Haly, Robert, 1796-1882, Jesuit priest

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Haly, Robert, 1796-1882, Jesuit priest

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11 April 1796-01 September 1882

History

Born: 11 April 1796, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1814, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 28 September 1828, Fribourg, Switzerland
Professed: 02 February 1833
Died: 01 September 1882, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

in Clongowes 1817
in Friburg Switzerland 1826
by 1840 Vice Provincial

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of James Haly and Elizabeth née Flyn
Educated at Stonyhurst, where according to Hon R More O’Ferrall, a contemporary, he was the most talented and most popular in a class of thirty-six boys.
1829 Sent to Ireland, and brought with him a letter from the Bishop of Geneva, in which he is said to be “pietate, doctrina, aliisque virtuum meritis maxime commendabilis”.
1839-1857 Consultor of the Vice-Province
1839 Appointed Rector of Clongowes 19 May 1839
1840 Appointed Rector of the College and Residence of Dublin, 15 October 1840.
1844 Sent to Rome as Procurator of the Irish Province
1851-1857 Appointed Rector of the College and Residence of Dublin
1857-1879 Superior of the Missionary Staff
1859-1864 Superior of the Galway Residence.
“Almost every Bishop and Priest in Ireland, and many outside Ireland, with thousands of Irish Catholics at home ad in exile, will receive, like tidings of the loss of a personal friend, the announcement of the death of Father Haly..........The most of his life was devoted to Apostolic toils in almost every Parish in Ireland, either by himself or as Head of a band of Missionaries. Though the hoary head and bent frame of age distinguished Father Haly a great many years ago, his vigorous constitution enabled him to continue the works of the pulpit and the confessional till his years had fully numbered four score. His brethren in the sacred ministry will remember at the Altar this most venerable Priest and most amiable saint” (The Freeman’s Journal, 02 September 1882)
He certainly was most amiable and friendly at all times and to every one - “mitis et humilis corde”.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
The following story is told of Robert Haly by Joseph Dalton :
“During a Mission in Waterford in 1849, some of the ‘salters’ in the bacon store had no chance of getting to the ‘Holy Fathers’. They were kept busy all day and the crowds were too great at night. A group of them hit on the following plan to get to Confession : Father Haly was going home to the Parish Priest’s house, Annhill, after a hard day’s work. It was, I suppose, about 11pm. His road lay through a street in which a number of “salters’ lived. His attention was attracted by a strong light from one of the houses in front of him. On reaching the house, he found two men at the door. They accosted him very respectfully, apologised for delaying him, but asked him to walk in, as they had something to say to him. As soon as he entered, one locked the door, and the other told him plainly that they were poor ‘salters’ (about a dozen men in the room) who had no chance of getting the benefit of the Mission, unless ‘His reverence would forgive them for kidnapping him, and then sit down and hear their Confessions’. “And, your Reverence, we won’t let you out until you hear everyone of us’. Father Haly commenced at once and finished them all off. They went to their duty the next morning.”
Note from Edmund Cogan Entry :
There is an interesting letter of his in the Irish Archives, written from Palermo to Master Robert Haly (afterwards Father), then a boy at Hodder, Stonyhurst

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Haly, James
by David Murphy and Patrick Long

Robert Haly (1796–1882), Jesuit priest, rector of Clongowes Wood College, and missioner, was born 11 April 1796 in Cork city and baptised at SS Peter and Paul's, Cork, on 16 April. Educated at Stonyhurst, he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1814 at Hodder, where he spent his noviciate, being professed of his first vows in 1816. He studied and also taught at Clongowes Wood College (established in 1814 as an Irish counterpart to Stonyhurst), before travelling (1825) to Fribourg, Switzerland, to study theology. Ordained on 29 September 1828, he undertook mission work in Geneva before returning in September 1829 to Ireland, where he joined the Jesuit community in Hardwicke St., Dublin.

Professed of his final vows in February 1833, he undertook his first parish mission in Ireland at Celbridge, and soon established a reputation as a preacher of some eloquence. In 1830 he was appointed as minister of his community while still working as a missioner, and in 1836 was appointed rector of Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. Returning to Dublin in 1841, he worked as rector of the college and community in Dublin, before being appointed as procurator of the Irish province in Rome. A second term as rector at Clongowes began in 1842, a position he held until 1850. He served as the superior of St Francis Xavier's church, Dublin (1851–6), before moving to Galway as superior of the Jesuit community there in 1859. Alongside this appointment as superior in Galway (1859–65), he also served as superior of the newly established province mission staff (1859–76), restarting his career as a parish missioner.

