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168 Name results for Hauts-de-France

Adams, James, 1737-1802, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/867
  • Person
  • 03 November 1737-07 December 1802

Born: 03 November 1737, Ireland
Entered: 07 September 1756, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: c1767
Died: 07 December 1802, Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Hacon; Alias Spencer

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Author of some works.

◆ The English Jesuits 1650-1829 Geoffrey Holt SJ : Catholic Record Society 1984
Son of William and Anne or Sarah Spencer
Educated St Omer 1746-1755
1755-1756 Douai
Entered 07/09/1756 Watten
1761Bruges College
1763/4-1767 Liège, Theology
Ordained c 17671767-1768 Ghent, Tertianship
1768 St Aloysius College (Southworth, Croft, Leigh)
1769-1774 St Chad’s College, Aston
1774-1798 London
1798-1802 Dublin

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ADAMS, JAMES, began his Noviceship at Watten, 7th September, 1756. In the sequel he taught a course of Humanities with distinguished credit at St Omer. After pursuing the quiet tenor of his way as a Missionary for many years, he retired to Dublin in the early part of August, 1802, and died there on the 7th of December, the same year, aged 65. He was the author of the following works :

  1. Early Rules for taking a Likeness. With plates, (from the French of Bonamici), 1 Vol. 8vo. pp. 59, London, 1792.
  2. Oratio Acadcmica, Anglice et Latins conscripta. Octavo, pp. 21, London, 1793.
  3. Euphonologia Linguae Anglicance, Latine et Gallice Scripta. (Inscribed to the Royal Societies of Berlin and London). 1 Vol. Svo. pp. 190, London, 1794. The author was honored with the thanks of the Royal Society, London.
  4. Rule Britannia, or the Flattery of Free Subjects paraphrased and expounded. To which is added, An Academical Discourse in English and Latin, 8vo. pp. 60, London, 1798.
  5. A Sermon preached at the Catholic Chapel of St. Patrick, Sutton Street, Soho Square, on Wednesday, the 7th of March, the Day of Public Fast. 8vo. pp. 34, London, 1798.
  6. The Pronunciation of the English Language Vindicated. 1 vol. 8vo. Edinburgh, 1799.

Q. Was F. Adams the author of the following works mentioned in the catalogue of the British Museum :

  1. The Elements of Reading, 12mo. London, 1791.
  2. The Elements of Useful Knowledge. 12mo. London, 1793.
  3. A View of Universal History. 3 vols. 8vo. London, 1795.
    From a letter of his friend John Moir, dated Edinburgh, 11th Nov. 1801, as well as its answer, it is obvious that the Father had it in contemplation to publish his Tour through the Hebrides. He had been much disgusted with the Tour of that “ungrateful deprecating cynic, Dr. Johnson”.

Barnewall, Edward, 1588-1621, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/892
  • Person
  • 1588-20 September 1621

Born: 1588, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1611, Rome, Italy
Died: 20 September 1621, Holy House of Loreto, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

Educated at Irish College Douay - Rhetoric and Logic
1614 at Holy House of Loreto (ROM) as Penitentiary
1615 Fr Holywood recommends as fit agent for Irish Mission in Rome
1619 at College of Loreto (ROM) studying Theology

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1614&1617 At Loreto
1615 Fr Holywood recommends him as a fit agent of the Irish Mission to reside in Rome (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Began studies at Douai before Ent 23/10/1604 Rome
1611 Ordained but not allowed to return to Ireland until his studies were complete. Then appointed to Loreto as Confessor
Recommended by Fr Holywood to be Procurator of Irish Mission, but was prevented from taking up this position due to ill health and died Loreto, 20 September, 1621

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BARNEWALL, EDWARD, This Father was Penitentiary at Loretto late in 1614. His Superior, F. Christopher Holiwood, recommended to the General, Claudius Aquaviva, to call him to Rome as agent for the Irish Mission, as he had a good opinion of his zeal and distinction.

Barnewall, John, 1576-1617, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/893
  • Person
  • 23 June 1576-11 August 1617

Born: 23 June 1576, Stackallen Castle, County Meath
Entered: Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG) (cf Tournai Diary MS n 1016, fol 351, Archives de l’État, Brussels)
Ordained: 04 April 1609, Mechelen, Belgium
Final vows: 1616
Died: 11 August 1617, Drogheda, Co Louth - Romanae Province (ROM)

Studied Humanities in Ireland and also studied in Douay. Taught Grammar and Greek. Master of Arts.
In 1609 came from BELG to AQUIT on matters re Irish Mission
From 1609 to 1611 was in Professed House in Bordeaux
1616 looking after Irish Mission
His father, Robert Barnewall is called “Seigneur de Stackalais. His mother is Alsona Brandon.
He renounced his Stackallen inheritance

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Robert Lord Stackallen and Alsona née Brandon - he renounced his inheritance of Stackallen
Studied Humanities partly in Ireland and partly with his Philosophy at Douai graduating MA
He is shortly referred to in a letter from Fr Lawndry (Holiwood) to Richard Conway 11/08/1617 (IER Arril 1872 p 292)
He arrived in Ireland in 1617 (??)
Professor of Greek; besides the Breviary he recited daily the Office of the Blessed Virgin; was styled the “poor man’s Apostle”; most zealous and obedient, “omnium virtutum specimen” says Holywood.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Robert and Alison neé Brandon
Had already achieved an MA before Ent 07/10/1599 Tournai
1601 After First Vows spent four years in Regency, then completed his studies at Douai and Louvain and was ordained at Mechelen, 4 April, 1609
1609-1611 At Bordeaux
1611 A member of the Dublin Residence, he exercised his ministry in Kildare, later in Dublin and finally in Drogheda where he died 11 August 1617
Father Holywood in his Annual Letter aluding to Father Barnewall' s death, described him as an 'apostle of the poor'

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Barnwell SJ 1576-1614
John Barnwell was born in Stackallen Castle County Meath in 1576 of a noble Norman family which gave many members to the Society. Like William Bathe, John Barnwell renounced his inheritance of Stackallen and entered the Society at Tournai in 1599.

He came to Ireland in 1609 and worked as a missionary in the neighbourhood of Drogheda. He was known as the poor man’s apostle. Besides the Breviary, he recited daily the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

He died near Drogheda in 1617.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BARNEWALL, JOHN, I find by F. Richard Daton s letter from Bordeaux, 13th of January, 1615, that F. Barnewall was then detained in that city by illness, and unfit to proceed to the Mission, where his services were much wanted. But seven years later I find him called to Ireland.

Barrett, Cyril D, 1925-2003, Jesuit priest, art historian, and philosopher

  • IE IJA J/561
  • Person
  • 09 May 1925-30 December 2003

Born: 09 May 1925, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 30 December 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) studying
by 1963 at Mount Street, London (ANG) studying
by 1964 at Church of the Assumption, Warwick (ANG) studying
by 1973 at Warwick University (ANG) teaching
by 1993 at Campion Hall, Oxford (BRI) teaching

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Barrett, (Denis) Cyril
by Patrick Maume

Barrett, (Denis) Cyril (1925–2003), Jesuit priest, art critic and historian, and philosopher, was born Denis Barrett in Dublin on 9 May 1925 (Cyril was his name in religion). He was the son of Denis Barrett, the last assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. His mother died of cancer when he was aged three, and his father subsequently remarried; the two marriages produced four sons and a daughter. Young Denis grew up at the family home in Booterstown, south Co. Dublin; his relationship with his stepmother Evelyn was close and affectionate. The family background was well‐to‐do catholic with some landed gentry elements which might have been described as ‘castle catholic’ but which offered scope for self‐expression, often eccentric; like several of his ancestors, Barrett was noted for charm, eccentricity, and intellectual brilliance.

He was educated at Killashee school in Naas, at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and at Clongowes. He joined the Jesuits in 1942, underwent a Thomist training in philosophy at the Jesuit college in Tullabeg, and studied theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. The Jesuits recognised and encouraged his academic vocation, and his career took advantage of the wide latitude allowed to an imaginative Jesuit in pursuance of his vocation. He studied Latin and history at University College Dublin (the latter discipline, as taught by John Marcus O’Sullivan (qv), had a strong philosophical component, and Barrett recalled being introduced to political philosophy by studying Rousseau as being thrown in at the deep end) and graduated with a first class BA in 1947. After a year studying anthropology and the role of myth at the Warburg Institute, Barrett began a peripatetic teaching career, including three years at Clongowes, three years teaching psychology at Tullabeg, and a period at Chantilly (France). He also studied theology at Milltown Park. Barrett was ordained priest in 1956 and took his final Jesuit vows in 1960. He undertook advanced research in philosophy at the University of London, receiving a Ph.D. in 1962 for a dissertation on symbolism in the arts.

In 1965 Barrett was one of two founding members of the philosophy department at the University of Warwick, where he was successively lecturer (1965–7), senior lecturer (1967–72) and reader (1972–92). Shortly after his appointment to Warwick he established his reputation, first by editing a well‐received selection of papers by innovators in the philosophy of art and criticism, Collected papers on aesthetics (1965), then by persuading the notoriously reluctant Wittgenstein estate to allow him to publish a collection of notes by three students of Wittgenstein of the philosopher’s remarks on aesthetics, psychology and religion. Lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief (1966) offered new perspectives on Wittgenstein’s aesthetic and religious interests, whose extent had barely been realised, and became the basis for an extensive critical literature.

Barrett maintained his involvement with Wittgenstein throughout his career, summing up his views in Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief (1991). He maintained that the gap between Wittgenstein’s early and late views had been exaggerated; the importance Wittgenstein attached to value remained constant and the Tractatus logico‐philosophus, widely seen as an exercise in positivism, was in inspiration a document of moral inquiry. He did not call himself a Wittgensteinian (he was sceptical of the concept of philosophical discipleship) but was influenced by Wittgenstein in his eclectic preference for addressing disparate problems rather than seeking to build an overarching system, and in his interest in the nature of perception.

The mature Barrett held the Wittgensteinian view that religion could not be stated in propositional terms (i.e. as a set of beliefs) but can only be experienced as a way of life, though Barrett also maintained that this did not entail relativism between such ways; real belief was required. This view would have been seen as heterodox by large numbers of Christians throughout the history of Christianity (including some of Barrett’s contemporaries) but was part of a wider reaction within twentieth‐century catholic theology against what were seen as excessively mechanical and rationalistic forms of neo‐Thomism and of a desire to rediscover the approach of the early church fathers based on the view that reason might illuminate faith from within but could not create it where it did not exist.

Barrett disliked clerical politics and what he saw as the intellectual narrowness and social conservatism of the church hierarchy. He was hostile to the neo‐orthodoxy of Pope John Paul II; his comment in a public venue on the day of the pope’s attempted assassination by Mehmet Ali Agca (13 May 1981), that the greatest fault of ‘that bloody Turk’ had been not shooting straight (Times, 15 Jan. 2004), was occasionally cited by more conservative catholics as symbolic of the perceived deterioration of the Jesuits after the second Vatican council. Barrett’s friends recall, however, that despite his pleasure in flouting what he regarded as petty‐fogging rules and the constraints of his calling, he maintained a deep personal faith in God and was a valued and compassionate confessor and adviser; beneath his questing was an underlying simplicity.

He was a champion of various schools of modern art, particularly Op Art (in 1970 he published one of the first significant books on this form of abstract art, which uses optical illusions to focus the viewer’s attention on the process of perception). He was a regular visitor to eastern Europe where he combined religious activity with encouragement of those artists who were resisting official pressure to conform to Soviet realism; his trips were financed by eastern bloc royalties from his own publications (which could not be transferred into western currencies) and the profits from smuggling out disassembled artworks as ‘agricultural implements’. He also helped to mount several art exhibitions to popularise favoured trends, and established extensive (and hard‐bargained) relationships with London dealers. He played a significant role in building up Warwick University’s art collection, and at various times donated forty works from his own collection (including items by Bridget Riley, Micheal (Michael) Farrell (qv), and Yoko Ono) to the university. Barrett’s fascination with kitsch led him to produce a paper, ‘Are bad works of art “works of art”?’ (Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, vi (1973), 182–93), inspired by some of the religious art he encountered at Kenilworth Priory, Warwick. (Barrett’s answer was a qualified Yes.)

He did much to popularise modern art in Ireland through his frequent contributions to the Jesuit quarterly review Studies (he was assistant editor for a year in the early 1950s, and throughout his subsequent career wrote and reviewed for the journal on a wide range of topics) and other journals such as The Furrow and Irish Arts Yearbook. He produced a widely respected catalogue of nineteenth‐century Irish art (Irish art in the 19th century (1971)), and with Jeanne Sheehy (qv) contributed two chapters on the visual arts and Irish society to A new history of Ireland. VI. Ireland under the union, II. 1870–1921 (Oxford 1996) and an account of twentieth‐century art to A new history of Ireland. VII. 1921–84 (Oxford 2004). He also published monographs on the artists Micheal (Michael) Farrell and Carmel Mooney.

Although his flair for teaching and disputation was celebrated on campus, Barrett, like many old‐style academics, lacked administrative aptitude and in his later years at Warwick he was irritated by the increasing bureaucratisation and quantification of higher education. In 1992 he retired from Warwick to Campion Hall, the Jesuit college at Oxford, where he organised an exhibition of its art holdings, used the Latin‐language procedure in applying for a Bodleian reader’s ticket, and was a frequent visitor to the rival Dominican hall, Blackfriars. At Campion Hall he continued to work as a tutor, though he maintained that leisure (expansively defined as ‘life lived to its fullest’) was the proper end of human life and the proper state of mankind; he devoted as much time to it as possible.

He was a world traveller (wont to describe some of the ricketier charter planes he encountered as ‘Holy Ghost Airlines’), a gourmet cook who loved to entertain guests, a convivial drinker, and fond of betting on horseraces; he regularly attended the Merriman summer school in Co. Clare with his friend the broadcaster Seán Mac Réamoinn (1921–2007). He was a voluble critic of the provisional IRA. At the time of his death he was working on an analysis of the morality of war (he was always critical of the view that a just cause justified any means), a philosophical autobiography My struggles with philosophy, and a revision of the Spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. He also wrote poetry inspired by his reactions to the cancer which was killing him. Cyril Barrett died in Dublin on 30 December 2003.

Ir. Times, 10 Jan. 2004; Times (London), 15 Jan. 2004; Independent (London), 25 Feb. 2004; https://warwick.ac.uk/services/art/teachinglearningandresearch/onlineexhibitions/cyrilbarrett/

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005


Fr Cyril D Barrett (1925-2003)

May 9th 1925: Born in Dublin
Early education at Kiliashee, Naas, Co.Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorks. and Clongowes
Sept. 7th 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1953: Clongowes - Prefect and Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
July 31st 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1959: Leeson Street - Minister, Asst. Editor Studies
1959 - 1960: Tullabeg - Prof. Psychology; Subminister
Feb. 2nd 1960: Final Vows
1960 - 1961: Tullabeg -Prof. Psychology; Minister
1961 - 1964: London - Postgraduate Studies (History of Philosophy), London University (PhD)
1964 - 1965: Chantilly, France - Lecturer in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Warwick University - Lecturer in Philosophy
1966 - 2003: Milltown Park
1966 - 1967: Dean of Philosophy; Prof. Philosophy at MI
1967 - 1972: Senior Lecturer in Philosophy - Warwick U.; Reader / Visiting Lecturer - Milltown Institute
1972 - 1992: University of Warwick - Reader in Philosophy
1992 - 2002: Oxford - Tutor in Philosophy
2002 - 2003: Milltown Park - writer
Dec. 30th 2003: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Fr. Barrett was diagnosed as suffering from cancer in Autumn 2003. Despite a brief remission his health deteriorated steadily. He was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on Christmas Day. There he died on the morning of Dec. 30th 2003.

Obituary from Times of London, January 15, 2004:

Dinner with Father Cyril Barrett - and you would dine well with this accomplished cook, even if in somewhat chaotic surroundings – was an intellectual feast composed of unpredictable ingredients. A man of huge charm, voracious curiosity and lively humour, he made an open house of his great learning. It was a place that offered inspiration and discovery to those who stepped across its threshold, at the University of Warwick where he taught philosophy for nearly three decades, in Dublin and London, or on his adventurous travels on a Jesuitical shoestring. (Holy Ghost Airlines, he would joke about the dodgier charter flights to dodgy destinations.) As an experimental new university in the mid-Sixties, Warwick attracted, and was attracted by, his interdisciplinary and questing cast of mind. Barrett was as authoritative on Op Art as he was on Wittgenstein's aesthetics.

Inducted almost straight from school into the Society of Jesus but, wisely, given free rein to pursue his strong academic vocation, Cyril Barrett found his reference points as writer, critic and lecturer in philosophy, aesthetics and a lifelong engagement with religious meaning; but he branched outward in multiple directions. He could discourse as intriguingly on hot racing tips, the samizdat blue films circulating in Cold War Central Europe (about which he was alarmingly well informed), kitsch or even knitting, as he talked about medieval aesthetics, Kierkegaard or Picasso. The most unclerical of priests, his faith was deep yet never unquestioning, just as the intellect that made him a renowned philosopher and art critic was tempered by the intensity of his inner spiritual dialogue.

Denis Cyril Barrett was born in 1925 in Dublin, to the sort of horse-and-hounds family that throws up, as it did with his great-uncle Cyril Corbally, such eccentric luminaries as champion croquet players. But this was independence-era Dublin, with its charged politics. His father Denis, the last Assistant Commissioner of the pre-1922 Dublin Metropolitan Police and the first of the Garda Siochana that replaced it, was to resign out of disgust with de Valera's brand of nationalism and the virulence of the IRA – a disgust always shared by his son. His mother died when he was three, and he was brought up by his adored stepmother Evelyn.

His early trajectory was conventional, from Ampleforth to a first in History and Latin at University College, Dublin, and thence to licenciates both in philosophy and in theology before ordination. How little these disciplines were to confine him was demonstrated by his doctorate, on symbolism in the arts, and a subsequent year studying anthropology and the role of myth at University College, London and the Warburg Institute, His large body of books and essays was to be almost equally devoted to modern art --- where his influence was enormous and Europe wide -- and to philosophical studies.

As a philosopher, Barrett became celebrated for publishing, in 1966, a selection of student notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief -- a small corpus out of which has developed a massive secondary literature and which has profoundly influenced aesthetics and theology. All his formidable persuasive skills were put to the test in gaining the consent of the notoriously possessive executors; Wittgenstein declared that "only aesthetic and conceptual questions” really gripped him, but without the Barrett enterprise, few would have known for many years of his grapplings with the former, or indeed with religion.

A quarter of a century later he gave his own considered account of Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief, arguing that his views on value developed but did not change. Wittgenstein, he maintained, held that seeking to inculcate moral principles, and teaching religion in propositional form, is contrary to the true nature of ethics and religious belief - a position he endorsed. But he resisted the influential misinterpretation according to which Wittgenstein held religious belief to be nothing more than a way of life according to a picture. Belief is involved. The “picture” of Judgment Day is more than a mere picture or exemplar; it is a picture to live by, and there are better and worse such pictures; Wittgenstein “was no more a relativist than any reasonable person can avoid being”.

While never a Wittgensteinian, and indeed hostile to the notion of philosophical discipleship, he certainly learnt from him, and in aesthetics this influence came out in at least two ways. First, in his preference for tackling particular problems and clarifying ideas, over constructing elaborate theories, and secondly in his engagement with the interconnections between aesthetics and psychology, expressed most notably in his pioneering work popularising and explaining Op Art, both in books and by organising exhibitions. As an art critic he was wide-ranging and formidable -- his catalogue of 19th-century Irish Victorian Art is a classic of its kind - but also creative. He was a driving force in establishing Warwick University's art collection, and in cultivating understanding of modern art in Ireland. “Are bad works of art ‘works of art’?”, he asked in an influential essay; his suitably nuanced answer was that they may well be.

Jesuits, avowedly and by direction, are deeply involved in the world's affairs - and the greatest of them are mavericks. To someone of Barrett's catholic interests, impatience of convention and detestation of intellectual narrowness, Catholicism can be a hard master. Like many Jesuits down the centuries, Barrett made no attempt to disguise his chafing at the Vatican's hierarchical politics and social conservatism - going so far as to declare on the day of the attempted assassination of the Pope, in a bellow that filled a London restaurant, that “the only thing wrong with that bloody Turk was that he couldn't shoot straight”. The religious affairs correspondent of The Sunday Times, seated at a nearby table, turned beetroot.

Yet Barrett could readily assume his priestly guise and, in that capacity, was a compassionate and subtle counsellor and eminently practical moralist, ultimately convinced of the intelligence as well as the goodness of the Holy Spirit and able to instil that belief in others.

Academic politics bored Barrett at least as much as the priestly variety, and the world of league tables, research assessments and other bureaucratic rigidities even more. He left Warwick in 1992 for Campion Hall, Oxford, with some relief, striding into the Bodleian and demanding (successfully) to use the Latin language procedure for registering for a reader's ticket,

He continued writing to the very end of his life, back in Dublin, and was working in the last weeks on books and articles ranging from the morality of war to the limits of science, as well as writing poetry and rewriting the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Barrett would, however, have described this as the pursuit of leisure, which for him was “not a trivial pursuit”, and nothing to do with idleness, but, rather, “life lived to its fullest”.

Work was necessary for survival, he wrote, but “It is not an end in itself. Leisure is. It is the end, the goal, of human life, the proper state of man” -- which is why the quality of leisure matters. There are echoes here of Aristotle, even of St Augustine's idea of entering the holy Sabbath of God. But Cyril Barrett's genius was to draw the classical forward into the present; to cite one of his aphorisms, “philosophy may be perennial, but it is not static”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2004


Father Cyril Barrett SJ

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, who died on December 30th, 2003 aged 78, was a philosopher and art critic of international renown. He had his first direct encounter with philosophy as a student at University College Dublin, through Prof Marcus O'Sullivan's treatment of Rousseau. Philosophy, he would later remark, was a matter of learning to swim by diving in at the deep end but, he cautioned, the deep end of Rousseau's political philosophy was not to be recommended.

He wrote in “Studies” on subjects ranging from Picasso to Kierkegaard. His first book on Wittgenstein, dealing with aesthetics, psychology and religious belief, was published in 1966. Twenty five years later, he published Wittgenstein on Ethics and Religious Beliefs, a mature exposition of the questions that engaged him as a philosopher.

He played a major role in fostering an appreciation of modern art in Ireland. He was a member of the committee of ROSC that provided a showcase for the work of leading international artists. A regular contributor to “Art Monthly”, his publications include a study of op art and monographs on : Michael Farrell and Carmel Mooney. He contributed a section on art in the 20th century to the most recent volume of “A New History of Ireland” (2003).

Denis Cyril Barrett was born on May 9th, 1925, in Dublin, the son of Denis Barrett and his wife Lily (née Kearney). His father was assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the family lived in Booterstown. His mother died when he was three and his father later remarried. His early education took place at Killashee, Naas, Co Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and Clongowes Wood College. In 1942 he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1956, taking his final vows in 1960.

He studied arts at UCD and in 1947 secured a first class honours in Latin and History. Having studied philosophy at Tullabeg, Co Offaly, he taught for three years at Clongowes. He spent the next three years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Following a year as assistant editor of “Studies”, he taught psychology at Tullabeg. He completed a PhD at London University in 1964 and afterwards caught philosophy at Chantilly, France, and at the University of Warwick, where he remained until 1992. Retirement from Warwick brought him to Campion Hall, Oxford, as a tutor for 10 years. Throughout this time he was a visiting lecturer at Milltown Park.

At the time of his death he was in the process of writing a philosophical memoir with the working title “My Struggles With Philosophy”. In it he addressed the question of understanding other philosophers whose views are alien, not only to one's own thought but also to the precepts of common sense.

A man of many parts, he was a world traveler, a gourmet cook who liked to entertain and he had the knack of picking a winner on the racing page or at an occasional race meeting. He also enjoyed attending the Merriman Summer School with his friend, Seán Mac Réamoinn. But, as his colleague, Father Bill Mathews, said at his funeral Mass, “At the centre of it all, I believe there was in him a very simple faith in God and in the goodness of God”.

Predeceased by his brother Matthew, he is survived by his stepmother Evelyn, brothers John and Father Francis, and sister Eve.

Courtesy of The Irish Times

Bathe, Robert, 1582-1649, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/911
  • Person
  • 1582-15 June 1649

Born: 1582, Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 23 October 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c1610, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 05 September 1622
Died: 15 June 1649, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Of the “Villa de Drochedat” Meath
Educated at Irish College Douay
1610-1611 Sent from Rome as Professor of Spirituality and Scholastic to Irish College Lisbon
1617 in Ireland
1622 in Meath or Dublin
1626 in Ireland
1637 described as fit to be a Superior, but has choleric temperament
1649 in Kilkenny aged 70

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was a learned and most edifying priest and had rendered great service “by sea and by land”.
He was Rector of the Drogheda Residence.
He went thrice to Rome on behalf of the Irish Mission
Socius to the Mission Superior.
He was forty-five years on the Mission, and from Drogheda worked throughout Ulster in the midst of many perils. (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had started his studies at Douai before Ent at 26 October 1604 Rome
After First Vows he was sent to complete his studies at Roman College and was Ordained c 1610
1610 Sent to Lisbon to be Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father at the Irish College
1612 Returned to Ireland and assigned to Dublin Residence - possibly stationed at Drogheda
1621 Working in Drogheda, during which time he became entangled in the dispute between the Vicar General and the Franciscans.
He retired from Drogheda in the early 1640's and spent his last years at Kilkenny where he died, 15 June, 1649. He was named amongst the six Jesuits who resisted the censures of Rinuccini.
Regularly asked to conduct Irish Mission business in Rome
For many years Robert was Socius to the Superior of the Mission.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Bath 1581-1649
Robert Bath was one of the most distinguished Jesuits who worked in Ireland during the period 1610-1649.

Born in Drogheda in 1581 of a family which gave a martyr to the Society, he entered the Jesuits in 1604. His work was mainly centred around Ulster, and for a long period he was Superior of the Drogheda Residence.

Three times he went to Rome to report on the state of the Mission.

Worn out after a ministry of 45 years, he died in Kilkenny on June 15th 1649.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BATH, ROBERT. In 1624, he had been settled for about two years at Drogheda, where he instituted the Sodality of the B. Virgin Mary. He was thrice sent to Rome for the good of the Irish Mission. Worn out with age and infirmity, he died at Kilkenny, on the 15th of June, 1649.

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

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

Born: 18 August 1879, Fancroft, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1911, Hastings, England
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.”

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.”


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”.


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.”


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”


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.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1904

Letters from Our Past

Michael Bergin SJ

Ghazir, Syria

“Mr. Power and Mr. Hartigan arrived safe and sound at Beyrouth. They paid a visit to Ghazir shortly after their arrival. They were looking very well. They had no difficulty in recognising me in spite of my venerable beard. They stay at Beyrouth, where they study. Oriental languages.

We are only ten Philosophers, but there are also four teen Scholastics destined for the Mission, who are making a biennium of Arabic. There are also three Juniors, and fortunately for them, we are all in the same Community. It is not a bit like Christmas here, except for the rain, We are too near the sea at Ghazir to have frost, but the mountains quite close to us are covered with snow. We have a pretty little Crib in the chapel, but there are no other decorations. The Maronites have Midnight Mass in a great many churches, they have also a Novena with Benediction and Recitation or Office in preparation for Christmas. Their faith is, perhaps, more demonstra tive, but scarcely as solid, as that of the Irish. Sometimes they fall out with their bishop or priest, and threaten to be come Protestants or Schisinatics, if they don't get what they want, and sometimes too, unfortunately, they execute their threat. The English and American Protestants, as well as the Russian Schisinatics, do a great deal of harm. They have schools, and, as they are rich; they can hold out great inducements to the poor. Our Fathers, with very little money, have to fight against them. The Maronite clergy, although rich enough, do very little, and give nothing, and thus it is for us to do all. After all it is hard to find people as good as in the old country”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1905

Scenes and Manners in Syria - from the Letters of

Michael Bergin SJ and Austin Hartigan SJ

St Joseph’s University Beyrouth

I will tell you all about our vacation, perhaps it will interest you. We went to Tanail, where our fathers have a farm and an orphanage. Tanail is situated in the Bekka or plain that lies between the Lebanon and Anti Lebanon Mountains. This plain is eighty or ninety miles long and about fifteen broad. Tanail is just in the middle of this plain and half way between Beyrouth and Damascus. We went from Beyrouth by train. The journey is very interesting. On leaving Beyrouth you pass through a very fertile plain planted with olive trees. After about half an hour begins the ascent of the mountain. It is very steep in some places, so, to make it possible for the train to mount, there is a third rail with notches and the engine has a wheel with cogs which fit into these notches and thus prevent the train from slipping back. There are some very pretty little villages in the mountaiti. Most of the Beyrouth people pass the summer in one or other of these villages. Near the top of the mountain there are some villages inhabited by Druses. These are a people whose religion is a secret. They have some very curious customs one of them is that a Druse can never dispose of his property. He can spend his income as he wishes, but the real property always belongs to the family. The train goes very slow on ascending, so one has plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. The whole journey, which includes the descent as well as the ascent, is about forty miles, and we were over four hours in the train. When you are on the top of the mountain the plain opens out before you like a great lake shut in between the two mountains. Here and there are scattered little villages and spots of verdure these latter always marking the existence of water. The descent is quickly over, but the rocking of the train is so great that two or three were on the point of getting sea-sick, Our house is about half an hour's walk from the station. There are a good many trees, nearly all poplars, on the property, and so we enjoyed the luxury, so rare in this country, of walking in the shade. The sun is very warm here. You have no idea how hot it is from nine or ten in the morning to four or five in the evening; in the night and morning it is a little cooler, At Tanail the air is much drier than at Ghazir. At Ghazir one cannot walk for a quarter of an hour without being covered with perspiration; but in the plain, though one is scorched with the sun, one scarcely perspires at all. There are some interesting walks about. Amongst others is what is called:

The Tomb of Noah
Tradition says that he died and was buried near Zahleh, a village not far from Tanail. We went to-pay a visit then to this tomb of our common ancestor. We found the place a long, low, flat roofed, rectangular building, about forty yards long and three wide, which the Musulmans use as their mosque. The whole length of this house, and just in the middle, runs a piece of masonry about two feet high, and underneath this are said to rest the mortal remains of poor Noah. He must have been inconveniently tall.

The Excusrsion which lasted Four Days
One fine day, at half-past nine in the morning, seventeen of us started. The sun seemed to be specially hot that day, still we marched on bravely, after an hour and a half we came to a river - the biggest in Syria - which had to be crossed, and as there was no bridge we had to take off our boots and stockings, tighten up our soutanes and walk through. For the next two hours and a half we did not meet a single spring, and a two hours' tramp without water, where it is so warm, is no joke. However, four hours after our departure, we came to a long-wished-for well. We drank and washed, and started again for the village where we were to pass the night. After three hours we arrived there, and went to the priest's house. The only Catholics there are of the Syrian rite, and they are not very numerous. The rest of the inbabitants are either Druses or Greek Schismatics. The priest's house was a poor little cabin, consisting of two or three rooms. He received us very well - of course we had all our provisions with us, we had two mules to carry them on their backs, not in cars, because there are no roads only paths. We cooked our dinner and ate it in the Arabic fashion, ie, without plates, knives, spoons or forks. Soon after dinner, as everyone was a bit tired; we went to rest, We had brought a sack of blankets, one for each one. Five or six slept in the parlour which was at the same time bedroom, the rest slept on mats made of rushes, some in a little room beside the house, the rest outside the door. We used our shoes as pillows. The “beds” were rather hard and the night was very hot, so we did not sleep much. Next morning we had Mass in the little chapel close by, and after breakfast we started for Mount Hermon, which is the highest peak in the Anti-Lebanon Range. I forgot to describe the parlour of the priest. The chief “ornament” was his bed. The room was carpeted, but there were no chairs. You take off your boots on entering and leave them at the door, and you sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion. This room was about four yards square.

There is not a single spring between the village and the top of the mountain-and in the village itself the only water they have is what they collect in cisterns during the winter. So we had to bring some with us. The climb took about five or six hours, and had it not been that we had three or four horses, which each one mount ed from time to time, I doubt if many would have arrived to the top. After about five hours it became so very steep that the horses could go no farther so we halted and dined. Thus fortified we did the last hour's climb. In the shaded hollows there was still snow. We put snow into the water we brought, and it was not too bad. The Arabs call this mountain the Mountain of the Old Man, because the snow is supposed to represent the grey hair, From the top the view is magnificent. We saw the Holy Land, the Sea of Tiberias, the Jordan, Mount Thabor, Mount Carmel; also we could see Damascus, a white speck, hidden in its gardens of verdure, and the Hauran. On the very highest point of the summit are the ruins of an old temple. After enjoying the scenery and reposing ourselves we began the descent on the other side of the mountain towards Damascus. The path was very narrow and in places very steep, however, in the evening, after about four hours march, we arrived at another little village, Kalath-el gendel, one of the dirtiest and most miserable villages I have ever seen, even in the East. Here the majority of the inhabitants are Druses.

An Arab Meal
On our way we passed through another village and we went to a house to buy a drink of milk. The only thing they had was thick milk, the people are very fond of it like that, and we, for want of butter, took it The lady of the house would not be content if we did not sit down, so she spread a mat on the floor, and on this we had to squat like tailors. In the middle was a little table about a foot high, and on this she put a bowl of milk. Then came the Arabic bread, the “hubs”. This is made of flour and water, and is almost as thin as an altar bread and quite flexible. Each cake is round and has a diameter of about two feet. But the real difficulty was to take the milk with the bread. The people never use knives or spoons, the bread does all this. They tear off a little bit of bread and make a scoop of it, with this they take their milk or whatever it may be, and each time they eat their spoon as well as what is in it. It is convenient, for after dinner they have not much to wash up. Tumblers are as rare as knives. They have water in little earthenware jars like a teapot, with a little spout. This they do not put into their mouth, they keep it a distance of about a font away, and simply pour it down their throat. In the beginning this is not so easy. The first time I tried I got more down my neck and up my nose than I got into my mouth.

The Earthly Paradise
Leaving this early next morning we continued our journey to Damascus. The day was very hot and the country an arid waste. Still we toiled on and we were at last rewarded with a view of what Mahomed rightly called the earthly Paradise! To the way-worn traveller, dust stained and thirsty, whose eyes have been for hours blinded by the glare from the rocky soil, the city of Damascus, surrounded by its fresh green gardens, filed with every variety of fruit-trees, watered by the brimming stream, at whose source we stopped and washed, offers a vision of refreshing beauty that none can appreciate but those who, like us, have toiled through the heat of the day. Passing through the shady gardens, our ears filled with the murmuring of the clear, cool streams, refreshed by the delicious fruit that abounded on every side, we can easily understand why St Ignatius laid the scene of our First Parents' happiness in this, the East's most lovely city.

As it is the most beautiful so is it also the most characteristically Eastern. For here are gathered together all that is most un-European Here are centered all those streams of caravans that bring from far in the interior of Asia the rich products of those world-famed looms. Here is no sign of modern civilization to remind one of the distant West. To give an adequate idea of this other world, I can do no better than describe the Bazaar and some street scenes in this city of Fair Delight.

The Bazaar
It is in the bazaar that locomotion is most difficult. This gives one time to look about and admire the variety of nationalities that the traffic of the quarter has collected. Bedouins with huge high boots, a long stiff cloak of brown and white, often richly embroidered at shoulders (these cloaks “mashlah” are absolutely devoid of cut, except for short sleeves beginning at elbows and reaching to wrists), loose white drawers reaching to top of boots, embroidered vest. On the head, the “kofieyeh” or veil of brilliant colours. often of silk, ornamented with tassels. It is most graceful. This veil is secured on head by two circles of camel's hair, while the ends hang down on the back and breast or are brought up under chin, and attached to the coils above. They are finely built, these Bedouins, tall and spare, square-shouldered, active and strong, with dark piercing eyes, that seem to be everywhere at once. Druses, with snow-white turban and heavy scimitar; Turkish “effendis”, in badly made, and worse put on, European dress; Persians, in light brown hats, once and a-half as high as our tall hats, slightly conical in shape, tight-fitting dresses and flowing beards; Kurdish shepherds, dressed in skin and stiff black felt cape, reaching to knees; villainous looking Albanians, with voluminous kilts and belts bristling with weapons; add thievish-looking Circassians, effeminate Damascenes, gliding figures enveloped from head to foot in a light sheet like garment of white, or green and red shot silk, with veiled face, and called women, and you have a faint idea of the 'souqs' of Damascus. Yet I have said nothing about the seller of pasties, who balances on his head a small shopful of dainties; the sherbet-seller, with a huge bottle strung round his neck, and brass cups jingling in his hand. On more than one occasion I have seen a seller of drinks and a seller of creams stand as near each other as
their implements permit, the one slaking his thirst, the other gratifying his palate, by a mutual exchange.

