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Bergin, Michael, 1879-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/140
  • Person
  • 18 August 1879-11 October 1917

Born: 18 August 1879, Fancroft, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1911
Final vows: 17 November 1916
Died 11 October 1917, Passchendaele, Belgium (Australian 51st Battalion) - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Buried at the Reningelst Churchyard Cemetery, Belgium
First World War Chaplain.

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 01 January 1901

Fancroft is on border of Offaly/Tipperary. The border dissected Fancroft Mill, the family home on one side (Tipperary).
by 1901 in Saint Stanislaus, Ghazir, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) Teacher and studying Arabic
by 1904 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) teaching

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)
by J. Eddy
J. Eddy, 'Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bergin-michael-5217/text8783, published first in hardcopy 1979

Died : 11 October 1917 Passchendaele, Belgium

army chaplain; defence forces personnel (o/s officers attached to Australian forces)

Michael Bergin (1879-1917), Jesuit priest and military chaplain, was born in August 1879 at Fancroft, Tipperary, Ireland, son of Michael Bergin, mill-owner, and his wife Mary, née Hill. Educated at the local convent school and the Jesuit College at Mungret, Limerick, he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg in September 1897. Two years later he was sent to the Syrian mission where English-speakers were needed; he felt the break from home and country very keenly but became absorbed in his missionary work and the exotic customs of the local peoples. After learning Arabic and French he studied philosophy at Ghazir, and in October 1904 began teaching at the Jesuit College in Beirut.

In 1907 Bergin was sent to Hastings, England, to complete his theology studies and was ordained priest on 24 August 1910. After a short time at home he returned to Hastings for further study and then gave missions and retreats in the south of England. He returned to the Middle East in January 1914 and was in charge of Catholic schools near Damascus until the outbreak of World War I; along with other foreigners in Syria, he was then imprisoned and later expelled by the Turkish government. By the time he reached the French Jesuit College in Cairo in January 1915 the first Australian troops had arrived in Egypt, and Bergin offered to assist the Catholic military chaplains. Though still a civilian, he was dressed by the men in the uniform of a private in the Australian Imperial Force and when the 5th Light Horse Brigade left for Gallipoli he went with it. Sharing the hardships of the troops, he acted as priest and stretcher-bearer until his official appointment as chaplain came through on 13 May 1915. He remained at Anzac until September when he was evacuated to the United Kingdom with enteric fever.

Bergin's arrival home in khaki, complete with emu feather in his slouch-hat, caused a sensation among his family and friends. Though tired and weak after his illness, he was anxious to get back to his troops for Christmas. He returned to Lemnos but was pronounced unfit and confined to serving in hospitals and hospital-ships. Evacuated to Alexandria in January 1916, he worked in camps and hospitals in Egypt and in April joined the 51st Battalion, A.I.F., at Tel-el-Kebir. He accompanied it to France and served as a chaplain in all its actions in 1916-17; these included the battles of Pozières and Mouquet Farm, the advance on the Hindenburg Line and the battle of Messines. He was killed at Passchendaele on 11 October 1917 when a heavy shell burst near the aid-post where he was working. He was buried in the village churchyard at Renninghelst, Belgium.

Bergin was awarded the Military Cross posthumously. The citation praised his unostentatious but magnificent zeal and courage. Though he had never seen Australia he was deeply admired by thousands of Australian soldiers, one of whom referred to him as 'a man made great through the complete subordination of self'.

Select Bibliography
L. C. Wilson and H. Wetherell, History of the Fifth Light Horse Regiment (Syd, 1926)
Sister S., A Son of St. Patrick (Dublin, 1932)
51st Battalion Newsletter, July 1962
F. Gorman, ‘Father Michael Bergin, S. J.’, Jesuit Life, July 1976..

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-irish-jesuit-at-the-front-2/

JESUITICA: Irish Jesuit at the front
When they remember their war dead on Anzac Day, Australians include in that number Fr Michael Bergin SJ, an Irish Jesuit who signed up with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF)
in order to accompany them as chaplain to Gallipoli. Two facts give Fr Bergin particular distinction. Firstly, though he served with the AIF he never set foot on Australian soil. And secondly, he was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the AIF to die as a result of enemy action – not, however, in Gallipoli, which he survived, but in Passchendaele, Belgium, in 1917. According to the citation for the Military Cross, which he received posthumously, Fr Bergin was “always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-mungret-man-at-the-front/
Tomorrow, Remembrance Day, we might think of Michael Bergin, born in Roscrea, schooled in Mungret, a remarkable Irish Jesuit chaplain with the Anzac force, which he joined as a trooper in order to accompany the Australians to Gallipoli. He was the only Australian chaplain to have joined in the ranks, and the only one never to set foot in Australia. He always aimed to be where his men were in greatest danger, and having survived the Turkish campaign he was killed by a German shell on the Ypres salient in Flanders. The citation for the Military Cross, awarded posthumously, read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/featured-news/roscrea-remembers-heroic-jesuit/

Roscrea remembers a heroic Jesuit
An exhibition of the life of Jesuit war chaplain Fr Michael Bergin, who died on 12 October 1917 at Passchendaele on the Western Front, was launched on 4 October in Roscrea Library, Tipperary. Fr Bergin grew up in the millhouse of Fancroft, just a couple of miles north of Roscrea.
Though an Irishman, Fr Bergin joined the Australian forces during the war. He befriended some Australian soldiers during a stint in Egypt and then joined them, first as stretcher-bearer in Gallipoli and later as chaplain in Belgium. It was there he died from German shell-fire, one of the half-million casualties of the Third Battle of Ypres, at Passchendaele.
The exhibition was launched by Simon Mamouney, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy. The curator of the exhibition, Damien Burke, assistant archivist of the Irish Jesuit province (pictured here), also spoke at the event. In attendance too were Fr. Frank Sammon, a distant relative of the Bergins of Fancroft, and Marcus and Irene Sweeney, current owners of Fancroft Mill. Irene Sweeney, in fact, is a cousin of another Irish Jesuit, Fr Philip Fogarty. The exhibition remains open until 31 October.
Damien Burke also marked the anniversary of Fr Bergin’s death on Tuesday, 10 October, with a talk in Mungret Chapel, Mungret, Limerick – appropriately, as Fr Bergin attended the Jesuit school Mungret College. About thirty people attended the talk. It was 100 years to the day since Fr Bergin made his way to the Advanced Dressing Station of the 3rd Australian field ambulance near Zonnebeke Railway Station, Belgium. The following day he was badly wounded by German artillery fire, and a day later, 12 October, he died from his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Australian Military Cross of Honour. Damien mentioned that Michael Bergin was President of the Sodality of Our Lady while a boarder at Mungret College and “would have prayed and formed his vocation to the Jesuits here in this space”.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/newsletter/jesuits-at-the-front/

Jesuits at the front
This year of commemorating Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War will continue with an exhibition by Irish Jesuit Archives at Roscrea Library, Tipperary, from 2nd to 31st October. It will focus mainly on Fr Michael Bergin SJ (pictured here), a Roscrea-born Jesuit who was killed at the front in 1917, and five other Jesuits who served as chaplains with the Australian army in the First World War.
Fr Michael Bergin SJ holds the distinction of been the only member of the Australian forces in the First World War never to have set foot in Australia, and he was the only Catholic chaplain serving to have died as a result of enemy action.
Born in 1879 at Fancroft, Roscrea, Fr Bergin was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and joined the Society of Jesus in 1897. From 1899 until the outbreak of war in 1914, he worked on the Syrian mission, which entailed his transfer to the French Lyons Province. When war broke out he was interned and then expelled by the Turks from Syria. While in Egypt in 1915, he become friendly with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF), then training in Cairo.
In May of that year he went to Gallipoli with the Australian Forces, having enlisted as a Trooper. He carried out his pastoral duties as a priest, and worked as a stretcher-bearer and medical attendant. After his formal appointment as a chaplain in July 1915, Fr Bergin suffered influenza, chronic diarrhoea and enteric fever at Gallipoli, and was evacuated back to London to recover. Even though it was obvious that he was medically unfit to return to the front, he insisted on doing so and was back at Gallipoli in December 1915. Due to his ill health, however, he was transferred to hospital work.
In June 1916 Fr Bergin went to France with the 51st Battalion of the 13th Brigade. He lived in the front trenches, hearing confessions and celebrating Mass. He accompanied his men through such battles as Poziéres and Mouquet Farm, and was promoted from Captain to Major.
On 10 October 1917, his battalion moved up to the Front line Jesuitat Broodseinde Ridge. The next day he was with the Australian Field Ambulance when German shell-fire severely wounded him. He died the next day. There are a number of different accounts of his death but he died the following day. He is buried in Reninghelst Churchyard Extension, Belgium.
One colonel who knew the padre remarked, “Fr Bergin was loved by every man and officer in the Brigade... He was the only Saint I have met in my life.” The citation for the Military Cross awarded posthumously but based on a recommendation made prior to his death read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/anzac-archives-and-the-bullshit-detector/

On Saturday 25 April, the annual dawn Anzac commemoration will take place. It is the centenary of the failed Anzac engagement at Gallipoli. Six Jesuits, five of them Irish-born, served with the Australian Imperial Forces in the First World War. Frs Joseph Hearn and Michael Bergin both served at Gallipoli.
Fr Bergin describes Gallipoli in 1915: “There are times here when you would think this was the most peaceful corner of the earth – peaceful sea, peaceful men, peaceful place; then, any minute the scene may change – bullets whistling, shells bursting. One never knows. It is not always when fighting that the men are killed – some are caught in their dug-outs, some carrying water. We know not the day or the hour. One gets callous to the sight of death. You pass a dead man as you’d pass a piece of wood. And when a high explosive catches a man, you do see wounds”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-the-sesquicentenary-of-the-arrival-of-irish-jesuits-in-australia/

