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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.

Brown, Stephen JM, 1881-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/54
  • Person
  • 24 September 1881-08 May 1962

Born: 24 September 1881, Holywood, County Down
Entered: 14 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1917
Died: 08 May 1962, St Joseph's, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of Milltown Park community at time of his death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

not in 1900 Cat index
by 1903 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1920 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ not in 1900 Cat index - it would appear that he originally entered 14 September 1897 was dismissed by and reentered 16 March 1900, involving the Provincial P Keating and Father General.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online : Brown, Stephen James Meredith
by Catherine Moran

Brown, Stephen James Meredith (1881–1962), Jesuit priest, bibliographer, and librarian, was born 24 September 1881 in Holywood, Co. Down, eldest of four children of Stephen James Brown (1853–1931), solicitor and JP, and Catharine Brown (née Ross; d. c.1888/9). He was raised in Co. Kildare. After his mother's death, his father married (1897) Mary Spring (née Ball); they had a child.

Educated at Clongowes Wood College (1892–7), Co. Kildare, and the Royal University of Ireland, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg (September 1897) and was ordained a priest (1914). Interested in producing firstly Irish and later catholic bibliographies, he earned an international reputation as a bibliographer. Among his more important works are A reader's guide to Irish fiction (1910), A guide to books on Ireland (1912), Ireland in fiction, vol. i (1915; 2nd ed. (1919) reprinted 1969), The realm of poetry (1921), Catalogue of novels and tales by catholic writers (many eds, 1927–49), International index of catholic biographies (1930; 2nd ed., revised and greatly enlarged, 1935), Libraries and literature from a catholic standpoint (1937), and A survey of catholic literature (1943). He was a prolific contributor to several periodicals including Studies (and its assistant editor 1925–6); edited the missionary magazine St Joseph's Sheaf; also edited (1918, 1919) The Clongownian while still at Clongowes; and published many spiritual books, including From God to God: an outline of life (1940) and Studies in life: by and large (1942).

In 1922 he founded the Central Catholic Library (Westmoreland St., Dublin; later in Hawkins St. and latterly in Merrion Square), which was firmly rooted in the then popular ‘Catholic Action’ movement; he was hon. librarian (1922–32, 1935–59), joint hon. librarian (1959–60), and on several of its more important committees till his accident in 1960; he tendered his resignation in May 1961. A member of the Bibliographical Society of Ireland (c. 1919–1938), he was vice-president in 1924 and 1925, and president in 1926 and 1927. He served (1926–31) as a coopted member on Co. Dublin Libraries Committee. Elected to the executive board (1928–c. 1943/4) and council (1928–49) of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI), he became chairman (1933–c. 1943) of its advisory committee on book selection, chairman of the Irish literature committee (1940–41), and an honorary fellow (1953). In recognition of his services to catholic librarianship he was granted honorary membership of the American-based Catholic Library Association (1932). In 1934 he sat on the advisory council of the Spiritual Book Associates (USA).

He lectured (1928–c. 1950) on bibliography, book selection, and reference books at UCD's school of library training, of which he was a founding member. Appointed hon. librarian of the Academy of Christian Art, where he gave lectures and was involved in setting up and running children's art classes and at least one children's art exhibition, he contributed to the Academy's short-lived Journal, and was a member of its council and later (1942) its vice-president. His abiding interest in establishing a hospital library service in Ireland led to the founding (1937) of the Hospital Library Council, which he chaired (1937–43). He was also chairman of the council of the newly established Book Association of Ireland (1943– ) and an organiser of Catholic Book Week (1948). He belonged to numerous other bodies, including Cumann Sugraidh an Airm; he was general adviser and one of the founders of the Catholic Writers’ Guild (1926–9) and the League of Nations Society of Ireland. From c. 1947/8 he represented the Central Catholic Library on the committee for history and archaeology of the Irish Association for Documentation. He was founder and first president of the Catholic Association for International Relations (1937–49) and was apparently a founder member (1948) of the Catholic Writers Association; he was listed (1935) as a member of the advisory council of the Irish Messenger Press, and sat on the board of governors of the Gallery of Living Catholic Authors.

His enormous workload only began to ease in the 1950s. After ordination he lived at Milltown Park, Dublin (1914–15); St Stanislaus College, Tullamore (1916); Clongowes Wood College (1917–19); Ore Place, Hastings, Sussex (1920–21), and in Dublin again at Milltown Park (1922–5, 1941–62), University Hall, Hatch St. (1925–6), and Rathfarnham castle (1927–40). Seriously injured in a traffic accident outside the British Museum (1960), he died 8 May 1962 at the nursing home of the Brothers Hospitallers at Kilcroney, Bray, Co. Wicklow, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. A portrait by David Hone is in the Central Catholic Library. His personal papers are spread among the CCL, Irish Jesuit archives, Fingal county archives, and the NLI.

Catalogus Provinciae Hiberniae Societatis Jesu, 1897–1962; ‘Fr Stephen Brown, S. J. (1881–1962)’, Irish Province News, x (1962), 414–18; Catherine Moran, ‘Fr Stephen J. Brown, S. J.: a library life 1881–1962’ (MLIS thesis, NUI (UCD), 1998) (includes list of photos and portrait); idem, ‘Fr Stephen J. Brown, S. J.: a methodological case study for library history’, PaGes: Arts Postgraduate Research in Progress, v (1998), 111–23

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927

The Irish Rosary, May number, writes : Fr Stephen Brown is our most accomplished Catholic bibliographer in this country. He is also, as everybody knows the founder and guiding spirit of that admirable institution, the Central Catholic Library, which deserves more praise and publicity than it receives. It also merits more financial support than well-to-do Catholics in Dublin and the provinces realise. The Library is conducted on voluntary lines, no salaries being paid. " Supervisors " succeed one another from 11am to 10pm every day, Sundays included. It is owned by an association of priests and laymen under the patronage of the Archbishop. Fr S. Brown is the Hon. LibrarianThere is no regular income other than voluntary subscriptions. The Library was intended as a source of information on all subjects touching Catholicism, and as a source of inspiration for all Catholic activities.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 2 1943

The Central Catholic Library, 74 Merrion Square, Dublin, reached its 2lst year on 24th June. At the annual general meeting Fr. Stephen Brown, who is the Librarian, said he had received letters recently from several Irish Bishops requesting membership of the Library Association. The Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev. Dr. McQuaid, has become a foundation member. The Archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev. Dr. Walsh, and several other Bishops have become life members. There have been further additions in nearly all sections of the Library and the total number of book accessions during the year was 1,063. The attendances of readers at the Library have also increased during the past year, there being a total of 41,071 with a daily average of 112. About 2,400 books are borrowed each month from the lending department which has made marked progress during the year. Fr. Brown paid a tribute to the President, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Boylan, P.P., V.G., to the members of the staff and to all who helped in the work of the Association. The success of the Library is due chiefly to Fr. Brown's untiring labours as Librarian.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

Obituary :

Fr Stephen Brown (1881-1962)

Stephen Brown was born in Co. Down on September 24th, 1881, but as a boy he lived with his parents at Naas, where his father was a solicitor. He was at school at Clongowes and entered the Society at Tullabeg on September 14th, 1897, but in his second year owing to an attack of pneumonia and consequent lung trouble he had to leave the Novitiate. Though his name does not appear in the Catalogue for 1900, he returned to Tullabeg in that year and finished his novitiate. He remained as a Junior for 1901 and 1902.
He did his Philosophy course at Jersey during 1903, 1904 and 1905. From 1906 to 1911 he was a scholastic at Clongowes teaching mainly English and French. He studied Theology at Milltown Park from 1912 to 1915, having been ordained on July 26th, 1914.
After his Tertianship at Tullabeg he returned to Clongowes where for three years he taught English, French and Irish and was editor of the Clongownian for his last two years.
In 1920 and 1921 we find him at Ore Place, Hastings, as a Biennist in Sacred Scripture. During 1922, 1923 and 1924 he lectured on sacred Scripture at Milltown Park. In 1925 and 1926 he was Adj. Praef. at University Hall, Hatch St., while in the latter year he was Adj. Ed. Studies. Then from 1927 to 1940 he was stationed at Rathfarnham Castle, where for the first two years he was given as Doc. et Script, but in 1930 he was appointed Laet. Scient. Bibliogr. in Univ. Nat., a position he held until 1954, many years after he had left Rathfarnham. In 1941 he was transferred to Milltown Park, where he remained until his death in 1962. In 1950 we find him Cur, agit., Central Catholic Library, a post he held until 1960.
On the evening of May 8th Fr. Stephen Brown died peacefully in the Nursing Home of the Brothers Hospitallers at Kilcroney, Bray, Co. Wicklow. He would have completed his eighty-one years of life next September. It was quite evident for several months that a decline had set in and he was fully cognoscent of the fact. Many times he made remarks to that effect.
Fr. Brown must have had a very remarkable constitution. Looking back over the years...and the writer first met him in 1906- one cannot recall any illness. True, in more recent years he had to have a cataract removed from one eye to relieve total blindness coming over him, but apart from that, he had always remarkably good health and was very nimble even in his old age. The crisis came in September 1960. Fr. Brown insisted during the Summer in going to France on supply work. He was then seventy-nine and had sight in one eye only. On his returning in September he met with a serious accident as he stepped off the pavement to cross the the road in London's traffic. Fortunately he had only just left Southwell House - our retreat house in Hampstead, N.W.3 - in company with one of the community. He was anointed and taken to the nearest hospital. There it was discovered that he had a fracture in his skull and several broken ribs. Little hope was held out for his recovery. For months he lay helpless, but gradually his powers of recognition and movement returned and he was flown back to Ireland in mid-February 1961.
Now began the great fight-back which won the admiration of all in Milltown Park, and of those who came to see him. If any man had indomitable courage it was Fr. Brown, Slowly he was able to get on his feet and be helped to walk. His one ambition was to be able to offer Holy Mass, to recite again the Divine Office, and to return to the arena of his literary work. That he was able to stand again at the altar, and recite the Breviary, was due to the unselfish and untiring efforts of Fr. Paul O'Flanagan. It is literally true that the Mass had to be learned all over again, and likewise the Divine Office. Slowly but surely, with his mentor always at hand. Fr. Brown achieved his ambition. The one great handicap was his inability to walk without support. Though there were no leg injuries, he never succeeded in walking without sticks or without assistance. All the Summer and Autumn of 1961 there were hopes of complete recovery, but as 1962 dawned there were ominous signs of relapse. The mind which had become clear began to get blurred, and the walk practically ceased. He knew himself it was the beginning of the end. An accident of such a kind for a man of his age was just too much. Yet he worked all day at his books, articles, reviews and papers. He laboured through his daily Mass and Office and prayers until he could labour no more.
It is quite obvious that Fr. Stephen Brown's outstanding quality was his courageous tenacity. Once he had set his mind on any task, once he had determined on any course of action, he was almost ruthless in seeing it through. He expected the whole world to rally round him and lend support. Naturally, at times, such an attitude, while it attracts some people, it repels others; but it was the secret of Fr. Brown's magnificent achievements.
What were these great achievements? Space does not allow a full and detailed account of all this Irish Jesuit accomplished in his sixty-five years of religious life above all in his almost fifty years of priesthood. It is doubtful if any member of the Irish Province did such an enduring work. Let us see from the following enumeration:

  1. He founded the Catholic Central Library.
  2. He founded the first Lectureship in Librarianship in the National University.
  3. He had published more books, pamphlets, articles and reviews than anyone else.
  4. He founded the Society for Catholic International Relations,
  5. He helped on very many activities in Church and in State, not merely by his pen, but by his presence, for he was intensely holy and intensely patriotic.
    The rock foundation of these and many other works was a solid religious life. Fr. Brown was a man of simple, childlike faith. One proof of this was his great love for children. He had a charming manner, and could attract the young by his winning ways. He had a wonderfully clear and well-modulated voice. It was a pleasure to listen to him whether he read or preached. He was in no sense a vigorous speaker, because he possessed a great evenness of temper, and never seemed to get excited. The most extreme preparation was made for everything he had to do. This is seen in his writings, hence his spiritual books and articles appealed to many. There was accuracy and restraint in all things. As a director of retreats in convents, as a speaker at meetings, Fr. Brown had always something fresh and thought-provoking to contribute. He was one of the great workers and scholars of his generation in the Society, and there were quite a few. He took up a line, and he kept on it. The reading of good books, the writing of good books, the collection and distribution of good books was Fr. Brown's life. His name will never die, for it is in print in libraries all over the world. The Irish Province has had a distinguished gathering of Fr. Browns. Looking back half a century one recalls Fr. Tom Brown (Provincial), Fr. Eugene Browne, who lived to a ripe old age after holding many important positions in the Province; Fr, Henry Browne (Professor of Greek, N.U.I.); Fr. Michael Browne, Rector, Master of Novices for three periods, Socius to Provincial; Fr. Frank Browne, who died two years ago and whose bravery on the battlefield, eloquence in the pulpit, unbounded energy are still on our lips. To this group of illustrious priests Fr. Stephen Brown has added further lustre. R.I.P.

Publications by Rev. Stephen J. Brown, S.J.
A Reader's Guide to Irish Fiction, pp. 224. Dublin: Browne and Nolani. 1910. An early edition of Ireland in Fiction (out of print),
Ireland in Fiction, 3rd ed., pp. XX+362. Dublin: The Talbot Press. 10/6. 1919. A guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore.
A Guide to Books on Ireland, pp. xviii+372. Dublin: Hodges Figgis. 6/-. 1918. A bibliography of Irish Prose Literature, Poetry, Music and Plays.
Poetry of Irish History, pp. xviii +-382. Dublin: The Talbot Press. 61-. 1927. A revised and enlarged edition of Historical Ballad Poetry of Ireland. edited by M. J. Brown. Irish history told in poems selected from Anglo Irish and Gaelic (translated) literature, with notes.
The Realm of Poetry, pp. 216. London: Harrap, 2/6. 1921An Intro duction to Poetry, studying the nature of poetry, what it can do for us, and the approach to the appreciation and love of it.
The World of Imagery, pp. 354. London: Kegan Paul, 12/6. 1927. A study of Metaphor and kindred imagery.
Libraries and Literature from a Catholic Standpoint, pp. 323. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1937. Discusses Catholic libraries, their influence and some of their problems, librarianship, the scope and extent of Catholic literature, Catholic fiction and poetry, children's books, the Catholic writer, censorship, etc.
Poison and Balm, pp. 143. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 1938. Lectures on Communism with allusions to other anti-religious movements. Con trasts Communism as it actually works with Christianity in respect of the human person, the home, attitude towards the workers and the poor, religion.
The Preacher's Library. Re-issue with Supplement, 1928-1938. Dublin : Browne and Nolan. 1939.
From God to God. An Outline of Life, pp. 316. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 7/6. 1940. 2nd edition 1942. Studies in Life By and Large, pp. 243. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 8/6. 1941.
Towards the Realisation of God, pp. 180. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 7/6. 1944.
A Survey of Catholic Literature, pp. 250. Milwaukee: Bruce. $2.50. 1945. (With Thomas McDermott.)
From the Realm of Poetry, pp. xx+360. London: Macmillan. 4/6. 1947. An anthology for the Leaving Certificate and Matriculation examinations.
The Teaching of Christ, An Introduction and a Digest. Oneself and Books.
The Church and Art. Translated from the French of Louis Dimiar.
The Divine Song-Book, pp. 84. London: Sands. 2/6. 1926. A brief. introduction to the Psalms not for scholars, but for ordinary readers.
The Preacher's Library, pp. 130. London: Sheed and Ward. 3/6. 1928. A survey of pulpit literature from a practical standpoint.
The Well-Springs, pp. xxviii +164. London; Burns Oates and Washbourne. 5/-. 1931. Counsels for the guidance of the mind and for the conduct of life, translated from the French of Père Gratry, with Intro duction and Bibliography.
International Relations from a Catholic Standpoint, pp. xvi+200. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 8/6, 1932. Translated from the French. Edited, with Foreword and Bibliography, for the Catholic Union of International Studies (Irish Branch).

The Catholic Bibliographical Series
An Introduction to Catholic Booklore. Demy 8vo, pp. 105. Cloth, 5/-.
An International Index of Catholic Biographies. New Edition. Demy 8vo, pp. 285. 10/6.
Catalogue of Novels and Tales by Catholic Writers. Eighth Edition Revised. Demy 8vo, pp. 140. 2/6. 1946.
Catholic Juvenile Literature. Demy Svo, pp. 70. 3/6.
Catholic Mission Literature. A Handlist. Price 2/- in manila covers; 3/6 bound in cloth.
The Press in Ireland. A Survey and a Guide, pp. 304. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 1937. (Not available.)

Pamphlets
The Question of Irish Nationality. Imp. 8vo, pp. 44. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker. (Out of print.)
Irish Story-Books for Boys and Girls. Dublin: Offices of the Irish Messenger, Price 2d.
Catholics and the League of Nations, Dublin: League of Nations Society of Ireland. London: Catholic Council of International Relations. Price 3d.
Some Notes on Europe Today (with Anthony Count O'Brien of Thomond). 4to, pp. 11. Dublin: Catholic Association for International Relations. 1947.
Librarianship as a Career and a Vocation. In Prospectus of School of Library Training, University College, Dublin.
The First Ten Years of an Irish Enterprise, pp. 80. Dublin: The Central Catholic Library. Price 3d,
The Catholic Library Comes of Age (1922-1943), pp. 48. Dublin: Central Catholic Library. 1943.

The following are published at the Offices of the "Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart", Great Denmark Street, Dublin & France

God and Ourselves; What Christ Means to Us; What the Church Means to Us; Our Little Life; Little Notes on Life; Home to God.

Collopy, George, 1893-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1072
  • Person
  • 05 December 1893-08 October 1973

Born: 05 December 1893, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 14 August 1915, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1926
Professed: 02 February 1930
Died: 08 October 1973, Burke Hall, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1919 in Australia - Regency
by 1925 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) studying
by 1929 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at CBC Parade College Melbourne and had then worked with the Customs department for a number of years before Entry at Loyola Greenwich.

His Jesuit studies were undertaken in Ireland and France and he was Ordained in 1926.
When he returned to Australia after his studies he was sent as Minister to Sevenhill and then Sportsmaster to Xavier College Kew.
1942 He returned to Sevenhill as Superior and Parish Priest
1942-1949 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview as Minister. As Minister at Riverview, he knew the boys well, and while not universally popular, he was considered fair. As a disciplinarian in the refectory he was without equal, and always in control of the situation. His concern for the health of the boys was well known, as was his concern for what he considered wasteful expenditure. At time he was perhaps not the happiest of men, but he was always doing his job. He was always where he needed to be, and if you needed something you wouldn’t get more than you needed, and perhaps less.
1949-1950 He was sent to the Hawthorn Parish as Minister
1950-1955 He was appointed Minister at St Patrick’s College Melbourne. This gave him more time to smoke his Captain Petersen pipe and a trip down Brunswick Street on a Saturday afternoon. However this situation did no last, as an accident involving the Rector and some other members of the community caused him to be appointed Acting Rector and later confirmed as Vice Rector (1951-1955) This didn’t eliminate the moments of reflective smoking or visits to the Fitzroy Football Club. Indeed it was said this was one of the happiest periods of his life.
1956-1961 When Henry Johnston had to attend a conference in Rome, he was appointed Acting Parish Priest at St Mary’s, Sydney, and he was later confirmed as Parish Priest.
1961-1968 He returned to St Patrick’s College teaching Religion, History, Latin, Mathematics and English. In addition he took on the job of Procurator for the Province, a job he held until he was almost 80 years old.
1968 His last appointment was at Burke Hall Kew.

He was very parsimonious with money, always critical of requests, and sometimes required the direct intervention of the Provincial or Socius. He also found it hard to adapt to the Church of the post Vatican II era. So, Community Meetings and Concelebrations were not congenial. He could be a difficult man, but he was reliable. In tough times he did the work that he was given as well as he could.

Conlon, Vincent, 1890-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1086
  • Person
  • 17 May 1890-14 November 1959

Born: 17 May 1890, Maclean, NSW, Australia
Entered: 07 September 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923
Professed: 02 February 1926
Died: 14 November 1959, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Brother of Felix Colon - RIP 1933

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1918 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1921 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1925 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of Felix Colon - RIP 1933

His early education, along with his three brothers was at St Ignatius College Riverview, where he was a good student and sportsman. He was a member of the First XV 19071909, and was a champion athlete 1908-1909. He was also prefect of the Sodality for two years and was recognised as a boy of seep spirituality and strength of character.

1910-1912 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for his Novitiate
1912-1913 He was sent to Milltown Park for a Juniorate to prepare for University exams
1913-1917 He was sent to Belvedere College Dublin for Regency
1917-1920 He was again at Milltown Park and Stonyhurst for Philosophy
1920-1924 He was sent to Hastings for Theology
1924-1925 He made Tertianship at Drongen
1926-1937 He began a long association with St Ignatius College Riverview where he was at various times, Teacher, Second Division Prefect, Editor of “Our Alma Mater”, assistant Editor of the Jesuit Directory, Rowing Master, First Division Prefect (1927-1929 and 1932-1937 and 1939), and Third Division Prefect (1930-1931)
1938-1940 He was sent to St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1941 He was sent to Burke Hall as headmaster (1941-1942), Prefect of Studies (1943-1947) and Prefect of games and discipline (1949-1957. He was also a teacher of Latin and Mathematics.