The Houses of Damasucs
But the glory of Damascus consists above all in its private houses. The Arabic proverb has it: “The houses of Damascus from without, sooty; from within, marble”. Nothing could be more true. Outside one would take them for the stables of the mansion, with their plain, windowless walls, and massive, ungainly doors., Enteringly a narrow passage of varying length, a remnant of darker days, we find ourselves in a court with marble pavement, shaded by olive, orange, or lemon trees, and refreshed by a fountain or several of them, whose waters are contained in a deep basin of variegated marble. At one side is the “bewan”, or deep recess, strewn with rich carpets and soft cushions, and arched over in true Arabic style. Opposite is the salon, the masterpiece of the house, and where even struggling families manage to make a show at the cost of the rest of the house. Here, again, we meet the marble fountain on either side of what are the halves of the chamber, one half being raised about two feet. The walls are covered with the richest marbles, in endless variety of colour and form. Here and there are recesses backed by mirrors, while above are texts of the Koran in golden letters, entwined in the most puzzling combinations. Above these are scenes and landscapes painted in bright colours. The ceilings (which are always formed of round rafters laid so as to touch the flat cemented ceiling, leaving a space of some inches between each rafter) are painted in the most fantastic designs and often really beautiful. The effect of the whole is most striking. Now, I think, you have my impressions of what Damascus is like.

In the evening we left Damascus by rail and came back here, our minds stored with the many wonders we had seen. And now I think you know something of our life out here. I hope I have not been too tedious. If you wish I shall tell you more another time.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1918


Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is with the greatest regret we have to report the death of Fater M Bergin SJ, which occurred in France late in October last. After working in Syria for some years he was in Egypt at the outbreak of the war and volunteered as a chaplain. He saw service in Gallipoli and on the French front. The officer commanding the battalion to which he was attached writes :

I am sure no man was, nor could be, more popular and loved, not only by members of his own flock; but by all others.

In a report made in July, 1916, by the then commanding officer of the battalion giving the names of those who had shown qualities of conspicuous merit, the following entry is made opposite the name of our late Padre :

“For ready attention to wounded, indomitable energy, and pervading all ranks with cheerfulness.”

The subsequent months proved that those words only modestly express what we all owe to him, and those of us who had the privilege of knowing him longest find it difficult to believe that he really has left us for good and will not some day appear again with his usual smile and cheery words. He was killed instantly, by a fragment of a large shell which fell close to a party of officers belonging to the Brigade headquarters.

Our deepest sympathy to his brother, Mr John Bergin of Fancroft, Roscrea, and to his other relatives. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Michael Bergin : A Mungret Jesuit at the Front

Father Michael Bergin SJ

Foreword to a memoir of Fr Bergin, shortly to be published under the title of “A Son of St. Patrick”.

To all who had the privilege of knowing Fr Bergin in life the following memoir will make instant appeal. How far it. will arrest the attention of others is more difficult to determine. It will hardly enter into rivalry with Prof O'Rahilly's “Life of Father Doyle” either as literary achievement or as a spiritual manifestation. It raises no problems, psychological or hagiographical. It is not likely to inaugurate any “cultus” of one, who, though undoubtedly holy and even heroic in his spirit of zeal and self sacrifice, was rather a finished specimen of what the institute he embraced aims at producing than an abnormal phenomenon. He is seen as an imitator, at a distance perhaps, of St John Berchmans rather than of St Aloysius Gonzaga. His sanctity though very real was not spectacular. He was just a zealous religious who practised in a very unobtrusive way the difficult art of self conquest, and thus prepared himself for facing the ordeal of the Great War with the certainty of playing a man's part in it, and, if needs be, of dying a brave man's death.

This he did, always without ostentation, always with that pleasant mask of a sunny smile, which veiled from the casual observer the depth and intensity of the spiritual fire burning in the soul of him all the time. His letters, utterly unstudied and unaffected, let us into the secret of his gaiety and make very beautiful the lifelong struggle against weak health which was his.

The present writer had the good fortune of knowing him in Tullabeg during two years and of meeting him once again just as he returned to the Front for the last time. And the impression left by that acquaintance tallies exactly with the picture those letters trace. Br Bergin was just one of some thirty young men being moulded in the Ignatian crucible, and taking shape gradually like the rest. He was fervent, no doubt, but in outward seeming indistinguishable from all others, except perhaps for a gaiety that, without being boisterous or even noisy, was infectious. I might sum him up by saying that you felt he was a good companion in recreation or on a walk, and a still better comrade in a tight corner. I have particularly in memory the sight of him holding on to an oar, on our rare boating excursions, until he was ordered by the person dressed in a little brief authority to relinquish it, and cheerful when other's nerves were getting a bit frayed and causing some outbursts of the old Adam in many, who, after all, were only ex-schoolboys labouring hard, but not always too successfully, to expel nature with a pitchfork. Though physically frail he not only never shirked his share of the common burden, he even clamoured for more, simulating immunity from fatigue. And it was curiously the same individual, only riper now and obviously more master of nature, whom I met for a few days at Ore Place, Hastings, in the winter 1915-16 - the precise date escapes my memory. He had been invalided home from the Front after a most trying time with the Anzacs in Gallipoli. He was obviously worn out and really unfit for further service. The thin form looked thinner than ever, the old stoop, indicative of the weak lungs that made Irish Superiors willing to part with this devoted worker in the hopes that the eastern sunshine might prolong a useful career, was more pronounced. He reluctantly admitted fatigue but insisted on reporting again for duty, when he need not have done so; and on going out once more to the Australian lads in danger, who had won his love and repaid it with a solid affection which does them honour. My counsel of prudence was wasted on one who never steered by that commonplace light when there was good work to be done. Yet, and here too he ran true to form, he tried to persuade me that it was just the fun of the thing that made him go forth again. In this, to tell the truth, he was not too successful, for I knew him of old. But of course I said nothing, and the last I saw of him was when he laid aside his vestments after his last Mass in his old scholasticate and hastened away, with a brave smile lighting up the tired face, to confront danger with the fearlessness he had already shown in action.

Apropos of danger I asked him once whether he had felt afraid under the rain of shells and bullets. His answer was characteristic: “At first the sensation is a bit curious. But you soon get used to it, and then do not mind it much”. Perhaps he had the gift of physical courage. But somehow the delicate frame and sensitive nature, responsive to all that was bright and joyous in life, did not indicate any natural indifference to death and its wartime horrors. Rather, I think, he found his strength in higher sources, even though his fine reserve recoiled from any parade of the deeper, supernatural impulses, which, for all that, very clearly guided his life.

War books are now a bit out of fashion - unless it be unsavoury, psychoanalytic pictures of men's bestiality in war. This may possibly militate against the success of this little volume where nothing is to be seen, but the white soul of one who walked this earth very innocently and quitted it very gallantly, displaying at all times a great unselfishness and an attractive piety. We may note that the piety is twofold. It is first of all and above all the Christian virtue of that name. But it answers also to the pietas of Virgil or the best pagans. His love of God and devotion to the greatest of all causes is found in perfect harmony with the human sentiments of family affection, love of country, sympathy with sorrow and affliction. Over all plays a sense of humour, genuine, natural, unfailing. If he had never died in action or left any line of self revelation, those who knew him would remember him as one who laughed easily (though not loudly), and made others laugh (without any pretentions to the reputation of a wit); who never seemed happier than when he could do a service to someone and would never admit that he was too tired or too busy to lend a helping hand; who was never censorious or critical of others; who fitted into various surroundings without friction of any kind; who glided serenely down the stream of life, making no noise and causing no commotion, well content to be unknown and accounted as nought - a beautifully placid nature to all appearance, yet not dull or apathetic, and always busy at some quiet task, tackling studies, for which he had no predilection, with conscientious ardour, aspiring unobtrusively to loftier heights of spiritual perfection than might have been suspected.

His biography may prove practically helpful to the general, fun of readers, whether in religion or in the lay pursuits, who feel no vocation to don the seven-league boots of the saints and stride from crest to crest of the Alpine heights, too far above the snow line for ordinary aspirations, but who never the less do desire to acquit themselves as men in the Great War always raging which is called Life. From him they can learn to hold their few yards of trench steadfastly and to the end, without flinching whether all be quiet on the front or the lines wake up to feverish and deadly activity, without “grousing” whether the petty hazards of the game or its major calamities try the temper. Here was one who to the outward eye gave no promise of special heroism, but when the call came said “Adsum” not only courageously but buoyantly, even boyishly, and above all without fuss or affectation, internally unconscious, I should think, that Gallipoli or Flanders were to be taken a whit more tragically than a long walk through the Bog of Allen or a long day at a creaking thole-pin. If any one had told Fr Bergin that a life of him would be written when he was gone it would have seemed to him the joke of the season. This will explain and excuse, if excuse be necessary, the homely style of his correspondence. He certainly never expected that any lines of his would have to face the scrutiny of critics on a printed page. If he had had the slightest suspicion of such a possibility, they could never have been written at all. He could not have penned a line with the spectre of publicity before his eyes, and he would laughingly have seized upon it as an excuse for saving precious time. He wrote as he lived, frankly and sincerely, without arrière pensée and he would only have shuddered at the very idea of posthumous fame. We have him thus in these pages as he was, without trappings of any kind, and I shall be surprised if the reader does not feel that his acquaintance was well. worth making

P J Gannon SJ

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

“A Son of St Patrick” by Sister S

Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is safe to say that most of our boys I will not even know the subject of this biography. Many will have seen his name in that list of our Sodality that hangs by the chapel door and may have wondered, half-idly, in the manner of the post-war generation, at the legend, “Killed in action, October, 1917”. To them and to many older boys we recommend this little book, unaffected in style, unadorned with wealth of words, but effective in its directness and simple truth. For we ought to know about this Mungret boy, who was President of Our Lady's Sodality, who went unselfishly to the East to work for Christ, and who, in the strange ways of God's providence, fell in Flanders at his post, for Christ. That he was one of ourselves should interest us. in his life. He answered the morning bell, he ran like us to morning chapel, he turned out to games with gusto, and he turned into study with the same cheerful grumble. He was a Mungret boy and he tried to be a saint. He tried in a way, that should encourage us all, not the way of frightening asceticism and mystic prayer, but the way, we all can try, of honest fervent piety and perfect obedience to God's Holy Will. How he succeeded in his effort, this life tells.

Simple, as we have said, and unaffected, this story of Father Bergin's life is attractive for its very simplicity. We have here no revelations of a soul's struggle, no attempt to read import into every slight action, no psychologizing of the saints. The story is told directly and with sympathy and by this is made human and appealing. The man himself speaks to us in his letters; frank, honest, brotherly letters, full of news and love and piety. He tells of himself as we feel we could do ourselves; but the plain tale he tells, we easily understand, to hide a life of daily heroism and striving after sanctity.

Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, a few miles from Roscrea, in August, 1879, and spent his early days there, in the ideal Surroundings of a truly Irish Catholic family. He came to Mungret when he was fourteen and impressed his masters and his fellows as a pious, unselfish, jolly boy. Here God called him to the religious life and he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg in 1897. He finished his novitiate there, and to his surprise found himself next dispatched to Syria, to study Eastern languages at the University of Beyrouth. For two years he worked at the college and then went to Ghazir to study philosophy. Again he returned to college work at Beyrouth until Theology took him to Hastings in England, where he was ordained in 1910. He was back again in his beloved mission in 1914 at Damascus, and while working there the war broke out. First a “private soldier” chaplain and then a full recognized army Padre, he served in Gallipoli from 1915 to 1916. Then after a short leave, France claimed him and in a front line trench in Flanders he fell on October Iith, 1917.

We have told his career briefly lest we should ornit to give its outline in our anxiety to stress the importance of his life. There, is the life of a Mungret boy, told in short, and indeed a short life it was, and, taken in its period, no more eventful than many another. But this Mungret boy lived his life heroically and prayerfully throughout, and he taught himself to make great sacrifices with a careless smile and a convincing laugh. As a boy we find him jolly and natural; but he was the boy who walked to let others cycle; he was the boy who made himself nurse to a poor cripple; and he was the boy who fought for the right to say long prayers. We are very sure that he did these things with easy grace and without notice then, it is the retrospective eye that sees that here was a boy trying to be holy.

We feel, however, that it required genuine bravery of soul, to leave gaily a loved family circle and native land, to go alone, a boy, into the East. The novice is only a boy, for all his real spirituality, and the boy must have felt that wrench, felt it all the more when the novelty of a strange land passed and life became routine. But these honest letters of his show no trace of this; he loves all at home too well to share his sorrow.

He tells them all his adventures; he tells them, with a natural eye for beauty, of the sights of the East and of the flowers of its fields. Yet, now and then, we see that he has made a sacrifice, for he longs for Ireland's green fields and simple flowers. He grows a little jaded with brilliance and longs for plain things much loved and he often looks over the Mediterranean, westward, towards home.

In 1916 he knew the question was being discussed, as to whether he should remain permanently on the mission in Syria or return to his own Province. The heart could answer that question in but one way. To be permanently there meant that he belonged not to his own Irish Province, but to the French Province; it meant, one might say, naturalizing himself as a foreigner. It meant exile for ever. “Storm heaven that I may be kept”, he writes to his sister ; “yet non sicut ego volo sed sicut Tu”. This is the noble spirit that offers what it holds dearest and makes sacrifice almost easy, by forestalling it. Here is that touchstone of sanctity, the agere contra of St Ignatius; but here the man conceals it all, under a laugh, and makes his suffering appear a favour. This, we think, is the attractive thing in Father Bergin's attempt on the battlements of holiness. He carried them with honest gaiety, concealing high purpose and great determination.

When the Great War came, Michael Bergin was a priest and a Christian missionary in Damascus. He was a foreigner in the territory of Turkey. It was with difficulty he escaped spending the period of the war chafing in some internment camp; but he did manage to reach Egypt, and immediately looked for work. He found work among the soldiers of the Australian Expeditionary Force. He had no official standing among them, but zeal was ingenious in overcoming army regulation. He enlisted as a stretcher-bearer in order to be with his newly found flock. With them he went through the horrors of Gallipoli and endeared himself by gallantry and unselfish devotion to those careless, cheery souls. For sixteen months he lived in France with his Australians and fell among them, working to the last.

In that strange army life we notice the same characteristics we have seen in the religious. There is no capacity shown for finding the limelight; he did not “star” in the trenches. All day he worked unobtrusively and tirelessly, caring for the souls of the living and burying the bodies of the dead. Then he sat down in his dug-out and wrote cheerful letters to dear ones, laughing at his own exhausted body, relating the minor adventures of the day and asking for prayers for himself and for his men. Those who knew him in those days, tell the kind of story we would expect. They saw that the Padre was always at his post and did not seem to mind innumerable calls on him. They noticed that he walked six miles in the desert to say Mass and made no fuss about it. They felt, as we feel, that this quiet constancy and cheerfulness in duty called for admiration.

And all through, we find him asking for prayers for himself that he may be holy. He did not forget the goal of life in the adventures of war. Simple, open comments on his own unworthiness fill his letters. He calls himself a slacker, his soul is like his torn clothes, he is a spiritual bankrupt, Thus he spoke of himself, humbly, because to the really holy soul, humility is natural and without suspicion of the hook. We easily come to have a fellow-feeling for him. He finds, like us, that it is hard to live up to high ideals, that our spiritual lives suffer badly in the preoccupations of daily work.

We feel, like him, that we want a Retreat to tone up our systems and to invigorate the life of our souls. But this fellow-feeling must not make us think that he was as we are. He kept his love for prayer and his desire to be alone with God, in all the weary disgusts of war. A young scholastic, a boy, he had learned to turn towards the higher things. A delicate man, he lived the roughest of lives, upheld by an indomitable spirit and the zeal of an apostle. He wore himself out working, but never. ceased from prayer, that he might be holy. . He had learned to make sacrifice early, and his death was almost chosen, for he gave up his leave, when he heard the whisper that his lads were to go over soon. No one would blame a tired soldier-priest for taking his furlough, even on the eve of a "big push"; but such is not the way of the saints. The boy who prayed to be kept in Syria, far from home, the theologian who left his dying father, because he had not leave to stay, the chaplain who gave up his leave to help others to meet death, in these we see the same man rising to the heights on the wings of simple love.

This is the story of Father Michael Bergin SJ, a true son of St Patrick, told with evident affection and attractive simplicity by Sister S. We hope that what we have written may stimulate Mungret boys and others to read this life of a schoolfellow. They will find there a personality easy to love and the romance of one like themselves, Encouraged by so natural an example they may themselves strive forward, in simple piety and frank devotion, to the heights, which are the goal of all of us, but which so few reach.


Bermingham, John, 1570-1651, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/920
  • Person
  • 27 July 1570-15 October 1651

Born: 27 July 1570, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 19 January 1607, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: November 1607, Antwerp, Belgium - pre Entry
Final Vows: 1620
Died: 15 October 1651, Galway Residence, Galway City, County Galway

1611 4 years in Soc and 2nd year Theology - good religious, not academic. A businessman suitable as Minister or Procurator in an Irish Seminary
1620 Superior of Galway Residence; FV
1621 has studied Moral Theology
1622 in Connaught
1649 in Galway
1650 knows languages has been a Catechist and Confessor of many years

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Helena, née Kirwan
Studied at Douai and was Ordained at Antwerp before Ent 19 January 1608 Tournai
1613 Returned to Ireland on completing his studies at Berghe-Saint-Winoc, France. On his way home he was arrested at Dunkirk but was released and made his way safely to Galway. The rest of his missionary life was spent in Galway city where he died 15 October 1651
A notable relic of the Old Society in Ireland is the chalice which John presented to the Galway Residence in 1620 and is still preserved at Coláiste Iognáid, Galway.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Bermingham 1570-1651
John Bermingham was born in Galway on 27th July 1570 and entered the Society at Tournai in 1607.

He worked all the time he was in Ireland in Connaught and was Superior of the Galway Residence. In 1649 he is mentioned as being almost an octogenarian.

He had a high reputation for sanctity. Living to a very old age he became incapable of active work, and spent the last years living with his own family in County Galway.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BIRMINGHAM, JOHN In 1649, this Rev. Father was an Octogenarian, and in high repute for sanctity, “vir plane Sanctus”. Incapable of active service, he was then living with his family in the Co. Galway.

Broët, Paschase, c1500-1562, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2288
  • Person
  • c.1500 - 14 September 1562

Born: Bertrancourt, Amiens, France
Entered: 15 August 1535, Rome Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 12 March 1524, Paris
Final Vows: 22 April 1541, Rome, Italy
Died: 14 Septembver 1562, Paris, France - Galliae Province (GALL)

Ignatius of Loyola sent two Jesuits - Paschase Broët and Alfonso Salmerón - to Ireland in 1541. The legates arrived in Ulster, Ireland, on 23 February 1542, and after thirty-four grim days encountering innumerable and insurmountable difficulties, they left Ireland without accomplishing the purpose of their visit.

◆ The English Jesuits 1550-1650 Thomas M McCoog SJ : Catholic Record Society 1994
One of the first followers of St Ignatius Loyola in Paris
He, Alfonso Salmerón and the future Jesuit brother Francisco Zapata, were obliged to seek shelter in unspecified English ports on their way from the continent to Ireland via Scotland, in December 1541
Born Berteancourt France (Colpo, Broët, 239)

Browne, Eugene, 1823-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/568
  • Person
  • 31 July 1823-17 December 1916

Born: 31 July 1823, Ballivor, County Meath
Entered: 15 October 1840, Turnoi, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 21 May 1853, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1860
Died: 17 December 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1851 at Laval France (FRA) studying theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born to an old Catholic family.

After his Noviceship at St Acheul, he studied Philosophy and Theology at Laval.
He was Ordained 21 May 1853 by Dr Paul Cullen Archbishop of Dublin
1860-1870 He was appointed for a long reign as Rector of Clongowes. (August 1860 to 21 July 1870), having already spent years there as a Teacher and Minister.
1872 He became Minister at Tullabeg.
He was then sent to teach at Belvedere and he suffered from some health issues.
1880 From 1880 he lived at Milltown until his death there.
1883 He was appointed Procurator of the Province, a post he held until within a few years of his death, and he was succeeded by Thomas Wheeler.
1884-1889 He was Rector of Milltown.
He was also Socius to the Provincial for some years, and acted as Vice-Provincial when the then Provincial John Conmee went as Visitor to Australia.
The last years of his life were spent as a Hospital Chaplain at the Hospital for the Incurables.
He died at Milltown 17 December 1916, aged 93.
He was often referred to as the “Patriarch of the Province”. he was a remarkably pious man, and daily Mass was everything for him.
Father Browne is “Father Kincaird” of “Schoolboys Three” (by William Patrick Kelly, published 1895 and set in Clongowes).

Note from Joseph O’Malley Entry :
He made his Noviceship in France with William Kelly, and then remained there for studies with Eugene Browne and Edmund Hogan

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Eugene Browne 1823-1916
Fr Eugene Browne had the distinction of being Rector of Clongowes for 10 years, from 1860-1870. Born in Ballivor County Meath, he entered the Society in 1840, and he made his noviceship and sacred studies at Laval in France.

He became Procurator of the Province and Rector of Milltown from 1884-1889. He afterwards acted as Socius to the Provincial, as as Vice Provincial during the absence of Fr Conmee in Australia. He had a useful life of administration which had the hallmark of success in his popularity with all members of the Province.

During the last years of his life, he was very faithful in his attendance on the sick in the Incurables.

He died on December 17th 1916.

Bryver, Ignatius, c.1576-1643, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/966
  • Person
  • c 1576-27 August 1643

Born: c 1576, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 April 1609, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1609, Paris, France - pre Entry
Died: 27 August 1643, Waterford Residence, Waterford City, County Waterford

Alias Briver

Mother was Catherine Butler
Studied 6 years in Ireland and 2 years Philosophy at Douai - 2 years Phil and 3 years Theol before entering.
“Moderate ability and sound judgement. A good religious, fond of his own opinion and language is unpolished - not a suitable Superior”
Carlow College also places a Waterford Jesuit Ignatius Bruver” there
1615 at Arras College, France and came home that years being stationed at Waterford
1621 Irish Mission
1622 in Eastern Munster

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two entries : “Riverius” with no Christian Name (1); Ignatius Bryver (2)
DOB Waterford; Ent 1604
Madan and Riverius are mentioned by St Leger in his life of Dr Walsh
“Ignatius Bryver”
DOB 1575 Waterford; Ent 1608 Belgium; RIP 1637-1646
A namesake, perhaps his father, was Mayor of Waterford 1587; the Jesuit signs as “Bryver”
Came to Ireland 1615 and was stationed in Waterford

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Alexander and Catherine née Butler
Studied Philosophy at Douai and began Theology there but finished at Sorbonne and was Ordained before Ent 07 March 1609 Tournai
1611 After First Vows he was sent to Antwerp to revise studies and then at St Omer
1615 Sent in Spring to Ireland and sent to Waterford Residence where he exercised his ministry until his death there 27 August 1643

Burke, William, 1826-1869, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/972
  • Person
  • 17 December 1826-26 September 1869

Born: 17 December 1826, Ower, Headford, County Galway
Entered: 25 October 1845, St Acheul, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1859
Died: 26 September 1869, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

by 1857 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) Studying Theology
by 1859 in Laval France (FRA) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He made his Noviceship at Amiens in France in the company of James Dalton and William Seaver.

1851 He was Teacher and Prefect at Tullabeg, and he spent about six years there.
1857 He was then sent to St Beuno’s for Theology. However, Frederick St Theologate was opened and William was one of the first to be sent there. The following year he was sent for studies at Laval.
When he returned from Laval, he was sent to Belvedere. By 1863 he was Minister there, and continued in that role for two years, and then took it up again in 1868. he was known to be very exact in the observance of the rule.
He also gave the Spiritual Exercises with great success, and generally very helpful in Direction.
He died of a fever at Belvedere 26 September 1869.

Butler, John William, 1703-1771, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/977
  • Person
  • 10 November 1703-17 March 1771

Born: 10 November 1703, Besançon, France
Entered: 31 January 1722, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1735, Paris, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1739
Died 17 March 1771, Cadiz, Spain - Franciae Province (FRA)

1734 at College in Paris
1737 at Senlis
1743 At Cannes College (FRA) Minister for 9 years, Taught Humanities for 6 years, Rhetoric 1 year, Philosophy 3 years, Procurator for 6 years
1761 Superior at Nantes Residence from 16/03
Fr John Butler born or Irish parents in France about 1701. Was anxious to be sent to the Irish College at Poitiers

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1726 Went to Canada
1731 Returned to France
(”Documents inédits” of Carayon)

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
1726-1731 Sent to Canadian Mission
1731 Returned to France

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1724 After First Vows he was sent for Philosophy at La Flèche followed by Regency in FRA and in Québec, Canada.
1731 After three years abroad he was sent to Paris for Theology and was Ordained there 1735
1735-1741 He taught successively at Compiègne, Alençon and Amiens
1741-1745 Sent as Spiritual Father to Vannes
1745-1761 Sent as Minister and Prefect of the Church at Compiègne and later at Orléans
1761/1762 Superior of the Nantes Residence at the dissolution of the Society in France
1764-1768 Found refuge at Cadiz and had to find further refuge due to the expulsion of the Society in Spain
The date and place of his death are unknown. Father Butler, although born in France, was not regarded by contemporary Irish Jesuits as a foreigner. He was asked for to take up various posts of the Irish College of Poitiers, including that of Rector, but he was unable at the time to leave his own province. He was also consulted on financial business of the Irish Mission.

Butler, William, 1848-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/814
  • Person
  • 04 September 1848-03 February 1907

Born: 04 September 1848, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 07 November 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Final Vows: 02 February 1888
Died: 03 February 1907, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1868 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Spring Hill College AL, USA (LUGD) Teaching
by 1874 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1879 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Educated at Coláiste Iognáid.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Laval and Theology at Louvian.
He was then lent to NOR as a scholastic for three years.
When he returned from New Orleans he was sent to Clongowes for some years. He spent some time as a Priest at Tullabeg, and when the College closed there he went for Tertianship to Drongen. He then joined the Missionary Band and was an excellent and very vigorous speaker.
He spent the remaining years of his life at Gardiner St where he died 03 February 1907

Excerpts (paraphrased in part) from An Appreciation by One Who Knew Him (EM SJ)
He was a native of Galway. That he was endowed with natural talents of no mean order is quite true, talents for a somewhat extended range in Mathematical and Philosophical speculation. It is true that during his lifetime he improved and developed these natural gifts by assiduous toil. Truer still that he possessed a rare sensibility for the fine arts, especially for the art of Music. Those who are capable of forming a just judgement bear witness to the elegance and perfection of execution which he reached on more than one instrument, but especially on his favourite instrument, the violin..........he was far from looking on Music as the serious occupation of his life........He looked on it more as a legitimate means of relaxation after a hard day’s work, or still more, as a legitimate means of ministering to the recreation and enjoyment of others.
........After First Vows he went to St Acheul near Amiens for Rhetoric, and then to Louvain for three years Philosophy. He was then sent for Regency to Clongowes, and Spring Hill College Alabama on the New Orleans Mission. He was then sent to Louvain again for Theology, and was Ordained 1880. His Priestly life was spent at Tullabeg, Crescent and Gardiner St until his death there.
....Father Butler’s nature was highly sensitive and refined will, I suppose, may readily be taken for granted by those who understand what are the qualities which combine to make a talent for music approaches to genius. Whatever Father Butler may have appeared to strangers, this writer can amply testify that he was to those who lived with him, and knew him intimately, the simplest, most genial, and the most kind-hearted of men. To the end of his life he was as light-hearted, I had almost said frolicsome, as a boy. Few men could rival the gusto with which he told or listened to a merry tale. Few equalled the heartiness of his laugh.
....But though taking a measured delight in the innocent joys of this life, it was very evident that his serious purpose was often “to muse on joy that will not cease”. Underneath all his outward gaiety there was the abiding consciousness of weighty responsibility.......laboriously taming and bringing to subjection a somewhat naturally hot and impulsive nature. Certainly he did not wear his religion on his sleeve........but....he possessed in no stinted measure a deep faith, informed by a piety at once simple and tender.......

Note from John Naughton Entry :
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father William Butler (1848-1907)

Born in Galway, educated at St Ignatius College, and received into the Society in 1865, was at the Crescent for two short periods, 1888-1889 and 1901-1902. He was a talented preacher and most of his active religious life was spent as missioner or at work in Gardiner St Church. Father Butler, in his day, was known to many as a musician of outstanding ability. He was a violinist of sensitive technique and his services as leader for orchestral accompaniment to the choir at Sacred Heart Church were frequently availed of.

Byrne, Vincent, 1848-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/5
  • Person
  • 5 May 1848-21 October 1943

Born: 05 May 1848, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 March 1880, Munich, Germany
Died: 21 October 1943, Dublin, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Henry Byrne LEFT as Novice 1875 due to ill health resulting in death

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from James Redmond Entry :
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.
Note from Thomas P Brown Entry :
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne
Note from Br Philip McCormack Entry :
Father Vincent Byrne said his funeral Mass which was attended by many of the Brothers from the city houses.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Fr. Byrne died on 20th October at Milltown Park at the age of 95. He was a brother of the late Mr. George Byrne, of the firm of Messrs. Byrne, Mahony and Co., flour and grain merchants, wbo was for a number of years chairman of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. His nephew, Mr. George Byrne, is a member of the present Port and Docks Board.
Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1866, studied rhetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work, as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector, from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forcefui personality.
The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, were all due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State - like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev. Dr. Curley - the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev. Dr. Killian, Mr. Frank Fahy, T.D - he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.
An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.
Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoilation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.
He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. R.I.P.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 38 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

FR VINCENT BYRNE : 1848-1943

Seán Hughes

  1. Memories:
    As a young lad: of a quiet gentle confessor in Gardiner Street - though he had a disconcerting habit of dozing in the Box, with the additional alarm caused by the peak of his biretta, on the nodding head, descending like a blackbird. At a later time: or the elderly silk-hatted, frock-coated priest with his umbrella, setting out from Gardiner Street. I never, though, saw him in a tram - like some others of his distinguished-looking, silk-hatted community. As a scholastic: particularly at funerals, when he hatted, gazing down into the open grove of soneome junior to hio. Lastly, in Milltown, pathetically helping or being helped up the two steps to the chapel corridor - Fr. Vincent Byrne, in his nineties, and Fr. Nicholas Tomkins, in his eighties, linking one another from the refectory....

  2. The Official Record:
    Fr. Vincent Byrne was born in Dublin, 5th May 1848. He went to school to Belvedere, and entered the Society in Milltown Park on 7th September 1866. He went to St. Acheul, Belgium, for his juniorate, and was sent to Rome, to the Roman College, for phisolophy. After the fall of Rome, 1870, he moved to Germany to Maria Laach for his second year of philosophy. Then came a five-year regency - a year each in Tullabeg (still a college) and Crescent, and three years in Clongowes where he was Third Line Prefect. To Innsbruck then for theology - and he was ordained on St. Patrick's Day, 1880, in the private Chapel of the Archbishop of Munich: his health having broken down during his second year of theology. A leisurely return home, recuperating his health, became a Grand Tour.

As a young priest, before his tertianship, he spent seven years teaching in different colleges - three years in Tullabeg, two in Galway, one each in Clongowes and Crescent. Apparently a good teacher of languages (he has four to offer) and drama. Fr, Byrne was “in demand”...

In 1889, he was posted to Mungret - first as Minister, for two years; then as rector for nine years. For four of these, 90 - 94, he was in addition Moderator of the Apostolic School. Those years were the apex of his career - the man who Made Mungret - the tangible evidence being the embellishment of the College Chapel. But there was more: those years of Mungret's history were marked by its remarkable successes in the University Examinations of the old Royal University of Ireland. Fr. Byrne claimed that of his pupils in the Apostolic School, nine became Bishops, Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, USA, being the most notable. Ichabod!

After Mungret, Fr.Byrne went to Gardiner Street, where he was to spend all but four years of the rest of his long life. The first four years in Gardiner Street were spent as a member of the retreat and mission staff. There followed, 1904 - 07, three years as rector of Clongowes, then a return to Gardiner Street - as an operarius until 1934; as Conf. Dom., until 1942 - when he retired to Milltown, where it all began seventy-six years previously. He died on 20th October 1943. I don't remember his funeral - but being choir-master, I must have been there.

  1. The Legend:
    Arriving in Mungret, thirty-seven years after Fr. Byrne had left it, I found a green memory of great days and deeds of derring-do. To sift out the facts from the folklore would take a gift of discernment of very high order: so let us be content with the legend w some of the tales may well be apocryphal - but what matter? As Chesterton said about the legends of St. Nicholaus - “He was the kind of man about whom that kind of story was told”. So too “the Pie” - as he was nicknamed, because, it is said, he had a somewhat un-Ignatian “affection” for the dish.

I suppose the legend begins in Rome in 1870 - when he saw “service” with the Papal Army making its token stand at the Port Pia against the invading arny of Victor Emmanuel. The service was, no doubt, as a medical orderly - but, no matter; it was a signal beginning. When we were in Milltown, 1942-43, we understood that Fr Byrne was writing his Memoirs - I wonder where that piece of archives is? The stay in Maria Laach coincided with the beginning of Bismark's Kultur Kampf - and the saving of the library from confiscation by the process of pasting in the book-plate of a friendly Baron in each of the books was another tale.

Although Vincent's health did break down in Innsbruck, he must have been a man of extraordinary stamina and strength. He related, himself, how, when Third Line Prefect in C.W.C., he walked to Dublin (and back) to beg £5.00 from the Provincial to buy a small billiard table for his Line. He rode a bicycle - on what we would seem cart-tracks of roads (and not even a three-speed gear on the machine): he swam - whenever he could, until he was literally rescued from the stormy waters of the Forty-foot in his eighties/nineties and forbidden to swim again. And he died, the oldest member (then) of the Province - but was often heard to say: “That man” (the late E. de Valera) “has taken ten years off my life”. Did he die disappointed?

But the Mungret Legends: Fr Byrne's term as rector of Mungret saw stormy days - on two fronts. The then Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Edward Thomas Dwyer, a man of strong, positive views and irascible temperanent, apparently decided that the Jesuit occupation of Mungret was irregular. His predecessor had invited Ours to run the Diocesan Seminary which he had opened at Mungret. Bishop Dwyer withdrew the seminarians - and left us in occupation. He pursued his case in Rome - and lost it. But Fr Byrne had to face up to the tensions of such a situation. One story may indicate how he coped. He met the Bishop at a funeral. Said the Bishop: “Did you get the letter I sent you?”. Replied the Rector: “Your letter arrived but I did not receive it”. It was related that on another occasion, the Rector was cycling down the Mungret avenue. The Bishop in his coach was driving up to the College. Noticing his visitor, Fr. Byrne continued on his way. The Rector was not at home when the Bishop arrived. The failure of the Bishop's case in Rome did nothing to improve relations.

There was a further assault on his beloved College from quite another quarter. This arose from the complex history of the Mungret establishment. In the 50's the British government decided to do something for the agricultural community. It set up two (I think) agricultural colleges - one of them on land taken from (”ceded by”) the Church of Ireland diocese of Limerick, namely, the Mungret property. The college had a short and unsuccessful life. In or about 1870, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick secured a lease of and premises of the agricultural college, for the purposes of having his diocesan Seminary established there. There was, I believe, some kind of commitment to maintain instruction in agriculture in the new enterprise.

As already related, we remained in occupation of the former agricultural college - now Mungret College and the Mungret Apostolic School. The Protestant Dean of Limerick now challenged our right to be there: the land had been ceded for a specific purpose - which was not being carried out: the agricultural instruction had become a mere token. So, nothing less than a Royal Commission was set up to determine the matter. With the good help of Lord Emly a friend and neighbour, the Commission found a solution - and the Technical School in O'Connell Avenue, Limerick was the British Government's restitution to the people of Limerick.

But more intimate and family adventures: Community relations between Crescent and Mungret were normally very amicable. Whenever one Community was rejoicing, the other was invited to join in the celebration. Indeed it is related that the citizens of Limerick (who always knew, somehow or other, what was going on in either community!) used assemble at Ballinacurra Pike to enjoy the spectacle of the Mungret Long Car bringing one or other community home - rejoicing. Well, on one occasion the Minister of Crescent forgot to invite the Mungret Community to the party. Result: a breach in diplomatic relations - which went unhealed until the said Minister came out to Mungret and read an apology to the Mungret Community - Rector and all present in the Library. (A Community Meeting of a different kind). I mentioned the Long Car which transported the Community of Mungret: all, Rector down, had apparently bicycles: but there was some kind of coach too - for the Rector would be driven to Limerick (or Tervoe, Emly's place). Any respectable coachman would wear a tall-hat: but the Mungret coachman had no such thing. So a tin, black japaned headgear was provided for occasions when the Rector went driving. All was well - until in a bad hail storn descended. The hailstones on the tin hat made such a racket that the horse bolted... History doesn't recount the sequel.

