Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Hannon, John J, 1884-1947, Jesuit priest
Parallel form(s) of name
- Hannon, John Joseph
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
24 May 1884-18 July 1947
Born: 24 May 1884, William Street, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1900, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1918, St Mary’s, Ore Place, Hastings, Sussex, England
Died: 18 July 1947, Curia Generalizia Compagnia di Gesù, Borgo Santo Spirito, Rome, Italy
Father General's English Assistant - 1946
by 1904 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1906
by 1913 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1918 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1947 at Rome, Italy (ROM) English Assistant
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
]ohn Hannon entered the Society as a highly talented sixteen year old, and after novitiate and one year juniorate, studied philosophy at Gemert in 1903. At the end of 1906 he was sent to Australia, and spent part of 1906 and 1907 teaching at St Aloysius' College. For the remainder of 1907 until 1912 he taught at Riverview, and in a reflection of his ability he was senior rowing master, 1911-12.
He returned to Milltown Park for theology and after ordination and tertianship he took final vows at the start of 1918 and began teaching theology, which was his basic life's work. He was rector of the theologate at Milltown Park, and in the late 1930s was apostolic visitor for the Irish Christian Brothers throughout the world. He became the English assistant in Rome and he died in office in 1947.
◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - English Assistant 23 September 1946
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Milltown Park :
On hearing of Fr. Hannon's appointment as Assistant, Fr. Rector sent a telegram of congratulation on behalf of Milltown Park. Fr, Hannon has been stationed here for a great many years. He was Professor of Philosophy and Theology and was Rector from 1924 to 1930.
Sacred Heart, Crescent, Limerick :
Fr. Rector sent a telegram of congratulation to Fr. Hannon, a past pupil of the Crescent College, on his appointment as Assistant.
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 3 1947
The sudden death of V. Rev. Fr. John J. Hannon, Assistant, on the morning of July 18th as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage came as a great shock to the Province, R.I.P. An account of his career appears below. Fr. Provincial sent immediately a message of sympathy to his Paternity in the name of the Irish Province. .
In his telegram announcing Fr. Hannon's death, Fr. General re called to Rome Fr. Van den Brempt, the Substitute Secretary for the English Assistancy, who came to Dublin on July 14th to perfect his English, and went on the Juniors' Villa at Balbriggan the following day. Fr. Van den Brempt left Dunlaoghaire for Holyhead on the night of Sunday, July 20th.
Fr. John Hannon (1884-1900-1947)
Fr. John J. Hannon, English Assistant, died suddenly in Rome, in the early hours of 18th July, as a result of an attack of cerebral hemorrhage. He failed to appear for his Mass at 6.30 a.m. that morning, and was also missed at breakfast. On entering his room shortly after 7 o'clock, Fr. Henry Nolan found him dead in bed, death having supervened some hours previously. The Superior of the Curia, Fr. Martin, the Italian Assistant administered conditional Extreme Unction. Fr. Hannon had been his usual self the evening previously, and had attended to various items of business, including the purchase of a ticket to Malta where he was due to give retreats in early September. He had been, it is true, under medical care for his heart, and was on a diet for some months previously, but few realised the end was so near, though he himself had given various hints that he did not expect to live long. The funeral obsequies took place on Saturday, 19th July after Mass in the chapel of the Curia, which was offered by His Paternity, who also said the last prayers in the Cemetery at Agro Verano, where Fr. Hannon's mortal remains await the resurrection.
Fr. Hannon was born in Limerick on 24th May, 1884 and went to school to the Christian Brothers and later to our College, the Crescent. He entered Tullabeg as a novice on 7th September, 1900, where he also studied rhetoric for a year as a Junior before being sent to Gemert in Holland for his philosophy. It was here that he began to show that special aptitude for scholastic studies to which many years of his later life were to be dedicated. He shone in a class of brilliant students, in the French house, which included men of the stamp of D'Herbigny.