He was a gentle quiet man, like his brother Felix, good with boys and at games. He was a diligent teacher, especially of younger boys. He paid great attention to detail. His classroom always had to be clean, boys were appointed to take class attendance, and homework was corrected with the greatest care. He loved cricket. He rolled and cut cricket creases until they looked like billiard tables, and he coached his teams with infinite patience.
He took ill one evening, went to the hospital and died the next day - all within one weekend.

Note from Richard Comerford Entry :
1967 The Rector of St Aloysius, Vincent Conlon finally succeeded in gaining his return to the College, and when he did he taught Religion, Geography and elementary Science.

Finucane, James, 1878-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/153
  • Person
  • 25 December 1878-25 January 1957

Born: 25 December 1878, Cahirconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912
Final vows: 02 February 1914
Died: 25 January 1957, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 in Saint Stanislaus, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying Arabic
by 1903 in Collège Saint-François Xavier, Alexandria, Egypt (LUGD) Teacher
by 1912 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Extracts from a letter of Fr. Patrick McGrath, S. J., St. Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, to Fr. Finucune, 10-9-945. Fr. McGrath is an old Crescent boy who while stationed at the Crescent 34 years ago volunteered for the (then) Australian Mission. :
“Your letter arrived just in time for the celebration of the Golden Jubilee. Besides the House celebration there was a Parish celebration in our Hall. I knew nothing about it till three days before. Since I came to Australia I have spent most of my time between Melbourne and Sydney as Parish Priest. I did some six years' teaching in St. Aloysius, Sydney, twelve year's Parish Priest there, and the rest of my time in Melbourne as assistant, but mostly as Parish Priest. I broke down in Sydney. The hilly land there was too much for my growing years, and after a rest of a few months in our Theologate at Pymble I was sent back here as a Curate and I was very glad of it. I certainly never regretted coming to Australia.
Our Parish here is a very large one, and on the whole a very Catholic one, made up almost entirely of working people, for the most part very sincere and practical Catholics and most generous and easy and pleasant to work with. The same may be said of our Parish in Lavender Bay, North. Sydney,
The church of St. Ignatius in this Parish is a magnificent one, pure Gothic, in a commanding position, with a spire 240 feet high, the most perfect and beautiful spire in Australia. The stone of the church is Blue Stone but the upper part of the spire is white.
Looking up the Irish Catalogue a few days ago I was surprised to find that I know so few there now. Here in Australia the Irish Jesuits are dying out. The Vice-province is going on well. It is fully equipped with everything, novitiate, scholasticate with Juniors and Philosophers, and a special house for Theology, and we have this year a tertianship with 14 Australian Tertians. We want more novices, but there is good hope that there will be an increase this year. Our colleges here are doing very well. Both in Sydney and Melbourne there is a day-school and a boarding-school. The buildings in both places are first class”.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :

Fr James Finucane (1878-1957)

Fr. Finucane was born at Carrigparson, Co. Limerick, and educated at the Crescent, entering the Society at Tullabeg in 1895. He studied Philosophy at Vals and then, as his health seemed precarious, he went to the drier climate of the Levant, continuing his studies at Beirut and teaching for two years in our college in Alexandria. Next came five years teaching in Mungret, at a period when higher studies were successfully undertaken there and many entered for university examinations. His first two years of Theology were passed at Milltown Park, and his third year at Ore Place, Hastings, then the theologate of the Paris Province. After his ordination in 1912 he went on at once to his Tertianship, and then spent eight years in Mungret as Prefect, Minister and Procurator of the farm. In 1922 he went to Clongowes where he taught and managed the farm until 1940. Then, after a few years teaching at the Crescent, he went to Leeson St, as Procurator, until his health declined so much that it was thought advisable to send him to Rathfarnham, where he could avoid to a large extent the labour of climbing stairs. He died in St. Vincent's Nursing Home, 96 Lower Leeson St., on 25th January.
It is probable that Fr. Finucane will be best remembered for his long association with Clongowes - and it is both as a farmer and a teacher of French that he will be remembered. The years there were happy years for him; he liked his work on the farm and his classes furnished him with a real interest: it might almost be said, indeed, that his classes were for him a delightful hobby, for though he taught several of them, he was not a full-time teacher. Old loyal workers who served under him on the farm in Clongowes remember him with admiration and affection : “He did not mind what a cow ate, but he hated to see good fodder between her feet”. And he knew good work when he saw it, and his praise was therefore the more appreciated, and he had high standards too : “Whatever he done, he done well!” An agricultural expert might perhaps criticise his policy and practice as being “undercapitalised” and say that production could have been increased: but what was done was indeed well done, and no beast went hungry. Clongowes was a land of sleek cattle and strong fences, and rich grass.
As a teacher he often obtained high places for his best boys in the public examinations, but he was most successful by the soundest criterion of all - his boys became fascinated with the study of French and every year some left his classes with an interest in the language and literature that was to be a source of genuine pleasure to them all their lives. It might be said that he did not take a whole class along with him, that a number of boys dropped out, and that his best boys did well because they worked for themselves. That is true; but the fact that he could lead them to this is a measure of his gifts as a master, gifts that will be always envied by lesser teachers.
Some people thought his interest in French literature, especially classical literature, strange in a man whose work and preoccupations were fundamentally agricultural, But it was a natural direct interest, utterly remote from sophistication and artificiality and jargon. The great authors wrote to be enjoyed, not to afford matter for pedantic lucubrations and university theses. He enjoyed them, and therefore his boys did also. And they enjoyed him, standing before a class, his arm gesturing vaguely like some weed moving gently in a placid stream while he talked of Le Cid or trumpeted nasally his delight in Monsieur Jourdain or Harpagon, Turning so naturally from the cares of ploughing or hay-making to Racine and Molière, he was to them the personification of l’honnete homme - in the seventeenth century sense.
His interest in his boys lasted long after they had left school, but it was an interest generally conditioned by their proficiency at French; that was a touch stone. Once, when he had left Clongowes, he was asked by a former Crescent teacher for news of a boy at the Crescent who was in one of his classes. “Mark my words”, he answered, “that boy will give trouble, he will bring sorrow to his parents! He never learns his irregular verbs!” If a boy did well on the Rugby field, it was often because he was “intelligent”, because he liked Molière; if a proficient student failed to get into the Sodality, there was something seriously wrong with the organisation of the Sodality.
A few days before he died he sent for a former pupil, a very prominent doctor from another hospital. “I am going very soon”, he said, “I have just sent for you to say good-bye”. And he shook hands. It was a symbolic hand-clasp and those who owe him so much would have longed to share it, to bid him a very grateful farewell. They will not forget him in their prayers.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Finucane SJ 1878-1957
Fr James Finucane was born in County Limerick and received his early education at the Crescent. From there he entered the Society in 1895.

For the benefit of his health, he was sent to Beirut as a scholastic, and it was here he acquired that love and mastery of the French language, for which he was renowned afterwards. He also had a great interest in the land, and for most of his life as a Jesuit, he was in charge of our farms, mainly at Mungret and Clongowes.

His association with Clongowes covered many years, and he will long be remembered by generations of old boys, especially for his powers as a French teacher.

After retiring from teaching he spent some time in Leeson Street and Rathfarnham, where he died on January 25th, 1957.

Fitzgibbon, Michael, 1889-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/709
  • Person
  • 29 September 1889-22 January 1973

Born: 29 September 1889, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 18 December 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1928
Died: 22 January 1973, Kostka Hall, Melbourne, Australia - Australia Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1911 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1913

Younger brother of Fr John FitzGibbon SJ ?

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at the Presentation Sisters, Sexton Street, Limerick and with the Jesuits at Crescent College, before he Entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1908-1910 He remained in Tullabeg for a Juniorate in Latin, Greek and English, gaining a BA from University College Dublin
1910-1913 He was scent to Leuven Belgium for Philosophy
1913-1919 He was sent to Australia for Regency, first to Xavier College Kew, and then St Patrick’s College Melbourne, where he taught Junior classes and French to the Senior classes.
1919-1922 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1922-1925 He was sent teaching first to Clongowes and then Coláiste Iognáid
1925-1926 He was sent to Hastings to complete his Theology
1926-1927 He made Tertianship at Tullabeg.
1928-1934 He came back to Australia and St Aloysius College Sydney
1934-1936 He was sent to the Richmond Parish
1936-1953 He was back teaching at St Patrick’s College
1953-1973 He was sent to Kostka Hall at Xavier College, where he taught Religion, French and History until 1964

As well as teaching, he worked weekend supplies, heard confessions and gave retreats and tridua. He was Spiritual Father to the Boys and directed the Crusaders and Apostleship of Prayer Sodalities. He always appreciated the many contacts with priests, former students and friends.

He was an enthusiastic man and very Irish in his leanings. He was pious but also communicated contemporary devotion to the boys.

He spent the last few years of his life in nursing homes, and he found the inactivity tough. He eventually came to some peace about this, as he came to accept the death of friends, being out of Jesuit community, and he died a happy and contented man.

Gannon, Patrick J, 1879-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/460
  • Person
  • 07 January 1879-12 December 1953

Born: 07 January 1879, Cavan Town, County Cavan
Entered: 20 May 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park
Professed: 02 February 1916
Died: 12 December 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1904 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1916 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

The Fire at Milltown Park :
Early in the morning of Friday, February 11th, fire broke out in the tailor's shop over the Refectory. The alarm was given and the Fire Brigade summoned. At first the progress of the fire was slow, but after a short time it became terribly rapid, and some of the Community were rescued barely in time. Fr. Johnston, Fourth Year Theologian, lost his life. He had remained to dress himself completely, as he was due to say Mass at the Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Anne's, and was asphyxiated by the fumes before he could escape - one may say, a martyr of Duty. Fr. Gannon got severely burned, and Mr. Reidy suffered injury to his spine as the result of a fall ; both are doing well and will, it is hoped, be none the worse in the end. The Fire Brigade was able to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the building where it had broken out.