There were tales of cycling expeditions. “Be booted and spurred at such a time” was the Rector's goodnight summons to his men. And off they would go - on their gearless, fixed-wheel bicycles, on the Limerick roads - trying to keep up with the Rector - and trying not to outstrip him when going downhill - a lesson that had to be learnt the hard way! The quality of the lunch depended on the Rector (a) not being overtaken coming down hill and (b) arriving first at their destination. Not all the picnics were cycle runs: there is a tale of an expedition to Killarney (cycling to Limerick Station, of course) with a return in the company of one of the Circuit Court Judges (Adams was his name, I think) who spoke highly of the gaiety of the journey - the bottle had the colour of lemonade (and maybe the label!). One of the party assured me that he found himself in bed the following morning with no recollection of getting there - nor any idea of how he cycled out from Limerick on a bicycle with a buckled front wheel.

There were tales, too, of adventures on villas - the Rector's requirement of his swim before lunch often the nub of the tale - as, for instance, once the party went to the Scelligs (by row boat, of course). Lunch was to be on the rock: but the Rector had to have his swim. The brethren sought to persuade him otherwise - no doubt, it was a hungry and thirsty journey. So they alleged that the waters were shark-infested. Nothing daunted, Fr Byrne had his oarsmen beat the waters - to scare off any intruding shark, while he had his daily plunge...

At home, of course, life was apparently of the “semper aliquid novi” ex Mungret type. Once, the orchard was raided - and the very angry Rector threatened the assembled boys with cancellation of the next free day - unless the culprit owned up. There was silence - and then, Pat Connolly one of the Rector's favourite pupils stood up and confessed. By no means nonplussed, the Rector's anger melted away and in volte face, he cried out: “May God forgive the boy who led this poor child into error. The poor child entered the Society and in the course became the devoted editor of “Studies” for many a long year. It is said that an application from Bruree for a boy with the unusual name of Valera did not meet with the Rector's sympathy - and went to WPB unacknowledged: so the boy went to Rockwell - and, maybe, history was made... With all, the Rector was a forceful personality where the religious, literary and artistic life of the College was concerned. He took his share of teaching and was Proc. Dom. in addition.

His triennium at Clongowes left no such harvest of Folklore. There, he had an outstanding Minister (Fr. Wrafter) and a dymanic Prefect of Studies (Fr. James Daly, in his prime): so Fr Byrne let then run the School while he went to Dublin regularly - coming back every few days to collect his post. It is related that the return was often by the “Opera Train” - the last train from Kingsbridge bringing county theatre goers home - and then by coach from Sallins - the coachman, no doubt, properly attired...

To the end of his active days, he attended both the Spring Show and the Horse Show on each of the four days. Every International Rugby Match and/or Cup Final saw him ensconced on the East Stand at Lansdowne Road, The umbrella element of his tenue on these social occasions, was wielded with vigour on those enthusiasts who stood up at thrilling moves on the pitch and blocked his reverence's view. He was a keen bridge player and commanded his friends to provide “a good four”. However, he developed a habit of pausing during play to recite his favourite poetry - with feeling. The provision of “a good four” became increasingly difficult.

But despite all these eccentricities, Fr, Byrne was one of the devoted and faithful members of the Church staff at Gardiner Street. In a time when the Province rejoiced in having a number of eloquent and sought after preachers - Fr. Robert Kane, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Michael Phelan - Fr Vincent Byrne was 'an eloquent and graceful speaker. A panegyric of St. Aloysius is noted in the Clongownian obituary as outstanding. Some ten years before his death he published a volume of his sermons - and the edition was sold out, which, in 1933 must say something about them.

We shall not see his like again.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944


Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, studied. rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama; and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the chapel at Mungret with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, all were due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev Dr Curley; the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev Dr Killian ; Mr. Frank Fahy, TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving' alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944


Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Rector (1904-1907)

Although Fr Vincent Byrne was for over seventy years a member of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, his connection with Clongowes was very short, being practically confined to the three years of his Rectorate. He had indeed been Third Line Prefect and had taught here for a short time, but it was so long ago that it is almost beyond the memory of even the oldest Clongownian. He was, however, known to many of more recent years who remember his eloquent occasional sermons, particularly his panegyric of St Aloysius, which is included in the volume of his published sermons which was published a few years ago and was so well received by the public. His venerable figure was well known to those who live in Dublin where he will be greatly missed by his numerous friends.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944


Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Vincent Byrne, veteran of the Irish Province and “clarum et venerabile nomen” to Mungret men of his day here, passed away last October, To the last, in spite of his venerable age, he was interested in life and up to a short time before his death, he was one of the best known men in the city of Dublin. Police, newsboys, tram-men, everyone whose business it is to be abroad knew him and recognised him familiarly. His old pupils never forget him and he is a very vivid memory to them indeed. He came to Mungret full of vigour and he was not niggardly of his energy in her service. He built here, decorated, furnished and encouraged every side of college life whether it was sport of music or debates. His own humorous comment in old age when he revisited us “I made Mungret” has its quantum of truth.

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park in 1866, studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens; philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Authority on Shakespeare
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and, through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare.

Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil-paintings, were all due to his initiative.

With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Dr Curley the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Dr Killian; Mr Frank Fahy TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship.

Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Dean of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over thirty years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with per severing fidelity, and preserved his keer interest in all that touched human life.

Mungret boys of every vintage will not forget to pray for the soul of this great old campaigner. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Vincent Byrne (1848-1943)

A native of Dublin, at the time of his death was one of the oldest priests in Ireland. He was in the Crescent as a scholastic, 1873-1874 and again as priest, 1883-1884. Father Byrne was later Rector of Mungret College (1890-1900) and for a brief period Rector of Clongowes. He was for nearly four decades a member of the Gardiner St. community and was in his day a distinguished preacher. A volume of his occasional sermons was published some twenty years ago.

Cahill, Thomas, 1827-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/999
  • Person
  • 31 December 1827-19 April 1908

Born: 31 December 1827, County Carlow
Entered: 08 March 1855, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1857, Laval, France
Final vows: 01 November 1866
Died: 19 April 1908, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia

by 1864 in St Joseph’s Macau (CAST) teaching Superior of Seminary by 1868
Early Australian Missioner 1871

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission : 1872-1879

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His early studies were under a private tutor at home and he spent one year at Carlow College. he then went to Maynooth, and was one of the students examined in the Commission of Enquiry of 1853 (cf Report, Maynooth Commission, Part II pp 297-299). On the occasion of his Ordination to the Diaconate he Entered the Society.

He made his Noviceship and further Studies at Laval, and was Ordained there 1857.
1858-1863 He was sent to teach at Clongowes.
1863-1865 He was sent as Operarius to Galway.
1865-1872 He was sent as Superior to St Joseph’s Seminary Macau, in China.
1872 He was appointed Superior of the Australian Mission, and also Rector of St Patrick’s Melbourne. He was founder and first Rector of Xavier College, Kew, and later Superior of the Parishes of Hawthorn and Kew.
The last years of his life were at St Ignatius, Richmond, and he died there 19 April 1908 His funeral was attended by a large number of clergy and local people and Archbishop Thomas Carr presided and preached. During his career he preached many Missions and retreats for Priests and Nuns. He was a profound Theologian, and Archbishop Thomas Carr appointed him one of his examiners of young priests arriving from the College. It was said that the Archbishop frequently consulted him on ecclesiastical matters.
On the Feast of St Ignatius 1908 a touching tribute was paid to him in the form of a new pulpit at St Ignatius, Richmond.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 "
He had been studying at Maynooth in Ireland almost up to Ordination when he entered the Society in 1855.

As there was no Noviciate in Ireland, he entered in France, and was later Ordained at Laval in 1857.

1857-1859 He came to Clongowes and taught Classics and Mathematics to the junior classes.
1859-1863 He was sent to Galway and divided these four years between the Parish and the School
1863-1872 He had always wanted to go on the Missions, and when the Portuguese Jesuits in Macau needed a man to teach English in the Seminary there he volunteered, arriving in 1863. There he found himself in a somewhat bizarre situation. The Seminary, with 100 boarders and 116 day boys had as it’s head a Portuguese prelate, Mgr Gouvea, who apparently had little capacity for his position. He and the three other Jesuits on the staff were supposed to be responsible for teaching and discipline, but in fact Gouvea confined them to teaching. The other Jesuits were Italian.
The community’s Superior was a Father Rondina, an enthusiast, his mind full of ambitious projects, but as Gouvea mentioned to his Mission Superior, he was so scatty that he would forget by midday what he had done in the morning and undo it. Rondina wanted to take over the administration of the Seminary, in spite of the fact that the two new men, Cahill and Virgili were sent in response to complaints of his chronic overwork. The other Jesuit - Mattos - was causing trouble by denouncing with some violence, what was practically the slave status of Chinese labourers in Macau - the colonial government was furious.
The two additions were most welcome and the Superior of the Mission wrote that he was delighted to get Cahill. The Feast of St Francis Xavier in 1864 brought letters from Father General Beckx to the priests in Macau. To Cahill, he wrote warmly that he had heard only good of him and hoped this would always be so - he should go on living by the Institute and doing God’s work.
He was not altogether won by the Mission. he wrote at the end of 1864 to the Irish Provincial, who had asked for news of the situation in Japan, and he recommended that the Irish Province should get in there quickly. Other Orders were taking over the cities in Japan, so why should the Irish Province not have a Mission there.
In the meantime, the situation in Macau became more troublesome. Gouvea refused to expel some boys for immorality - the Governor of the colony had interceded for them. Rondina, reporting this, added that Cahill was having stomach trouble, and that his gentleness, admired in an earlier letter, prevented him from maintaining discipline and made some of the boys avoid his subjects. This was a pity. Cahill was so devoted and good, and Gouvea and the assistant masters were rough and harsh with the boys. He was their Spiritual Director, but his work prevented him from being always accessible to them.
By the middle of 1866 Rome had decided that the Macau community needed a new Superior. It would have to be someone already there as no one else could be sent to Macau. The Superior of the Mission and his Consultors proposed Cahill - he was prudent and kind, perhaps not forceful enough - and the community, given to mutual complaints, needed someone strong. If the General, in appointing him, wrote him an encouraging letter, this might help him overcome his timidity. Beckx at first jobbed at appointing Cahill because of his experience, but later agreed that there was no one else, and he was a good man and peaceable. So, in August 1866 he appointed Cahill as Superior of the Seminary community.
Cahill met new problems and was not finding the mission satisfactory to his own missionary zeal - it was a settlement of hardly devout European Catholics. He raised again the question of the Jesuits returning to Japan when he heard of the canonisation of the Japanese martyrs, and asked General Beckx to remember him if the Society decided to found a Mission there.
Meanwhile, Cahill was finding the new Rector of the Seminary Antonio Carvalho - who had been friendly to the Society - becoming more difficult, and again confined the Jesuits to teaching only. Discipline was so bad that the Jesuits withdrew from their rooms in the Seminary and went to live in a house put at their disposal nearby.
Sometime later Cahill was reporting maniacal behaviour on Catvalho’s part - he forbade the Jesuits to hear the boys confessions and complained that to warn the boys against the Freemasons was to engage in politics. The Spanish and Portuguese in Macau were making outrageous accusations against Rondina because he encouraged girls to refuse their advances. The community wanted to withdraw altogether from working in the Seminary. Further dissensions developed with the Society on the outside watching and waiting. But the situation did not improve and Cahill wanted to leave the Mission. The situation became so impossible that the Jesuit presence there became impossible.
At one time during his stay Cahill was awarded a knighthood by the Emperor of Annam, for work he did for some Annamese fishermen unjustly imprisoned in Macau. He became so proficient in Chinese that he wrote a Chinese catechism for his people.
Cahill left for Manila, hoping to be sent from there to China, and indeed the Provincial in Portugal suggested using him in one of the off coast islands from which some missionaries had just been expelled. But the Irish Provincial wanted him to go to the new Irish Mission in Australia. Father General wrote to him in January 1872, praising his missionary zeal and thanking him for all he had done in Macau. he wrote that Melbourne’s needs were imperative and Cahill should get down there as soon as possible.
1872 In April of that year General Beckx asked the Irish provincial for three names of men suitable for appointment as Superior of the Australian Mission, Cahill’s name led all the rest, and in July he became Superior of the Mission. Two years later he was also Rector of St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and exchanged this post for the Rectorship of the newly formed Xavier College, remaining Superior of the Mission. At this time his students remembered him as a very earnest and able man, constantly called upon by the diocese to give occasional addresses. He was a methodical teacher of Classics and Mathematics.
He may have found Melbourne dull after Macau, or suffered a reaction after all the excitements there. In September 1875 Father general wrote complaining that he had not heard from him in two years, and six months later complained tat it was not two years and six months since he’d had a letter. Perhaps Macau had nothing to do with it, for the General also complained of one of the Mission Consultors - he had written only once in the past three years, and that was to say that there was nothing to write about.
Cahill remained Superior of the Mission until 1879, and Rector of Xavier until December of that year. During his time as Superior, in February 1875 he had preached at the opening of St Aloysius Church , Sevenhill, and in 1877 gave a two hour funeral oration on the first Australian Bishop, Dr Polding at a “Month’s Mind”.
1880-883 he did Parish work at Richmond
1883-1887 he taught for the university exams at St Patrick’s College Melbourne.
1887-1890 He worked at the Hawthorn Parish
1890-1894 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Richmond.
18694-1896 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn
1896-1908 he was back at Richmond as Spiritual Father and a house Consultor.

Thomas Cahill was one of the “founding fathers” of the Australian Province, He was a fine preacher, a classicist, a linguist and a zealous pastor. He was also a respected theologian, called on to preach at Synods both in Sydney and Melbourne. He was one of the Diocesan examiners of the clergy and a Consultor of the Archbishop.

He was a man with a fine constitution, and did the work of a young man until within a few months of his death. However, suffering from heart trouble, there were long periods in his life when he was unable to leave his room. His life was given to his work, devoted to the confessional and the sick and those in trouble. he had a good memory for his former students and parishioners and was a good friend to many.

Note from Walmsley Smith Entry
Smith was baptised, 10 April 1904, by Thomas Cahill, the first rector of Xavier College.

Carbery, Robert, 1829-1903, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1010
  • Person
  • 27 September 1829-03 September 1903

Born: 27 September 1829, Cobh, County Cork / Green Park, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 20 October 1854, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1855, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1866
Died: 03 September 1903, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1875 at St Beuno’s Wales Rhyl Parish (ANG) health

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a well known and highly respected family in the Youghal district, and was a general favourite among all classes there.
Early education was local, and then he went to Trinity, and also studied at Clongowes where he did some Theology. He then went to Maynooth for Theology, and was Ordained there. Soon after he Entered the Society.

After First Vows he was sent teaching at Tullabeg, and he was there for twelve years.
He was then appointed Rector of Clongowes. His charm and character won him great admiration and affection from his students there.
He was then sent as Rector to UCD. Here he found his métier. Under his tenure he raised the stature of the College for teaching in Ireland.
When he retired from UCD he was sent to Milltown, and was involved in giving Retreats to Lay people and Religious.
He enjoyed good health up to a few days before his death. He contracted a bad cold which quickly became more serious, and even the ministrations of Sir Francis Cruise were able to impede its progress.
(Taken from “The Freeman’s Journal’ 04/09/1903)

Note from Edward Kelly Entry :
He was to have gone to the Congregation which elected Father Luis Martin of Spain, but bad health kept him away, and Robert Carbery replaced him as 1st Substitute.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Carbery 1829-1903
Fr Robert Carbery was born in Youghal County Cork on September 27th 1829. Strange to relate, according to his biographer, he went first to Trinity College and then to Clongowes. He was ordained a priest in Maynooth and became a Jesuit soon after in 1854.

He taught for about twelve years in Tullabeg and then became Rector of Clongowes. He is best remembered, however, as Rector of University College. His tenure of office was one of the most successful in the history of the College, and may be said to have constituted it to the centre of higher Catholic education in this country.

The last years of his life he spent in Milltown Park engaged in the work of giving retreats. He died in this house on September 3rd 1903.

He wrote a book on devotion to the Sacred Heart, and his pamphlet on the Novena of Grace did much to spread that devotion.

◆ The Clongownian, 1904


Father Robert Carbery SJ

by Father Matthew Russell

Father Robert Carbery has more than one claim to be specially commemorated in these pages : he was a Clongowes boy, a Clongowes professor, and a Clongowes Rector. He was born in the year of Catholic Emancipation, and sufficiently late in the year 1829 to be from his birth one of the emancipated. His birthday was the 27th of September, a domestic feast in the Society of which he was destined to be a member - not on account of any special devotion to the saints of the day, Cosmas and Damian, but because that day is the anniversary of the confirmation of the Society by Pope Paul III, through the Bull “Regimini Militantis Ecclesia”, dated September 27, 1540.

Robert, son of William Carbery (of Green Park, Youghal), and Elizabeth Olden, was born at the Cove of Cork, which twenty years later changed its undignified name of Cove into Queenstown, in honour of Queen Victoria's first visit to Ireland, with perhaps a better reason than Dunleary had for becoming Kingstown in honour of the last of the Georges. His home, however, was not Cove but Youghal, that interesting old town “at the mouth of the exquisite Blackwater, which is the Anniduff of Spenser and the Avondhu of many an Irish tale and legend”. Here it was that Sir Walter Raleigh.smoked the first tobacco seen in Europe (and much more important), planted the first potato. The house in which he lived is well preserved, with its “outhanging oriel window in which Spenser read the beginning ‘Faery Queen’ to Raleigh”. (Some of these phrases are taken from a delightful paper, At Youghal, by Lady Gilbert, in The Irish Monthly, vol. xix,, pp. 617-627.)

Robert Carbery's father, and his uncle Andrew Carbery, of Shamrock Lodge, Dungarvan, were among the first Catholics appointed to the office of Justice of the Peace after Catholic Emancipation. They were the chief instruments in introducing the Christian Brothers into Youghal and Dungarvan.

I have sought in vain for some particulars concerning Robert Carbery's childhood. The Right Rev Monsignor Keller, the beloved pastor of Youghal, conjectures that young Carbery attended a school established there about that time by a zealous curate, the Rev John Russell, afterwards Dr Keller's predecessor as Dean of Cloyne. († Mr. Joseph Carbery, of Beila Vista, Queenstown, tells me that his brother's first schoolmaster was a : Dr. Edwards.) The little boy from Green Park was not old enough to be a pupil of the classical school conducted at Youghal by the father of the late Father Alfred Murphy SJ, who told Dr Keller'that he was born at Youghal but that his family removed to Cork so soon after that he did not remember the event. The home of Robert Carbery's childhood is now the Green Park Hotel, which transformation implies that it must have been a spacious family mansion. No doubt the boy felt very homesick for it when he was sent to Clongowes in 1844. He went through all the classes there till the summer of 1848. During all his time the Rector of the College was the holy and genial Father Robert Haly, well known as a missioner in almost every parish of Ireland twenty or thirty years ago his work, indeed, was over then, but well remembered; and, as Young of the “Night Thoughts” said of himself, “he has been so long remembered that he is now almost forgotten”. How many are there who can still recall the pleasant old man with the snow-white head stooped down, so venerable looking that in the country parishes the people would say of him, when he and Father Fortescue and Father Ronan were giving a mission, “I want to get to confession to the ould bishop”.

The only record of Robert Carbery's achievements during his Clongowes course that has come into my hands regards the school year 1846-1847. In the academical exercises which wound up the term in July, 1847, he took the part of Bassanio in a scene from “The Merchant of Venice”, and the part of Malcolm in a scene from “Macbeth”; and in the printed list of prizes the name Robert Carbery is very conspicuous. It appears first and alone in Christian Doctrine, and fourth in Natural Philosophy. In the Rhetoric class he was second as regards the examination in the authors studied, while, as regards original composition, he came first in the Greek oration, English oration, Latin Alcaic ode and English ode, second in Latin and French, and third in the Greek ode. In the first class of mathematics he got the second prize, and in the Debate he and his friend Nicholas Gannon of Laragh are marked as equal in their competition for the medal for excellence, A still more intimate friend, whose friendship lasted till the close of his life, won from him the first prize in mathematics. This was Christopher Palles, who has since gained an illustrious place in the history of the legal profession in Ireland as the greatest and the last of the three Catholic Chief Barons of the Exchequer, who have between them filled almost the whole of the long period that has elapsed since the Emancipation Act made Catholics eligible. This high office is now abolished, the Court of Exchequer being amalgamated with the rest of the High Court of Justice in Ireland, though the last, and certainly not the least distinguished holder of the extinct office continues to enjoy the title. Long inay he continue to do so, and to discharge with characteristic thoroughness the duties of President of the Clongowes Union. (Chief Baron Palles's immediate predecessor was David Pigot, who succeeded Stephen Woulfe. The former was grandfather to the Rev Edward Pigot SJ, who has recently been obliged to exchange China for Australia as the scene of his labours. Chief Baron Woulfe, in one of his parliamentary speeches, used a phrase which “The Nation” newspaper adopted as its motto - “To create and foster public opinion in Ireland and to make it racy of the soil”. This half sentence i now all that is remembered of him,)

Robert Carbery spent another year under the care of his Alma Mater, in the class of philosophy, although the register of Trinity College, Dublin, shows that he matriculated there on the 8th of November, 1847, and was assigned as a pupil to Dr Sadlier. He stayed on, however, as we have said, in Clongowes, till the summer of 1848. His acknowledged prowess in the Debating Society had helped to turn his thoughts towards the Bar. We do not know how his vocation was finally settled. We are not allowed to overhear “what the heart of the young man said to the Psalmist”, or rather what the Holy Spirit said to the heart of the young man. Long afterwards he told one of his brothers in religion that the following incident had been the turning point in his career, or at least had some share in fixing his determination to quit the world. He was over in London, enjoying keenly his first sight of the wonders of that already overgrown metropolis. It was the beginning of the year 1849, for he had during his visit an opportunity of seeing Queen Victoria open Parliament in person on the ist of February. The kindness of Richard Lalor Sheil, who was Youghal's brilliant representative in the House of Commons, had secured for his youthful constituent an excellent place for viewing the outside portion of the pageant. Even if it were worthwhile, the details of the scene cannot be verified on the spot at present. The old Houses of Parliament were destroyed by fire in October, 1834. Sir Charles Barry began to rebuild them in 1840. The Lords entered their new premises in 1847, but the Commons did not assenible in theirs till November, 1862. In the building as it stood at the time of which we are writing there was, it seems, a balcony over the entrance, from which one particularly observant pair of Irish eyes looked down upon the expectant throng. Among other things they watched the efforts of a gentleman to provide a somewhat similar coign of vantage for a lady whom he was escorting. There was a corner fenced off by a low iron railing, and it occurred to the gentleman that, if the lady were snugly ensconced behind this railing she would be guarded from the crush and could see in security nearly all that was to be seen. Accordingly a chair was procured and placed against the railing to enable the lady to cross the barrier, but in the hurry of her excitement, or through some sudden swaying of the crowd, she slipped and struck ber forehead violently against one of the spikes. She was hurried off to the nearest hospital, but died before reaching it. Meanwhile plenty of sawdust was scattered over “.. the pathway to hide the blood that had gushed forth profusely, and the ringing cheers of the multitude went up, as the royal carriages with their brilliant escort at last swept in, while no one thought of the poor soul that had just been hurried before the Judgement-Seat. The dreadful contrast of life and death affected Robert Carbery powerfully; and, whatever may have been his hankering after the Bar, he sacrificed it for ever.

He did not, however, enroll himself at once under the banner of St Ignatius. Most of the Twelve Apostles were called twice, the first time not involving so complete and permanent a renunciation as the final “Follow Me”. This dual vocation has its counterpart in many lives. “Show, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me Thy paths”. (Psalm xxiv., 4). First, via the road that turns the traveller's footsteps in the proper direction, and then senita, the path that leads him straight to his special destination.

To prepare for the ecclesiastical state, Robert Carbery entered Maynooth College as a student of the diocese of Cloyne, on the 19th of September, 1849, and satisfied the Board of Examiners so well in logic that he was placed at once in the Physics Class, then taught by the holy and gifted Dr. Nicholas Callan. Throughout his course he won the first or second place in nearly all departments of study, his chief competitor and also his closest friend. being a saintly youth from Derry, Patrick Kearney, though I suspect that the third of the triumvirate who were “called to the first premium” was the most solid theologian of the three; this was John Ryan of Cashel - the holy and learned priest of that - southern archdiocese considered by his fellow-priests “most worthy” to succeed the Most Rev Dr. Patrick Leahy. Dr Croke, who was appointed Archbishop by the Holy See, had the most profound confidence in Dr Ryan as his Vicar-General.

It is needless to say that for piety and virtue, Robert Carbery stood very high in the esteem of his superiors and his fellow-students. One proof of the character that he had gained for himself is the fact that in September, 1852, at the beginning of his third year of theology, he was one of the two prefects placed in charge of the Junior House, which comprised the Classes of Humanity, Rhetoric, and Logic. As that was my second year in Maynooth, I was one of his subjects, but not a single word ever passed between us. My most vivid memory of him regards the speech that he made at our festive dinner in the Junior Refectory on St Patrick's Day, 1853. To set his eloquence off to greater advantage his colleague happened to be Peter Foley of Killaloe, afterwards a Jesuit also - he died at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Feb 1st, 1893; aged 67 - a holy man, and one of the subtlest of thinkers, but one of the worst of speakers, and - till the end of his life the most inaudible of the race of articulately-speaking men, On the other hand “Carbery of Cloyne” proved that not in vain had he won the prize of excellence ii the Clongowes Debate. He electrified his youthful audience, one of whom guarantees after fifty years the almost verbal accuracy of one passage: “The greatest military genius of modern times, addressing his army before the Battle of the Pyramids, exclaimed : ‘Soldiers of France! from the summit of yonder Pyramids four thousand years look down upon you!’ And to you, students of Maynooth, I will say fourteen bundred years look down upon you, From their place in Heaven our forefathers in the Faith” - but if I went further, my guarantee for literal exactness would fail.

Soon after this God's will became clear to hin. He obtained leave to join the Society of Jesus, beginning his noviceship on the 20th of October, 1854. His friend, Patrick Kearney, continued another year or two in College, on the Dunboyne Establishment before joining the Vincentian Fathers. After he had come to an understanding with his confessor, Dr Thomas Furlong (after wards Bishop of Ferns) on this important point, he told me at the time that he sometimes wavered in his choice of a religious order, casting a wistful glance towards the Society of Jesus on account chiefly of his love for St Aloysius and Robert Carbery - this was precisely the way be put it - but whenever he ventured to moot the matter in confession, Dr Furlong would say: “Beware of the pillar of salt! Beware of the pillar of salt!” - an admonition that would have been more pertinent if the young priest had borne a closer resemblance to Lot's wife by “looking back” in a very different direction.

After two years in the novitiate of St Acheul, near Amiens, in France, Father Carbery was called home to Ireland in the summer of 1856. and was ordained priest in St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, in the presence of his father and mother. He was then placed on the teaching staff of his old “nutrix pientissima”, Clongowes Wood, where be taught for many years with great success. I have heard a very competent judge speak with warm admiration of the care and skill with which he trained his pupils to turn the various authors into good English. (Those who knew Father William Molony SJ, as a nonagenarian may be surprised to learn that Canon James Daniel, himself a clever writer of the journalistic type, praised the elegance of Father Molony's versions of Virgil, etc., when he was his professor at Belvedere College.)

I will not attempt to trace his course year by year. For some years towards the close of the sixties he filled very efficiently the office of Socius to the Master of Novices at Milltown Park, Father Aloysius Sturzo; who is still working in Australia, and who is still remembered with affection and respect in Ireland. A novice thus partly trained by Father Carbery, tells us that the novices recognised a sharp line of distinction between the Father Socius and Father Carbery. The former was a rigid and implacable stickler for rule and regularity, on whose lips the admonition was frequent: “Brother, no innovations!” But if a novice fell ill, or in any other way needed a mother's tenderness, then Pater Socius disappeared and his place was taken by Father Carbery, who was unceasing in his kindness and patient care.

In 1870 he returned to Clongowes as Rector. During his reign the new dormitories and class rooms and the present infirmary were built, the foundation stone of the new wing being laid and blessed by the oldest Clongownian then living, Dr James Lynch, who was also the bishop of the diocese. Since the good old bishop's death, who is the oldest alumnus of Clongowes Wood?

He was succeeded at Clongowes by Father Thomas Keating in 1876, taking his place (but after an interval) as Superior in St Patrick's House, 87 St. Stephen's Green, a house of residence for students of the Catholic University. I had the happiness of being his only companion there, as I had been for his two predecessors, Father Keating and Father James Tuite; and in so small a community I had the opportunity of being more intimately acquainted with him than a much longer term of years might allow in a large community. Father Carbery bore this test admirably. The arrangement with the Bishops of Ireland in reference to St Patrick's House came to an end in the summer of 1880; but Father Carbery was destined to return to St Stephen's Green under different circumstances, succeeding Father William Delaney as Rector of University College April 1oth, 1888, till he was succeeded by him in turn in 1897.

During the years that we have traced thus hurriedly, and especially in the intervals between his terms of office, Father Carbery discharged with great fruit the various functions of a preacher whether in churches or in convent chapels. He had very exceptional qualifications for the pulpit. His voice was excellent for public speaking - clear, penetrating, musical, sympathetic. One who was at Clongowes during his rectorship mentions that, during one year in particular, the Rector preached to the boys almost every Sunday; and - to this day he remembers the impression made by the voice and tone with which he said the prayer, “Come, Holy Ghost, etc”, before the sermon - as in Notre Dame Père Ravignan made the sign of the cross before his sermon so impressively that one of the listeners whispered to his neighbour, “Il a déjà prêché”. One of the boys themselves remembers a beautiful series of sermons addressed to them at this time on devotion to the Sacred Heart, preserved no doubt substantially in the beautiful little treatise which Father Carbery afterwards published on this divine theme. His tall, spare figure, his piercing eye, his refined and ascetic face, added much to the impressiveness of his discourses, which were always delivered with great feeling and earnestness.

Perhaps, however, the intermittent exercise of these faculties, which was all that his other duties permitted; was the best for his efficiency as a preacher. To use a homely phrase, his sermons took a good deal out of him. There are some to whom it costs nothing to speak in public, but generally it costs a good deal to listen to them. I have known Father Carbery to be quite exhausted after a touching charity sermon in St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, and obliged to lie down for a time. He was not a preacher of a robust and massive type, like the Father Peter Kenny of recent tradition, or the present Archbishop of Tuam, but rather of that nervous, electric temperament, of which the best example that occurs to me is the very eloquent English convert, Father Thomas Harper SJ, whom some one described as “a bag of nerves”, and who certainly was a nervous, incisive. preacher.

Immediately after a retreat which Father Carbery had conducted at Maynooth for the priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin, I met Canon William Dillon who died. quite lately. He praised the retreat very warmly. One item of his eulogy was this: “It was intensely gentlemanly”. This criticism, which his friends will recognise as characteristic of the critic, referred to a certain refinement of tone peculiarly acceptable to the Canon's fastidious taste; but this refinement did not hinder the preacher from being at the same time intensely priestly and apostolical.

His retreats were greatly valued in many convents, One of these was given in July, 1870, at Mount Anville, Dundrum, Co Dublin, not to the Religious of the Sacred Heart but to ladies who retired there for a few days from the world. Among these was the Countess of Portarlington, whose notes of the meditations have been shown to me by a lady who enjoyed the same spiritual luxury, and who says that the Father's instructions were most touching and holy. Lady Portarlington was a daughter of the third Marquis of Londonderry, and a fervent convert like her sister-in-law the Marchioness. of Londonderry. Soon after the Mount Anville retreat she fell dangerously ill and sought the assistance of Father Carbery, who had just then been appointed Rector of Clongowes. She recovered however, and did not die till the 15th of January, 1874, in the 51st year of her age. During her last illness Father Carbery's visits to Emo Park were a great consolation to her, and he was asked to speak at her obsequies, Her devoted husband, a kind and liberal man, had gratified the pious desires of the holy Countess (as he calls her in some memorial lines), by building a very beautiful parish church at Emo, and there the funeral words were spoken which are still praised enthusiastically by some who heard them. They won at the time the admiration of a young inan then at the beginning of his brilliant and too short career, Lord Randolph Churchill, who attended as a kinsman, with his father the Duke of Marlborough, the Marquis of Londonderry, the Marquis of Drogheda, and others of that titled class from which the deceased had turned to mingle with “the simple poor she loved so well”, as the bereaved husband wrote afterwards in the lines to which we have alluded, and which begin thus:
“ She rests within that hallowed spot,
Which in those early days she chose,
When first these sacred walls were built,
And first those pious altars rose”.

This was one of the very many death-beds that Father Carbery helped to make bright and happy. He was peculiarly kind and thoughtful about the sick; but when the dying one needed special help, God seemed to bless his zealous efforts in an extra ordinary degree. I remember two famous Irishmen to whom he longed to render this last and best service; but alas he was not summoned, as he had. hoped he might be, to their deathbeds - William Carleton and Isaac Butt. Butt, another great orator; succeeded Sheil as MP for Youghal. Carleton, in his last years, lived in Sandford Road, close to the entrance of Milltown Park, and so was Father Carbery's neighbour and made his acquaintance.

About his own death nothing need be said but that it was the fitting close of such a life. It took place at Milltown Park, Dublin, on the 3rd of September, 1903. Thus September was the month of his entrance into the world and of his two exits from the world He had spent seventy-three years on earth, and forty-eight in the Society of Jesus.

His grave is in Glasnevin. He rests from his labours, and his works follow him.

Carroll, James, 1717-1756, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1020
  • Person
  • 05 August 1717-12 November 1756

Born: 05 August 1717, Ireland
Entered: 07 September 1741, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1747
Final Vows: 02 February 1752
Died: 12 November 1756, Newtown, Maryland, USA - Angliae Province (ANG)

1746 at Münster in Westphalia in 3rd Year Theology

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1749 Sent to Maryland Mission
RIP 12 November 1756 Maryland aged 39 (Peter Kenney’s papers)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CARROLL, JAMES,was born on the 5th of August, 1717. He joined the Order in 1741, and died in the Maryland Mission on the 12th of November, 1756

Carroll, William, 1939-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/88
  • Person
  • 11 January 1939-24 January 1976

Born: 11 January 1939, Avondale, Corbally, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 January 1976, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1963 at Chantilly, France (GAL S) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Fr Billy Carroll (at school here 1946-257): After a short period in St. John's hospital, Limerick, Billy died in Dublin on 24th January. As a past pupil and member of the Society, he was much loved and respected by his schoolmates and all his friends in Limerick. The concelebrated Mass (29th January) was attended by a great number of past pupils, relatives and friends.

Obituary :

Fr Billy Carroll (1939-1976)

It is difficult to get used to the idea that Billy Carroll, who would have been thirty-seven in June this year, is no longer with us. I spent about thirteen years with Billy in Emo, Rathfarnham, Chantilly, Clongowes and Milltown. He was always quiet, with a wry sense of humour, always able to pick out and imitate the various accents and idiosyncrasies of sports commentator, superior or lecturer. An excellent athlete from his schooldays, he arrived late in Emo because he was playing rugby for Munster in the summer of '57. He was on the Irish school boys international athletic team, and as a novice, junior, philosopher or theologian he seemed at his happiest on the football field.
Billy was never an academic. He found the years of training tough, but quietly and uncomplainingly steered his way through the various intellectual forests. He was at his happiest with youngsters, and the number of them at his funeral witnesses to the fact that they were impressed with his instinctive goodness, ready wit and genuine concern.
Billy did his philosophy in France where if, like the rest of us, he did not learn too much philosophy, he certainly learnt French and was a very popular figure in that large community of Chantilly. His soccer abilities were invaluable to the Chantilly team and his wit enlivened many a gloomy hour in exile. His ability to imitate was used on occasion to brighten up philosophy lectures and when, at the end of a course, it was the custom to do a “take off” of a particular professor, Billy would use his talent to the delight of professor and students alike.
On returning to Ireland, Billy was sent to Clongowes as Third Line prefect. Here he showed great rapport with the boys, but a mysterious Providence had him moved to Limerick the following year. He was happy to be back in his home town.
He ploughed his way through theology with difficulty and was ordained in 1971. The next year found him back in Limerick, and it was here that his illnesses began. His most bitter disappointment was when he was moved from the Crescent to the Milltown Retreat House and he found it difficult to settle into his new job, particularly as his health was poor. But he gave himself to his job with dedication.
It was always difficult to read Billy’s heart, for he seldom spoke of his inner self, but his quiet ways and gentle smile will always be a happy reminder of how good it was to have him around and to have known and worked and played with him. I hear that on the day he died he enjoyed watching the Australia/ Ireland rugby match. It fits. We look forward to joining him in times to come.