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After his education at Mungret, Michael Bergin entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1897, and two years later volunteered for the Syrian Mission and was sent to Lebanon to study Arabic and French before moving on to philosophy at Ghazir, and in 1904 to teach in the Jesuit College in Beirut.
Bergin did his theology in England at Hastings, and following ordination did retreat work in southern England until returning to Syria in January 1914. With the outbreak of World War I, he was interned by the Turks and then expelled from the region to arrive in Egypt in January 1915. Bergin offered to assist the Catholic chaplains of the newly arrived AIP, and, though still a civilian, was dressed in a privates uniform by the men of the 5th Light Horse, and left for Gallipoli with them.
He acted as priest arid stretcher-bearer until his formal appointment came through in May, and he remained on Gallipoli until invalided home in September with enteric fever. A photo taken of him in slouch hat and emu feathers created something of sensation at home, but he was not there long, returning to work on hospital ships until January 1916, when he went to Egypt with the 51st Battalion. He followed the battalion to France, serving as chaplain during some key battles leading up to the attack on the Hindenburg line. In 1917 a long-range shell burst near the aid station where he was working and killed him.
Bergin never came to Australia, but was awarded a posthumous Military Cross and in the late 1990s was awarded the Australian Gallipoli Medal. There is a memorial to him at the back of the Cairns Cathedral, as the soldiers he mainly worked with were from North Queensland. His life is included here because of his unique connection with Australia.
John Eddy has an entry on him in the Australian Dictionary of Biograpy, p. 274.

Note from Edward Sydes Entry
He and the Irish Jesuit Michael Bergin, who served with the AIP but never visited Australia, are the only two Australian Army chaplains who died as a result of casualties in action.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Bergin 1879-1917
Fr Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, about two miles from Roscrea, on August 16th 1879. His early education he got at the Sacred Heart Convent Roscrea, and then at Mungret. In 1897 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg.

Together with two other scholastics, Mr Hartigan and Mr Fitzgibbon, he was sent to Syria and the University of Beirut. Here under the French Fathers, he did his Philosophy and Regency. While in Beirut he volunteered for the Syrian Mission, and there he returned after his ordination in 1913.

On the outbreak of the First World Ward he, with all the other priests and religious, was expelled by the Turks, and he went to Cairo. There Fr Bergin became Chaplain to the Australian Expeditionary Force. He came to France with them, and he was killed by a shell at Zonnebeke, North East of Ypres on October 11th 1917. He was buried near Reningelst.

His life story was written by his sister, a nun, under the title “A Son of St Patrick”, and it gives an idea of the steadfast, simple yet heroic life of Michael Bergin.

Burke, Arthur, 1905-1988, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/968
  • Person
  • 14 May 1905-13 August 1988

Born: 14 May 1905, Armidale, NSW, Australia
Entered: 18 February 1922, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 24 June 1937
Professed: 02 February 1940
Died; 13 August 1988, Clare, South Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

Second World War chaplain

◆ 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 by the Christian Brothers at St Mary’s, Toowoomba and then at the University of Queensland, before entereing at Loyola College Greenwich.

1924-1927 After First Vows he was sent to Dublin (Rathfarnham Castle) where he studied Latin, English, Mathematics and Physics at University College Dublin, graduating with a BA in 1927
1927-1930 He was sent to Leuven, Belgium for Philosophy
1930-1934 He returned to Australia and Regency at St Ignatius Riverview. Here he taught History and Science. He feel foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on morning during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.
1934-1938 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1938-1939 He made Tertianship at St Beuno’s Wales
1939-1941 He returned to Australia and teaching at St Aloysius Sydney
1942-1945 He became a Military Chaplain with the 2nd AIF, serving in the Middle East and Borneo, and when he retired he was a Major. He was well remembered by those who served with him for his kindness in writing home for hospital patients, and he was one of the few people who could get mail out at that stage. In subsequent years he attended reunions of his regiment, and ANZAC Day dawn services was a feature of his life.
1945-1947 He went back teaching at St Aloysius College Sydney
1947-1949 He was sent to Sevenhill
1950-1953 he was sent to do parish work at Toowong Brisbane
1953 He returned to Sevenhill where his contact with the people and as chaplain at the Clare Hospital gained him a reputation of a man of compassion, not only with his own parishioners, but with those from other denominations. He was a people’s priest, especially for children, the sick and elderly.
He spent most of his priestly life working among the people of Clare and Sevenhill. he was much loved, and portraits of him hang at Sevenhill and the Clare District Hospital. In total he spent 33 years there, and was much in demand for weddings, baptisms and funerals. A park and Old person’s home were named after him and he was named Citizen of the Year for Clare in 1986. At the 100th anniversary of the opening of the old sandstone-and-slate St Aloysius Church at Sevenhill, he wrote a booklet on the conception and building of the Church and College. Confidently fearless of electricity he made repairs and renovations to fittings and circuitry around the house. he also looked after the seismograph.
There were many legends of his driving ability. His pursuit of rabbits and vermin off the edge of the road cause fright to more than his passengers! His final act of driving involved hitting a tree in Clare now known as “Fr Frank’s Tree” which still bears the marks! Eventually some collusion between police and Jesuits resulted in his losing his licence, and he then relied on friends.
1972-1973 He was Parish Priest of Joseph Pignatelli parish in Attadale, Adelaide.

He was a man of charm and wit, humble and self effacing. Tall and lanky, with prominent teeth, he loved a laugh and always amused to see the mickey taken out of pompousness or self righteousness. He encouraged conversation and expansiveness. he was a man who was a natural repository of confidences, and his common sense and wisdom reflected an incarnational spirituality.
He was legendary in the parish as a fried to everybody, especially the needy or troubled. Eschewing denomination, he brought Christ to everyone he met, causing consternation among the more canonical when he celebrated sacraments with all denominations.
In his later years his forgetfulness was legendary too. He was often corrected at Mass by parishioners, late for funerals, using wrong names at baptisms and weddings.

He enjoyed being a pastoral priest and a Jesuit, was faithful to prayer and had a great devotion to Our Lady.He could preach at length and his liturgies were not the most celebratory, but they were prayerful and devotional. he communicated his own simple spirituality easily to others.

He always enjoyed the company of other Jesuits. He was a much loved and appreciated man

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942
Australia :

Writing on 21st February last, Rev. Fr. Meagher Provincial, reports Fr. Basil Loughnan has gone off to be a Chaplain. We have three men Chaplains now. Fr. Turner was in Rabaul when we last heard of him and it would seem we shall not hear from him again for some time to come. Fr. F. Burke was in Greece and I don’t quite know where at the moment.

Gough, James, 1700-1757, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1379
  • Person
  • 25 July 1700-25 January 1757

Born: 25 July 1700, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Entered: 11 September 1721, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 27 November 1729, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1737
Died: 25 January 1757, Irish College, Santiago de Compostela, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias St Leger

1754 At Compostella teaching
Was a Doctor of Divinity. Taught Grammar, Theology and Philosophy

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Writer and Professor of Theology
1725 Father Gorman desires to be remembered to Father James St Leger (McDonald’s “Irish Colleges Abroad” and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)
His Theological MSS are at Salamanca

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of William and Joan née St. Leger - like many Irishman in Spain he used his mother’s name (such practice was used by Irishmen in Spain in an attempt to outwit the English authorities who were intercepting correspondence between Irish families and their sons in Spain)
Had studied at Santiago before Ent 11 September 1721 Villagarcía
After First Vows completed his Philosophy at Palencia, and then went to Royal College Salamanca where he studied Theology and was Ordained there 04 December 1729. He continued his studies there graduating with a DD
1732-1738 Professor of Philosophy successively at Royal College Salamanca, Mithymna, Medina del Campo, Valladolid.
1738-1741 He then returned to Royal College Salamanca to hold a Chair of Theology
1741-1757 At Compostella where he had a Chair of Theology until his death there 25 January 1757
Ignatius Kelly and Thomas Hennessy tried to have St Leger sent to the Irish Mission. The Provincial of CAST agreed with the proposal but only on the condition that Ignatius Kelly should return to Spain to take up the Rectorship of the Irish College, Salamanca. The clergy and people of Waterford prevented the exchange of the two Jesuits

Hurley, Michael, 1923-2011, Jesuit priest and ecumenist

  • IE IJA J/775
  • Person
  • 10 May 1923-15 April 2011

Born: 10 May 1923, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 10 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 15 August 1954, Leuven, Belgium
Professed: 03 February 1958
Died: 15 April 2011, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Older brother of Jimmy - RIP 2020

Founder of the Irish School of Ecumenics 1971
Founder of the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation, Derry, 1983

by 1952 at Leuven (BEL M) studying
by 1957 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1981 at Nairobi Kenya (AOR) Sabbatical

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Hurley, Michael Anthony
by Turlough O'Riordan

Hurley, Michael Anthony (1923–2011), ecumenist and theologian, was born on 10 May 1923 in Ardmore, Co. Waterford, the eldest of four children (two boys and two girls) of Michael Hurley, a small businessman, and his wife Johanna (née Foley), who kept a guest house. He won a scholarship to board at the Cistercian Trappist Mount Melleray Abbey (1935–40), and on 10 September 1940 entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park, Co. Laois, drawn to the order's intellectual reputation. He studied classics at UCD (1942–5), graduating BA, and philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly (1945–8), before teaching Latin and Irish at Mungret College, Limerick (1948–51). At Mungret, he established a reputation for radical, independent thinking. He set up a study circle that examined Marxist texts, and published an assessment of The Communist manifesto in the Irish Monthly (1948). A brief student hunger strike at the college (in protest at poor food) was blamed on Hurley by his provincial, and when he was observed by Garda special branch entering the communist book shop in Pearse Street, Dublin, in clerical garb, gardaí visited Mungret to notify his superiors.