Milltown Park, Dublin :
The morning of Friday, February 11th was a tragic morning here in Milltown Park. The two top stories of the Theologians House (built in 1908 by Fr. Finlay) were burnt out. Fr. James Johnston, a 4th Year Theologian lost his life, Fr. Gannon was severely burnt on his hands and face, and Mr. Reidy dislocated some of the vertebrae of his spine, jumping from a ledge underneath his window.
At 5.30 Br. Kavanagh discovered a fire in the Tailor's Room. He summoned Fr. Smyth, acting Minister, who telephoned for a fire brigade, while a few scholastics endeavoured, unsuccessfully, to extinguish the fire with Minimaxes and water. Br. Kavanagh carried. Fr. W. Gwynn (aged 84) to safety, and Fr. Smyth warned the occupants. of the Theologians House to make for the fire escape.
By this time the stairs end of the Theologians' House was burning fiercely; the fumes and heat in the corridors were unbearable, and it is due to the Mercy of God that so many were able to get to the fire escape before they were overcome with suffocation. In the meantime, the first of the fire brigades had arrived and Frs. Power, Hannigan, Gannon and a couple of scholastics were rescued. The firemen then concentrated on saving the New House which was by this time filling with smoke.
A roll-call shortly after 6 o'clock confirmed that Fr. Johnston was missing, but by this time the whole of the doomed wing was ablaze. Coincidentally with the celebration of the Community Mass at 7.15 the six fire brigades got the conflagration under control.
Offers of assistance and accommodation began to pour in from all sides and within a couple of days ran into thousands.
The Scholastics were transferred to the Retreat House, Rathfarnham, where they stayed for four days. They will always remember the kindness and hospitality shown by the Rector, the Community and the Retreat House staff of Rathfarnham.
On Tuesday 15th the Scholastics returned to Milltown, where a field kitchen, presented by the Army, had been installed. They occupied the Retreat House and many of the rooms had to accommodate two occupants, as the Minister's House also had to be vacated owing to damage and water.
On Friday 18th, the ‘octave' of the fire’, lectures were resumed, and routine was gradually established.
Fr. Gannon recovered rapidly and hopes to be back in Milltown soon. Mr. Reidy is also on his feet again, and he too hopes to be out of hospital in the near future, though he will be partially encased in plaster of paris for a considerable time.
The majority of the occupants of the Theologians' House lost all their personal effects, notes, etc. Fr. Gannon, however, being at the end of the corridor, and having his door closed, will salvage all his books and notes.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 2 1954

Obituary :

Father Patrick Gannon

Father Patrick Gannon was called to his reward very suddenly at Milltown Park during the night of the 11th-12th December. He was in his 75th year, having been born in Cavan on the 7th January, 1879. He was the eldest son of Mr. John Gannon, who was for many years Chairman of Cavan Town Commissioners and, in that capacity, was respon sible for many beneficial improvements in the town. A brother of Father Gannon's, the late Mr. T. A. Gannon, was widely known in the United States as a worker for charitable and Church organisations. Before going to America, he was one of the founders of the Young Ireland Branch of the United Irish League, along with T. M. Kettle, Judge Eugene Sheehy and others.
Father Gannon was educated first at St. Patrick's College, Cavan, in the Intermediate Examinations, and then at Clongowes where he won several prizes and exhibitions. After leaving Clongowes he entered the Novitiate at Tullabeg on May 20, 1897. After his noviceship, he continued his studies there and distinguished himself in the examinations (it was an examining body only) of the old Royal University, winning a 1st Class Scholarship, leading the Classical Group in Arts and B.A., and securing 1st Place in both Latin and Greek in all three examinations. He went to Valkenberg for his philosophy. On returning to Ireland he taught classics and English, first for a year or two at Mungret and then from 1907 to 1910 at Clongowes, completing eight years as a Master before going to Theology.
He began his theology at Milltown Park in 1910 and was in due course ordained there in 1913. After his tertianship in Tullabeg he was sent to Ore Place Hastings to do a biennium in theology, after which he returned in 1918 to Milltown Park where the rest of his life was to be spent. During his first year there he was on the mission staff but in the Catalogue of 1919 his status is given as Lect. theol. dogm. vesp. and so it remained for a number of years. Later he taught the Short Course and later still Fundamental Theology. In the last year of his life he was lecturing on Oriental Church questions.
Father Gannon was a ready and eloquent preacher and was frequently called upon to preach on important occasions. He also delivered lectures in Dublin and other places in Ireland. He preached several series of Lenten Lectures at Gardiner St. Some of these series were published in book form as Holy Matrimony and The Old Law and the New Morality. He wrote the following pamphlets : Prayer (1923); The Queen of May (1928); St. Patrick and the Irish Church (1932); A Happy Warrior, Fr. M. Bergin, S.J. (1934); Under which Flag (1938); Fr. James Cullen, S.J. (1940); Art, Morality and Censorship (1943); The Church Supreme and Independent (1945).
He also wrote many articles in reviews both in Ireland and in the United States. He always kept up great interest in current affairs both in Ireland and in the world at large. He had a considerable grasp of these matters and held strong opinions. Occasionally he took part in current controversies by means of letters to the Press. Besides these he had many minor interests and occupations for his leisure hours and his vacations.
In the fire which destroyed a considerable part of Milltown Park in 1949, Fr, Gannon was trapped in his room and suffered severe injuries to his face and hands before being rescued by the Dublin Fire Brigade. From this be seems not to have ever fully recovered but up to about five months before his death he did not seem to be failing much. But then the doctor warned him that his heart was not in good condition and, among other things, that it would be dangerous to ride the bicycle. He said Mass as usual on the eve of his death and later visited some friends. The following morning he was found dead in his room.

AN APPRECIATION OF FR. GANNON
Fr. P. Gannon was a professor of theology at Milltown Park for thirty-five years, a longer period than that of any other professor except Fr. Peter Finlay. It is a measure of the esteem which his super iors had for his talents that he held such an important position in the province for so long. It was said that at the retirement of Fr. Finlay from the position of professor of Theology in the National University Fr. Gannon was very nearly appointed to succeed him. It was a position for which his special gifts fitted him in a high degree, and which he would have occupied with distinction.
Perhaps he had too many interests to be a first-class theologian. He was many things besides a professor; he was distinguished as a preacher, a lecturer, a writer, as a publicist. He had quite remarkable natural gifts as a speaker, an unfailing fluency, a good command of language, imagination and a large stock of examples and illustrations, which he had amassed in his wide reading. His style of speaking was vivid, coloured, rhetorical. It was in the traditional of classical eloquence and was often florid. He gave the Lenten lectures at Gardiner St. five or six times, and always drew large congregations. Two of his sets of lectures were published as books, which had a considerable sale, Holy Matrimony and The Old Law and the New Morality. He was in constant demand as a preacher especially for solemn and distinguished occasions. His ease in speaking, his flow of thought, his rhetorical bent, made this kind of work a pleasure to him. These sermons cost him very little trouble but in his later years his confidence in himself became a disability, as he thought it absolved him from any immediate preparation.
He was also a fairly copious writer and contributed frequently to Studies, The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, The Irish Monthly and to other Catholic magazines in America. He was quick also to join in public discussions and controversies on religious questions. An article he wrote for Studies on hunger striking was probably the first defence by a professional theologian of that weapon newly introduced into political warfare; and it was said the moralists at Rome, who had been considering the question, read, marked and inwardly digested his article.
He had a keen interest in social questions and in international politics; he followed intelligently the great politico-social movements of his time. The rise and growth of Communism and Nazism interested him and disturbed him; he saw clearly the dangers to Faith, to the Church and to Society which they involved and he pointed them out on every possible occasion, opportunc importune. Communism in particular in his later years became a kind of obsession and every subject led on to it. His convictions even in matters of scholarship were very strong ly held and dominated him to such an extent that he could not see any aspect but his own. He was perhaps at his best as a lecturer, where his talents had their fullest scope, and he was constantly asked to speak on Catholic platforms. As a retreat-giver he was also well known; he must have given priests' retreats in nearly every diocese of Ireland. R.I.P.

Hannon, John J, 1884-1947, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/176
  • Person
  • 24 May 1884-18 July 1947

Born: 24 May 1884, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1900, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1918, Hastings, 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

GENERAL :
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.

Obituary :
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.

Hartigan, Jeremiah Austin, 1882-1916, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/177
  • Person
  • 18 August 1882-16 July 1916

Born: 18 August 1882, Foynes, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1898, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914
Died: 16 July 1916, Kut-al-Amara, Mesopotamia, Iraq (Military Chaplain)

Chaplain in the First World War

by 1901 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language
by 1910 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1912 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes.
After Noviceship he made studies at Tullabeg, and then Eastern languages at Beirut with Edmund Power.
He made Regency at Clongowes teaching Greekj and Latin.
He was then sent for Philosophy to Stonyhurst, and later Theology at Hastings.
During his Tertianship in 1915 he was sent to the War as Chaplain, and he died at war 16 July 1916, at Amara, Mesopotamia.
He was a young Priest of great promise.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Jeremiah Augustine Hartigan, Mungret student

Hehir, Thomas, 1892-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1439
  • Person
  • 04 December 1892-13 February 1955

Born: 04 December 1892, Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 07 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1925
Professed: 02 February 1928
Died: 13 February 1955, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Older brother of Noel - RIP 1947

by 1919 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1923 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Torn Hehir, elder brother to Noel, was a cheerful youth, always full of life and well to the fore when anything was being done. He was good at football and cricket, and educated at Xavier College. He studied law after he left school, and surprised his friends when he decided to enter the Society at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, 7 December 1912. He later gained a BA at the National University of Ireland in classics, studied philosophy at Jersey, 1918-21, and did regency at Belvedere College, 1921-22, before theology at Ore Place, Hastings. Tertianship was at Paray-le-Monial, France.
Hehir returned to Australia in 1927 and was on the staff of Xavier College for one year before going to St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, to take up duty as prefect of studies, a post that he held for eight years. He is remembered for being efficient and capable. The wayward quailed at the thought of an interview with him, but students found him most stimulating and inspiring. He had wide interests, was a voracious but selective reader with a most retentive memory.
In 1936 he was transferred to Riverview; but in 1937 he was back at St Aloysius' College for one year. The years 1938-39 were again spent teaching and as debating master at Riverview, but he returned again to St Aloysius' College in 1940 to take his brother Noel's place as rector. Sickness and the anxiety and worry of the war years caused him to age rapidly and he was a tired man when he was relieved of his burden in 1944. He gradually recovered to the extent that he was once again able to take the field as a football coach.
The best years of his life were spent at St Aloysius' College - he loved every stone of the place and he spent most of his holidays doing jobs in and around the school. He was interested in the senior students and enjoyed meeting Old Boys. Many of his former students, however, found him a very hard man, most severe in his manner and mode of disciplining. Most were scared of him, especially in his latter years.
For three years previous to his death he was deputy chairman of the NSW Catholic Secondary Teachers Association. He had most to do with the revision of the constitution of that body He was also the Catholic representative on the English syllabus committee for ten years.
He was a small man who worked hard and was steady and reliable. He was devoted to his younger brother, Noel, and after his death, Tom seemed to lose his own grip on life.