◆ The Clongownian, 1976


Father Billy Carroll SJ

Those who were in the Third Line in 1965-66 were saddened to hear that their prefect of that year, Mr Billy Carroll, died in January at the early age of thirty-six, just five years after ordination. Although he had never enjoyed robust health, Billy's death came as a shock to his many friends, who will not easily forget his unusual goodness and his quiet, gentle ways.

Clarke, Thomas, 1804-1870, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1052
  • Person
  • 24 January 1804-02 September 1870

Born: 24 January 1804, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1823, Montrouge, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 20 December 1834, Stonyhurst
Final Vows: 15 August 1841
Died: 02 September 1870, Blackpool, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Cousin of Malachy Ent 1825 and Thomas Tracy RIP 1862 (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Early education at Stonyhurst before Ent.

After First Vows, studies at Saint-Acheul, France and Stonyhurst, Regency and Theology at Stonyhurst, he was Ordained there by Bishop Penswick 20 December 1834
1834-1841 He was at the Gilmoss (near Liverpool) Mission
1841-1842 On the Lydiate - near Liverpool - Mission
1842 Appointed Rector of Mount St Mary’s. He left there some time after and served the Missions of Preston, Irnham, Lincoln and Market Rasen for brief periods.
1848-1850 Appointed Minister and procurator at St Beuno’s
1850-1859 On the Market Rasen Mission
1859-1867 On the Tunbridge Wells Mission, which was ceded to the local Bishop in 1867.
1867 He became a Missioner at Wardour Castle, from where, in declining health, he was sent to Blackpool, and he died there 02/09/1870 aged 66.
He was also Socius to the Provincial

Cleary, James, 1841-1921, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/93
  • Person
  • 10 May 1841-22 August 1921

Born: 10 May 1841, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1870
Final vows: 02 February 1878
Died: 22 August 1921, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia

by 1869 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1872 at Glasgow, Scotland (ANG) working
by 1877 at Castres, France (TOLO) making Tertianship
Early Irish Mission to Australia 1884

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He entered from Maynooth where he had already been ordained Deacon.

After Ordination he spent some time at an Operarius, was briefly at Crescent, and for over six years a Catechist on the Missionary Staff.
1883 he was sent to Australia and there he spent some years in Melbourne and Sydney. He was also an Operarius at Hawthorn.
1895 He was at St Patrick’s Melbourne
1901 He was sent to St Aloysius, Sydney.
1902 He was sent to Norwood
1903 He was sent to Adelaide
1905 He was sent to Riverview.
1907 He was sent to Sevenhill
1908-1914 He was sent to Norwood again.
1914 He returned to Sevenhill and he died there 22 August 1921.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He entered the Society as a Diocesan Priest having previously studied at Maynooth.

1868-1869 He was sent to St Acheul, Amiens, France for Rhetoric studies
1869-1870 He was sent to Leuven for theology
1870-1871 He was sent teaching to Clongowes Wood College
1871-1876 He went to Glasgow to work in a Parish there.
1876-1877 He made tertianship at Castres, France
1878-1882 He was a Missioner giving Retreats all over the country
1882-1885 He was sent teaching to Crescent College Limerick.
1885-1886 He was sent to Australia and Xavier College Kew
1886-1890 and 1900-1902 He was at St Aloysius Bourke Street teaching
1890-1891 He was sent for Parish work to Hawthorn
1891-1894 He was sent for Parish work to St Mary’s
1894-1895 He was sent for Parish work to Richmond
1895-1900 He was sent teaching to St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1904-1906 He was sent teaching to St Ignatius College Riverview
1903-1904 and 1907-1916 he was at St Ignatius Parish Norwood.
1913-1921 He was sent to do Parish work at Sevenhill

He seems to have been a little unsettled. moving frequently, and in later life was much troubled by scruples.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father James Cleary (1841-1921)

A native of Waterford, entered the Society in 1866. He was a member of the church staff at the Crescent from 1882 to 1885. This latter year he joined the mission in Australia where he was engaged first as master but later and for many years in church work until the time of his death at Sevenhills.

Cleere, Edward, 1580-1649, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1055
  • Person
  • 1580-19 July 1649

Born: 1580, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 16 February 1605, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c 1609, Rome, Italy
Died: 19 July 1649, Waterford Residence, Waterford City, County Waterford

Alias Clare

Had studied Philosophy and Theology at Irish College Douai before entry
Was the oldest of the Professed Fathers in 1648
Was stationed for a while at the Dublin Residence (his name appears on a book at Carlow College of that residence)
1617 was in Ireland - mentioned in the 1621 and 1622 Catalogue : talented with good judgement, prudence and experience. A pleasing character who might be formed to be a Superior
1649 Superior in Waterford

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was a Preacher; The oldest of the Professed Fathers in 1648; Superior at Waterford in 1649; A man of talent

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Studied Rhetoric at Irish College Lisbon before, then Philosophy at Douai before Ent 1605 Rome
After First Vows completed his studies probably in Rome, and was ordained by the time he returned to Portugal 1609
1609 Returns to Portugal
1611-1616 Sent by the General to Irish College Lisbon as Prefect of Studies to replace Robert Bathe. In his letter to the Portuguese Provincial he said “I have seen such reports of Fr Cleere’s prudence, mature judgement and learning, that I trust the Irish College will not suffer by the change of Fr Bathe”
1613 Sent to Ireland and to Waterford Residence and worked there, Cork and the rest of Munster
1642-1649 Appointed Superior at Waterford Residence (1642-1647) and was Acting Superior of the Mission awaiting the new Mission Superior (1647-1648). In 1649 he was again appointed Superior of the Waterford Residence and died in Office19 July 1649

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Edmund Cleere (Clare) 1580-1649
Fr Edmund Cleere was a Waterford man.

Fr Holywood, writing on June 30th 1604 says : “I left behind me in Paris studying theology Mr Edmund Cleere”

As a priest Fr Cleere worked in Waterford and was Superior of our House there for many years. In 1648, Bishop Comerford of Waterford presented a memorial to the Nuncio beggin a revocation of the censures. Among the signatories was Edmund Cleere together with John Gough, William McGrath and Andrew Sall, all of the Society.

When the Visitor Fr Verdier visited Waterford, he found Fr Cleere almost superannuated. He died shortly afterwards in Waterford on July 19th 1649.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CLARE, EDWARD, of Waterford. The first time that he comes across me is in a letter of F. Holywood, dated the 30th of June, 1604, in which he says, “I left behind at Paris studying Theology, Mr. Edward Clare”. For many years he was Superior of his Brethren at Waterford; and when F. Verdier visited him, he found him almost superannuated. I learn from F. William Malone’s letter, dated Galway, the 2nd of August, 1649, that F. Clare, the most ancient of the Professed in the Mission, died at Waterford on the preceding 19th of July, “dierum et meritorum plenus”.
N.B. Anthony Wood and his copyists, Harris and Dodd, evidently confound this Father with his contemporary, F. John Clare. Had they turned to the conclusion of F. John Clare’s admirable work, The Converted Jew, they would find that he expressly calls himself an English Pryest.

Clery, Joseph, 1837-, former Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA ADMN/7/239
  • Person
  • 11 February 1837-

Born: 11 February 1837, County Cork
Entered: 13 September 1856, Beaumont, Berkshire, England - Angliae Province for HIB (ANG)
Ordained: 1868
Final Vows: 02 Fenruary 1872

Left Society of Jesus: 1883

by 1858 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) Studying Philosophy
by 1866 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology
by 1871 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Early Irish Mission to to Australia 1880

1857 FRA CAT has St Acheul, Amiens entry

Colgan, James E, 1849-1915, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/96
  • Person
  • 14 January 1849-06 August 1915

Born: 14 January 1849, Kilcock, County Kildare
Entered: 18 March 1868, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, North Great George's Street, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1888
Died: 06 August 1915, Mount Saint Evin’s Hospital, Melbourne Australia

Part of St Mary’s community, Miller St, Sydney, Australia at time of death.

Brother of John - RIP 1919
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1881 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
Came to Australia 1896

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Clongowes.
Owing to ill health he made some studies privately.
He was sent for Regency as a Prefect at Tullabeg.
He was Ordained at the Convent Chapel in Nth Great George’s St Dublin, by Dr Patrick Moran, Bishop of Dunedin.
He was Procurator for some years at Clongowes and Dromore, and was Procurator also at Clongowes, and then Minister at UCD. He also spent time on the Missionary Band in Ireland.
1896 He sailed for Australia to join a Missionary Band there. He was Superior for a time at Hawthorn.
1914 He returned to Ireland but set sail again for Australia in 1915.
1915 He returned to Melbourne, but died rather quickly there 06 August 1915.

Note from John Gateley Entry
1896 He was sent to Australia with James Colgan and Henry Lynch.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of John - RIP 1919

His early education was at Clongowes Woof College before he Entered at Milltown Park.
1869-1870 He was sent to St Acheul, France for his Juniorate.
Owing to ill health he did the rest of his studies privately, and he was Ordained by Dr Moran of Dunedin, New Zealand in Ireland in 1881
1874-1880 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg as a Teacher and Prefect of Discipline
1880-1888 He was sent to Clongowes where he carried out much the same work as at Tullabeg
1888-1891 He was sent to St Francis Xavier Gardiner St for pastoral work, and then spent some time on the “Mission” staff giving retreats.
1891-1892 He was sent to University College Dublin as Minister
1892-1896 He went back to working on the Mission staff.
1897-1902 He was sent to Australia and began working as a rural Missionary
1902-1910 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn
1910-1915 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at St Mary’s Sydney

In 1914 he went back to Ireland, but returned to Australia the following year and died suddenly. He was a man of great austerity of life, and was valued as a Spiritual Director.

◆ The Clongownian, 1916


Father James Colgan SJ

We deeply regret to learn of the death of the Rev James E Colgan SJ, which occurred at St Evin's Hospital, Melbourne, on Friday afternoon, August 6th, after an operation.

Fr Colgan was born on January 14th, 1849, at Kilcock, Co Kildare, Ireland. He entered the Society of Jesus on 18th March, 1868. His people were large property holders in that county. After entering the Society he studied at Milltown Park, Dublin, and subsequently continued his studies in France, England, and Ireland. He was for some time engaged in teaching in St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, and at Clongowes. After his ordination he filled important positions in both these colleges. Later he was engaged in missionary work. He occupied the position of Vice-President and Dean of Residence in the University College, Dublin. Subsequently he laboured in South Africa.

About 18 years ago he came to Australia, and was engaged in missionary work in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand. For eight years he was Parish Priest of Hawthorn, after which he was appointed to the parish of St Mary's, North Sydney, which position he held for five years. Two years ago he had the misfortune to break his thigh at North Sydney, and this confined him to hospital for some eight months. After his recovery be proceeded to Ireland, where he spent a year recuperating. He returned to Victoria about three months ago, and whilst giving a retreat at Bendigo recently he was seized with illness, and had to come to Melbourne and undergo an operation, from which he never rallied, passing away peacefully, as stated, on the afternoon of Friday, 6th August, fortified by all the consolations of Religion. On Saturday morning, the 7th August, the solemn dirge for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Hawthorn, at 10.30 2m. The church was crowded - a proof that the people were not unmindful of the self-sacrificiog labours of the deceased priest, His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne (the Most Rev Dr Carr) presided, and His Grace the Coadjutor-Archbishop of Melbourne (the Most Rev Dr Mannix) was also present.

“Advocate” (Melbourne), August 14th, 1915,

Colgan, John, 1846-1919, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/578
  • Person
  • 08 November 1846-26 June 1919

Born: 08 November 1846, Kilcock, County Kildare
Entered: 12 November 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Final Vows: 02 February 1886
Died: 26 June 1919, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Brother of James - RIP 1913

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1870 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1882 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After Noviceship he studied Philosophy in Europe, was Prefect for a long time at Clongowes for Regency, and then did Theology at St Beuno’s.
After Ordination he was appointed Socius to the Novice Master at Dromore, eventually becoming Master himself.
1888 Dromore Novitiate was closed and he took the Novices to Tullabeg.
1890 His health had begun to suffer so he was sent to Clongowes as Spiritual Father, and did this for a number of years.
He was next sent as Minister to Milltown for a couple of years, but again returned to Clongowes in the same capacity as before.
1901 He was sent to Gardiner St. He was always in compromised health and had a very weak voice, but worked away there for a number of years.
In the end he had a very long illness which he bore with great patience and he died at Gardiner St 26 June 1919. His funeral was held there, very simply, as it was difficult to get a choir together at that time.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Made his first Vows at St Acheul, France 13 November 1869

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Colgan 1846-1919
Fr John Colgan was born at Kilcock County Kildare on November 8th 1846.

At the end of his theological studies he was appointed Socius to the Master of Novices at Dromore, eventually becoming Master of Novices himself. In 1888 Dromore was closed and he took the novices to Tullabeg.. His health broke down and in 1890 he went to Clongowes as Spiritual Father. In 1901 he was posted to Gardiner Street.

He was never of robust health and he laboured according to his strength for a number of years. His last illness, which was long, he bore with great patience until his death on June 28th 1919. His funeral took place after Low Mass, as it was impossible to get together a choir of priests. His funeral was very simple, as every Jesuit’s should be.

◆ The Clongownian, 1920


Father John Colgan SJ

John Colgan passed quietly away at St Francis Xavier's Presbytery, Gardiner Street, on June 19th last year. He was in Clongowes from 1860-67, where his brothers James and Edward, who both predeceased him, were also students. Fr Colgan spent most of his earlier life as a Prefect in Clongowes, Externally cold and formal, he was in private a most kind-hearted and even indulgent man. His Theological studies over, he was sent as Socius to the Master of Novices at Dromore, county Down. He subsequently became Master of Novices himself, and it was he who took the Novices to Tullabeg after that college had been amalgamated with Clongowes. Not long after, his health breaking down, he came to Clongowes as Spiritual Father, at which post - excepting a short interval as Minister at Milltown Park - he remained until 1901. The remainder of his life was spent in works of the ministry at St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, where he rarely left the precincts of the Presbytery except for an occasional short walk. His interest in and kindly disposition towards visitors helped not a little the success of his sacredotal functions. To his sister we tender the sympathy of many generations who knew Fr Colgan.

Collens, John, 1699-1733, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1068
  • Person
  • 04 March 1699-20 May 1733

Born: 04 March 1699, St Germain en Laye, France
Entered: 27 December 1718, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Final Vows: 15 August 1729
Died: 20 May 1733, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)

His father Cornelius Collens was a “pensionnaire du Roy Angleterre”. His mother’s name was “Nerne Scotch (Écossaise)”
Was a hairdresser for about 8 years before entry. Received at Douai by Père Quarré - both parents were deceased on entry.

Collins, Charles, d 1725, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2301
  • Person
  • d 15 February 1725

Entered: 1725
Died: 15 February 1725, Douai, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

In Old/15 (1); Chronological Catalogue Sheet; CATSJ A-H

Collins, Francis Charles, d 1696, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2302
  • Person
  • d 12 November 1696

Entered: 1690
Died: 12 November 1696, Douai, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

◆Catalogus Defuncti 1641-1740 has Carol Franciscus RIP 12 November 1696 Douai

◆Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
RIP at Liège 12 November 1696 (CAT RIP SJ Louvain Library)
Name not found in Province CATS

Comerford, George, 1598-1629, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1074
  • Person
  • 23 April 1598-14 August 1629

Born: 23 April 1598, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 24 August 1618, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1624
Died: 14 August 1629, Waterford Residence, Waterford City, County Waterford

Parents : Philip C Comerford and Anne Goeghe or Joeghe or Gough?
Fellow novice of St Jan Berchmans
Studied Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy at Douai
1622 in Flanders Province
1626 Catalogue In Ireland (Comerfortius)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries
Son of Peter Philip Comerford and Ann née Geoghe
Studied Humanities at various places in Ireland for five years and then Philosophy at Douai under the Jesuits at Aachen
1626 In Ireland
Admitted to the Society by Charles Scribano at Courtray (Kortrijk) 19 July 1618 and then began his Noviceship at Mechelen 24 August 1618 (”Mechlin Album” Vol I p449, Burgundian Library, Brussels)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Philip and Anne née Geoghe
Studied Humanities and Philosophy under the Jesuits at Douai before Ent 24 August 1618 Mechelen
After First Vows sent to Louvain to complete his studies.
1621 He received Minor Orders 04 June 1621, but the date and place of Ordination are unknown (probably c 1624)
1624 Returned to Ireland but in poor health and was at the Waterford Residence until his death in August 1629

Connain, Christopher, 1613-1646, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1082
  • Person
  • 1616-25 March 1646

Born: 1616, County Meath
Entered: 30 April 1637, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1645, Rome, Italy
Died: 25 March 1646, County Cork - described as Martyr

Son of Hugo and Catherine Daly.
Studied Grammar and Humanities for 6 year in Ireland, 2 years Philosophy at Douai under Jesuits
1642 & 1646 at Roman College studying Theology teaching Grammar
Holywood writes Conín, Conan, Cunane”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
A letter of William Malone, Irish Mission Superior 02 August 1649, which mentions that Father Conain, on first landing in Ireland c1646, was seized by the enemy, and shortly afterwards escaped from their hands, and is variously related as having been killed by the heretics, on the highway, or to have been drowned in the river.
He is named in a report of the Irish Mission SJ 1641-1650 {Verdier?} (in the Archives of the English College, Rome; a copy is in the Library of Public Record Office, London), as being then in the Cork Residence; that he contrived to escape from prison by the aid of the Catholics, after great sufferings there, and that he died “in itinere”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Christopher Connain (his own spelling)
Son of Hugo and Catherine Daly
Studied Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy at Douai with the Jesuits before Ent 30 April 1637
After First Vows he spent three years Regency in Colleges doing light work as his health was poor
1642 Sent to Rome to for Theology. He was Ordained c 1645
1645 He sent to Ireland in September, but on his arrival he was either captured or killed by the Puritans, or he drowned while attempting to escape. His recorded date of death was 14 August 1646, but it was thought that he had been reported as dead many months previously.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Christopher Conain 1590-1629
Christopher Conain was born in Ireland about 1590. The only acount we have of him is found in a letter of Fr William Malone, dated August 2nd 1629 :
“He was apprehended by the enemy or Protestant persecutors, that he escaped after a short while, but soon after, was either massacred by them on the high road, or was drowned in some river, as was then reported”.

Not very much information, yet his name deserves to be recorded as one of the many, who like him, faced the terrors of persecution in their native land, and died “unknown, uncoffined and unknelled”.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONAIN, CHRISTOPHER. All that I can collect about him is from a letter, dated the 2nd of August, 1629, of F. William Malone, who reports that the Father, about three years ago, on first landing in Ireland, was apprehended by the enemy, that he shortly after slipped from their hands, and that he was either massacred by them in the highway, or was drowned in some river, as is variously related.

Conway, John, 1625-1689, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2305
  • Person
  • 1625-08 October 1689

Born: 1625, Dunkirk or Ireland
Entered: 17 March 1651, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Died: 08 October 1689, Ghent, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)

Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
DOB Ireland; Ent c 1660 as Brother; RIP 09 Novmber 1689 Ghent
In Father Morris’s Transcripts, he is called an Irishman.

(There is another Br John Conway - DOB 1597; Ent 1620; RIP 10 August 1642 Galway)

In Old/16

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONWAY, JOHN, born in Flanders : died at Ghent, 9th November,1689, aet. 64, Rel. 38.

Corr, Gerald F, 1875-1941, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1110
  • Person
  • 02 December 1875-26 July 1941

Born: 02 December 1875, County Cork
Entered: 13 August 1892, St Stanisalus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 26 July 1941, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1897 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1899 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1899
by 1908 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : APO to BEF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1896 After First Vows he did a Juniorate at at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg and Milltown Park Dublin
1896-1899 He was sent for Philosophy to St Aloysius College, Jersey and Enghien, France
1899-1900 and 1904 He was sent for Regency to Australia and firstly to Xavier College, Kew - and he returned here to finish seven years of Regency
1900-1901 He continued his Regency at St Aloysius College Sydney
1902-1903 He then did two further years regency at St Patrick’s College, Melbourne
1904-1907 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1907-1908 He made Tertianship at Drongen
1908-1917 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College to teach Latin, French and English. He also edited the “Clongownian” and was Junior Debating Master.
1917-1919 He was a Military Chaplain at Dunkirk
1919-1923 He was sent back to Australia and firstly to the Richmond Parish
1923-1925 & 1927-1933 He was sent to Norwood Parish
1925-1926 & 1934-1941 He was sent to St Aloysius Church Sevenhill

He was a sensitive and gentle person who spoke with a very refined accent. He was artistic, painted and gave lectures on religious Art.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. In October 1918, Fr Gerard Corr SJ comments that: “[I have] a heavy cold...of the Spanish variety, which has been so prevalent everywhere and in many places so fatal”.


The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Gerard Corr SJ wrote from France in late 1918 that he has: “a heavy cold...of the Spanish variety, which has been so prevalent everywhere and in many places so fatal”,

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931
Australia :
Fr Gerald Corr, exhibited a number of landscape; painted by himself at an exhibition of South Australian art. They were much admired, and were sold for considerable sums.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Obituary :
Father Gerald Corr
In the evening of Saturday, July 26, God called to Himself the Rev. Father Gerald Corr, SJ., who came to labour in Norwood with Father Corish in 1923, and since then has been alternately at Sevenhill and Norwood. For the last seven years he has been Father Minister at Sevenhill.
Early in the year the late Fr. Corr’s health, which was never robust, gave him more trouble than usual, and he spent some time in Calvary Hospital under observation. He was given an extended holiday as far as Brisbane. When he came back to South Australia, it was thought he might manage to keep out of hospital and even say Mass regularly, but he was compelled to re-enter hospital almost at once, where dropsical condition rapidly set, in and he gently answered the final call.
Fr. Corr was born in Cork, though he went with his family when quite young, to reside at St. John's Wood, London. That explained his keen interest in the visits of the English team to Australia and why some kind friends saw to it that he was a member of the S.A.C.A. He had been in Australia as a scholastic teaching in Sydney and Melbourne, Ordained Priest 34 years ago he taught in his old Alma, Mater. Clongowes Wood College, Kildare, till he became a Royal Air Force Chaplain stationed at Dunkirk as a base. Since the R.A.F. then was an arm of the Royal Navy, he met many distinguished naval officers and travelled in destroyers to and from England. At the conclusion of that war he came to Australia, where he was to spend the last 22 years of his life, eighteen of which were spent in S.A.
He was an enthusiastic painter in water colors, and his works received commendation from the critics and many homes in Adelaide have copies of his work. For the last seven years he had been stationed at Sevenhill as Father Minister, and, although he was a martyr to headaches, he never shirked his two Masses every Sunday. Fr. Corr was stationed at St. Ignatius', Norwood, for some years, and administered the districts of Ellangowan and Dunwich. He was the Priest in charge of Dulwich when it was made a distinct parish in 1934.
Fr. Corr was always the “little gentleman”, meticulous of the conveyances of life. He was always ready to help on works of that nature. Recently he read a paper at the Loreto Reading Circle. Hewas essentially a cultured type. This led him to take a keen interest in good literature and classical music. Yet, withal, like a true Priest of God, he used all this to influence unto good the friends he made through these interests.
He received the verdict of the doctors on the serious nature of his illness with complete resignation to God's will and quietly prepared himself to meet the Master he served so well. Everything humanly possible was done for him by the devoted Sisters in Calvary Hospital and by his doctors, and, when the call came at 9.15 p.m. on July 26 he gently answered it. Prayers were all he asked for and his many friends will surely heed this his last request. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1942


Father Gerald F Corr SJ

The late Fr Corr had a special claim upon “The Clongownian” as he was for several years its Editor. He produced the splendid number of 1914, the Centenary Year, and ever since then took a great interest in the magazine, constantly sending items of news about past “Clongownians”.

Fr Corr, though born in Cork, spent most of his early life in London. After spending four years in Clongowes he entered the Society of Jesus in 1892, and was just 49 years in the Order when he died. As a Scholastic he taught in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. He was ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1907 and was on the teaching staff in Clongowes for several years. During the last war he was a Chaplain, chiefly with the Royal Air Force, and was stationed for some time at Dunkirk, often travelling in destroyers to and from England. At the conclusion of the war he returned to Australia where he was to spend the last 22 years of his life, chiefly in South Australia. During the last seven of these he was Minister in Sevenhills, Adelaide. He was an enthusiastic painter in water colours, and took a keen interest in good literature and classical music. A very large number of priests attended his obsequies, at which His Grace, the Most Rev Dr Beovich, Archbishop of Adelaide, presided. In his address to the clergy and congregation the Archbishop paid an eloquent tribute to the character and work of Fr. Corr :

“I visited him many times”, said His Grace, “during his last illness. He was completely resigned to God's will, and all he wished for was for his friends to pray with him and to promise him prayers for his great and final journey. The kindly, gentle priest has made that journey which we must all make one day, and he has gone before God laden with the good works of his zealous and devoted life. He will be remernbered for his great priestly qualities, his kindness and his gentleness. Of late years he suffered much from severe headaches and general ill-health, but he never shirked his work to the end, and he struggled to say his two Masses every Sunday in widely separated churches of the Sevenhill parish.

He was a man of letters and was one of the original priest-members of the executive of the Catholic Guild of Social Studies. He had charge of the parish study circle almost up to the day of his last fatal illness.

In the death of Fr. Corr”, concluded His Grace, “the Archdiocese of Adelaide and the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus have suffered a severe loss. May God have mercy on the gentle soul of Father Gerald Corr, and grant him refreshment, light and peace”. RIP

Coyle, Richard, 1596-1627, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1119
  • Person
  • 1596-10 June 1627

Born: 1596, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 14 November 1619, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1625, Pont-à-Mousson, France
Died: 10 June 1627, Dublin

1622-1625 Theology at Pont-á-Mousson - came from Rome
1625 4th year Theology in CAMP
1626 In Ireland (Coyleaus) - sent from Pont-á-Mousson having finished Theology

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1626 A priest in Ireland

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had begun his Priestly studies at Douai before Ent 14 November 1619 Rome
1621-1625 After First Vows and due to health issues he was sent to Pont-à-Mousson for Theology
1625 It was thought that his health issues should prevent him from Ordination, but that was changed and he became a priest in 1625. He was then sent to Ireland and was probably sent to Dublin, where he died 10 June 1627

Coyne, Edward J, 1896-1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/50
  • Person
  • 20 June 1896-22 May 1958

Born: 20 June 1896, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly - Hiberniae Province (HIB) for Sicilian Province (SIC)
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1932, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome Italy
Died: 22 May 1958, Milltown Park

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for MA in Economics at UCD

by 1927 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1932 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
1930-1931 at Haus Sentmaring, Münster, Germany
by 1933 at Vanves, Paris, France (FRA) studying

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Coyne, Edward Joseph
by Anne Dolan

Coyne, Edward Joseph (1896–1958), Jesuit priest, was born 20 June 1896 in Dublin, eldest of five children of William P. Coyne (qv), head of the statistical section of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, and Agnes Mary Coyne (née Martin). Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, from 1908, he joined the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore (1914). After an academically distinguished student career at UCD, he taught for three years at Belvedere College, Dublin, during which time he published a series of articles in the Irish Monthly under the name ‘N. Umis’. He studied theology (1926–8) at the Franz Ferdinand university, Innsbruck, returning to Ireland for his ordination (1928) and to begin an MA in economics at UCD. On completing his religious training at Münster, Westphalia, he divided his time between the Gregorian University in Rome, the Action Populaire, and the Sorbonne, Paris. A term at the International Labour Office, Geneva, marked the first practical application of his special studies in sociology and economics. In 1933 he was appointed professor of ethics at St Stanislaus College, a position he held until becoming (1938) professor of moral theology and lecturer in sociology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Although he remained at Milltown Park for the rest of his life, he played a prominent part in the development of Irish social and economic thought. The driving force behind the 1936 social order summer school at Clongowes and the foundation of the Catholic Workers' College (1948), he was selected by Michael Tierney (qv) to organise UCD's extramural courses in 1949.

Editor of Studies and a regular contributor to Irish Monthly, he also placed his knowledge at the disposal of several individuals, institutions, and organisations. As a member of the Jesuit committee assembled in 1936 to contribute to the drafting of the new constitution, he corresponded regularly with Eamon de Valera (qv) and had a significant influence on the document submitted. In 1939 he was appointed by the government to the commission on vocational organisation and was the main author of its report (1943), which was highly critical of the anonymity and inefficiency of the Irish civil service. Despite later government appointments to the Irish Sea Fisheries Association (1948) and the commissions on population (1949) and emigration (1954), he was always prepared to question government decisions, querying the report of the banking commission (1938), the wisdom of plans by the minister for social welfare, William Norton (qv) to unify social insurance schemes (1949), and the morality of the ‘mother and child’ scheme (1951). Serving on several public boards and industrial committees, including the Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry (1939), the Central Savings Committee (1942), the Law Clerk's Joint Labour Committee (1947), the Creameries Joint Labour Committee (1947), and the National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades (1957), he worked closely with both employers and workers. He also took an active role in the cooperative movement, becoming president of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (1943). A staunch supporter of John M. Hayes (qv) and Muintir na Tire, he was a frequent speaker at the organisation's ‘rural weeks'. He died 22 May 1958 at St. Vincent's nursing home, Dublin, after a lengthy illness, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery. Among the many mourners was his brother Thomas J. Coyne (qv), secretary of the Department of Justice (1949–61). His papers are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.

Ir. Times, Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, 23 May 1958; Clongownian, June 1959, 6–11; J. H. Whyte, Church and state in modern Ireland 1923–1979 (1984), 88, 180, 259; J. Anthony Gaughan, Alfred O'Rahilly I: academic (1986), 95–6, 186–90; Seán Faughnan, ‘The Jesuits and the drafting of the Irish constitution of 1937’, IHS, xxvi (1988–9), 79–102; J. J. Lee, Ireland 1912–1985: politics and society (1989), 274–5; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991), 277, 285–7; Dermot Keogh, Ireland and the Vatican (1995), 324–5; Dermot Keogh & Andrew J. Mc Carthy, The making of the Irish constitution (2007), 58, 95, 98–100

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Counihan and Edward Coyne are acting as members of a Commission set up by the Government Department of Social Welfare, at the end of March, to examine Emigration and other Population Problems. The former is still working on the Commission on Youth Unemployment, while Fr. Coyne, who served on the Commission on Vocational Organisation appointed in 1939, and whose Report was published five years later, is at present Deputy Chairman of the Central Savings Committee, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council for Beads Industry, Chairman of the Joint Labour Committee for Solicitors, Member of the Joint Labour Committee for the Creamery Industry, Member of the Council of the Statistical Society.

Irish Province News 33rd Year No 4 1958

Obituary :

Fr Edward J Coyne (1896-1958)

I want to set down in some detail the record of Fr. Ned Coyne's life because I think that the Province would be the poorer were the memory of him to grow dim. I shall attempt no contrived portrait; in an artless narrative I run, less risk of distortion. Indeed in a bid to avoid being painted in, false colours, Fr. Ned played with the idea of writing his own obituary notice; in the week following his operation he succeeded in dictating several fragments, but realising later on that they were written in the exultant mood that followed his acceptance of his death-sentence, he insisted that I should destroy them.
Edward Joseph Coyne was born in Dublin on 20th June, 1896. He was the eldest son, of W. P. Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College and founder-member of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. To mention these positions indicates at once the influence of father on son. As that influence ran deep, I must say something more of his father whose name lives on in U.C.D. in the Coyne Memorial Prize. Though struck down by cancer at a comparatively early age, W.P. had already made his mark both as an economist and an administrator, Gifted with a clear head and tireless industry, he was not content to remain master of his own science but read widely outside his professional field of economic and social studies. One aspect of his interests.is best illustrated by recalling a favourite saying of his : “the old philosophy will come back to us through Dante”; another aspect by the mention of his special competence in the art and literature of the Renaissance. When I add that W.P. frail of physique, possessed unusual powers of head and heart, of incisive exposition and innate sympathy, it will be indeed clear that Ned was very much his father's son. Were he now looking over my shoulder as I write, he would be quick to remind me of what he owed also to his gentle, sensitive mother of whose bravery as a young widow bringing up five children. he was so proud.
After a short period at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Ned was kept at home to be educated privately from the age of seven to twelve on account of his frail health, Next came the decisive influence of six and a half years in Clongowes which he entered in 1908. He was second to none in his generous appreciation of all that Clongowes had given him. He belonged to the fortunate generation that knew Clongowes in her hey-day in the years before the centenary : Fr. Jimmy Daly and Fr. "Tim” Fegan were at the height of their powers and were supported by a team of brilliant masters. If I single out one, the then Mr. Boyd Barrett, I do so for two reasons: from him Ned derived lasting inspiration in class-room and in the Clongowes Social Study Club; to him Ned gave a life-time's gratitude expressed by constant letters all through the “misty” years. And when he came to die, a letter from his old master cheered him greatly on a hard spell of the road. Anyone who turns up the Clongownians of his time will see the role he played in every part of school life. Fond as he was of books, his school career is not merely a long list of exhibitions and gold medals; he played out-half and won his “cap” of which he was proud, he kept wicket, he was second-captain of his line, he was the first secretary of the Clongowes Social Study Club which Mr. Boyd Barrett founded. In these pages I can but skim the surface of his life, but however brief the treatment I must find room for some quotations from his Union Prize Essay on “The Necessity of Social Education for Irishmen”, published in the 1914 Clongownian :
“It is sheer folly and shameful conceit for anyone to think he can remedy Ireland's social disorders without social education. There are very few really active workers in Ireland today; but these few are of more value than three times their number of 'social adventurers. For they are trained in the school of experience to have a definite knowledge of what they know and what they do not know. There is no room for social amateurs; if we want to succeed, we must be specialists and experts....
What we plead for is that all the great Catholic colleges of Ireland should start at once some system of social education, If they did so, we should have fifty or sixty young sons of Ireland coming forth each year, full of energy and fire, ready to take their proper places in the great social movements of today. The young men are the hope of France,' said Pius X, and the young men are the hope of Ireland too. The suggestion made recently by a learned Jesuit of having University diplomas for social work is certainly a very good one. But I would wish to begin earlier. It is not every schoolboy who goes to the Universities; many enter business or do some other work. I would have these trained for social work; trained well, too, in those vital questions which are now so much discussed.
That august and venerable College to which I have the honour to belong has taken up the task of social education for her children. It is to be hoped that many will follow her example.