He studied theology at Louvain (1951–5), and was much influenced by the ecumenist Professor Georges Dejaifve. Interested in workers' councils, Hurley spent summers volunteering with the Young Christian Workers in the Charleroi coal mines in Belgium (1951) and in a steel factory in the south of France (1952). He was ordained at Louvain on 15 August 1954. His postgraduate work at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1956–8) (where his rector was the ecumenical Charles Boyer, SJ) resulted in a doctorate in theology (1961), published as Scriptura sola: Wyclif and his critics (1960), in which Hurley posited a traditionalist view of the teachings and biblical exegesis of the dissident English priest John Wyclif (d. 1384).

Returning to Ireland, Hurley was appointed professor of dogmatic theology to the Jesuit faculty of theology at Milltown Park, Dublin (1958–70). He was instrumental in establishing an annual series of public lectures (1960–81) which anticipated many of the themes addressed by the second Vatican council (1962–5), and propagated its teaching. His lecture on 'The ecumenical movement' (9 March 1960), benefiting from the guidance he received from Raymond Jenkins (1898–1998), later Church of Ireland archdeacon of Dublin (1961–74) (who introduced Hurley to George Tyrrell (qv) and anglican theologians), was published as Towards Christian unity (1961) and praised by Fr Denis Faul (qv). Although Archbishop John Charles McQuaid (qv) of Dublin and Hurley's Jesuit superiors opposed his accepting an invitation to lecture the TCD Student Christian Movement (May 1962), Hurley gave the lecture off campus; it was later published in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record (1962). He also lectured methodist theological students at Edgehill Theological College, Belfast (1963), and addressed lay groups such as Muintir na Tíre and Tuairim at ecumenical forums from the early 1960s. Delivering the annual Aquinas lecture at QUB in March 1964, Hurley suggested the Vatican council pursue church reform to 'restore once again that diversity of rite and usage and human tradition which is the authentic and due manifestation of true Christian unity' (Ir. Times, 9 March 1964). In May 1966 the Irish Times intended to reprint his article on mixed marriages from the Irish Furrow, but this was halted at the last minute by McQuaid. Hurley's April 1968 Milltown lecture addressing original sin suffered a similar fate, and McQuaid sought to expel him from the Dublin archdiocese. Only the intercession of Fr Cecil McGarry (rector of Milltown (1965–8) and Irish provincial (1968–75)) allowed Hurley to remain.

A committed ecumenist, Hurley sought to confront the latent sectarianism found among both Irish catholics and protestants. His engagement with the wider international Christian communion, whose variety within and across denominations fascinated him, was marked by his coverage of the 1963 Paris meeting of the World Council of Churches for the Irish Press, attendance at the general council of the world alliance of presbyterian reformed churches in Frankfurt (1964) and at the World Methodist Council in London (1966), and lecture on the catholic doctrine of baptism to presbyterian students at Assembly's College, Belfast (February 1968). He was a member of the organising committees that established the Glenstal (June 1964) and Greenhills (January 1966) unofficial ecumenical conferences, ensuring that presbyterian and methodist representatives were invited to the former, and edited collected papers from these conferences in Church and eucharist (1966) and Ecumenical studies: baptism and marriage (1968).

Hurley's contacts with methodists led to his appointment (1968–76) to the joint commission between the Roman catholic church and World Methodist Council. He was attracted to the ecumenical nature of the spirituality of John Wesley (qv), and edited Wesley's Letter to a Roman catholic (1968) (originally published in 1749 in Dublin), which required adroit navigation on either side of the denominational divide. Hurley's Theology of ecumenism (1969) concisely summarised the relevant theology, urging participative ecumenism and the ecumenising of clerical theological education, which provoked further opposition from McQuaid. To mark the centenary of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland, Hurley edited Irish anglicanism 1869–1969 (1970), comprising essays by Augustine Martin (qv) and John Whyte (qv) among others. In its conclusion, Hurley argued that 'Christian disunity is a contradiction of the church's very nature' (p. 211). At its launch, the book was presented to anglican primate George Otto Simms (qv) during an ecumenical service that was broadcast live on RTÉ (15 April 1970). Reviewing in the Furrow (October 1970), Monsignor Tomás Ó Fiaich (qv) commended the volume's 'spirit of mutual respect and genuine reflection'.

In October 1970 Hurley founded the interdenominational Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE). An independent institution, unattached to a theological college or university department, it had patrons from the anglican, catholic, methodist and presbyterian churches in Ireland. Based in Pembroke Park, Dublin, it was named Bea House after the Jesuit cardinal who had piloted Vatican II's decree on ecumenism (1964), and adopted the motto floreat ut pereat (may it flourish in order to perish). The results of the school's consultation and research on mixed marriages (September 1974), addressing Pope Paul VI's motu propiro, Matrimonia mixta (1970), were edited by Hurley as Beyond tolerance: the challenge of mixed marriage (1974). This angered Archbishop Dermot Ryan (qv) of Dublin (1972–84), who complained to Hurley that the ISE 'was a protestant rather than an ecumenical institute' (Hurley (2003), 86). A well-regarded consultation marking the thirtieth anniversary in 1978 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights indicated the ISE's increasingly expansive and pluralist approach. It promoted ecumenism in pursuit of social justice, human rights and reconciliation, focused on training and education to spur inter-church dialogue, and communicated international ecumenical developments to an often insular Irish ecclesiastical world. In 1980 Hurley resigned as ISE director, primarily to improve the school's relations with the catholic hierarchy.

A sabbatical (1980–81), spent travelling in Africa, the Middle East, China and Europe, led to a profound period of spiritual reflection. Hurley was perturbed at the continued resistance to both practical and theological ecumenism by evangelical protestants and the Roman catholic hierarchy, and at how Orthodox Christianity, which he experienced first hand at Mount Athos, viewed western Christians as heretics; he saw this schism reflected in the concomitant stance of conservative catholic theologians towards reformed Christianity. After visiting a variety of Christian communities, Hurley decided to found an interdenominational religious residential community. Developing the idea with the support of Joseph Dargan, SJ, his Irish provincial, he consulted widely among friends and religious communities of varying denominations, and conceived of a liturgical community of prayer combining facets of a Benedictine monastery and Jesuit house, engaging in apostolic outreach. The Columbanus Community of Reconciliation was inaugurated on 23 November 1983, the feast of its patron saint, as a residential Christian community on the Antrim Road, Belfast, to challenge sectarianism, injustice and violence; Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich agreed to be a patron. Hurley led the community until 1991, before withdrawing in 1993 aged 70; he remained a trustee until 2002. Despite deteriorating community relations in Northern Ireland, it made some discernible progress in ecumenical initiatives and dialogue.

Hurley was coordinator for ecumenism with the Irish Jesuit province (1995–2004), and led retreats as director of spiritual exercises (2004–11). His relentless promotion of educational integration and meaningful interfaith dialogue marked the limits of functional ecumenicalism. Anointed the 'father of Irish ecumenism' (Furrow, April 1996) by Seán Mac Réamoinn (qv), Hurley was awarded honorary LLDs by QUB (1993) and TCD (1995), and honoured by a Festschrift, Reconciliation (1993; ed. Oliver Rafferty), emanating from a conference held that year in Belfast. In his memoir Healing and hope (1993), he noted that he would probably have embraced presbyterianism but for his upbringing, and that 'while the change of terminology, and of theology, from unity to reconciliation, is a sign of maturity, resistance to it is also a sign that we are still wandering in the desert' (Hurley (2003), 122). The same memoir lists his extensive bibliography. A selection of his writings and reminiscences, Christian unity (1998), was followed by his editing of a history of the The Irish School of Ecumenics 1970–2007 (2008). At its launch, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin apologised to Hurley for his treatment in the 1970s by the Dublin archdiocese.

Having endured cancer for a number of years, Hurley died on 15 April 2011 at St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, after a heart attack. His brother James Hurley, SJ, was principal celebrant at his funeral (19 April) at St Francis Xavier church, Gardiner Street, Dublin; mass was sung by the choir of the anglican St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin. Hurley's sister Mary was, as Mother Imelda, an abbess of the Cistercian St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn, Co. Waterford. The annual Michael Hurley memorial lecture commenced at Milltown in 2012.