Kennedy, Gerald L, 1889-1949, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/214
  • Person
  • 24 June 1889-06 February 1949

Born: 24 June 1889, Birr, County Tipperary
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 18 October 1926, Fourvière, France
Professed: 02 February 1932
Died: 06 February 1949, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Studied Medicine before entry. Had studied 1 year Theology at Dalgan Park, County Meath with the Columban Fathers and was destined for Chinese Mission

by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) studying
by 1929 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners
by 1934 at Gonzaga College, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1938 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - working

Served as Medical Doctor in RAMC during 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
Gerald Kennedy served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during WW1 in Flanders and on a ship on the Atlantic. He entered the Society 31 August 1919 (1921 in fact) at Tullabeg with a medical degree, and after Philosophy at Milltown Park, 1923-25, and Theology at Ore Place, Hastings and Fourvières, 1925-28, completed Tertianship at St Beuno’s, 1928-29.
He was then sent to the Hong Kong Mission 1929-1945, and spent these years at Ricci Hall, the university residence, the seminary (at Aberdeen) or Wah Yan College, lecturing and teaching as well as doing pastoral work, but he never learned the Chinese language. He was popular with the students in the seminary, entertaining them with his charm. He gave the Jesuits their hints on how to be successful classroom teachers, and wrote a textbook in Chemistry and Physics whilst at Wah Yan.
He spent 1934 with the Jesuits and Shanghai, in Gonzaga College. From 1938 he worked with refugees in a hospital in Canton. Medical supplies were scarce, but he discovered a partial cure for cholera. He worked as rice-forager, money collector and spiritual guide to the sisters who ran the hospital. During 1941 he was at St Theresa’s hospital Kowloon, but he was worn out. He had fought the good fight.
As a result, he was recalled to Ireland, where he recovered his former vigour sufficiently to give Retreats in Galway, 1945-46, and did pastoral work in Tullabeg. He was sent to Australia and the Lavender Bay parish 1948-49, where he worked for six months in the chapel of the Star of the Sea, at Milsons Point. He was remembered for having a dry, searching humour, and a mixture of kindly trust and breeziness.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Doctor before Entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :

Our three re-patriated missioners from Hong Kong: Frs. T. Fitzgerald, Gallagher and G. Kennedy, arrived in Dublin in November and are rapidly regaining weight and old form. Fr. Gallagher has been assigned to the mission staff and will be residing at St. Mary's, Emo.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Kennedy G., O'Flanagan and Saul leave for Australia on 9th July.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

Death of Fr. Gerald Kennedy :
Fr. G. Kennedy died in Australia on February 6th. He had been in failing health for a considerable time, and it was hoped that the Australian climate might restore his former vigour. But in China, before and during the war, he had been prodigal of his energy in the service of others. He did wonders during the cholera outbreak at Canton he accomplished wonders, not only by his devoted attention to the sufferers, but by his medical knowledge. Out of the very limited resources available he compounded a remedy which saved many lives and achieved better results than the Americans were able to obtain with their vastly superior equipment.
To know Fr. Kennedy was to love him. He has left to the Province a fragrant memory.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

Obituary

Fr. Gerald Kennedy (1889-1921-1949)

When Gerald Kennedy became a Jesuit, he was already a mature man of thirty-two. Born in 1889, he took his medical degree at the National University in Dublin, went through World War I in the R.A.M.C., and then settled down to a dozen years of country practice in Nenagh and Birr. Having spent a few months at Dalgan Park, he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1921. His noviceship over, two year's philosophy at Milltown Park were followed immediately by theology at Hastings and Fourvière, where he was ordained on December 18th, 1926. After making his tertianship at St. Beuno's (1928-1929), he sailed for Hong Kong. He remained on the Mission until his return to Ireland in November, 1945. He then spent a year on the retreat staff. The 1946 Status found him once more back in Tullabeg as Prefect of the Church, in which office he continued until June, 1948. That same summer he made his last trip - to Australia, which he reached in August. He was assigned to parish work in Melbourne, and there he died on February 6th, 1949.
In his twenty-eight years as a Jesuit, Gerald Kennedy won the esteem and affection of all who lived with him. The measure of that warm respect may be found in the name by which he was universally known : “Doc”. It was a term that did more than merely remind us that he had lost none of the shrewd skill and observation of the country practitioner. It held a far richer connotation. “Doc” was, in the best sense of the world, a character. There was nothing dark about his dry, searching humour-a mixture of kindly thrust and breeziness (no one who heard it will forget his cheery salute to the company : “God save all here - not barring the cat!”). In spontaneous mood he was inimitable for his humorous description of situations and personalities. His account of a Chinese banquet will be remembered as a masterpiece of gastronomic analysis. For all his sense of fun, however, “Doc” had a deep and steady seriousness of mind - his very gait was purposeful. A constant reader, his main interests were biography and history with a particular leaning towards French culture. Both as a doctor and as a Jesuit, he was for years keenly preoccupied with the psychological problems of the religious life and of spiritual experience. One of his many obiter dicta was to the effect that no Jesuit should be allowed on the road as a retreat-giver or spiritual director, who through ignorance or prejudice was incapable of helping souls in the higher forms of prayer. His own spiritual life was simple, direct and matter of fact. A strong yet gentle character, his unobtrusive simplicity went hand in hand with a certain blunt forcefulness of purpose. Outstanding among his virtues were a remarkable sense of duty and an unfailing charity.
Of his life as a Jesuit, Fr. Kennedy spent more than half on the Hong Kong mission. Over forty when he arrived in China, be never acquired a grip of the language. This did not prevent him, however, from quietly poking fun at the advanced students and old hands, to gravely correcting their tones or shamelessly manufacturing new phrases for their puzzlement and exasperation. Nor did his ignorance of Chinese materially lessen his usefulness. During his early years on the mission, he was in turn Minister in the Seminary and on the teaching staff of Wah Yan, His Ministership coincided with the period of the building and organisation of the Seminary - a harassing time. His cheerfulness was well equal to it. As an extract from a contemporary letter puts it : “In spite of many inconveniences of pioneering (e.g. the absence of a kitchen and a water supply) the Minister's sense of humour remained unshaken”. While at Wah Yan, he found time and energy (and, considering the steam-laundry quality of the climate for many months of the year, that says much) to compose a small text-book of Chemistry and a further one of Physics for his class. He was always on the job.
It was from 1938 onwards, however, that “Doc” really came into his own. In the November of that year a food ship was sent from Hong Kong to the relief of the refugees in Japanese occupied Canton. Fr. Kennedy travelled up as one of the organising committee, On account of his medical experience he was soon attached to the Fong Pin hospital, run by the French Canadian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Here he found full scope for his doctor's knowledge and for his untiring charity. There was work for a dozen doctors and for as many administrators. Fr. Kennedy was alone. He had to deal with a hospital overcrowded beyond all reasonable capacity, to refuse patients was to let them die on the streets and to incur the censure of the Japanese. The nursing staff was pitiably inadequate and could not be made good even by the heroic devotion of the Sisters. Sufferers were two and three in a bed, and on the floor of the wards, the dead, awaiting removal and burial, lay cheek by jowl with the dying. All medical supplies were scarce - some were unobtainable. It was in such conditions that “Doc” had to treat his patients. Yet, amazing as it may seem, it was in the midst of such killing and stupefying work that Fr. Kennedy discovered a partial cure for cholera. He did some thing more amazing still - with his work as doctor he managed to combine the offices of rice-forager, money-collector and spiritual director to the Sisters. Both in Canton and in Hong Kong he went the rounds raising supplies and funds for the hospital, and gave the Sisters regular conferences and an eight-day retreat-in French. He kept up this pace for over two years.
He was back in Hong Kong for the outbreak of war in December, 1941. During the hostilities and for the most of the subsequent Japanese occupation of the Colony, he was in St. Teresa's Hospital, Kowloon. His work there was much the same as he had had in Canton, although the conditions were slightly better. He was doctor, administrator and again, spiritual guide and consoler to the French Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres. With his fellow Jesuits he underwent all the strain, mental and physical, of those three and a half years. More than others, perhaps, he suffered from the almost starvation diet. Yet, his cheerfulness never failed nor his unremitting devotion to his work. The same cannot be said for his health. When the peace came, he was a tired man, worn out in mind and body.
Fr. Kennedy was always a fighter. Back in Ireland, he recovered some of his old vigour - sufficient, at all events, to urge him to volunteer for Australia. He must have suspected that he had not very long to live, for shortly before sailing he expressed the hope that he might be given two or three years of work in which to justify the expense of his passage out. He need not have worried. Six months was all he had in Australia, it is true. But by his whole life in the Society, by his fund of good humour, by his charity, by his immense labours on the mission, by his deep, simple spirituality, “before God and men”, “Doc” more than paid his way.

McGrath, Michael P, 1872-1946, Jesuit priest and Irish language scholar

  • IE IJA J/1
  • Person
  • 1 February 1872-11 May 1946

Born: 1 February 1872, Aglish, County Waterford
Entered: 22 August 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907
Final vows: 02 February 1915
Died: 11 May 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1913 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1919 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Had studied for 5 years at St Patrick’s College Maynooth before Entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

The Irish Sodality : This Sodality is directed by Fr Michael McGrath. It grew out of the first week-end retreat in Irish at Milltown Park in 1916. After the retreat, steps were taken with a view to the formation of an Irish-speaking Sodality for men. Success attended the effort, and the first meeting was held in Gardiner Street on Friday in Passion Week. The Sodality soon numbered 400 members. In 1917 a second Irish-speaking Sodality, exclusively for women, was established. In a short time it was found advisable to amalgamate the two branches. The Sodality is now in a flourishing condition, and has every prospect of a bright future before it. In addition to the Sodality, there is an annual “open” retreat given in Gardiner Street to Irish speakers. The first of these retreats was given in 1923 by Fr Coghlan, he also gave the second the following year. The third was given by Father Saul.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946

Obituary :

Fr. Michael McGrath (1872-1896-1946)

Fr. Michael McGrath was born at Aglish, Co. Waterford, on February 1st, 1872. Educated at Mount Melleray, then at St. John's College, Waterford, and lastly at Maynooth, he entered the Society at Tullabeg on August 22nd, 1896, and later went to Vals for philosophy. He taught in the Crescent 1901-5. He was ordained with Fr. William Doyle and Fr. John Sullivan in Milltown Park by Archbishop Walsh in 1907. He made his tertianship at Freienberg in Austria, and then taught for five years at Belvedere. A course of Canon Law under Pére Choupin at Ore Place, Hastings, completed his long formation, and the rest of his life was spent at Milltown Park, where he was Professor of Canon Law from 1920 to 1932, Lecturer in History of Philosophy from 1924 to 1930, Professor of Patrology, Christian Archaeology, Liturgy and Ascetics from 1932 to 1946. The Irish language always remained Fr. McGrath's favourite study. He established the Irish Sodality of the Blessed Virgin at Gardiner Street in 1916, and continued to direct it until 1935. His edition of Amhlaoibh Ua Suilleabháin's Irish Diary for the Irish Texts Society (1936-8) will be a lasting testimonial to his mastery of Irish and English. He was, at the time of his death, engaged on the preparation of many other Irish works, some of which were nearing completion. Among these were an Irish translation of the New Testament (apart from the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles) with a detailed commentary, the Irish Missal of O'Hickey brought up to date, the Life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and the Lives of Distinguished Celtic Scholars. During his long years in Milltown his encouragement and advice were highly appreciated by many a theologian, and his hard. work and cheerfulness were a model to all.