On 31st August, 1914, he began his noviceship in Tullabeg under Fr. Martin. Maher; eleven others entered with him that day and all stayed the course. After the noviceship they remained in Tullabeg for a year's Juniorate which Fr. Ned always regarded as one of the most rewarding years of his life : Fr. Charlie Mulcahy, Fr. W. Byrne and Mr. H. Johnston gave them of their best.
In U.C.D. Fr. Ned read history and economics for his degree, taking first place in both subjects. He was the inspiration of a lively English Society that included Fr. Paddy O'Connor, Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien, and Gerard Murphy among its members, and was auditor of the Classical Society in succession to Leo McAuley (now Ambassador to the Holy See) who in turn had succeeded the present President of U.C.D.
Moving across to Milltown Park for philosophy Fr. Coyne managed to combine with it fruitful work on a first-class M.A. thesis on Ireland's Internal Transport System. Next came three successful years in Belvedere : his pupils and a series of articles under the thinly-veiled name of N. Umis in the Irish Monthly provide the best evidence for his zest for teaching. He made his theology in Innsbruck, returning home for ordination in 1928. On completing his theology in Innsbruck, he made his tertianship in Munster in Westphalia under Fr. Walter Sierp, He divided his biennium between Rome and Paris, studying in the Gregorianum under Fr. Vermeersch and later in the Sorbonne and at the Action Populaire. He also spent three months at this period in Geneva at the International Labour Office,
On returning to Ireland he was posted to Tullabeg to teach ethics and cosmology. Those who sat at his feet found in him a professor of outstanding clarity, who had, besides, a rare gift of stimulating interest. In November, 1936, he was transferred to Milltown Park. It was not long before his influence began to be felt in various spheres. In due course he was appointed to the Moral Chair and by that time he was more than fully occupied. He did signal service as a member of the Commission on Vocational Organisation, appointed by the Government in 1939 to report on the practability of developing functional or vocational organisation, in Ireland. Ten years later he was named a member of the Commission on Population,
In 1940 he was elected Vice-President and in 1943 President of the I.A.O.S. From his first association with the society be took an intense interest in the co-operative movement; he knew the movement from every angle, legal, economic and above all, idealistic. He astonished the members of the many societies he visited over the years by his complete grasp of the technical problems involved. Some years ago he delivered an address in London at the annual general meeting of the Agricultural Central Co-operative Association of England which created an extraordinarily favourable impression and resulted in invitations to address a number of English co-ops. Even before his active association with the I.A.O.S. he had already been early in the field supporting Fr. John Hayes in the founding and developing of Muintir na Tire at whose Rural Weeks he was a frequent speaker,
Besides his interest in rural affairs, Fr. Coyne was also closely in touch with industrial problems; he was chairman of the Law Clerks Joint Labour Committee, of the National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades, and of the Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry
In 1949, Dr. Michael Tierney, President of University College, Dublin, invited him to organise an extra-mural department. Thanks to the generous co-operation of the members of the staff of U.C.D. and of many graduates, and to the enthusiastic support of leaders and members of the trade unions, this department has proved very successful. Before undertaking the organisation of the extra-mural courses, he had already laid the foundations of the work now so well developed by Fr. Kent and his confrères in the Catholic Workers' College.
So much for the external story. Though he lectured widely with rare clarity and power and wrote convincingly from time to time in the periodical press, Fr. Coyne may well be best remembered for his outstanding gifts of personal sympathy and insight which enabled him to guide and encourage men and women from surprisingly varied walks of life. Few men can have meant so much to so many. All through his illness one constantly stumbled upon some new kindness he had done unknown to anyone but the recipient; and after his death the striking sincerity of the tributes paid to him on all sides was convincing evidence of his superb gift for friendship. One and all found in him understanding and help given without stint with a charm and a graciousness that reflected the charity of his Master, Christ.
Those who made his eight-day retreat or who were formed by him in the class-room will recall his insistent harping on the need of integrity of mind. It is only right that I should say how acutely conscious he was of his own extreme sensitivity that made him petulant by times, and of his shyness which made him. often hold himself aloof. Best proof of all of his clear-sightedness was the occasion when he was playfully boasting to Fr. Nerney of his docility. Taking his queue from Buffon's “Cet animal est très mechant”, Fr. Nerney, with Fr. Ned's help, composed this epitaph, feeling his way delicately, as if trying out chords on a piano : “Le biffle est un animal très docile : il se laisse conduire partout ou il veut aller”. Fr. Coyne, with a self-knowledge and a humility that deserves to be put on record, often quoted that verdict, smiling wryly and beating his breast. As I watched him in his last sickness that phrase often rang through my head. On first hearing that his condition was hopeless, he was lyrically happy in the knowledge that he was going home to God. But as the weeks dragged on he began to see that the way he was being led home was one which humanly speaking he was loath to choose. In that familiaritas cum Deo which he commended so earnestly in his retreats, he won the immense courage which buoyed him up in the long weeks of humiliating discomfort so galling to his sensitive nature; however much, humanly speaking, he shrank from it, by God's grace he gladly accepted and endured, proving himself indeed completely docile to God's Will. May his great soul rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Coyne 1896-1958
In the death of Fr Ned Coyne, the Province lost one of its most brilliant, active and charming personalities that it has been blessed with for many a long year.

Born in Dublin in 1896, he was educated at Clongowes, and after a brilliant course of studies, entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg in 1914.

His career in the formative years as a Jesuit fulfilled the promise of his schooldays, culminating after his Tertianship in his specialising in Social Science at Rome and Paris.

After some years as Professor of Philosophy in Tullabeg, he moved to Dublin, filling the chair of Moral Theology at Milltown Park.

In 1950 he was elected President of the IACS, and took an intense interest in the Co-operative Movement, acquiring a complete grasp of the technical problems involved. He was a wholehearted backer of Canon Hayes and the Muintir na Tire movement, was closely associated with various labour organisations, and ran the Department for Extramural Studies at University College Dublin. He also laid the foundations for our own Catholic Workers College. All this while Professor of Moral Theology at Milltown.

A full life, a rich life – a spiritual life – for in spite of the multifarious occupations Fr Ned always managed to keep close to God and to maintain that “integrity of mind” he so often harped on in his retreats.

He had a rare gift for friendship, and rarely to such a man life would be sweet. Yet when sentence of death was announced he took it gladly. His heroism in his last illness is sufficient testimony to the spirituality of his intensely active life and to his own integrity of mind.

He died on May 22nd 1958 aged 62 years.

◆ The Clongownian, 1959


Father Edward J Coyne SJ

Edward Joseph Coyne was born in Dublin 20th June, 1896. He was the eldest son of W P Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College and founder member of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. To mention these positions indicates at once the influence of father on son. As that influence ran deep, I must say something more of his father whose name lives on in UCD in the Coyne Memorial Prize. Though struck down by cancer at a comparatively early age, W P had already made his mark both as an economist and an administrator. Gifted with a clear head and tireless industry, he was not content to remain master of his own science but read widely outside his professional field of economic and social studies. One aspect of his interests is best illustrated by a recalling favourite saying of his: “the old philosophy will come back to us through Dante”; another aspect by the mention of his special competence in the art and literature of the Renaissance. When I add that W P frail of physique, possessed unusual powers of head and heart, of incisive exposition and innate sympathy, it will be indeed clear that Ned was very much his father's son. Were he now looking over my shoulder as I write, he would be quick to remind me of what he owed also to his gentle, sensitive mother of whose bravery as a young widow bringing up le children he was so proud.

After a short period at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Ned was kept at home to be educated privately from the age of seven to twelve on account of his frail health. Next the the decisive influence of six and a half years in Clongowes which he entered in 1908. He was second to none in his generous appreciation of all that Clongowes had given him. He belonged to the fortunate generation that knew Clongowes in her hey-day in the years before the centenary: Father Jimmy Daly and Father “Tim” Fegan were at the height of their powers and were supported by a team of brilliant masters. If I single out one, the then Mr Boyd Barrett, I do so for two reasons: from him Ned derived lasting inspiration in classroom and in the Clongowes Social Study Club; to him Ned gave a life time's gratitude expressed by constant letters all through the “misty” years. And when he came to die, a letter from his old master cheered him greatly on a hard spell of the road.

Anyone who turns up the “Clongownians” of his time will see the role he played in every part of school life. Fond as he was of books, his school career is not merely a long list of exhibitions and gold medals; he played out half and won his “cap” of which he was proud, he kept wicket, he was second-captain of his Line, he was the first secretary of the Clongowes Social Study Club which Mr. Boyd Barrett founded. In these pages I can but skim the surface of his life, but however brief the treatment I must find room for some quotations from his Union Prize Essay on “The Necessity of Social Education for Irishmen”, published in the 1914 “Clongownian”:

It is sheer folly and shameful conceit for anyone to think he can remedy Ireland's social disorders without social education. There are very few really active workers in Ireland today; but these few are of more value than three times their number of “social adventurers”. For they are trained in the school of experience to have a definite knowledge of what they know and what they do not know. There is no room for social amateurs; if we want to succeed, we must be specialists and experts.....

What we plead for is that all the great Catholic colleges of Ireland should start at once some system of social education. If they did so, we should have fifty or sixty young sons of Ireland coming forth each year, full of energy and fire, ready to take their proper places in the great social movements of today. The young men are the hope of France, said Pius X, and the young men are the hope of Ireland too. The suggestion made recently by a learned Jesuit of having University diplomas for social work is certainly a very good one. But I would wish to begin earlier. It is not every schoolboy who goes to the Universities; many enter business or do some other work. I would have these trained for social work; trained well, too, in those vital questions which are now so much discussed....

The august and venerable College to which I have the honour to belong has taken up the task of social education for her children. It is to be hoped that many
will follow her example....”

When you link up those lines written in 1914 with the work he did in the last decade of his life, you see immediately how his life was all of a piece, how indeed the boy was “father of the man”.

On 31st August, 1914, he began his noviceship in Tullabeg under Father Martin Maher; eleven others entered with him that day and all stayed the course. After the noviceship they remained in Tullabeg for a year's Juniorate which Father Ned always regarded as one of the most rewarding years of his life: Father Charlie Mulcahy, Father W Byrne and Mr H Johnston gave them of their best.

In UCD Father Ned read history and economics for his degree, taking first place in both subjects. He was the inspiration of a lively English Society that included Father Paddy O'Connor, Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien and Gerard Murphy among its members, and was auditor of the Classical Society in succession to Leo McAuley (now Ambassador to the Holy See) who in turn had succeeded the present President of UCD.

Moving across to Milltown Park for philosophy Father Coyne managed to combine with it fruitful work on a first-class MA thesis on “Ireland's Internal Transport System”. Next came three successful years in Belvedere: his pupils and a series of articles under the thinly-veiled name of “N Umis” in the “Irish Monthly” provide the best evidence for his zest for teaching. He made his theology in Innsbruck, returning home for ordination in 1928. On completing his theology in Innsbruck, he made his tertianship in Münster in Westphalia under Father Walter Sierp. He divided his biennium between Rome and Paris, studying in the Gregorium under Father Vermeersch and later in the Sorbonne and at the Action Populaire. He also spent three months at this period in Geneva at the International Labour Office.

On returning to Ireland he was posted to Tullabeg to teach ethics and cosmology. Those who sat at his feet found in him a professor of outstanding clarity, who had, besides, a rare gift of stimulating interest. In November, 1936, he was transferred to: Milltown Park. It was not long before his influence began to be felt in various spheres. In due course he was appointed to the Moral Chair and by that time he was more than fully occupied. He did signal service as a member of the “Commission on Vocational Organisation”, appointed by the Government in 1939 to report on the practability of developing functional or vocational organisation in Ireland. Ten years later he was named a member of the “Commission on Population”.

Father Coyne was also closely in touch with industrial problems; he was chairman of the “Law Clerks Joint Labour Committee”, of the “National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades”, and of the “Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry”. After his death messages of sympathy were received from many trade unions, amongst others: The National Agricultural and Industrial Development Association, Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, Workers' Union of Ireland, Congress of Irish Unions, The Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks, Post Office Workers' Union, National Executive of the Irish Post Office Engineering Union, The Provisional United Trade Union Organisation, Marine Port and General Workers' Union, and the Irish Bookbinders' Union.

So much for the external story. Though he lectured widely with rare clarity and power and wrote convincingly from time to time in the periodical press, Father Coyne may well be best remembered for his outstanding gifts of personal sympathy and insight which enabled him to guide and encourage men and women from surprisingly varied walks of life. Few men can have meant so much to so many. All through his illness one constantly stumbled upon some new kindness he had done unknown to anyone but the recipient; and after his death the striking sincertity of the tributes paid to him on all sides was convincing evidence of his superb gift for friendship. One and all found in him understanding and help given without stint with a charm and a graciousness that reflected the charity of his Master, Christ.



Ned was one who liked to count his blessings. Among these, his grateful nature valued especially the happy home of his childhood and the last pre-war years at Clongowes. He loved Clongowes. He often spoke of the security and confidence and hopes these years had held. It is true that the latter half of his school life saw the most bitter economic struggle Ireland has known since the Land League and the re-birth in controversy and schism of the policy of physical force as a political weapon. He was not unaware of these things, but their implications were not clear enough to daunt a fighting spirit and, as we shall see, they rather stimulated than oppressed him. He was never an angry young man and like most of his tragic generation of young men, he foresaw in his schooldays little of wbat has since happened.

He was at Clongowes from 1908 to 1914 - the full six years and each year with its victories and its successes seemed to be prelude to the fitting end, the happy sunshine of the Centenary Celebration. On his death bed, Ned could recall details of those June days of carnival and triumph. Less than two months later the first of all world wars had begun, but that lay in an unguessed-at future.

Ned also liked to believe that he belonged to a remarkable generation of Clongowes boys. He had as classmates and rivals for the Imperatorship of Rhetoric (successful rivals, be it said) such men as John Gilligan and Louis Carroll, both destined to bear back bright to the Coiner the mark of the mint, and many others not less gifted were his class mates: Father Hugo Kerr and Father Arthur Little, as well as Mr Justice Sheil and Mr Alban O'Kelly.

Of course it was not only among his classmates that he had friends and companions. To one of these, destined to the most dis tinguished future of all that group, he spoke on his death-bed of his pride and privilege in having rubbed shoulders on gallery, class room and playing-field all unawares with so many fine men in the making. Yet it is not too much to say that of all that galaxy, his star shone even then with a unique lustre.

He had, literally, all the qualities of the ideal schoolboy. His physique was graceful, if slight, his looks bright and cheerful. If he was certainly no Hercules, he had quite remarkable gifts as an athlete. He won the Backs cap for Rugby, playing on a side that included future internationals. He kept wicket and goal for Cricket and Soccer elevens. His skill matched his courage and his dash, but all the time one was conscious that he played games, so to speak, with his left hand. An intimate school friend, who sat beside him in the refectory, could not recall his ever talking about games and was not surprised when after Ned's death he mentioned his outstanding prowess to a niece, to be met with the reply: “But was Father Ned good at games?” It was no pose on his part to get a companion to stand by the Soccer goal-posts when he was “keeping” in a big match and when play drifted up-field to read for their discussion bits of the poets. He was then in love with Thompson, Browning and Belloc.

He comes back to the eye of memory with a book always under his arm, but it would be a mistake to think of him as a book-worm, still less as an academic pot-hunter. He collected each year his exhibitions, often duplicate ones, his medals in English and History and all the highest Clongowes honours except the Palles Medal. Religious Knowledge twice, the first time from Poetry year, the Prize Essay, the Debate. He was an honours mathematician and first-rank Grecian. At the University, in First Arts, he was to take six subjects and be first in four and second in two, and in Clongowes his range was much wider than the class-room demanded. Literature, history, religion, even the unlikely by-paths of aesthetics or the infant science of psychology were as likely to be topics of his talk as school gossip or current events. But he was never anything of a prig. Already he had at his command a prompt and sharp sword of repartee. And it must be admitted that he had a temper. He did not lose it often; it only came when provoked or even justified, but it was frightening, quite devastating and sometimes ferocious. This quality, I think, disappeared completely and at once in the Jesuit, and the older man was ashamed even of the occasional sharpness of his tongue. That was to be expected, for even as a boy, thc formation of his character was Ned's conscious aim and his integrity (a word he loved) was already remarkable. He was not only twice Line Captain but a Sodality Prefect, and from his Third Line days he and all his friends took it for granted that he would be a Jesuit.

The boy is father to the priest and perhaps it is in view of the work of his mature years that two elements of his schooldays seem especially memorable. Among the boys his was certainly the inspiration in a quite new development, the birth, as we might call it, of a social conscience, In holidays he gave a good deal of his time to practical work, especially in the first of all Boys Clubs in Dublin, that run by another Old Clongownian, Dr. Lombard Murphy, At school he was secretary and leader of the newly-founded Social Study Club. During the Centenary Celebration the club showed its paces and its secretary read a paper at a special meeting. The subject was of his own choosing: The Patriotism of Social Work. He was in future years to address many distinguished gather ings, but, as one of his friends liked to remind him, none more so than this one. The cardinal, seven bishops, the national leaders in politics, law and medicine came, perhaps to hear his father's son, but certainly to hear as balanced, as lucid and as noble an appeal as any schoolboy could be expected to make. It was characteristically his own thought and had not even been read by any of his friends in the Community.

If one incident in his Clongowes career lives in the memory of those who were with him it must surely be a night when the Higher Line Debate met under the flaring gas-jets of the Higher Line Gallery. The motion asked for support for the Irish Volunteers and the boys were to hear both Tom and Laurence Kettle make worthy speeches; but surely the night's honours fell to a boy. In lucid, simple speech, such as he was to use on hundreds of platforms to audiences learned and unlearned, he developed his theme. But then, throwing down his few notes, he said slowly: “I have appealed to your heads; I would rather trust your hearts”. In a couple of minutes he had voiced for us all just those aspirations to which the country was awakening, a passionate love of Ireland and a passionate love of liberty.

Yes, the social worker, the speaker - he perhaps came to eschew oratory but never lost his power to move - were already there, and there too was the third quality in the man we have lost. It is impossible to express his gift for friendship, his cult of it, and perhaps still less all he has meant to so many friends. But those who knew him best in Clongowes do not think of the athlete, the wit, the orator, the scholar or even the leader, but of their friend-for ever.

Two men were probably responsible for directing the varied and outstanding talents of young Edward Coyne into the field of social and economic studies. He was a son of William P Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College, Dublin. When his father died, the young schoolboy came under the influence of Father Thomas Finlay SJ, himself an experienced economist and later Professor of National Economics at University College, Dublin, Two such men could not fail to inspire the talented boy towards that branch of knowledge in which each had attained such eminence. His interest in Ireland's social and economic problems were further stimulated by individual masters and school companions. Both he and they took a lively interest in the Dublin labour troubles of 1912-13. In his final year at Clongowes, 1913-14, he was among the founder-members of the Clongowes Social Study Club, a society which gave the boys of those years the opportunity to learn and discuss some of the grave social problems of the day. The Dublin members of the club sacrificed a goodly portion of their Christmas and Easter holidays to visit boys' clubs, night shelters, hospitals and the homes of the poor and destitute. This study and experience gave the young Edward Coyne much food for thought. In “The Clongownian” of 1914 we find him setting down his thoughts in an essay on “The Necessity of Social Education” which won for him the Clongowes Union Silver Medal. This essay reveals a mature understanding of the gravity of the social problems of those days. His own studies and experiences had already convinced him that education had an important and necessary role to play in solving such problems. Moreover, he asserted then that the social teaching of the Church was, as Pope Pius XII was later to say, “the only teaching capable of remedying the widespread evils existing in social life”. A lifetime of study and experience only served to convince him of the correctness and wisdom of his schoolboy convictions.

He entered the Noviceship of the Society of Jesus, as has been said, in September, 1914. Of the nineteen years that followed, six were devoted to special studies in sociology and economics at first in Ireland and later in Rome, Paris and Geneva. He returned to Ireland in 1933 and from then until his untimely death in 1958 he placed his knowledge of the social sciences at the disposal of countless individuals, clerical and lay, government commissions, public boards, trade unions, industrial committees and Co-Operative societies. No person or group was unimportant in his eyes and he availed of every opportunity-private con sultations, public lectures and discussions and lucid articles in “Irish Monthly” and “Studies” - to relate the social teaching of the Church to the problems of the times. His was a busy life, a life spent in the service of his fellowmen, a life modelled on that of his divine Master, Who came into our world not to be served but to serve.

His studies led him to realise the impor tance of agriculture in Irish economic and social life. From the start, he supported the late Canon Hayes in developing Muintir na Tire. And, following in the footsteps of his boyhood guide and friend, the late Father Thomas Finlay SJ, he took a keen interest in the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, of which he was president from 1943 until his death. He came to know this co-operative movement from every angle-legal, economic and above all, idealistic. In so far as the many calls on his time would allow, he visited and spoke to the members of co-operative societies in many parts of Ireland. At the same time he was not unmindful of the needs and problems of Irish industry. He served for many years on Joint Industrial Councils and other bodies connected with industrial life. Businessmen and trade union officials frequently consulted him about their many problems and all found in him a wise counsellor and sympathetic friend.

But despite his varied interests and activities, he did not lose sight of the subject of education as a basis for social reform and economic progress, a subject which had held his attention since his days at Clongowes. In the mid-thirties, we find him taking a prominent part in the Clongowes Social Summer School. A little later he is collaborat ing with Dublin Legionaries of Mary in organising social study groups in the City of Dublin. Towards the end of the second world war, we find him in the company of the late Father Joseph Canavan SJ and Father Thomas Counihan SJ, planning for a more permanent educational institution for social studies. This led to his founding the Catholic Workers' College in 1948. Today, as it enters on its second decade, the college, which he founded, is staffed by seven Jesuit priests and two Jesuit Brothers who are assisted by the voluntary labours of twenty-four lay lecturers; there are over one thousand students on its rolls; and it is housed in specially designed, modern buildings. It will remain for future as a lasting monument to his wisdom and courage. Nor is this the only legacy he bequeathed to his fellow countrymen in the field of social education. In 1949, at the request of Dr Michael Tierney, President of University College, Dublin, he organised the University College Extra-Mural Courses in Social and Economic Studies and in the Liberal Arts. These courses later spread to the towns of Leinster. He personally super vised this work and found time to visit the provincial centres and encourage both teachers and students alike. He was Director of this important work until he died.

As one who was privileged to work with him in the later years of his life, the writer of these lines can testify that all this varied activity was possible only because he was prepared to work from early morning until late at night all the year round. He was a worker, but he was much more. He was, first and last, a religious man, a man of prayer who brought to all his activities a deep spirit of Christian idealism. He saw his daily work, not merely as a service to his countrymen, but as his way of serving God. His lively faith and deep insight into the true meaning of life, personal and social, inspired all his activities and enabled him to “keep going” when many a more robust man would have cried “enough”. Considerate for others, he did not spare himself where work was concerned. In his case, as in the case of his divine Master, it is a question of where one man has sown, others have reaped, Those who carry on the work he started, are ever mindful of the debt they owe him. Father Edward Coyne has passed to his eternal reward but his memory and ideals live on in the minds and hearts of countless men and women. May his great soul rest in peace.


Creagh, Peter, 1612-1685, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1121
  • Person
  • 1612-17 November 1685

Born: 1612, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 27 September 1635, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 07 April 1640, Antwerp, Belgium
Final Vows: 1654
Died: 17 November 1685, Limerick City, County Limerick

Alias Piers Crow

His father John was an alderman in Cashel. His mother was Elizabeth Flemine
Studied at Cashel, then Lille, Louvain and Douai under Jesuits
1642 at Lyra (Lier FLA)
1644 First came to Irish Mission
1654 a formed Spiritual Coadjutor
1655-1658 at Arras College (FRA) teaching
1666 Living near Limerick teching Grammar, Catechising and administration - then banished to France for 6 years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of John and Elizabeth née Flemme. Uncle of Dr Creagh, Archbishop of Dublin.
Early education was at Cashel and then studied Humanities under the Jesuits at Lille and two years Philosophy at Douai at Anchin College before Ent. He was admitted to the Society by the FLA Provincial Frederick Tassis, and Brussels 28/09/1635 (Mechelen Album)
After First Vows he did three years Theology taught Humanities for five years
1642 At the Professed House in Antwerp (FLA Catalogue)
1644 Came to Irish Mission (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1666 Living near Limerick, teaching Grammar and Catechism, and administering the Sacraments
He was an exile in France for six years and on the Mission for twenty-five (HIB CAt 1666 - ARSI)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John (Alderman) and Elizabeth née Fleming
Studied Humanities under lay masters at Cashel and later at the Jesuit College of Lille. He then began Philosophy at Douai before Ent 1640 at Mechelen
After First Vows he was sent for his studies at Antwerp and was Ordained there 07/04/1640
1641-1642 Tertianship at Lierre (Lier)
1644 He sent to Ireland and to the Limerick school to teach Humanities.
1652-1660 Under the “Commonwealth” he was deported to France, where he taught Humanities at Arras College and later Prefect at Bourges
He returned to Ireland again after the restoration, and sent first to Cashel, but then in 1666 until his death he worked as a teacher and catechist at Limerick, where he died 17 November 1685

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Piers Creagh 1612-1685
Piers Creagh was born in Carrigeen Castle 3 miles form Limerick on the Robborough Road in 1612. He was a nephew of the Primate Martyr, and a brother of the Mayor of Limerick who distinguished himself during the siege. Another brother was Domestic Prelate to Alexander VII.

Piers entered the Society in 1637. He was attached to our College in Limerick as a Master, as we find in the examination of Fr Netterville of October 1678. Later he taught at Poitiers, where he had as his pupil his nephew Peter, later Bishop of Cork and finally Archbishop of Dublin.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CREAGH, (or Crow) PETER, was 33 years of age in 1649, and then residing at Limerick

Cusack, Henry, 1579-1647, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1153
  • Person
  • 1579-02 November 1647

Born: 1579, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 19 September 1605, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1610, Antwerp Belgium
Final Vows: 31 March 1624
Died: 02 November 1647, Dublin City, County Dublin

Studied in Ireland and Douai becoming Master of Arts. Studied 3 years Moral Theology at Antwerp
1609 Teacher of Grammar
1610 was a Priest
1611 In 3rd year Theology; Came to Ireland
1622 was in Belgium
1629 Rector in Dublin
1611 Catalogue BELG Moderate abilities, tenacious in own opinion. Does not know Irish but would be useful on Irish Mission. Agreeable manner would make a good Minister or Procurator
1621 Catalogue On Irish Mission with good health, talent and judgement. Always calm, sermons are praised. Would be a good Superior

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Henry and Mary née Brandon
Studied Humanities for six years partly at Antwerp and partly at Douai, graduating there MA.
Admitted to Society by Father Manoereus, Provincial of Belgium (Tournay Diary p 617, No 1016)
He is named in the letter of Father Lawndry (Holiwood) to the Superior of the Irish Mission 04/11/1611, by which stage he was continuing studies. (IER April 1874, p 292)
Professor of Greek; A good Preacher; Rector in Dublin 1629
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Henry and Margaret née Brandon
Had studied at Antwerp and later at Douai where he graduated MA before Ent 19 September 1605 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent to Antwerp for studies and was Ordained there in 1610
1611 Sent to Ireland and the Dublin Residence, but returned to Belgium to complete his studies at Louvain 1621-1622
1622 Came to Dublin and was initially Rector at the College in Back Lane. Though this College did not last long, he remained in Dublin all of his further life up to his death, and indeed stayed in the city during the mass expulsions of 1641-1642. He died in Dublin 02/11/1647
While in Dublin he offered strenuous opposition to the mischief-making priest Paul Harris and the former Jesuit Michael Cantwell, who were determined to cause a rift between the secular and regular clergy.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CUSACK, HENRY. His services for the Irish Mission were required in February,1622

Dalton, James, 1826-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1156
  • Person
  • 04 May 1826-21 August 1907

Born: 04 May 1826, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 25 April 1845, St Acheul, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained: 1860
Final Vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 21 August1907, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1859 in Laval France (FRA) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a younger bother of the celebrated Joseph - RIP 1905

After First Vows he made his studies on the Continent.
He spent much of his life as a Teacher in Clongowes and Belvedere.
He died at Gardiner St 21 August 1907

◆ The Clongownian, 1908


Father James Dalton SJ

Father James Dalton was one of the oldest Clongownians. He was at school at Clongowes early in the forties. He will be regretted by all who knew him as master there, for he had a great facility for making friends. We have published several of his poems in “The Clongownian” already, and we publish yet another in this number. We owe this to the kindness of T E Redmond, MP, an old pupil and friend of Fr Dalton.

The following brief account of his career gives the main facts of his life Father Dalton was born at Waterford on May 4, 1826; when 19 years old he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus, in which his brother Joseph preceded him by nine years, as he had exactly the same start of him in life itself. About the same time two sisters out of this pious family became nuns in the Presentation Convent of Maynooth. For twenty years Father James Dalton was a devoted and beloved master at Clongowės and Belvedere, forming friendships with his pupils which lasted through life. For more than twenty years he laboured zealously at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin, the house in which he has just died. For some years, indeed, his work had almost been confined to patient suffering. He bore his tedious martyrdom with great courage and cheerfulness, trying to help till the end those who continually appealed to his charity, knowing of old the tenderness of his heart and his eagerness to aid those in trouble. He was a man of very refined taste, and a singularly faithful and devoted friend; and his memory will long be cherished tenderly by all who had the privilege of knowing him intimately.

D'Arcy, John, 1848-1884, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1245
  • Person
  • 23 September 1848-04 June 1884

Born: 23 September 1848, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 28 September 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Died: 04 June 1884, Cannes, Alpes-Maritime, France

Brother of Ambrose D’Arcy (MIS) RIP 1875, (a scholastic), and six months after another brother William who died a Scholastic 1884.

by 1870 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1873 at Antwerp Institute Belgium (BELG) Regency
by 1882 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of William D’Arcy RIP 1884, a scholastic, six months after him. Brother also of Ambrose D’Arcy who Entered at Milltown and then joined MIS, and he died at St Louis MO 1875 also a scholastic.
He was sent to be a Teacher at Tullabeg and a Prefect at Clongowes for Regency.
He studied Rhetoric at Amiens, and then Philosophy and Theology both at Louvain.
He died of rapid consumption at Nice, France.

Daton, Richard, 1579-1617, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1166
  • Person
  • 1579-10 July 1617

Born: 1579, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 05 November 1602, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1609, Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: 10 July 1617, Slíabh Luachra, County Cork - Acquitaniae Province (AQUIT)

Alias : Downes; Walsh

Had studied 2 years Philosophy before entry
1606 At Ingolstadt (GER) 1st year Theology with now 3 years Philosophy
1607 Came from Venice (VEM) to Germany. Was “repetitor domesticus physicoru”
1609 He and Fr Richard Comerfortius came to Ireland from Germany. Future Superior of Mission
1609-1610 Is at Professed House Bordeaux from Irish Mission
1610-1612 Teaching Philosophy at “Petrichorae” (Périgueux); or He, Richard Comerfort and Thomas Briones sent to Ireland; or in 1611 in Périgueux College teaching Philosophy
1612-1615 Teaching Philosophy at Bordeaux. Destined for Ireland
A Fr Richard Daton is mentioned as having studied at Douai in 1613

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Dayton or Daton alias Downes
1615 At Bordeaux (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
A Writer; A most popular Preacher; In the highest favour and esteem of the people of Limerick for his virtue and learning.
He edited Fr O’Carney’s sermons
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Philosophy at Douai before Ent 05 November 1602 Rome
After First Vows he resumed his studies at Rome, but he was sent to Ingolstadt for health reasons, and there Ordained in 1609
1609-1616 He was on his way to Ireland with Richard Comerford but both were held, Daton at Périgueux and Bordeaux by the AQUIT Provincial to teach Philosophy at Périgueux (1610-1612) and Bordeaux (1612-1616)
1616 Returned to Ireland for a very brief time as he was struck down by brain fever. He was very hospitably received by a Catholic noblewomen and and carefully nursed to his death at Slíabh Luachra Co Cork 11 July 1617

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Richard Daton 1579-1617
Richard Daton was born in Kilkenny in 1579. His name is sometime taken as equivalent to Downes, by some authors.

He entered the Society in 1602. He is mentioned as being in Bordeaux in 1607. As a priest he laboured in the Munster area, was a most popular preacher and held in the highest esteem by the people of Limerick for his virtue and learning.

He had some claim to be considered a writer, inasmuch as he edited the sermons of Fr Barnaby O’Kearney SJ.

He died near Slieveclocher County Cork on July 10th 1617.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DATON, (alias Downes) RICHARD. I meet with him in August, 1607. He was at Bordeaux eight years later.

Davock, John, 1599-1635, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1168
  • Person
  • 1599-03 November 1635

Born: 1599, Ireland
Entered: 17 November 1621, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1629, Rome, Italy
Died: 03 November 1635, Killaloe, County Clare

1622 Studied 3 years Philosophy
1625 Was at Perugia College teaching Grammar 2 years
1630 Goes to Ireland from Rome in September, leaving some books belonging to the Irish Mission in the Chiesa del Gesù.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already completed his Philosophy studies at Douai before Ent 17 November 1621 Rome
After First Vows he was sent on Regency to Fermo and Perugia.
1629-1629 He was sent to Rome for studies and was Ordained there 1629
1630 Sent to Ireland, but did not arrive until Spring 1631. He was sent to the diocese of Killaloe, where he was befriended by Bishop John O’Molony, and he died there 03 November 1635.

Dean, Michael, 1696-1760, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1171
  • Person
  • 29 September 1696-08 July 1760

Born: 29 September 1696, St Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France
Entered: 07 September 1714, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1724
Final Vows: 15 August 1727
Died: 08 July 1760, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)

1723 Catalogue and 1737 Catalogue “M Dane Hibernus”
1743 Catalogue Michael Dean
Hogan note : I trace him in the years 1737-49, an Irishman born at Paris, son of John Deane and Francis Plowden. Father was Comptroller of the Household of James II who followed James II to Paris

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
For many years a Missioner of the Holy Apostles, Suffolk, and the Residence of St Thomas of Canterbury, Hampshire.
Among the adherents of James II were Stephen Deane, Mayor of Galway in 1690, and Lieutenant Dean of Lord Bophin’s infantry (”King James Army List” by D’Alton). Dominic Dean of Cong, County Mayo was attained in 1691 (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
(I think the above refers to Thomas Deane RIP 1719, though perhaps they were brothers with Thomas the elder?)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DEAN, MICHAEL, born on Michaelmas day, 1696 , joined the Society at the age of 18, was long employed in the Hampshire mission : died at Watten, 8th July, 1760.

Deane, Declan, 1942-2010, former Jesuit priest, and priest of the Oakland Diocese, CA, USA

  • Person
  • 14 May 1942-12 December, 2010

Born: 14 May 1942, Bunnacurry, Achill, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1959, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 23 June 1972, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 25 April 1985, Iona, Portadown, County Down
Died: 12 December, 2010, Christ the King Church in Pleasant Hill, CA, USA (Oakland Diocese)

Left Society of Jesus: 1999

Educated at Mungret College SJ

by 1965 at Chantilly France (GAL S) studying
by 1974 at Cambridge MA, USA (NEB) working
by 1975 at Berkeley CA, USA (CAL) studying
by 1981 at Oakland CA, USA (CAL) making Tertianship
by 1993 at San Ramon CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1996 at Fremont CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1996 at Moraga CA, USA (CAL) working


Teacher of ecumenics and pastoral worker in North

FR DECLAN Deane, who has died aged 68, was best known in Ireland for his work as a teacher at the Irish Schol of Ecumenics

FR DECLAN DEANE:FR DECLAN Deane, who has died aged 68, was best known in Ireland for his work as a teacher at the Irish School of Ecumenics and his pastoral work with the Jesuit community in Portadown, near the Garvaghy Road.

Director of the school’s Northern Ireland programme, he believed that as far as a church followed the example of Jesus, it was a distinctly Christian church. It was Christian when it refused to acquiesce in the boundaries imposed by a politically segregated society but took a lead in breaking through them.

In 1983, he urged Catholic clergy and people to take the lead in crossing the boundaries as they had greater freedom to do so.

A strong critic of paramilitary violence and its apologists, he nevertheless signed a letter of protest against strip-searching in Northern Ireland’s prisons. Likewise, he was, in 1988, a signatory to a letter deploring the British government’s decision to conceal the findings of a report into the killings of six unarmed men in 1982.

His talents were multiple and often unexpected – a national champion at Scrabble, a passionate observer of horse racing and a prodigious memory for cards – so much so that he was banned from some tables in Las Vagas.

Declan Deane was born in Dublin in 1942 but grew up on Achill Island and was educated at Mungret College, Limerick. He began his two-year novitiate in 1959. He then went to UCD after which he studied philosophy at Chantilly near Paris and theology at Milltown Park, Dubin, where he was ordained in 1972.

After ordination he became one of the first students at the recently-established School of Ecumenics, and graduated in 1973 with the Hull University postgraduate degree of B.Phil. He pursued doctoral studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Berkeley, California.

During this time he developed a special interest in the ecumenical theology of the French Jesuit theologian, Henri de Lubac (later to be made a cardinal), with particular reference to his understanding of Buddhism.

In 1980 he was appointed lecturer in continuing education at the School of Ecumenics and for most of the 1980s taught in the school’s certificate course of the then New University of Ulster.

He lived as a member of the Jesuit community in the Garvaghy estate in Portadown. Very popular as a teacher and as a priest, he enjoyed the friendship of Catholics and Protestants, nationalists and unionists.

In 1989 he moved to Dublin where he did youth retreat work.However, in search of more theological freedom than he felt in Ireland (he was always a strong advocate of women priests), he moved to California in 1992. Later he formally left the Jesuits to become a diocesan priest in the diocese of Oakland, California.

He enjoyed pastoral work and was popular with all his parishioners. He is remembered for his dry sense of humour, thought-provoking homilies and easy-going manner. He was most recently attached to Christ the King Church, Pleasant Hill, California.


In Memory of Fr Declan Deane

Fr Declan Deane, a former lecturer and student at the Irish School of Ecumenics, passed away this week of cancer. Fr Deane was serving at Christ the King Church in Pleasant Hill, California.

A native of Dublin, he grew up on Achill Island and was ordained a Jesuit in 1972. He was one of the first students to enrol on the Irish School of Ecumenics’ programme in Dublin. During the 1980s he lived as a Jesuit in Portadown and taught on the Irish School of Ecumenics’ Adult Education course in Northern Ireland.