National University of Ireland: calendar for the year 1946; Ir. Times, 12 Oct., 7 Nov. 1963; 9 Mar 1964; 11 Mar. 1965; 1 Jan., 16 May, 2 Aug. 1966; 8 July 1972; 2, 9 Sept. 1974; Michael Hurley, 'Northern Ireland: a scandal to theology', occasional paper no. 12, Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh (1987), 26; id., Christian Unity: an ecumenical second spring? (1998); id., Healing and hope: memories of an Irish ecumenist (2003); Francis Xavier Carty, Hold firm: John Charles McQuaid and the second Vatican council (2007); Ronald A. Wells, Hope and reconciliation in Northern Ireland: the role of faith-based organisations (2010); Patrick Fintan Lyons, 'Healing and hope: remembering Michael Hurley', One in Christ, xlv, no. 2 (2011); Clara Cullen and Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh, His grace is displeased: selected correspondence of John Charles McQuaid (2013); Owen F. Cummings, 'Ecumenical pioneer, Michael Hurley, SJ (1923–2011)' in One body in Christ: ecumenical snapshots (2015), 40–52

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/michael-hurley-sj-rip/

Michael Hurley SJ, RIP
Well-known ecumenist and co-founder of the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE), Michael Hurley SJ, died this morning, Friday 15 April, at 7am in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. He was 87
years old.
He was Director of the ISE from 1970 until 1980. In 1981, whilst on retreat in India, he had the vision of an ecumenical community of Catholics and Protestants living together somewhere in Northern Ireland. He made that vision a reality in 1983 when he co-founded the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation on the Antrim Rd, North Belfast, in 1983. He lived and worked there for ten years.
He has written extensively on the subject of ecumenism and his publications include Towards Christian Unity (CTS1961), Church and Eucharist (Ed., Gill 1966), Reconciliation in Religion and Society (Ed., Institute of Irish Studies, Belfast 1994), Healing and Hope: Memories of an Irish Ecumenist ( Columba, 2003) and Christian Unity: An Ecumenical Second Spring? (Veritas) – the fruit of some forty years of ecumenical experience in both theory and practice. The book carries prefaces from the leaders of the four main Churches in Ireland who pay generous tribute to the author’s work- work which was once seen as quite controversial.
Michael Hurley was born in Ardmore, Co.Waterford and joined the Jesuits on 10 September, 1940. He was educated in University College Dublin and Eegenhoven-Louvain, before completing his doctorate in theology in the Gregorian University in Rome. He received an honorary doctorate (LLD) from Queen’s University Belfast in 1993, and from Trinity College Dublin in 1995.
He lived with the Jesuit community in Milltown Park from 1993 until the present. He was Province Co- ordinator for Ecumenism from 1995-2004 and writer and Director of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius from 2004 to 2011.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

https://www.jesuit.ie/who-are-the-jesuits/inspirational-jesuits/michael-hurley/

Michael Hurley
Referred to as the ‘father of Irish ecumenism’, Michael Hurley devoted his life to promoting unity in the midst of conflict and division.
Michael Hurley was born in Ardmore, Waterford, in 1923. After having attended school at Mount Melleray he entered the Jesuit noviciate, at the age of seventeen. As part of his studies to become a Jesuit, Fr Hurley was educated in University College Dublin and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, before completing his doctorate in theology in the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1954 and, having finished his studies, began teaching at Mungret College near Limerick in 1958.
Throughout his time as a Jesuit, Fr Hurley was a strong advocate for ecumenism, that striving for unity between the various Christian churches which was given real impetus at the Second Vatican Council between 1962-1965. Fr Hurley was a true pioneer in giving practical expression to the revised ecclesiology of the Council. He left his teaching role at Mungret in 1970 and then co-founded the Irish School of Ecumenics at Milltown Park.
The school dealt with relations in Northern Ireland at a time when the Troubles were very much a reality of people’s everyday lives. However, the then Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, did not approve of Fr Hurley’s work with the school, and a ban was issued on him speaking within the archdiocese on ecumenical matters. This was only lifted through the intervention of the Jesuit provincial in Ireland. Archbishop McQuaid died in 1973, but his successor continued his opposition against the school, and in 1980 Fr Hurley felt it necessary to step down as director.
This was by no means the end of Fr Hurley’s active role in ecumenism in Ireland, however. In 1983 he co-founded the inter-church Columbanus Community of Reconciliation in Belfast, as a place where Catholics and Protestants could live together. He himself lived and worked there for ten years before moving to the Jesuit community in Milltown Park in 1993. That same year he received an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast, and Trinity College awarded him one two years later.
From 1995 to 2004 Hurley was the Province Co-ordinator for Ecumenism, and the Director of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius from 2004 until his death in 2011, at the age of eighty-seven. In 2008, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin apologised to Hurley for how he had been treated in the past, and acknowledged the greatly important work he had done.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/ecumenist-and-friend-to-many/

Many tributes have been paid to Fr Michael Hurley SJ, who died on Friday 15 April at the age of 87. Hundreds attended his requiem mass in Gardiner St. on Tuesday 19 April. Considered by many to be ‘the father of Irish ecumenism’, he was co-founder of the Irish School of Ecumenics in 1970 and remained Director there for ten years. In 1981, whilst on retreat in India, he had the vision of an ecumenical community of Catholics and Protestants living together somewhere in Northern Ireland. On his return in 1983 he co-founded the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation on the Antrim Rd, Belfast. He lived and worked there also for ten years, always giving a sincere and warm welcome to visitors north and south. Read below for an appreciation by Donal Neary SJ, Parish Priest of Gardiner St.
MICHAEL HURLEY SJ
Michael had a huge capacity for friendship. He often remembered all sorts of details, great and small, about novices he had befriended. The renewed community life of the post-Vatican II years gave many Jesuits a new and more personal form of community life. This spoke to Michael, who was an active initiator of the first small community in Milltown Park, and this was the beginning of many sustained links with younger Jesuits, who, he said, kept him young.
He struggled with the loneliness of academic life, working hard not to let it limit his care and interest in his fellow Jesuits and many friends. Today we might call him an iconic figure – he was this in worldwide ecumenical circles, and a larger-than-life member of the Irish Jesuits. His sense of humour, as well as skilled diplomacy, got him through many potential crises. He invited us to many hilarious and kindly gatherings in Milltown Park, and even engaged us in humorous yet deeply spiritual plans for his funeral. A new book, a milestone birthday, a jubilee of priesthood or Jesuit life, to which people of many churches and ways of life would find their way — all of these could be occasions for Michael to gather his friends around him.
He allowed us share some of the frustrations of illness over the last years, whether in conversation over a good lunch or on the telephone. Jesuit students remember the famous occasion when a lecture he was due to give was cancelled as it was considered potentially offensive by certain Church leaders. We younger students looked on him favourably as one of the ‘rebels’ after Vatican II, always pushing the boat out a bit into deeper ecumenical and theological seas.
We might recall that Michael never gave up – on life which he faced always courageously, on his friends whom he thought so highly of even when we did not deserve it, on the church’s movement into ecumenism which he pushed on with patience and zest, and on God whom he heartily believed never gave up on him.
Donal Neary SJ

O'Mahony, Jerome C, 1869-1930, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/758
  • Person
  • 28 November 1869-24 April 1930

Born: 28 November 1869, Kilmallock, Co Limerick/Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 14 September 1888, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903
Professed: 15 August 1905
Died: 24 April 1930, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Older brother of Francis O’Mahony - RIP 1893 a Novice

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1892 at Exaeten College, Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1904 at Linz, Austria (AUS) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 43rd General Hospital, Salonica, Greece
by 1918 Military Chaplain : SS Egypt, c/o GPO London
by 1919 Military Chaplain : PL of C, Haifa, Palestine, EEF

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Older brother of Francis O’Mahony - RIP 1893 a Novice

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 4 1930
Obituary :
Fr Jerome O’Mahony
Fr. O’Mahony was born in Charleville, Co. Cork, 28 Nov. 1869, educated at Tullabeg, and entered the noviceship at Tullabeg (which had just become the novitiate of the province) 14 Sept. 1888. Here he remained for three years, the last of them as Junior, and then went to Exaeten for philosophy. In 1892 he was sent to Clongowes, where he was prefect for two
years, then a year at Belvedere, followed by five years at Mungret, four as master and one as prefect. In all, regency for eight years. After three years theology at Milltown he travelled to Linz for the tertianship.
In 1904, he was back in Mungret as prefect, a year in Galway came next, and then Mungret once more, prefect for five years. The Crescent had him as Minister and master from 1911 to 1913. In the latter years he was transferred to Milltown, where he had charge of the Retreat House for three years.
The great war was raging in 1916 and Fr O'Mahony became a Military Chaplain. His first post was in Salonika, where he was stationed in the General Hospital. Next year he was Chaplain on board the SS Egypt, and in 1918 we find him at Haifa, Palestine.
The war over, he returned to the Crescent, where, for two years, he was again Minister and master. Then a year in Milltown in charge of the Retreat House, and another in Galway, “Doc. Oper”. In all, Fr O’Mahony put in 20 years teaching. The last change came in1923 when he joined the Leeson St staff as prefect of University Hall. There he remained for seven years, until his death on Thursday 24 April 1930.
Fr O'Mahony's was the second very sudden death that took place in the province during the year. In the morning he complained of being unwell, told the servant that he was not to be disturbed during the day and went to his room. As he did not appear at dinner people began to he anxious. One of the Fathers went to look for him, entered his room and found him lying on the bed, dead. He was at once anointed by Fr. Superior.
Fr O’Mahony's life was very like the lives of the vast majority of Jesuits all the world over. It was a life of steady, constant, hard work. Hidden work. Nothing striking about it to attract attention. It is one more example of the cog in the wheel, hidden in the body of the machine, working away unnoticed, but, at the same time, helping to keep the machine in motion and produce, it may be, very brilliant results. Such a life did Fr O’Mahony lead to the very end. In recent years we often heard about high class lectures, on practical moral questions of the present day, read in University Hall by distinguished men, clerical and lay ; and about the brilliant discussions that followed each of them, in which some of the leading men in Dublin took part. But we never heard a single word of Fr O’Mahony's connection with these brilliant gatherings. Yet this is what the “National Student” has to say on the subject : “Those who were present at these gatherings will remember how much of their success was due to the patient, persevering manner in which Fr. O’Mahony succeeded in inducing several of the speakers, not only to be present, but even - still more reluctantly - to contribute personally to a discussion that owed its value to its representative character. And the same quiet perseverance was often successful in bringing more than one distinguished lecturer to speak to the students in a smaller gathering at University Hall”. His life effort was, to a great extent, unnoticed by human eye, and what now matters to Fr O'Mahony - nothing at all. But that effort was constantly observed by another eye, from which nothing can be concealed, and that now matters, and for a very long time to come will matter a very great deal indeed. RIP.

Sullivan, Blessed John, 1861-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/415
  • Person
  • 08 May 1861-19 February 1933

Born: 08 May 1861, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1900, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1915
Died: 19 February 1933, St Vincent’s Nursing Home, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas, Co Kildare community at the time of death.

by 1903 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Sullivan, John
by Conor Harper

Sullivan, John (1861–1933), Jesuit priest, was born 8 May 1861 at 41 Eccles Street, Dublin, the youngest child in a family of four sons and one daughter of Edward Sullivan (qv), barrister, and his wife Elizabeth (Bessie) Josephine (née Baily) of Passage West, Co. Cork. There is an impressive perspective from the doorstep of the old Sullivan home sweeping down to the elegant and noble dimensions of St George's church, Hardwicke Place, where John was baptised into the Church of Ireland on 15 July 1861. Soon after John's birth, the Sullivan family moved to the more fashionable south side of Dublin where they settled at 32 Fitzwilliam Place. This was to be the Sullivan home for more than forty years. John had one sister, Annie, and three brothers, Edward (qv), Robert (who drowned in a boating accident in Killiney Bay), and William, a resident magistrate. According to the tradition of the time the Sullivan boys were brought up in their father's protestant faith and their sister Annie followed her mother and was raised a catholic.

In 1873 John and his brother William were sent to Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, as their older brothers had been before them. Portora's reputation had grown considerably under Dr William Steele (qv), an enlightened and progressive headmaster. John's years at Portora were happy. In one of his few published writings he gives an insight into his school life, writing of his first arrival at Portora ‘bathed in tears’, but when, five years later, the time came for him to leave he wept ‘more plentiful tears’. After Portora he became an undergraduate at TCD, where in 1883 he was awarded the gold medal in classics. Having achieved a junior moderatorship in classics, he started to study law. But in 1885 he was devastated by the sudden death of his father, then lord chancellor of Ireland. He subsequently continued his studies at Lincoln's Inn, where he was called to the English bar in 1888. Due to his inheritance, he was financially comfortable, and was noted for his fashionable dress and good looks. He travelled a great deal throughout Europe and was a cycling enthusiast. While in Greece he visited the monastery of Mount Athos and was deeply marked by the experience.

In December 1896, to the utter surprise of his family, he became a catholic and was received into the church at Farm Street Jesuit church in London. His family was ‘shell shocked’ when the news reached Dublin, according to Nedda Davis, granddaughter of his brother William. Not that the members of his family were hostile to his decision. His mother was a devout catholic but John had never shown any particular interest in religion. More surprises were to follow when his manner of life changed sharply. He adopted a simple style of living that was also reflected in his manner of dress. From this time he was a regular visitor to the Hospice for the Dying in Harold's Cross in south Dublin, and helped the poor in many ways. Then in September 1900 he entered the Jesuit noviciate at Rahan, which was known as Tullabeg, near Tullamore, Co. Offaly. In September 1902 he took his vows for life as a member of the Society of Jesus. Having studied philosophy at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, he returned to study theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained on Sunday 28 July 1907. He was then sent to teach in Clongowes Wood College in Co. Kildare. From that time, with the exception of the period 1919–24, when he was rector of the Jesuit house at Rathfarnham Castle, he was a member of the Clongowes community. Most of the boys whom he taught considered him to be different to other Jesuits. He was regarded as a holy man but, like many a good scholar, was a poor teacher.

His reputation for holiness went far beyond the classroom at Clongowes. He also ministered from the People's Church, which served as a chapel of ease to people who lived in the environs of Clongowes. He was much sought after as a confessor and spiritual guide. The poor and the needy found him to be a reliable friend, and he was a constant visitor of the sick. Stories of his care of the sick are legion, as are claims to have been cured by his prayers (detailed by Fergal McGrath in his biography). His reputation as a healer continues, and his cause for canonisation has been pursued.

Sullivan lived a rugged and ascetic life. His meals were simple, mainly a diet of dry bread, porridge, rice and cold tea. He slept little, spending most of the night in prayer. His room at Clongowes lacked even simple comforts. The fire in winter was lit only when he was expecting a visitor. His life of austerity and prayer reflected the hardship and simplicities of the early Desert Fathers. He wore the worn patched clothing of the very poor. To the time of his death he was in demand as a preacher of retreats to religious communities of men and women, which again provided an experience of holiness rather than eloquence. One interest from the past which he maintained was an interest in cycling. His old-fashioned bicycle was a familiar sight on the roads around Clane, and he was known to have cycled to Dublin on more than one occasion to visit the sick. When not travelling by bicycle, he usually walked, a stooped, shuffling figure.

Nothing is known of his political views at a time of political upheaval in Ireland. He always maintained close contact with his protestant family who reciprocated his warm affection and concern. His brother Sir William (d. 1937) travelled from England to be with him when he was dying.

He enjoyed good health until shortly before his death, maintaining his rigorous round of visits to the sick, giving retreats and working in Clongowes. On the morning of 17 February 1933 he suffered violent internal pain and was brought to St Vincent's nursing home on Leeson Street where he died 19 February 1933. He was buried at Clongowes but his remains were exhumed in 1960 and transferred to the Jesuit church of St Francis Xavier on Gardiner Street. The popular novelist, Ethel Mannin, based her novel Late have I loved thee (1948) on Sullivan's life.

Fergal McGrath, Father John Sullivan (1941); Mathias Bodkin, The port of tears: the life of Father John Sullivan, S. J. (1954); Morgan Costello, The saintly Father John: John Sullivan S. J. (1963); Fergal McGrath, More memories of Father John Sullivan (1976); Peter Costello, Clongowes Wood. A history of Clongowes Wood College 1814–1989 (1989); McRedmond; Conor Harper, ‘Father John Sullivan – a man for others’, The Clongowes Union centenary chronicle (1997)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/fr-john-sullivan-sj/fr-john-sullivan-sj-portrait/

Fr John Sullivan SJ: A short biography
ohn Sullivan was born in Dublin on 8 May 1861. His father, the future Lord Chancellor of Ireland Sir Edward Sullivan was a Protestant. His mother, Lady Bessie Josephine Sullivan was a Catholic. John was baptised in St. George’s Protestant Church on 15 June 1861 and brought up in the Protestant tradition of his father. From his earliest years John enjoyed the benefits of a home which radiated warm affection, high culture and sound scholarship.
In 1873 John followed in the footsteps of his brothers and went to Portora Royal School, Enniskillen in Northern Ireland which had the reputation of being the most eminent Protestant school of the day. He spent happy years at Portora and in later years admitted that he went to Portora “bathed in tears” but when the time came to leave he “wept more plentiful tears”.
After Portora, John went to Trinity College Dublin. He distinguished himself in his university studies and in 1885 he was awarded the Gold Medal in Classics. After gaining a Senior Moderatorship in Classics, John started to study law. It was at this time that his father, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland Sir Edward Sullivan, died suddenly. The shock had a devastating effect on John.
The promising young scholar left Ireland and continued his legal studies at Lincoln’s Inn in London where he was called to the Bar in 1888. At this time, due to his inheritance, he was very comfortable in financial terms, noted for his fashionable dress and handsome appearance. He travelled extensively around Europe and was a keen cycling enthusiast. He stayed at the Orthodox monastery of Mount Athos in Greece and was friendly with the monks.
Then, in December 1896 at the age of 35, he made a momentous decision. He was received into the Catholic Church at the Jesuit Church, Farm Street, London. From this time onward a marked changed was noted in his manner of living. On returning to the family home in Dublin, he stripped his room of anything that was superfluous, satisfying himself with the simplest of furniture on a carpetless floor. The young man, who was formerly noted for his fashionable dress, contented himself with the plainest of clothes.
He became a regular visitor to Dublin hospitals and convents where he was a welcome visitor. He had a remarkable gift for putting patients in good humour and showed special sympathy toward the old, bringing them gifts of snuff or packages of tea and reading for them from religious books.
In September 1900 John Sullivan decided to enter the Society of Jesus. The two years of novitiate in St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, were followed by studies in philosophy at Stonyhurst College in England. From the beginning, he was clearly different to other Jesuits. He gave himself completely to his new way of life. All who lived with him were struck by his dedication to prayer and to religious life. Despite his outstanding gifts, he never paraded his knowledge but was always careful to help others whenever possible.
In 1904 he came to Milltown Park to study theology and he was ordained a priest on 28 July 1907. He was then appointed to the staff in Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare where he was to spend the greater part of his life as a Jesuit, apart from the period 1919-1924 when he was Rector of Rathfarnham Castle, the Jesuit House of Studies in Dublin.
Fr. John’s reputation for holiness spread rapidly around Clongowes and the neighbourhood. Despite his brilliant mind and academic achievements it was his holiness that was recognised. Many revered him as a saint. He prayed constantly – he walked with God continually – he listened to Him and he found Him and God worked through him. Many who were in need of spiritual or physical healing flocked to him and asked his prayers – and strange things happened. The power of God seemed to work through him and many were cured.
He was always available to the sick, the poor, anyone in need. The call to serve God in serving those who suffered in any way was a driving force for the rest of his life. He was always caring for others – a source of comfort and peace to anyone in trouble. He brought many to God by pointing out the way that leads to the deepest and ultimate peace. He was always at prayer whenever possible. Every available moment was spent in the chapel.
He walked with God and lived every conscious moment in his nearer presence. At times he hardly seemed to notice the ordinary world around him. He was in constant union with his Maker and cared little for the material things of life. One old lady who lived near Clongowes managed to penetrate the secret of his extraordinary holiness: “Fr. Sullivan is very hard on himself – but he is never hard on others”. He ate the plainest of food and lived a life of severe penance. He left everything in order to follow the call of his Lord and Master and he found the riches of a different order. What a contrast with the rich young man of his earlier years!
Fr John Sullivan died in the old St. Vincent’s Nursing Home in Leeson Street, a short distance from the Sullivan family home on 19 February 1933. Since that time, he has been revered by many as a saint. During his lifetime many flocked to him in times of trouble and anxiety, confident of the power of his prayers – and that confidence continues. He is still loved and remembered.
Declared:
Servant of God in September 1960; Venerable November 2014; Beatified 13 May 2017