Fr. Garahy has kindly contributed the following personal appreciation :
My acquaintance with Michael McGrath began at Mount Melleray in 1888. He had been there a year or two before my arrival. We soon formed a friendship which lasted during the year and a half I spent in that romantic retreat at the foot of Knockmealdown Mountain. I left Melleray at the end of the Christmas term for Mungret College. Michael McGrath remained on for another couple of years and then passed to St. John's College, Waterford. Later still he was sent to Maynooth, having won a free place in the National College. He had finished two years of his theology course when, with the leave of his bishop, he offered bimself as a candidate for the Society in 1896.
In Melleray Michael McGrath was of the quiet type, rather shy and retiring, but a sincere friend when one had succeeded in breaking through his reserve. He was a painstaking student, eager to absorb all the knowledge offered us boys in classics, the sciences and history. One advantage he had over the rest of us he had a fair acquaintance with the Gaelic. It was spoken freely in his native townland of Aglish, Co. Waterford. It was also the language of the little mountaineers who attended the National School at Melleray. I used to envy Michael McGrath when I heard him exchanging jokes in Irish with those youngsters on their way home from school. Irish was not taught in the College in those days, though we were living in the heart of an Irish speaking district. Melleray was not singular in that matter. The Gaelic revival did not come till several years later. When it did come Michael McGrath threw himself with all the ardour of his soul into the movement.
He and I met again in the Crescent after fourteen years. I was so taken with his enthusiasm for the language that I accepted his offer of instruction and within a few months found myself appointed to teach the first couple of O'Growney's booklets to & class of small boys in the Crescent. During the year I spent with him in Limerick he held the office of Prefect of Studies although still a scholastic. His whole hearted devotion to the duties of his office during that year was to be expected of the Michael McGrath I knew at Melleray—with his passion for study and his earnestness of character. What I did not expect and what was always a wonder to me was his unsparing self-sacrifice in helping the more backward boys to succeed in the examinations. What this cost him in time and in strain on his nerves only himself knew. We, his fellow masters, knew that he regularly sacrificed the couple of hours so badly needed after a hard day's work in the school room to this work of charity; and the wonder was how he escaped a nervous collapse.
At the end of the year he and I left Limerick for Milltown Park to begin our theological studies. The Gaelic revival was then in full swing. Milltown Park had caught the infection ever before our arrival, Fr, Lambert McKenna, Fr. J. F. X. O'Brien and Mr. Tomás Ó Nualláin were, I think, the pioneers of the movement in Milltown. It was natural that those of us who were anxious to master the difficulties of the spoken language should turn to Mr. McGrath for help. He had what we all lacked, a rich sonorous Déisi blas. I well remember his patience in helping us to acquire the correct sounds of the broad and slender vowels. Fr. B. Coghlan, one of our really great Irish scholars to-day, was an enthusiastic pupil, and so was Fr. Dominick Kelly, now for many years a distinguished professor in Newman College, Melbourne.
When Fr. McGrath returned to Milltown as a professor, I had already been transferred to the Mission staff. From that time forth I had few opportunities of meeting him. May he rest in peace”.
It is hoped to include an account of Fr. McGrath's Milltown career in the October issue.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael McGrath 1872-1946
Fr Michael McGrath, while yet a scholastic, was Prefect of Studies at Crescent from 1901-1905.

Born in Aglish County Waterford on February 1st 1872, he was educated at Mount Melleray. He passed on to Maynooth and from there entered the Society in 1896.

Having studied Canon Law for a period after his ordination, the rest of his life was spent in Milltown Park, as professor in various faculties, Canon Law, Patrology, Liturgy and Ascetics. Normally a most kindly and lovable man, he could be most vehement in argument. For example, as Professor of Ascetics, when lecturing on the vice of curiosity, especially in religious, he used to refer to a Father (unnamed) notorious for this fault, and would almost have a stroke, so vehement would be his effort to convey his scorn for such pettiness.

He was a great Irish scholar, with a vast enthusiasm for the revival of the language. He edited the Diary of Amhlaoimh O’Sullivan for the Irish Texts Society. At the time of his death he was engaged in a new translation of the Bible, an Irish Missal, a life of St Aloysius Gonzaga and the lives of distinguished Irish scholars. He founded the Irish Sodality in Gardiner Street in 1916, and he continued to direct it until 1935.

His retreats were famous, being based on John Oxenham “Bees in Amber”, and there was hardly a convert in Ireland that had not heard his opening words : “Yo every man there openeth, a high way and a low”.

He was a model of observance, kindly in advice both as professor and confessor, and many generations of Jesuits owe him a deep debt for his faithful and patient service in their formation. He died on May 11th 1946.

Murphy, Leo, 1888-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1801
  • Person
  • 05 November 1888-03 April 1957

Born: 05 November 1888, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 18 May 1920
Professed: 02 February 1924
Died: 03 April 1957, Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1876 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1910 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1911
by 1919 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, West Bengal, India (BELG) studying
by 1920 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1923 at La Colombière, Paray-le-Monial, France (LUGD) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Leo Murphy entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, 7 September 1905. After his juniorate studies in Ireland, he went to Stonyhurst for philosophy. From 1912-18 he taught at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, NSW, being the first OC of cadets and sports master from 1915-18. He departed Australia for theology in Kurseong, India, and Hastings, England, before tertianship at Paray-Le-Monial in France, 1922-23.
He returned to St Aloysius' College, 1923-27, being prefect of studies from 1925-27. Then he became prefect of studies at Riverview, 1928-32, before returning to St Aloysius', 1933-34. He also edited the “Aloysian”.
From 1935 he performed parish duties, first, at North Sydney until 1942, and then at Toowong until 1954. He was meticulous about parish visitation, especially to the poorer families. lt was said that he often suffered on behalf of others.
Jesuits considered Murphy a good prefect of studies, but better at parish work. He was loved and respected by the people of the parishes he served.

Nerney, Denis S, 1886-1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/46
  • Person
  • 26 December 1886-15 August 1958

Born: 26 December 1886, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1920, St Mary's College, Hastings, England
Professed: 02 February 1925
Died: 15 August 1958, Cork City

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

Younger Brother of John - RIP 1962

by 1910 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1912
by 1919 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, West Bengal, India (BELG) studying
by 1920 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1925 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying
by 1930 at Rome, Italy (ROM) teaching

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Denis Nerney entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1906, and after philosophy at Louvain, 1909-12, arrived in Australia for regency at Xavier College as a teacher and director of debating, 1913- 14. He was moved to Riverview in 1915, teaching, debating, organising the junior boats and was assistant prefect of discipline. After tertianship, Nerney spent the rest of his life teaching theology, firstly at the Gregorian University in Rome, and then at Milltown Park, Dublin.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 34th Year No 1 1959
Obituary :
Fr Denis Nerney (1886-1958)
Fr. Denis Nerney entered the Society in 1906, did his noviceship in Tullabeg and then remained there for one year's juniorate. At this period he already gave evidence of that intellectual interest and scientific precision which characterised his work of later years. He began investigating the history and archaeology of the district around Rahan in order to increase the interest of the weekly walks of the novices and juniors. This work he continued during his tertianship and it resulted in an unpretentious typescript volume which bears the title Notes on the History of the Tullabeg District. This interest in precise and accurate information later led him to compose a masterly account of the sequence of events on the morning of the Milltown Park fire.
In 1909 Fr. Nerney was sent to Louvain for Philosophy. There he came in contact with the early stages of the Thomistic revival which was to lead quite soon to the abandonment by a large part of the Society of many of the traditionally held Suarezian positions. In due course, Fr. Nerney himself was very influential in introducing this type of philosophy into the Irish Province when, with Fr. Canavan, he taught Philosophy at Milltown Park. As a theologian too Fr. Nerney was a convinced Thomist with traces of the influence of Cardinal Billot.
In 1912 Fr. Nerney was sent to Australia, where he taught for six years; two years at Xavier College and four at Riverview. During his period at Riverview he was in charge of the rowing club and the debating society; and for one year was editor of the college annual Alma Mater. He brought back from Australia a keen interest in all kinds of sports and athletics, including Rugby football, This last was in later years eclipsed by his interest in Gaelic games, but it was never completely ousted. He was even known to inform some over-enthusiastic followers of Rugby that he had expert knowledge of both the amateur and professional game and that he was, as far as he was aware, the only Jesuit of the Irish Province who was an officially-recognised referee for championship matches. He always maintained a lively interest in Australia and was particularly kind to Australian scholastics who came to Ireland for their studies.
In September 1915 the following sonnet appeared in Studies over the name D. S. Nerney, S.J.; possibly a juniorate composition, although we have now no way of ascertaining the precise date at which it was written:

OUT OF THE NIGHT
And seeing them labouring . . . about the fourth watch of the night He cometh to them walking on the sea. ...

Our life were surely but an idle thing
If there were naught beneath the arch of years
But life and death - a little space of tears
And foolish laughter-a poor winnowing
Snatched from the idle promise of the spring;
If all our hope a cry that no god hears,
And we of the dead past the last compeers
That time from out the blackest night shall bring.
While thus I thought and sorrowed for a space
Where darkness lay like death upon the sea,
A vision came: I knew Him by his face
Of glory: “Stretch thou forth thy hands to Me”,
He said; and Christ was in the place,
The final hope of immortality.