Fr Deane immigrated to the US in 1992 and worked in five parishes before his death. A memorial on the Christ the King webpage describes him this way:

Despite his struggle with esophageal cancer, despite his being first on chemo and then a seven month hospice patient, Declan steadily did more and more rather than less and less. He continued to take his turn at weekly confessions; he returned to weekday masses especially with our school children, including the classroom preparation that went with that. Just a few short days before his death, he preached at all six weekend masses, concelebrated three and was outside greeting and visiting with parishioners for all the masses. To that he added the Monday morning mass and two days with visits to school and classrooms. To those who advised him to slow down and do less, his response was , “that is the way I want to be remembered” and “when I promise I’m going to do something and be somewhere, I always do it”.

I never met Fr Deane. But I can appreciate the energy and dedication that he must have exhibited in helping to get the ISE’s Northern Irish work off the ground. He is remembered fondly by many colleagues and former students.

https://jesuit.ie/news/parting-from-declan-2/ December 21, 2010

Parting from Declan

Declan Deane, who died in California on 12 December, had been an Irish Jesuit for over thirty years, before joining the diocese of Oakland. He is remembered with deep affection and regard by many friends, especially in N.Ireland, where he worked with the Irish School of Ecumenics. His talents were multiple, often unexpected: a national champion at Scrabble, a passionate observer of horses, a prodigious memory for cards at the gaming tables of Las Vegas, such that the bankers had him banned. But above all he was a priest, who during his struggle with esophageal cancer took on more and more ministry. A few days before his death he preached at all six weekend Masses, concelebrated three, heard confessions and greeted the parishioners at the door. His funeral was a huge and emotional occasion, as Donal Godfrey SJ reports:

Last Thursday I represented the Society at the Mass of Christian burial for Declan Deane. The Church of Christ the King in Pleasant Hill, where Declan had most recently served, was packed with two bishops, priests, and so many friends from the parishes where Declan had served. The homilist, Fr. Gerrry Moran in the Oakland Diocese and like Declan from Achill island, spoke of the life of Declan in very moving terms. We heard how at first Declan had objected to working with Gerry as pastor but eventually they became close friends. The homily was interrupted with applause on a number of occasions. The Bishop Emeritus, John Cummins, spoke of the wonderful Jesuit formation Declan had received, quoted Pedro Arrupe in connecting Declan’s strong social conscience and his gift of bringing contemporary theology alive to a wider audience. Declan’s brother John came from Ireland and told us how he had sent a card to Declan with a Christmas poem written especially for him that he discovered unopened in his room. John ended his words with the poem. Afterwards the parish held a wonderful reception and then we went to the Holy Angels Cemetery where Declan had told the pastor that he was very happy to be buried next to Frank Houdek, SJ, the man who had “saved him” when he went into recovery as an alchololic. On another note -we have been having wave after wave of rain storms, however for Declan’s funeral it was a sunny mild day. Declan must have arranged that for us as he always loved the sun! Ar dheis De go rabh a ainm dhilis.

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/eastbaytimes/name/declan-deane-obituary?id=32867038 Published by Inside Bay Area on Dec. 15, 2010.

Declan Deane Obituary

Father Declan A. Deane May 14, 1942 ~ Dec. 12, 2010 Pleasant Hill, CA Declan was born in Dublin, Ireland and grew up on Achill Island on the west coast of Ireland. He was ordained as a priest into the Jesuit Order in Dublin in 1972. In his early years of priesthood he devoted his time to issues of faith and justice, including working for peace with Protestants and Catholics during the troubles in Northern Ireland. He also ministered to those in prisons and to those with AIDS. Called to parish ministry, he immigrated to the US and settled in the Diocese of Oakland. His first assignment began in 1992. He served as Associate Pastor in five parishes; St. Joan of Arc, Holy Spirit, St. Monica, All Saints, and most recently Christ the King. He quickly endeared himself to his parishioners and became a much loved, admired and respected priest in every community. People enjoyed his dry sense of humor, the thought-pro-voking depth of his homilies and his easygoing approachable manner. Being a good friend and inclusive to all was important to Declan. When not engaged in ministry Declan made sure to enjoy life. He was a scrabble champ in Ireland, Northern Ireland and England, an avid sports fan and very fond of the horses. He took one day at a time. He is survived by his sister Patricia; brothers John (Ursula) and Raymond (Renate); and nieces and cousins. There will be a parish Mass on Wednesday, December 15 at 11:00am followed by viewing and visitation from 12:00 noon to 7:30pm; Vigil Service at 7:30pm. The Funeral Mass will be at 10:30am on Thursday, December 16, with interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery at 1:30pm. All services will be at Christ the King Catholic Church, 199 Brandon Road, Pleasant Hill. CA.

Interfuse No 144 : Spring 2011


Declan Deane (1942-2010) : former Jesuit

Declan Deane, who has died in California, had been an Irish Jesuit for over thirty years before joining the diocese of Oakland. He is remembered with deep affection and regard by many friends. One measure of this affection; during his final sickness he received 28,000 emails and other messages of support from those who had known and loved him. His talents were multiple, often unexpected: a national champion at Scrabble, a passionate observer of horses, a prodigious memory for cards at the gaming tables of Las Vegas, such that the bankers had him banned. But above all he was a priest, who during his struggle with oesophageal cancer took on more and more ministry. A few days before his death he preached at all six weekend Masses, concelebrated three, heard confessions and greeted the parishioners at the door.

Born in Achill and schooled in Mungret College, where he was elected Head of School in his final year, Declan Deane entered the Jesuits in 1959. He earned a BA in UCD studied philosophy at Chantilly near Paris, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained priest in 1972. After ordination he did a B.Phil. at the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) and doctoral studies in Cambridge, USA, and in Berkeley, California. In these years he developed a special interest in the ecumenical theology of the French Jesuit theologian, Henri de Lubac with particular reference to his understanding of Buddhism. Sadly he never finished his doctoral dissertation, largely because of the disease of alcoholism with which he eventually came to terms.

In Ireland at least Declan was probably best known for his teaching work in the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) and his pastoral work in the Jesuit community in Portadown, near the controversial Garvaghy Road. He lived there for most of the 80's, longer than anywhere else, and greatly endeared himself to his students and to the local people, Protestant and Catholic, Nationalist and Unionist. The troubles were then far from over. Despite the troubles, perhaps because of them, he became popular as a teacher and as a priest.

Hoping however for more theological freedom than he felt he enjoyed in Ireland (he was always a strong advocate of women priests) he moved in 1992 to California for parish work. Later in the decade he formally left the Jesuits to join the diocese of Oakland, California. Happily however he always remained in the best of relations with his former Jesuit colleagues and with his lay friends, some of whom flew over to say goodbye to him before he died. We now deeply mourn his early, but sadly not unexpected, death from cancer on 12 December 2010.

His funeral was a huge and emotional occasion, as Donal Godfrey reports: “Last Thursday I represented the Society at the Mass of Christian burial for Declan Deane. The Church of Christ the King in Pleasant Hill, where Declan had most recently served, was packed with two bishops, priests, and so many friends from the parishes where Declan had served. The homilist, Fr. Gerry Moran in the Oakland Diocese and like Declan from Achill island, spoke of the life of Declan in very moving terms. We heard how at first Declan had objected to working with Gerry as pastor but eventually they became close friends. The homily was interrupted with applause on a number of occasions. The Bishop Emeritus, John Cummins, spoke of the wonderful Jesuit formation Declan had received, and quoted Pedro Arrupe in connecting Declan's strong social conscience and his gift of bringing contemporary theology alive to a wider audience. Declan's brother John came from Ireland and told us how he had sent a card to Declan with a Christmas poem written especially for him that he discovered unopened in his room. John ended his words with the poem. Afterwards the parish held a wonderful reception and then we went to the Holy Angels Cemetery where Declan had told the pastor that he was very happy to be buried next to Frank Houdek, SJ, the man who had ‘saved him’ when he went into recovery as an alchololic. On another note - we have been having wave after wave of rain storms, however for Declan's funeral it was a sunny mild day. Declan must have arranged that for us as he always loved the sun! Ár dheis De go rabh a ainm dhilis”.

Robin Boyd of the ISE wrote about Declan:
Declan Deane was a remarkable man, and a dear colleague and friend. He and I shared a birthday – he was exactly twenty years younger than me - and on one memorable occasion we were able to celebrate it together, at an ecumenical clergy conference at Corrymeeala when we shared - and even cut together - a specially made birthday cake.

He took up his duties in charge of the ISE's Northern Ireland programme in 1981, and it was mainly in the North that we saw each other. It was always a delight to visit that small Jesuit community at Iona, a council house in Portadown, with its memories of Paddy Doyle, Brian Lennon, and a host of unexpected visiting trail-blazers from all the Irish Church traditions. For Declan had friends everywhere. I remember one occasion when he came with me to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. And as we milled around in the clergy-crowded corridor there were delighted and unexpected meetings with Declan's friends among the thronging ministers and elders: I remember especially his happy reunion with Ruth Patterson (the first woman to be ordained as a minister of Word and sacrament in the Irish Presbyterian Church), and Bert Tosh (now senior producer of religious programmes in the BBC, Northern Ireland). Warm, modest to the point of shyness, amusing, and devastatingly honest, he firmly established the ISE's Northern programme in its three main bases of Belfast, Derry and Benburb, making friends wherever he went.

We had many adventures together. One dark night, driving North through Omagh and Strabane, Declan said, “There's a convent I know near here. Let's call on the sisters”. Despite my protest that it was too late, we arrived at the convent and rang the bell. We rang again, and there was no reply. I said, “You see what I mean!” and we drove on. Next day, at our conference, we met one of the sisters, and apologized for ringing their door bell so late. “Och, we were all watching the football” was the answer; Declan knew them better than I did.

On one occasion we did a fund-raising tour in Germany together, staying with German friends of mine in Remscheid, where he quickly made himself at home. The “Tour de France” happened to be going on, and we discovered that Declan was a devotee of the “maillot jaune”. He was also, as befitted a member of a distinguished literary family, a devotee of letters - and numbers. This devotion took a peculiar form: he was fascinated by German car numbers, and quickly worked out their literary and numerical basis, so that before long he could identify the place of origin of every car in the land. “Why?" I asked. “Well, I look forward to the day when I'm at home in Achill, and I see a German car with the family sitting having a picnic, and I'll go up to them and say, “How is everybody in Remscheid today?” We enjoyed that game, and I still do. But I knew better than ever to challenge Declan to a game of Scrabble. His skill there was legendary. In the interests of the ISE we travelled from bishop to bishop, from praese to praeses, from Seminary to Theologische Hochschule, and had a happy reunion in Frankfurt with Fr Gerry O'Hanlon SJ, who was then working on his thesis on Karl Barth. I don't recollect how successful that journey was financially: but it certainly was a trip to remember with great pleasure.

Memorable too were the one or two occasions when my wife Frances and I stayed with Declan in the Jesuit flat normally occupied by Fr Henry Grant in the Newtownbreda area of Belfast. It was full of Henry's tapes of classical music, which delighted Frances. And it was also full of good talk. Declan shared with us his problems: the alcoholism which he had so steadfastly battled and overcome; theology - for he was no stranger to the doubt which is the only real basis of faith; celibacy, women's ministry, relations between the churches. Those were evenings to recall with joy. For Declan was a man who brought warmth and joy to those he met. It was a privilege to have him as a friend, and now to know that he has entered into the joy of his Lord.

Delany, William, 1835-1924, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/456
  • Person
  • 04 June 1835-17 February 1924

Born: 04 June 1835, Leighlinbridge, County Carlow
Entered: 20 January 1856, Amiens France (FRA)
Ordained: 1866
Final vows: 02 February 1869
Died: 17 February 1924, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson St, Dublin

by 1866 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1866 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Making Tertianship
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 05 August 1909-22 October 1912

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had studied Philosophy and one year of Theology at Maynooth before Entry.

1858-1866 He did Regency at Clongowes as a Teacher and later at Tullabeg, and then went to for Theology at Rome.
1870-1880 Rector of Tullabeg. Here he completely changed the method of studies. Introduced exams at London University and was mainly responsible for the Intermediate Bill.
He then went on a trip to America with Fr John Moore SJ of ANG.
1873 The Jesuits were asked to take charge of St Patrick’s House which began under Thomas Keating, James Tuite and Robert Carbery. When this house closed, a new one was opened on Temple St with William as Vice-Superior.
1881-1888 He was appointed Vice-Rector of UCD.
1892 He accompanied the Provincial Timothy Kenny to the General Congregation at Loyola which elected Luis Martin as General.
1897-1909 He was appointed Rector of UCD
1909-1912 He was appointed Provincial. When he finished he went to Leeson St as Spiritual Father and died there 17 February 1924.

“He was one of the most remarkable and distinguished Jesuits of the 19th and 20th centuries. Balfour said he was the most cultivated Priest of his time. He was called ‘Doctor’ having been awarded his LLD.

Paraphrase of Excerpts from an Appreciation published on his death :
“The death of ..... deserves more than the usual notice.... No man ever served the people better. Nation-builder........Pioneer in educational reform.........along with Archbishop of Dublin can be regarded as founders of Irish National University Education. Even before the Universities Act, the Intermediate Bill, he developed as a young Priest, standards at Tullabeg which have become an idea for Catholic public schools.
He worked with the O’Conor Don to encourage the Government to endow Secondary Education in Ireland, and this before it was done in England. Then came the Royal Universities Act. Concentrating on Newman’s old buildings in St Stephen’s Green.......they gathered honours and prizes......His success was the final argument needed to win equality of educational endowment and opportunity.
Aside from the political success, those who came to know him as a Priest as well, were touched by his spirituality. His key gift was that of choosing the best men to teach and giving them encouragement and freedom. His short sermons (20 ins) were models. His religious zeal was the source of his public service. It was not a narrow zeal, and he worked with all sorts and conditions for the Glory of God and Ireland”

Paraphrase of excerpts from the Irish Independent article 19 February 1924 “A Pioneer In Irish Education” :
“As the ruler of a great College, whether Tullabeg or UCD, he was chiefly remarkable, I think, for his quickly sympathetic spirit and readiness to accept new ideas. He was neither conservative nor cautious - the refuge of the weak - nor the tenacity of ideas once formed - the defect of the strong. This was equally true of the young man who made Tullabeg the leading College in Ireland and the old man who led his team to victory at UCD over three state supported rivals. He transformed Tullabeg through introducing London University Exams. His encouragement of the Societies at UCD was not only financial but borne of liberal tolerance, best exemplified in his attitude towards Irish Studies. He gathered round him very talented Jesuits and laymen. He also gave money liberally to ‘Irish” things such as “Irish Texts Society”, the Oireachtas and the Dublin Feis.
He managed to publish in his limited free time, his best being a series of Lenten Conferences “Christian Reunion” and “A Plea for Fair Play”. He could be impetuous, but had a quick mind to save himself from many blunders! He was both decisive and inspirational, and could also be very reflective, and he possessed a very generous heart.
Enough to say that the energy which inspired his untiring labours, the patience with which he gently endured trials and misrepresentations, the charity which sought to give help to all the needy, were alike drawn no more from excellence of nature, though that indeed was his, but from an intense spirit of prayer, an abiding realisation of the invisible world, a devout piety which he seemed to retain through life, the simple fervour of a ‘First Communicant’.”

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Delany, William
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Delany, William (1835–1924), Jesuit and president of UCD, was born 4 June 1835 at Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, second of ten children (of whom five survived) born to John Delany and Mary Delany (née Brennan). As with many Irish catholic families of farming stock, there was an eviction in the background: John Delany had been evicted from the family farm just ten years before William's birth. He moved to Leighlinbridge and set up a small bakery business, which, with the assistance of his strong-willed, resourceful wife, began to prosper. William attended school (1845–51) at Bagenalstown; at home, during the bleak famine years, he assisted in handing out bread and soup to a starving people. At the age of sixteen he requested that he be sent to Carlow College to study for the priesthood. After two years he moved to St Patrick's College, Maynooth. His parents were pleased to learn of his academic success and good general conduct, but considered him extravagant and over-particular in his requests for new clothes. God's ministers should dress carefully and well, he claimed. The lavish use of materials in pursuance of lofty ends was to prove a characteristic feature, which added both to his influence and his troubles.

In January 1856 he joined the Society of Jesus. His noviceship commenced at Saint-Acheul in France and concluded at Beaumont Lodge, near Windsor, in England. Two years followed at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, teaching junior classes, and then (August 1860) he was transferred to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, near Tullamore, King's Co. (Offaly), where (apart from three years at Rome) he was to be stationed for the next twenty years. In this unlikely location he achieved the reputation as an educationist that paved the way to his appointment to the presidency of UCD. After his ordination at Rome (1866) he served for a while as a chaplain of the Irish brigade formed to defend the papal states against the forces of Garibaldi. Soon after his return home (1868) he was reappointed to Tullabeg, this time as prefect of studies and rector. He embarked on an elaborate programme of building, updating facilities, raising academic and cultural standards, tightening discipline, and expanding games activities. His criteria were the more celebrated English public schools, but he placed more emphasis on academic excellence. Some of his fellow Jesuits, highly critical of the expenditure, complained to the general of the order. For a while Delany's hopes and prospects were dimmed, but all was changed when he entered the senior class for the London University examinations and 100 per cent success was achieved. The results received wide acclaim. A feeling of inferiority about academic standards in catholic schools was widespread; Tullabeg's success was seen as justifying claims for equal educational opportunity with the endowed protestant schools. Delany became noted as an educationist, and he was closely consulted by Randolph Churchill, then secretary to the lord lieutenant, his father the duke of Marlborough (qv). Delany's influence was said to be considerable in shaping the two government bills that, as the intermediate act of 1878 and the Royal University act of 1879, changed the face of Irish education; and he was instrumental, together with William Walsh (qv) (1841–1921) of Maynooth, in establishing the Catholic Headmasters’ Association in October 1878.

The success of his college in the London University examinations (and subsequently in the intermediate and RUI examinations) made him an obvious person to be president of the catholic hierarchy's University College, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, the unsuccessful heir to John Henry Newman's (qv) Catholic University. The Jesuits took over the college as it stood in 1883, which meant that the fellows of the RUI were to be among its lecturers and also examiners of the university. This form of monopoly later led to hostility from some other competing colleges and from Walsh, subsequently archbishop of Dublin; but Delany and the senate of the Royal University of Ireland held to the original agreement, arguing that the only hope of obtaining a university for the majority population was by strengthening one college so that it might do outstandingly well and the catholic case for a university prove unanswerable. Delany, moreover, sought to have as many Jesuits as possible as fellows, provided they were fully qualified and the best suited for the advertised posts. By this means the fellows’ salaries would be ploughed back into the college, which was seriously under-funded. The college, under his presidency, proved so successful that it eventually achieved more honours in examinations than the three queen's colleges (Cork, Galway, Belfast) combined, although these were subsidised by the government. The talented staff of the college included Gerard Manley Hopkins (qv), Edmund Hogan (qv), Eoin MacNeill (qv), Tom Finlay (qv), and Thomas Arnold (qv); while among the brilliant student body were James Joyce (qv), Tom Kettle (qv), W. P. Coyne (qv), Arthur Clery (qv), Éamon de Valera (qv), Patrick McGilligan (qv), and John A. Costello (qv). Not surprisingly, Coyne was to remark in 1900: ‘The real work for Ireland is being done over there [University College]’ (Jesuit Fathers, A page of Irish history (1930), 244).

The achievements of UCD and Delany's close links with members of the Irish catholic hierarchy, with key politicians, and with successive chief secretaries and lord lieutenants, all played a part in the eventual solution to the Irish university question in the national university act of 1908. Delany's role was widely praised, yet within a short time he was to be lampooned as anti-Irish and his great services almost forgotten, because he let it be known that he did not approve of making the Irish language an obligatory subject for matriculation in the new university. He had done a great deal to promote Irish historical studies and Irish language and culture, but he did not wish to close off the university to many by having Irish as an entry requirement.

At the age of 74 Delany was appointed Jesuit provincial. He held the office for just three years, yet his was not a mere holding operation. He opened a new residence in Leeson St. for Jesuits lecturing in the university, and a hostel for students in nearby Hatch St.; and he served on the senate of the new university and on the governing body of UCD. Ahead of his time, he advocated the scientific study of agriculture at university level, pressed for education in the areas of industry and commerce, and proposed that UCD move from Earlsfort Terrace to more spacious grounds outside the city, a proposal publicly acknowledged by a later president, Michael Tierney (qv), on the occasion of the college eventually moving to an extensive campus at Belfield. Delany lived for another twelve years. In those years of dramatic change in Ireland, he became an almost forgotten figure: in the words of Cyril Power, SJ, who knew him, ‘a great man who had outlived his reputation’. He died 17 February 1924 at the age of 89.

Thomas Finlay, ‘William Delany, S.J.’, Clongownian (1924); Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930); Thomas J. Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983)

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland.
A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia.
Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselflessly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of
admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.

◆ The Clongownian, 1924

Father William Delany SJ : Rector of Tullabeg 1870-1880

Father Delany’s career was much too big a thing to be even sketched out in outline in such a magazine as this. Scores of his friends have written emphasising this or that side of his great work, and their testimony is undeniable. His life-work was for Catholic Education. It began when, after his studies in Carlow, Maynooth and St Acheul, he went to teach in Tullabeg and Clongowes during the years 1859-1865. It was in Rome that he received his ordination, and he was chaplain to the Papal Zouaves in the critical year of 1869-70. But, returning to Ireland at the early age of thirty-five, he took command at Tullabeg, where he was destined to rule for ten years. In 1889 he came to Dublin, and from that time on, till the passing of the University Act in 1909, he was, in one capacity or another, the soul of the hard fight for that fair play in University studies which was the ambition of all far-seeing Catholics. That that fight was won so triumphantly is due in part to him. The policy which he followed for forty years was ever the same. He took whatever material he could obtain, first the small school of Tullabeg, then the limited numbers of University College, and he showed that, handicapped for funds, equipment, and even staff, these students of his could meet and overcome the far more numerous and more favoured sons of Protestant institutions. It was an ambitious and difficult task. It depended on never failing success, on inspir ing generation after generation of students, on persuading generation after generation of statesmen, on commanding the absolute devotion of generation after generation of helpers. This Father Delaney did, step by step, now using the London Matriculation, now the Intermediate System, now the Royal University, he made good his proposition, that Irish Catholics were capable of profiting by and desirous of the best education possible. It had been considered an absurdity in forty years Father Delany made it an axiom. Clongowes is proud to have shared with Tullabeg and University College in that work.

When the National University was achieved Father Delany became from 1909-1912 Provincial of the Irish Jesuits, and in that capacity did much to help the youthful University. In 1912 his health broke down, and from that time he lived in ever growing retirement. But to the last his keen intellect and tender heart never changed, and to many, many people the death of this old man was the loss of an intimate friend. We have said little of Father Delany's greatest quality, his charity, the tributes which follow, tributes of friends who knew him intimately must bring home to our readers how altogether lovable was this greatest of our Rectors.


Father Delany as I Knew Him : M McD Bodkin KC

Father Delany’s death was a great blow to me. It was the severance of a friend ship that lasted from the days of my boyhood. I had the good luck to have him for my master in 1st of Grammar class at Tullabeg, and the recollection of his tuition is one of the pleasantest of a long and happy life. Few school-boys will credit the statement that the hours spent in Father Delany's classroom were the happiest of our school life, but I confidentiy appeal to my old class-mate, Father Tom Gartlan, one time Rector of Riverview College, Australia, for confirmation. Father Delaney was an ideal master; he made study adelight. From every boy he evoked what was best in him. His influence inspired us. To the driest subject he could impart interest, and he could always find time for pleasant talk during class hours. Father Delany anticipated Pelman in the cultivation of memory. He taught us to remember by constant mechanical repetition, without thought of the meaning that might come before or after; his object was to get the words indelibly impressed on the memory. One of the feats he accomplished in this way was a bit out of the common. When he first suggested the test his amazed class unanimously declared it impossible. But the thing was done all the same. At the annual “conversatio” at the College, attended by a crowd of visitors, three of the class presented themselves without books, and in reply to the Rector repeated from, translated, parsed, and scanned passages selected at random from the second book of Virgil's Æneid.

My friendship with Father Delany, begun in my school days, stretched out into my after-life. I frequently visited my old college during the years of his preeminently successful rectorship, when it headed the schools of Ireland, Catholic and Protestant, under the Intermediate Education, Act (an Act, by the way, which I helped him to draft into legal form, clause by clause, nearly fifty years ago, in one of the parlours of Tullabeg). He ruled not by fear, but by affection. Physical punishment was almost unknown; he trusted to the honour of his boys. One little incident may be cited to illustrate the working of his system. It hap pened when I was present as a guest at the annual athletic sports: of the College. The most popular - if not the most important- event of the day was a blindfold race, to be won by the boys who passed first: through a pair of goal-posts about a quarter of a mile distant from the starting post. It was open to the entire school, for in such a race, it was plain that speed or endurance counted for nothing: the tortoişe had just as good a chance as the hare. I was beside Father Delany when he walked down the long line of boys, their eyes bound up in variegated handkerchiefs. Like a general reviewing his troops, Father Delany passed down the line. About the middle of the line he stopped and cried out in that clear voice of his that carried like a bell, “Now, boys, mind you are on your honour that none of you can see”. At the call there was a wavering and breaking up of the line. A score or so of the boys quitted the ranks and with self-convicting certitude went straight back yo the Prefect to be re-bandaged. So long a it was a trial of skill between the Prefect who did the bandarino and the boy it was lawful to best the enemy, but honor, once invoked there was a self-imposed master whose orders could not be evaded. In that short story there is perhaps more of the spirit that made Father Delany's Tullabeg such a success than many commissions and printed reports could give.

From the time I first met him to the date of his death. Father Delany always looked at least twenty-years younger than his age. He told me of an amusing incident which occurred when he was elaborating a system of Irish secondary education in conjunction with the Duke of Marlborough, then Lord Lieutenant, and Lord Randolph Churchill. After a good deal of correspondence, it was arranged that they should meet the Rector at his College. When they were shown into the Library, where Father Delany awaited them, there was an awkward silence for a moment. Then the Duke asked Father Delany if they might soon hope to see the Rector. In the explanation which followed, the visitors confessed that they thought the young man was a divinity student.

I frequently met Father Delany in later years, when at a further stage in his great campaign for higher education to Catholics he found himself President of the old University College Stephen's Green To him more than any man alive or dead, Ireland, owes the National University, and I am glad to think that I helped little in the good work by articles in “The Fortnightly Review”, setting out the overwhelming successes of: the students of University College in the examinations of the Royal University. It was only a little part in a vast work, but Father Delany showed as much interest and enthusiasm about my “inspired” controversial articles as if they were the main machinery of his scheme, and not a mere detail. It was thus he could command every man's best work.

In still later years I had many delightful conversations with Father Delany, even after he was confined to his own room in Leeson Street To the very last, his brilliancy of conversation, his indescribable fascination of manner, ranging from grave to gay, from serious to serene was maintained. Here is a story he told me only a few weeks befor his death. A member of the Order was constrained to make a journey alone through (I think) some un explored part of Northern Canada. He lost his way. On one occasion he returned after a day's journey to the camp he had set out from the night before. On another he was captured by a band of Indians. While he was pondering on his probable fate the leader approached him. “Don't be the laste taste afeared, yer Reverence”, he said, “sure we wouldn't hurt a hair of your head”. It was a Tipperary man who, for his skill in shooting, trapping and trailing had been promoted to the chieftainship of the band. Part of Father Delany's charm was that he could appreciate the very simple humour of such a story. He told it, if I remember rightly, as an interlude in a long discussion on the nature of duration in Eternity.

Having written of those frivolous recollections of a man so distinguished as my old master, I am ashamed of them, But they may serve to illustrate one of the many sides of his character. His learning, his piety and his incalculable services to Irish education must be recorded by a far abler pen than mine.


Father Delany as I Knew Him : T A Finlay SJ

A great many years have passed since Father Delany was a member of the Clongowes staff. But his name and his work deserve to be remembered enduringly in the College. What he accomplished in a wider field has profoundly affected the School in common with all the Secondary Schools of Ireland. The course of studies and the examination tests as they now stand are part of a system which he did much to bring into being. He was a notable figure in that movement for reform in education which has resulted in so many changes, and the force of which is not yet spent. His share in that move ment may be left to others to record in detail; it belongs to the chronicle of public events. In these pages a brief account of his life, as his intimate friends saw it lived, will be more appropriate.

Father Delany was born eighty-nine years ago in Leighlinbridge, a small village oil the Barrow, some miles below the town of Carlow. This village has been the birth place of more than one man of eminence. Not to mention contemporaries still living. Cardinal Moran was born here, and here, too, Professor Tyndall, of scientific fame, first saw the light. Father Delany received his early education in Carlow College, whence he passed to Maynooth. In the latter institution he had advanced to the second year of his theological course, when his vocation to the Society of Jesus came to him. He entered the Society in the year 1856. After a two years' noviceship at St Acheul, near Amiens, he was appointed to the Clongowes staff, and subsequently to that of St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore. In 1865 he was sent to Rome to complete his theological studies. On his way to the Eternal City he made acquaintance with the scenery of the Rhine, of Switzerland and of the Italian Lakes, as well as with the architectural wonders of Cologne, Strasbourg and Milan. In letters to his relatives, still preserved, he gives account of his impressions. The great mediæval, cathodrals fill him with reverent awe. Crossing the Alps in a diligence was one of the excitements of travel in the days before the mountains were tunnelled. He writes appreciativuly of his experience: “Fancy going for miles along a road cut in the face, of a cliff 1,600 feet high, about half way up, the rocks overhanging the road in many places-looking down over a little wall into a mountain torrent 600 to 800 feet below, and facing you on the other side a wall of rock so close that the daylight can hardly steal down to you”.

In the lecture halls of the Roman College Father Delany had as his professors men whose names and works were known throughout the Catholic world - Perrone, Franzelin, Cardella, Ballerini, and others. He is enthusiastic in his praise of them. His enthusiasm takes in the hall in which the lectures are delivered. The students of the College number some 1,600. Of these about 320 are in the school of theology “in the very room where Bellarmine, Suarez, Lessius and a host of others no less able, if less known, held out to similarly crowded audiences”. The very “air of the place ought to be saturated with learning of every kind. And still more ought it, as I really think it does, breathe of sanctity”.

Father Delany was ordained priest in 1866. This was an anxious year for Papal Rome. The defeat of Austria cleared the way for the unification of Italy, and the hesitating policy of Napoleon III withheld the armies of Victor Emmanuel from an invasion of the States of the Church. The anxieties of the time are reflected in Father Delany's letters to his friends. In the following year Garibaldi invaded the Papal States, but was defeated at Mentana, and fled, leaving an embarrassing number of prisoners in the hands of the Pope's soldiers. Of this event Father Delany sends home a vivid account. In the year 1867 he passed his final examination. He also served for a time as Chaplain to the Irish Zouaves in the Pope's service, and in the course of his duties came into unpleasant collision with the Zouave commander, de Charette. He returned to Ireland in 1868, and in 1870 was appointed Rector of Tullabeg. There began his activities in the cause of educational reform. To make clear the desire of Irish Catholics for opportunities of higher education, and to demonstrate their capacity to utilise that provided he prepared some of his more advanced pupils for the examinations of the London University and of the higher grades of the Civil Service. The experiment opened a career of distinction to more than one among them. Of the fortunate number were the late Sir Joseph McGrath, the late Mr Michael Crowley, Commissioner of Inland Revenue at Somerset House, and Sir Michael O'Dwyer, late Liutenant-Governor of the Punjab.

During the ten years of his Rectorship at Tullabeg the educational claims of Catholics were pressed vigorously and unceasingly, by none more vigorously than by Father Delany. Toward the end of the period the first concession was made to these demands: the intermediate system was established and modestly endowed. The foundation of the Royal University followed soon after. Father Delany was now transferred to Dublin and appointed Rector of St Ignatius College, which was to work in connection with the new University. The University, modelled upon the Intermediate scheme, was a mere examining body; it made no provision for the education of its students. To prepare for its examinations Catholics who declined to avail themselves of the endowed Queen's Colleges were obliged to maintain teaching institutions of their own. This injustice Father Delany denounced by voice and pen. He adopted a still more effective means of fixing public attention on the: Catholic grievance. In University College, St Stephen's Green, of which he became President in 1883, he devoted himself to the task of preparing his students for competition in the University examinations with the students of Queen's Colleges. Year by year the list of distinctions awarded to University College grew longer and longer, till at last it exceeded in length the combined list of the three endowed institutions. The situation thus created was more than inequitable, it bordered on the grotesque. Mr, Birrell put an end to it by establishing the National University, and endowing the Dublin College.

With the close of the long struggle in which he had taken so strenuous a part, Father Delany's participation in affairs of public import may be said to have ended. Old age was creeping on, pressing on his attention issues more vital than those which parlia ments discuss. After three years given to the duties of Provincial of the Irish Province of his Order, he devoted himself almost exclusively to his priestly functions and to the religious exercises which sanctify personal life. He undertook a treatise designed to confute some of the current forms of unbelief; but this task, too great for his failing powers, was eventually abandoned. In continuous communion with God, he waited through the evening of life for the Master's summons. When it came he received it obediently, humbly trusting that he had put to profit the talent entrusted to him.

Dillon, George, 1598-1650, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1186
  • Person
  • 02 February 1598-04 August 1650

Born: 02 February 1598, County Roscommon
Entered: 09 October 1618, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1624, Douai France
Final Vows: 1636
Died: 04 August 1650, Waterford City, County Waterford - Described as "Martyr of Charity"

Superior of Irish Mission January 18 April 1646 & 1650-04 August 1650

Dispute over date of death 04/08/1650 or 03/06/1650
Catalogus Defuncti 1641-1740 says 03/06/1650

Parents were Earl of Roscommon and Eleanor Barnewall
Studied Humanities in Ireland. Studied Humanities in Tournai and 2 years Philosophy at Douai. Not in Belgium in 1622
1622 At Douai in 2nd year Theology
1625-1628 Teaching Philosophy and Mathematics at Douai

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Earl of Roscommon
Distinguished for both virtue and learning. He died a victim of charity, exhausted by daily and nightly attendance upon thee plague-stricken in Waterford, surviving his fellow Martyr James Walshe by two months. Eulogised in the Report to Fr General Nickell on the Irish Mission (1641-1650) by the Visitor Mercure Verdier - a copy of which from the Archives of the English College Rome, is now in the collection of Roman Transcripts in the Library of Public Record Office, London (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of James, First Earl of Roscommon and Eleanor née Barnewall
After First Vows he studied Theology at Douai and was Ordained there c 1624
1624-1629 Taught Philosophy and Mathematics at Douai, and then made his Tertianship at Gemaert (Gevaert?).
1629 Sent to Ireland and to the Dublin Residence where he became Superior 1635
1639 Returned to Belgium in an unsuccessful attempt to establish an Irish Seminary at Douai which came to nothing
1641-1646 On the surrender of Dublin he left and became Superior of the Galway Residence
1646 Appointed Superior of the Mission. However, he could not assume office because new directions came from the Holy See saying that a position of authority could not be held successively without interruption.
1647 Back in Belgium on business with the inter-Nuncio.
He seems to have steered clear of political entanglements during the Rinuccini mission in Ireland. According tom the Mercure Verdier 1649 Report to the General on the Irish Mission he had declared that if he were appointed Superior of the Mission he would admit to the Society no one of old Irish origin without the gravest reasons. He was not alone in this view.
1650 Owing to the death of the General, Verdier’s concerns were not acted on, and so he succeeded William Malone as Superior of the Mission in January 1650 sometime during the year he went to Waterford which was plague stricken after the Cromwellian war, and there he displayed huge courage in his ministrations to the sick, but died a martyr of charity of this plague himself 03 June 1650

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

George Dillon (1646)

George Dillon, son of James Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, and Eleonora Barnewall, was born in the diocese of Meath on 2nd February, 1596. Having obtained his degree of Master of Arts at Douay, he entered the Novitiate of Tournay immediately after, on 9th October, 1616. He studied theology at Douay for four years, and spent another four years teaching philosophy and mathematics there, until 1629, when he returned to Ireland, and was stationed in North Leinster. He made his solemn profession of four Vows in 1636, and published a controversial work on the Reasons and Motives of the Catholic Faith. He was Superior of the Galway Residence from 1641 to 1646. On 18th April, 1646, he was appointed Superior of the Mission, but this arrangement had to be cancelled on 11th August of the same year, on account of a decree issued by Pope Innocent X (1st January, 1646), which limited the term of office of religious Superiors to three years, and forbade the appointment to a new Superiorship of anyone who had already been a Superior until he had passed a year and a half in the ranks as an ordinary subject.