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/gavin-t-murphy/blessedly-funny/

Blessedly funny
Blessed Elect John Sullivan once asked a student what the ladies were like in his Latin class, to which the student replied ‘Rather plain.’ A gleam of amusement came into Father John’s eyes as he exclaimed: “In God’s name, there, I didn’t mean that. What are they like in Latin?”
It is in this light that I look into the personality of probably the holiest Irish Jesuit in tangible memory (1861-1933). So much of our lives are influenced by early days. John came from a blessed childhood in a happy, loving home. He had three brothers and one sister to play with as he grew up in Dublin and his parents invested in his education at Portora Royal School in County Fermanagh.
John won the college gold medal in Classics at Trinity College Dublin and later pursued law. Through a long, slow process of conversion, John’s protestant viewpoint became a Catholic one, and he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1900. A fellow-novice Mgr. John Morris stated, ‘Were it not for his sense of humour, he might have awed us, as all were conscious that he was very holy.’
He was fast-tracked to the priesthood and sent to Clongowes Wood College, the Jesuit boarding school in County Kildare. Schoolboy John Fitzgerald remembered him fondly: “Meeting you on a stone corridor on a bleak cold winter’s evening he would clap those hands and say, ‘Cheer up, cheer up’. Yes, we loved Father John, or Father Johnny O as we used to call him.”
Moreover, Father Sullivan expressed himself through his physical appearance. “His boots were mended and mended again and again until they became a joke, but when people tried to get him a new pair he would have none of it.” For someone who was once dubbed the best dressed man in Dublin, his old friends and family must have been stirred by this drastic change, in line with the ruggedness of St. Francis of Assisi, one of his favourite saints.
Father John was not dependent on external conditions to make him happy. He beamed with the inner joy of faith and tried to guide others along their paths. He once recounted to a fellow-Jesuit, with an appreciative smile, his efforts to get an old man to take the pledge. “Ah Father,” was the reply, “you never saw a jolly party round a pump.”
I am inspired to follow in Father John’s footsteps; it is delightful to see how his wit was compatible with his holiness. Like him, I pledge to embrace the cheerfulness of our Church.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-sullivan-the-last-witness/

Fr Sullivan: the last witness
Fr John Fitzgerald SJ, the last surviving Jesuit to have been taught in Clongowes by Fr John Sullivan, shared some precious memories at the commemorative Mass :

The bones of Fr John Sullivan are your precious possession. They draw his clients from near and far. If John is beatified, St Francis Xavier’s will be a place of pilgrimage like St Thomas a’Becket is at Canterbury, Blessed Pope John XXIII at St Peter’s, Bl. Mother Teresa at Calcutta, and as Cardinal Newman will be at the Oratory in Birmingham. The people in a quiet corner of County Kildare still keep such fond memories of John. They were greatly saddened when his bones were taken away from them for Gardiner Street in 1961. It is a sad separation they will always feel. In fact his grave has been visited ever since.
The relocation of Father’s bones is as good for his cause as it is for you who give them this new home. You have always by your devotion shown how grateful you are to have him. You bring him day by day the stories of your needs – they are always pressing and often sad. John listens – he was always a ready and eager listener to others’ worries.
Coming to St Francis Xavier’s was in a sense a homecoming. John had been baptised in Temple Street (St George’s), and Dublin was his home until he joined the Jesuits. During the years in Clongowes, the City’s hospitals, the Mater included, were within range of his trusty old bicycle.
Sometimes people have asked me what was he really like. Some have a nagging impression that he must have been an ascendancy type, as his father was a baronet and he had passed through Portora Royal School to Trinity College. My own memory of him – clear and vivid – is of a humble, entirely self-effacing person, riveted on the one thing necessary, the commandment of love. He was completely focussed on the needs of others, particularly of the poor and suffering. For him the face of the Lord was there. Gardiner Street would have been an ideal assignment with so much sickness, suffering and poverty all around in the hungry years between the wars.
Clongowes in its rural isolation does not seem an ideal place for one so drawn to the poor and suffering. I knew John in the last three years of his life – my memories are boy’s memories – a child’s impressions – but still so vivid. His appearance so well captured in Sean Keating’s drawing – the sunken cheeks, the fine crop of brown hair, the bowed head, the penetrating eyes – a true man of God. I remember his wrinkled leathery hands. Meeting you on a stone corridor on a bleak cold winter’s evening he would clap those hands and say “Cheer up, cheer up, cheer up”. He well knew the mood of small boys – short of funds, nursing chilblains and facing into two hours’ study. I have a memory of Johnny O shuffling quickly from the sacristy, head bowed, halting at the altar rails – a welcome interruption to the evening rosary. Always he would describe a visit he had made to some sick or dying person. He was no gifted story-teller, no gifted preacher. There were no embellishments; sincerity shone through, telling of his complete devotion to the sick and needy.
John was occupied with the People’s Church and the boys’ spiritual needs with very little teaching. He took the smallest ones for Religion classes. Often we delighted to annoy him by rowdiness and irreverence. This drew the condemnation we intended: “Audacious fellow – pugnacious fellow!” Deep down we revered him, but we played on him.
If some day you visit the Boys’ Chapel, you see at the back on your left Fr John’s Confessional. The “toughs” – the ones never selected as prefects and who won no prizes – were most often there. The smaller boys would crowd into his very bare room after supper. We would come away with rosaries and Agnus Deis which John got from convents he knew. The People’s Church is the easiest place for a visitor to find. There is where John spent long hours and helped so many in times of trial. There he prayed long after the boys were tucked in bed.
Father John was our Spiritual Father. His life and interests revolved round the boys’ spiritual needs. He took no part and had no interest in our games – never appeared at matches, debates, concerts or plays. Free time meant time for prayer or the sick. No use asking Johnny O to pray for victory at Croke Park today, but he will listen to your sorrows, he will pray for your sick and departed ones.
The day of Fr John’s funeral in 1933 comes back clearly. I was in the youngest group and so was up front in the Chapel, and near the coffin. I tried without success to cut off a splinter – as a keepsake, a relic. We had been privileged to know Fr John for three years. Not everyone is so blessed – perhaps only a few have been close to saintliness in one who so well mirrored the Lord Jesus, the Suffering Servant. It is a joy to be here in St Francis Xavier’s and to share your treasure – the Venerable John Sullivan.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 2 1933

Obituary :

Fr John Sullivan

Needless to say the entire Irish Province keenly feels the loss of one of its holiest and most esteemed members, Father John Sullivan. He died at St; Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, Sunday, 19th February, 1933.
The Father Rector of Clongowes has very kindly sent us the following appreciation, written by Father Mulcahy :
It was in Clongowes that Father John spent twenty of the thirty-three years of his religious life. Thirty-three years in the Society is a comparatively short time. but these years were so full that one must truly say that Father Sullivan explevit tempera multa. The impression left on us all is that he has left a blank that bewilders us with its greatness. One does not feel that he is gone from us. One half expects to and him going about his multitudinous spiritual activities as usual. Death, especially in a college full of young life, is usually associated with an uncanny feeling , but, for us in Clongowes for the boys as well as for the community the effect of his death is rather one of triumph, of pride in having possessed such a man of God, of still possessing him but with greater power to help, with a wider sympathy for our weaknesses and our needs, with a truer interest in us in those things that matter.
Last evening two Lower Liners were talking to me about him and the remark came quite simply from one of them, a very ordinary lad in a low class, “Sir, is it not a great thing to be able to say .that you were taught by a saint?, and the funny thing is that we knew it even when we ragged him a bit.” And the other chimed in in the patois of the Line. “Sir, you never hear of a man they knew was a saint while he was dodging about”.
Born in Dublin, 8th May, 1861, the third son of the late Sir Edward Sullivan, Bart., formerly Master of the Rolls and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. he was educated at Portora School. In the Clongowes Museum are three large silver medals won there:; for English Literature in 1877, the Steele Memorial Prize, ]uly, 1879 and another Midsummer 1879 " In Classics." . He graduated at T,C.D., where he won several medals. We. have one 1883, “Literis Humanioribus feliciter excultis. His classical attainments were of a very high order and not of the dry-as-dust kind, for he made several walking tours in Greece, Macedonia and Asia Minor to trace out in stone and dust the lore he loved.
1898 saw him received into the Church and on September 7th, 1900, we find him in Tullabeg. He did Philosophy at Stonyhurst, 1902-04 , Theology at Milltown Park, 1904-07. The rest of his life he spent in Clongowes, except 1913-14 when he was in the Tertianship at Tullabeg, and 1919-24 when he was Rector of Rathfarnham Castle - twenty years of unceasing care for the souls of the boys in the college, which care did not stop when they had left for the bigger world of life. A large sheaf of telegrams and letters received by the Rector expressing sympathy on the news of his death shows how this care was appreciated.
In charge of the public church attached to the college, he came into touch With an ever-growing circle of the faithful. His life, already more than fully occupied, was invaded by those who came long distances to ask his advice, to avail of his ministrations as Confessor, to ask for his blessing on the sick and, as they insisted, to hope for a cure even of cases despaired of by doctors. The poor and the sick and above all the dying were, one is hardly afraid to say, his “joy”. The reverence in which he was held and the confidence in him was shown very simply the morning of his funeral. Father Rector had said Mass at 9 o'clock in the public church, the old boys' chapel. When the Mass was over the congregation moved up quietly to the coffin and all, many kneeling, blessed the coffin repeatedly, placing on it objects of piety, rosaries, crosses prayer-books, etc, Later when the grave, was filled in and bishop and priests and boys had moved away, the people who felt that now his power was greater than ever, came to carry to their homes some of the earth that covered him. “O Grave, where is thy victory”.
So our loss to the eye is a gain to our faith.
"One example, out of many that might be given, of the power of his prayers may be cited : A man was dying in a neighbouring town. He had refused to see a priest though urged to do so by the nurse who was nursing him and by the doctor. Word was sent to Father Sullivan to come to see him. Father Sullivan, however, was not able to go, but sent word that he would say Mass for him at 9 o'clock the following morning. At 9.30 on that morning the man of his own accord asked for a priest and was prepared for death which took place on that day.
Father Sullivan's last illness was very brief. On Monday, 6th February, the doctor ordered him to the infirmary, as, amongst other things, one of his arms was showing nasty signs.
This did not appear to be serious and the arm was practically healed on Thursday the 16th when he was allowed up. He said that he had not felt better for fifty years. About 11am on Friday he complained of very severe pains. The doctor was sent for immediately, and as he was not satisfied sent for a surgeon who declared that an immediate operation was necessary. At 3 p.rn Father Sullivan was removed in ambulance to Dublin, and was operated on about 5 pm. This revealed a very serious state of affairs, and the doctors could
hold out no hope of recovery. Father Sullivan lingered on until Sunday night, and died at 10.55. He had been conscious all Friday and Saturday, and had received Holy Communion
on each day. When asked how he felt his invariable answer was “' Wonderfully well, thank God”. After the operation he suffered very little pain.
Father G. Roche has been good enough to send the following extract from a letter :
Although never having met him, I know him well through the boys. I think the way they expressed themselves in their weekly letters home plainly tells what they thought of him. “Father Sullivan (we call him the Saint, Mum) is dying, you will be sorry to hear. By the time this letter arrives he will probably be in heaven. A strange coincidence, the night, Sunday and Monday, Jim (an elder brother who has left school) could not sleep thinking of Father Sullivan and his devotion to the Sodality, and he told me that he felt he must keep on repeating whatever prayers were usual, seeing all the time Father Sullivan. He was shocked when a friend passed him on a paper yesterday and asked : Did you know him?”
Father Roche adds : " Father Sullivan died at 11pm on Sunday, the very night that Jim saw him. A great many requests for relics have come to us.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