The six years of his magisterium in the Colleges he spent in Australia, at St. Aloysius' and St. Ignatius', Riverview, and was for the final year Prefect of studies at Riverview. He returned to Ireland in 1912 and was sent to Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol for his theological studies, which he completed at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained on 31st July, 1915 by Dr. Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. He made his tertianship during the year 1916-7 under Fr. Ignatius Gartlan at Tullabeg, and was then chosen for a biennium in preparation for a chair in dogmatic Theology in Milltown, going to Ore Place, Hastings in the autumn of 1917. He was professed of the four Vows there on 2nd February, 1918. His biennium had to be interrupted when the new Philosophate was opened at Milltown, to accommodate our scholastics who had, owing to the threat of conscription, to be withdrawn from Jersey and Stonyhurst. Fr. Hannon was one of the professors, and continued teaching philosophy for the next six years. During Fr. Peter Finlay's absence in Rome as one of the Province delegates at the 27th General Congregation in 1923, Fr. Hannon had his first opportunity as a professor of theology, and those who attended these first classes will retain a pleasurable memory of his gift of clear exposition, his youthful enthusiasm for the subject treated, his delightful fluency in Latin. In 1924 he joined the permanent staff of theological professors and was also appointed Rector of Milltown, whose destinies he guided till 1930. During this period he did much to improve the status of the studies and the material development of the House. The Chapel was the object of his special predilection, thanks to the generosity of benefactors he was able to carry out a scheme of decoration which transformed its appearance and to install a new tabernacle set in priceless jewels. Fr. Hannon succeeded Fr. Peter Finlay in the public chair of dogmatic Theology in the National University in 1924, a post he held for ten years. Once a Week during each term of the academic year he lectured to an over flowing and enthusiastic audience, chiefly from the student body of University College, Dublin, for whom he worked exceedingly hard in making available to them in the columns of “The Irish Catholic”, the weekly lecture in full. A new feature of this professorship consisted in written examinations in the matter treated each year, with the offering of substantial money prizes for successful candidates. To an enquiry as to the attendance which these lectures attracted, the College porter once replied: “Why, it's like a Mission”!
Fr. Hannon was. Consultor of the Province from 1931 to 1938, when he was appointed to a post which made it impossible for him to continue in that capacity, we refer to the task confided to him by the Holy See as Apostolic Visitor to the Congregation of Irish Christian Brothers, shortly after the termination of the 28th General Congregation, at which he again represented the Province. In the discharge of his new responsibilities he bad to visit practically every land of the English speaking world. From these extensive travels he gleaned, incidentally, an immense experience of men and things, and first-hand information on questions of Catholic interest, especially the extent and influence of Irish Catholic penetration abroad which impressed him profoundly and was the frequent theme of his conversation and of the eloquent public lectures he delivered later to so many different audiences.
During the war Fr. Hannon bad occasion to visit Rome in connection with visitation matters. During his stay he was entrusted by the Holy Father with the task of visiting prisoners-of-war camps in Italy and giving retreats to Catholic officers and men from various English-speaking countries detained there. We can imagine the comfort which the genial presence of this special representative of the Holy Father brought the prisoners, not a few of whom he had already met when in Australia as a scholastic or whose people were personally known to him. Fr. Hannon went again to Rome as Province elector at the 29th General Congregation which chose Fr. Janssens as General. He himself was elected Assistant to the English Assistancy on 22nd September, 1946, the second in the history of our Province to be chosen to that post of responsibility, the first being Fr. John Ffrench, a Co. Galway man, who died in the Professed House, Rome, in 1873.
Fr. Hannon was scarcely 10 months Assistant, and of these ten months he spent about two outside Rome, on the occasion of his short visit to the Irish and English Provinces in January and February of the present year. A stranger hitherto to the latter Province he made a deep impression on its members by his affability, his wide experience and dexterity in the management of affairs. They and we were looking forward to the possession for many years to come, of such a kindly and influential ‘friend at court’, a wise and prudent counsellor, but God decided otherwise, and called him away suddenly in the midst of his unselfish labours.
The late Assistant was a man of deep unobtrusive piety, of a simplicity and naturalness which were the key to the ascendancy which he so readily won over hearts. He had, to help him, that precious talent of remembering names and faces and could, it may be said without exaggeration, resume again, after the lapse of years, threads of conversation where they had broken off, so retentive a memory he had for people's individual interests, those little joys and sorrows of others which never failed to find a sympathetic echo in his own affectionate heart. Homo sum - humani nihil a me alienum puto could truly, and in the best sense of the phrase of Terence be said of him.
His exceptionally clear analytic mind was paired with ripeness of judgment and practical common sense, gifts these which rendered him such an invaluable counsellor in Curia circles. But, for those who knew Fr. Hannon best, the outstanding gift to him from Heaven was that conspicuous splendor caritatis with which his least word or action was instinct, in whose genial glow hearts were fired, or the mists of prejudice and misunderstanding melted away. R.I.P.