George Dillon (1650)

The first appointment of Fr George Dillon in 1646 had been rendered inoperative by the decree of Pope Innocent X. on triennial government, and now this second appointment was to be rendered almost equally ineffective by death. The Cromwellian war brought pestilence in its wake. Several of the Fathers died in the service of the plague-stricken. When Fr James Walsh was carried off by the disease at Waterford (4th June, 1650), Fr George Dillon continued his ministrations. On the feast of St Ignatius he attended the Mayor of Waterford, who had caught the infection, heard his confession, and gave him Holy Communion. The next two days he exhausted himself hearing the confessions of the terrified people who thronged to him, and was stricken down himself. He died, a martyr of charity, fortified by the rites of the Church and invoking the name of Jesus, on 4th August, 1650.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father George Dillon 1596-1650
The honourable Fr George Dillon, son of Jame Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, was born on February 2nd 1596. At Tournai in 1618 he entered the Society.

On his return to Ireland in 1629, he was stationed in North Leinster. He became Superior of the Galway Residence 1641-1646. In that year, Fr General appointed him Superior of the Mission, but the appointment had to be cancelled, owing to a decree by Pope Innocent X, which required a year and a half in the ranks between two Superiorships. However, in 1650 Fr Dillon eventually became Superior of the Mission, only a short time before his death as a martyr of charity.

The Cromwellian War brought pestilence in its wake. When Fr James Walsh succumbed to the disease in Waterford, Fr Dillon took his place. On the Feast of St Ignatius he attended the Mayor who had contracted the infection. Shortly afterwards, on August 1st, Fr Dillon himself died of the plague, invoking the Holy Name of Jesus.

It is related, that in the same year as him, his brother James Dillon fell down twelve steps of stairs in Limerick, and he died four days afterwards. In the presence of death, he renounced Protestantism and received the Last Sacraments. This great grace was attributed to the prayers of his saintly brother.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DILLON, GEORGE, son of the Earl of Roscommon : illustrious by birth, he was still more illustrious by his virtues. As a missionary he was a pattern of the inward spirit, full of zeal, meekness and charity. He used to insist amongst his Brethren on the necessity of unwearied labour, whilst the Almighty blessed them with health and bodily vigour, as old age was rather a period of suffering than of active exertion. Exhausted with the duty of daily and nightly attendance on the sick at Waterford, when the plague raged in that city, he at length was numbered on the 4th of August, 1650, amongst its fatal victims. He died most piously, invoking with his last breath the sweet name of Jesus.

Dillon, William, 1609-1652, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1189
  • Person
  • 1609-07 February 1652

Born: 1609, County Meath
Entered: 09 November 1628, Back Lane, Dublin
Ordained: 1636/7, Douai, France
Died: 07 February 1652, Athlone, County Westmeath

1630 at Tournai
1633 At Douai in 2nd year Philosophy
1636 In 3rd year Theology at Douai
1639 Teaching Humanities at Douai
1639 On the Mission
1650 Catalogue Taught Humanities and Philosophy. Procurator for 2 years. Confessor and Preacher

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Had studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent - Knew Irish, English, Latin and French
He taught Humanities for four years and Philosophy for two; Confessor, Preacher, Procurator of Residence for two years.
1639 Came to Ireland (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI)
1649 Living at Kilkenny (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
he had a great many cousins in the Supreme Council and was an active supporter of Dr Rothe

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
After First Vows he was sent to Douai for further studies - though his name cannot be traced until 1632 - and he was Ordained there 1636/7
1639 He was sent to Ireland, where his career cannot be traced until at least from 1643 where he was teaching at Kilkenny, and was there for the next six years teaching Humanities and Philosophy.
He was one of the six Jesuit signatories to the declaration that the reply of the Supreme Council to Rinuccini contained nothing against faith and morals. This action resulted in the sending of Mercure Verdier to the on a Visitation of the Irish Mission by the General. In Verdier’s 1649 Report, he stated that William Dillon and John Ussher were the foremost in circulating this reply to the Nuncio.
1650 During or after the siege of Kilkenny he escaped to Athlone with some others from the Kilkenny Community. He died there 07 February 1652.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DILLON, WILLIAM. This Father was born in 1609, and at the age of twenty united himself to the Society. He was living at Kilkenny in 1649

Dooley, Michael, 1850-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/127
  • Person
  • 08 September 1850-26 April 1922

Born: 08 September 1850, Shrule, County Galway
Entered: 27 September 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1878, Kolkata, India
Final vows: 15 August 1886
Died: 26 April 1922, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

by 1870 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1873 at St Xavier’s Kolkata (BELG) Regency
Early Australian Missioner 1879; New Zealand in 1885

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Nephew of the famous Father Peter Dooley PP

He was sent for Regency to teach at the Belgian College in Calcutta with the Belgian Jesuits.
He was Ordained in Kolkata in 1878 by Archbishop Paul-François-Marie Goethals SJ, BELG - (First Archbishop of Kolkata)
1879 He was sent to Australia to assist the Irish Mission there in Melbourne and Sydney. He also spent some time at Invercargill, New Zealand, in a Parish given by the Bishop Samuel Nevill of Dunedin. However he taught chiefly in Melbourne and Sydney.
He died at Norwood 26 April 1922.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Entered 1867

After First Vows he was sent to St Acheul for Juniorate. He was sent to Kolkata India for Regency teaching English at St Xavier’s. He was then Ordained at Asansol, Bengal, India in 1879.

1879-1882 He was sent to Australia and to Xavier College Kew teaching
1882-1886 He was sent to St Aloysius College Sydney, as Prefect of Discipline and also made tertianship in 1886
1886-1887 He was sent teaching at St Ignatius College Riverview
1887-1889 He was sent to St Mary’s Parish, Invercargill New Zealand and was also Minister there. He was Superior here in 1889
1890-1895 Have suffered some ill health he returned to Xavier College Kew
1895-1914 He was teaching at St Aloysius College Sydney
1914 He was sent to St Ignatius Norwood

He is described as a retiring man who did his work quietly and well. He was known as a scholar of great ability, a fluent linguist, well read in many languages and had a fund of accurate information. He was always a man of precise habits. When on holiday in Sydney, he carefully took a tram to each suburb, rode out to the terminus and back, and when he had exhausted all the lines, declared the holiday over and settled back to work again.

His spare time was spent reading. Aristotle remained his pet study when he was well on in years.

Dowdall, Gregory, 1612-1650, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1206
  • Person
  • 1612-09 August 1650

Born: 1612, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 19 March 1633, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1638, Douai, France
Died: 09 August 1650, New Ross Residence, Nerw Ross, County Wexford - described as a “Martyr of Charity”

1633 Is at Douai
1638 Studying Theology at Douai
1650 Died in service of and stricken by the plague

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1640 Came to Irish Mission
He died a Martyr of Charity in his service to the plague stricken of New Ross.
He was the only Priest left in New Ross when it was taken by Cromwellian (Parliamentary) Rebels. He went in many disguises and was a holy and humble man. Five others had remained in Waterford, two of whom were Priests - George Dillon and James Walshe. (Report of Irish Mission 1641-1650, by Mercure Verdier, Visitor, to Fr General - a copy at English College Rome) (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already completed Philosophy at Douai before Ent 19 March 1633 Rome
1635-1639 After First Vows he was sent back to Douai for Theology due to ill health and was Ordained there in 1638
1640 Sent to Ireland and to New Ross. He was Minister at the Residence at the time of Mercure Verdier’s Visitation, and he reported favourably on him in his Report of 1649 to the General.
1649 At the capture of New Ross by the Puritans Gregory was the only Priest left in the town, and he spent his time bringing consolation to the plague-stricken up to his death there 09 August 1650
He is described as a “Martyr of Charity”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Gregory Dowdall 1614-1650
At New Ross on August 9th 1650 died Fr Gregory Dowdall, a victim of charity in the service of the sick. During the siege of the city by Cromwell, he was a source of great comfort and strength to the citizens. When the city was finally captured, he was the only priest left at his post, ensuring the ravages of the plague which inevitably followed, he devoted himself single-handedly to the sick and the dying. Disguised as a gardener selling fruit and vegetables, he eluded the vigilance of the Puritans, and thus was enabled to minister to the Catholics.

He himself was struck down by the plague, and assisted by a fellow Jesuit, Fr Stephen Gelous who had been sent from Waterford, he died at the early age of 36, having lived 18 years in the Society.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DOWDALL, GREGORY. This Father, the model of zeal, humility, and self-denial, during the Siege of Ross, Co. Wexford, was like an angel of comfort to its inhabitants. When the town was taken by the Parliamentary troops, he was the only Priest that remained at his post; and during the ravages of the plague, devoted himself to the service of the sick and infected. Overcome with exertion, he at length took the infection, and fell a victim of charity on the 9th of August, 1650. As soon as the Superior, F. Malone, heard of his illness, he sent F. Stephen Gelosse to his assistance from Waterford, and from his hands the dying Father received all the consolations of Religion and all the attentions of friendship.

Doyle, William X, 1716-1785, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1217
  • Person
  • 14 April 1716-15 January 1785

Born: 14 April 1716, Dunsoghly, County Dublin
Entered: 15 March 1735, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 22 September 1747, Rheims, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1752
Died: 15 January 1785, Cowley Hill, St Helens, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Transcribed to ANG 1771

Cousin of John Austin - RIP 1784
Ordained with John Austin (his cousin) at Rheims 22/09/1747 by Bishop Joppensi

1740 Teaching Humanities at Lyon College
1743-1746 Teaching Humanities at Rheims College and Studying Theology
1749 Is a Priest at Poitiers
1754 Is in Ireland
1758 At Autun College (AQUIT) as Missioner and Minister
1761 At Rheims, a Master of Arts, Missioner and Preacher; Also at College of Colmar
1762 At College of Strasbourg
1763 At Pont-à-Mousson
1764 At Residence of Saint-Michiel (CAMP)
1766 At Probation House Nancy

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
The CAMP Catalogue of 1766 gives the dates DOB 14 April 1717, and Ent 15 March 1735, and places him in Tertianship in Nancy in 1766 (perhaps there were two? - cf Foley’s Collectanea)
Taught Humanities; Prefect at Poitiers for one year
1750-1755 On the Dublin Mission as assistant PP
Subsequently transcribed to ANG
1771 At St Aloysius College in the Lancashire District

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he was sent for Philosophy and graduated MA at Pont-á-Mousson
He then spent time on regency in CAMP Colleges until 1744
1744 Studied Theology at Rheims and was Ordained there 22/09/1747
1747-1749 Two years as Prefect at Irish College Poitiers, and completing his studies at Grand Collège
1749-1750 Sent to Marennes for Tertianship
1750-1755 Sent to Ireland and was worked as an Assistant Priest in Dublin
1755-1757 Sent as Prefect at the Irish College Poitiers
1757-1768 Recalled to CAMP and worked as a Missioner for eleven years at Autun, Rheims, Strasbourg and Saint-Michel
1768 Most likely Transcribed to ANG working in the Lancashire Mission certainly by 1771 and remained there working around the Cowley Hill district, near St Helen’s until he died 15/01/1785

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DOYLE, WILLIAM, of Dublin was born on the 30th of May, 1717, and entered the Society in Champagne 12th of July, 1734. After teaching Humanities for five years, and filling the office of Prefect in the Seminary at Poitiers for one year, he came to the Mission at the age of 33, and for several years was assistant to a Parish Priest in Dublin. I find him labouring in the Lancashire Mission in 1771. This Rev. Father died at Cowley hill, near St. Helen s, on the 15th of January, 1785, and was buried at Windleshaw,

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Servant of God, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/2
  • Person
  • 3 March 1873-16 August 1917

Born: 03 March 1873, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 31 March 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died :16 August 1917, Ypres, Belgium

Younger Brother of Charles Doyle - RIP 1949

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Educated by the Rosminians at Ratcliffe, Leicstershire, England.
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Enghien and Stonyhurst.
He was then sent for Regency teaching at Belvedere College SJ, and later also as a Prefect at Clongowes Wood College SJ.
1904 He was sent for Theology to Milltown Park, Dublin and was ordained there after three years.
Afterward, to Drongen, Belgium for Tertianship.
He then became Minister at Belvedere, and was put on the Mission Staff, where he displayed outstanding qualities, especially as an orator in the pulpit.

He was something of a literary person as well. He founded the “Clongownian”, wrote regularly in the “Messenger” and wrote some booklets and a life of the French Jesuit Paul Ginhac.

In the early years of the Great War he volunteered for service as a Military Chaplain. 15 November 1915 he wrote “Received my appointment from the War Office as Chaplain to the 16th Division”. 01 January 1916 He moved with his regiment (8th Royal Irish Fusiliers) from Whitely to Bordon. he remained with this group until he was killed 16 or 17 August 1917 near Ypres.

Notice in the “Irish Independent” 25 August 1917 :
“When Irish troops advanced at Ginchy, Father Doyle was in the thick of the fighting ministering to the wounded, and for conspicuous bravery then, was awarded the Military Cross. The story of his Priestly devotion in the advance at the Zonnebeke River, when he met his death while administering the Last Sacraments to his stricken countrymen, has been borne testimony to alike by Northern Orangemen and Catholic Nationalists, and it is admitted by all who witnessed his courage and indifference to danger that his heroism will rank among the great unselfish, self-sacrificing deeds of the war.”
Mr Percival Phillips writing on his death in the “Morning Post” :
“The Orange will not forget a certain Catholic Chaplain who lies in a soldier’s grave in that sinister plain beyond Ypres. he went forward and back on the battlefield, with bullets whining about him, seeking out the dying and kneeling in the mud beside them to give the Absolution, walking with death with a smile on his face, watched by his men with reverence and a kind of awe, until a shell burst near him and he was killed. His familiar figure was seen and welcomed by hundreds of Irishmen who lay in that bloody place. Each time he came back across the field he was begged to remain in comparative safety. Smilingly he shook his head and went again into the storm. He had been with his boys at Ginchy and through other times of stress, and he would not desert them in their agony. They remember him as a Saint - they speak his name with tears.”
Sir Philip Gibbs KBE wrote :
“All through the worst hours and Irish Padre went about among the dead and dying giving Absolution to his boys. Once he came back to HQ, but would not take a bite of food or stay, though his friends urged him. he went back to the field to minister to those who were glad to see him bending over them in their last agony. Four men were killed by shell fire as he knelt beside them, and he was not touched - until his own turn came. A shell burst close and the Padre fell dead.”
A Soldier writing :
“Father Willie was more than a priest to them, and if any man was loved by the men it was he, who certainly risked every danger to try and do good for their bodies as well as their souls.
A Fellow Chaplain wrote 15 August 1917 :
“Father Doyle is a marvel. They may talk of heroes and Saints, they are hardly in it. he sticks it to the end - shells, gas, attack. The first greeting to me of a man from another battalion, who had only known Father Doyle by sight was ‘Father Doyle deserves the VG more than any man who ever wore it. We cannot get him away from where the men are. If he is not with his own, he is in with us. The men would not stick half of it were it not for him. If we give him an orderly, he sends the man back. He doesn't wear a tin hat, he is always so cheery’.”
An Officer writing :
“Father Doyle never rests, night and day. he finds a dead or dying man, does all he can, comes back smiling, makes a little cross, goes out and buries him. It would be the proudest moment of my life if I could only call him VC.”
(cf Father William Doyle SJ, by Professor Alfred O’Rahilly ISBN 9782917813041)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Doyle, William Joseph Gabriel
by David Murphy

Doyle, William Joseph Gabriel (1873–1917), Jesuit priest and military chaplain, was born 3 March 1873 at Melrose, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, youngest child of Hugh Doyle, registrar of the insolvency court, and Christine Doyle (née Byrne). He was educated by the Rosminian Fathers at Ratcliffe College, Leics., and entered the Society of Jesus in Ireland (March 1891). On completing his novitiate he taught at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare (1894–8), founding the college magazine The Clongownian (1895). He then studied philosophy at Enghien, Belgium, and Stonyhurst College, England, before returning to Ireland to teach once more at Clongowes and later Belvedere College, Dublin. His final theological studies were taken at Milltown College, Dublin (1904–7), and he was ordained in July 1907. After completing his tertianship at Trenchiennes, Belgium, he began to work as an urban missionary and retreat-giver in Dublin. Due to his positive attitude he was a great success at this work and also travelled around England, Scotland, and Wales. Recognising that urban labourers were in great need of spiritual direction, he proposed that a special retreat house be opened in Dublin to cater for the needs of the working classes. He also wrote several best-selling pamphlets including Retreats for working men: why not in Ireland? (1909), Vocations (1913), and Shall I be a priest? (1915).

At the outbreak of the first world war he volunteered to work as a military chaplain and was posted (November 1915) to 8th Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 16th (Irish) Division. Arriving in France early in 1916, he soon gained a reputation for bravery and was recommended for the MC (April) for helping to dig wounded men out of a collapsed shelter under fire. Present at the battle of the Somme from its beginning in July 1916, he was awarded the MC (January 1917) for his work with casualties during the battle. He was transferred to 8th Bn, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in December 1916 and greatly impressed the men of his new unit. The CO of the battalion, Lt-col. H. R. Stirke, later said that Fr Doyle was ‘one of the finest fellows that I ever met, utterly fearless, always with a cheery word on his lips, and ever ready to go out and attend the wounded and dying under the heaviest fire’. He was killed in Belgium, along with two other officers, while going to the aid of a wounded man on 16 August 1917 during the third battle of Ypres. His body, supposedly buried on the spot by men of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was never recovered. He was recommended posthumously for both the VC and DSO, but neither was granted.

Personal papers, opened after his death, were the basis of Alfred O'Rahilly's biography of Doyle (1920), and he became a focus of popular devotion in Dublin. The papers also revealed that Doyle had inflicted extreme physical punishments on himself since his novitiate, perhaps since childhood. In August 1938 the cause for his canonisation was proposed and relevant documentation sent to Rome. The cause subsequently fell silent. There is a substantial collection of Doyle papers in the Jesuit archives, Leeson St., Dublin.

Fr W. Doyle papers, Jesuit archives; Alfred O'Rahilly, Fr William Doyle, S.J.: a spiritual study (1920); Henry L. Stuart, ‘Fr William Doyle S.J.’, The Commonweal, no. 8 (11 Nov. 1925), 11–14; Sir John Smyth, In this sign conquer (1968); Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); Tom Johnstone and James Hagerty, The cross on the sword: catholic chaplains in the forces (1996)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-willie-doyle-sj/

Fr Willie Doyle SJ – a lesson for Europe

In a lengthy article for the UK Independent, renowned British writer and journalist Robert Fisk has used the exemplary life and death of Irish war chaplain Fr Willie Doyle SJ as an anti-Brexit morality tale. “The image of an Irish Catholic going to the aid of a (Protestant?) German in little Catholic Belgium, wearing the battledress of a British soldier,” Fisk writes, “is surely the finest image of what the EU was supposed to embrace and redress: that there should never again be a European war.” He concludes with a stern reproof of the British Prime Minister: “Theresa May, hang your head in shame.”

Fisk was prompted to write the article by a talk on the life of Fr Doyle, given in Dalkey Library on Tuesday, 15 August, by Damien Burke of the Irish Jesuit Archives. The talk, which was attended by more than 60 people, was one of a number of events to mark the centenary of Fr Doyle’s death at the Battle of Passchendaele in Flanders in August 1917.
The fact that Fr Doyle was himself a Dalkey native added poignancy to Damien’s account of his life and his death in the trenches. The slides which Damien presented of Fr Doyle’s letters, writings, and personal belongings, which had been preserved for many years in Rathfarnham Castle, were also touching.

At the same event in Dalkey Library, Dr Patrick Kenny discussed his book on Fr Doyle, entitled To Raise the Fallen. Amazingly one of the parishioners present was a 105-year-old woman who remembered the news of Fr Doyle’s death!

RTE’s Morning Ireland covered the Dalkey event. Damien Burke and Fergus O’Donoghue SJ of the Irish Jesuit Archives were interviewed for a package about Fr Willie Doyle, which you can listen to here. A commemorative Mass for Fr Doyle was celebrated on 16 August in Dalkey Church. Since his remains were never found some people considered this to be his real requiem, albeit one hundred years after his untimely death. At the Mass, Fr McGuinness referenced the self-sacrificing love that Fr Doyle had for the men who engaged in the horrific war.

Centenary events to mark Fr Doyle and the other Jesuit chaplains of the First World War continue in the coming months. This Friday, 1 September, a documentary by Irish Times journalist Ronan McGreevy entitled, ‘The Irish at Passchendaele’, featuring the story of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle, will be screened at Veritas House, 7-8 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1, at 1pm.

And in October, there will be a Dalkey-themed RTE Nationwide programme in which Fr Doyle will feature. Material from the Fr Willie Doyle exhibition currently on display in Dalkey Library will be incorporated in an exhibition on ‘Jesuit chaplains and Rathfarnham Castle 1917’ at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, 2 November- 3 December 2017.
There will also be an exhibition on ‘Fr Michael Bergin SJ and Australian Jesuit chaplains’ at Roscrea Library, Tipperary, from 2 to 27 October 2017.

Also worth noting is the attention garnered by the remarkable graphic short entitled ‘A Perfect Trust’ by Alan Dunne, which is displayed in the Dalkey Library exhibition. It has been nominated for an Irish Design Award


A champion at the front
The third of March marks the birthday anniversary of Willie Doyle, who was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele, Flanders in 1917. He was one of thirty-two Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. His life and the lives of his fellow-chaplains were commemorated, around the centenary date of his death on 16 or 17 August (exact date of death unknown), at a number of events in Dublin in 2017. The exhibition ‘Jesuit chaplains in the First World War’ continued its tour in April 2018 at Stillorgan Library, Dublin where material relating to Jesuit chaplains in 1918 and Fr Doyle was on show.

To us today the First World War can only be seen as an indescribable waste of life, a cause which served no purpose other than the decimation of an entire generation. Willie Doyle served and died in the Great War; he willingly put himself forward again and again to help those with him, and in the end it cost him his life.

Willie Doyle was born in Dalkey, just outside of Dublin, in 1873, the youngest of seven children. His education took place both in Ireland and at Ratcliffe College, in Leicester. At eighteen he joined the noviciate for the Society of Jesus, a decision he reached after reading Instructions and Consideration on the Religious State by St Alphonsus. In 1907 he was ordained as a priest, and spent several years following as a missionary, travelling from parish to parish all across the British Isles.

With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Doyle volunteered, knowing that many would be in need of guidance and assistance in the time to come. He landed in France in 1915 with the Royal Irish Fusiliers, serving as chaplain. He went to the front, serving in many major battles, including the Battle of the Somme. Out on the battlefield Doyle risked his life countless times, seeking out men where they fell dying in the mud to be with them in their last moment and to offer absolution; those who served with him described him as fearless. His selflessness was not just given to those who shared his faith; Doyle was a champion too among the Protestant Ulstermen in his battalion.

In August 1917 he was killed by a German shell while out helping fallen soldiers in no man’s land. Three other Irish Jesuits were killed in the war along with two who died from illness. Doyle was awarded the Military Cross, and he was put forward for the Victoria Cross posthumously but did not receive it. According to the National Museum of Ireland, this was arguably due to the “triple disqualification of being an Irishman, a Catholic and a Jesuit”.

The commemoration in 2017 by the Irish Province took the form of an exhibition on Fr Doyle, which was launched at Dalkey library, and the National Museum of Ireland exhibited some of his chaplain effects from the front. Bernard McGuckian SJ told his story as part of a collection of essays in the book Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War.
Watch the trailer below for Bravery Under Fire, a docudrama on his life.


Film on ‘forgotten hero’
Details of a docudrama about the life of wartime hero Fr. Willie Doyle SJ have just been released by the Catholic network EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).

The docudrama already dubbed Ireland’s Hacksaw Ridge, has the working title Bravery under Fire. It will explore the life of Fr. Doyle, showing his bravery as an army chaplain in World War I when, disregarding the advice of his superiors and his own personal safety, the Irish Jesuit saved many lives, repeatedly going into no man’s land to drag soldiers back to safety.

EWTN say the story is an ‘inspirational’ one and they have appointed Newcastle Co. Down man Campbell Miller to direct it. He is filming on location in Passchendaele, Ireland and England.

In April 2018, for the very first time, the historic events will be brought to the big screen and will include readings from Fr Willie’s personal diaries, historical footage and re-enactments of his many brave actions.

Producer Campbell Miller said, “I accepted this project as I believe Fr Willie Doyle is a forgotten hero. While other soldiers have got the Victoria Cross for showing one act of bravery, Fr. Doyle performed miraculous acts of bravery each day he was on the front line. In this secular age there is a lot to be learned from his actions, his teachings and his respect for all others regardless of their creed.”

The high budget docudrama is the first of its kind for EWTN Ireland, and it will bring significant job opportunities for local cast and crew, when it goes into production here in Ireland next month.

Speaking about the movie and its producer, the CEO of EWTN Ireland, Aidan Gallagher said, “We are absolutely delighted to be producing this movie. It will bring the story of Fr Doyle and his selfless heroism to a wider audience. It is a new opportunity for EWTN and I wish Campbell every success..”

Campbell, who studied film at Ball State University in Indiana, brings to the project over 10 years of experience directing documentaries and short films and a proven track record in producing award winning films — receiving accolades in film festivals around the world, including Orlando, New York, New Jersey, and London, to name but a few.
Campbell’s award winning films, Respite at Christmas and Family, were pivotal in EWTN selecting him as the Director of the film.

The film will be shot in London and Belgium, with the majority of its World War I re-enactments taking place in Ireland.


A sparrow to fall
Damien Burke
A BBC Northern Ireland documentary, Voices 16 – Somme (BBC 1 NI on Wednesday 29th June,
9pm) explores the events of 1916 through the testimony of the people who witnessed it and their families. Documentary makers and relatives of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle were shown his letters, postcards and personal possessions kept here at the Irish Jesuit Archives. In the 1920s, Alfred O’Rahilly used some of these letters in his biography of Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Afterwards they were given to Willie’s brother, Charles, and were stored for safekeeping in the basement of St Francis Xavier’s church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1949. In 2011, they were accessioned into the archives.
Fr Willie Doyle SJ was one of ten Irish Jesuits who served as chaplains at the battle of the Somme (1 July- 18 November 1916): seven with the British forces; three with the Australian. Their letters, diaries and photographs witness their presence to the horror of war.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 4 1926

The third edition of the life of Fr Wm Doyle SJ has received high praise on both sides of the Atlantic. Reviewers foretell for it a place among the classics of ascetical literature. It is a treatise on the spiritual life, in which the truths of spirituality are not treated in an abstract manner, but brought home to us by the life of one who shared the common experiences of us all. The sale of the book has been rapid. Already half of the English edition has been sold, the American edition is nearly exhausted. German, Italian, and Dutch translations have appeared, A French translation is in the press, and a Spanish is nearly complete. An abridged Polish translation is also in hand.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
.......... Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William (Willie) Doyle SJ 1873-1917
Father William Doyle, or Father Willie as he was affectionately know, was born in Dalkey County Dublin on March 3rd 1873. He was educated at Ratcliff College, Leicestershire, conducted by the Fathers of the Institute of Charity. He became a Jesuit in 1891 and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1907.

He was possessed of great literary ability. He founded the “Clongownian” and translated the life of the famous French Jesuit, Pére Gignac. He was a frequent contributor to “The Irish Messenger” and wrote a number of other pamphlets which showed considerable research and erudition. He was a pioneer in the movement of retreats for the working man, to advance which he wrote his pamphlet entitled “Retreats for workingmen : Why not in Ireland?” He was also a great missioner and preacher, being attached to the Mission Staff for many years. As a pulpit orator, he won signal admiration in all parts of the country, both at hone and in England. It was during this period that he wrote his famous and still popular and useful pamphlet on “Vocations”.

In 1915 he was posted to the 16th Division of the 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers as chaplain. He has been very fortunate in his biographer, for his life by Monsignor Alfred O’Rahilly is world famous. Written in 1920, it has already run through at least four editions. In that biography, details are given of Fr Willie’s heroism on the field in the Battle of the Somme and Ypres, and of the love he evoked in all, both Catholics and Protestants.

In the same biography will be found and exhaustive account of his interior life, so remarkable for its absolute dedication in every detail of life to the Lord, so permeated with mortification and penance. He indulged in the “follies” of the saints, the most outstanding of which was standing up to his neck in the pond at Rathfarnham Castle and rolling himself in nettles.

He was killed while ministering to the troops at the Battle of Ypres on August 17th 1917. He died as he wished – a Martyr of Charity – and that his sacrifice was acceptable seems proven by the wide devotion which sprang up to him, not only in this country, and by the number of cures which have been wrought through his intercessions.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1918
Father William Doyle SJ
“He went forward and back over the battlefield with bullets whining about him, seeking out the dying and kneeling in the mud beside them to give them Absolution, walking with Death with a smile on his face, watched by his men with reverence and a kind of awe until a shell burst near him, and he was killed”.

These words of an English war correspondent describe the death of Fr Doyle, and they are a sufficient commentary on his life. In all that he undertook he was sincere and whole-hearted, and wherever he went the charm of his manner and the saintliness of his life won love and admiration. Those who knew him as a member of the staff in Belvedere will realise what his loss means to so many. To his relatives, and especially to his brother, Rev Charles Doyle SJ, an other past member of the Belvedere Community, we offer our most sincere sympathy. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1918
Father William Doyle SJ

Father William Doyle SJ was killed on the 17th of last August as he was ministering to the dying on a battlefield in France. He was never a pupil of Clongowes; but he was long a member of the Clongowes community, and he was the founder and first editor of the “Clongownian”. It is, therefore, but right that the “Clongownian” should pay a tribute to his memory.

Father Doyle was educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicester, where he spent six years. In 1891 he entered the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Three years later he came to Clongowes as a master. The writer, though never taught by him, remembers his cheery smile and infectious gaiety. In December of the following year, 1895, appeared the first number of the “Clongownian”. Father Doyle, as we have said, was its founder, and for the next three years - till June, 1898 - he continued to be its editor. He brought out six numbers in all, for in those days the “Clongownian” came out twice in the year, Then he left Clongowes for three years to study on the Continent. At the end of that time he returned to take up the duties of a prefect, first of the Third and then of the Lower Line. In 1904 he finally left Clongowes to complete at Milltown Park his studies the priesthood. He was ordained in 1907.

For some years he worked in Dublin at Belvedere College. Then he was placed upon the mission staff, and stationed first Limerick and afterwards at Rathfarnham. Hardly was he well launched upon his career as a missioner when the call came to him to serve as a military chaplain in the great war. But during those few years he show what great things he might have done had it pleased God spare him. It was the work for which his zeal had longed, directly spiritual work, immediate contact with souls. He was a very effect preacher and his activity was untiring, but it was his holiness that was the main factor of his success. A fellow missioner writes of him: “Father Doyle was a very great saint... The first mission. was at with him man said, ‘you are holy, but Father Doyle is a saint’.. Every priest wanted him. He used to down at 5.30 am, to factory doors and get all the boys and girls who were not coming. He used to go down to steamers coming in at midnight and bring all the sailors to confession. At the ‘Holy Hour’ I have seen the church in tears when he gave it. He did as much as three and said he loved have more work than he could do”. One who knew him well describes his missionary life as one of “extra ordinary zeal and self-sacrifice”.

The intervals of his missions he spent in other works of zeal, in writing, and in long hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Those who lived with him hint also at severe austerities practised. One of his great aims was to establish a system of Retreats for workingmen. But this part of his life will be more worthily told in the booklet about him that is to be published. Let us pass on to the closing scenes.

Early in 1916 Father Doyle reached the front as Chaplain to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The rest is best told in the words of those who witnessed his work. Here is a letter from an Irish officer of the Division :

Do the boys who read this remember our share in the battle of the Somme last year? The winter of last year in Belgium? SP 13 and the little dugout of the brave padre rise up before me as I write. Liège Farm, and early Mass when our battalion was in reserve. Often have I knelt at the impromptu altar serving that Mass for the padre in the upper barn, hail, rain, and snow blowing in gusts through the shell-torn roof. Then on all occasions his wonderful words of cheer during his little sermon to the “boys”. “God bless Father Doyle” is the heartfelt. wish of all the men of the Irish Division to-day.

He knew no fear. As Company Officers, how many times have we accompanied him through the front line system to speak a word to the men. Well do we remember when at long last we went back for rest and training, how our beloved padre did the long three days march at the head of the battalion with “A” Company. Then, which of the men do not recall with a tear and a smile how he went “over the top” at Wytschaete? He lived with us in our newly-won position, and endured our hardships with unfailing cheerfulness. In billets he was an ever welcome visitor to the companies, and our only trouble was that he could not always live with whatever company he might be visiting, ...

Ypres sounded the knell. Recommended for the DSO, for Wytschaete, he did wonderful work at Ypres, and was recommended for the VC. Many a dying soldier on that bloody field has flashed a last look of loving recognition as our brave padre rushed to his aid, a braving the fearful barrage and whistling machine-gun bullets, to give his boys a last few words of hope. Yes, we have lost a father and friend whose place we will find it very hard to fill. Our gallant Jesuit chaplain has gone to the bourne from which no traveller returns, and he has taken with him the hearts of the Irish soldiers in France. A true Soggarth Aroon, may his soul rest in peace. FK

Writing just two days before the end, a fellow-chaplain says of him :

Father Doyle is a marvel. They may talk of heroes and saints; they are hardly in it. He sticks it to the end the shells, the gas, and the attack.

The first greeting to me of an adjutant of another battalion, who had only known Father Doyle by sight, was : “Father Doyle deserves the VC more than any man who ever wore it. We cannot get him away from where the men are. If he is not with his own, he is in with us. The men could not stick half of it were it not for him. If we give him an orderly, he sends the man back. He doesn't wear a tin hat; he is always so cheery.

It would be easy to fill pages of the “Clongownian” with such tributes. Perhaps one of the most convincing and sincere is that paid by an Ulster man, writing shortly after Father Doyle's heroic death:

God never made a nobler soul. Father Doyle was a good deal amongst us. We could not possibly agree with his religious opinions, but we simply worshipped him for other things. He didn't know the meaning of fear, and he did not know what bigotry was. He was as ready to risk his life and take a drop of water to a wounded Ulsterman as to assist men of his own faith and regiment. If he risked his life in looking after Ulster Protestant soldiers once, he did it a hundred times in the last few days. They told him he was wanted in a more exposed part of the field to administer the last rites of his Church to a fusilier who had been badly hit. In spite of the danger to himself, Father Doyle went over. While he was doing what he could to comfort the poor chap at the very gates of death, the priest was struck down. He and the man he was ministering to passed out of life together. The Ulstermen felt his loss more keenly than anybody, and none were readier to show their marks of respect to the dead hero priest than were our Ulster Presbyterians. Father Doyle was a fine Christian in every sense of the word, and a credit to any religious faith. He never tried to get things easy. He was always sharing the risks of the men, and had to be kept in restraint by the staff for his own protection. Many a time have I seen him walk beside a stretcher trying to console a wounded man, with bullets flying around him, and shells bursting every few yards.

One might well think that, humanly speaking, such a life must needs have a speedy ending: yet he was spared for nearly eighteen months. At last the end came. It is not possible to know with certainty the circumstances of it. Certain, however, it is that it came in the very midst of his work of mercy, in the firing line, as he was giving the last sacraments to the dying.

“On the day of his death”, writes General Hickie, CO of the 16th Division, “he had worked in the front line, and appeared to know no fatigue - he never knew fear. He was killed by a shell towards the close of the day, and was buried on the Frezenberg Ridge. Father Doyle”, he adds, “was one of the best priests I have ever met, and one of the bravest men who have fought or worked out here. He did his duty, and more than his duty, most nobly, and has left a memory and a name behind him that will never be forgotten”.

May his memory be an example and an inspiration for all who read his story.


From Father Doyle’s First “Clongownian”

We need make no apology for reproducing here the following paragraphs from the first number of our magazine, We think they will bear repetition,

To many it has long been a source of regret, that when Clongownians leave their Alma Mater and go forth to face the stern battle of life, they so quickly lose sight of, and interest in, their old college. This is but natural, and the fulfilment of the old proverb. Of the numbers who, year by year, leave these walls for the last time, never to return under the same conditions of dependence, many are to-day as true and faithful sons of Clongowes as when five, twenty, aye, forty long years ago, they studied at their desks or fought on the cricket field for the honour of their college. But of the remainder, scattered all over the globe, far from those little incidents which help so much to keep the Past in touch with the Present, of these must we not say that in many instances they have little in common with us, except the name of Clongownians ?

When, therefore, the proposal was made to start a Clongowes Magazine, which, while chronicling the doings of the Present Generation, might also be a record of the labours and achievements of those who have gone before, the proposal met with the warmest sympathy and support.