The Tribunal for the Informative Process in Fr. John Sullivan's Cause was set up by Dr. McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, on the 24th October, 1947. The first Session was held at Archbishop's House on 30th October ; subsequent Meetings will take place at the Presbytery, Upper Gardiner Street. Fr. Charles O'Conor is Vicepostulator. The following letter was addressed to the Province by Rev. Fr. Provincial on the occasion of the setting up of the Tribunal :

28th October, 1947 :
Reverend and dear Fr. Rector,
PX. In a letter dated 24th October, 1947, His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, writes :
“I have great pleasure in informing you that I have this day instituted the Tribunal for the Ordinary Informative Process in the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God, John Sullivan, Priest of your Society”.
The first session of the Tribunal, appointed by His Grace, will take place at Archbishop's House next Thursday at 12 noon. It is the first stage in a very long process which we hope and pray may one day have its happy issue in one of our own Province being raised to the honours of the Altar. I commend the Cause, now about to be opened, to the prayers of all ; and I ask each priest to say a Mass (first intention) and those who are not priests to offer Mass, Holy Communion and the Beads once for the success of the Informative Process which begins on Thursday.
May God, who glorifies those who glorify Him, be ever increasingly honoured in the honours given to His servant ; may Ours be more powerfully and effectively incited to strive for that sanctity proper to the Society by considering this new and contemporary example of virtue ; may our Province in its present necessities have in Father John Sullivan a powerful intercessor with God.
Commending myself to Your Reverence's holy Sacrifices and prayers.
I remain,
Yours Sincerely in Xto.,
THOMAS BYRNE, S.J.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Viceprovince, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November.

Irish Province News 27th Year No 1 1952

FR. JOHN SULLIVAN'S CAUSE :
As the result of close upon seven years of fairly constant work, official registration of evidence in the two preliminary processes De Fama Sanctitatis et de non-cultu, in connection with Fr. Sullivan's Cause, has now been completed. These processes provide the evidence that must enable the Congregation of Rites to determine whether the matter of the Cause is one deserving of the official sanction of the Church or not.
In all something over fifty witnesses have been examined: roughly about two thirds of whom were from the Province—the rest externs. Except for certain inaugural meetings of the Ecclesiastical Court at which his Grace had to preside (which were held at Archbishop's House) all but one of the meetings for registration of evidence have been held at Gardiner St.
At an early date in the proceedings Fr. Curtin who was acting Notary of the Court was replaced by Fr. Michael Brown, Archbishop's House, and somewhat later the first President of the Court, the late Archdeacon MacMahon, took ill and died. Very Rev. Canon Neary, already a member of the Court, was appointed new President and Dr. O’Halloran of City Quay was added to complete the requisite number of judges. Mgr. Dargan and Fr. Barry of High Street have been all the time attached to the Court. At all times the members of the Court have showed great interest in the Cause and have manifested a graciousness and generosity that has been most striking. They have had more than a hundred sessions involving their presence at Gardiner St. from 11 a.m. till about 4 p.m.
The next stage in the proceedings is to have all the evidence transcribed and collated with the original record after which al will be ready for transmission to Rome.
Great help has been given by many in the Province by the distribution of leaflets and relic cards. A considerable number of records of favours of most varied kinds has also been accumulated. From letters received it is clear too that a great many Masses and prayers are being constantly offered for the success of the Cause.

Irish Province News 28th Year No 2 1953

A further stage in the Cause of Beatification and Canonisation of Fr. John Sullivan was reached in the New Year : edicts concerning his Writings were simultaneously issued by the Archbishop of Dublin and by the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in their respective dioceses.

The following is the text of Dr. McQuaid's edict :

To the Clergy and the Haithful of the Diocese of Dublin.
In accordance with the Instructions of the Holy See, which requires that writings (if any) attributed to Servants of God whose Causes of Beatification and Canonization are being canonically investigated should be collected and examined we hereby command the Clergy and Faithful of this City and Diocese who possess any writings of the Servant of God, Father John Sullivan, S.J., such as sermons, letters, diaries, autobiographies, whether written by him in his own hand or by others at his dictation, to present themselves within the space of one month from this date at Archbishop's House, Dublin, for the purpose of handing over such writings or properly authenticated copies thereof. Any person knowing that writings of the above-mentioned Servant of God are held by others is bound to communicate his information to Archbishop's House, Dublin.

John Charles,

Archbishop of Dublin,
Primate of Ireland. Given at Dublin, this 1st day of January, 1953.

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

The final session of the Ordinary or Informative Process in the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God, Father John Sullivan, S.J., was held at Archbishop's House, Dublin, on 4th July. His Grace the Arch bishop, Index Ordinarius in the Process, presided.
In the lengthy final session, the Acta were read and signed by all present, after they had been formally authenticated by the Archbishop. The evidence of the sanctity and heroicity of virtue of Father John Sullivan, evidence in regard to his writings and non cultus, which had been collected during the course of the Process and transcribed into ten bound volumes, was placed in a specially-made oak container, sealed in eight places, inside and outside, by His Grace in the presence of the Delegate Judge, the Assistant Judges and the Officials of the Process. Six additional seals were then set on the container and it was entrusted, together with a sealed letter of His Grace, to the Vice-Postulator of the Cause, Very Reverend Fr. Charles O'Conor, S.J., Provincial, for personal transmission to the Sacred Congregation of Rites in Rome.
This evidence will be examined by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, which will then decide in regard to the holding of a further Process, known as the Apostolic Process, in the Cause.
The authentic copies of all the original documents in the case were then sealed by His Grace the Archbishop and placed in the Archives at Arch bishop's House, until such time as the Holy See may direct that they be reopened.
The case containing the evidence was brought to Rome in August by Mr. Seán Ó hÉideáin, Secretary at the Irish Embassy to the Holy See. It was given diplomatic coverage through the courtesy of the Department of External Affairs.