Letter from Fr. J. A. MacSeumais, Air Force Chaplain, 25-7-47 :
“I learned only to-day from the English Province Chaplains' Weekly of the death of Fr. Hannon. R.I.P. I was deeply shocked to hear of it. I saw him for the last time on Tuesday, July 8th, when I said good bye to him as I was leaving Rome that night. . I met Fr. Hannon within a short time of my arrival in Rome on July 3rd. He had written to me previously and informed me of the very full arrangements he had made for me if I came down for the canonisation ceremonies of SS. John de Britto and Bernardino Realino. When I met him on arrival he was most kind and put me in the hands of Fr. Henry Nolan. I saw him every day during my stay at the Curia. He was always enquiring about how I was getting on, suggesting I should see such a place, and he went to great trouble to get me a seat in the tribune for the canonisation for Saints Elizabeth des Anges and Michael Garicoits on July 6th. He was finding the intense heat very trying. He took recreation with Fr. O'Donnell, the American Substitute, and myself on the roof several nights, but be used to retire early, because, he said, he could not sleep in the mornings and had to try to make up some sleep at night. I think he was very glad to see somebody from the Province. His Italian was not perfect, and he probably welcomed a chance of speaking to one of his fellow countrymen. May he rest in peace”.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
John Hannon 1884-1947
Fr John Hannon was one of the best known members of the Province in Ireland and abroad among both laymen and clerics, and was the second Irishman to hold the responsible post of Assistant to the General.
He was a Limerick man born in that city on May 24th 1884. Educated at the Crescent, he entered the Society in 1900. After his ordination in 1915, he became Professor of Theology at Milltown Park and lectured also in Theology at University College Dublin. After being Rector of Milltown Park for six years he was appointed by the Holy See as Apostolic Visitor to the Irish Christian Brothers throughout the world in 1938.
In 1946 he attended the 29th General Congregation as a delegate of the Irish province. There he was chosen as English Assistant. His term of office was, alas, only too short, for he died suddenly in Rome the following year on July 18th 1947.
He was a man of very handsome appearance, of great charm of manner, accompanied by great gifts of mind, an unusual combination which he used for the glory of God and the advancement of religion. He was much in demand for priests retreats and had a very fruitful apostolate among the sick in hospitals. To him we owe the present beautiful chapel at Milltown Park.
◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959
Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity
Father John Hannon (1884-1947)
In the foregoing pages, only Jesuits who have been members of the Limerick community have been noticed in the biographical index. Yet, this centenary publication would not be complete if it did not assign a notice to two Irish Jesuits who were never members of the community. Father Edmund O'Reilly undoubtedly had much to do with the restoration of the Society in Limerick, while Father John Hannon, an Old Crescent boy, became the second Irish Father Assistant at Rome in the four centuries history of the Society.
Father John Hannon (1884-1947), a native of Limerick, received his early education with the Christian Brothers and at Sacred Heart College. He was admitted to the Society in 1900. After his classical studies he was sent to Belgium for philosophy and later spent his regency in Australia. His theological studies were made at Innsbruck and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1915. At the end of his tertianship he continued his studies in theology in preparation for a chair at Milltown Park. For some years after his return to Ireland he taught philosophy. From 1924 to 1934 he occupied the public chair of dogmatic theology at University College, Dublin, while a member of the theological faculty at Milltown Park. In 1938, he was appointed Apostolic Visitor to the Irish Christian Brothers. His studies in this important post brought him to all parts of the world where the Christian Brothers have established themselves. At the end of the war, on the occasion of a General Congregation of the Society in Rome, Father Hannon was elected to the important post of Assistant for Ireland, England, Canada and Belgium (with dependent missions). He died suddenly in Rome some ten months later on 18 July, 1947.
Functions, occupations and activities
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Identifier of related entity
Category of relationship
Type of relationship
Hannon, John J, 1884-1947, Jesuit priest
Dates of relationship
Description of relationship
Access points area
Subject access points
Place access points
- County Limerick » Limerick City
- Austria » Innsbruck
- England » Sussex » Hastings
- Italy » Rome » Borgo Santo Spirito » Curia Generalizia Compagnia di Gesù
- Netherlands » Gemert » Kasteel Gemert
- County Offaly (King's) » Ballycowan (Bar.) » Tullabeg » St Stanislaus College
- Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Milsons Point » St Aloysius College (Sydney)
- County Dublin » Dublin City » Sandford Road » Milltown Park
- County Limerick » Limerick City » The Crescent » Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent) 1859-1974
- County Limerick » Limerick City » Sexton Street » Coláiste Mhichíl - CBS Sexton Street
- Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Riverview » St Ignatius College (Riverview)
- England » Kent » Canterbury (Kent) » St Mary's College (Canterbury)
- County Limerick » Limerick City » William Street
- County Dublin » Dublin City » St Stephen's Green (Dublin) » University College, Dublin
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