“The Clongownian”, then, is to be a connecting link between their Alma Mater and those who bear her name; its pages, written by her sons, will tell them what things are done within its walls, what fresh honours gained, be it in the arena of intellectual contest, or on the sod with ball or bat, while with no less interest will the Present sons of Clongowes learn that they themselves, and those, whom before they regarded with respect, if not with admiration, are children of the same Mother.


Father Doyle at Loos and Ginchy

We publish the following letter as giving a wonderfully vivid account of the dangers and trials of a Chaplain's life, and, incidentally, a very realistic picture of what war means. It was written for the Ratcliffian, to the kindness of whose Editor we owe the permission to reprint it here.

On Sunday, September 3rd, definite news came that we were destined for the front. We had reached the spot from where I last wrote a few days previously, which, strange to say, bore the familiar name of Bray. This is part of one huge camp which stretches for miles and miles. I had never seen such a scene of life and animation before. Picture to yourself the whole of the Three Rock Mountain, the Vale of Shanganagh, Killiney, Bray Head, and far beyond Greystones, covered with a dense mass of men, horses, guns, and wagons, with piles of stores all round. Tents are few, as I soon discovered, but then one does not look for comfort in the midst of war. Multiply that camp tenfold, crowd every road with columns of marching troops, with an endless stream of motor wagons, gun teams, and ammunition carts, and you will have some faint idea of my surroundings. We were camped on a high hill, at the foot of which flowed the river, which gave me the chance of a welcome scrub. Each morning I said Mass in the open, and gave Holy Communion to hundreds of the men. I wish you could have seen them kneeling there before the whole camp - recollected and prayerful, a grand profession surely of the “faith that is in them”.' More than one non-Catholic was touched by it, and it made many a one, I am sure, turn to God in the hour of need. That evening, just as we sat down for dinner, spread on a pile of empty shell boxes, urgent orders reached us to march in ten minutes. There was only time to grab a slice of bread and hack off a piece of meat before rushing to get one's kit. As luck would have it, I had had nothing to eat since the morning, and was farnished, but there was nothing for it but to tighten one's belt and look happy.

After a couple of hours tramp, a halt was called. “All implements, kits, packs, blankets, etc., to be stacked by the side of the road”, was the order. This meant business evidently, as we set off again with nothing but our arms and the clothes we stood in. If it rained we got wet, and when it got dry we got dry too. Jolly prospect, but c'est la. guerre, war is war. I held on to my Mass things, but to my great sorrow for five days I was not able to offer the Holy Sacrifice, the biggest privation of the whole campaign. One good result at least came from this trial; it showed me in a way I never realised before what a help daily Mass is in one's life. The greater part of that night I spent humming Moore's famous song, “My lodging is the cold, cold ground”. The Headquarters officers found shelter in a narrow trench under the road, open at both ends, so fresh air and ventilation were not wanting. There was no room to stretch one's legs or lie down, but we sat on the cold, cold ground (mother earth's (kitchen fires must have been out that night), and slept, or pretended to do so. Without covering or blankets sleep was impossible, but the hours crept on between short dozes and long spells of shivering, till at last the welcome sun sprang out of bed to warm us up. Morning brought another surprise. Though the country round about Loos was full of guns, one scarcely ever saw one, so carefully were they hidden, but here were our cannon, scores, hundreds of them of all sizes and shapes, standing out boldly in the fields and roaring as if they had swallowed a dish of uncooked shells.

That never-ending roar of bursting shells was one of the most trying things of the past seven days. Our guns, some at least of them, are never silent; day and night, without a moment's break, they hammer the enemy's lines at times to such a degree that it is almost useless to try and talk with the infernal roar.

What a change this is from the trench life of the past six months, where for days we never saw a soul overground. Here, though the enemy's guns were quite close, as we know to our cost, men and horses move about as calmly as if there was no such thing as war. In this valley of life and death we had our first casualties, and it was here that your poor Will also nearly left his bones. I was standing about a hundred yards away watching a party of my men crossing the valley, when I saw the earth under their feet open and the twenty men disappear in a cloud of smoke, while a column of stones and clay was shot a couple of hundred feet into the air. A big German shell, by the merest chance, had landed in the middle of the party. I rushed down the slope, getting a most unmerciful “whack” between the shoulders, probably from a falling stone, as it did not wound me, but it was no time to think of one's safety. I gave them all a general absolution, scraped the clay from the faces of a couple of buried men who were not wounded, and then anointed as many of the poor lads as I could reach. Two of them had no faces to anoint, and others were ten feet under the clay, but a few were living still. By this time half a dozen volunteers had run up and were digging the buried men out. War may be horrible, but it certainly brings out the best side of a man's character; over and over again I have seen men risking their lives to help or save a comrade, and these brave fellows knew the risk they were taking, for when a German shell falls in a certain place, you clear as quickly as you can, since several more are pretty certain to land close. It was a case of duty for me, but real courage for them. We dug like demons for our lads lives and our own, to tell the truth, for every few minutes another “iron pill” from a Krupp gun would come tearing down the valley, making our very hearts leap into our mouths. More than once we were well sprinkled with clay and stones, but the cup of cold water promise was well kept, and not one of the party received a scratch. We got three buried men out alive, not much the worse of their trying experience. but so thoroughly had the shell done its work that there was not a single wounded man in the rest of the party; all had gone to a better land. As I walked back I nearly shared the fate of my boys, but somehow escaped again, and pulled out two more lads who were only buried up to the waist and uninjured. Meanwhile the regiment had been ordered back to a safer position on the hill, and we were able to breathe once more. Our resting place that night was a fine luxurious shell-hole open to all the blasts of heaven. To make matters worse we were posted fifteen yards in front of two batteries of field guns, twelve in number, : while on our right a little further off were a half a dozen huge sixty pounders Not once during the whole night did these guns cease firing, making the ground tremble and rock like a small earthquake, till I thought my head would crack in two with the ear-splitting crashes. Shells, as one very soon learns, have an unpleasant trick of bursting prematurely as they leave the muzzle of the gun. In the next shell-hole lay the body of one of our men who had been killed in this way, so the prospect of a night spent in this dangerous position was not a pleasant one. A soldier has to go and stay where he is sent, but to move would have made little difference, for, dodge as you might, you could never get out of the line of fire of the innumerable batteries all round. Many a time have I seen the earth open in front and around me, ploughed up by bits of our own shells, which helped to make things more lively still, Rain was falling in torrents as we prepared to go to bed in our shell-hole, Seated on a box in the bottom of the hole for protection from our guns, huddled together for warmth, our feet in a pool, we watched the water trickle down the sides, and wondered how long it would take to wash us out. I have spent many more pleasant nights in my life, but never a more uncomfortable one, drenched by the falling rain, which would persist in running down my neck, ravenous enough to eat a live German, and so tired and weary that the roar of the guns failed to keep me awake. I could not help thinking of Him who often “had not where to lay His head”, and it helped me to resemble Him a little. Providence was good to us, far after some time a tarpaulin was found, which we stretched over our cave, baled out the water, and settled down for a night of “Shivery O”. Strange to say, I am not one bit the worse for this trying experience, and others like it, nor did I even get a cold.

At last came the expected order to advance I at once, and hold the front line; the part assigned to us being Louze Wood, the scene of so much desperate fighting The first part part of our journey lay through a narrow trench, the floor of which consisted of deep thick mud, and the bodies of dead men trodden under foot. It was horrible beyond description, but there was no help for it, and on the half rotten corpses of our brave men we marched in silence, everyone busy with his own thoughts.

I shall spare you gruesome details, but you can picture one's sensations as one felt the ground yield under one's foot, and one sank down through the body of some poor fellow Half an hour of this brought us out on the open into the middle of the battlefield of some day previously. The wounded, at least I hope so had all been removed, but the dead lay there stiff and stark, with open staring eyes, just a they had fallen. Good God, such a sight. had tried to prepare myself for this, but all I had read or pictured gave me little idea of the reality. Some lay as if they were sleeping quietly, others had died in agony, or had had the life crushed out of them by mortal fear; while the whole ground, every foot of it, was littered with heads or limbs, or pieces of torn human bodies. In the bottom of one hole lay a British and a German soldier, locked in a deadly embrace, neither had any weapon, but they had fought on to the bitter end. Another couple seemed to have realised that the horrible struggle was none of their making, and that they were both children of the same God; they had died hand-in-hand praying for and forgiving one another. A third face caught my eye, a tall, strikingly handsome young German, not more, I should say, than 18. He lay there calm and peaceful, with a smile of happiness on his face, as if he had had a glimpse of Heaven before he died, Ah, if only his poor mother could have seen her boy it would have soothed the pain of her broken heart.

We pushed on rapidly through that charnel house, for the stench was fearful, till we stumbled across a sunken road. Here the retreating Germans had evidently made a last desperate stand, but they had been caught by our artillery fire.

The dead lay in piles, the blue grey uniforms broken by many a khaki-clad body. I saw the ruins of what was evidently the dressing station, judging by the number of bandaged men about, but a shell had found them out even here and swept them all into the net of death.

A halt for a few minutes gave me the opportunity I was waiting for. I hurried along from group to group, and as I did the men fell on their knees to receive absolution. A few words to give them courage, for no man knew if he would return alive, A “God bless and protect you, boys”, and I passed on to the next company. As I did, a soldier stepped out of the ranks, caught me by the hand, and said: “I am not a Catholic, sir, but I want to thank you for that beautiful prayer”. The regiments moved on to the wood, while the doctor and I took up our positions in the dressing station to wait for the wounded. This was a dug-out on the hill facing Louze Wood. The previous afternoon it had been occupied by the Germans, before our men drove them out. Some poor chaps must have taken refuge there and have been bombed out, for the sides and roof were stained all over with fresh blood. At one end was a suspicious-looking mound of fresh earth, which I did not investigate too closely, but as I said a prayer for the repose of the soul, the dead German will forgive me, I trust, for sleeping on his grave.

To give you an idea of my position. From where I stood the ground sloped down steeply into a narrow valley, while on the opposite hill lay the wood, half of which the Fusiliers were holding, the Germans occupying the rest; the distance across being so short I could easily follow the movements of our men without a glass.

Fighting was going on all round, so that I was kept busy, but all the time my thoughts and my heart were with my poor boys in the wood opposite. They had reached it safely, but the Germans somehow had worked round the sides and temporarily cut them off. No food or water could be sent up, while ten slightly wounded men who tried to come back were shot down, one after another.

Under these circumstances it would be madness to try and reach the wood, but my heart bled for the wounded and dying lying there alone. When dusk came I made up my mind to try and creep through the valley, more especially as the fire had slackened very much; but once again the Providence of God watched over me. As I was setting out I met a Sergeant, who argued the point with me. “You can do little good, Father”, he said, “down there in the wood, and will only run a great risk. Wait till night comes, and then we shall be able to bring all the wounded up here. Don't forget that, though we have plenty of officers and to spare, we have only one priest to look after us”. The poor fellow was so much in earnest I decided to wait a little at least. It was well I did so, for shortly afterwards the Germans opened a terrific bombardment, and launched a counter attack on the wood.

Meanwhile we on the opposite hill were having a most unpleasant time. A wounded man had reported that the enemy had captured the wood. Communication was broken, and Headquarters had no information of what was going on. At that moment an orderly dashed in with the startling news that the Germans were in the valley, and actually climbing our hill. Jerusalem! We non combatants might easily escape to the rear, but who would protect the wounded? They could not be abandoned. If it were daylight, the Red Cross would give his protection, but in the darkness of the night the enemy would not think twice about flinging a dozen bombs down the steps of the dug-out. I looked round at the blood-stained walls and shivered. A nice coward, am I not? Thank God, the situation was not quite so bad as reported; our men got the upper hand, and drove back the attack, but that half-hour of suspense will live long in my memory. I fear you will be weary of this letter, so I shall try and finish up. I have given you an outline of my doings, and little more remains to be said, except the last day's experience at the front, Saturday, 9th. It was arranged that the 16th Division were to storm Ginchy, a strong village, against which previous attacks had failed. By good fortune we were held in reserve. At 7 in the morning our heavy guns opened fire, and till 5 in the evening rained a storm of bullets and shells on the defenders. Shortly before 5, I went up on the hill in front of the town, and was just in time to see our men leap from their trenches and dart up the slope, only to be met by a storm of bullets from concealed machine guns. It was my first real view of a battle at close quarters, an experience not easily forgotten. Almost simultaneously all our guns, big and little, opened a terrific “barrage” behind the village, to prevent the enemy bringing up reinforcements, and in half a minute the scene was hidden by the smoke of thousands of bursting shells, British and German. The wild rush of our Irish lads swept the Germans away like chaff. The first line went clean through the village and out the other side, and were it not for the officers, acting under orders, would certainly be in Berlin by this time. Meanwhile the : supports had cleared the cellars and dug-outs of their defenders; the town was ours and all well. At the same time a feeling of uneasiness was about. Rumour said some other part of the line had failed to advance, the Germans were breaking through, etc. One thing was certain, the guns had not ceased. Something was not going well. About 9, just as we were getting ready to be relieved by another regiment, an urgent order reached us to hurry up to the front. To my dying day I shall never forget that half-hour, as we pushed across the open, our only light the flash of bursting shells, tripping over barbed wire, stumbling and walking on the dead, expecting every moment to be blown into Eternity. We were halted in a trench at the rear of the village, and there till 4 in the morning we lay on the ground listening to the roar of the guns and the scream of the shell flying overhead, not knowing if the next moment might be our last. Fortunately, we were not called upon to attack, and our casual ties were very slight, but probably because the terrible strain of the past week was be ginding to tell, or the Lord wished to give me a little merit by suffering more, the agony and fear and suspense of those six hours seemed to surpass the whole of the seven days.

◆ The Clongownian, 1918
Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clongowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news contained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

It would not be fitting to close these all too fragmentary notes without recalling the fact that in the discharge of their duties as Chaplains one past Clongownian and three former Clongowes masters have lost their lives viz:
Fathers W Doyle and John Gwynn, who were killed in France.

◆ The Clongownian, 1922

The Late Father Doyle
The following are some striking extracts from an address delivered before the Church of England Congress last October by the Rev G C Rawlinson MA

Here stands on the East Forty-Second Street in New York City A a giant building many stories high, with a floor space measuring three and a-half acres, which is the Parish House of St Bartholomew's Church. It is the house of a multitude of social activities. Under its roof you will find a lodging-house and a loan bureau, an employment bureau, and a coffee-house, a penny provident fund, a girls' club, a boys' club, and a men's club, a gymnasium, a parish press, a kindergarten, a surgical clinic, a medical clinic, and an eye and ear clinic. It was built by the late Bishop Greer of New York, when he was rector of St. Bartholomew's, a quarter of a century ago, and a full account of it can be read in the lately published Life of that prelate. He believed that secular work was religious work, and he would certainly have claimed that he was showing his personal allegiance to Jesus Christ in the busy hours that he spent amid the multifarious activities of his parish house. Who will say that he was wrong?

But there is another ideal. Not long before I read the Life of Bishop Greer I came across the biography of an obscure Jesuit, Father William Doyle, who was a chaplain during the war, and was killed near Ypres in 1917, in his forty-fifth year. Here one found oneself in a different world, and in a different spiritual atmosphere from that in which Bishop Greer lived. It was the inner life for which Father Doyle cared. The flame of his personal allegiance to his Saviour burned very brightly, but it showed itself mainly in the acts of the interior life - in long hours of prayer, in rigid self-discipline, in tremendous penances. At one time he had an opportunity of quiet prayer before a life-size crucifix. “I could not remain at His feet”, he said, “but climbed up until both my arms were around His neck. The Figure seemed almost to live, and I think I loved Him then, for it was borne in upon me how abandoned and suffering and broken-hearted He was. It seemed to console Him when I kissed His eyes and pallid cheeks and swollen lips, and, as I clung to Him, I knew He had won the victory, and I gave Him all He asked”. “He spent”, we are told, “every spare moment in church or chapel ; and, since spare moments grew scarcer as the years went on, he laid the hours of sleep under contribution”. The truth is he was possessed completely by the Ignatian idea of generosity towards God; not, that is, to give God the least one must but the most one can. So that when he became convinced that God desired him to strip his life of every possible comfort, to be his own executioner, though his whole soul shrank from such a life, he obeyed...

These are two very different pictures of spiritual loyalty which I have put before you, are they not? On the one hand there is Dr Greer visiting his crowded parish house in the evening, when all the lifts are working and the building is humming with activity; seeing that everything is going smoothly ; chatting with his workers; keeping his finger on the pulse of the whole vast organization - on the other hand there is Father Doyle setting his alarm for midnight, and then creeping down to the dark and lonely chapel for an exquisite hour of devotion before the Tabernacle. It is a startling contrast. With the one the exterior life and its activities are the chief thing, with the other the interior. I do not mean, of course, that Dr. Greer did not say his prayers, or that Father Doyle did not perform many active works. But they represent different ideals. The one shows the Martha spirit - the ideal of active work, and, beyond all possibility of contradiction, this is the ideal of the modern world as a whole. I am not sure even that many of my audience here will not sympathize with Bishop Greer rather than with Father Doyle. The other shows the Mary spirit, and the contemporary western world will hardly tolerate this. Some say frankly that it is eastern and not western, and that this is one of the points on which East and West will never meet. That is certainly false. The history of Christian devotion and the lives of Christian saints proves the contrary. But it is not a popular ideal to-day. Other-worldliness is often spoken of with contempt, and the best Christian is supposed to be the man with the largest number of good works to his credit. This seems to me to spring from a wrong standard of values, and I desire to lift up an unimportant voice on behalf of the other worldly ideal. I believe that, as our loyalty grows, as we penetrate more deeply into the understanding of the mind of Jesus Christ, as we learn more of the delights of prayer, we shall become possessed more and more with the idea of other-worldliness. We shall look upon everything with different eyes, and shall no longer consider the school after-care worker to be as useful a member of the community as the enclosed nun in her oratory.

The true life of those other-worldly people whom I am trying to describe is their interior life. There lie all their chief interests, and there is their principal source of happiness. Consequently, they are always exploring and opening up new roads in the spiritual life. I suppose many have no idea of prayer except as vocal prayer; to this a certain number add the practice of meditation. But even meditation is for beginners. Beyond that there lies much : affective power; the practice of the Presence of God, the prayer of quiet; contemplative prayer. As the soul begins to learn something of these it is quite likely that the desire for silence and solitude will grow. The person may not spend more time in prayer, in the usual sense of the word, but an attitude of prayer will be the background of the whole life. The thought of God will never be far away. There are certain ideas in everybody which have inherent power to leap into the foreground of consciousness directly the mind is unoccupied for a moment. With some men they may be ideas of money-making; with people in love it is the thought of the loved one; in certain disastrous cases it is the obsession of evil impulses. But with those who are approaching contemplative or mystical prayer it is the thought of God. God becomes, as it were, an actor in the person's interior life in a way which was never realized before. Such souls are in a new world. They have advanced far beyond the average Christian. They are meeting new dangers. They are exploring outside the hinterland that sur rounds the life of the ordinary communicant. The world, when it knows nothing about them, looks on with amazement and some times with dislike. Their attempts, by means of rigorous austerities, to liberate the soul for its upward flight, provoke incredulous wonder. Father Doyle, for instance, making himself a discipline out of the blades of safety-razors, is regarded as the limit of wrong-headedness. How men can seek pain utterly fails to be understood. Yet these men and women are really the very salt of the earth. We could do without our politicians, we might manage without our business men, but a nation cannot afford to be without the spiritual strength that comes from the hidden life of its contemplatives. After all, the unworldly man is most use to the world.

So what we want in the Church of England is more men and women of this type - more men and women who show their allegiance in this way. Nothing else will convert the world back again to Jesus Christ. .....

Probably the cause of much of the impotence of the Church of England arises from the fact that she impresses many people, not as the great supernatural society, but as a more or less useful department of the State. And we are ourselves to blame for this. We produce few of that fine aristocracy of souls who have given up everything for Jesus Christ.

Suppose we were to produce a St Francis to-day, what would be thought of such a career in contemporary England? He would probably be summoned and convicted by an unsympathetic and well-fed magistrate for sleeping out without visible means of support, and the sergeant of police would mention that he had been prosecuted a fortnight earlier for begging and dismissed with a caution. And it is doubtful if he would obtain much sympathy from the leaders of the Church. They would prefer him back in the thirteenth century. We do not admire enough the men of that type we do produce. In the last volume of the letters of Father. Benson of Cowley, there was a vivid picture of the life led by Father O'Neill of the same society as a missionary in the great Hindu city of Indore. He led there for years a life of extreme poverty, in a small native house, making himself as a Hindu that he might win the Hindus. But who knew or cared ? How many in the Church of England to-day know anything of that splendid supernatural life? We do not produce such men enough, and we do not make enough of them when we do produce them. And that is why there is often so little enthusiastic loyalty in the children of the Church.

We must begin by getting back to the right ideal. That must come first. Some people believe that what you think does not matter, but the truth is that all the evils in the world can be traced to the embrace by men of wrong ideals. We get the type of Christians we admire. If you admire the Bishop Greer type - the capable Christian of business habits and social activities - you will get it; if you admire the Father Doyle or the Father O'Neill type, you will get that. However miserably we may fall short in our own practice, however worldly we may be in our thoughts and actions, let us at least admire the right thing

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Willie Doyle (1873-1917)

The name of Father Willie Doyle needs no introduction to Irish readers or, for that matter, to Catholic readers anywhere throughout the world. But few, even in Limerick, remember that for three years, 1910 to 1913, he was a member of the Crescent community. His work on the Province mission staff earned him, naturally, few acquaintances among the boys of the school or the folk who came to Sacred Heart church. On leaving the Crescent, his last Irish address was Rathfarnham Castle whence, a year later, he departed as a chaplain for the European battlefields and his heroic death.

Duffy, Anthony, 1848-1872, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1226
  • Person
  • 08 September 1848-27 December 1872

Born: 08 September 1848, Rahan, County Offaly
Entered: 06 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 27 December 1872, New Orleans, LA, USA

Part of the St Joseph’s College, Springhill, AL, USA community at the time of death

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Spring Hill College AL, USA (LUGD) teaching

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had a brother who was a Priest and distinguished Preacher in the Meath diocese.

After First Vows he was sent to Amiens for Rhetoric, then Philosophy at Louvain and Stonyhurst.
1870/1 He was sent to New Orleans for Regency, and he died of a fever there 27 December 1872.
William Butler had been his companion in New Orleans Mission.

Eustace, Oliver, 1605-1671, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1259
  • Person
  • 24 February 1605-12 November 1671

Born: 24 February 1605, Wexford Town, County Wexford
Entered: 24 November 1627, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1634, Liège, Belgium
Final Vows: 31 May 1654
Died: 12 November 1671, Dublin Residence, Dublin City, County Dublin

1633 In 3rd year Theology at Liège
1650 CAT ROM Went to Mission 1635, Prof 4 Vows; Superior at Waterford for 8 years and New Ross 1 year. Preacher, Confessor and Director of Sodalities

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
A relative of Dr Walsh Archbishop of Cashel; possible a relative of Oliver Eustace MP for Carlow in 1639;
Studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Entry, and three years Theology afterwards. He knew Irish, English and Latin. (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI)
A good Preacher; Superior at Wexford for nine years (pre 1649) and of great influence there as Preacher and Confessor; a good religious and “vir vere optimus”
1634/5 Came to Ireland
1651 Deported to France/Spain, but returned on the restoration of Charles II
1661 In Ireland again
1663 Named in ANG Catalogue as in Third year Theology at Liège
1665 At College of the Holy Apostles in Suffolk, aged c 60, infirm (Foley’s Collectanea, where by a misprint he says that he was alive in 1684)
1671 Died in Dublin “well deserving of the Society, whether as missioner or otherwise” (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied at Douai before Ent 24 November 1627 Rome
After First Vows he was sent back to Belgium at Liège for Philosophy (1) and Theology (4) studies and was Ordained there c 1634
1634 Sent to Ireland and to Wexford. He worked there until the fall of Wexford to Cromwell 1651/1652 and was Superior of the Wexford Residence before 1649
1651/52-1660 Deported to France, first to Paris and then to Quimper where he conducted Missions among the Irish diaspora at western French and even into Spanish ports
1660 For a while he was stationed with a small Irish community in Brittany but eventually crossed to England and was well received by the ANG Provincial. He spent some time in London district and later in Suffolk.
1666 In poor health he was sent to Ireland living at the Dublin Residence where he eventually died 12 November 1671

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
EUSTACE, OLIVER, was Superior of his Brethren at Wexford in 1649, and is reported then to be “vir vere optimus”. Shortly after he went to Spain; but just before the restoration of Charles the II he returned to his native Country : bad health however, induced him to pass some time in England. I find from the Annual Letters that he died at Dublin in the course of the year 1671, “in Missione et alibi de Societate bene meritus”.

Farrell, Stephen, 1806-1879, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/146
  • Person
  • 13 December 1806-20 June 1879

Born: 13 December 1806, County Cork
Entered: 24 April 1850, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 02 February 1862
Died: 20 June 1879, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had studied at Maynooth for the Dublin Diocese, and when Ordained was a Curate at Francis St, where he worked for many years and was greatly loved by the parishioners, before Ent.
Feeling called to the Society he entered at Amiens, France 24 April 1850. Matthew Saurin was a fellow novice.
1851-1857 At the end of his First Year Novitiate, he was called back to Ireland, and sent to Belvedere as a Teacher, and remained there for six years.
1857-1858 He was sent to Clongowes as Minister.
1859-1860 He did further study in Theology at Milltown.
1860-1866 He was sent to Galway as a Teacher, and was Minister for a while there.
1866-1869 He was sent to Belvedere as a teacher and Minister.
1869 He was sent to Milltown, and remained there for the rest of his life. He performed various works there - Minister, Socius to Novice Master, and Spiritual Exercises. he died a holy death there 20 June 1879, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, and was conscious to the end. The cause of his death was blood poisoning.
He was a very good religious, very exact and obedient. he had a love of neatness and was careful about everything.

Field, Richard, 1552-1606, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1286
  • Person
  • 1552-21 February 1606

Born: 1552, Corduff, County Dublin
Entered: 1584, Verdun, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: c .1589, Pont-à-Mousson, France
Died: 21 February 1606, Dublin, Residence, Dublin City, County Dublin

Alias Delafield
Mission Superior 17 April 1599-1604

Christopher Holiwood Entered at Verdun same year
1587: At Pont-à-Mousson 2nd year Theology, Procurator Convictorum (was there with Fleming and Archer).
1589-1595: Procurator of Boarders and called Pater in 1590; Master of Arts; Prefect of health, Prefect of the Church Confessor.
1595: Came from France to Upper Germany. Minister at Friburg (Peter Canisius in the house at that time).
1596: At Lucerne, Confessor, Prefect of Cases of Conscience, Censor.
1597: Reported to have returned to France and Pont-à-Mousson where he was Procurator, Minister and Confessor.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Lord Corduff.
1579 Was at Douai - “a youth of great promise”.
1599 April, was sent to Fitzsimon and Archer, and was Mission Superior until 1604. Several of his letters are preserved, abounding in interesting details of the affairs of Catholic Ireland. In one letter 25 February 1603, he states that there were five Jesuits in Ireland : two in Munster Andrew Malony and Nicholas Leynach; two in Leinster himself and Fitzsimon in prison as well as his Socius Lenan. With the Spanish troops repulsed and the Irish Chieftains broken and reduced, c sixty Ecclesiastical Commissioners were appointed in Ireland to superintend the business of the Churches. They began in Dublin, making sure they were in good repair, and insisting that people should attend services. Unable to get the Catholics to obey, they fixed a day each week when “Recusants” had to appear before the Commissioners. They resist, and are called traitors etc, and many put in jail for disobeying the Queen’s laws. They can be fined for each refusal to attend Church and which they refused to pay, calling them illegal.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Field (alias Delafield)
Had already studied at Douai and Paris before Ent 1584 Verdun.
After First Vows completed his Philosophy and Theology at Pont-à-Mousson where he graduated MA and was Ordained c 1589.
1589-1596 Appointed procurator for resident students at Pont-à-Mousson.
1596 Minister at Fribourg and later Lucerne, Switzerland.
1599 On the arrest of Christopher Holywood he was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission 17 April 1599. He encouraged Sodalities, thus hoping to consolidate Catholics against Protestantism. He used his influence with the nobility to make common cause with the persecuted “Catholic citizens of Dublin”. He was subsequently succeeded by Holywood again and he remained in Dublin where he died 21 February 1606 .

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Field, Richard
by Judy Barry

Field, Richard (1553–1606), Jesuit priest, was born at Corduff, north Co. Dublin. He was in attendance at the Jesuit college in Paris in September 1579, entered the society in 1584 and was ordained a priest c.1589. He spent some years at the university of Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, where his presence was recorded in 1587 and 1593. This was followed by periods at the college of Fribourg and at Lucerne in Switzerland.

In January 1599, when Christopher Holywood (qv), recently appointed superior of the Irish Jesuit mission, was captured at Dover and imprisoned, Field was ordered to take his place. He arrived in Ireland sometime before 1 September 1599 and worked for the next six years in the vicinity of Dublin, providing a range of pastoral services. In common with other leading Jesuit missionaries, he strongly eschewed links with the Spanish monarchy and gave little support to O'Neill (qv) and the confederates. Writing to the general of the order in 1600, he stressed the need for more missionaries ‘to teach, instruct, and keep from the various excesses and vices to which they are addicted these raw people, who are indeed nominally and in a general way fighting for the faith, but who in their lives and manners are far removed from Christian perfection' (Morrissey, 27). He was optimistic that catholicism would be officially restored, and listed a number of sites in the city and county of Dublin where Jesuit colleges might be located.

On 9 April 1603 news of Queen Elizabeth's death reached Ireland, and the expected accession of James VI gave the recusants new confidence. In all the principal towns of Munster, and in Wexford, Kilkenny, and other Leinster towns, the recusant clergy, with the support of the magistrates, took possession of the churches. On 11 April Field reconsecrated the church of St Patrick in Waterford, and the following day publicly officiated at high mass. He then reconsecrated the cathedral of the Holy Trinity, and on 13 April (Wednesday in Passion week) celebrated high mass there. These proceedings alarmed Lord Mountjoy (qv) who hurried to Wexford with a considerable army and quickly forced the submission of the magistrates.

In 1604 Field was replaced as superior of the Irish mission by Holywood, who had been released from prison on Elizabeth's death. In the following year, when the government initiated its campaign to enforce conformity by ordering Dublin city councillors to attend divine service, Field joined his confrères Henry Fitzsimon (qv) and Holywood in encouraging them to resist the official mandates and in preparing cases for their defence. He did not comply with the proclamation requiring priests and Jesuits to leave the kingdom by 10 December 1605 and, though he was in poor health, continued to preach in Dublin. In a sermon given at the end of the year, he took as his text ‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.’ He died in Dublin 21 February 1606.

CSPI, 1599; William J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Dublin (1854); Edmund Hogan, Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894); DNB; Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin, SJ, The Jesuit missions to Ireland in the sixteenth century (privately published, c.1970); Thomas Morrissey, James Archer of Kilkenny (1979); Colm Lennon, The lords of Dublin in the age of reformation (1989)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

Richard Field (1599-1604)

During Fr Holywood's imprisonment, Fr Richard Field, or de la Field, of Corduff, Co, Dublin, acted as Superior of the Irish Mission. He was born in 1553, studied at Douay and Paris, and entered the Novitiate of Verdun in 1584. He completed his philosophy and theology at Pont-à-Mousson, and subsequently acted as Procurator of the University hostel there for eight years. After that he became Minister of the College of Freiburg in Switzerland, and Prefect of Cases and Censor of Books at Lucerne. On the arrest of Fr Holywood he was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission on 17th April, 1599, and reached Ireland at the beginning of June. As Superior he revived Catholic practices through sodalities, and consolidated Catholic resistance to heresy by inducing the nobles and gentry who lived in the country parts to make common cause with the persecuted citizens of Dublin. Always delicate, his health gave way, and two years after he had handed over the reins of
government to Fr Holywood he died at Dublin on 21st February, 1606.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Richard Field 1560-1606
Fr Richard Field was a Palesman, born about 1560.

In 1579 he was attending the University of Paris. The next we know of him he was at the University of Pont-à-Mousson with the Irish Fathers Archer and Holywood. In 1599 he came to Ireland and replaced Fr Holywood as Superior, so that in fact he was the first Superior of our Mission. It was a critical period in the history of our country, and ad first Fr Field adopted a very cautious attitude, but finally supported the Catholic cause and begged the Pope to send aid.

He was a tower of strength to the people of the Pale, both by his advice and example, and so much so that he was beset by spies and finally imprisoned in Dublin Castle. He was released after some time through the influence of his friends, but never recovered from his experience.

In 1604 he fell into consumption, and on June 29th 1606 he died, mourned by the people who had lost a sincere friends and great benefactor.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
FIELD, RICHARD. Of his early history I can learn nothing : but in consequence of F Holiwood s apprehension (of whom more hereafter), he was appointed Superior of his Missionary Brethren in Ireland. He had certainly reached his destination in the Spring of 1599.
Some of his letters have fortunately escaped the injuries of time. The first bears date Dublin, 1st of September, 1599. He acknowledges the receipt of his letters written in April, and speaks in high terms of the successful zeal of F. Henry Fitzsimon. In a second letter dated Dublin, 20th of July, 1600, he states that the population, which was in arms against Queen Elizabeth’s government, and fighting nominally for Religion, were far remote in their lives and manners from practical Christianity and the perfection of the Gospel; nay, were addicted to many gross errors and vices, and he calls aloud for a supply of pious and learned Priests to instruct and correct them. He adds, that in the more civilised part of the Island, where he happened to reside, the poor were exceedingly well affected to Religion.
The third letter is also dated from Dublin on the 25th of February, 1603. It laments the interruption of epistolary intercourse that now it was the fourth year since he had heard from Rome. He states that there are five Jesuits in Ireland : viz. two in Munster, F. Andrew Malony, and F. Nicholas Lynch - two in Leinster; viz. himself and his socius, F. Lenan, and F. Henry Fitzsimon, who was still detained in prison. He then proceeds thus : “since the Queen’s Privy Council have imagined that the war is drawing to a conclusion, for the Spanish troops were repulsed last year, and the forces of the Irish Chieftains were broken and reduced, they have appointed upwards of sixty Ecclesiastical Commissioners to superintend the business of the Churches. They have begun with Dublin, and have ordered the Churches to be put in proper repair, and to be refitted with with seats, &c., in a handsome style. They have divided the City into six parishes, and have endeavoured to urge the people by threats, and allure by promises to attend the service and sermons in the respective parish Churches. Unable to prevail on the Catholics to be present : they fix a day in each week, when the Catholics, (whom they call Recusants), must appear before the Commissioners. The Gentry are asked in the first place, and then the Common people, whether they will frequent the Churches and assist at the sermons? The general answer is, that they will not enter these profane places of worship, or listen to the false doctrines of the preachers : and that by the faith of their forefathers, and by the Catholic Religion, they are prohibited from communicating with them in sacred things. A thousand injuries and calumnies are heaped upon them in consequence : they are called traitors, and abettors of the Spaniards : commitments to jail are made out for disobeying the Queen’s Laws; fines of ten pounds are ordered for each offence or absence from the Church on the Lord s day. The imprisonment is patiently endured; but the citizens will not pay the fines, for they stoutly deny that they can be legally compelled to pay them. This is the condition of the citizens; and their invincible fidelity has stimulated the courage of other Towns”. He adds that the wiser sort of Commissioners think it unfair that a people inured from the cradle to the Catholic Religion, or as they say to Popish Ceremonies, should be punished so heavily merely for Religion, “tantum religionis causo”, especially in such turbulent times, and when a Spanish invasion may be apprehended. For the Irish Chieftains are still levying troops, and announce with confidence that in the course of this very Spring they are infallibly to receive reinforcements from Spain.
The precise date of F. Field s death I cannot recover. He was living when Dr. James White, Vicar Apostolic of Lismore and Waterford, dedicated 25th of July, 1604, to Pope Clement the VIII his Memorial, “De rebus gestis a Catholicis utriusque Ordinis in Regno Hiberniae a morte Elizabethae, quondam Angliae Reginae”.
It seems however, that he died early in the year 1606; for F Holiwood begins a letter on the 29th of June, 1606, by saying “All my brethren, by the blessing of God, with the exception of Richard, (of whose death I have already informed you), are safe and well”.

  • We have sometimes seen it asserted, that Tithes to the present Established Church in Ireland were not enjoined by Statute Law. But the contrary is the fact. For, by 27th Hen. VIII. A.D. 1535. Tithes, offerings, and other duties of Holy Church are required to be paid by every of his Majesty s subjects of this Realm of England, