30 years in which Fr Kane was not a prominent figure. Many will remember the truly eloquent sermon that he preached at the High Mass in our Chapel on the occasion of the Clongowes centenary. It was for him a great occasion, the greatest of his life, as he said, and he rose gloriously to it.

We trust that the purpose for which Black and White was started may be achieved, and we are glad that its earlier numbers are associated with the name of Fr Robert Kane. We are sure that now that he is in the presence of the Great Light he will not forget those, in Eire especially, who are enduring the great privation which he endured so long and so patiently, but will plead for them that they may be comforted, and perhaps relieved, in their hard lot. Certainly in Fr Robert Kane they will have a powerful advocate,

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Robert Kane (1848-1929)

The celebrated pulpit orator was stationed here from 1901 to 1903. He was educated at Newbridge, Clongowes and Ushaw and entered the Society in 1886. He made all his studies abroad chiefly in France and was ordained at Laval in 1880. He was for a time lecturer in philosophy and later, professor of theology at Milltown Park but had to relinquish these posts of responsibility because of failing eyesight. By 1901, when he arrived in Limerick, he had become totally blind. Yet in spite of this handicap, he was one of the most sought-after preachers for great occasions. And his eleven books of published sermons and lectures had a wide popularity in their day.

Kearns, Laurence M, 1912-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/199
  • Person
  • 27 June 1912-28 October 1986

Born: 27 June 1912, Cobh, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 28 October 1986, Jervis St Hospital Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, and living at Our Lady of Consolation, Donnycarney, Dublin at time of his death.

Chaplain in the Second World War
by 1970 at Kitwe, Zambia - working in Educational TV

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Lol was born in Cobh, Co Cork on 27 June 1912. After school at Mungret College, he entered the Society at Tullabeg and did the second year noviceship at Emo. The normal studies of the Society brought him to his ordination on 13 May 1942.

Immediately after theology, Lol (as Fr Laurence was known in the Society) became chaplain in the British Army from 1943 to 1947 and served on the European continent. Towards the end of the war his unit was sent to free Belsen concentration camp, “That's how I saw hell on earth” he wrote. He also tells us about his bad car accident: “While driving in convoy on the first stage of our journey to Brussels, my driver ran the car into a tree north of Magdeburg and my head was banged into the glove compartment in the dashboard. I saw Fr Morrison again at CelIe as he bent over my stretcher and formed the opinion that I should never look the same again. Even my mother did not recognise me at once. But a few months in Gloucester under the great “guinea-pig” surgeon, Emlyn Lewis, who grafted a hunk from my arm into my mouth, set me up again.’ After demobilisation, he made his tertianship 1947/48.

Minister, retreat giver, bursar was his lot at Manresa 1948-'54, '62-'65, '68-'69. He taught religion at Bolton Street Technical College, Dublin 1962-'65.

He attended courses at New York University and at the University of California on TV and film production. On returning to Ireland, he was given the job of minister again but felt rather disappointed at having no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practice. The Ministry of Education in Zambia at that time was about to launch an Educational TV Unit in Kitwe, so Lol was sent to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all, 1969 to 1976.

These were happy days for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision as contrasted with the easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards from his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll on Lol's good humour, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.

Naturally, as a priest, Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as Spiritual Father to a novitiate of Sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept at ciBemba to celebrate Mass in the local vernacular.

In his last year in Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe on Nationalist Way. He had hoped to be employed by the Zambia Episcopal Conference in communications, but this was not to be. Shortly after returning to Ireland he was invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for more than two years in Lesotho, in the face of lack of interest, if not actual apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. The same problems that he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho.

He returned to Ireland in 1978 where, at the age of 66, he took up more genial work – curate in Donnycarney. He died in Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin on 28 October 1986.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

During the summer Frs. Jas. FitzGerald, Kearns and Scallan helped in the campaign organised by Dr. Heenan, Superior of the Mission House, Hampstead, to contact neglected or lapsed Catholics in Oxfordshire. Writing Fr. Provincial in August, the Superior pays a warm tribute to the zeal and devotion of our three missionaries :
“I hope”, he adds, “that the Fathers will have gained some useful experience in return for the great benefit which their apostolic labours conferred on the isolated Catholics of Oxfordshire. It made a great impression on the non-Catholic public that priests came from Ireland and even from America, looking for lost sheep. That fact was more eloquent than any sermon. The Catholic Church is the only hope for this country. Protestantism is dead...?”

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have benefitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organising accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 1 1987

Obituary

Fr Laurence Kearns (1912-1928-1986)

27th June 1912: born in Queenstown (now Cobh). 1925-28 schooled at Mungret College.
1st September 1928: entered SJ. 1928-30 Tullabeg and Emo, noviciate. 1930-33 Rathfarnham, juniorate: BA course at UCD. 1933-37 Tullabeg, philosophy (sick for much of his first year, which he repeated). 1937-39 Belvedere, teaching (H.Dip in Ed.). 1939-43 Milltown Park, theology (13th May 1942: ordained priest).
1943-47 chaplaincy in British army, described by himself in Interfuse, no. 41 (Feb. 1986), pp. 19-26. 1947-48 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1948-54 Manresa: minister, retreat giver, bursar. 1954-62 Catholic Workers' College (now CIR): mostly teaching religion in Kevin Street Technical College. 1962-65 Manresa: minister, then bursar. 1965-68 Rathfarnham, spiritual father and librarian. 1968-69 Manresa, minister and retreat-giver.
1969-78 Africa: 1969-76 Kitwe, Zambia: educational television; 1976-8 Maseru, Lesotho: educational television.
1978-86 curate in Donnycarney parish, Dublin 5. 28th October 1986: died in Jervis Street Hospital.

It was sometime in 1968 or thereabouts that I met Lol in Manresa House while I was on leave from Zambia. He spoke to me of the study-course in communications which he had attended in USA, and of his disappointment on his return at being assigned the job of minister, with no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practise. W e discussed possibilities, and having cleared the matter with the Provincial, the upshot was that I brought back with me to Zambia photostat copies of Lol's qualifications. I knew that the Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Education was recruiting personnel for the Educational TV Unit about to be launched in Kitwe, so I placed Lol's qualifications before this official. In due course Lol came to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all.
These were happy years for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision and he easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards of his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair on a television-camera lens - a nugatory matter to a Zambian novice technician - would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll of Lol's good humour, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.
Naturally as a priest Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as spiritual father to a noviciate of sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept in Cibemba to celebrate Mass in the local at vernacular.
Lol was a man of great certainties, and his range extended far and wide - from godliness to golf. His expositions were models of clarity. He was at his best with a docile, appreciative audience. His affability and interest would however wane in the face of equally strongly-held counter-arguments.
Perhaps it was this perverse adult propensity towards confrontation that turned Lol off: whatever it was, the presence of a child would divert him from such barren tiresome things and would
claim all his attention. It became in time one of the ways to describe Fr Larry: “He had a marvellous way with children”, a phrase that was repeated over and over at his funeral in Donnycarney.
His funeral was a thronged affair, attended by many Jesuits and diocesan clergy, presided over by the Archbishop of Dublin and with Bishop Kavanagh as the main celebrant. At the final
blessing, Archbishop McNamara recalled that as a young priest in Killaloe diocese he had had a retreat from Fr Kearns, memories of which still remained with him. In his last year in
Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe, on Nationalist Way, since vacated in favour of a community of Holy Cross sisters. Coming to the end of his second tour in Government service, Lol had hoped to be employed in communications by the Zambian Episcopal Conference. As this hope remained unfulfilled, he returned to Ireland rather dispirited and disappointed. Shortly after returning he was gratified by being invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for two more years, in the face of disinterest if not apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. Problems he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho. Eventually, and not without much soul-searching, he decided to return to Ireland, where, at the age of 66, he took up the more congenial work of a parish curate.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1964

A Portrait of Christ made on Television

Father Lol Kearns SJ

Father Laurence Kearns SJ (1925-28) has had many enthusiastic letters from people all over the country about the portrait of the Head of Christ which he drew during a television programme. We are happy to reproduce the portrait as well as the comments of “TJMS” in the “Irish Catholic” of March 5th, 1964. Father Larry's work was on exhibition in Gill's stand at the Dublin Spring Show and, for those who may be interested, full-size lithographic reproductions, framed in oak, may be obtained from The Committee, Manresa House, Doilymount, Dublin 3. Prayer-book size pictures are also available for a few pence.

-oOo-

Every night, right at tbe end of the Telefís Éireann programme, comes “Recollection”, a short talk given by a Priest or a Protestant clergy man. How many people stay tuned in to this late offering? And how many, I wonder, watch it with interest and derive from it spiritual solace or inspiration?

I suspect that the numbers, comparatively speaking, are poor, but if many of the “Recollections” had the same polish, imaginative presentation and effective message as those recently presented by Reverend Father Laurence Kearns SJ, the viewing audience would grow by leaps and bounds.

The idea of closing the nightly programme with a short talk given by a clergyman is one that was established in Independent TV and BBC TV before Telefís Éireann came into existence. Not unnaturally the type of programme produced in each system tended to be the same. A clergyman sits down facing the camera and delivers his talk straight at his unseen audience. The basic in each case is a radio approach. The talk could be put over even if the TV screen were blank.

In general, the visual of the clergymany gives the TV presentation just that little extra piece of interest - but that is all. Otherwise is it pure radio technique. And at first sight it would seem that there was little else in the way of presentation that could be designed. But Father Kearns proves otherwise.

He appeared for his “Recollection” in front of an easel with a piece of charcoal in his hand and explained that he was going to try the impossible and knew in advance that he would not be successful. And with our attention roused he then proceeded to draw a representation of the face of Christ on his board. As he drew each feature, so he brought Christ nearer to us and, talking quietly and gently sketching, he used a visual to rivet our attention and to bold us while his gentle voice conveyed to us some sound and appealing thoughts. Father Kearns proved that a little imagination can transform any routine “programme” into something really worthwhile.

Not every priest can sketch as well as Father Kearns, but in future everybody who appears in “Recollection” will realise that sitting before and preaching into the camera are not enough. Some thing more in the line of a visual is needed. Meanwhile, our thanks and congratulations to Father Kearns for the valuable “breakthrough” in the “Recoilection” programme.

TJMS in “The Irish Catholic”

Keating, Patrick, 1846-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/201
  • Person
  • 17 March 1846-15 May 1913

Born: 17 March 1846, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 28 August 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Final Vows: 15 August 1890, Australia
Died: 15 May 1913, Lewisham Hospital, Sydney, Australia

Part of St Ignatius College community, Riverview, Sydney, Australia at the time of death.

Younger brother of Thomas - RIP 1887
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 3 December 1894-11 November 1900.
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 05 April 1890-1894

by 1868 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
Early Irish Australia Mission 1884; Mission Superior 05 April 1890
PROVINCIAL 03/12/1894

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Thomas - RIP 1887. They were very close.
Early education was in America and then Clongowes.

After First Vows he did his studies at Amiens and Rome, later at Maria Laach and Innsbruck, and in the end at St Beuno’s. Wherever he went, the same spirit of kindness and good humour went with him, and this was true throughout his life. On Australian who went to visit him in Rome was greeted warmly at first, but when he mentioned that he was to see Father Keating, the courtesy was unbridled.
1870 He was living in Rome at the same time as the “Robber King of Sardinia” Victor Emmanuel laid siege to and conquered the city. he was a student at the time, and not inactive in the siege, going here and there to tend to the injured and dying. He was truly a martyr in desire. The conquerors drove the Jesuits from the Roman College. By 1872 the Jesuits were banished from Maria Laach and Amiens, and he was in these places.
1877 He was sent for studies to Innsbruck where he joined Thomas Browne and Francis Carroll.
1880 He joined Joseph Dalton in Australia, and succeeded him as Rector of Riverview.
1890 He was appointed Mission Superior in Australia.
1894 He was recalled to Ireland as provincial of HIB, and he remained there for six years.
1901 He returned to Australia as Rector of Xavier College, Kew. He then moved to North Sydney, for a time at St Mary’s, then Lavender Bay, succeeding John Gately. While working in these Parishes, his gentleness, friendliness and care for every man, woman and child, won the hearts of all. When he left Lavender Bay for a second stint as Rector of Riverview in place of Thomas Gartlan who had been sent to Melbourne, the people gave him a wonderful send off.
His death took place at Lewisham Hospital (run by the Nuns of the Little Company of Mary) 14 May 1913. The funeral was hugely attended and the Archbishop of Sydney, Michael Kelly, both presided and Preached. The Jesuits at Riverview received countless letters and telegrams from all parts of Australia condoling with them on the death of Father Keating.

Catholic Press, Sydney :
Rev W A Purves, Headmaster of the North Sydney Church of England Grammar School wrote : “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself I never knew quite so courteous and kindly and entirely charming a gentleman; and for you who knew well his other great and endearing qualities, the blow must indeed be heavy. I think sch personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendliest relations among us all, and whilst in a sense one cannot mourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely.”

Rev Arthur Ashworth Aspinall, headmaster of the Scots College, in conveying his sympathy to the Acting Rector, the Staff and Pupils of Riverview, wrote :
“It was my privilege to meet Father Keating years go and more recently, I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the College and your Church has sustained. The State has too few men of culture not to deplore the removal of one so much honoured in the teaching profession.”

Note from Thomas P Brown Entry
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Although born in Ireland, Patrick Keating received much of his early education in the USA. His secondary education began at Clongowes Wood College, Kildare, Ireland, where he had a reputation as a fine athlete and was a good rifle shot. He entered the noviciate at Milltown Park Dublin, 2, August 1865. His juniorate studies were at the College of St Acheul, France, his philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Innsbruck and St Beuno's, Wales, 1877-81. Regency was undertaken after philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1871-77, where he was assistant prefect of studies and taught university students.
Keating was living in Rome in 1870. On 20 September the troops of Victor Emmanuel laid siege to the city of Rome. He risked his life by helping the wounded on the streets. The Jesuits were driven from the Roman College. So Keating finished his third year philosophy at Maria Laach during the Franco-Prussian War.
After his ordination in 1880, he taught religion, French and Italian for a short time, 1881-82, at Clongowes Wood, and the following year was socius to the master of novices at Milltown Park, during which time he completed his tertianship.
In 1883 Keating arrived in Australia, joined Joseph Dalton at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and succeeded him as rector in 1888. He was appointed mission superior in 1890 and resided at Riverview. In 1894 he returned to Ireland as provincial, residing at Gardiner Street.
He returned to Australia in 1901 and was appointed rector of Xavier College, Kew, and taught for the public examinations. From 1908-11, he performed parish ministry at North Sydney and at Lavender Bay, Sydney, and in 1912 was appointed rector of Sr Ignatius' College, Riverview. He died in office the following year following a cerebral haemorrhage.
Patrick Keating was one of the most accomplished Irish Jesuits to come to Australia. He was spiritually, intellectually and athletically gifted, and respected for his administrative skills. People spoke of “his urbanity his culture, his charm, his good looks, his human insight and his ability to inspire affection”.
Christopher Brennan, the Australian poet and former student of Keating, paid him an outstanding tribute. He believed him to be “the most distinguished personality that I have ever met, a standard whereby to test and judge all others. To come into his hands ... was to be initiated to a quite new range of human possibilities”. He praised Keating for his 'rare qualities of gentleness and sympathetic comprehension.
His Jesuit community praised his great spirit of exactness and neatness, the kindness he extended to all, his strong sense of duty, a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and his work in adorning the chapel. Under his direction, Brother Girschik made a line cedar vesting press for the sacristy at Riverview, which still stands.
Writing to Ireland in 1894, Dalton, at Riverview, believed that Keating's students had great confidence in him and “liked him well”. John Ryan, mission superior, did not lavish praise upon him. He believed him to be good at administration, but not with finances, not overly strict in discipline; firm and decisive, but easily influenced by anyone of strong mind, cool of temper, but not fatherly or sympathetic, somewhat superficial, cold and at times sarcastic, discouraging more than encouraging. The Irish provincial, Timothy Kenny, while visiting Australia in 1890 believed Keating to be “the most admirable man I ever met”. That being the opinion that counted, Keating became the next Irish provincial.
In his speeches as rector of the various colleges, Keating showed his openness, appeal to reason and genuine belief in the goodness of human nature. He was truly a cultured humanist. He kept well informed about contemporary ideas in education and gave critiques of them, continually stressing the traditional classical education of the Jesuits. He was concerned at Riverview by the rather poor quality of Jesuit teachers, men “rather broken in health”, who were not helping the boys achieve good examination results.
At the time of his death, Keating was one of the most significant Jesuits in Australia, much loved and most appreciated by those who experienced him, both as a kind and courteous gentleman, and as a cultured scholar.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Keating SJ 1846-1913
Fr Patrick Keating was born in Tipperary on March 17th 1846. Although born in Ireland he received his early education in America, then completing his secondary course at Clongowes Wood.

As a Jesuit, he was present in Rome when it was captured by Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia. In the midst of the bombardment, he went here, there and everywhere, assisting the wounded civilians and soldiers. He, with his companions, were driven from Rome and proceeded to Maria Laach in Germany and then to Innsbruck.

Fr Keating went to Australia where he became the first Rector of St Ignatius Riverview, and then Superior of the Mission.

He was recalled to Ireland to become Provincial in 1894. After his term as Provincial, he returned once more to Australia, where he filled many administrative posts and became a widely-known and popular figure in public life. He figures largely in the long and brilliant school-story of Fr Eustace Boylan”The Heart of the School”. Fr Keating (Keeling of the story) is a winning and lovable Rector of Xavier.

At his death in Sydney on March 15th 1913 there were many generous tributes to his work and character, not only from Catholics, but from persons of all religious denomination.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 42 : Easter 1986

Portrait from the Past

PATRICK KEATING : 1846-1913

Province Archives

The following appreciation of a former Irish Provincial appeared in the CATHOLIC PRESS of Sydney on 22nd May 1913.

Born in Tipperary on 17th March, 1846, Fr. Keating occupied almost every position a Jesuit can occupy except that of General. His last sickness was brief. It was only a few days before his death that he became ill. His medical attendants pronounced his case serious - cerebral hemorrhage - and the last Sacraments were administered to him at once by the Rev. Father C. Nulty, S.J. He was taken to hospital the following day, and had been a patient only twelve hours when he died.

Of Father Keating, as boy and man, as student and teacher, as pastor of souls and Provincial of the Irish branch of his Order, it may be safely said that his whole life was one well-sustained effort to be ready for the final sunmons of the Sovereign Master who has called him home so suddenly. He was Superior of the Australian Mission of the Society of Jesus in 1894. At a later date he governed the Irish Province. He was for some years Rector of St. Francis Xavier's College at Kew, and before he went to Riverview as Rector for a second time, he had been zealously labouring as pastor of souls among the people of North Sydney.

Although he was born in Ireland, Father Keating imbibed the rudiments of knowledge in America. His high-school studies began at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park, near Dublin in 1865. His later studies were made at the College of St. Acheul, in France; at the Roman College of Maria-Laach, in Germany; at the University of Innsbruck, in the Tyrol; and at St. Beuno's College, in Wales Wherever he went, the same spirit of genuine kindness and genial good-humour that we ourselves witnessed invariably went with him, An Irish-Australian who visited Rome a few years ago called at one of the principal colleges there. The Professor who showed him over the place was kind and courteous; but when the name of Father Keating was mentioned to him, then to kindness and courtesy were added all manner of friendly offices. The Professor had been an old class-fellow of Father Keating, about 40 years before, and his face glowed with pleasure at the very mention of his name.

Father Keating was living in Rome in 1870. On September 20th of that year the troops of the robber King of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel, laid siege to the city of the Popes, bombarded the walls of Rome, and entered into its streets as conquerors. While all this was going on, Mr. Keating, as he then was, was not inactive. In the midst of balls and bombs, in the midst of whizzing bullets and falling masonry, at the risk of his own life, he went here, there and everywhere on his mission of assisting to the best of his power the wounded and dying soldiers and civilians. He was truly a martyr in desire. The same bandits that deprived the Pope of his dominions deprived the Society of their college. They were driven from the Roman college in 1870. In July, 1872, they were banished by the German government from Maria-Laach, a college they had acquired only ten years before. If Father Keating had remained only a little longer, at Maria-Laach and St. Acheul, he would doubtless have driven out of house and home like so many of his brethren, at the point of the bayonet.

In 1877, Father Keating was sent to Innsbruck, where he studied for a time with Father T. Browne and Father Carroll, of North Sydney.

Three years after his ordination, which took place in 1880, Father Keating came to Australia. He joined the late Father Dalton, founder of the college, at St. Ignatius', Riverview, and succeeded him as Rector. He held the position for six years, and was then appointed Superior of the Jesuits in Australia. He was recalled to Ireland in 1894 to be Provincial of the Irish Province, an office he filled with distinction for six years. He returned to Australia in 1901, having been appointed Rector of Xavier's College, Kew. He was transferred to North Sydney some years ago, and for a time was on the staff at St. Mary's, Ridge Street. Thence he was placed in charge of St. Francis Xavier's, Lavender Bay, succeeding the late Father Gately. While working amongst the people of the parish, Father Keating's gentleness, geniality, zeal and solicitude for the welfare of every man, woman and child in his flock, won the hearts of all, as they did everywhere he laboured throughout his career.

When he left Lavender Bay in January 1912 to assume the Rectorship of Riverview for the second time, in the place of Father Gartlan, who was transferred to Melbourne, the people entertained him, and demonstrated their affection for hin in no unmistakable way.

The late Father Keating belonged to an old Tipperary family. An elder brother, Father Thomas Keating, S.J., came to this country two years before him. In Ireland he had been Rector of Clongowes Wood College. In Australia he joined the teaching staff of St. Aloysius' College, then in Sydney. He died many years ago in St. Francis Xavier's College, Kew. The deepest affection existed between the two brothers. Both were excellent religious and most saintly men. Their immediate relatives reside in a fine place close to Chicago, USA.

Father Keating's death took place as described at Lewisham Hospital on May 14th, 1913. The obsequies were largely attended and were presided over by His Grace, the Archbishop of Sydney, who, after Mass, preached the panegyric, basing his discourse on the inspired words of St. Luke:- “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching. Amen, I say to you, that He will gird Himself, and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them, and if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready; for at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come”. His Grace said the Divine Redeemer spoke these words tacitly for circumstances like those in which they were now assembled. One of their number had been called away, his soul had gone to eternity, and the earthly tenement of that soul lay on the catafalque before them like a house broken through, the spirit gone. This fact shocked them, but Holy Faith told them that blessed was the soul that was found watching, as Father Keating's was.

Now that they were gathered together according to the traditions of the Church, to mourn together, they must attend to the spiritual profits to be derived from the occasion, and first of all heap up powerful supplications for the soul that had been called away that it might speedily, if not immediately, enter into the joy of the Lord. The sacred liturgy which guided them to that bier to send forth their last prayers, and to accompany those mortal remains to the grave, wished that they would first of all derive consolation from the solemnities, and secondly, edification. The good man would be encouraged to greater perseverance, the tepid would be made fervid, and those who might be asleep in the sleep of sin, induced by the concupiscence of the flesh, would be wakened up. Father Keating served God and guided youth in the paths of learning and holiness which were characteristic of himself when his soul inhabited that human frame, with its vital organs stilled in death, and like a house abandoned. The earth would go back to the earth until the Last Day, but the soul was at that moment in the strange land from which no traveller returned. What did they think had been its lot? A week ago Father Keating had been with them in the flesh as a brother, as a fellow-worker, but suddenly he was caught up and taken from their midst. Well for his friends to know what a life Father Keating had led, happy for them that the record he wrote upon their memories was ripe in personal sanctification and spiritual victory. Therefore, he was found watching in the observance of the rules of his Order, watching at his post of duty, Father Keating had triumphed, he had fought the good fight, and kept the faith. But though they looked upon him as one already saved, he might be crying out for their suffrages from the fires of Purgatory. Sinners though they be, they could help him, for in the economy of God's Providence prayer was the Key of Heaven. God would hear their supplications on behalf of the faithful departed, but he would be dear to their prayers when they themselves were bring purged. Hence, let them studiously avail themselves of the period during which the recollection of Father Keating would be living amongst them to send up this prayer from the bottom of their hearts: “Eternal rest grant him, O Lord, and let perpatual light shine upon him. From his iniquities cleanse him, for all human frailties forgive him. What is man taken from this vale of tears that he shall be justified in the sight of God? Purify, O Lord, all this is to be purified, and take the soul of your servant and our brother, and peruit him to pass quickly, if not at once, into the joys of your heavenly abode”.

The Archbishop then vested in cope and mitre, and pronounced the Last Absolutions. As the strains of the “Dead March in Saul” throbbed through the church, the coffin was raised on the shoulders of the bearers and carried to the main entrance, the Archbishops and priests accompanying the remains to the hearse, where the Benedictus was chanted.

The Jesuit Fathers at Riverview received countless letters and telegrams from all parts of Australia condoling with them on the death of Father Keating.

In the course of his letter, the Rev. WA Parves, head-master of the North Sydney Church of England Grammar School, wrote: “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself, I never knew quite so courteous and kindly and entirely charming a gentleman; and for you who knew well his other great and endearing qualities, the blow must indeed be heavy. I think such personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendliest relations among us all, and while in a sense one cannot mourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely”.

The Rev. A. Ashworth Aspinall, head-master of the Scots College, Bellevue Hill, in conveying his sympathy to the acting-Rector, the staff, and pupils of Riverview College, wrote:- “It was my privilege to meet Father Keating years ago and more recently, and I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the college and your Church has sustained. The State has too, few men of culture not to deplore the removal of one so much honoured in the teaching profession.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1913

Obituary

Father Patrick Keating SJ

The news of the death of Fr. Keating came as a shock to us in Kew. Schools change fast, and there are few of the boys of his time amongst us this year, but his passing stirred up again in many of us the very kindly feeling that accompanied his presence when he was amongst us before.

Fr Keating was born in Tipperary, in 1846. He left his native land for the United States when still young, and found his home for a time in Illinois; but he returned to Ireland as a student of Clongowes, of which his brother at that time was Rector. Some old Xaverians will remember Fr Thomas Keating as he came to Australia later, and was on the staff of Xavier for a few months of 1887, teaching classics in the Honour Class till within a couple of days of his death.

According to contemporary accounts, Fr Keating was very prominent in school life at Clongowes, leading in class and sports. He was a good all round athlete, and to his early training must have been due the fine physical development which he retained to his later years. He was a good rifle shot, and kept up his interest in everything touching on school life to the end.

His studies took him to France, Germany, Austria and Rome, and he had many interesting recollections of life in those places. He was present in Rome during its bombardment by the Garibaldians, which resulted in the breach of the Porta Pia and the spoliation of the States of the Church. In 1883 he came to Australia, and was a master in Riverview till 1990, when he was appointed Superior of the Society of Jesus in Victoria and New South Wales. In 1894 he was transferred to Ireland, as head of the Irish and Australian Province, and after seven years spent in that office he returned to Australia to be Rector of Xavier in 1901. In 1908 he was sent to North Sydney to take up parish work at Lavender Bay, wliere he had as his assistant Fr Corish, who had been minister here with him for some years. The good work done by these two old Xaverians there was such as those who knew them both could expect. The same' kindly spirit accompanied Fr Keating. always, finding everywhere the same return. He liked his work, and him self was liked by young and old. So it was with a feeling of distress that he received the cabled order to return to Riverview as Rector. But the buoyancy of his spirit soon showed itself, and, as was his way, he entered heart and soul into his work there. During the illness of Fr Brown he was called upon to take up again the burden of Superior, until he was relieved after a few months by the appointment of Fr Ryan.

As he was settling down now to work, as he hoped, undisturbed, he was taken ill on May 12, and died early on the morning of the 15th. His death was the occasion of most generous expressions of a kindly feeling on all sides, induced as was evident, not so much by his position as by his personal qualities.

Fr Keating was a man of many parts as we knew him. His unfailing kindliness and courtesy made everyone feel at home with him; and, what is" after all perhaps the best test of a character, those who lived on closer terms with him, felt that in parting with him they had lost a friend.

May his soul rest in peace.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1913

Father Patrick Keating SJ

At the last Old Boys' dinner I promised to say something about Father Keating in this “Alma Mater”. At that time his death was too poignantly near to allow (so it seemed) of any direct emotional expression in English verse or of elaborated and transposed elegy in one of the classic tongues; and I stipulated for mere personal reminiscence. in pedestrian phrase. And then, as I came to carry out my promise, I felt a certain disgust with what I was trying; it was not worthy of the dead man, and all that I owed him, and who was I to utter my school-boyish reminiscences: among others so better called to speak? So, at. the risk of exhausting all the editors' kindness - and patience, I destroyed what was beguin, and I waited and waited, until at last I have, perhaps, fallen between two stools - the Pindaric ode and the Boswellian note-book - missing both.

I first came under Father Pat Keating in the year 1885. It was my happy chance to spend the five best years of my boyhood under two Keating brothers. At old St Kilda and St. Aloysius', in Bourke Street, I had for two years sat under Father Tom, that gentle ascetic with the full head of silvery hair, and beneath it a face like that of a kindly Moltke, and the shrewd fold of the eyelids; Father Pat had the same, but whereas his eyes never missed anything (I remember well!), Father Tom's often seemed to be gazing within. But how could there be two Fathers Keating? I wondered and wondered - for a boy is slow to catch such a likeness: he knows father and uncle, but has no idea or fancy of how they were boys and brothers together, how much less then will he imagine his masters as standing in human kindship to each other or anyone at all? - and it was months before some better-informed schoolmate, who had preceded me from St Aloysius', amazed me with the truth. My amaze was further excusable in as much as there was twenty years between the brothers, and Father Tom had seemned such a very old man. How different Father Pat!

To live at a boarding school has this advantage, that one meets one's masters outside the class-room, adi comes into touch with their personality. I was probably just at the right age to undergo the influence, and absorb the charm of a personality when I met Father Keating and that, perhaps, has helped to make ineffaceable the impression I received from him. But time and favouring occasion are of no avail unless the personality, unless the man is there. And Father Keating was unique.

Distinction is a subtle thing: unmistakable to perception, intangible to analysis and definition. Everyone, I think, who uses and understands the word must have, in his mind's eye, some persons, and pre-eminently one, to make his idea of distinction palpable to his thought and fancy. For me, Father Keating always was and shall be that man; easily the most distinguished personality that I have ever met, a standard whereby to test and judge all others. To come into his hands, at that age and at that conjunction of things, was to be initiated to a quite new range of human possibilities. It is not always nor altogether an easy and flattering thing, such initiation. One feels oneself rebuked, by the unspoken contrast between what the other is and one's own crudeness; so at least it was with me, and it is another proof of Father Keating's rare qualities of gentleness and sympathetic comprehension that he bore for a long time with the wily discourtesies of what was, after all, only a distorted admiration. At last he had it out with me, man to man, and that made me his friend for ever. It showed me, behind all that perfection of word and manner and bearing that might have been the envy of any diplomat or man of the world, the simple and affectionate humanity that was always there, in Father Keating, for those who wanted it or appealed to it.

It is curious how, when one reflects upon one's impressions of Father Keating, one never thinks of him in terms of this or that; it is always the man and the personality that lives before one. Not that one abstracts from the things he was, but they do not force themselves to the front. Thus, Father Keating was of course Father Keating, and a priest of the Society, and one never knew him otherwise and yet even that seems, as it were, absorbed into the nature of the man that one remembers. And so with the rest. He was a fine athlete, and it was a sight, regularly expected, regularly recurring, to see him lift a leg-ball right out of the cricket-ground; but it seemed all to be done by the way. Just so, for all his fine knowledge of the classics (and how much else!) one hesitates to call him a scholar; that name seems to be better reserved for smaller men who have chosen the one-sided development of a single faculty. And yet the classics will help me to express, to some degree, what I feel. I remember how he enjoyed doing Horace; and there was a certain Horatian felicity and perfection of style about everything he did. I think he was aware of it, and it was a pleasure to him; but the thought never came and never can come to one that he tried after it; it was all so natural, so himself, Even so, the word “gentlemanly”, would be all too common, in fact all too shoddy for Father Keating's exquisite ways. It was just that: he was unique, he was hirrself.

When I first knew him, Father Keating was in his early prime, only just forty. I had three years with him; then during my University years I saw him continually. Then we went our ways in life (and his took him far), and after 1894 many a year went by without our meeting; when, one day, a letter arrived, in his well-known hand, telling me that he had discovered my whereabouts and asking me round to St. Xavier's. I found him there, just a little stooped and his hair whitening, but otherwise the same as ever. I was looking at the bookshelves as he came into the room, and he asked me what had caught my notice. It was the life of Coventry Patmore, and I remarked what a great poet he was: “But not as great as Homer, surely”! said Father Pat. He showed me where his old copies of Homer and Horace stood, but regretted that parish work left him but little time for such reading, Then, I remember, some incident of his morning's round led him to remark on the lack of politeness in our youth: “I remember I had a lot of trouble with you”, he said, turning to me with a smile. I confessed that I had been something of a cub and that I had deserved to catch more than I did catch.

I was Father Keating's guest twice after his return to Riverview. One noticed, just now and then, a little sign of approaching age: a slight uncertainty of vision, where the eyes had once been so keen; a slight uncertainty of movement, where the hands had once been so precise. But old age had not yet overtaken him, and it seemed as if he yet had many a happy year before him. I was thinking to myself: “It's too bad, you haven't been up to Riverview for some time now”, and planning to get a day free in a fortnight or so, when, one morning, the paper opened on his portrait and I knew that I should not see him in this life again.

We were a small class in those days at Riverview, Steve Burke and myself; Harry Fitzgerald was with us for a while, but I think we always regarded him as an outsider; we had gone through St Kilda and St Aloysius' side by side, and come up to Riverview together. Our little class was tended by three teachers, Father O'Malley, Father O'Connell, and especially Father Keating. And now they are all gone: Steve is dead and Father O'Connell and Father O'Malley, and now, at last, Father Keating. Life begins to get lonely when one thinks of the best days of one's boyhood and finds none of those who were an intimate part of them to share or stimulate one's memories. And for me a great part of what is dear and precious in life was carried away as I saw his coffin borne out of the church, and whispered to myself just the simple farewell, “Good-bye, Father Pat”.

-oOo-

The Late Father Keating

In setting out to write this little sketch of Father Keating, we are fortunate in having his autobiography at hạnd. It was begun at Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, during his rectorship of that College, on a piece of notepaper, and on the last sheet we find the last entry, recording, his entrance into office as Rector of Riverview, in January, 1912. A feeling that it was perhaps too intimate to expose to the gaze of all who may read has prevented its inclusion; its substance is our guide in what will follow. Father Keating often used to say, in his characteristic way, that one should leave one's things in order and not cause people unnecessary trouble, even at the end; and we have no doubt that it was sheer good nature that urged him to leave us his life in miniature.

Father Patrick Keating was born at Tipperary, in Ireland, on the 17th March, 1846; of an excellent Catholic family which had the distinction of giving three of its members to the service of God, in religion. His elder brother, Thomas, like himself, became a Jesuit; a sister is a Sacred Heart nun in America. In 1850, a little boy of four years old, he went to America with his parents, to live at Elgin, Kane County, Illinois. His first education was obtained at a private school at Elgin; in 1861 he was sent by his parents to the Jesuit College, at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, Ireland. After four years at Clongowes, in 1865, being then nineteen years of age, he entered the Irish Jesuit novitiate, taking his vows two years later, in 1867. He spent the next two years studying thetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, and in 1868 went to Rome to study philosophy at the Roman College. He was in Rome during the Session of the Vatican Council at which the dogma of Papal Infallibility was declared, and in the same year, 1870, the Italian army entered Rome through the breach in the Porta Pia, after the famous siege.

It must have been a stirring time! We have heard Father Keating describe the walks the philosophers would take in the city during the siege. There was one poor fellow who had both legs blown off by a shell. Father Keating and his companions took pity on him, and told him he should resign himself to the misfortune God had sent him. “But how can I?”. he cried, “what can I do without legs?” Then they carried him to his home. There must have been many such scenes, and one can easily imagine the charitable “Mr” Keating of those days, often rendering such assistance.

The Roman College was appropriated by the government - it is still in use as a caserna, or military barracks and the philosophers moved to Maria-Laach, in Rhein Preussen. Here Father Keating completed his third year of philosophy. During his stay at Maria Laach the Franco-Prussian War was going on, and we have been told some interesting stories of the community at the German house, where Frenchmen and German would fraternise, forgetting or trying to forget national animnosities, while their compatriots were killing each other almost within view of the College. In 1871 he returned to Ireland to act as Prefect of the Lower Line at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and to teach the classes of rhetoric and poetry till 1877. In this year he went to study theology at Innsbrück, in the Tyrol. After two years at Innsbrück, he was sent to complete his theology course at St Beuno's College, North Wales, and here he was ordained, in 1880, on September 21st. He next returned to Clongowes and taught for a year, going to his tertianship ini 1882.

During most of his “third year:, he acted as Socius to the Master of Novices in Milltown Park, Dublin. He spent the last three months of the year of the tertianship at Hadzor House, near Worcester. In 1883 he came to Australia with Fathers Sturzo and Edward Murphy, and taught at Riverview for seven years. In 1889 he was appointed Rector of Riverview, and in 1890 Superior of the Australian Mission. In 1899 he was recalled to Ireland to act as Provincial of the Irish Province. In 1901 he returned to Australia as Rector of Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne. In 1908 he took charge of St Francis Xavier's Parish, Lavender Bay, North Sydney. In 1912 he succeeded Father Gartlan as Rector of Riverview, entering on his office early in January.

During this, his second rectorship of Riverview, he again won the respect of all. The boys thought him a little strict at first, but his sterling character soon won their admiration and affection. We who lived intimately with him then had an opportunity of noticing more closely his salient characteristics. There was a great spirit of exactness and neatness; a kindness extended to all; a strong sense of duty; a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and a great desire to beautify and adorn the chapel, and all connected directly with it. There was renovation and improvement in many quarters, but the chapel got most of it, and nothing seemed too good for God's own house. Under his orders, Brother Girschik made a fine cedar vesting press for the Sacristy, and we know that it was his intention to complete the Chapel furnishing before all else. We were hoping to have him with us for many years when God saw fit to take his to Himself, after a little more than a year of office.

On Monday, May 20th, he took the mid-day meal with the Community, and chatted after dinner in his usual cheerful way. During the afternoon he told Father Pigot that he felt unwell, and he was advised to rest himself. In the evening his illness took a serious turn, and next morning we were grieved to hear that he was very ill. He had developed a cerebral hemorrhage, and the doctors said that the only chance of recovery lay in his immediate removal to the hospital, and con stant skilled attention.

He showed the greatest resignation and sweetness throughout. He often used to say, when in health, that he would be ready to go “on the last journey at any moment”, and this was literally true of him. When Father Corcoran went to his room early on the Tuesday morning, he said, quietly, “Well, Father Minister, I will be going home before you, after all. I believe I am going there now”. Father Corcoran was on the eve of his departure for Ireland, his homeland, and the remark was characteristically supernatural.

He was taken to Lewisham Hospital that morning, and edified all by his patience, even joyfulness, at the call of God. When he was brought to his room in the hospital, he looked round quietly and smiled, and said, “Everything is so nice and neat; so it's here it is to be”. When told by the Sister that he might die, he said, “Yes, but I received the last Sacraments two days ago, and am ready”. He passed away gently and unobtrusively - his death was like his life - in complete peace and resignation, early in the morning of Thursday, the 22nd May. He really was “going home”,' and why should he be sad?

On Friday evening the remains were brought to the College, where an escort was waiting at the avenue gates to welcome all that was left of one whose death had made a void in the hearts of many in Riverview. The Rosary was recited by all, and when the Chapel was reached we said the Vespers for the Dead, and then during the evening many a boy, and many a master, would say a prayer for the soul of their dear Rector. Next morning we sang a short Requiem Mass, and then the remains were conveyed to St Mary's, Ridge Street, North Sydney. Here an immense concourse of members of the clergy and laity had assembled to take part in the Solemn Office for the Dead and Requiem. His Grace the Archbishop presided. Very Revs T O'Reilly PP, VF, and J P Moynagh PP, VF, acted as deacons at the Archbishop's throne. The chanters at the office were Revs L Chatelet SM, and T Hayden. The Mass was celebrated by Rev E Corish SJ, the deacon being' Rev J HealySJ, and the sub deacon Rev Father Ignatius CP, (an old Stonyhurst boy). Among the clergy: present: were Right Rev Monsignor O'Haran DD, PA, Right Rev Monsignor. O'Brien DD, Right Rev Monsignor Coonan PP, VG,. and Venerable Archpriest Collins PP, Very Rev P B Kennedy OFM, Revs H E Clarke OFM, R Piper OFM, F S McNamara OFM, M P Kelly, OFM, Very Rev P Treand MSH, Revs E McGrath MSH, F Laurent SM, Ginsbach SM, Very Rev Father Francis CP, Revs P Tuomey DPH, W McNally, E Brauer, P Walsh, T Barry, W Barry, T Phelan PP, J Kelly, J Roach, R O'Regan, J Rohan, R J O'Régan, R Darby, P Nulty, A O'Farrell, M Rohan, J J O'Driscoll, T Whyte, P Murphy.

Representing: the Society of Jesus there were present the Community of Riverview College, also Fathers J Colgan, J Brennan, P McCurtin, E Sydes, J Forster, R O'Dempsey, R J Murphy, T Cahill, T Fay, T Carroll. There were also representatives of the Marist. Brothers and Christian: Brothers; De la Salle Brothers, Sisters of the Little: Company of Mary, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy, Loreto Nuns and Sisters of St Joseph. Many prominent members of the Catholic laity were present, including a large number of Riverview ex-students. One seemed to recognise old Riverview boys everywhere, and all ages were represented.

Among the laity present were the President of the Ex-students Union, Mr A W M d'Apice BA, LLB, Hon Thomas Hughes MLC, Messrs T J Dalton KCSG, James Dalton KSG (Orange), T Mac Mahon, C. Brennan MA, C G Hepburn, F W T Donovan, T McCarthy, P Minahan, I B, Norris BA, LL, Lieutenant-Colonel Fallon, J Lane Mullins, B A McBride, G E Flannery, BA, LLB, P J ODonnell, G B Bryant, C Moore, Roger Hughes BA, A Deery, P Moore, Bryan Veech, A Moran and very many others. All the great public schools were represented at the church or at the funeral, the Headmasters' Association being specially represented by the Rev C J Prescott MA (Newington College), Brother Borgia (St Josephs College), and Mr Lucas (Sydney Grammar School).

After the last Gospel His Grace the Archbishop: delivered a touching panegyric based on the text from St Luke, “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching”.. His Grace referred to the shock which such a sudden death must give to all, and to the temper of consolation to be found in our Holy Faith, and the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, by which we believed that we could help our suffering departed friends by our suffrages to God, that their purging pains might be shortened, and they might soon enter into the life of bliss, a life which Father Keating had “richly deserved”, we might hope with assurance, by his many good deeds. We should all be ready like him, at the call of our: Maker, to render an account of our stewardship. After His Grace the Archbishop had pronounced the last absolutions, the funeral procession proceeded to Gore Hill Cemetery. The cortège was headed by a detachment of cadets from St Joseph's College, Hunter's Hill, St Aloysius College, North Sydney, The Sydney Grammar School, and the Church of England Grammar School,
The cadets from Riverview College formed the immediate guard of honour to the hearse, and: the detachment marched with reversed. arms, while muffled side-drums rolled a plaintive accompaniment to the marching. Major J Lee Pulling, of the Church of England Grammar School, was in command of the military escort, and was assisted by Lieutenant Murphy, of St Aloysius College Corps, and Lieutenant Loughnan, of Riverview, while Staff-Sergeant Major Harvey represented the Fifth Brigade.

The cortege was a very long and representative one, many, who had attended the long church service walking in the funeral procession to the graveside, as a last tribute of respect.

At the graveside the Rev J Corcoran SJ, performed the burial service, at the termnation of which the Riverview choir chanted the “Benedictus”. The guard of honour saluted our departed Rector by presenting arms, and then rested on reversed arms, while the bugler of St Joseph's College Corps sounded the “Last Post”.

Father Keating was a man of great culture and charming personality. He was a master of the Latin and Greek languages, and conversed fluently in French, German, and Italian, As one can see from the life account we have given, he spent many years of his life in various parts of Europe, as well as America and Australia, and perhaps this contact with diverse types of men gave to him much of the urbanity which was to many his greatest charm. One remembers the interesting way he would chat about his stay in Rome during the siege of 1870, of the Vatican Council, of his life at Maria-Laach, and the almost constant habit he had of breaking off into snatches of foreign popular airs.

The charm of his personality seems to have been felt by all who knew him. Among the very numerous letters and telegrams which came to the College for several days after his death, there were many from old boys, from parents of present boys of the college, from those who had found in him a strong guide and a warm friend. But perhaps what impressed one most was the obvious effect of his personality on those who had not known him so intimately as his confrères, his pupils, or his clients. From headmasters of the schools, from mernbers of the legal and medical professions, from the clergy, from men of commerce, came a continual stream of letters, in which one and all attested their conviction of his sterling worth. Mr W A Purves MA, headmatser of the Sydney Church of England Grammar School, wrote: “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself, I never knew quite so courteous an entirely charming a gentleman. I think such personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendly relations among us all, and while in a sense one cannot mnourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely”.

In a letter from the Rev Ashworth Aspinall MA, headmaster of the Scots College, we find these words: “It was my privilege to meet him years ago, and more recently, and I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the College and your Church has sustained. The State has too few men of culture not to deplore the loss of one who so muclı honoured the teaching profession”.

The letters received from old pupils were characterised by a note of warm affection, Everyone who knew Father Keating intimately loved him. At the Annual Dinner of the Old Boys' Union, held shortly after his deatlı, several told of incidents illustrating all those things that went to make up “dear Father Keating's” character - how he had reproved one for his good, and almost crushed him with sarcasm; how he had encouraged another, how he had entered into the sports of the boys to gain their hearts, how he had shown sympathy with the sorrows of the new boy whose heart ached with thoughts of the home he had left. The homesickness of one new boy seemed incurable. Father Keating, Rector of Riverview at the time, won his affection and it was lifelong and cured his homesickness by chaffing him about his untidy hair, and brushing it for him in quite fine style with his own hair brush! Perhaps the occasion may excuse the writer for telling of Sunday mornings he remembers himself, when Father Keating's room would be invaded by an army of small folk - Father Keating always loved the little ones and a judicious selection would be made from the throng. We would go off bird-nesting, and the two hours before dinner-time would pass in a flash. Everyone would enjoy the walk, Father Keating himself most of all. It was difficult to say why one liked him so much; perhaps it was the simplicity of his view which suited the young ones. He seemed, like them, to have an insight into the things which are more real because invisible and intangible, the really beautiful things which Plato imagined to be stored away in some ideal place where all is perfect and without spot.

Looking back one sees that those early days of companionship were indeed a time when the common things of nature.
“did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream”.

Further intercourse with Father Keating at a more mature age has strengthened this feeling; the key to his charm lay in the simple child-like, single view of all, which gave a zest to life. One felt in his presence the value of living, and the joy; the supernatural became evident in his cheerful, bright view of all eventualities, actual or possible. It did one good to know him, and one felt a participation of the strength which the supernatural view of all things gives, a strength proof against all vicissitudes, against the onslaught of external or internal foes, an unutterable security which seemed to be his reward for his perfect life; and which radiated in some way from Father Keating to all those who had the privilege of knowing him.

PJD

-oOo-

Lines to Father Keating, Scholar and Priest

Was it from wells of ancient classic lore
He drew his cultured sweetness, and the store
Of high and holy thoughts that made his life
So gracious, yet so firm-amid the strife
Of warring creed and class - that if the world
Had crashed, and all its fragments wildly hurl'd
Thro' space, his soul had still stood unafraid?
Perchance 'twere so! But something he displayed,

Ne'er caught from Greece or Rome's most glorious days,
That, more than classic culture, won the praise
And love of men. For now, the Light of Old
Is but a lonely star, that sternly cold,
Keeps from the frighted herd of clouds apart,
Or stoops to let them pass with scornful heart,
And glimmers thus thro' life, and dies at death.
Not thus was he! His was the mighty Faith.
Unclouded, glad, and simple as the sun,
That saw and met life's sorrows one by one,
The weariness—the sadness—and the crime,
The “tears of things” but straight, o'erleaping Тіmе,
Reached out to Heav'n with hands of eager prayer,
And caught and flung the mantle of God's care
O'er all the world-and what before was night
And night's wild storm-lo! now was Peace and Light.

DF

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

Riverview in the ‘Eighties - A McDonnell (OR 1866-1888)

Father Pat Keating (whose brother, Fr, Tom Keating was then at Bourke St.) was a most remarkable man in many respects. A scholar in every sense of the term, he was a man of a most striking personality. Strikingly handsome, he was an all round athlete. It would be hard to find a game requiring strength and skill, which he could not play well. He used to play as a member of our team when the teams of the most formid able cricket clubs about Sydney visited Riverview. Being an all round expert at the game, he used to surprise these strangers, as the following incident will show. A match was being played against one of Sydney's best clubs, and the visitors won the toss. Father Keating went on as one of the bowlers. I was sitting near, and just to the rear of Father O'Connell, who was sitting next to the club's scorer and Secretary. Their admiration of Father Keating's bowling was freely expressed. As the bowler at the other end was also of good quality, the visiting team was out in a short space of time, and Father Keating was one of the opening batsmen. When he proved himself as expert with the bat as he had with the ball the visitors applauded heartily; but when he drove a ball from the visitors' best bowler far into the bush beyond the boundary, the gentlemen with the scoring book jumped to his feet and shouted: “By- that - parson can play cricket”. We did not laugh-aloud..because “language” was bad form; but I noticed that Father O'Connell's back underwent some decided convulsions for some time after.

Father Keating was a man of untiring energy. His day began before five in the morning, and he was still at work at ten o'clock at night, and this year in and year out. His was the first Mass celebrated, and for several months, I, with another boy, served this Mass. Father Keating always acted as prefect of the late or “voluntary” study—from nine to ten pm, and many a knot he solved for me when construing. It was he who awakened in me the admiration for Cicero which I have ever since retained. Though a man naturally of a quick and violent temper, no one could believe such to have been the case except on his own admission. He had so far trained himself in this respect that no one ever saw him exhibit the slightest annoyance or impatience, in word or action, although his face might flush. Some of the wilder spirits used to try to annoy him, but they never succeeded. He succeeded Fr Dalton as Rector at Riverview, and after he had been called by his Order to serve in the United Kingdom he was again made Rector at Riverview, and held that office until his death, which came alas too early, and we may well say we shall never see his like again. He united in himself so many great and admirable qualities, and such high attainments in the intellectual sphere, and yet he was the most humble and approachable of men. A great priest, a great scholar, a cul tured gentleman, a sterling friend, a model of the highest type of manhood, a great member of a great Order, the death of such a man leaves this world much poorer.

◆ The Clongownian, 1913

Obituary

Father Patrick Keating SJ

A cablegram received yesterday at St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, an nounced the death at Riverview College, Sydney, Australia, of the Very Rev Patrick Keating SJ. Although his field of duties during the greater part of his full and laborious life lay outside Ireland, there are still very many amongst us to whom the announcement of his death will cause a pang of bitter regret. Among the older generation, to whom he was a familiar figure, whether in his schooldays at Clongowes, or in the later years as Master there, and in Tullabeg, his name will come back as a fresh and invigorating memory. Prominent in his class, first in games, first in the affection of his school-fellows, such was he during his earlier years, and his later life did not belie the promise of his vigorous youth.

He was born in the town of Tipperary, and from there his family proceeded to America while he was yet very young. Later on he returned to pass his schooldays in Clongowes. He entered the Society of Jesus immediately after his course of rhetoric, and having gone through the full course of studies of literature in France and philosophy in Rome and Ger many, he was called back to Ireland to take up the work of teaching for six years before proceeding to his final theological studies. These were made in Austria and in England. In the year 1883 he volunteered for missionary work in Australia. His name and fame are well known in the Commonwealth. He directed with signal success the destinies of the important College of Xavier in Melbourne, and, later, Riverview, Sydney. Having been for many years Superior of the whole Australian Mission, he was recalled to Ireland to undertake the government of the Irish province. Having accomplished the work with conspicuous success, to the general regret of his friends in Ireland he was recalled to the broader field of his labours, and directed by his gentle and effective sway the Xavier College, Melbourne, before he was sent to undertake again the direction of the great Riverview College, overlooking Sydney Harbour. This position he occupied for some time past, and his later letters from there, received in Dublin during the week, gave his friends no indication either of weakened health or failing powers.

Thus the cable yesterday came as a great shock to his brethren. Father Keating was a man of varied parts. In a remarkable degree his gentleness, prudence, and knowledge of men were evinced in all his dealings and intercourse with others. He seemed particularly suited to the work of conducting retreats to the communities, but his labor lay mostly in other fields. It was, however to those who knew him most intimately, who enjoyed his confidence and friendship, to those who shared with him the intimacy and amenities of community life - it was to his brethren in religion to whom the charm and worth of his character were best known. His death is a serious loss to the Australian Mission as well as to the whole Jesuit Order in Ireland.

“Freeman” May 16th, 1913.

Lavelle, Colm, 1932-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/855
  • Person
  • 09 April 1932-12 September 2019

Born: 09 April 1932, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, St Ignatius, München, Germany
Died: 12 September 2019, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1961 at Heythrop, Oxford (ANG) studying
by 1965 at Münster, Germany (GER S) making Tertianship
by 1966 at Munich, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1985 at Vocation Sisters, Angmering Sussex, England (ANG) working
by 1999 at St Augustine’s Priory, Hassocks, Sussex, England (ANG) working

Early Education at Belvedere College SJ

1952-1955 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1955-1958 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1958-1961 Gonzaga College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD
1961-1962 Chipping Norton, Oxford, UK - Studying Theology at Heythrop College
1962-1965 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1965-1966 Münster i Westphalia, Germany - Tertianship
1966-1967 München, Germany - Studying Catechetics Course at Barberzige Schwestern
1967-1969 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Teacher
1969-1978 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Assistant Prefect; Teacher; Exhibiting own works of Art at home and abroad
1978-1979 Manresa House - Art Therapy; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1979-1980 Tabor - Art Therapy; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1980-1981 Milltown Park - Chaplain and Directs Spiritual Exercises in Mt St Annes, Killenard, Portarlington, Co Laois
1981-1985 Tullabeg - Directs Spiritual Exercises; Missions
1985-1986 Clongowes Wood College SJ/W Sussex, UK/St Bueno’s - Chaplain to Vocation Sisters, Angmering, W Sussex; Directs Spiritual Exercises at St Bueno’s
1986-1999 Milltown Park - Directs Spiritual Exercises
1999-2000 W Sussex, UK - Sabbatical as Chaplain to Canonesses Regular of St Augustine, Priory of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Kingsland Lodge, Sayers Common, Hassocks, W Sussex
2000-2019 Milltown Park - Directs Spiritual Exercises
2005 Tallow, Co Waterford - Chaplain to St Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery
2007 Directs Spiritual Exercises
2008 Rathmullen - Contemplative and Semi-eremetical life in Donegal; St Joseph’s, Rathmullen Parish, Letterkenny, Co Donegal (Oct to Easter); Directs Spiritual Exercises
2015 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/colm-lavelle-sj-rip/

Remembering Colm Lavelle, Jesuit and artist
Irish Jesuit and artist Colm Lavelle passed away peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge on 12 September, at the age of 87. Colm joined the Society in 1950, and for the greater part of his Jesuit life he was engaged in teaching, in art therapy, and in directing the Spiritual Exercises.
In 2014, Colm marked 60 years of his life as an artist with an exhibition of his large catalogue of paintings in Milltown Park, called ‘A life re-lived’. The paintings especially expressed Colm’s passionate interest in how art can represent the unconscious. Speaking at the event, the then-Provincial Fr Tom Layden SJ referred to the spiritual underpinning of Colm’s work: “The experience of conception and coming to birth, Colm sees as an unconscious reminiscence of the universal experience of origin”, and continued saying that there was an Ignatian strain in all of Colm’s works, as he found “the creator God in all things, the Source, and energising force that brings all things to birth”.
Fr Layden also gave the homily at Colm’s funeral in Milltown Park Chapel on Saturday, 14 September. He recalled having Colm as his German and his Art teacher as a first year student in Clongowes: “While he expected us to work and to pay attention in class,” he remarked, “we knew him as a kind and not excessively strict teacher.” He illustrated Colm’s kindness:
A few weeks after I received my first year academic report from the Prefect of Studies, an unexpected parcel arrived in the post. I recognised Father Lavelle’s handwriting on the outside of the large envelope. On opening it I discovered a book of German short stories and an accompanying letter telling me that this was a prize for doing well in the summer exam. This was not an official school prize. It was entirely an initiative on Colm’s part. As a student who had not found first year in boarding school either easy or enjoyable, I was moved by this teacher taking the time to show interest and give encouragement. This memory has stayed with me over the years.
Fr Layden continued: For so many of us here today Colm always reminded us of the centrality in our lives of our relationship with the Holy Mystery, the God who is beyond all and in all. Maybe we met Colm on a retreat or in spiritual direction. Above all there was the example of his own life in the years in which he spent time in solitude and prayer in remote places in the west and north west. We are not all called to that kind of solitude. It is a gift bestowed on a small number in our midst. That gift is a reminder to the rest of us of the one thing that is really necessary and that ultimately matters in life. Jesus tells his disciples that he is the way, the truth and the life. He is our way to the Father. We are all called to communion, to friendship, to intimacy with the Father. This is what brought Colm to the desert of his caravan, his mobile home.
Colm was always attracted to the idea of life as a hermit. Indeed in recent years he spent considerable periods of time living a contemplative and semi-eremitical life in Co. Donegal. In his funeral homily, Fr Layden quoted Colm himself on this matter: Leading up to the months of solitude can be difficult. I find myself weeping at the prospect of the loneliness involved. I can also find myself weeping at the prospect of leaving my solitude. It’s not easy to stay for long periods without any company. Such experiences fit with the traditional teachings of the mystics, for example John of the Cross who maintained that there is a benefit to being wholly in the desert. Sometimes I have a radio but I feel I am better off without one. I can visit neighbours, or sometimes they want to see me. It’s very much an experience of emptiness and searching. After all, God is ultimately beyond everything, so one has to let go of a great deal to live by faith without clinging to making an idol of this or that.’
For the last four years Colm lived in Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit nursing home in Milltown Park. After a short illness he died on the morning of 12 September. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Lea, Charles, 1545-1586, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1561
  • Person
  • 1545-23 July 1586

Born: 1545, Cloyne, County Cork
Entered: 24 June 1570, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Provine (ROM)
Died: 23 July 1586, Cork

Alias MacMuiris

1574 General Catalogue Aged 27 in Rome 24 June 1570. Made vows 6 months later. Studied 2 years Theology at Roman College (1573-1584). A prisoner on parole and practising medicine. In Ireland was teaching under the Bishop of Cork

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Dr Morris Lea
Educated at Paris, Oxford and Cologne
Taught School in Youghal in 1575
Was imprisoned for the faith; Was a Physician and Surgeon who gave great relief to Archbishop O’Hurley, who in June 1584 had been tortured by having his legs broiled in a fire.
Perhaps he was “Mauritius”
(cf "Hibernia Ignatiana" p28 and O’Sullivan Beare’s “Hist” p 125)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Charles Leae SJ 1545-1586
The fellow labourer of Fr Rochfort in the school at Youghal was Fr Leae.

He was born in Cloyne in 1545. His father was a doctor of medicine, Charles Morris Leae. Charles studied at Paris, Oxford and Cologne, and finally entered the Society on June 24th 1570. Rome was the scene of his activities for some years. Then in 1575 he came to Ireland with Bishop Tanner of Cork,

He taught in the school at Youghal till 1579, in which year Bishop Tanner died. Fr Leae was captured and put in prison in Dublin. Hence he was released on account of his skill in medicine and was allowed a certain amount of freedom to move around the city. He was known by his fathers name Charles MacMorris.

In the course of his official duties he attended Archbishop Hurley after his torture by the English : A worthy priest names Charles MacMorris of the Society, skilled in medicine, found access to the archbishop and treated his wounds with such skill that in a few days, he was enabled to sit up in bed”. Fr Leae continued to work in Dublin for some years after the execution of the Archbishop.

His death in 1586 brought to an end the Second Mission of the Society of Jesus to Ireland.

◆ Rev. Edmund Hogan SJ : “Distinguished Irishmen of the Sixteenth Century” - London : Burns and Oates, Limited, New York, Cincinnati : Chicago, Benzinger Brothers, 1894 : Quarterly Series : Volume Ninety

Father Charles Leae

Father Rochfort's fellow-labourer in Youghal was Father Charles Leae; he was born in the town of Cloyne, co. of Cork, in the year 1545; his father was Morris Leae, a doctor of medicine, and probably the same whom Stanihurst called “Leie a learned and expert physician”. His mother's maiden name was Mary Sheehy or Hickey; he had studied literature from his early years, and was educated at Paris, Oxford, and Cologne. He became a Jesuit in Rome on June 24, 1570; in 1575 he came to Ireland with Bishop Tanner and Father Rochfort, and taught school, and preached at Youghal and in the surrounding districts up to the year 1579, when Dr. Tanner died, after having endured great sufferings in prison for eighteen months. Father Leae remained in Ireland, and was captured and imprisoned, as we may gather from the following narrative, if we remember that an Irishman was very often called after his father's Christian name, and that Charles the son of Morris Leae would be named Charles McMorris. On the 4th of June, 1584, Diarmait O’Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel, was hanged in Dublin for the profession of the Faith. Some days before his execution, his feet and legs were forced into boots filled with oil and salt, and a fire was put under them. The oil heated by the flames, penetrating the soles and other parts, tortured him in an intolerable manner, and “his skin fell from the flesh and portions of the flesh from the bare bones”. There happened to be then at Dublin a priest of the Society of Jesus, named Charles MacMorris, who had much experience in medicine and surgery, and who had been himself confined in prison by the English, but was released on account of the skill with which he had treated some noblemen who were dangerously ill. This Father visited the Archbishop and applied some remedies which gave him great relief. The hideous details of the roasting are confirmed by the State Papers, and must for ever brand with infamy the names of Loftus and Wallop. I lose sight of Father Leae after this; I know not whether he was able to remain in Ireland for some time going about under various disguises, and instructing and consoling the Catholics of that country, or whether he was driven away by the fury of persecution, and was sent by his Superiors to teach in the Continental Colleges - a task for which he was well fitted by his University training. He was certainly dead before the year 1609. I was fortunate enough to find the following entry, written by him in the Roman Novice Book on the 24th of June, 1570 : “I was born in the town of Cloyne, diocese of Cork; my father and mother are dead; my father was Maurice Leae, a Doctor of Medicine, my mother's maiden name was Mary Chihi. From my earliest years I have devoted myself to learning; I have studied one year at Paris, then I went to the University of Oxford, and lastly I have read Logic and Philosophy during three years at Cologne, when I took the degree of Master of Logic and Philosophy. I promise to observe all the rules, constitutions, and mode of life of the Society, and to do whatever the Society shall order. In witness of which I subscribe this with my hand, CHARLES LEAE”. In the same book I found these items : Charles Leae, an Irishman, made his first vows. in the Professed House on January 17, 1571, on the 24th of

Lehmacher, Gustav, 1885-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1566
  • Person
  • 03 June 1885-26 January 1963

Born: 03 June 1885, Walluf, Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany
Entered: 13 April 1904, Exaeten, Limburg, Netherlands - Germaniae Province (GER)
Ordained: 27 August 1916
Professed: 02 February 1920
Died: 26 January 1963, Maring-Noviand, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany - Germaniae Inferioris Province (GER)

by 1940 came to Leeson St (HIB) writing and Censor 1939-1946
by 1947 came to Tullabeg (HIB) writing 1946-1948

Linnick, James, d 1690, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2338
  • Person
  • d 12 November 1690

Died: 12 November 1690, Bad Münstereifel, Germany - Rhenish Inferioris Province (RH INF)

◆ CATSJ I-Y has RIP Monaster Eifflice 12 November 1690

◆ In Old/15 (1)

Locke, Edward, 1619-1671, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1585
  • Person
  • 10 October 1619-08 December 1671

Born: 10 October 1619, Colemanstown, County Dublin
Entered: 08 October 1629, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1648, Wilna (Vilnius), Lithuania
Professed: 25 October 1654
Died: 08 December 1671, Dublin Residence

Son of Patrick and Mary Sarcefield
Studied in Ireland and Douai
1641-1642 Repeats Philosophy at Lille (GAL-BEL) and teaches Philosophy
1642-1646 At Vilnius studying Theology
1645 Not at Lille
1647 In Tertianship
1648-1651 At Brunsberg College Lithuania - made Doctor of Philosophy in 1651
1655 The Cossacks invade Lithuania, Jesuits dispersed, Locke went to Ireland
1665 In Brixia College (VEM)
1668-1669 Rector of Irish College - where?
related to Sarsfield and Edward Locke surgeon

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1650 D Phil at Wilna (Vilnius)
Rector of Irish College Rome; Travelled to England with Primate Plunkett
Had been out of Ireland thirty-five years on return

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Patrick and Mary née Sarsfield
Had studied Humanities and Philosophy under the Jesuits firstly in Dublin and then at Douai before Ent 08 October 1639 Tournai
After First Vows he studied at Lille graduating MA, and then went to Poland for Regency and studies where he was Ordained c 1648 and graduated D Phil at Wilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1650
1650-1655 Teaching Philosophy and then Theology at Wilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania)
1655-1660 Driven into exile with his Polish Jesuit colleagues, and he found refuge in the Lower Rhenish Province where he taught Moral Theology at Trier.
1660-1667 He was in the Venetian Province teaching Moral Theology at Brescia and Bologna
1667-1679 Rector of the Irish College Rome
1670 Sent to Ireland, he made the journey with Oliver Plunkett, arriving 20 February 1670, and he was made Superior of Dublin Residence, where he died the following year 08 December 1671

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Edward Locke 1620-1671
Fr Edward Locke was a Dublin man, born about 1620. In 1635 he left that city for Rome, where he was educated and joined the Society.

In a letter of his from Dublin, dated 27th February 1670, he tells us, that after a long and painful journey, he had reached Dublin 7 days before, and that owing to a severe winter he had remained about six weeks in London before sailing for Dublin. He says that he had left Dr Oliver Plunkett behind, in whose company he had travelled from Rome. He also remarks that he had returned to Dublin in the very same hour that he had quitted it 35 years beforehand.

Fr Locke was appointed Superior of the Dublin Residence, and in that capacity he called on the Archbishop, Peter Talbot, a sincere friend of the Order.

He died as Superior on December 8th 1671

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LOCKE, EDWARD. His letter dated Dublin, 27th of February, 1670, informs us, that after a long and tedious journey, he had reached Dublin seven days before that owing to the very severe winter he had remained about six weeks in London, before he took shipping for Dublin that he had left Dr. Oliver Plunkett behind (in whose company he had travelled from Rome) - that he returned to Dublin the very same hour that he had quitted it thirty-five years, before - that the new Superior of the Mission, F. Richard Burke, arrived at the same time, of whose character he speaks highly, and of whose future government he augurs most favourably that he had waited on the most illustrious Archbishop Dr. Peter Talbot, who was a sincere friend to the Order. The Father gives it as his opinion, that the distress of the country cannot be equalled elsewhere. I learn from F. Stephen Rice’s Annual Letters, that F. Locke died at Dublin in the year following, “in Missione et alibi de Societate bene meritus”.

Lyons, William, 1903-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/234
  • Person
  • 26 September 1903-30 July 1936

Born: 26 September 1903, Mitchelstown, County Cork
Entered: 25 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 30 July 1936, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at St Colman's College, Fermoy. BA 1st Class Honours and 2 years Philosophy at St Patrick’s College Maynooth before entry

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Ordained 31 July 1935, finished Theology and died of cancer 30 July 1936

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 11th Year No 4 1936
Obituary :
Father William Lyons
Father C. Daly has most kindly sent us the following appreciation. He was with Father Lyons both in China, and, for theology, at Milltown Park.

The death of Father Lyons at the early age of thirty-three came as a great shock to all who had known him and come to appreciate the sterling qualities of his character. After a brief illness, which became acute only in its last stage, he died on Thursday evening July 30th, on the eve of the first anniversary of his ordination.
Born at Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, he received his early education at St. Colman's College, Fermoy. He went later to Maynooth where he did his degree in Celtic Studies, and then entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in September, 1924. After his noviceship he went to Pullach where he studied Philosophy for three years. In 1929 he was sent to China, where in addition to acquiring a very high proficiency in the language he taught at the Sacred Heart College, Canton, and later lectured in Philosophy at the Serminario S. José, Macao. Returning to Ireland in 1932 he had just, completed his theological studies when the end came.
Those who lived with Father Lyons could not have failed to have been struck by the fact that he possessed outstanding qualities both in the natural and supernatural order, qualities that pointed to assured success in the work for which he had already been set aside. During his magisterium in China and before that at Pullach he proved his aptitude as a linguist. His command of German was so good that on his way out to China an officer on the German boat was convinced that he was a German until near the end of the voyage. He tackled the formidable problem of Chinese with characteristic energy and thoroughness and in a short time acquired a fluency and correctness of tone quite above the average. He taught his classes with painstaking devotion, and later on at the Seminary in Macao was rewarded by the affection and esteem of the Seminarians.
There was always in him something above the ordinary, a greater spirit of self-sacrifice and unselfishness, a more exact devotion to rule and a greater severity towards himself all pointing to a deep interior life. This spirit brought him through a period of stress and anxiety during his first months at Canton when his endurance was tested and he had to do things very trying to his particular temperament. His life even in China, where many causes tend to drain one's energy, was most intense, and it was a marvel how persistently he followed out his daily routine and remained loyal to all his duties. Many do not find it difficult to take things quietly and be at rest, but that, I think, was what he found most difficult.
As a theologian at Milltown Park he was solid, painstaking, a slow worker, yet tenaciously holding what he had mastered. His public appearances at circles and disputations were not marked by any brilliant flights, but by a clear and lucid grasp of his subject in exposition and defence. He was ever ready to be of assistance to others and would gladly put aside his own work to come to the rescue of one who not infrequently got into difficulties in theological waters.
His spiritual life we can only gauge by exterior indications . At Milltown Park he spent his days as did the rest of us, and yet here too as in China there was a difference. There were little things on the surface that showed the swiftness of the current beneath, his anxiety, for example, to be with and to help those from other provinces. If we are right in judging of a man's interior life by his spirit of self-sacrifice, charity and general observance of rule, then Father Lyons led a life here amongst us very close to God indeed.
His last illness was comparatively short and the end came quickly. A few weeks after his Ad Gradum examination he became unwell complaining of rheumatic pains in his body. He was removed to a private hospital where he remained for some weeks. He was treated for an abscess under the teeth and seemed to be suffering from a general break-down. Then trouble developed in the kidneys and he was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital for X-Ray treatment On Tuesday, July 28th, he was found to be very seriously affected with cancer, and from that on sank with startling rapidity. He was quite resigned and although he knew there was no hope of recovery he put up a tremendous fight to the last. One of his last requests was to congratulate those who were to be ordained on the following day. He himself was not to see that day and he knew it. He was not suffering any very severe pain, but it was quite obvious that he would not last the night. At about 8,30 p m. on Thursday July 30th, after a severe struggle he quietly passed away.
His death was a great loss to our young Mission, a second sacrifice demanded of us. The first was made with resignation and has brought abundant blessings , the second will be equally abundant. We can confidently face the future with the thought that three of our number are of even greater assistance to us now than if they were with us in the flesh.

Macken, John C, 1943-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/531
  • Person
  • 22 December 1943-07 May 1996

Born: 22 December 1943, Ballinasloe, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 10 January 1986, John Sullivan House, Monkstown, County Dublin
Died: 07 May 1996, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1972 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) studying
by 1974 at St Ignatius Guelph ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying
by 1978 at Tübingen Germany (GER S) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr John Macken (1943-1996)

22nd Dec, 1943: Born at Ballinasloe, Galway
Early education: Crescent College, Limerick and Gonzaga College
7th Sept. 1962: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1964: First Vows
1964 - 1967: Rathfarnham, Study of Eastern languages at UCD.
1967 - 1969: Milltown Park, study Philosophy/M.A Languages, UCD
1969 - 1971: Crescent College - teaching/H DipEd, UCC
1971 - 1973 Toronto, Regis College, Guelph, Master of Divinity
21st June 1974: Ordained priest, Milltown Park
1974 - 1977: Loyola House, Special Secretariat
1977 - 1984: Tubingen, Doctoral Studies, Theology Tullabeg,
1984 - 1985: Tertianship
1985 - 1992: Sullivan House, Lecturer in Theology, Milltown Institute
1992 - 1995: Dominic Collins House - Superior/ Milltown Institute
1995 - 1996: Residence, Leinster Road/ President and lecturer at Milltown Institute

John felt very tired at the Easter break and had some tests done which revealed cancer of the liver. Further tests showed this to be the secondaries. The doctors discussed the option of treatment with John, but in the light of the prognosis it was decided against. He died peacefully a month later on 7th May.

Sermon at the Funeral Mass of Fr. John Macken

When Sir Thomas More heard of the death by execution of one of the bishops who had refused to bow to Henry's bullying: he said, “Ah Fisher, a lovely man”. Perhaps that sums up what is to be said about John - a lovely man.

Everyone here has their own treasured memories of him - how can you sum up anyone's life on their funeral day - it's foolish to think you can - but perhaps we can get glimpses. Asking a fair number of people over the last few days - perhaps the most consistent word was “gentle”.

We are faced with a mystery, dismayed and bewildered by the abrupt summons and departure of John, and we mourn and grieve as tenderly as we awkwardly can with his mother Eleanor, his brothers James and Frank, and sisters, Marian, Eleanor, Sheila and Nuala; their spouses Maeve, Andrew, Paraic and Susan, their children and the Macken relatives - but also with his large Jesuit family, his many friends and colleagues from the Milltown Institute, whose president he briefly was, friends in Toronto and Tübingen - the list goes on of those his life has graced

But we try to face into this mystery in the light and hope of the Resurrection - as Fr. Laurence Murphy said last evening John staked his life on the Word of God, on Christ - and his faith quickened and sustained many others.

St. Paul reminds us that we are God's work of art - everyone of us is a word of God - John was a special word and work of God's art. Our grief and loss are tempered by gratitude for such a gentle, lovely, gifted, simple man.

He was not faultless (unlike yourself and myself) - he could be heavy or morose or irritable. But these limitations were vastly outweighed by his gifts (as indeed they are in all of us if only we could see with God's eyes.)

He was a man of learning - but learning worn so lightly and unselfconsciously. He sort of belied the Gospel today, (Matt.11, 25 30) being the exception to whom the things of God are revealed. He was a scholar, a theologian, ecumenist, yet combining great intellectual integrity with a corresponding intellectual humility. He never patronised you or put you down. He could correct you, and very directly, but somehow graciously, painlessly. After five weeks in Tübingen he knew more about theology than others who had spent 20 years. When he left Crescent 100 years ago to move to Gonzaga, we all breathed a sigh of relief because we all moved up a place in class. “If he wasn't so nice and good”, a relative was saying yesterday, “he would have been intolerable, he knew so much”.

But he was also a very human and simple man: a great companion and dear friend - so easy to be with (most of the time anyway), so non threatening or judgmental. Interested in you and understanding - gently compassionate - courteous - in a delightful simple sense of humorous enjoyment. “Don was always a peacemaker”, his mother used to say of him - he spent many happy hours with his friends the MacNamara's in Waterford and Kilkee and his visits were much looked forward to by many. Sr. Marie in Maryfield - in visiting his mother used to say of him: “He left a kind of peace”. A colleague on a commission - he didn't say very much, but you were always aware of his supportive presence. He was a man of faith - his family was very important to him and he to them - he was so faithful to his mother and to Eleanor his sister, ill for many years, faithful to his calling as a Jesuit priest, a son of Ignatius - a faithfulness that was profoundly focused and simplified in his last weeks. The way he handled his illness was astonishing, to me certainly, but consistent with his life up to that point. He remained attentive to others and concerned about them to the end, and so appreciative of anything done for him. Mary, a nurse in Cherryfield said it was “a privilege to look after that man”.

God certainly put him to the test and found him worthy of him, as the reading from Wisdom said. He had said 'yes' to his life and he said yes to his death, with a courage ad objectivity that neither exaggerated or minimised the reality he was undergoing - yet without any posturing or bitterness that I could see - on the contrary his tranquillity made it all easier and bearable for his family and the rest of us.

If John of the Cross is right when he said “in the evening of our lives we will be judged on love” John will do very well in this only ultimately important exam. So while we do mourn most painfully even more do we celebrate and give thanks for such a rich and fruitful life, which has graced us all in different ways, evoking in everyone so many good feelings. He did incarnate Newman's prayer “Help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go”.

So perhaps mysteriously, providentially Don's work is done: and ours now to follow with appreciative hearts this gracious, gentle friend of Christ, privileged to have walked some of the way with him. Maybe Bernanos was right in saying that the only sadness is not to be a saint. A lovely man, increasingly like his Lord who said “Come to me all you who labour.....”

It seems appropriate to end with a prayer written by Karl Barth, perhaps the most influential Protestant theologian of this century, and John's special study:

At the Start of Worship
O Lord our God! You know who we are, men
with good
consciences and with bad, persons who are
content and
those who are discontent, the certain and the
uncertain,
Christians by conviction and Christians by convention,
those who believe, those who half-believe,
those who
disbelieve.
And you know where we have come from:
from the
circle of relatives, acquaintances and friends or
from the
greatest loneliness, from a life of quiet
prosperity or from
manifold confusion and distress, from family
relationships
that are well ordered or from those disordered
or under
stress, from the inner circle of the Christian
community or
from its outer edge.

But now we all stand before you, in all our
differences, yet alike in that we are all in the
wrong with
you and with one another, that we must all one
day die,
that we would all be lost without your grace,
but also in
that your grace is promised and made available
to us all in
your dear Son Jesus Christ. We are here
together in order
to praise you through letting you speak to us.
We beseech
you to grant that this may take place in this
hour, in the
name of your Son our Lord.

Peter Sexton SJ

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1986

John Macken SJ

I came late to Gonzaga, joining Fourth year in 1962. I had already been in a Jesuit school, in Crescent College in Limerick, where I grew up, though I was born in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Going to Gonzaga appealed to me. I wanted a Jesuit school and had at the back of mind the idea that I might join the Jesuits. Gonzaga did little to hin der and much to reinforce the idea. The atmosphere, like the grounds, was open, positive and encouraging, in fact one might say sunny. The approach to education was a broad one and most of us enjoyed it thoroughly. What added an extra spice to our year was that we had in Paul Durcan a genuine poet who kept us entertained with his juvenilia.

My religious inclination was catered for by Mass-serving (we cycled in early to school and home again for break fast) and Fr Sean Hutchinson's sod ality as well as the excellent R.E. programme. (I still preserve some note books from fourth year as well as notes from a retreat in Rathfarnham Castle which now have first-class his torical value!) I did in fact join the Jesuits in 1962 and to my surprise I had two companions: David Murphy and Frank Roden. It was a surprise because each of us had kept the decision very private. I'm sure we weren't the only ones to whom the idea occurred, but it wasn't something to be discussed.

The two years noviceship in Emo Park were much as they had been described in Ben Kiely's There was an ancient House twenty-five years before, monastic and quiet - too quiet some of the time! In UCD I was asked by Fr Charles O'Conor to study subjects that would prepare me for theology later on, so I took Hebrew with Prof Dermot Ryan (later Arch bishop) and Greek with Prof. Michael Tierney jun. We took as much part in College life as we were allowed -- joining College societies was permitted except for L & H and Dramsoc. I enjoyed UCD and continued with it for two more years, doing an MA simultaneously with philosophical studies in Milltown Park. But Mill town was the more exciting place to be then, studying with Philip McShane, an uncritical enthusiast for the transcendental Thomism of Bernard Lonergan. A welcome interruption to studies was the two years I spent teaching in my old school, Crescent College in Limerick, which was then beginning to go comprehensive. There I also did a HDip in UCC under the direction of Fr James Good.

In 1971 I was permitted to go to Toronto, Canada for theological studies. This was a great experience as the Canadians were at the time far more advanced than we in the study and practice of Jesuit spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises, in pastoral training (it was the age of the encoun ter group and of Rogerian counselling) and in ecumenism. The college was joined in a consortium of seminaries that included Anglicans (High and Low), United Church and Presbyterian as well as three Roman Catholic Institutions. Students were encouraged to take lectures in Colleges of the other denominations, although the main ex aminations and the syllabus remained that of one's own college. I was especially grateful to a Scotsman, Dr David Hay, for a lively introduction to Presbyterian theology. My ordination in Gonzaga Chapel in 1974 alongside David Murphy was a memorable ex perience. But it was followed, not by pastoral activities, but by three years of administrative work with the Jesuit Provincial. I was leader of a team of management consultants for the Irish Jesuits. (The experiment has since been dropped!) Thereafter I was still wondering what I would do when I grew up! In fact, I returned to Fr. O'Conor's vision of me and went to Germany for seven years, studying philosophy and theology in Tübingen and Munich under Prof. Walter Kasper. My Presbyterian training stood me in good stead and I returned with a thesis on the famous Swiss theologian Karl Barth, whose centenary occurs this May. I began teaching theology this year (1985-86) in Milltown Park (now a consortium of eleven religious orders) and am enjoying it thoroughly.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

John Macken SJ

by Peter Sexton SJ

John Macken SJ, president of the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin, died at the age of 53 on May 7th. The death of such a gifted man, apparently in the summer of his career, has left his many col leagues, students and friends deeply saddened. And yet, as Bernanos says, perhaps the only sadness is not to be a saint.

John (Don to his family) was the son of Eleanor and the late Matthew Macken, former Dublin city and county manager. He was born in Ballinasloe and educated first in Crescent College, Limerick, where his father was city man ager at the time, and later in Gonzaga College, Dublin.

He joined the Jesuits in 1962 and stud ied Eastern languages at UCD under Professor (later Archbishop) Dermot Ryan. He combined an MA at UCD with philosophical studies at Milltown. After two years on the staff of Cres cent College, he went to Regis College, Toronto for theology.

After ordination in 1974, John worked for a number of years on the Provincial's ad ministrative team, before taking up post-gradu ate studies in Tubingen under Walter Kaspar. His doctorate, for a dissertation on the concept of autonomy in Karl Barth's theology, was awarded in 1984. Soon afterwards, he began teaching at the Milltown Institute.

Throughout his life, he was a commit ted ecumenist and in those years he also taught in the Irish School of Ecumenics and the Church of Ireland theological College. In August 1995 he became president of the institute, but his term in office was cut tragically short by his premature death.

John Macken was a brilliant and cultured man, who excelled at every stage of his studies. He had remarkable powers of concentration, that capacity for "attention” which Simone Weil considers to be the heart of study. He was an ideal companion when travelling - anywhere in Ireland, in Paris, Tubingen, Rome – because of his easy, profound grasp of history. But he wore his broad learning lightly and unselfconsciously. "If he wasn't so nice and good", one of his rela tives remarked, “he would have been intoler able - he knew so much!”

He was a great friend to so many people, human, simple, gentle, non-judgemental, quali ties which made a deep impression on those he met. He had an unusual ability to be on equal terms with all sorts of people, including children.

News of his cancer came as a great shock to those who loved and admired him. But the dignity and unfussy realism with which he faced his illness gave courage and a certain peace to his family and friends, during the short weeks which remained to him in the gentle, compe tent care of St. Vincent's Private Hospital and Cherryfield Lodge.

Our deepest sympathy goes to his wonderful mother and family. A friend, speaking for all of us, wrote on hearing of his death:

Farewell, noble friend. God knew you under the fig tree,
God knows You now, gentle one The cup drained, pain spent, the
burden shouldered, No projects unfinished,
Consummatum.

MacMahon, Brian, 1907-1960, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/293
  • Person
  • 24 October 1907-15 August 1960

Born: 24 October 1907, Streatham, London, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 15 August 1960, Dublin

Part of St Ignatius community, Lusaka, Zambia at the time of his death.

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Kaulbachstrasse, Munich, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1935 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
At an early stage in the Society, someone had the courage to tell Brian that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of ‘Bishop MacMahon’, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of ‘The Bish’.

Fr Brian was born in London, England in 1907 and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his BSc and then his MSc at University College Dublin also obtaining a traveling scholarship. He went to Valkenburg, Holland, for philosophy. This was followed by a further three years of Biology, one of them at Munich, Germany and the other two at Louvain (changing from German to French!) where he obtained a Doctorate in Science with First Class Honours. He taught for a year at his Alma Mater and then went to Milltown Park for theology and ordination to the priesthood in 1940.

He was minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-1943, minister at Milltown Park 1943-1944, prefect of studies at Clongowes 1944-1947. He became rector at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1947 until 1950 when he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits. For several years he was rector and principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary of the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on 15 August 1960, at 53 years of age and 20 years a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr Dominic Nchete preached at the Mass for Brian at St Ignatius Church, saying, ‘Fr MacMahon was a big man. He had a big body, a big heart, big brains. He thought big, he spoke big, he acted big. Amid his many and varied occupations, he remained calm, kind, charitable, considerate and, above all, extremely patient; he was kind to all whether they were white or black’.

As a school boy, as novice and as a man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was a steady application to duty whether it appealed to his taste or not. He would like to have studied Mathematics and Political Economy (under Fr Tom Finlay S.J.) but obedience took him down a different path of studies.

“He was dominant in height”’ one wrote about him, “but not domineering in manner. He could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk, but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good-humoured way he had”. He loved to keep up with world news and his brother had sent him a subscription to the air edition of the Times which Brian loved to read, sitting in his office. As one scholastic once remarked, ‘The Bish's biography should be entitled “20 years behind the Times'”

Under his direction, Canisius Secondary School was improved and enlarged. He was headmaster (then called principal) from 1951 to 1959. Senior courses leading up to the School Certificate were introduced by him. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands, he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow Jesuits, devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. Government officials whom he dealt with held him in the highest esteem.

He did not easily resign himself to the close of his life. He fought the blood poisoning and cancerous growth to the end. He remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. Eventually, in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
For the next 30 years he served the young Church in Zambia selflessly and with unbounded generosity. In Chikuni he served as a kind of ‘minister of supplies’. Fr MacMahon would lean heavily on him but Sher had his little hideouts which constituted his survival kit!

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Brian MacMahon (1907-1960)

Fr. Brian MacMahon died in a Dublin Nursing Home on 14th August, 1960. He was born in London on 24th October, 1907, was educated at Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 1st September, 1925. Having taken his Vows in 1927, he went to Rathfarnham Castle, where he studied for his M.Sc. degree at University College, Dublin. He was sent in 1931 to Valkenburg for Philosophy. He did special studies in Biology, for one year at Munich and two years at Louvain, where in 1936 he obtained his degree of Docteur en Sciences Naturelles at Louvain University. Having returned to Ireland, after one year's teaching at Clongowes, he went to Milltown Park for the study of Theology and was ordained in 1940. He did his Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle. He was Minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-43, Minister of Milltown Park 1943-44, and Prefect of Studies at Clongowes 1944-47. On 25th July, 1947, Fr. MacMahon was appointed Rector of Mungret College, Limerick, an office which he held until 1950, when he was sent among the first missionaries to the new Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia. For several years he was Rector and Prefect of Studies of St. P. Canisius College, Chikuni. In July 1959, he became Catholic Education Secretary for the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia and also Superior of St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka.
On 14th April, owing to serious illness, he returned to Ireland and after four months of suffering he went to his eternal reward.
Fr. MacMahon's death was not sudden, for he had been in hospitals in Rhodesia and in Ireland for several months. Yet it was surprising that it came so soon; it seemed to cut him off while he was still in full vigour and on active service. “A short life in the saddle, Lord, and not a long life by the fireside” is a prayer that might come to mind when meditating on the possibility of an inordinate affection for length of days. Fr, MacMahon's twenty years from the time of his ordination was a short life of priestly activity. He did not easily resign himself to its close. His habit of hard work and constant devotion to duty made him eager to recover from the blood-poisoning and cancerous growth which proved fatal in the end. Those who visited him in hospital did not have to cheer him up; he remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. And then in simple faith and acceptance he answered the call to eternity.
Many will remember Br. MacMahon as a novice, who was primus inter pares, in stature head and shoulders above the rest of us, an out standing Br. Porter, the very symbol of stability and regularity. He enjoyed looking up old Porters' Journals in order to find precedents for “Coffees” - indeed he claimed a record in this respect for his term of office. He enjoyed recreation and he liked to see others enjoy it. But, as schoolboy, as novice and as man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was of steady application to duty, whether it appealed to his taste or not. He was an excellent example both as novice and schol astic, who was not exaggerated in any way, neither excessively recollected nor excessively austere, always a man of duty of the “no nonsense” variety. He was kind and helpful to the weak; he helped them to help themselves. He was both good humoured and strict in a remarkably well blended way.
Brian MacMahon had been a talented student in Clongowes, his strongest subject being mathematics. But his course of studies in the Society was not in accordance with his tastes, though well within his ability. He would have liked to include Political Economy - then taught by Fr. Tom Finlay, S.J.- among the subjects for his Arts degree; if that were not allowed, then mathematics would have been the obvious choice. But he was transferred to the Science faculty and the B.Sc. course in Biology. Holy obedience, sheer plod, mental acumen and a good memory brought him through triumphantly to the B.Sc., the M.Sc. and a Travelling Studentship. Two years of relentless application to Philosophy followed at Valkenburg, Holland, the North German Province's Collegium Maximum. Then three further years of Biology, one at Munich, till Professor Wettstein died, and two at Louvain under the direction of Professor Gregoire. This enforced move from one University to another meant for Brian a new start. He had to commence a line of research approved by his new Professor-an investigation into the chromosomal peculiarities found at meiosis of the pollen mother-cells of Listera ovata. It meant also a change of vernacular from German to French-no small cross for one who had very little gift for acquiring languages. Yet there may have been compensations; he may have found the circumstances and companionship at Louvain more congenial. He obtained the Doctorate in Science in the form of “Aggregé”, which is equivalent to First Class Honours or summa cum laude. He had done what he was told to do, had done it with éclat.
People looked up to him, and he spoke down to them. Everyone accepted the fact that it simply had to be so. Dominant in height, but not domineering in manner, he could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk; but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good humoured way he had. In the College of Science Mr. MacMahon was long remembered with respect and affection. He had been a very popular Auditor of the Natural History Club. He would have been welcomed as a Lecturer in the Botany Department. Officials and former fellow students took a friendly interest in his later career,
Among his contemporaries in the Society, Brian also won a considerable degree of respect and affection. He was respected as a model religious, conscientious, exact, living up to the greater and lesser obligations of his vocation. He was an example: what standards he maintained one felt one ought to aim at; what little liberties he allowed himself, one knew one could take with impunity. As regards affection, one might search for another way of expressing it: he was well liked, he was popular, for all his dignity he was a thoroughly decent fellow. He was a good community man; he fitted easily into any community and became one of its better ingredients. At an early stage in the Society someone had the courage to tell him that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of “Bishop MacMahon”. But lest perhaps this might seem to declare him more pontifical than he really was, it was almost immediately reduced to its homely form “The Bish”. Those who knew him well will find far more meaning and pleasant memories in the mention of his nickname than in the bald statement that he was popular.
During the 1940's Fr. MacMahon experienced several changes of status: the fourth year at Milltown, Tertianship at Rathfarnham, Minister and Professor of Biology in Tullabeg, Minister in Milltown, Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, Rector of Mungret. His general capability made him an obvious choice for so many various appointments. As soon as he could be spared in one place he was sent to fill a need in another, especially a need for organisation and administration. He was eminently reliable; he could grasp and control a new situation at short notice. No doubt there are records of his successes at Clongowes and Mungret, for he was chosen to guide the educational policy of our Mission in Northern Rhodesia, a very important task to which as a matter of fact he devoted the remaining decade of his life. Round about 1930 he would have been glad to be chosen for the Hong Kong Mission, but his Travelling Studentship intervened; twenty years later he was suddenly asked to go to Rhodesia. As always he responded immediately to the wishes of superiors, to the will of God: “Here I am, Lord, send me”.
As Rector of the community at Chikuni, Fr. MacMahon was head master and Prefect of Studies of St. Canisius College, the secondary school for boys.
On completing his term as Rector he remained on as Principal. It was in this capacity that he is best remembered by students and staff. Under his direction the school was improved and enlarged and Senior Secondary Courses introduced. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow-missionaries devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. And the government officials with whom he collaborated held him in the highest regard.
In 1959 Fr. MacMahon was appointed Education Secretary-General to the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia and Superior of St. Ignatius Residence, Lusaka, where he lived for six months before illness forced him to return to Ireland, The last months he spent in hospital, suffering a good deal, until death, for which he was well prepared, came to release him. His loss is very deeply regretted by his colleagues on the mission and by all those who benefited by contact with him" (Extract from Your St. Ignatius Newsletter, Lusaka, 21st August, 1960).
Under News from the Missions, Northern Rhodesia, in this issue will be found the panegyric preached by Fr. Dominic at the outdoor Requiem Mass at Chikuni on 19th August.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 124 : Summer 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA

Brian MacMahon

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi. Brian MacMahon was one of the first group assigned to Zambia in 1950. He died in 1960, the first Irish Jesuit in Zambia to die.

At an early stage of his life in the Society, someone had the courage to tell Brian that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of “Bishop Mac Mahon”, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of "The Bish". Brian was born in London, England, in 1907, and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his B.Sc. and then his M.Sc, at UCD, also obtaining a Travelling Scholarship. He went to Valkenburg, Holland, for philosophy. This was followed by a further three years of Biology, one of them at Munich, Germany, and the other two at Louvain (changing from German to French!), where he obtained a Doctorate in Science with First Class Honours, or summa cum laude. He taught for a year at his Alma Mater and then went to Milltown Park for theology and ordination to the priesthood in 1940.

He was Minister at Tullabeg and Professor of Cosmology and Biology 1942-1943; Minister at Milltown Park 1943-1944; Prefect of Studies at Clongowes 1944 -1947. He became Rector at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1947 until he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits that were assigned there in 1950. For several years he was Rector and Principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary to the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on August 15, 1960, at 53 years of age, and 20 years as a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr. Dominic Nchete preached at the Funeral Mass for Brian at St. Ignatius Church, saying, “Fr. MacMahon was a big man. He had a big body, a big heart, big brains. He thought big. He spoke big. He acted big amid his many and varied occupations. He remained calm, kind, charitable, considerate and, above all, extremely patient. He was kind to all whether they were white or black”. “Dominant in height”, one wrote about him, “but not domineering in manner, he could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk; but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good humoured way he had”. He loved to keep up with world news, and his brother had sent him a subscription to the airmail edition of the Times, which Brian loved to read, sitting in his office. As one scholastic once remarked, “The Bish's biography should be entitled 20 years behind the Times!”

As schoolboy, as novice and as man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was a steady application to duty, whether it appealed to his taste or not. He would like to have studied Maths and Political Economy (under Fr. Tom Finlay) but obedience took him down a different path of studies. Under his direction, Canisius Secondary School was improved and enlarged. He was Headmaster (then called Principal) from 1951 to 1959. Senior courses leading up to the School Certificate were introduced by him. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands, he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice To his fellow Jesuits, devotion to his work and to the interest of the school was well known. Government officials whom he dealt with held him in the highest esteem. He did not easily resign himself to the close of his life. He fought the blood poisoning and cancerous growth to the end. He remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. And in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

◆ The Clongownian, 1961

Obituary

Father Brian MacMahon SJ

One remembers Brian MacMahon as a boy who was tall, intellectually gifted, well behaved, friendly, and keenly interested in all sides of life: in short a promising boy, wherever his future might lie. He was from London; but he would not have himself regarded as anything but thoroughly Irish. His accent was not noticeably English, except for one small feature characteristic of southern England which he always preserved: his “what ... why ... when ... etc.” sounded like “wot... wy ... wen ...” to the Irish ear - but then our usual style of speech sounds like “hwat ... hwy ... etc.” to the English ear; so perhaps Brian was simply correct after all.

He was tall, sometimes sombre-looking, but never really forbidding. Of course those who were smaller and younger could be momentarily cowed by his presence. But he lacked the ability to domineer. In other words, he possessed a very endearing quality, a willingness to be joked at and teased by those who with discernment and good humour could take him down a peg or two, for he liked to relax in a spirit of camaraderie. Surely all his friends still remember him in this way. He made loyal friends, who were deeply grieved by his comparatively early death.

He never took it easy just because he had plenty of brains. He worked hard in the study-hall and in class. In fact he applied himself with interest and attention to what ever he had to do. He was always in the honours classes, and regularly got cards for places in the weekly exams. Mathematics was his best subject. It so happened that during his final years in Clongowes the mathematics course underwent certain experimental innovations: some live-wire in the Department of Education managed to raise the standard of requirements while at the same time afflicting both teachers and boys with the awful nuisance of Long Tots. Brian was well able for it. Extra hard work enabled him to cover the enlarged course, and he could boast in his good-humoured way that he was willing to challenge all comers in a contest for speed and accuracy at the Long Tots.

Cricket was the game he preferred. All the summer term he enjoyed being on the cricket-pitch - though he could also make a sacrifice and get in a fair share of voluntary study as the exams approached. He was a good fast bowler; to very small boys he might have seemed a demon. Many a timid batsman quailed as he stood facing Brian's attack, as he saw the lofty figure, dark and perspiring and intent, running up to the wicket and swinging a long arm to deliver a flying ball, like some mighty Zulu warrior hurling an assagai with full force and determination.

Let it not be said that he was a “dab” at everything. As a debater he could not compare with his best friend, Ned Tracey; yet he was interested in the debates and duly did his bit. As an actor he would never be given a leading role; but in “The Private Secretary” he played his part well: a peppery old colonel retired from the Indian Army. He was always interested in what others could do better than himself, and only too willing to proclaim his own limitations. To the end of his life he was catholic in his curiosity, a great absorber of informative newspapers and journals, a storehouse of factual information on all kinds of topics, events and personalities at home and abroad. Not high-falutin', but sensible, matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, no nonsense.

Brian MacMahon was always a good boy, the sort of good boy that really makes a good man. He was serious about his religious life; he made a good job of his prayers and religious duties; but he gave no sign of adding trimmings to the solid essentials. He was just thoroughly reliable and faithful in this as in everything else. God gave him a vocation to the priesthood, and he simply responded. There was nothing surprising about that: it fitted in perfectly with people's proper appreciation of what a vocation is.

To anyone who asks about Brian's later career as a Jesuit the answer has to be that he had two careers, both of them extremely successful. His academic studies at UCD and at the Universities of Munich and Louvain, culminated in his winning a Doctorate in Science with the highest possible distinction and acclamation. Later, after his ordination to the priesthood, he was entrusted with administrative posts: Prefect of Studies in Clongowes and Rector of Mungret College during the 1940s; then Rector and Prefect of Studies at Chikuni, Superior at Lusaka and Education Secretary-General for the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia during the 1950s. To his religious superiors he presented a sort of insoluble problem. They would have liked to multiply him by two, or rather to divide him into two persons: one with his academic ability, the other with his powers of organisation and administration. When ever his fellow-Jesuits heard how Mr MacMahon and then Father MacMahon had succeeded in this way or that they would say in a tone of friendly appreciation “Good old Brian” and “we all knew he could do it”.

Mr MacMahon taught in Clongowes for one year, 1936-37, before going on to theology at Milltown Park. At that time he was a somewhat eminent and senior scholastic. The Prefect of Studies valued him as a most reliable teacher and an excellent judge of a boy's ability. His pupils must have found that he was also a great '”spotter” of questions likely to appear on the exam papers. Father MacMahon was himself Prefect of Studies in Clongowes for three years, 1944-47, before he received his appointment as Rector of Mungret. A few years later he was chosen for the Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia to help in guiding the educational policy there a very important task to which he devoted the remaining ten years of his life. His final appointment made him the representative of the Catholic bishops in Northern Rhodesia; his duty it was to collaborate with the Government officials in all educational matters that concerned the Church as well as the State, Nowadays everyone knows that educational facilities are of vital importance in all foreign missions.

Respected and liked: these are the words that people use in recalling Father MacMahon. He was indeed highly respected and well liked everywhere he lived and worked, from the Biology Department in the College of Science to the Educational Department at Lusaka. The Africans who had known him at St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, said the same in their own way. They said “he was a big man”, not because of his great stature but because they had immense respect for him; they said “he was a big man in every way” because they liked him, because he was so extremely fair to them and so concerned for them in every way; they said “he is a big loss”.

The ways of Divine Providence are inscrutable to men. Human wisdom would have kept Father Brian MacMahon another ten years in Lusaka in that special post that he was so qualified to fill in this critical period of African unrest. But God decided otherwise; that he should endure some months of puzzling lingering, wasting sickness and so move on to his final reward on 14th August, 1960. God decided that he may now rest in peace.

B L

Magee, David, 1737-1768, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1648
  • Person
  • 22 February 1737-08 November 1768

Born: 22 February 1737, Rylane, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1755, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1762
Died: 08 November 1768, Arlington, Devonshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Johnson

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
A Nephew of Bishop Laurence Nihell, and was related to the Stackpoles and MacNamaras etc of Co Clare.
To his religious merits he added the distinction of eminence in classical literature.
He was prepared for death by Father Joseph Reeve SJ, who praises him very much in a letter written to his mother - Mrs MacGee, Rylan, Ennis”
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
JOHNSON, DAVID. His true name was Maghee. He was born in Ireland on the 22nd of February, 1737 : entered the Novitiate at Watten at the age of 18, and to his religious merits added the distinction of eminence in classic literature. In 1761, he was appointed Chaplain to the Mission of Arlington in Devonshire, where his Patron, John Chichester, Esq. shewed himself unconscious and unworthy of the treasure he might have possessed in such a pastor and companion. Death relieved this meritorious Father from his comfortless situation, on the 8th of November, 1768.

Maguire, Roger A, 1707-1770, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1656
  • Person
  • 15 June 1707-05 February 1770

Born: 15 June 1707, Dublin
Entered: 19 July 1722, Avignon, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1737, Strasbourg, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1740
Died: 05 February 1770, Speyer, Rhineland, Germany - Franciae Province (FRA)

Alias Louis de Magliore
Mission Superior 1761-1763 Missions at Martinique, Guadaloupe and Cayenne

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Taught Humanities for six years and Rhetoric for one, and was a Prefect of Studies for three. (Lyon)
1743 He left for the Mission to Martinique (FRA CAT 1746)

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
During studies he was at various Colleges inside and outside LUGD, finishing at Lyons
1743 Went to Martinique
1745-1755 At Guadaloupe, and in the latter part of this was Superior of that Mission
1755-1761 Returned to Martinique taking charge of a parish
1761-1763 Returned to Europe to report on the state of the Mission. The LUGD Provincial proposed sending him back as Socius to Fr John de la Marche with the right of Succession as Mission Superior of all the Missions at Martinique, Guadaloupe and Cayenne. He travelled back to the West Indies to carry out that task, but the Jesuits were expelled in 1763
1763 Returned to Europe and found refuge in Speyer and Baden in the Upper Rhine Province

◆ Fr Francis Finegan Sj :
He was probably brought up in France
1724-1727 After First Vows he was sent to study Rhetoric at Avignon and then Philosophy at Lyon and Dôle,
1727-1734 He was sent for six years Regency at Aix. he then studied completed his Philosophy at Dôle
1734-1737 He was sent to Dôle again for a year of Theology and then two at Strasbourg where he was Ordained 1737
1737-1739 Continued to study Theology at Strasbourg, probably with a view to teaching
1740-1743 Sent to teach Humanities at Vesoul and then at Irish College Poitiers
1743-1760 Volunteered for the Paris Mission in the West Indies and spent the next seventeen years in Martinique and Guadaloupe
1761 Returned to France as a result of a disagreement with Fr Lavalette, whose financial adventures had earned much condemnation for the Society. The Provincial in Paris, who had a high esteem for Maguire’s prudence and administrative ability, proposed to the General that he should become Superior in the West Indies but the dissolution of the Society in France and the confiscation of her possessions rendered this irrelevant.
1762 He found refuge at Speyer in the Upper Rhenish Province. He was in poor health there by 1770, but his date of death is not known

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Roger Maguire SJ 1707-1770
Fr Roger Maguire – usually called in French Louis de Magloire – was born in Ireland in 1707. He entered the Society at Avignon in 1722.

He went to Martinique in 1743 and then passed on to Guadaloupe where from 1745-1755 he was Superior of the Mission.

He returned t Europe in 1761 to report on affairs in the West Indies. He was sent back as Sociuus to the Superior Fr Jean de la Marche with right of succession. However, the French were expelled from the French islands in 1763, and Fr Maguire returned once again to Europe. Up to 1770, we have news of him working first in Spire and then in Baden.

Marmion, Joseph, 1925-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/630
  • Person
  • 24 November 1925-15 November 2000

Born: 24 November 1925, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Frankfurter Dom), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 15 November 2000, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1955 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1979 at Rue de Grenelle Paris, France (GAL) sabbatical

Masterson, John, d 1731, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2342
  • Person
  • d 28 February 1731

Died: 28 February 1731, Hirschberghe (Hirschbergheim), Germany - Bohemiae Province (BOH)

Old/17 has “Masterson” RIP 28 February 1731 Hirschberghe (BOH)

McKenna, Lambert, 1870-1956, Jesuit priest, Irish language scholar and Catholic social thinker

  • IE IJA J/30
  • Person
  • 16 July 1870-26 December 1956

Born: 16 July 1870, Clontarf, Dublin City
Entered: 13 September 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 30 July 1905
Final Vows: 2 February 1910, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 26 December 1956, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson St, Dublin community at the time of death

Editor of An Timire, 1912-19.

by 1897 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1898 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1909 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
McKenna, Lambert (Mac Cionnaith, Láimhbheartach)
by Vincent Morley

McKenna, Lambert (Mac Cionnaith, Láimhbheartach) (1870–1956), Irish-language scholar and catholic social thinker, was born 16 July 1870 in Clontarf, Co. Dublin, son of Andrew McKenna, accountant, and Mary McKenna (née Lambert). Having attended Belvedere College, Dublin, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1886 and studied at the order's novitiates in Dromore, Co. Down, and Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly), before graduating with a BA in Irish and classics from the Royal University (1893) and taking an MA (1895). After further study in scholastic philosophy and theology he was ordained in 1905 and subsequently taught at Belvedere College, Dublin, and Mungret College, Limerick.

Lambert McKenna's English–Irish phrase dictionary was published in 1911, but it was the classical bardic language rather than the modern vernacular that principally engaged his attention, and from 1916 onwards he published numerous editions of bardic poems in Studies and the Irish Monthly – a journal that he edited in 1922–31. McKenna's edition of Iomarbhágh na bhfileadh (the ‘bardic contention’) was published in 1918, and his editions of the poetry of Aonghas Fionn Ó Dálaigh (qv), Donnchadh Mór Ó Dálaigh (qv), and Philip Bocht Ó hUiginn (qv) followed in 1919, 1922, and 1931 respectively. He spent four years compiling the state-sponsored Foclóir Béarla agus Gaedhilge (1935), but the dictionary's scope was largely confined to the colloquial language of the Gaeltacht and it failed to provide Irish equivalents of many modern terms and concepts. His Dioghluim dána (1938) and Aithdhioghluim dána (1939–40) were substantial anthologies of bardic poems by various authors.

McKenna was an advocate of the social principles of Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum novarum. Lenten lectures that he delivered in Limerick in 1913 were published by the Irish Messenger in its ‘social action’ series of pamphlets under such titles as The church and labour and The church and working men. In The social teachings of James Connolly (1920), McKenna argued (p. 7) that James Connolly's (qv) voice was ‘ever the voice of Tone or Fintan Lalor, though his words are often the words of Marx’. During the 1920s he wrote in the pages of Studies about such recent events as the Russian revolution, the short-lived communist revolutions in Hungary and Bavaria, and the Mexican revolution. In 1925–6 he chaired a national conference on the use of Irish in the schools, convened by the Department of Education, and its recommendations on the increased use of the language as a medium of instruction were accepted by the minister, John Marcus O'Sullivan (qv).

McKenna retained his intellectual vigour at an advanced age, and three works that he edited were published by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies when he was in his 70s: Bardic syntactical tracts (1944) and two bardic duanairí (poem-books) – The book of Magauran (1947) and The book of O'Hara (1951). He was awarded the degree of D.Litt.Celt. honoris causa in 1947. McKenna spent the latter part of his life in the Jesuits' house of studies at Lower Leeson St., Dublin, and died in Dublin on 26 December 1956.

Ir. Independent, 25–7 Dec. 1956; Hayes, Sources: periodicals, iii, 499–500; Austen Morgan, James Connolly: a political biography (1988), 59; Beathaisnéis, ii (1990), 50–51

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925

Fr. Lambert McKenna is Chairman of a committee appointed by the Ministry of Education for the purpose of reporting on the National Programme of Primary Education. During the meetings of the Committee, very valuable evidence was given by Father T. Corcoran

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Towards the close of last year the School Inspection Committee sent, with the approval of the Free State Government, Fr Lambert McKenna on a visit to Great Britain and the Continent for the purpose of getting First-hand information on the working of various systems of Primary School Inspection. He spent two months at this task, Visiting England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland.
A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia.
Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of
admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :

Fr Lambert McKenna (1870-1956)

Fr. Lambert McKenna died in St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 26th December, 1956, after a prolonged illness. He was born in Dublin on 16th July, 1870, and was educated at Belvedere College, of which to the end he was a very loyal son. In 1886 he entered the Novitiate, then at Dromore, Co. Down, and having taken his first vows, he studied for the Royal University at Tullabeg, Milltown Park and 86 St. Stephen's Green. He took his B.A. in classics and Irish in 1893. He taught for one year at Clongowes and having studied for another year at Milltown Park he took his M.A. in 1895. He taught the Juniors at Tullabeg for one year and went to Philosophy, first at Jersey and for the third year at Louvain. He taught for two years at Mungret before beginning his Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1905. From 1906 we find him for three years at Belvedere, first as Doc., then as Adj. Praef. stud, and finally as Praef, stud. In 1909 he went to Tronchiennes for Tertianship. From 1910 he taught for three years at Mungret and for one year at the Crescent, In 1914 he was stationed at 35 Lower Leeson St. as Director of the Leo Guild. He was Praef, stud, and Dir. Leo Guild at Rathfarnham from 1915-1918, being in addition during the last year Editor of the Irish Monthly. In 1919 and 1920 he taught at Belvedere, being Praef. stud. in the latter year. He was Adj, Ed, Studies at Leeson St. for two years. From 1923 to 1934 he was back at Rathfarnham teaching the Juniors, being Praef. stud. for two years and Ed. Irish Monthly for several years. In 1935 he was assigned to Leeson St., where he was to remain until his death.
Fr. McKenna was, even as a student, strongly influenced by the work of Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill in the newly founded Gaelic League, He combined an exact knowledge of Irish idiom and poetical diction with an eagerness to see as many Irish texts as possible published and annotated with critical notes. He made his name in 1911 by publishing a short, but excellent, “English-Irish Phrase Book”, which he had compiled himself from the works of the best contemporary writers of living Irish speech. In the same year, as editor of Timthire Chroidhe Naomhtha Íosa, he began to print a series of unpublished Irish bardic poems, which were later continued in the Irish Monthly and in Studies. His edition of the “Contention of the Bards” - a work which had been begun by his friend Tomás Ó Nulláin, but had been left incomplete - appeared in 1918; the poems of Aongus Ó Dálaigh in 1919; the poems of Philip Bocht Ó h-Uigion in 1931; Dioghluim Dána in 1938; Aithdioghluim Dána in 1939-40; poems from the Book of Magauran and Bardic Syntactical Tracts in 1944; poems from the Book of O'Hara in 1947. He was awarded the degree of M.Litt.Celt. in 1914, he was elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1932 and he was given the degree of D.Litt.Celt. (honoris causa) in 1947.
Fr. McKenna took an active part in organising the Irish College at Ballingeary in its early years, and he was in close touch with Pearse when he was headmaster of Sgoil Éanna. The success of his phrase book, which passed through several editions, caused the Irish Government to appoint him as editor of a more ambitious Foclóir Béarla agus Gaedhilge, which was published in 1935. But this volume has less of Fr. McKenna's personal sense of idiom, and less also of his early enthusiasm for the spoken Irish language.
Apart from his life-long devotion to Irish studies, Fr. McKenna took a keen interest in what was - before 1914 in Ireland - the new study of Catholic social principles. He was Spiritual Director of the Leo Guild during the first World War and during the post-war years. He thus came into personal contact with many young Irish Catholic laymen, who shared his interests and who looked to him for guidance. About this time he published several pamphlets, of which his “Social Principles of James Connolly” was the most notable. In the early years of the Irish Free State he was appointed chairman of a commission, which in 1925 made a report on the first (1922) national programme of primary education and laid the foundations of the present scheme.
In 1924, he published “The Life and Work of Fr. James Cullen, S.J.” He strove to make the Irish Monthly, during his years as Editor, an organ of Irish Catholic social and educational thought. He was also active as adviser to more than one Dublin charity. Those who knew him well in his last years can testify that to the end of a long life he maintained an active interest in a surprisingly wide range of Catholic activities, and especially in every form of the lay apostolate. He was for many years keenly interested in the Legion of Mary, and Mr. Frank Duff was one of the group which stood around his grave at Glasnevin.
Those who lived in community with Fr, McKenna at any time, and very specially in his last years, will remember him as a priest who was also an admirable community man. He had a wonderful memory for anecdotes of Irish Jesuit life, many of them stretching back to days that lie now in a very distant past for most of us; and his gifts as raconteur and mimic made his conversation a constant pleasure for all who were present. He suffered much throughout life from his health, and his infirmities were a great trial to him in his last years, But he bore them all with a wry sense of humour, which won sympathy from all his brethren. Few members of the Province have done as much for practical social work in Ireland as well as for the promotion of Irish studies. Suaimhneas síorrai dé anam.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Lambert McKenna 1870-1956
Fr Lamber McKenna was a great Irish scholar. His Irish Phrase Dictionary and the Larger English-Irish Dictionary are monuments to his name.. He also edited numerous Irish texts for the Irish Texts Society, In his early years he took an active part in the Irish College at Ballingeary, and he was in close touch with Padraic Pearse as Headmaster at St Enda’s.

His other great interest was Social Studies. At a time such interests were not so popular as they are nowadays. He was Spiritual Director of the Leo Guild for years. His pamphlets on Social Questions were well appreciated in his day, and continued so, especially his “Social Principles of James Connolly”. He also published the Life of Fr James Cullen, the Founder of the Pioneers.

As a community man he was invaluable, and Leeson Street community, where he spent his last years, is still rich with his anecdotes of Irish Jesuit Life.

He retained to the end an amazing influence with a wide range of Catholic activities, especially those of the lay apostolate.

He died on December 26th 1956, a first class scholar, a thorough Jesuit, and an inveterate enemy of anything that was false or pretentious.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Lambert McKenna (1870-1956))

A native of Dublin and educated at Belvedere College, entered the Society in 1886. He pursued his higher studies in Dublin, Jersey and Louvain and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1905. His teaching career ended in 1920. He spent one year at Crescent College, 1912-13. Father McKenna's gifts did not include teaching ability although he was a brilliant classical student and had carried off high honours in the old Royal University. With the growth of the Gaelic League he became absorbed in the study of the Irish language, and by 1911 published his English-Irish Phrase Book. His name appears frequently in the list of learned editions of Irish works issued by the Irish Texts Society. For many years he published with translations a series of hitherto unprinted bardic poems. These may be read in the past numbers of the Irish Monthly (at present, dormant) and Studies. His scholarship in Irish studies was recognised by the degree of MLittCelt from the NUI (1914), the membership of the Royal Academy (1932) and the degree of DLittCelt (honoris causa) of the NUI (1947). Father McKenna took an active part in organising the Irish College in Ballingeary in its early years. His government-sponsored Foclóir Bearla agus Gaedhilge appeared in 1935.

Yet, Father McKenna's high attainments in Irish scholarship are not his only claim to remembrance. He was a pioneer in the study of Catholic social principles. From his pen came also a considerable number of pamphlets, most notable among which was his Social Principles of James Connolly. To the end of his long life he took an active interest in a wide range of works of the lay apostolate.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1957

Obituary

Father Lambert McKenna SJ

Fr Lambert McKenna died in St Vincent's Nursing Home on 26th December, after a prolonged illness. He was born in Dublin on 16th July, 1870, and was educated at Belvedere College, of which to the end he was a very loyal son. In 1886 he entered the Society of Jesus Novitiate, then at Dromore, Co Down. After taking his degree at the old Royal University he taught for a year, and took his MA in 1895. After finishing the Philosophy course be taught for two years at Mungret before beginning Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1905. From 1906 we find him for three years at Belvedere, first as teacher and then as Prefect of Studies. From 1910 to 1913 he taught again at Mungret and spent the year 1914 teaching at the Crescent, In 1914. he was stationed at 35 Lr Leeson Street, as Director of the Leo Guild. In 1919 and 1920 he taught at Belvedere, being Prefect of Studies again in the latter year. From 1923 to 1934 he was in Rath farnham Castle teaching the students attending University College, and for most of that time editing “The Irish Monthly”. In 1935 he returned to Leeson Strcet, where he was to remain till his death.

Fr McKenna was even as a student strongly influenced by the work of Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill in the newly founded Gaelic League He combined an exact knowledge of Irish idiom and poetical diction with an eagerness to see as many Irish texts as possible published and annotated with critical notes. He made his name in 1911 by publishing a short but excellent “English-Irish Phrase Book”, which he had compiled himself from the works of the best contemporary writers of living Irish speech.

Fr. McKenna took an active part in organizing the Irish College at Ballingeary in its early days, and he was in close touch with Pearse when he was headmaster of Scoil Éanna. The success of his phrase book, which passed through several editions, caused the Government to appoint him, editor of a more ambitious “Foclóir Béarla agur Gaedhilge”, which was published in 1935. But this volume, according to the critics, has less of his: personal sense of idiom and less also of his early enthusiasm.

Apart from his life-long devotion to Irish studies, Fr. McKenna took a keen interest in what was-- before 1914 in Ireland - the new study of Catholic social principles. He was Spiritual Director of the Leo Guild during the first World War and during the post-war years. He thus came into contact with . many young Irish Catholic laymen, who shared his. interests and looked to him for guidance. About this time he published several pamphlets, of which his “Social Principles of James Connolly” was. the most notable. In the early years of the Irish. Free State he was appointed chairman of a Commission which in 1925 made a report on the first (1922) national programme of primary education and laid the foundations of the present scheme. He was also active as adviser to more than one Dublin charity and those who knew him well in his last years can testify that to the end of a long life he maintained an active interest in a surprisingly wide range of Catholic activities and especially in every form of the lay apostolate.

McPolin, James C, 1931-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/607
  • Person
  • 04 June 1931-09 October 2005

Born: 04 June 1931, Castletroy, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 04 September 1962, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Frankfurter Dom), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Final Vows: 02 February1966, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 09 October 2005, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1962 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1965 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying
by 1979 at Gonzaga Spokane WA, USA (ORE) teaching
by 1990 at San Salvador, El Salvador (CAM) working
by 1997 at Zomba, Malawi (ZAM-MAL) teaching
by 2001 at Cambridge, MA, USA (NEN) Sabbatical
by 2002 at Venice, CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
James McPolin was born in Limerick and educated at the Jesuit Crescent College. In 1948 he entered the Society at Emo and followed the standard course of studies of the Irish province. After a year’s theological studies at Milltown Institute he transferred to Frankfurt a.M. for his final years of theology.

Jimmy as a scholastic always gave the impression of youth and energy. He was deeply interested in sports of all kinds and persuaded those of us studying philosophy with him to build a basket-ball court on which he tutored the ignorant among us in the rules of the game. He sailed through his Jesuit studies effortlessly and we were not surprised when he was sent to the Biblical Institute in Rome for a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture. Thus he lectured in Scripture for 23 years at the Milltown Institute, Dublin, alternating semesters for 3 years with the Biblicum in Rome. Subsequently he also taught scripture at Gonzaga University, Spokane, at the University of Central America (UCA, El Salvador) and at St. Peter’s Seminary in Zomba, Malawi. His textbook on St. John’s Gospel is still very popular with students of scripture.

He was elected as the representative of the Irish Province for the 32nd General Congregation of the Jesuits in Rome in 1975 and was deeply involved in drafting the document of that Congregation on the formation of our young men. He acted as the Irish Provincial’s delegate for formation for many years.

After serving as Dean of the Theology Faculty at Milltown Institute for four years he was appointed as President of the whole Institute. During this time he was transferred to a small community of scholastics living in poor quarters in the centre of Dublin city. During his seven years in that community he showed great concern for the difficulties of the poorer neighbours. His cycling to work every day to and from his office at Milltown, 6 km away, surprised many of his academic colleagues at the Institute.

In 1989 he moved to San Salvador in Central America where he worked as assistant priest in the Jesuit Parish, eventually becoming the Parish Priest. When he first arrived in San Salvador he was invited to visit the University community for a meal and spend the night with them because of the curfew. In fact there was some urgent business in the parish which prevented him from accepting the invitation. That was the night in which the six Jesuits in the University community together with their housekeep and her daughter were murdered by the army. Jimmy thus narrowly escaped sharing their fate.

On his return from San Salvador in 1996 he joined the small group of Jesuits who were teaching at St. Peter’s Seminary at Zomba, Malawi. He first studied the local Chi-Chewa language and then settled into teaching scripture for five semesters.

He had a very good relationship with the Malawian seminarians: he always greeted his class with the word “Wawa” which is a term of great respect in Chewa and which invariably elicited a loud response. He set himself up as coach of the football team and could be seen at half-time surrounded by a ring of players whom he harangued in a good natured way. He also endeared himself to the teaching staff by the jokingly provocative way he would express some outrageous opinion during meals at our ‘round table’ which would immediately spark a lively discussion.

His deep commitment to the Faith and Justice agenda proposed for Jesuits by GC 32 was very obvious in his homilies at the daily Liturgy – he would illustrate his point by telling stories from “a certain parish where I served”. He was referring to the San Antonio Abac parish in El Salvador where he served as parish priest and where one of his predecessors and several young people on retreat had been shot by the military a few years before.

When he returned to Ireland he joined the Belfast community for a year and contributed to their efforts in the reconciliation between opposing factions in Northern Ireland. This was followed by a year’s sabbatical at Cambridge, Mass. and then by three years in the parish at Venice, California where his fluency in Spanish was appreciated by the many hispanic parishioners.

A series of strokes starting in 2004 forced his return to the Irish nursing unit at Cherryfield and he died there on 9 October, 2005.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/remembering-james-mcpolin-sj/

In his homily at the funeral of James McPolin SJ, Michael O’Sullivan recalls a life dedicated to faith and justice in El Salvador, in Malawi and here in Ireland. He also remembers
Jimmy as a dedicated and innovative president of the Milltown Institute.
About two years ago Jimmy said to me that he felt most alive and of most use during the years he was in El Salvador (1989-96) – despite the awful suffering among the people and the deadly danger that shadowed his own life. He went there straight after his term as President of Milltown Institute (1983-89). He did so because of his commitment to and companionship with the God whose love makes the promotion of justice an absolute requirement.
Jimmy had hardly arrived in the country when six Jesuits, a woman (Elba Julia) and her daughter (Celina), were murdered by an army death squad at the Jesuit residence on the grounds of the University of San Salvador. The Jesuits were murdered because of their commitment to the faith that does justice; the women, who had taken refuge with the Jesuits after their home had been damaged by gunfire, were killed so as to leave no witnesses. Jimmy could have been among the dead that night, 16 November 1989, given that he had deferred accepting an invitation to stay with the Jesuit community at the University until he had spent more time among the ordinary people. (2) Afterwards his concern to see justice done in the case of his dead Jesuit companions and the two women was viewed by him as a way also of promoting justice for the people of the country. In a letter to members of his family in Ireland in 1990 he wrote: “The future of justice is obfuscated by the fact that the trial of the soldiers for the killings is being impeded by false evidence of the military and by the collusion of the American Embassy and Government.” (3)
You may be aware of the memorial bell on the Milltown avenue in front of the Irish School of Ecumenics building. It was put up in honour of those who were killed that night. One of the dead Jesuits, Amando Lopez, had studied theology at Milltown, and was ordained to the priesthood in this chapel. You can see him in the 1965 ordination photo on the corridor outside this chapel. Another of the dead Jesuits, Ignacio Ellacuria, had done part of his Jesuit formation in Dublin as an ordained priest. The memorial bell will also always be a reminder of the third president of the Institute and the values that took him to El Salvador at that time.
Jimmy also narrowly escaped death at a subsequent date when he found himself under the table while army bullets were sprayed around the room. He was the pastor of San Antonio Abad parish, where a predecessor, and several young people on retreat, had been slain by the army in 1979. I stayed with Jimmy and the Jesuit community at San Antonio Abad during part of my time in El Salvador in 1991 and 1992. One day he asked if I would like to see the new houses he was having built for the poor. We headed toward a four wheel drive vehicle. Remembering that Jimmy did not drive in Ireland, and knowing I did not feel like handling such a large vehicle there and then in San Salvador, I asked him who would be our driver. He told me he would drive. He proved to be a very able driver, having become such out of his desire to serve the poor more effectively.
To understand the development of Jimmy’s commitment to economically poor and politically persecuted people it is necessary to know that in 1974-75 the Jesuits worldwide committed themselves to the work of justice as integral to the service of faith and that Jimmy was one of two Jesuits elected by his Irish colleagues to represent them in Rome where that decision was taken. Then in 1980 I asked him as a leading scripture scholar to review a book that was generating a lot of interest at the time, namely, Jose Miranda’s Marx and the Bible. (4) He told me later that reviewing this book led to a quantum leap in his Jesuit commitment to what had been decided in Rome some years earlier. Viewed from the perspective of spirituality as an academic discipline it can be said that his quantum leap of faith was facilitated by the practice of an intense reading experience. Other kinds of practices would evoke, express and enhance his conversion.
In that year, 1980-81, some of us here at the Institute – students at the time – thought the Institute should take an initiative to stop the intended tour of apartheid South Africa by the Irish rugby team. We held an all night vigil at the premises of the IRFU and collaborated with others in organising and taking part in protest marches on the streets. Jimmy, who was the Dean of Theology at the time, was one of very few academic and administration staff to join us. He also went on a placement to Brixton, England, around that time to work with marginalised black people. This commitment to black people reappeared strongly after his years in El Salvador when he went to live and work in Malawi (1997-99). One of his former Malawian students told me that Jimmy was a friend of the poor and oppressed, and that he lived what he taught from the Bible. This was also true of him in Ireland.
During his years as President of Milltown Institute he accepted an invitation from Seamus Murphy, now a member of the Philosophy Faculty, to live in inner city Dublin as a member of the Jesuit community called after Luis Espinal. Espinal was a Catalan Jesuit who had been murdered in Bolivia for his commitment to the faith that does justice. The Espinal community, which had been brought into being in 1980, the year of Espinal’s martyrdom, by Seamus, Kevin O’Higgins, the former Dean of Philosophy, and myself, when we were students at Milltown, and which was joined almost immediately by John Moore, then a Professor and Head of Department at UCD, was committed to simple living, was a friend to the flat dwellers in the local Dublin Corporation estates, and was a meeting place for social action groups. Jimmy used to cycle to and from Milltown in those years. He also participated regularly in protests outside the U.S. embassy against U.S. foreign policy in Central America, protests in which some staff and students at the Institute took a prominent part.
In line with how he understood and lived his faith and scholarship a defining characteristic of his Presidency was the way he enabled the teaching of liberation and feminist theologies to progress in the Institute. He welcomed me on the staff in 1986 and I am grateful to him for the support he gave me to teach these theologies. Una Agnew, the first female head of a programme at the Institute, and now Head of the Dept. of Spirituality, remembers his commitment to improving the situation of women, while Dominique Horgan, now the Archivist, remembers how he initiated the Adult Religious Education programmes, of which she was the first Director. This commitment to adult religious education is also reflected in the fact that during his years as President he taught scripture at the People’s College, which was located near the Espinal community. He did so there in order to reach out to people who at that time would not come to places like Milltown because of their social class, feelings about the Catholic Church, or educational attainment. Jimmy was a great success with such groups.
After his years in Malawi, following his term as President of the Institute, and his years in El Salvador, Jimmy went to Belfast to be in solidarity with those struggling for peace and justice there. During that time he also wrote a series of very fine articles on scripture texts for readers of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Then, given his language skills, and feeling for Latino peoples, he went to California to be a pastor in a parish with a very large Latino population. While there he suffered a stroke, and had to return to Ireland. More strokes followed. He died on October 9th. May he rest in peace, and may we be inspired by the way he lived the Institute motto to bring scholarship to life. Amen. Alleluia!

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

James (Jimmy) McPolin (1931-2005)

4th June 1931: Born in Limerick
Early education at Crescent College, Limerick
7th September 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1950: First Vows at Emo
1950 - 1953: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1953 - 1956: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1956 - 1959: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency)
1959 - 1960: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
1960 - 1963: Frankfurt am Main, Germany - Studied Theology
4th September 1962: Ordained at Frankfurt, Maine
1963 - 1964: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1964 - 1967: Biblical Institute, Rome -D.S.S.
2nd February 1966: Final Vows in Rome
1967 - 1976: Milltown Park -
1967 - 1970: Professor of Sacred Scripture / Rome in alternate semesters
1970 - 1976: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture; Superior of Scholastics
1976 - 1977: Betagh House - Professor of Sacred Scripture at Milltown Park
1977 - 1978: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture
1978 - 1979: Gonzaga Univ., Spokane, WA, USA - Professor of Sacred Scripture
1979 - 1983: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture; Dean Theology Faculty
1983 - 1990: Espinal community -
1983 - 1990: President, Milltown Institute; Lecturer in Sacred Scripture, Writer
1987 - 1990: Superior
1990 - 1998: El Salvador - learning language and parish work
1998 - 1999: Malawi - Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Peter's Seminary
1999 - 2000: Belfast- Ecumenical and Reconciliation Ministry
2000 - 2001: Sabbatical - Faber House, 42 Kirkland Street, Cambridge MA
2001 - 2004: Venice, California - Associate Pastor, St. Mark's Church
2004 - 2005: Gardiner Street - Residing in Cherryfield
9th Oct 2005: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Jimmy McPolin was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on April 5th, 2004 for respite care following a stroke in the USA. While his mobility was poor at times he was self caring for the first six months. Then he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital on four occasions, having suffered more strokes. His condition deteriorated over this time and in the last six months to a year he needed full nursing care. In that time his mental state also deteriorated. He was unable to converse and was unaware of his surroundings. However, he did appear to know some of the staff.

Michael O'Sullivan writes:
Jimmy was a fellow Limerick man and past pupil of the old Crescent College. I did not meet him, however, until I went to Milltown to study Philosophy in 1974. I found our first meeting painful. I was struggling to come to terms with life in the Milltown of that era after three years in the company of many women friends at UCD, and he, in his role as “Superior of Scholastics”, did not understand that. But he changed. He was an architect of the Formation document at GC 32 with its focus on “the integrated character of apostolic formation”. He also got in touch with his “inner child” and would express this, for example, by dressing up as Santa Claus at the Christmas staff party in Milltown Institute in an effort to lighten up what could be an over sombre atmosphere. His preference to dress in grey rather than the customary clerical black meant that on one occasion at least he was taken for a Protestant minister. This happened when he visited my mother, who did not know him at the time. When she answered the door to him and lie asked her if she was Mrs. O'Sullivan, she replied that, yes, she was, but that she was a Catholic!

In a conversation with Jimmy about two years before he died he said to me that he felt most alive and of most use during the period he was in El Salvador (1989-96) - despite the awful suffering among the people and the deadly danger that shadowed his own life. He went there after his term as President of Milltown Institute (1983-89). He did so because of his commitment to and companionship with the God whose love makes the promotion of justice an absolute requirement. Jimmy had hardly arrived in the country when six Jesuits, a woman (Elba Julia) and her daughter (Celina), were murdered by an army death squad at the Jesuit residence on the grounds of the University of San Salvador. The Jesuits were murdered because of their commitment to the faith that does justice; the women, who had taken refuge with the Jesuits after their home had been damaged by gunfire, were killed so as to leave no witnesses. Jimmy would have been among the massacred that night, 16 November 1989, had he not chosen to spend time among the ordinary people before accepting an invitation to stay with his Jesuit companions at the University. (Jimmy shared this with me in El Salvador in 1991. He had also said this to his family in Ireland, according to his niece, Gráinne) Afterwards his concern to see justice done in the case of these companions and the two women was viewed by him as a way to also promote justice for the people of the country. In a letter to members of his family in Ireland in 1990 he wrote: “The future of justice is obfuscated by the fact that the trial of the soldiers for the killings is being impeded by false evidence of the military and by the collusion of the American Embassy and Government”. (The source for this quote is his niece Gráinne who had also spoken with other members of his extended family.)

Jimmy also narrowly escaped death on another occasion when he found himself under the table while army bullets were sprayed around the room. He was the pastor of San Antonio Abad parish, where a predecessor, and several young people on retreat, had been slain by the army in 1979. I stayed with him and the Jesuit community at the parish during part of my time in El Salvador in 1991 and 1992. One day he asked if I would like to see the new houses he was having built for the poor. We headed toward a four wheel drive vehicle. Remembering that Jimmy did not drive in Ireland, and knowing I did not feel like handling such a large vehicle there and then in San Salvador, I asked who would be our driver. He told me that he would drive. He proved to be a very abie driver, having become such out of his desire to serve the poor more effectively.

To understand the development of Jimmy's commitment to economically poor and politically persecuted people it is necessary to remember that in 1974-75 we committed ourselves at a global level to the work of justice as an integral part of the service of faith and that Jimmy was one of the two delegates elected by his peers to go to the 32nd General Congregation where that decision was taken. Then in 1980 I asked him as a leading scripture scholar to review a book that was generating a lot of interest at the time, namely, Jose Miranda's Marx and the Bible. ((At that time I was co-editing a magazine on faith and justice issues.) He told me later that reviewing this book led to a quantum leap in his Jesuit commitment to Decree 4 of GC 32. Viewed from the perspective of spirituality as an academic discipline it can be said that his leap of faith was facilitated by the practice of an intense reading experience. Other kinds of practices would evoke, express and enhance his conversion.

In the academic year, 1980-81, some theology students at Milltown Institute were strongly of the view that the Institute should take an initiative to stop the intended tour of apartheid South Africa by the Irish rugby team. We held an all night vigil at the premises of the IRFU and collaborated with others in organising and taking part in protest marches on the streets. Jimmy, the Dean of Theology at the time, was one of the very few academic and administration staff who joined us. He also went on a placement to Brixton, England around that time to work with marginalised black people. This commitment to black people reappeared strongly after his years in El Salvador when he went to live and work in Malawi (1997-99). One of his former Malawian students told me that Jimmy was a friend of the poor and oppressed, and that he lived what he taught from the Bible. This was also true of him in Ireland.

During his years as President of Milltown Institute he accepted an invitation from Séamus Murphy to live in inner city Dublin as a member of the Jesuit community called after Luis Espinal. Espinal was a Catalan Jesuit who had been murdered in Bolivia for his commitment to the faith that does justice. The Espinal community, which had been brought into being in 1980, the year of Espinal's martyrdom, by Séamus, Kevin O'Higgins, and myself, when we were theology students at Milltown, and which was joined almost immediately by John Moore, then a Professor and Head of Department at UCD, was committed to simple living, was a friend to the flat dwellers in the local Dublin Corporation estates, and was a meeting place for social action groups. Jimmy used to cycle to and from Milltown in those years. He also participated regularly in protests outside the US embassy against US foreign policy in Central America, protests in which some staff and students at the Institute took a prominent part.

In line with how he understood and lived his faith and scholarship a defining characteristic of his Presidency was the way he enabled the teaching of liberation and feminist theologies to progress in the Institute. He welcomed me on the staff in 1986 and I am grateful to him for the support he gave me to teach these theologies. Una Agnew, the first female head of a programme at the Institute, and now Head of the Dept. of Spirituality, remembers his commitment to improving the situation of women, while Dominique Horgan, now the Archivist, remembers how he initiated the Adult Religious Education programmes, of which she was the first Director. This commitment to adult religious education is also reflected in the fact that during his years as President of the Milltown Institute he taught scripture at the People's College, which was located near the Espinal community. He did so there in order to reach out to people who at that time would not come to places like Milltown because of their social class, feelings about the Catholic Church, or educational attainment. Jimmy was a great success with such groups.

After his years in Malawi, following his term as President of the Institute, and his years in El Salvador, Jimmy went to Belfast to be in solidarity with those struggling for peace and justice there. During that time he also wrote a series of very fine articles on scripture texts for readers of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Then, given his language skills and feeling for Latino peoples, he went to California to serve in a parish with a very large Latino population. While there he suffered a stroke, and had to return to Ireland. More strokes followed. He died on October 9h. May he rest in peace, and may we be inspired by the way he lived the Institute motto to bring scholarship to life. Amen. Alleluia!

From the homily by Derek Cassidy at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street:
I have no doubt in my heart or mind that this virtuous soul, at whose invitation we gather today in faith and prayer, is residing easily and comfortably in the hands of our God. It is also unquestionable that Jimmy's illness looked like a disaster and we watched as the person we knew and loved was leaving us over these past twelve months or so, we were stunned and amazed how one who so loved God and who was such a devoted friend and servant of His was so afflicted: God certainly put Jimmy to the test.

But in his own words, writing in his well-received and celebrated tome on “JOHN”, Jimmy reflects for us “the suffering of Jesus is an expression of love, for the Good Shepherd is on His way to lay down His life for His friends out of love” - not like the hired shepherd who would run away from suffering.

Wisdom concludes that “they who trust in the Lord will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with The Lord in love; for grace and mercy await those He has chosen”. That is a verse that Jimmy took on as his leit motiv. He is one who trusted and who lived a faithful life, and now that Jimmy has gone home to the God who chose him, grace and mercy will embrace him. As he wrote in his book, “Jesus' death is a pass(ing) over to the Father, so that Death and Resurrection are inseparable; and the light of the Resurrection penetrates suffering and gives it meaning”.

St Paul confirms our Faith for us in the reading we have just heard. Because of the resurrection, death has no more power over us. We learn this message as we continually enter the waters of our Baptism and let the grace we received there be at work in our lives calling us ever more deeply into the Mystery of Life.

Writing in the introduction to his volume on John, Jimmy alerts us to the fact that the sign of the Fourth Evangelist is that of the Eagle, and reflects for us that this is because John had the MOST penetrating GAZE into the Mystery of God Made Man - of Jesus. We each have our own special memory of Jimmy. Mine centres around Jimmy's own gaze into my eyes - he had a way of looking into my eyes that invited trust and response in care. I often imagine to myself that this is a very Jesus-like gaze, as He (Jesus) looked at the Rich Young Man and loved him.

Meagh, John, 1600-1639, Jesuit priest and Martyr

  • IE IJA J/1738
  • Person
  • 1600-31 May 1639

Born: 1600, County Cork
Entered: 25 October 1626, Naples, Italy - Neapolitanae Province (NAP)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 31 May 1639, Kuttenburg (Kutná Hora), Czech Republic - Austriacae Province (ASR) - described as "Martyr"

Studied Rhetoric and Philosophy
“Gio Meagh of the city of Cork in Ireland. 27 years of age more or less, entered Soc on 25/10/1626” (written by himself, Naples Novice Book)
1628 In NAP
1632 Sent to Bohemia
1639 Martyr RIP 31/05/1639 at Kuttenburg BOH. So it is stated in Annals of Kuttemburg for year 1639. According to corrections made with pencil, hardly had he pronounced the salutary names of Jesus and Mary. He was destined for Ireland. A man of very great zeal and some with pious curiosity took notice of him while celebrating the sacred mysteries, and because they had observed his devotion they assisted attentively at his Mass. With externs his conversation was of God and he spoke with such unction and if permissible they would enjoy his conversation a whole day without weariness. He was much grieved when required to speak of common subjects. Known for his integrity of life and spirit of prayer.
Studied 1st year Theology at Rome and 2nd at Naples. 1632 went to Germany and Bohemia
“Shot 30/05/1639”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of William Meagh or Mede, a celebrated citizen of Cork, who died in exile 1614.
Sent as a Missioner to Bohemia, he was shot out of hatred of religion by Swedish soldiers near Kuttenburg and was on his way to Ireland. (cf Tanner’s “Martyrs” and Drew’s “Fasti SJ”)
Imprisoned in Naples on a false accusation; Of great zeal and piety; A good Scholar, and knew Virgil and Imitation by heart;
He had knowledge of his Martyrdom twelve years previously

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Ordained before Entry without having done the usual studies in Theology
1628-1629 After First Vows he was sent to study Rhetoric in the Novitiate
1629 He was then sent for Theology successively to Naples, Roman College and Vienna. His transfer to Vienna was affected in order to enable him to make temporal provision for his niece, who was a member of a Religious Order which had been dissolved by Papal authority. She was shortly married, but it turned out her husband had severe mental health problems. So, he was able to get his nice taken under the wing of the Queen Of Hungary. Meanwhile his nieces’ husband starting issuing defamatory statements about Meagh, but his integrity was upheld. At this time he had also inherited a sizeable sum, and he got permission from the General to sign over most of it to his brother, but also he was planning to allot part of this inheritance to found an Irish Jesuit House in Austria.
1634 While in Vienna he was allowed by the General to serve as a Military Chaplain in the Imperial Army until he could go to Ireland. When he was asked to go his Colonel refused to part with him, and over the next four years he was stationed mostly at Prague but he saw service also in Pomerania and Saxony. By 1638 he was stationed at Guttenburg and eventually given permission to go to Ireland. But as he set out he was killed by Calvinists 31 May 1639
The cause of his beatification with that of the martyrs of Bohemia is before the Holy See

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Meagh 1598-1639
In the neighbourhood of Guttenburg, near Prague, Fr John Meagh died a martyr at the hands of some Swedish soldiers, out of hatred for the faith.

While in the service of the Duke of Ossuna, Viceroy of the King of Spain John Meagh had been converted from a worldly life through reading the life of St Dympna. During his preparations to enter religious life, he was wrongly accused and cast into prison. Observing therein a statue of St Ignatius, he recalled how that Saint had also been wrongfully imprisoned. He invoked him and soon after was set free. His devotion led him to visit Rome during the Jubilee, and there he met with an accident, seriously injuring his leg. The Jesuit Fathers kindly received him into their house, and recalling that St Ignatius had also been injured in the leg, he came to the conclusion that he was called to the Society. He applied and was admitted at Naples in 1625.

After his ordination he was sent to Bohemia. He was on the point of returning to the Irish Mission, when the Swedes, in the course of the Thirty Years War, invaded Bohemia. The Fathers thought it wise to remove to the College at Guttenburg, and it was on the road thither that Fr Meagh fell into the hands of the heretical Swedes and was killed by a bullet in the chest.

This happened on the 31st of May 1639, when he was 41 years old, having been born in Cork in 1598.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MEAGH, JOHN, made his Noviceship at Naples. As a preparation for the Irish Mission, he was ordered to cultivate the vineyard in Bohemia. There he was massacred “odio Rcligionis” by some Swedish soldiers, on the 31st of May, 1639, aet. 41. See the life of this Irish Father in Tanner, also his notice in F. John Drews Fasti, S. J.*

  • This posthumous work was printed in 1723, at Brunsberg, and contains 516 pages.

Moloney, Raymond, 1931-2017, Jesuit priest and theologian

  • IE IJA J/831
  • Person
  • 14 April 1931-26 January 2017

Born: 14 April 1931, Magherafelt, County Derry
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, Chiesa del Gesù, Roma, Italia
Died: 26 January 2017, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early Education at NS Magherafelt, Co Derry, Northern Ireland; Clongowes Wood College SJ

1952-1954 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1954-1957 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1957-1960 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1960-1964 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1964-1965 Paray-le-Monial, France - Tertianship at Maison La Colombière
1965-1967 Bellarmino, Rome, Italy - Studying Theology at Gregorian University
1967-1968 Trier, Germany - Diploma Course in Liturgy at German Liturgical Institute
1968-1984 Milltown Park - Teacher of Theological Dogma & Liturgy
1977 President of Milltown Institute
1983 Sabbatical
1984-1989 Nairobi, Kenya - Professor of Theology at Hekima College School of Theology
1989-2017 Milltown Park - Professor of Systematic Theology at Milltown Institute
1993 Director of Lonergan Centre
1996 Visiting Professor at Hekima College School of Theology
2001 Professor Emeritus of Theology at Milltown Institute; Director of Lonergan Centre; Writer
2015 Director of Lonergan Centre; Writer

by 1965 at Paray-le-Monial, France (GAL M) making Tertianship
by 1966 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying
by 1968 at Trier, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1985 at Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) teaching - Hekima

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fine-scholar-outstanding-lecturer/

‘Fine scholar, outstanding lecturer’
Jesuits, family and friends of the late Ray Moloney SJ packed into Milltown Chapel for his funeral mass celebrated by Bill Matthews SJ. Ray died on 26 January, aged 85. He was born in Belfast in 1931 and raised in Magherafelt, Co. Derry. At the age of 12 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ and joined the Jesuits in 1950. Most of his life revolved around the Milltown Institute where he taught theology and liturgy. He spent five years on the missions in Kenya where he learnt Swahili so he could travel and celebrate Mass with the local people. He was the respected author of many theological books, and well known for his theology of the Eucharist.
Homilist Brian Grogan SJ noted that Ray’s writings on the Eucharist offered fleeting glimpses into his soul. Ray summarised his book Rediscovering the Eucharist not in terms of sacrifice, or obligation, or the Real Presence, but in terms of friendship. “In the Eucharist we already anticipate something of what our friendship with Christ will be when it comes to its full flowering in heaven. In the long run that friendship is all that matters,” he wrote.
Referring to his long academic ministry, Brian said that Ray was a “fine scholar and outstanding teacher.” This view was echoed widely by many of his former students who posted on the Irish Jesuits Facebook page. “Fond memories of learning theology from Ray Moloney. A scholar and a gentleman”, wrote Thomas Giblin. And US Jesuit James Pribek commented, “He combined fine scholarship with genuine humility and benevolence. In a group, he was usually on the edge, taking everything in and smiling. He radiated peace. May God be good to him”.
In his wide-ranging homily Brian spoke also about Ray’s life as a Jesuit, noting that his ministry in the intellectual apostolate was underpinned by a deep faith, committed prayer life and love of God. He said he lived an ascetic, almost monastic life, and a fitting symbol for that life was his breviary. “Ray leaned into the contrary wind and lived an orderly and predictable day. Some clerics, I have heard, sailed with the prevailing wind and eased up on the divine office, but not he... At the end his well-worn breviary was the only book beside his bed.”
Brian acknowledged that Ray held firmly to what some would call a more conservative theological position and was slow to relinquish beliefs that were dear to him. “But agree with him or not, he commanded your respect. He knew where he stood, and had a steely quality characteristic of his Northern Ireland roots.” He was also prepared to change and develop, something attested to in a few words from Provincial Leonard Moloney just before the final commendation. He said he had been speaking to Ray not too long before his death and Ray told him that his prayer had changed in recent times and was now much more affective than rational.
Speaking at the end of the Mass, Ray’s niece also told a revealing story about the man her family knew and loved. She remembered with fondness his visits to her home as a child and how he would let her put her feet on his shoes as he danced her round the room.
Brian concluded his homily with the following words: “In a little while we will say: ‘We shall become like God, for we shall see him as he is.’ Like Aquinas when asked by God ‘What do you want?’, Ray would have responded, ‘Teipsum, Domine. Yourself, Lord.’ ... Ray now sees God. He is enlightened, entranced, immortalised and divinised. Our Eucharist today is a thanksgiving for all that God has accomplished in our brother and friend, Ray Moloney”.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Morrison, Michael, 1908-1973, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/256
  • Person
  • 05 October 1908-07 April 1973

Born: 05 October 1908, Listowel, Co Kerry / Ballysimon, County Limerick
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 07 April 1973, Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Mungret College SJ.

Chaplain in the Second World War.

by 1948 at Riverview, Sydney Australia (ASL) teaching
by 1962 at Holy Name Manchester (ANG) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Lol Kearns Entry
“While driving in convoy on the first stage of our journey to Brussels, my driver ran the car into a tree north of Magdeburg and my head was banged into the glove compartment in the dashboard. I saw Fr Morrison again at CelIe as he bent over my stretcher and formed the opinion that I should never look the same again.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/into-journal-remembers-jesuit-chaplain/

INTO journal remembers Jesuit chaplain
Irish Jesuit and Second World War chaplain Fr Michael Morrison features in the Irish National Teachers Organisation’s InTouch magazine for the January/February 2019 issue.
Fr Morrison was born in Listowel in County Kerry, was educated by the Jesuits in secondary school, joined the Society and taught at Belvedere College SJ in Dublin. He enlisted as a chaplain with the British army, initially ministering in the Middle East and later transferring to the Derry Regiment of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
He arrived with British and Canadian forces to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Northern Germany in April 1945, which was the first camp to be liberated on the Western Front. At that time, there were 60,000 individuals within the camp with conditions described as ‘hell on earth’ – 13,000 people died from sickness and starvation in the weeks after liberation.
While at Bergen-Belsen, Fr Morrison administered the last rights, held Mass for people of different religions and conducted a joint service over a mass grave with, for example, the Jewish British army chaplain. In a letter home, he wrote: “What we met within the first few days is utterly beyond description”, and it was reported that he spoke very little about what he witnessed in later years. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Morrison lived in his early years at Ballysimon on the outskirts of Limerick city. The Christian Brothers educated him at Sexton Street, and then he went to Mungret from 1922, where he excelled himself at hurling. In his last year at school he was a member of the junior team that won the O'Mara Cup.
He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 1 September 1925, and after his home juniorate at Rathfarnham, studied philosophy at Tullabeg. He did regency at Belvedere and Mungret, 1933-36, teaching mathematics and was involved with sport. He studied theology at Milltown Park, 1936-40, and was at Rathfarnham, 1940-41, for tertianship.
During the Second World War he was a military chaplain with the British Army in Egypt 1941-46, serving with the Eight Army and was present at the fall of Tunis. He was later at Belsen in 1945, working in Camp Number 1, the Horror Camp. Herded together in this camp were 50,000 people where typhus was raging When Morrison's unit entered the camp between 7.000 and 10,000 people were found dead in the huts and on the ground. The majority of the living were seriously ill. Many thousands died subsequently Morrison anointed about 300 people daily, helped by very few chaplains. He celebrated Mass on 22 April 1945, the first time at the camp. It was a moving experience for those able to attend.
After the war he went to Australia, teaching briefly at St Aloysius' College, and then at Riverview, 1947-48. He finally did parish work at Richmond, 1949-58.
After leaving Australia, he spent several years attached to the Jesuit Holy Name church in Manchester. He returned to Ireland later, and taught at Mungret, and then at Belvedere College as college bursar, 1963-73.
Morrison was a good listener, allowing others to speak. His quiet, matter-of-fact way of viewing things rendered him one of the most factually objective witnesses of the day-to~day circumstances of World War II. His health deteriorated in his latter years after a series of strokes. He was a man of strong principles, loyal to his duties, and, in his sickness, always unwilling to be a burden.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941
General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Australia :
Frs. Fleming and Mansfield (who is a member of the Australian Vice-Province) were able to leave for Australia via America in July.
Frs. Lennon and Morrison are still awaiting travel facilities.

Irish Province News 48th Year No 3 1973

Obituary :

Fr Michael Morrison (1908-1973)

Fr. Michael Morrison was born in Listowel, Co. Kerry, in October 1908, but in his early years moved to Ballysimon on the outskirts of Limerick city; he was one of three children, another boy, Jim, and a sister, whom their mother, early bereaved of her husband, devotedly brought up.
In Limerick he attended the CBS, Sexton Street, primarily and in 1922 went to Mungret, where because of his skill and vigour in the hurling team he was the object of an amount of hero worship among those who found difficulty in earning a place on one team whereas he, by natural right, had a secure billet on both senior and junior teams. In his last year at school he was a stalwart member of the junior team that won the O'Mara Cup.
He entered the novitiate in 1925 and having negotiated many a “novices' jump” proceeded to Rathfarnham in 1927 where during the next three years he was occupied with the humanities. Through no fault of his he was drafted, to Tullabeg for philosophy in 1930 without having completed his university degree - he had spent a year in the home juniorate, because of pressure for accommodation for an overflowing community in Rathfarnham.
After philosophy he spent two years of regency at Belvedere where again his athletic skill in training teams was in requisition. Apart from this particular expertise he was a good teacher especially with mathematics at which he shone even as a boy. He spent a final year of college in his Mungret Alma Mater.
He began his course in Theology at Milltown in 1936, and was ordained in 1939. In 1941 Monsignor Coughlin, the principal chaplain in the British Army, made a strong appeal to the Irish Jesuits for priests to serve with the troops. Fr Michael was one of the first appointed. Soon he was in Egypt moving back and forth with the fortunes of the army in the desert. He was in the final breakthrough of the Eighth Army and was present at the Fall of Tunis where he met Fr Con Murphy, SJ, who had come the other way with the First Army.
Fr Michael did not cross over to Italy with the Eighth Army, but returned to England with his Units in preparation for the attack on the Northern flank of the German Army.
On the 12th April, 1945, the chief of staff of the First German Parachute Army made contact with the British Eighth Corps to ask for a local armistice. He explained that a terrible situation in the POW., and civilian internment camps had arisen at Belsen. Typhus was raging, and the Germans were unable to handle it. Would the Eighth Corps take over?
A truce was immediately arranged. A neutral area was set out around Belsen. The German SS camp staff were to stay on indefinitely. The Hungarian Guard was also to remain. A section of the Wehrmacht was to guard the area but was to be returned behind the German lines fully armed after six days.
Fr Morrison was with the 32nd Casualty Clearing Unit near Belsen at the time and it immediately moved to the camps. Then began for him a period of great trial and anguish. He was principally occupied in Camp Number 1 - known now to all the world as the Horror Camp. Herded together in this camp were fifty thousand people. Thirty-nine huts housed the men, forty-one, the women.
When Fr Morrison's unit entered the camp on April 17th, between seven and ten thousand people lay dead in the huts and on the ground, Of the living the majority were in periculo mortis, and many thousands were dying.
The first date for which statistics were available was April 30th, and on that day five hundred and forty eight people died. It was difficult to assess the number of Catholics, but at a guess it was in the region of 30 per cent. In February, 1945, there were 45 priests in the camp but only 10 were alive on April 17th, when Fr. Morrison arrived. Of these 10, only one, a Pole, Fr Kadjiocka, was able to give Fr Morrison any help. Soon afterwards several other chaplains arrived. The number Fr Michael anointed daily during this first period in the camp was about 300. He wrote in a report :

The joy and gratitude shown by the internees at receiving the sacraments more than compensated for the difficulties. (difficulties such an understatement!) of working in the huts. One was conscious too of being a member of a living unified Church and of the bond which held us together. In the camps were Poles, Hungarians, Czecks, Jugoslavs, Greeks, Rumanians, Ukranians, French, Belgians, Dutch, Italians, and all were able to partake of the same sacrament.
On Sunday, April 22nd. Mass was celebrated for the first. time in Belsen Camp. There was a torrential downpour that morning and it was suggested that Mass be postponed until some other day, but the congregation would not hear of it ... they were drenched through but that did not diminish the fervour and enthusiasm of their singing.

Fr Michael very seldom spoke of his trials at Belsen and it would be difficult for the boys in his latter days at Belvedere to appreciate that the bowed priest who moved about so haltingly with a stick, and was nevertheless, so ready to speak with everyone, had such a distressing experience in his life.
After demobilisation, Fr Morrison went, lent, to Australia where he taught in Riverview College and served in St. Ignatius' Church, Richmond.
Michael was by disposition inclined to let others talk, it could hardly be said of him, on any occasion that he “took over”. His quiet, matter-of-fact, way of viewing things rendered him possibly the most factually objective witness of the day-to-day circumstances of the war situation summarised above. In later years he was, as noted above, averse to alluding to it and memories of it probably deepened the loneliness that affected him when his health declined.
After his return from Australia he spent several years attached to our Holy Name church in Manchester and on his coming back to Ireland after a short term in Mungret he was assigned as Economus to Belvedere, an office he retained until his health gave way; He retained his interest in games and enjoyed a game of golf.
Sadness visited him in the way of family bereavement. After his mother his sister and brother predeceased him; he retained his interest in their families but with the incapacity induced by several strokes and the consciousness of waging a losing battle a strong philosophy was necessary to buoy him up. This he fortunately possessed and the circumstances of his final seizures was characteristic : on the morning of his death he mentioned casually at breakfast that he had had another slight stroke; superiors were immediately informed but in the meantime he began to make his way, alone, upstairs to his room. The exertion brought on another and fatal attack. He was anointed and brought to Jervis Street Hospital but efforts to revive him were unavailing; he was a man of strong principle withal boyish, loyal to his duties, unwilling to be a burden. May he rest in peace.
His obsequies were carried out at Gardiner Street, April 10th; apart from his immediate relatives and a large number of ours there was a big congregation of Belvederians present and past.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1973

Obituary

Father Michael Morrison SJ (died 7th April, 1973)

Father Michael Morrison came to Belvedere late in life and was, perhaps, not very well known to its present alumni because he was not on the teaching staff. Until he be came ill he was bursar of the college. He was born in Listowel, but he went later with his family to live in Ballysimon, Co Limerick. He attended Mungret College for his secondary schooling. He was a superbly good hurler and had the distinction of being on the Junior team and of being picked for a place on the Senior team at the same time.

Michael entered the Jesuit Novitiate in 1925. Then came his humanity studies at Rathfarnham and his philosophy course at Tullabeg. In 1933 he was appointed as a scholastic to Belvedere and had charge of the Junior Rugby team which reached the final in his second year, but failed to win it. After the match there was quite a controversy about an unusual decision of the referee!

He began his course in Theology at Milltown in 1936, and was ordained in 1939. In 1941 Monsignor Coughlin, the principal chaplain in the British Army, made a strong appeal to the Irish Jesuits for priests to serve with the troops. Father Michael was one of the first appointed. Soon he was in Egypt moving back and forth with the fortunes of the army in the desert. He was in the final breakthrough of the Eighth Army and was present at the fall of Tunis where he met Father Con Murphy SJ, who had come the other way with the First Army.

Father Michael did not cross over to Italy with the Eighth Army, but returned to England with his Units in preparation for the attack on the Northern flank of the German Army.

On the 12th April, 1945, the chief of staff of the First German Parachute Army made contact with the British Eighth Corps to ask: for a local armistice. He explained that a terrible situation in the POW, and civilian internment camps had arisen at Belsen. Typhus was raging, and the Germans were unable to handle it. Would the Eight Corps take over?

A truce was immediately arranged. A neutral area was set out around Belsen. The German SS camp staff were to stay on in definitely. The Hungarian Guard was also to remain. A section of the Wehrmacht was to guard the area but was to be returned behind the German lines fully armed after six days.

Father Morrison was with the 32nd Casualty Clearing Unit near Belsen at the time and it immediately moved to the camps. Then began for him a period of great trial and anguish. He was principally occupied in Camp Number 1 - known now to all the world as the Horror Camp. Herded together in this camp were fifty thousand people. Thirty-nine huts housed the men forty-one, the women.

When Father Morrison's unit entered the camp on April 17th, between seven and ten thousand people lay dead in the huts and on the ground. Of the living the majority were in periculo mortis, and many thousands were dying.

The first date for which statistics were available was April 30, and on that day five hundred and forty eight people died. It was difficult to assess the number of Catholics, but at a guess it was in the region of 30 per cent. In February 1945 there were 45 priests in the camp but only 10 were alive on April 17th, when Father Morrison arrived. Of these 10, only one, a Pole, Father Kadjiocka, was able to give Father Morrison any help. Soon afterwards several other chaplains arrived. The number Father Michael annointed daily during this first period in the camp was about 300. He wrote in a report:

“The joy and gratitude shown by the internees at receiving the sacraments more than compensated for the difficulties ('difficulties —such an understatement !) of working in the huts. One was con scious too of being a member of a living unified Church and of the bond which held us together. In the camps were Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Jugoslaves, Greeks, Rumanians, Ukranians, French, Belgians, Dutch, Italians, and all were able to par take of the same sacrament.

On Sunday, April 22nd Mass was celebrated for the first time in Belsen Camp. There was a torrential downpour that morning and it was suggested that Mass be postponed until some other day, but the congregation would not hear of it ... they were drenched through but that did not diminish the fervour and enthus jasm of their singing”.

Father Michael very seldom spoke of his trials at Belsen and it would be difficult for the boys now at Belvedere to appreciate that the bowed priest who moved about so haltingly with a stick, and was nevertheless, so ready to speak with everyone, had such a distressing experience in his life.

After demobilization, Father Morrison went to Australia where he taught in Riverview College and served in St Ignatius Church, Richmond. He returned to Europe in 1958 and worked for some years Manchester before becoming Bursar at Belvedere.

May he rest in peace.

Murphy, Denis, 1833-1896, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/464
  • Person
  • 16 January 1833-18 May 1896

Born: 16 January 1833, Scarteen, County Cork
Entered: 26 October 1848, Dôle France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 1862
Final vows: 02 February 1869
Died: 18 May 1896, University College, Dublin

by 1849 in Vals, France (LUGD) studying
by 1859 at Bonn, Germany (GER) studying Philosophy
by 1860 at Paderborn, Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1861 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology 3
by 1867 at Manresa, Spain (ARA) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
When he was five years old the family moved to Kanturk, where he had his early education before going to Clongowes.

1852-1858 After First Vows and some studies he was sent for Regency to Clongowes as a Teacher of all years.
1859 He studied his Second Year of Philosophy at Bonn.
1860-1863 He began his Theology at Paderborn, but after one year was transferred to St Beuno’s.
Returning to Ireland he taught Humanities and Rhetoric as well as Logic at Clongowes.
1867 he made Tertianship at Manresa, Spain
1868 He was sent to Tullabeg teaching Rhetoric.
1869-1874 He was sent to teach at Crescent Limerick.
1874-1882 he was attached to the Missionary Staff, and was Superior of that Staff for seven years.
1883-1888 He taught at UCD
1888 he was sent to Milltown to teach Canon Law.
1892-1896 He was back at UCD, mainly as a Writer. He died unexpectedly during the night of 17 May 1896 in his 64th year and 48th in Religious Life.

Ten years before he died he had been appointed by the Bishops of Ireland as promoter of the Causes of those who had died for their faith during the Penal Times. His last work as entitles “Our Martyrs” which was not published until after his death, though he had seen the last sheet through the press!
His other works include : “The Life of Red Hugh O’Donnell”; The History of Holy Cross Abbey”; “School History of Ireland”

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Murphy, Denis
by David Murphy

Murphy, Denis (1833–96), priest and historian, was born 12 January 1833 at Scarteen, near Newmarket, Co. Cork, the eldest son of Timothy Murphy and his wife Joanna (née O'Connell). He was educated at Mr Curran's school in Kanturk before attending Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. Entering the Society of Jesus on 26 October 1848, he made his noviceship at Dôle and then returned to Clongowes and taught history and literature (1852–8). He undertook further philosophical and theological studies in Bonn, Paderborn, and St. Beuno's in Wales and, returning to Ireland in 1863, taught rhetoric and logic at Clongowes (1863–7). In 1867 he made his tertianship at Manresa in Spain and later taught at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, and the College of the Sacred Heart, Limerick. In 1874 he was attached to the society's missionary staff. He established a reputation as an excellent conductor of religious retreats and was appointed superior of the missionary staff in 1873. He began teaching French language and literature in 1883 at University College, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, and, in 1888, was appointed to teach moral theology, and later canon law, at Milltown Park. In 1892 he returned to his teaching duties at University College and also served as an examiner in Spanish for the RUI.

Best known for his historical researches and writings, Murphy was a prominent member of several learned societies including the Kildare Archaeological Society, the RSAI, and the RIA (1884), and contributed to their journals. His articles in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland include ‘Mungret Abbey’ (1894), ‘The castle of Roscommon’ (1891), ‘The ornamentation of the Lough Erne shrine’ (1892), and ‘The Irish Franciscans at Louvain’ (1893). His best known historical work is Cromwell in Ireland (1883), a scholarly and balanced account of the military campaign of 1649–51 written to refute the many myths associated with Oliver Cromwell (qv); new editions were published in 1885 and 1897. Murphy gave credit to Cromwell for his courage and military effectiveness, but condemned his religious bigotry and cruelty, and agreed with the 1st earl of Clarendon's saying ‘that he was a great, bad man’ (Cromwell in Ireland, p. ix). In 1893 Murphy translated into English and published Lughaidh Ó Cléirigh's (qv) manuscript life of Red Hugh O'Donnell (qv) with an extensive historical introduction and parallel bilingual text (The life of Hugh Roe O'Donnell (1893)). The translation, however, was severely criticised by some Irish scholars for its lack of precision. His widely used School history of Ireland (1894) gave a concise bird's eye view of Irish history from the arrival in Ireland in the 3rd century BC of Ceasair, granddaughter of Noah, ‘forty days before the deluge’, up to his own day.

At the request of the Irish bishops, in 1886 Murphy began researching a history of the martyrdom of Irish catholics since the reign of Henry VIII. He carried out extensive researches in the Vatican and other continental archives for over a decade, the result of which was the posthumously published Our martyrs: a record of those who suffered for the catholic faith under the penal laws in Ireland (1896) which he completed only days before his death. His edition of The annals of Clonmacnoise (1896), based on the translation of Conall Mageoghegan (qv), was also published posthumously.

He was elected to the RIA's committee of polite literature and antiquities (1891) and became vice-president of the RSAI (1894) and editor of the Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society. He received an honorary doctorate from the RUI in recognition of his historical research. A kindly and cheerful man, he enjoyed playing the bass violin to relax from his scholarly pursuits. He died suddenly 18 May 1896 in his rooms at University College, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery. There is a substantial collection of his papers in the Jesuit archives in Dublin which includes research notes for Our martyrs and lists of Irish manuscripts in archives in Rome and Spain.

Times, 25 May 1896; Irish Catholic, 23 May 1896; RSAI Jn. (1896); Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society, ii (1896), 81–3; Irish Monthly, xxiv (1896), 328–31; DNB; Boase, supp. iii; Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., xv (1909), 90–92; Beathaisnéis 1882–1982, i, 90; papers of Denis Murphy, Jesuit Archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Denis Murphy 1833-1896
Fr Denis Murphy was born at Scarteen County Cork on the 16th January 1833. Having received his education at Clongowes, he entered the Society in 1848, making his novitiate in Dôle, France.

After his ordination and tertianship he taught in our Colleges, Clongowes, Crescent and Tullabeg. From 1874-1882 he was attached to the Mission Staff. From 1883-1896 he taught at University College, St Stephen’s Green, wit a break in between as Professor ar Milltown Park.

He had been appointed by the Bishops of Ireland as Promoter of the Causes of the Irish Martyrs. This led to his book “Our Irish Martyrs”. His other published works are “The Life of Red Hugh O’Donnell”, “The History of Holy Cross Abbey”, “Cromwell in Ireland” and “The Annals of Clonmacnoise”.

He died rather suddenly on May 17th 1896, being 64 years of age and 48 years a Jesuit.

◆ The Clongownian, 1896

Obituary

Father Denis Murphy SJ

Clongowes was still lamenting the loss of one of her most distinguished sons, Dr William J Fitzpatrick, when another, of those who have won fame for their Alma Mater in the world of letters was called away to his account. Born at Newmarket, County Cork, in 1833; Denis. Murphy went first to school at Kanturk; and then came to Clongowes, so young and so clever, that he is said to have finished the class of rhetoric at the earliest age recorded except in the case of Chief Baron Palles. Before his sixteenth birthday he had entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, and after spending some years in England and on the Continent returned to Clongowes as professor of classics.

As a writer and a lecturer; Father Murphy soon made a name for himself; as an antiquary he stood in the foremost rank in this country, and in recognition of his great services to Irish literature and history, the Royal University conferred upon him the honorary degree of LLD.

Many noble tributes were paid to his memory by the Press, and we cannot do better than give our readers the notice which the “Independent” gave of his life and labours :-

The announcement of the death of the distinguished Jesuit, Father Denis Murphy, will come with tragic suddenness on his numerous friends in Ireland. Father Murphy had not been strong for some time past, but there was no premonition of the approach of his death. Last week he might have been met working among, as was his wont, the manuscript materials in the Royal Irish Academy. On Sunday, as usual, he performed his sacerdotal duties, and in the evening, apparently in the best of health, beguiled the time revising the final proofs of his “History of the Irish Martyrs”, which was promised from the printing press next month. On Monday morning he was found dead in his bed, evidently having passed quietly away in his sleep a few hours previously. By the death of the Rev Denis Murphy, Ireland is deprived of the services of an untiring, faithful-hearted son, who loved her with love “far brought from out the storied past”, used in the present and transfused for future times; and the Jesuits lose a useful member, whose work has added lustre to the Irish Province, for his name will be placed on the bead-roll with that of the Blessed Edmund Campion SJ, and those of the Bollandist Fathers.

Father Murphy was born in 1833; and shortly after the Famine Year joined the Society. He was educated: in England, Spain, and Germany, as well as at the Irish bouses belonging to his Order. The little town of Newmarket, County Cork, where he was born, is famous as the birthplace of John Philpot Curran, and is hallowed by the memory that there too Thomas Davis spent much of his boyhood's years. It lies in the heart of one of the most historically interesting and romantic districts in that county which Sir Walter Scott estimated contained more romance than all Scotland. Not very far from Father Murphy's early home the brave MacAlistrum had fallen in fight against Murragh-au Theathaun, as the peasants still call the Cromwellian commander, and Phelix O’Sullivan, the vindicator of the Irish Catholics, had broken battle with the English in the Raven's Gleng, and crossed the Blackwater by dint of his long spears; in his historic march into Connaught. Such and similar surroundings possibly first formed the historic faculty which, in later years, developed and trained as it became, distinguished Father Mürphy's career. Besides, lectures on side-lights of history, feuilletons and fugitive, magazine articles innumerable, he published several yolumes of rare value as contributions to the history of Ireland, although dealing with periods and individual persons. His life of Hugh. O'Donnell deserves a place in every Irish home. It is a bilingual text, and side by side wish the Gaelic original of the pious Scribe O'Clery, we have an English translation copiously imitated. By this scholarly book probably Father Denis Murphy will “be best known to the future students of our country's history. The story of Red Hugh, the bright brand foretold of Fanult, is. a revelation of purity of motive and single-hearted. I purpose which teaches mighty lessons to all Irishmen, and its publication as such. apart from its historic value, was a most important event. Nothing in drama or epic of any age or country can exceed the pathos and tragedy contained in this simple record of facts which Father. Murphy was the first to render into the English tongue. Sir William Wilde used to lament that Cromwell's campaignings in Ireland were the most defective portion of modern Irish history. To remedy this Father Murphy set himself to work, and did so effectually in his book “Cromwell in Ireland”, which gives in detail an account of that memorable campaign which began in August, 1648, and ended in May, 1649. He follows Cromwell step by step in his progress through the country, and traces his march with a blood-red line upon the map. He is even at pains to rescue Cromwell's memory from some things set down in malice, but he musters facts enough to show him the great bad man Clarendon maintained he was. Among his other substantial works are his “History of Holy Cross Abbey”, “The Annals of Clonmacnoise”, and his compendium of Irish history, The work he was engaged on when death took him to his reward is entitled “Our Martyrs”, and is a detailed account of those who died for the Faith in the different religious persecutions in Ireland from the period which is styled the Reformation. This book was the carrying out of part of the work he under took a few years ago at the suggestion of the Irish bishops - viz, the promotion of the claims to canonization of those Irishmen and women who had suffered death for religion's sake. “The School History of Ireland”, which was published in 1893, fulfils a useful work, This little book, which was brought up to date from the earliest periods, contains on its last page a graceful allusion to Mr Parnell's honoured name, and the services he rendered Ireland, which is, perhaps, remarkable when we remember the position of the writer and how high party seeling ran at the year of the publication of the book. Besides faithfully discharging the duties of a missionary priest, and a teacher in several schools and colleges, Father Murphy managed to make time in his busy life to fill with credit to himself positions of responsibility in many learned societies. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Vice-President of the Royal Academy and a Council member of che Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, and of the National Literary Society. He was editor of the “Kildare Archaeological Journal”, and took a particular interest in similar publications in Cork, Waterford, and Belfast. Such are Father Murphy's services as a historical researcher and a reliable interpreter of records difficult of access as to cause abiding regret that his books are so few. His place as an Irish scholar will not easily be filled ; his place as a thoughtful, ever faithful friend never can”.

His funeral was attended by a large number of clergymen and other citizens of Dublin, the coffin being covered with numerous beautiful wreaths. One in particular calls for our notice. The staff at the establishment of Father Murphy's printers (Messrs Sealy, Bryers, and Walker), subscribed for and forwarded a costly wreath to be laid on his coffin. The gift was accompanied by a large card bearing the imprint of an open book, the left hand page of which bore the following inscription :

IN MEMORIAM.
REV DENIS MURPHY SJ, LLD,
Died May 18th, 1896
Aged 63
RIP

A Tribute of great Respect
and Affection
From the Staff of his Printers,
Messrs SEALY, BRYERS, and WALKER,
Middle Abbey Street.

The other page contained the following :

The concluding sentences of a corrected proof found at his death-bedside addressed to the Printer -

“But he chose the better part, he finished his course, and kept the faith. As to the rest, there was laid up for him a crown of justice which the just Judge gave him, and will give to all that love His coming”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Denis Murphy (1833-1896)

Was born at Scarteen, Newmarket, Co Cork. He was educated at Clongowes and, on being admitted to the Society, was sent to France for his noviceship. He pursued his higher studies at Bonn, and Paderborn, and was ordained at St Beuno's, in Wales in 1862. On his return to Ireland he was appointed to the teaching staff at Clongowes where he remained until 1867 when he set out for Spain to make his tertianship at Manresa. On his return from Spain, Father Murphy began his long association with the Crescent. From 1868 to 1874 he was a member of the teaching staff while he was also minister of the house, and in charge of the church choir. In 1874 he joined the mission staff then resident in Limerick and remained a member of it until 1883. During his years in Limerick, Father Murphy was held in the deepest respect and affection by all who knew him. He was known and appreciated as a man of versatile intellectual qualities. But this incident shows something of his very practical bent. During his years at the Crescent, it came to his notice that the widowed mother of two Crescent boys was having trouble with a leaking roof. She had seen better days and was in receipt of an annuity just enough to cover up the poverty of herself and children. She told Father Murphy that the estimates for repairs were beyond her resources short of going deeply into debt. Father Murphy, to calm her anxiety, went off to the builders, bought the wood at wholesale and with the help of the elder son of the widow, carried out the repairs on the roof with such skill that the next repairs became necessary only some forty years after Father Murphy's death.

In 1883, Father Murphy was transferred to University College, Dublin, where he was appointed to the post of bursar and librarian. His new post gave him enough spare time to work on his historical notes, the results of his researches during his scholastic days. For during his early years, he had travelled extensively in Europe to collect historical data on the persecutions for the Faith in Ireland. His researches brought him to the archives of cities so widely separated as Madrid, Lisbon, Douai, Louvain, Paris, Vienna and Prague. In his generation, Father Murphy was probably Ireland's most informed historian. After some five years at University College, Father Murphy was transferred to Milltown Park to take over the chair of moral theology. Fortunately, for Irish historical scholarship he was released from his post and returned to University College where he spent the last four years of his life. His monumental work entitled Our Martyrs was just finished in the press, but not yet published, the day before his death. For the last ten years of his life, he held from the Irish hierarchy the post of official Postulator of the Cause of the Irish Martyrs.

Nash, Michael, 1825-1895, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1816
  • Person
  • 29 September 1825-06 September 1895

Born: 29 September 1825, Whitechurch, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 April 1844, St Mary’s, KS, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 18 August 1859, Paderborn, Germany
Professed: 15 August 1865
Died: 06 September 1895, St Joseph's Troy, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Nugent, Dominic, 1641-1725, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1841
  • Person
  • 04 August 1641-22 June 1725

Born: 04 August 1641, Dysart, County Westmeath
Entered: 14 October 1661, Mainz, Germany - Upper Rhenish Province (RH SUP)
Ordained: 1671, Mainz, Germany
Final Vows: 1681
Died: 22 June 1725, Dysart, County Westmeath

Was part of Upper Rhenish Province (RH SUP).

Studied 3 years Philosophy and 3 Theology in Society
1665 At Molsheim RH SUP teaching Humanities
1672 Tertianship at Ettlingen, Baden-Württemberg
1708 Catalogue Preacher
1714 Catalogue Taught Grammar and Music, Spiritual Coadjutor
1717 Catalogue Taught Grammar and served on Mission many years. Humble, a lover of Religious poverty. Of great candour an sincerity. Now worn with labour and old age is now confined to his bed.
In Register of Popish priests of 1704 is Dominic Nugent, PP of Dysart, Ordained at Mainz 1674 by Archbishop Gabriel

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
In a letter dated 25 November 1694 he appears then as a PP working with great zeal and success in a poor and wretched district, and still doing this in 1714. A good Preacher (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
He is mentioned in “A List of Popish Parish Priests as they are registered at the General Sessions of the Peace held for Westmeath at Mullingar 13 July 1704 :
Dominick Nugent; Place of abode - Dysart; Age 64; Parishes of which he pretends to be Popish Parish Priest - Dysart and Churchtown; Places where he received Orders - Mentz, in Germany; From whome he received Orders - Gabriel, Suffragen of the Elector of Mentz; Sureties names that entered into recognizance for such Priest according to the Act of Parliament - Henry Mather, of Bryanstown, Gent £50 and John Nugent, of Ballynude, Gent £50;
He is mentioned in the HIB Catalogues 1708 & 1717 as a Nugent of Dysart. He had taught Grammar and Music in one of our German Colleges, and published a book of songs (music and words) called “Die Nachtigal”, thus showing that he had the hereditary love of the Nugent’s for “Music and Song”, which was possessed also by Nicholas and Robert, and their near kinsmen the Barons of Delvin and Scrine.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied in Belgium, as he was accepted for the Society at Antwerp before Ent 14 October 1661 Mainz and claimed to have Flemish
After First Vows he was sent to Mosheim, France for Philosophy and then spent two years Regency at Colleges in RH SUP. He then returned to Mainz for Theology and was Ordained there c 1671. He then seems to have made Tertianship, and it is a little unclear what he did next.
1675-1677 Operarius at Luxembourg
1677-1680 Member of the community at Irish College Poitiers
1680 Sent to Ireland and for the next 37 years was active mostly in Meath
1704 He was registered as PP of Dysart ad Churchtown 13 July 1704, with sureties from John Nugent of Ballynude and Henry Mather of Bryanstown. He died at Dysart c 22 June 1725
Dominic Nugent was an accomplished linguist. It is significant of the time in which he lived that in the list of languages he supplied to the compilers of the Catalogues of 1665 and 1669, he mentions Irish before English and after English Scots.
Before he left the Rhenish province he composed and set to music songs in German which were published in 1675 (Somervogel)
His own greatest claim was his devotion to his Priestly ministry in the darkest Penal times.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NUGENT, DOMINIC. The only notice I find of him is in a letter, dated Waterford, 25th November, 1694. He was doing the duty of a Parish Priest, in a poor and miserable district, and labouring with great zeal and success.

Ó Cathain, Seán, 1905-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/317
  • Person
  • 27 May 1905-26 December 1989

Born: 27 May 1905, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 26 December 1989, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

Had studied Medicine for one year before entry

by 1930 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Seán Ó Catháin (1905-1989)

27th May 1905: Born in Belfast
31st Aug. 1923: Entered the Society of Jesus
1923 - 1925: Tullabeg, novitiate
1925 - 1929: Rathfarnham, juniorate: MA (UCD) in Celtic studies
1929 - 1931; Pullach bei München, Germany: philosophy
1931 - 1934: Galway, regency
1934 - 1939 Milltown Park
1934 - 1935: private study,
1935 - 1939 theology
1938: Ordained a priest
1939 - 1940: Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1940 - 1946: Leeson Street:
1940 - 1941 private study,
1941 - 1946 University Hall, vice principal, private study culminating in a PhD.
1946 - 1948: Clongowes, teaching
1948 - 1978; Leeson Street:
1949 - 1966 Lecturer at UCD's department of Education;
1966-1973 Professor of Education;
1950 - 1959 Inspector of studies in colleges of the Province.
1973 - 1978 writing.
1967 - 1973: Superior.
1978 - 1989: Limerick (Sacred Heart Residence): church work, librarian. In 1982 (also in October 1989) he suffered a stroke which impaired the memory function of his brain. After spending some time in St. John's Hospital, Limerick, he was removed to Our Lady's hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin
26th Dec. 1989: Died

The following additional details concerning Seán's academic career have been gleaned from the Report of the President, UCD, 1972-3 (section on retirements) and 1989-'90 (obituary section). Seán gained four diplomas, all with first-class honours (the middle two in Irish), from one or other of three Irish university colleges: pre-medical (UCC, 1923), BA (UCD, 1928), MA (UCD, 1929), HDip in Ed (UCG, 1932). For his PhD in Ed (UCD, 1941) his thesis was on 'The diffusion of Renaissance ideals of education in the schools of the Jesuit Order'. 'During these years (seemingly 1932-48) he acted as an Assistant Extern Examiner (through Irish) in Education for the National University of Ireland.

Seán Ó Catháin was the second son of Seán and Kathleen nee Dinneen. Seán senior was a native of Kilbeheny, near Mitchelstown, while Kathleen from Rathmore, Co. Kerry. It was in London at the turn of the century that Seán, who had succeeded in the examinations for the civil service, found himself posted for work at the department of customs and excise. Kathleen Dinneen had qualified as a primary teacher and found employment also in London. They were both the children of Irish speaking parents.

Sometime about 1904 Seán Ó Catháin was transferred to Belfast. Some day a curious enquirer may discover whether his transfer was by way of promotion or downright exile to dour Belfast, where there were fewer Gaelic Leaguers!

Here our own Seán was born, and baptised at the parish church of the Sacred Heart, Oldpark Road. In due course he was confirmed at St. Patrick's parish church, Donegall Street. After primary school he was sent to St. Malachy's college and had all but completed his secondary schooling when his father was once more transferred to a very different location of the customs and excise. This time it was to Cork, not far from his native place. It is almost certain that the transfer was scheduled for the late spring of 1921 - a very significant date. Britain was busily partitioning Ireland in the administrative sector in preparation for political partition and the opening of a new Six-county parliament on 22nd June 1921. In fact, the separation of the administrative files of government had been going quietly on even before the general election and victory of Sinn Féin in December 1918! All this underhand work was unknown or unsuspected, apparently, by the young republican politicians, the heirs of 1916!

Seán junior resumed his secondary schooling at the North Monastery CBS in June 1922. He entered the medical school at UCC, but in the event he was not destined to become a medical doctor.

In 1923 Seán senior was transferred to Dublin, In August Seán junior entered the novitiate at Tullabeg, and in due course made his first religious profession. In after years he often spoke of his privilege to have spent his first year as a novice under the direction of the saintly Fr. Michael Browne. He went to Rathfarnham Castle where he was to spend four years. At UCD he won scholarships; at home he was a live-wire in the Irish Society, and every Christmas distinguished himself as an actor in the Irish plays. He crowned his career at Rathfarnham with a first-class-honours MS in Celtic studies.

He was next appointed to the philosophate at Pullach, where he graduated DPh of the Gregorian university. Bilingual from infancy, it is not to be wondered at that he acquired an enviable mastery of the German language. Later he added Italian and French to his linguistic accomplishments.

Back in Ireland he was appointed to Galway for his regency, and it was during this period that Fr. Timothy Corcoran, professor of education at UCD, began to take an interest in Seán as a future successor in his own chair at Earlsfort terrace. These were happy years in a youthful, full and flourishing province, with only an occasional rumour of trouble trickling into Ireland from Hitler's Germany. But peace in Europe was already openly threatened when Seán was ordained priest in 1938. By the summer of 1940 he had completed his fourth year of theology and made his tertianship.

He was now appointed to Leeson Street for private study. Here under the watchful eye of Fr. Corcoran he began his studies in education that would lead to another doctorate. By an odd turn of events his prospects of eventually succeeding to the Chair of Education diminished considerably before the year was over. Fr. Corcoran's health had not been robust of late but he battled on - not only conducting his own lectures but also supplying for his assistant, Mr. W J Williams, who had recently suffered a stroke. It was anticipated that Williams, who was within a very few years of retirement, would resign, but when Fr. Corcoran himself was obliged on medical grounds to resign in September 1942, Williams declared he was going forward for Fr. Corcoran's chair. Meantime the Provincial and consultors (at the urging of members of the Hierarchy) put forward the name of Fr. Fergal McGrath as candidate. (No complaint was ever heard from Fr. Seán.) However, as soon as Fr. McGrath learned of Williams' intention, he immediately withdrew his name - and Williams secured the professorship. He had to retire in 1948. Since 1942 Fr. Seán was stationed as vice-warden at Hatch Street, where he continued work on his doctoral thesis. At the end of this study he spent the years 1946-48 as a master at Clongowes, and 1950-59 - with his characteristic thoroughness - Seán carried out the duties of inspector of our province's schools.

In 1948, when the chair of education was once more vacant, Fr. Seán allowed his name to go forward, and found overwhelming support in the electoral body. However, for the next eighteen years he enjoyed the title (and salary) of lecturer only and not professor. It was an open secret that the late Professor Michael Tierney had used all his considerable influence to downgrade the chair of education. Tierney's hostility dated from the time (1920's and 1930's) when his political views attracted strong opposition in The Catholic Bulletin, on the editorial board of which Fr. Timothy Corcoran's word was law.

In 1966 came belated acknowledgement of Fr. Seán's ability and worth when he was accorded the rank of professor. However, I always felt that the seven years during which he held the professorship were wearying if not even distasteful to a man of his sensitivity. It is enough to recall here that in 1968 student unrest in France spilled out all over Europe and across the Atlantic, and in the universities civilised behaviour, good manners and respect for any authority were the first casualties.

During his later years as professor, when he was also superior at Leeson Street, Seán's health was not robust. He suffered much from sleeplessness, yet during the thirteen years I lived with him he never missed an appointment and was exemplary for punctuality. A product of the old school, that is, brought up in the province to value the necessity of co-operation whether in teaching, church work, parochial missions etc, he lived in no ivory tower of academia. He was interested in everybody and everything connected with the Irish province, and that meant all our fathers, scholastics and brothers, and the works they were engaged in. He had an authentic apostolic bent, as could be deduced from his active interest in the work of two societies, one named after St. Vincent de Paul and the other called St. Joseph's Young Priests. He was an excellent community man, incapable of pulling a long face at table or recreation: he simply radiated a sense of fun. It was a delight to hear him enter the lists with Fr. Frank Shaw, My own impression was that if they had chosen the law for their profession, both would have gained celebrity as advocates.

As superior, Seán tended to be over-scrupulous, but against this he was particularly caring for the sick and generously sympathetic in times of bereavement. Like Fr's Fergal McGrath († 1988) and Redmond Roche († 1983) he acquired an almost legendary reputation for attendance at funerals. 1973 seemed to be the end of his active life; early that autumn he resigned from the chair of education and two months earlier had been replaced as superior of Leeson Street. The next five years he spent in quiet study and in a ministry within his capacity.

An unexpected challenge awaited him in 1978. The Provincial was faced with diminishing manpower, and one of our churches, the Crescent, rather urgently needed an operarius. The difficult proposal was made to Seán, a Dubliner of long standing, and now in his seventies. Generously, as was the custom of this province, he answered the call of duty and courageously entered on a new and unaccustomed way of life. In Limerick, while his fragile health remained, he gave of his best; but the last years must have been frustrating for a man of his once boundless nervous energy. In 1989 he seemed to rally somewhat, and twice at least attended funerals in Gardiner Street, but his years were telling against him. At length he had to go into St. John's hospital, Limerick, whence he was taken back to Dublin to spend the short time that remained to him at Our Lady's hospice, Harold's Cross. There, on St. Stephen's Day, God called him home.

Tá an tAthair Seán imithe uainn ar shlí na firinne, agus tá uaigneas orainn dá dheasca sin go bhfeicimid arís sna Flaithis é; ach idir an dá linn guímis go bhfaigh a anam dilis suaimhneas síoraí, go raibh sé faoi bhrat Mhuire i radharc na Trionóide.

Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin

O'Brien, Bernard, 1907-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1849
  • Person
  • 09 December 1907-03 January 1982

Born: 09 December 1907, Christchurch, New Zealand
Entered: 04 February 1924, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained 24 August 1938, Leuven, Belgium
Final vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 03 January 1982, St John of God Hospital, Richmond, NSW - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death
Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931
by 1930 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Bernard O'Brien's father was a prominent Catholic in Christchurch, New Zealand, and an eminent surgeon. O'Brien went to Christ's College. The bishop excommunicated Bernard's father, but the two were later reconciled. Two sons entered the Jesuit noviciate; the younger only lasted a short time being declared “singulariter inaptus ad omnia”.
Bernard O'Brien entered the noviciate at Greenwich, Sydney, 4 February 1924, and went to Ireland for his juniorate, at Rathfarnam Castle, graduating from the National University with first class honours in the classics. He also graduated from Trinity College in London as a teacher of music. His philosophy studies were made at Pullach in Germany, and in Louvain, Belgium, 1929-31.
He came back to Australia for his regency in the province houses of studies, and then returned to Louvain for theology, 1935-39. Tertianship followed at Rathfarnham. After returning to Australia he taught at St Patrick's College for a while and from then on he spent his life in the Jesuit houses of studies or the seminaries conducted by the Society in Werribee and Christchurch, New Zealand, lecturing in philosophy, Theology, English and Greek. He spent 30 years in the seminary in his native city Christchurch, and was prefect of studies for seventeen years. He died at the St John of God Hospital, Richmond, NSW.
When he was appointed minister of juniors at Loyola College, Watsonia, he immediately discontinued the practice, customary in the Society, of having a “vis med and exam”. O'Brien thought it ungentlemanly The results were not altogether happy. He also assembled the scholastics into a production of “The Yeoman of the Guard” that he directed and for which he played the piano, As a master at St Patrick's College he produced a pantomime, a version of “Beauty and the Beast”. He also wrote an autobiography in 1970, “A New Zealand Jesuit”.
He was trained according to the code of gentlemanliness, honoor and decency He seemed to lack any meanness, dishonesty or coarseness. He was a gentleman to his fingertips. He even had an aristocratic bearing, a noble intellectual brow, a fine nose, and slightly protruding upper teeth. There was a dove-like simplicity about him, and he had a sense of enjoyment of pleasantries rather than of humour.
The word 'delicacy' fits well around everything in O'Brien's life. It was a word frequently on his lips. Delicacy was in his piano playing, his writing, his behaviour and his thoughts. There was a delicacy in his mind and even in the balance of his mind. Yet, despite this, when someone was in trouble, as happened to two people in heavy seas at Avoca, he and two other Jesuits attempted to save them. For his efforts he was awarded the Meritorious Award in Silver from The Surf Life Saving Association of Australia.

O'Carroll, John J, 1837-1889, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/316
  • Person
  • 01 September 1837-05 March 1889

Born: 01 September 1837, Great Charles Street, Dublin
Entered: 13 September 1853, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA
Ordained: 1865
Professed: 15 August 1873
Died: 05 March 1889, University College, Dublin, St Stephen's Green, Dublin

by 1855 at Laval, France (FRA) studying Theology
by 1857 at Montauban, France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1859 at Feldkirch, Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1864 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1871 at Maastricht College, Netherlands (NER) Studying
by 1872 at Stara Wieś, Subcarpathian Province Poland (GALI) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His father, Redmond, was first President of the VdP Society; his mother née Goold was related to the Dease family and that of Lord Justice Naish. His brother Vincent was an Oratorian. Both were educated at Clongowes.

His studies clearly had a linguistic direction, and he became Professor of Modern Languages at Catholic University, and Examiner at the Royal University, Ireland. It was said of him that he was a master of fourteen languages and literatures, and that he could converse in eight. In whichever country he studied, he quickly mastered both the language and dialects, and was appointed as an examiner there in some branches of public examinations. His likeable sanctity impressed everyone he met, and he possessed a remarkable innocence and spirit of penance. On the day of his death, 05 March 1889, he had carried on his research at both Trinity and Gardiner St, and on arriving home became very ill and died.

“We do not exceed the rigid truth when we say that he has left not one in Ireland who could fill his place. He was a master of almost all the languages of Europe ... He was an indefatigable student, always seeking to increased the range of his knowledge ... it was not unusual to have a sailor from a distant place spend time with him .... works on which he was engaged cannot now be completed .... his memory was tenacious, recalling for instance details of conversations that had taken place thirty years before ... he once stated .. that his study of the old Gaelic literature had convinced him that had the literature been allowed naturally to develop, it would have been rich in drama ...he was the last descendant of the O'Carrolls of Ely ... although naturally a bookworm, when at the Roman College he was always ready to companion another ... ”

William Delaney SJ :
“Being in Rome in the year 1866, I was present on many occasions at conversations between J J O’Carroll and a Dutch clergyman named Steins and also a Dalmatian named Jeramaz, with whom he conversed in the Dutch and Slavonic languages. I know these gentlemen intimately, and they assured me that Father O'Carroll spoke their languages with extraordinary ease and correctness. I was preset also several times at Propaganda College when he conversed in Modern Greek with a young Greek who assured me similarly”

Matthew Russell in the “Irish Monthly” :
“One day that St Aloysius and his fellow-novices were ‘at recreation’ - as the phrase is in convents - the question was mooted what each should do if he were told that in a few minutes he was to die. One would hurry off to his Confessor and try receive the sacramental absolution for the last time with the most perfect possible dispositions. Another would run to the chapel and pour out his soul before the altar in fervent acts of contrition. Aloysius said that he would go on with his recreation, for that is what God wished of him at that moment. Father O'Carroll did not guess, on the last morning of his life, that this same question was practically proposed to him, but it so happened that on that last morning he made use of these methods of immediate preparation for death. But his daily habitual life was the best preparation, and for the suddenness of his death was only an additional mercy. ‘Cujus anime propitietur Deus’.”

Father O’Carroll worked on cheerfully and earnestly, though it was known that he suffered from disease of the heart.

(full text appeared in “The Freeman’s Journal”, along with many Testimonials from his peers in various Universities around Europe, the morning after his death)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John O’Carroll 1837-1889
Fr John O’Carroll was the Mezzofanti of the Irish Province of the Society. He was master of fourteen languages and literatures, he could converse in eight of others, and could read eight or nine more. Besides the ordinary European languages, he knew Russian, Polish, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Serbian, Illyrian and Hungarian.

He was born at 51, Great Charles Street, Dublin, on September 1st 1837. His father was Redmond O’Carroll, first President General of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Ireland, and a direct descendant of the O’Carroll’s of Ely. There were only two sons, Francis who became an Oratorian and died young, and John who became a Jesuit in 1853. He was therefore the last direct descendant of the O’Carrolls.

He showed a linguistic bent early, so that in the various countries in which he pursued his studies, he was able, in a short time, so to qualify himself as to be appointed government examiner in some branches of the public examinations. He had no difficulty in being appointed to the chair of Modern Languages in the Royal University. He was as proficient in Irish as in the other languages, and he contributed frequently to the “Gaelic Journal” and the “Lyceum”.

His death was sudden. On Shrove Tuesday, March 5th 1889, he pursued his researches in Trinity College Library until four o’clock, and then continued them in the library of St Francis Xavier’s Gardiner Street. Hurrying home after five o’clock to University College Stephen’s Green, he was seen to be very ill. There was but time to administer Extreme Unction, before he expired at the comparatively early age of 52. His obituary notice in the Freeman’s Journal contained the following :

“We deplore the sudden death which has taken him off with only a few minutes warning. We cannot but regard it as a national loss. As it is, his fame must not grow to the measure of his intellectual abilities. But his name will nonetheless remain enshrined in the memory of those who had the good fortune to know him intimately and to learn from him, how transcendent gifts of mind, may be combined with the most touching modesty, and rare endowments of intellect enhanced by the charm of unaffected humility”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1906

Two Distinguished Scholars

I Father John James O’Carroll SJ

by Father Matthew Russell SJ

John James O’Carroll was born at 51 Great Charles Street, Dublin, September Ist, 1837. Through his mother, a member of the Good family, he was connected with the Dease and Naish families. His father, Redmond O'Carroll, is memorable for one fact in his life. On the death of a relative he had entered into possession of a large landed property, when he himself discovered in some secret place a will bequeathing the property to another. He at once gave the property up, and remained poor all his life.

John James O'Carroll was educated at Clongowes, as was also his younger brother, Francis, who afterwards joined Father Faber's Oratory in London. He himself, when sixteen years old, joined the Society of Jesus, September 13th, 1853. He was always singularly pious, humble, obedient, . and amiable. His bent in study was towards the acquisition of languages. His acquirements in this department were amazing. We have his own testimony on the subject in the letter in which he offered himself as candidate for a Fellowship of Modern Languages in the Royal University of Ireland. He was incapable of untruth or exaggeration; and therefore we know that he was thoroughly acquainted with Irish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Bohemian, Russian, Serbian, Dalmatian, and Croatian. To these we may add Latin and modern Greek as well as ancient Greek, Father O'Carroll is careful to claim a much lower degree of acquaintance with Icelandic, Anglo Saxon, Romanian, Bulgarian, Carniolese and Romaic. In The Irish Monthly for 1889 (vol xvii., PP. 211-115) a most interesting collection of testimonies is given from Max Muller and Sundry Germans, Frenchmen, Italians, etc., each bearing witness that in his own language and literature Father O'Carroll was as much at home as an educated native.

After working for many years in Clongowes, and at Galway, Father O'Carroll was placed on the staff of University College, Dublin, and was appointed an Examiner, and afterwards a Fellow of the Royal University. He laboured assiduously at all the duties of his office, finding time also for an enthusiastic study of Gaelic literature, to which he contributed much original work. In his personal relations he was a model of every amiable virtue, a man of singular holiness. He was always ready for the end, which came suddenly on the 5th of March, 1889.

The following is the obituary notice which appeared in “The Freeman's Journal” the morning after his death :

“We deeply regret to announce the death of one of our country's most gifted scholars - Rev. JJ O'Carroll SJ, Professor of Modern Languages, University College, and Examiner in these same subjects in the Royal University. To men of education in Ireland it is unnecessary to explain what a loss the cause of learning has sustained in him. We do not exceed the rigid truth when we state that he has left not one in Ireland who can adequately fill his place, He was a master of almost all the languages of Europe a master in the fullest sense of the term. He spoke them fluently, and he was an adept in their literatures. The Russian and the Hungarian, which are beyond the reach of most of our literati, were familiar to him - even the provincial dialects of these strange tongues afforded him scope for the exercise of his singular talent. He was an indefatigable student, seeking every facility to extend the range of his knowledge. The ships which brought foreigners from distant lands to Dublin sometimes supplied him with teachers, and it was not unusual for him to pay a foreign sailor to sit with him in his room by the hour and talk to him in the language of Sweden or of Iceland. Hitherto he had been engaged accumulating his stores of knowledge; he had just begun to utilise his vast acquirements for the advantage of others. Works of rare merit on which he was engaged must now remain unfinished. There is no one who can complete fittingly the tasks to which he had put his band, but which he has not been spared to accomplish. We deplore the sudden death which has taken him off with only a few minutes warning. We cannot but regard it as a national loss. As it is, his fame must not grow to the measure of his intellectual merits. But his name will none the less remain enshrined in the memory of those who had the good fortune to know him intimately, and to learn from him how transcendent gifts of mind may be combined with the most touching modesty and rare endowments of intellect, enhanced by the charms of unaffected humility”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father John O’Carroll (1837-1889)

A native of Dublin and alumnus of Clongowes, was one of the most remarkable Jesuits who have ever passed through the Crescent. More remarkable perhaps is the fact that no one saw anything remarkable about him. Father O'Carroll was the most accomplished linguist of his time. All his studies in the Society, which he entered in 1853, were made abroad. On his return to Ireland as a priest, this man of very modest, self-effacing bearing was sent to teach in the colleges. He came to the Crescent as prefect of studies in 1887 and remained here four years. Shortly after his departure from Limerick, Father O'Carroll was appointed to the position of Examiner in Modern Languages to the Royal University of Ireland and resided at University College, Dublin until his death. Father O'Carroll had mastered some two dozen European languages, between Romance, Teutonic and Slav.

O'Dempsey, Fiachra, 1621-1689, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1889
  • Person
  • 1621-05 June 1689

Born: 1621, County Kildare
Entered: 26 October 1652 - Upper Rhenish Province (RH INF)
Ordained: 1655, Würzburg, Germany
Died: 05 June 1689, Dublin

Cousin of Wolf so was Mayor of Limerick?
1666 Catalogue Is living near Dublin, engaged in the administration of the Sacraments, preaching and such pastoral duties. On the Mission 4 years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1662 Sent to Ireland and stationed near Dublin
1666 He was engaged as a Parish priest near Dublin to the satisfaction of the Vicar General. A missioner for four years. (HIB Catalogue Brev 1666 - ARSI)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied and acquired an MA before he Ent 26 October 1652 Upper Rheinsh Province
1654-1658 After First Vows he studied Theology at Würzburg where he was Ordained 1655 - a concession perhaps because of his mature age on Ent
1658-1662 On completion of his studies he taught Philosophy at Würzburg until 1662
1662 Sent to Ireland and to minister at Dublin under the Vicar General John Dempsey (possibly a relative)
Sometime after the Titus Oates Plot he took up residence in the city where he died 05 June 1689

O'Malley, Joseph, 1832-1910, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1925
  • Person
  • 07 October 1832-23 August 1910

Born: 07 October 1832, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1850, Issenheim, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1867, Rome, Italy
Final vows: 02 February 1870
Died: 23 August 1910, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

by 1854 at Laval France (FRA) studying Philosophy 1
by 1862 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying Philosophy 1
by 1863 in Rome Italy (ROM) studying Philosophy and Theology
by 1869 at Paderborn Germany (GER) making Tertianship
Early Australian Missioner 1870 - first to New Zealand 1879

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He made his Noviceship in France with William Kelly, and then remained there for studies with E Browne and Edmund Hogan.
1855 He was sent for Regency to Tullabeg teaching Grammar and the Choir.
1858 He was sent as Fourth Prefect to Clongowes with Joseph Dalton (1st) and William Delaney (3rd)
1859 he was sent to Tullabeg as Lower Line Prefect with Andrew H Rorke as Higher Line
1860/61 He was back at Clongowes.
1861 He was sent to Rome for Philosophy and Theology, and he was Ordained there 1867. William Delaney was a fellow Theologian there
1868-1869 He was sent to Paderborn for Tertianship
1869-1870 He was sent to teach Grammar at Tullabeg, and after his Final Vows 02 February 1870, he was immediately sent to Australia with Frank Murphy
1870-1878 He was sent as Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father at St Patrick’s Melbourne.
1878-1890 He went to New Zealand with Thomas McEnroe, to Dunedin, at the invitation of Bishop Patrick Moran. There was a College started there which was not a success, and he returned to Australia in 1885 and to Riverview until 1890.
1890 He was sent to St Patrick’s Melbourne again as Spiritual Father.
1892 He was sent to Hawthorn as Operarius.
1899-1903 He was sent to Richmond as Operarius.
1903 He was sent to Norwood, Adelaide and he died there 23 August 1910
He was a holy, learned and hardworking man, and with his death disappeared the last of the Pioneer Irish Jesuits of the Australian Mission. He spent forty years there, but he never forgot old Ireland, and loved to think and speak of “The friends he knew long ago, Where the Shannon and Barrow and Blackwater flow”.
He was a great friend of the working man everywhere, and wrote articles in Michael Davitt’s “Labour World”.

Note from Thomas McEnroe Entry :
1878 He was sent with Joseph O’Malley to found a house in New Zealand which ended up being closed. Joseph O’Malley lived at Dunedin and Thomas lived at Invercargill.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-jesuits-in-new-zealand/

JESUITICA: Jesuits in New Zealand
There is no Jesuit house in New Zealand, though there have been false starts. There was a short-lived Jesuit mission in Invercargill, and Jesuits taught philosophy in the Christchurch seminary. Wicklow-born Bishop Moran of Dunedin wanted a Jesuit school, and in 1878 welcomed two Irish Jesuits, Joseph O’Malley and Thomas McEnroe, who opened St Aloysius’ College in Dunedin (pictured here), with fifteen boarders and six day-boys. But it was the bishop rather than the people who wanted the school, and it lasted only five years. The site became a golf course, in which the 14th hole is still called (incongruously for Jesuits) “the Monastery”.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Joseph O'Malley was educated as a secondary student at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1844-46, and entered the Society in France, 30 September 1850. He completed his juniorate there before regency which was done partly at Tullabeg and partly at Clongowes, 1855-61. He went to the Roman College for philosophy and theology, 1861-68, and to Paderborn, Germany, for tertianshdp. He returned to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg in 1869 teaching physics, and directing the choir. He arrived in Melbourne in May 1870, and until 1878 taught at St Patrick's College. He was also involved in pastoral work. In 1878 he was sent to New Zealand as superior of a college at Waikari, Dunedin. He remained there teaching until 1883 when he returned. He taught senior English at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, until 1890, organised a choir, instructed music and prefected the library. He was spiritual father for some years. In teaching he devised a system of mnemonics for the use of students. The system aimed at combining topical rhymes with catch words, each letter of which had a numerical value. He had a pamphlet printed for English history from the date of the Conquest, and another for European geography. Later, he was sent to St Patrick's College for two years, where he also helped the editor of the “Messenger”. Parish work followed at Hawthorn, 1892-98, Richmond, 1898-03, and Norwood, 1903-04. He returned to Riverview, 1904-5, and finally was in the parish of Norwood, 1905-10. From written accounts he seemed to have been a humorous, whimsical and original character, as well as a hardworking and self-sacrificing Jesuit. He wrote extensively about the education question in Victoria during the 1870s, and many articles in the Advocate. In 1875 he published a pamphlet Secular Education and Christian Civilization, and it would seem that this work had a large influence. It became something of a textbook for the Catholic protagonists pressing for a review of the Secular Education Act, a campaign that resulted in the second Royal Commission on Education. He was also an eloquent and vehement, not to say fiery, orator, and on at least one occasion displeased superiors for speaking too forcefully on some socio-political question. He was a great displeased superiors for speaking too forcefully on some socio-political question. He was a great friend of the working man everywhere, and wrote articles in Michael Davitt's Labour World. This did not please the Father General Anderledy or Father General Martin, the latter describing him as “Dyscolus turbulentusque”. However, this did not prevent him from being appreciated and loved by the faithful to whom he ministered. He was a popular retreat-giver for the clergy (by 1872 he had given the Melbourne priests retreat three times in a row. Apart from mnemonics, articles of his in the press covered the topics of temperance, smoking, “Modern Thought”, music, the Catholic Press, St Patrick, and the Catacombs. He attended the 1885 Plenary Council of Australasia as theologian to Bishop Moran of Dunedin - one of the seven Jesuits present at that Council in various capacities. O'Malley was a musician of real distinction, hence his involvement with choirs and music in whatever house he resided. He wrote a volume of compositions which was passed for publication, but which the publishers to whom it was offered - Sampson, Lord, Marston and Co - did not think would pay.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

Riverview in the ‘Eighties - A McDonnell (OR 1866-1888)

Fr Joseph O'Malley was like Fr Nolan, an old man. He was the Professor of English, History and Geography, and he was well qualified to discharge the duties of that office. He was a purist in English, but not a pedantic. one. He frequently pointed out that terms, which some considered “slang”, were perfectly legitimate words, which had become displaced by more unworthy ones. One Sunday at Religious Instruction class, one of the boys remarked that he would be satisfied if he had Fr. O'Malley's "show" of going to Heaven. Immediately one of the senior boys, who dearly loved to see a debate develop, broke in with: “Order penal studies for him, Sir, for using slang”, Fr. O'Malley said: “Tom, I should not make too certain of that. Many such words are perfectly classical. Take for instance the common expression “hard lines”, which most people would regard as slang, is a Scriptural expression, for we read of one whose “lot was cast in hard lines”. Fr, O'Malley devised a system of Mnemonics for the use of the students in the study of History and Geography. The boys rejected such aids with scorn, at first, but very soon they were convinced of the utility of the system, which aimed at combining topical rhymes with catch words, each letter of which had a numerical value. He had a pamphlet printed for English History, from the date of the Conquest, and another for European Geography. He forced into the service every letter of the alphabet, which gave a greater range in the formation of suit able catch words. The great advantage of this system was that its key could be mastered in about five minutes, and once mastered, was never for gotten. It was not intended to displace the ordinary text books on the above subjects, but to act as an aid to their study. For the purpose of teaching European History Fr O'Malley had special large sized, linen bound, exercise books, specially ruled and bound. Each page was divided into one hundred divisions, each of which represented a year. These were ruled with lines for the entry of important events of that year, with its catchword incorporated. The page was also divided into halves and quar ters by heavier boundaries. In addition each page had a strip of coloured paper pasted at the top, and this was different on each page. The idea was to form a mental record, or photograph, of each page, and of the facts recorded thereon. In class there was a competition in the forming of the most suitable catchword for each important event, and when the best avail able was ascertained, it was duly entered up. The system worked splendidly, and even those most opposed to it were soon forced to admit its merits.

Fr O'Malley was the best preacher of all the Fathers in the house in my time. He was indeed a most impressive preacher, of the quiet, restrained type, and he used no gestures. He had so thoroughly applied his memory system to his own work, that if, six months after he had delivered a sermon in the chapel, one of the students quoted a short passage of that sermon from a note made at the time of delivery, Fr O'Malley could supply the context, both before and after the extract quoted. I have known this to take place many times. As I remarked before, Fr O'Malley was at this time an old man, and a heavy one, and I was, therefore, very much surprised to see him put his hand on a fence, and vault over with the agility of a boy. His mental activity and vigour were even more striking. With us he enjoyed and merited the reputation of a saint. It was said that since his ordination, thirty-five years before, he had celebrated Mass every day with the exception of one day on the voyage to Australia, when the sea was too rough to attempt it. Like nearly all the Fathers he had a strong practical turn, and was an artificer, and possessed a fine set of tools. These he would willingly lend to those who understood the working of them, and would take care of them. On each tool, cut into the woodwork with an engraving tool, appeared the words “To be brought back”. If the tool was wholly of metal, the same words would appear, etched upon the metal with acid. When he inspected his kit there were no “absentees”.

O'Meara, Michael F, 1909-1998, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/610
  • Person
  • 17 May 1909-19 November 1998

Born: 17 May 1909, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 19 November 1998, Sacred Heart, Limerick

Middle brother of Jack - RIP 1991; Tommy - RIP 1993

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1999

Obituary

Fr Michael (Mickey) O’Meara (1909-1988)

17th May 1909: Born in Mallow, Co. Cork
Early education: CB School, Cork, Patrician Bros School, Mallow, & Clongowes Wood College.
1st Sept. 1926: Entered the Society at Tullabeg.
2nd Sept. 1928: First vows at Tullabeg.
1928 - 1931: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1931 - 1934: Tullabeg, studying philosophy.
1934 - 1937: Clongowes, Teacher and 3rd Line Prefect.
1937 - 1941: Milltown Park, studying theology.
31st July 1940: Ordained at Milltown Park,
1941 - 1942: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1942 - 1946: British Army Chaplain in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Egypt, Palestine.
1946 - 1955: Clongowes, Minister
1955 - 1961: Rathfarnham, Chaplain to School of Commerce, Rathmines.
1961 - 1962: Mungret College, teacher.
1962 - 1964: Clongowes, H-Line Prefect.
1964 - 1973: Mungret: Minister till '69; Teacher.
1973 - 1998: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, Minister, Prefect of Church, Dir. “Pioneers”. (off Minister in 1991)

Father O'Meara had been attending to his church duties when he collapsed and was found on the floor of the church. He was rushed by ambulance to hospital, but did not regain consciousness.

Fr. Michael O'Meara (known affectionately to us as Mickey) was born in Mallow in 1909, one of a large family of boys and girls. One of the boys joined the secular clergy, and three became Jesuits. Michael went to school first to the Christian Brothers in Cork, and he had interesting reminiscences about the dangers of travel to Cork during those difficult years of the Great War and the “Troubles” here at home. After a period with the Patrician Brothers in Mallow he finished his secondary education in Clongowes, where he distinguished himself especially in rugby. He was a member of that famous team which first won the cup for Clongowes (a victory not to be repeated until many decades later). He was justifiably proud of it, and I found a copy of the photo of the winning team in his room after his death. He had cherished it all those years.

He entered Tullabeg in 1926 and followed the normal Jesuit course, doing his regency in Clongowes, and thus strengthening what was already a strong bond. In 1942, after his Tertianship in Rathfarnham, he became a British Army Chaplain. He went with his men to England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Egypt and Palestine, sharing with them in everything,

After this exciting period he returned to his beloved Clongowes as Minister in 1946, and as always, threw himself into the work. It was quite a shock to him when he was sent to Rathfarnham in 1955 to act as chaplain to Rathmines Technical School of Commerce. Distasteful though the change was, he once again took up the new work with enthusiasm, and endeared himself to many of the students. Interestingly, he had a great regard for a fellow chaplain, Fr. Brian Scallen; and they worked happily together until Michael was sent to Mungret in 1961. Here he taught for a year before being sent off once again to Clongowes, this time as Higher Line Prefect. Two years later he was back in Mungret, as Minister for five years until 73, when he received his final posting to the Crescent.

This last quarter of a century was the crowning of a long life of service. He was Minister for a number of years, his third spell at this job for which he had a natural aptitude and liking. His main efforts, however, were centered on our church and its associated apostolates: Devotion to the Sacred Heart, to Our Lady, direction of the Pioneer work ( he was for years in charge of the Munster area) manager of the church shop, and general contact with the people of Limerick and further afield. He had a happy and friendly disposition, which he had inherited from his parents and family background. He was always willing to listen to people, to have a friendly chat, to enthuse with them in their joys and successes, to sympathise with them in their difficulties. He prayed with them too, and they knew him as a man of prayer and child-like faith. He was responsible for the Saturday Fatima Devotions; for a prayer group that meets once a week in the back parlour; for the Rosary after our final morning Mass; and of course for the pioneers, as already mentioned. He was indefatigable in accompanying the various pilgrimages, - to Knock, Holy Cross Abbey, Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorjie; any time, any where, he was off to help them to make their pilgrimage a prayerful success.

Although he was a deeply spiritual man, he never gave the impression that he was a “holy Joe”. Instead he was happily interested in many very human activities. He was physically vigorous and nimble himself, and never lost his interest in sport and games. When he was an Army Chaplain his skill was in demand on army rugby teams, and later on he rarely missed any of the big national or international matches shown on TV. He came from a family that was keenly interested in horses, and he watched all the big classic races, both in Ireland and abroad. It was not merely a spectator sport for him. He was an excellent rider, and by the kindness of his brother there was always a horse ready for him and transport to collect him, so that he could participate in the local hunt. Many a story was told of his skill and daring, none more glamorous than that of his famous rescue of a "damsel in distress". Apparently she was thrown from her horse into a river in spate, and was being swept helplessly along. Our gallant Michael rode down the bank below her, jumped in, and managed to pull her to safety. This incident - and a famous remark made at the time - have become part of the O'Meara family folklore! Hunting and horse-riding around the Mallow home-country were a tonic relaxation for him in his intensely active life, and he kept it up until he was into his seventies.

One may mention finally his work in our church shop. This was a real apostolate for him, as he saw in it a way of spreading Catholic devotions and good literature. Apart from the work of organising the shop and ordering the supplies, he spent long hours every week in setting out the cards, the magazines and papers, the rosaries and various religious goods. To give some notion of the extent and scope of his efforts: he worked up the scale of the Irish Messenger to well over 1000 copies each month. For a man of his years his work programme was quite strenuous, as we in the Crescent are keenly aware, now that we have to pick up the pieces, so to speak, after his death. He was probably at this work when he collapsed suddenly and died in the church. He is mourned by many people in various places, but particularly by devoted friends who are loyal supporters of our Church of the Sacred Heart and of our community. May he rest in peace.

Tom MacMahon

O'Reilly, Patrick, 1847-1902, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/354
  • Person
  • 14 March 1847-13 March 1902

Born: 14 March 1847, Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 15 March 1869, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Final vows: 23 February 1902
Died: 13 March 1902, Coláiste Iognáid, Sea Road, Galway

2nd year Novitiate at Roehampton London (ANG)
by 1871 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Maria Laach College, Germany (GER) Studying
by 1873 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1882 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1886 at Roehampton, London (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1888 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had intended to become a Priest in the Diocese and so went to Maynooth, before he decided to join the Society.

After First Vows he was sent to Maria Laach for Philosophy.
1874-1881 He was sent for Regency to Tullabeg, teaching Science, for which he had a remarkable talent.
1881-1885 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology.
1885-1886 He was sent back teaching at Tullabeg.
1887-1888 Sent for Tertianship to Drongen.
1888-1890 He was sent to the Crescent.
1890 He was sent to Galway as a Missioner and where he remained until his death 13 March 1902

He was a man of remarkable and varied talents. He not only excelled in Maths and Science, but he was also a very accomplished Classical scholar. He was a gentle and friendly man, always obliging others, and at the same time energetic and self-sacrificing in his work.
He had to endure a long and painfulness before death. He had suffered from digestive problems, but seemed able to manage them. These became much more acute in August 1901, and by September he had been able to travel to Dublin for medical diagnosis, where it was found he had a bad and inoperable cancer. When he returned to Galway, he said to one of the Community “Well, I have just had a great piece of news. It seems I am going to Heaven fast!” He had always had a special devotion to the Queen of Sorrows, and he intensified this in the succeeding months. His end came peacefully, just as the bell was ringing for Lenten Devotions, 13 March 1902.

He was the first Jesuit to die at Coláiste Iognáid, Galway.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick O’Reilly SJ 1847-1902
Fr Patrick O’Reilly was born at Drogheda on March 14th 1847. He studied for the priesthood for some years at Maynooth before becoming a novice of the Society at Milltown Park in 1869.

He was a man of remarkable and varied talents. He was not only a mathematician and a a scientist but also a classical scholar. As teacher, confessor or preacher, he was most successful.

The way he met his end was characteristic of the man. Being informed that he had incurable cancer, he returned to St Ignatius Galway, where he was stationed, and said to one of the community : “I have just heard a great piece of news. It seems that I am going to Heaven fast”.

During the weary months of waiting for the end, he prayed constantly to the Holy Souls and to Our Lady of Dolours. The end came peacefully on March 13th 1902, just as the Church bell was ringing for the Lenten devotions.

He was the first member of the Society to die in St Ignatius Galway.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Patrick O’Reilly (1847-1902)

Was a native of Drogheda and had been studying at Maynooth some years when he was admitted to the Society in 1869. He made his higher studies at Maria Laach, in Germany and at St Beuno's in Wales, and was ordained in 1884. He spent three years as master at the Crescent and assistant in the church from 1888 to 1891. Though a gifted teacher, especially of science, his preference was for mission work to which he was later assigned. The later years of his short life were spent at St Ignatius, Galway.

Parsch, Alois, 1843-1910, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1967
  • Person
  • 05 October 1843-08 November 1910

Born: 05 October 1843, Brunzejf (Ryžoviště), Moravia, Czech Republic
Entered: 21 September 1872, Sankt Andrä Austria - Austriaco-Hungaricae Province (ASR-HUN)
Ordained: 1879
Final vows: 10 October 1883
Died: 08 November 1910, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
When he was Ordained he was sent to the Austrian Australian Mission.
He was one of the Austrians who remained in Australia after the amalgamation of the Austrian and