During the next seventeen years he toured the parishes of Ireland and also travelled to England, where he supervised parish missions. By the end of his missionary career he had preached in almost every parish in Ireland and enjoyed a great public following. On one occasion in 1849, while he was engaged in mission work in Waterford city, a group of bacon factory workers kidnapped him. They could not attend his meetings due to their long work hours, and after he had preached a sermon and confessed the workers, he was released unhurt. In July 1857 he was appointed vicar general of the diocese of Killaloe. He was also involved in the erection of commemorative mission crosses in the parishes he visited, over fifty of these being erected during his term as mission superior.

In 1877 he suffered a severe stroke and, moving to the Gardiner St. community in Dublin, confined himself to light duties for the rest of his life. He died in Gardiner St. on 1 September 1882 and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery. He has left a substantial collection of papers in the Jesuit archives in Dublin, giving details of his missionary work and parish life in Ireland in the nineteenth century. Kevin A. Laheen, SJ, published a study of this collection in Collectanea Hibernica (1997–2000).

Times, Cork Examiner, 7 Jan. 1850; Freeman's Journal, 2 Sept. 1882; ‘Memorials of the Irish Province, SJ’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., i, no. 3 (June 1900), 163–4; Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., viii (1902), 95–6; Henry Browne, ‘Father Haly’, John Healy (ed.), A roll of honour (1905), 247–94; Peadar McCann, ‘Charity-schooling in Cork city in the late 18th & early 19th centuries’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., lxxxvi (1981), 33, 109–15; lxxvii (1982), 51–7; Hugh Fenning, ‘Cork imprints of catholic historical interest 1723–1804’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., c (1995), 129–48; ci (1996), 115–42; Kevin A. Laheen, SJ, ‘Jesuit parish mission memoirs, 1863–76’, Collect. Hib., xxxix–xl (1997–8), 272–311; xli (1999), 153–223; xlii (2000), 120–80; Tim Cadogan and Jeremiah Falvey, A biographical dictionary of Cork (2006); WorldCat online database (www.worldcat.org) (accessed Nov. 2007); information from Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, Jesuit Archives, Dublin; John Paul II Library, NUI, Maynooth, information from Andrew Sliney; Russell Library, Maynooth, information from Penelope Woods; information from Christopher Woods

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Haly SJ 1796-1882
Fr Robert Haly was our most renowned and universally loved missioner of the early days.

He was born in Cork on April 11th 1796, and entered the Society on its Restoration in 1814. He held many administrative posts, Rector of Clongowes in 1839, Procurator in Rome in 1844, Superior of the Mission Staff 1857-1879, Superior of Galway 1859-1864. But it is on his work as a Missioner that his fame rests.

During one of his Missions in Waterford in 1849, some of the “salters” from the bacon stores had no chance of getting to the “Holy Fathers”. They were kept busy all day and the crowds were too big at night. A party of them hit on the following plan to get confession. Father Haly was going home to the Parish Priest’s house, Anhill, after a hard day’s work at about 11 o’clock. His road lay through a street in which a number of the salters lived. His attention was drawn by a strong light coming from one of the houses in front of him. On reaching the house he found two men at the door. They greeted him respectfully, apologised for delaying him, but asked him to step in as they had something to say to him. As soon as he entered one man locked the door, and the other man explained that they were poor salters (about a dozen) who had no chance of doing the Mission, unless
“His Reverence would forgive them kidnapping him and then hear their confessions. And Your Reverence, we won’t let you out until you hear every one of us”.
Father Haly, though tired, was touched by their simplicity and faith, and he gladly heard them all.

He died in the residence at Gardiner Street on September 1st 1882, at the age of 86.

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Angliae Province of the Society of Jesus, 1622- (1622-)

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Angliae Province of the Society of Jesus, 1622-

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Haly, Robert, 1796-1882, Jesuit priest

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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-

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Haly, Robert, 1796-1882, Jesuit priest

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