Gubbins, James, 1889-1946, Jesuit priest

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Gubbins, James, 1889-1946, Jesuit priest

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11 February 1889-29 September 1946


Born: 11 February 1889, Kilfinane, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park. Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1924
Died: 29 September 1946, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1911 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1912 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Obituary :
Fr. James Gubbins (1889-1906-1946)

Fr. James Gubbins died peacefully in St. Vincent's hospital, Dublin, at 9.15 p.m. Sunday, September 28th, conscious to within a short time of his death. He had been in hospital since July 5th.
He was born on February 11th, 1889, at Cush House, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, and educated at Mungret College. On September 7th, 1906, he entered the Society at Tullabeg, where he spent his two years noviceship and two years juniorate, under Fr. James Murphy and Fr. Michael Browne. He was sent to Louvain for his philosophy, but as he got there an attack of rheumatic fever which nearly proved fatal, he was changed to Stonyhurst where he did the remainder of his course. His five years colleges were done in Clongowes and Mungret, and his theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained at the end of his third year, on August 15th, 1921, by Dr. Edward Byrne, who had been made Archbishop only a short time before. He made his tertianship at Tullabeg, 1922-3, under Fr. Welsby.
His first status as Priest was to the Crescent, where he spent the following nineteen years, as master, games-prefect, and as Rector from 1934 to 1942. He was an energetic, practical man, and in ordinary intercourse or in business, friendly, obliging, interested in people and their concerns. He made acquaintances quickly, and very many of these became friends. He had a wide circle of relations and kinsfolk in Limerick, and in a short time he came to occupy a very distinctive position there. He was one of the most popular and esteemed priests in the city and county, both with clergy, secular and regular, and with the laity. As rector he showed remarkable gifts of administration. The church is perhaps his chief monument at the Crescent. He found no difficulty in getting patrons and benefactors to enable him to carry out his plan of interior decoration which has made it the rich and elegant church that it is. The great advance of the school in numbers and prestige is due in great measure to him also. So popular did he become in Limerick, and so associated with the life of the city, religious, social and educational, that some of Ours used to say jokingly that his removal from Limerick would be likely to cause a “schism”.
In 1942 he came to Belvedere as Rector and in a short time had won his way to the confidence and trust of boys and parents. It was impossible not to be attracted by his friendliness and his practical, real, interest in all that concerned the school, the studies and games of the boys, the activities of the Past, and not least the newsboys' club. In 1938 he had been appointed consultor of the Province. In 1943 he was elected Chairman of the Catholic Headmasters' Association. He was thus soon in the full tide of successful activity and popularity and seemed likely to become in Dublin the figure he was in Limerick.
But serious heart trouble - perhaps the effect of his rheumatic fever - began to manifest itself, and he was ordered to rest. He did not improve, and it was decided to relieve him of the responsibilities of Rector. He was transferred to Gardiner Street as Procurator of the house. But his condition grew steadily worse. He was brought to St. Vincent's hospital in July. He knew he was gravely ill yet did not give up hope of recovery. He was always bright and courageous and full of trust in God and resignation to His will. Those who visited him in these last weeks found him the same Fr. James Gubbins, cheerful, bright and in high spirits. He had changed much in appearance, but he remained to the last the same courageous, friendly spirit he always was. He showed also the deep but unobtrusive piety which was characteristic of him.
Fr. Tyndall, Superior of the Residence of St. Francis Xavier, was celebrant of the Solemn Requiem Mass which took place on October 1st, and Fr. Vice-Provincial said the prayers at the graveside at Glasnevin. The church was crowded for the Office and Mass, many of the congregation being friends from Limerick. Not the least of the tributes paid to him came from the newsboys, who asked that some benches be reserved for them in the church.
On normal calculation Fr. Gubbins might be considered to have twenty years of fruitful activity before him. With his gifts and experience he could have given valuable service to the Province. His financial talents would have been very useful in the years to come. But God judged otherwise and found him ripe and called him to his eternal rest. With those who knew him well and especially with his contemporaries in the Society, the memory of his friendly, radiant personality will long remain vivid. May he rest in peace!


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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-


Gubbins, James, 1889-1946, Jesuit priest

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IE IJA J/168

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