In 1918 Fr. Nerney left Australia in order to begin his theology, the very year in which his brother, Fr. John Nerney, was assigned to the Australian mission. However, he did not reach Europe that year but did his first year's theology in Kurseong, the missionary theologate of the Belgian Province. It was in this period that he formed an opinion which he afterwards expressed in his tract De Deo Uno concerning the extent to which man unaided by revelation does in fact attain to some degree of knowledge of the true God. His observations of what occurred in the pagan shrines of India convinced him that, at least, the ordinary people were not worshipping some vaguely apprehended attribute of God symbolised by their idol but that they were practising pure fetishism, by which they adored the idol itself as though possessed of divine powers.
In 1919 he went to continue his theology in the theologate of the Lyons Province which was then at Hastings. He was ordained there in 1920 and remained there for his third and fourth years' theology. After tertianship in Tullabeg under Fr. T. V. Nolan he was sent to Rome to do a biennium in Theology and in 1926 returned to Milltown as Minister of Philosophers and Professor of Logic and Psychology. The philosophers of those days all retain the most pleasant memories of the kindness and consideration which he always showed in his dealings with them.
In 1930 he was summoned to Rome to teach Dogmatic Theology in the Gregorian University; and he remained there for three years. He made many friends there and also among the staff and students of the Irish College, where he was a frequent visitor. He had been assigned the tract De Sacramentis and did much personal study on the difficult question of the history of the administration of the Sacrament of Penance. He noted with regret that there was no account available of the Penitentiaries of the Irish Church and he always felt that an important contribution would be made by anyone who would undertake research in that neglected field.
In 1933 he returned to Ireland on account of ill health. At this time a decision had been made to bring the Dogma course in Milltown into line with the practice of other Provinces by introducing a separate Apologetics course for the first year and consequently reducing the old four-year cycle of Dogma to a three-year cycle. So Fr. Nerney was assigned to teach De Ecclesia and Fr. Gannon, taken from the short course, to teach De Vera Religione; and Fr. Canavan was brought back from Tullabeg to teach the short course. In 1936 Fr. Nerney was changed to long course Dogma and he remained at that post until his sudden death in 1968. He also acted as Prefect of Studies from 1953 to 1956.
An estimate of Fr. Nerney must be based primarily on his achievements as a Professor of Theology, because this was the principal work which was assigned to him by the Society. Of the value of this work. there can be very little doubt. It is generally accepted that he rendered incalculable service to the faculty in Milltown and so to many hundreds of Jesuits of many Provinces. He was an excellent lecturer; precise and methodical with a masterly command of Latin. He is not known ever to have pronounced a single sentence in English and yet his class invariably followed him with ease and pleasure. His lectures were based on one of his four codices which he followed closely but not slavishly, with the result that, reading a page or so of typescript, one found an accurate summary of his entire lecture. He kept strictly to the scholastic method of presentation and always indicated the difficult points of his position by a series of penetrating objections.
He was much liked as an examiner. He indicated clearly the precise point of a thesis he wished the candidate to treat, listened patiently to his exposition, brought him back over his exposition in order to secure expansion or correction of points which were unsatisfactory and then urged fair but telling objections in strict scholastic form. He always received the candidate's answers without violent reaction, no matter how bad they were; he seemed to be unwilling to influence the other examiners against him, preferring to leave them to form their own judgment on the basis of the evidence he had elicited concerning the state of the candidate's knowledge.
His treatment of scripture texts was a model of method. He always indicated clearly the precise argument he was drawing from the text he had quoted. He may not have had a very great interest in the results of modern scripture scholarship but the positions he adopted were always clearly defined and capable of strong defence. In general, he did not show much interest in patristic theology, although on many points he was extremely well informed, e.g., the early history of the Sacrament of Penance. His favourite amongst the Fathers was St. Ambrose, possibly on account of the connection existing between him and the Celtic church. He was sometimes criticised for over-simplifying theology. This is a permanent difficulty facing a Professor of Theology, viz., how to present a complex problem to a class without plunging into a mass of detail out of all proportion to the importance of the topic in question. If he erred on the side of over-simplification, his error was inspired by consideration for his class and was by no means a confession of ignorance nor a proof of lack of diligence. But it would be a rash conclusion that he did so err. His estimate of what constituted an adequate treatment of a particular subject was based on long years of teaching experience and cannot easily be challenged.
He could perhaps be more justly criticised for giving too much attention to purely scholastic discussions of such topics as the mode of the Real Presence in the Blessed Eucharist or the question of Natura and Persona in the Hypostatic Union. But he held that there was no better way of judging the quality of a theologian than by testing his ability to handle such problems with accuracy and confidence. Fr. Nerney was sometimes accused of marking time, or rather wasting time, in class; and it is true that when he was a little ahead of his timetable he reduced his rate of progress but many of his class found the respite very welcome. Towards the end of his life there were periods in which, due to poor health, his physical and mental vigour were below normal. This happened more frequently than was generally realised. One final point cannot be omitted, viz., his fairness and charity towards those whose opinions he felt he could not share. This was certainly the result of a conscious effort on his part, because it was widely felt that in some matters outside the realm of theology he could be very vehement and not always completely free from prejudice.
Fr. Nerney had many interests outside theology. These included motor engineering and wireless telegraphy; but undoubtedly the greatest of these was things Irish, games, history and language. He took up the serious study of Irish during his period as Professor of Philosophy in Milltown Park. He was a gifted linguist, speaking French and Italian with fluency and accuracy, so it is little wonder that he attained a proficiency in Irish, which was very remarkable in a man who began rather late in life. He spoke Irish with a slightly exaggerated precision of pronunciation and idiom but with genuine fluency and a great wealth of vocabulary. He was particularly interested in turns of phrase which were current in his native County of Cork but he was very observant of variations of pronunciation and idiom occurring in Connacht and Donegal. He prided himself on being able to define the precise locality of the origin of the Irish, spoken by the various announcers on Radio Eireann. For many years he spent part of the summer vacation in one or other of the Gaeltachts. Although he spoke Irish on all possible occasions, he was always most willing to speak English with those who were unable to fall in with his known desire to speak Irish.
The esteem in which Fr. Nerney was held by the Irish Province can be gauged by the number of occasions on which he was elected by provincial congregations to represent the Province in Rome. Hence it was with the most sincere regret that we heard the news of his sad and completely unexpected death. The whole Province owes him a very deep debt of gratitude and extends its sympathy to the surviving members of his family, and particularly to his brother, Fr. John Nerney from whom he had been separated for nearly forty years.

Paye, Frederick, 1895-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/355
  • Person
  • 26 May 1895-21 May 1972

Born: 26 May 1895, Fermoy, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 16 April 1927
Professed: 02 February 1934
Died: 21 May 1972, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1918 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1925 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) studying
by 1930-1931 at St Beuno’s, Wales for Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927

Fr Paye was ordained on Holy Saturday. He had been ordained Deacon in Paris by His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972

Obituary :

Fr Frederick Paye SJ (1895-1972)

On August 31st, 1914, when World War I was not a month old, a little cavalcade of sidecars making its way in the warm late evening sunlight from Tullamore, jogged up the curved avenue where green beeches were already beginning to emulate their copper rivals andn deposited a dozen aspiring Novices on the shallow stone steps of Tullabeg, to be greeted by the Novice Master - Father Martin Maher and his versatile Socius - Father Charles Mulcahy. The first car carried Fred Paye, one of four Mungret boys who together with one from Castleknock, and seven from Clongowes comprised the largest single influx to date of man power to swell the growing Irish Province.
Fred Paye hailed from Fermoy and was a junior member of a family of seven, six boys and one sister; he was bereaved of his father practically in infancy and in early boyhood lost his mother, the duties of paterfamilies devolving on the eldest brother, William, After elementary school in his native town, when Fred gave evidence of a vocation, William gladly seconded his inclination and on completing the Intermediate course at Mungret, Fred was accepted for Tullabeg.
Not surprisingly the group came to be nicknamed, at least among themselves, “The Twelve Apostles”, or for short “The Twelve”.
Which of them thought out the idea that two of the number should, on the “free Communion” days of the week, offer their Communions for the perseverance of the group is a matter of conjecture. It was a plan which incurred the unqualified condemnation of the Socius; “forcing God's Hand” he declared it, but in the event seven of the twelve have, please God, joined the Jesuits Triumphant, and five pensioners may be found in the ranks of the Society of Jesus Militant.
In 1914 no one talked of A.B's or X.Y's image, but there was a G.I. Noviceship text book, which contained an ideal of the Model Novice called Imago boni Novitii; Brother Paye strove earnestly to approximate to the ideal. One not surprising result of this was a long reign as Beadle, and the opportunity to guide in some measure the “A B’s” of whom he was a more than competent “Leading Hand”. The metaphor would not have pleased him. He was already a fair Irish scholar and a Gaelic enthusiast, deriving some of his competence from Fr P O'Leary's living language at Castlelyons. If he was no man's enemy he had little love of the English, believing perhaps like St. Joan of Arc “God loves them in their own country”. It was an era of resurgence and for him the Easter Week Rising, the first news of which reached the Novices playing cricket, presented a challenge to which he made a generous and constant response.
Noviceship was followed by a year of Home Juniorate; a year very much of high thinking and plain living. No one who spent Christmas to Easter of 1917 on the frozen central plain of Ireland is likely to forget it. The canal was frozen for a long period and deep snow covered the ground, practically, for several months; the only available fuel was damp turf in a small smouldering stove lit during night recreation which was the sole source of heat in St. Mary's dormitory. To this was added a spartan regime entailed by the sacrifices expected during the doldrums of the war. On the intellectual front, however, the young men profited by the splendid teaching of Mr Harry Johnston in Greek, Latin and English, the quaintly couched presentation of natural philosophy of Fr Willie Byrne - all braced by Father Charles Mulcahy's resourceful pedagogy. In the group which included Eddie Coyne, Arthur Little and Joe Carbury, it could not be said of Fred Paye that he merely met the scholars; he was a solid, serious, methodical student; as a group they were closely knit, cheerful and even exciting. After the Juniorate philosophy, and philosophy meant the Seminary at Stonyhurst. To join an English Province House at a time when memories of 1916 were all too fresh, and when Ludendorff's last stand heightened the tension the prospect for one of Fred Paye's outlook was not delectable. The threat of conscription in 1918 eased the situation in bringing the Irish contingent back in 1918 to Milltown Park and Minor Orders; the Status gave Mr a teaching appointment in Belvedere, where he saw the Anglo-Irish war come to a close. Two years later in 1922, he was transferred to Clongowes, a long regency being still common. There, as Lower Line Prefect, he had to succeed such energetic characters as Father Corboy and Father McGlade. He coached or had coached rugby and cricket, organised debates and plays and lectures and controlled effortlessly and without severity the least controllable of the line. As a teacher, now and later, his absolute sense of justice, his undemonstrative manner, his decisive competence and industry made him trusted and effective - as was remarked a “hustler”. At his funeral one of his Galway boys to was to proclaim he “owed his vocation to Father Paye”. He was not alone in this.
In his nearer approach to the priesthood Mr Paye was fortunate in his Professors for he did his theology in Ore Place, Hastings, where the most distinguished of the French Jesuits, dispossessed by their own Government and living as refugees in England, maintained the highest theological traditions. Afterwards he went to Paray-le-Monial for his Tertianship.
In 1930 he returned to Ireland and for the next quarter of a century he taught in the Colleges. An enthusiastic Irish scholar, he was too clear-headed not to realise that the revival would constitute a long haul; boys at Mungret and in Galway, during the periods when Fr Paye was attached to those houses, later recalled him as a quietly dominating personality in the classroom.
He is perhaps most happily remembered in these years by his services as Villa Master of Jesuit Irish Villas in Ballyferriter, and his devotion to Ballingeary. But it was in the last years of his life that he really came into his own. An old friend of his, Father T. Mulcahy had the prescience to realise what he might do as a “Churchman”, and for seventeen years he was attached to Gardiner Street.
He had a wonderful charisma for dealing with the “hard case”. Gentleness, firmness and confidence all played a part in making him “the sinners' friend”, as His Master had been called.
His services were given most generously and freely, and very soon many - not least the Brothers of the Morning Star, came to count on his help. It is, of course, work which shuns publicity, and only in death can be paid to him the tribute of praise and gratitude he never sought.
His fidelity to the duties of Gardiner Street was admirable; his box, one of the busiest in the church, was invariably occupied as assigned hours; his preaching, 'as of one having authority', thought
fully prepared, logically constructed and deliberately enunciated bore in upon bis hearers the conclusiveness of his message. As a Director of the Cuallacht Mo Bhí - the Irish speaking St. Vincent de Paul Conference - the same loyalty was manifest; possibly most impressive, the punctuality with which he visited with Holy Communion clients, bedridden, some for months, some continuously for years.
We offer our sympathy to his nieces in Cork who so kindly provided some details of family background. Fr Paye, whose day of death was May 21st, survived his sister and all his brothers. May they all rest in peace.

Power, Edmund, 1878-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/363
  • Person
  • 02 March 1878-03 August 1953

Born: 02 March 1878, Kilcullane, Herbertstown, County Limerick
Entered: 01 October 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912
Professed: 25 February 1915
Died: 03 August 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1901 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language
by 1908 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1910 at Oran, Algeria (LUGD) studying
by 1910 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1915 at Pontifical Biblical Institute Rome, Italy (ROM) teaching

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from J Austin Hartigan Entry :
After Noviceship he made studies at Tullabeg, and then Eastern languages at Beirut with Edmund Power.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Studied at St Patrick’s Seminary Thurles and St Patrick’s College Maynooth to 1st Divinity before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 28th Year No 4 1953

Obituary :

Father Edmond Power 1878-1953

When Father Power went to his reward, on August 3rd, the Irish Province lost one of its most venerable and distinguished sons. Studying, teaching and writing with unflagging energy till the end, he had done much, in a long lifetime, for that scholarly defence of the Faith which, as the Holy Father said at our fourth centenary, is what the Church chiefly asks of the Society. The funeral of “this eminent Jesuit scholar”, to quote the papers, was marked by sympathetic tributes from the highest dignitaries of Church and State in Ireland. All felt that there had gone from us a learned and holy man who could hardly, if ever, be replaced. Fr. Power had, in fact, in a laborious life devoted to some of the most difficult branches of scholarship, brought his great gifts to a readiness and ripeness which made him indeed a master in Israel." Happily, in the most important contribution which be made to the recent “Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture” be was able to leave to the Church a fitting memorial of his great achievements.
Father Power was born at Kilcullane, Herbertstown, Co. Limerick, in 1878. From his sturdy farming ancestors he derived a wiry vigour which stood him in good stead during the rigours of a student's life passed for the most part under the trying conditions of Eastern and Roman climates. His deep piety too owed much to his remarkable family - seven of his sisters became nuns, two of his brothers priests, one of whom was till his retirement Parish Priest in California, the other Archdeacon of the Cashel diocese. One sister and one brother “stayed in the world”, and Fr. Power had the happiness of seeing a nephew ordained last year. He treasured the memory of his father, who instilled into his children a great devotion to the daily rosary, and who was a weekly communicant at a time when few felt prepared. His saintly mother may well be remembered by her words in time of trial : “What is this life worth, except to serve God”. Fr. Edmond was not the slowest to learn and live that lesson.
He was a talented child, who learnt the alphabet in one lesson at the age of three - a foreshadowing of what he would do later when faced with the four hundred cuneiform characters of the Assyrian ‘alphabet’. When he left the National School to attend the Christian Brothers, Limerick, he was intended for law. But his vocation to the priesthood brought him to Thurles Seminary where in one year he won a place at Maynooth. There he studied Philosophy for two years, 1894-6, and three weeks Theology, before entering the noviceship. Well-meaning and revered counsellors had urged him to wait till after ordination. But he was determined “to get the real Jesuit spirit” by doing the full course, thereby showing the high esteem he had of the Society, and which he expressed on his death-bed. “A year or two”, he said, “what does it matter? You all know what I think of the Society”. He was remembered at Maynooth as the student who was always in the chapel.
He stayed in Tullabeg for his juniorate, 1898-1902, gaining one of the most brilliant degrees on record at the Royal University in Ancient Classics. During three of these years, he taught his fellow juniors. In 1906 he went to the University of the French Jesuits at Beirut. His chief study was Arabic, ancient and modern, which he admitted he found much more difficult than the Hebrew which he also studied, along with Syriac, Aramaic, Assyrian, Coptic and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. His doctorate thesis was on a medieval poet of Arabia. During these years he gained that living familiarity with the East which graced his widely-read articles on Palestinian Customs as illustrating the Bible. A year's teaching at Clongowes was followed by two years philosophy at Valkenburg, and theology with the exiled French Jesuits at Hastings. His way of passing the summer, even most of the one after ordination, was to study in the British Museum, His preparation for his work could hardly have been more apt or thorough.
In Tertianship at Tullabeg, he was highly appreciated as the author of skits and humorous poems performed at the concerts given to the Novices on festive occasions. His wit was indeed always quick, though his charity restricted its play. He was called to Rome in 1914 to begin the twenty-four years of Professorship at the Biblical Institute which made him a well-loved figure to hundreds of students from all parts of the world. His chief subjects were Arabic, Syriac, Biblical Archaeology, the physical and historical Geography of Palestine, all demanding highly specialised skill. He was for a time editor of the scientific organ of the Institute “Biblica”, and contributed regularly the Bibliography which covered all fields of Scripture studies. He also edited the more ‘popular’ “Verbum Domini”, where articles in his elegant Latin often appeared. His learned research articles gained him the name of high erudition even with those who could not accept some of his conclusions. Perhaps the finest publication of his Roman period was the study of the religion of Islam in Huby's Christus. Some of his work, especially his identification of the site of the House of Caiphas, brought him into controversy with the great Dominican scholars of Jerusalem. When the dust had settled, the new Dictionnaire de la Bible entrusted the subject in question to Fr. Power.
Returning finally to Milltown Park in 1938, at the age of sixty, Fr. Power began an Indian summer which was to be perhaps the most fruitful period of his life. In 1941 he added exegesis of the New Testament to his classes on the old, and took on the duties of prefect of studies. His lectures were clear and solid, and he shirked no amount of repetition to drive home what had to be known - a trait very welcome to students heavily burdened with examinations. The project of a complete English commentary on the Bible found in him an enthusiastic supporter, and his scholarship and industry made him a valued contributor. Nor only did he fulfil his own engagements punctually, but he took up tasks where others defaulted. It is hardly too much to say that without him the Commentary would not have been published for many years more, nor would it have reached the standard it did in the time. To the remuneration of the 200,000 words he wrote, the publishers added a substantial sum in recognition of the special part he played in its production. The relentless energy he put into this work was astonishing in so frail and stooped a frame, racked as it was by the paroxysms of a cough which had been chronic since his early days in Rome. He wore out at his work, but it was well done.
He was fully conscious during his last illness, which lasted only a day, and he died in sentiments of tranquil hope. Priests wept unashamedly at his graveside. None could recall a harsh or an uncharitable remark from his lips, but all remembered his patient and humble obedience, the fervour of his Mass, office and beads, his courageous devotion to duty. Many regretted the loss of a prudent kind and understanding confessor and his friends inside and outside the Society, in many parts of the country, mourned a sympathetic and self-effacing companion. It was well to have known this model of work and prayer. He had joined the Society with the clear purpose of serving God there perfectly. His merciful Judge knows how loyally he kept his word.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 1 1954

AN APPRECIATION

of the late Father Edmund Power
It was only a few days ago that I heard from Fr. Sutcliffe, S.J. of the death of Fr. Edmund Power, S.J., our colleague for the past ten years in the production of A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, and I should like to express on behalf of the other contributors and myself our deep sorrow at your loss and ours. I said Mass for him the day after I heard the news and am making a 30-day memento, which is the same as we always do for the brethren of our own Community.
Fr. Power's part in the production of our Commentary was in valuable and can hardly be overestimated. From our first approach to him early in 1944, be was an enthusiastic supporter of the project, and so far as I can gather, he devoted the greater part of the next seven years to writing a series of articles and commentaries, the learning, balance and breadth of which are amongst the greatest adornments of our work. Indeed, without bis amazing industry and energy it is difficult to see how we could ever have completed our task. His helpfulness and willingness to undertake assignments unfulfilled by others showed the breadth of his character, and none of the many great calls we made on him but was cheerfully taken up and completed to our great satis faction. Both from his and our point of view, it was providential that in his last years we were able fully to utilise those great stores of learn ing and experience that he had built up in the course of a most distinguished career.
My own personal contact with him was unfortunately limited to one personal flying visit to Milltown Park in 1945, where I was most hospitably received and entertained. I always received the greatest personal consideration from him at every time and I was always struck by his humility in consulting and sometimes deferring to a much younger and less knowledgeable person. I should appreciate very much receiving a copy of his obit card and of his obituary notice.
Bernard Orchard

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund Power 1878-1953
Fr Edmund Power was born of farming stock near Herbertstown County Limerick. His early years of farm life gave him a strong body, which stood him in good stead during his arduous years of study.

He was educated by the Christian Brothers in Limerick. He went first to Maynooth, and when he had finished the Philosophy courses, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg. He did his studies abroad and was ordained in 1912.

He was then sent to the Biblical Institute, where he spent the next 24 years. He contributed to many learned magazines, including “Studies” and “Christus”. He took a major part in th compilation of the Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture.

He returned to Dublin in 1938 to teach Old and New testament Studies at Milltown Park. His many virtues made him much beloved. He died there on August 3rd 1953.

Sheridan, Thomas J, 1881-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2124
  • Person
  • 03 February 1881-15 July 1946

Born: 03 February 1881, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1898, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1918
Died: 15 July 1946, Glasgow, Scotland - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1917 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946
FROM OTHER PROVINCES :
England :
Fr. Thomas Sheridan died on July 15th. He was born in Dublin in 1881, educated by the Christian Brothers, entered the Society at Manresa in 1898, did theology at Ore Place, but was ordained at Milltown in 1915, and did tertianship in Tullabeg 1916. He taught at Preston till 1938 and then at Glasgow till 1938, continuing there as Prefect of Studies till 1945.