Irish Province News 36th Year No 1 1961

EXHUMATION AND TRANSFERENCE OF REMAINS OF FR. JOHN SULLIVAN
The exhumation of the remains of the Servant of God, Fr. John Sullivan, S.J., and their transference to St. Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner St., Dublin, took place on 27th-29th September. This step was taken by the Vice-Postulator of the Cause of Fr. Sullivan, Very Rev. Fr. Provincial, on the advice of Fr. Paul Molinari, the Postulator, and with the approval of Very Rev. Fr. General and the Ordinaries of the archdiocese of Dublin and the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, and the permission of the respective public authorities.
The proceedings at Clongowes were presided over by Right Rev. Mgr. James J. Conway, P.P., V.G., appointed Judex Delegatus by His Lordship the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, assisted by Right Rev. William Miller, P.P., V.G., Promotor Fidei. His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin was represented by Rev. Michael Browne, D.D., Notarius. Witnesses to the identity of the grave were Fr. P. Kenny, S.J. (who was Minister of Clongowes at the time of the burial in 1933) and two employees of Clongowes, John Cribben and Frank Smyth. Fr. Molinari, the Postulator, who had come from Rome, remained until a late stage in the exhumation; Fr. Provincial, Fr. B. Barry, Fr. Socius, and Fr. H. Lawton Rector of Clongowes, were present throughout. The doctors charged with the examination of the remains were Dr. Edward T. Freeman, Dublin, and Dr. George O'Reilly, Kilcock, Dr. Brendan O'Donnell, Medical Officer, Co. Kildare, Mr. Joseph Reynolds, Inspector, Public Health Department, Naas, and Mr. Patrick Coen, Chief Health Inspector, Dublin Corporation, represented the public authorities. The actual exhumation was carried out by two gravediggers from Glasnevin Cemetery, under the direction of Mr. John Doyle, Superintendent. Half-a-dozen members of the Garda Siochana, under the direction of Chief Super intendent O'Driscoll, Naas, were on duty to secure complete privacy for the proceedings.
At 10 a.m, on 27th September, the clergy, witnesses to the identity of the grave and gravediggers assembled in the Castle, and took the required oath not to remove anything from the coffin or to place anything in it which might be regarded as a relic. At the graveside all present were warned by the Notarius that the same obligation applied to them under pain of excommunication reserved to the Holy See. The exhumation commenced at 10.30 a.m. The day was fortunately fine, though very cold. At a few minutes before twelve, when the excavation had reached a depth of about four feet six inches, the breastplate of the coffin was found, and just as the Angelus was ringing, the outline of the coffin became visible. It was apparent that the headstone and cross had not been placed exactly over the coffin, so that what now appeared was one side of the coffin, This necessitated further excavation to remove the earth from the other side. It was also apparent that the lid of the coffin had decayed. From now on, the excavation was very slow, trowels only being used for fear of damage to the remains. About an hour later, the feet of the remains were uncovered, the boots being intact, Finally, when the grave had been considerably widened and as much as possible of the earth removed, it was found that the sides and bottom of the coffin were intact, and that thus it could be raised completely from the grave. This was accomplished at 5.40, and the coffin was placed in the hearse - again just as the Angelus was ringing and brought in procession to the People's Church and thence to the adjoining classroom. The two doctors worked from 7.30 to 10.30 p.m, preparing the remains for re-burial. These were laid out on a pallett covered with white silk and then transferred to the inner oak coffin, into which was put a copper cylinder containing the authentication signed by various witnesses, clerical and lay. The leaden coffin surrounding the inner coffin was then closed and soldered and sealed in two places with the seal of the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. During this process, Dr. Freeman dictated to the Notarius a full account of the exhumation and the medical findings. Finally, at 1 a.m. the leaden coffin was placed in the outer oak coffin, which was transferred to a catafalque in the People's Church.
Next morning, Fr. Rector celebrated Mass in the presence of the remains, the church being filled with the senior boys and many of the faithful. Immediately after Mass, pilgrims from the surrounding country side and even from distant areas began to arrive in large numbers and continued all day. At 7 p.m. a queue of over a hundred was waiting outside to secure admittance to the church. At 9.30 p.m. the coffin was transferred to the Boys' Chapel. The following morning, 29th September, the stream of pilgrims began again. Their devotion on both days was most edifying, evidencing itself by their kissing the coffin and touching it with beads, prayer-books and other objects of devotion.
At 2 p.m. the Absolution was pronounced by Fr. Rector in the presence of the Community and boys. The funeral procession then proceeded up the avenue, preceded by the entire school and followed by a large crowd of the faithful and some fifty cars. At the front gate, the boys lined each side of the avenue. The procession then proceeded to Dublin. At almost every house and crossroad groups of people had gathered, and knelt as the hearse passed. At Clane and Celbridge, schoolchildren lined the route. At Lucan, two Garda patrol cars joined the procession, going in front to secure an uninterrupted passage. On arrival at the city, a Garda motor cyclist gave warning to the Gardai on duty on the quays, who stopped traffic from the side streets. As a result of this careful organisation, spontaneously arranged by the Garda authorities, the procession reached Gardiner Street punctually at a few minutes to 4 p.m.
It was received on the steps of the church by Most Rev. Dr. McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin. With him were the Bishop of Nara, Most Rev. Dr. Dunne, the Archbishop of Malacca, Singapore, Most Rev. Dr. Olcomendy (who was visiting Dublin), Right Rev. Mgr. Boylan, Right Rev. Mgr. O'Reilly, Right Rev. Mgr. Glennon, Right Rev. Mgr. Deery and Right Rev. Mgr. O'Regan. The members of the Province paid a most worthy tribute to the saintly memory of Fr. Sullivan, some 250 of them being present. Though no publicity had been given to the proceedings, the church was crowded, Much credit is due to Fr. M. Meade, Superior, Fr. D. Mulcahy, Minister, and Fr. J. McAvoy, who acted as marshal, that the ceremony was conducted so smoothly and with such dignity. After the Absolution, the remains were brought to the vault which had been specially built, adjoining the Sacred Heart chapel. The vault was blessed by His Grace the Archbishop, who was assisted by Very Rev. Canon O'Donnell and Very Rev. M. Canon Boylan. The coffin was then deposited on two pillars of limestone, the ornamental grille was closed, and the ceremony concluded with the singing of the Benedictus by the Milltown Park choir. That evening, there was an uninterrupted stream of pilgrims to the vault, and the indications since then are that it has been accepted by the people of Dublin as one of their recognised places of pilgrimage.

The Roman Documents Referring to the Cause of Fr. Sullivan
956—1/960
DUBLINEN.
Beatificationis et Canonizationis
Servi Dei IOANNIS SULLIVAN, Sacerdotis Professi Societatis Iesu.
Instante Rev-mo P. Paulus Molinari, Generalis Postulator Societatis Iesu, Sacra Rituum Congregatio, vigore facultatum sibi a Ss-mo Domino nostro IOANNE PAPA XXTII tributarum, benigne indulget ut processus ordinarius informativus super fama sanctitas, vitae, virtutem et miraculorum in genere Servi Dei Ioannis Sullivan, Sacerdotis professi eiusdem Societatis Iesu, clausus sigillisque munitus in Actis eiusdem Sacrae Rituum Congregationis asservatus, aperire valeat : servatis omnibus de iure, stylo et consuetudine servandis.Contrariis non obstantibus quibuslibet.
Die 16 Septembris 1960.
+C. CARD. CICOGNANI,
S.R.C. Praef.

Prot. 956-2/960
DUBLINEN.
Beatificationis et Canonizationis
Servi Dei IOANNIS SULLIVAN, Sacerdotis Professi Societatis Iesu.
Clausus sigillisque munitus invenitur in Actis Sacrae Rituum Con gregationis processus ordinaria potestate in Curia Dublinensi instructus super CULTU NUNQUAM PRAESTITO Servo Dei Joanni Sullivan, Sacerdoti professo Societatis Jesu. Hinc Rev-mus P. Paulus Molinari, Postulator Generalis eiusdem Societatis, a Sanctitate sua humiliter postulavit ut dicti processus aperitionem indulgere benigne dignaretur. Sacro porro eadem Rituum Congregatio, utendo facultatibus sibi ab Ipso Ss-mo Domino nostro JOANNE PAPA XXIII tributis, benigne annuit pro gratia juxta preces: servatis omnibus de jure, stylo et con suetudine servandis.
Contrariis non obstantibus quibuslibet.
Die 16 Septembris 1960.
+C. CARD. CICOGNANI,
S.R.C. Praef.

956-2/960
DUBLINEN.
Beatificationis et Canonizationis
Servi Dei IOANNIS SULLIVAN, Sacerdotis Professi Societatis Iesu.
Rev-mus P. Paulus Molinari, Generalis Postulator Societatis Iesu, ad pedes Sanctitatis Suae provolutus, humiliter postulavit ut processus ordinaria auctoritate in Curia Dublinensi constructus super scriptis Servi Dei Ioannis Sullivan, Sacerdotis professi eiusdem Societatis, et in Actis eiusdem Sacrae Rituum Congregationis, clausus sigillisque munitus, asservatus, rite aperiatur. Sacra porro eadem Rituum Congregatio, vigore facultatum sibi a Ss-mo Domino nostro IOANNE PAPA XXTII tributarum, attentis expositis, benigne annuit pro gratia iusta preces: servatis omnibus de iure, stylo et consuetudine servandis,
Contrariis non obstantibus quibuslibet.
Die 16 Septembris 1960.
+C. CARD. CICOGNANI,
S.R.C. Praef.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Sullivan SJ 1861-1933
In Eccles Street Dublin, on May 8th 1861, John Sullivan, of Sir Edward Sullivan, Bart. later Attorney-General, Master of the Rolls and finally Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Sir Edward was a Protestant, his wife was a Catholic, and as was common in those daystheir daughter Annie, the eldest of the family was baptised and reared a Catholic, and the boys as Protestants. So, John Sullivan was baptised into the Protestant Faith in St George’s Church, Temple Street. John was sent to Royal Portora School in 1873 where he remained for six years.

In 1879 he won a classical scholarship to Trinity College, did his law degree at Lincoln’s Inn, London and was called to the English bar in 1888. The followed a period during which he travelled extensively on the Continent. In 1889 he was received into the Catholic Church by Fr Michael Gavin SJ, at Farm Street, London. Three years later he entered our noviceship at Tullabeg, and was ordained at Milltown Park by Archbishop Walsh in 1907.

He spent almost all his life at Clongowes, with an interval as Rector of Rathfarnham, 1919 to 1924. Being in charge of the People’s Church, he devoted himself with intense zeal to the sick and the dying, and acquired a reputation for extraordinary sanctity and the working of miracles.

He died on February 19th 1933, and almost immediately there sprang up, on the part of the people a spontaneous cultus to him. The initial step in his cause for canonisation was taken up in 1947 with the setting up of the Judicial Informative Process. The final step in Ireland was taken in July 1960 when the evidence as to his heroic sanctity was forwarded to Rome in bound volumes.

Meantime it was decided to translate his body from the cemetery in Clongowes to Gardiner Street. On Tuesday September 27th, the body was exhumed in the presence of official witnesses. It was not found incorrupt. On September 29th, encased in a set of coffins, the body was solemnly conveyed to Dublin, and placed in a beautiful new tomb visible to the public. There it lies awaiting the verdict of the Church, the object of veneration daily of hundreds of visitors.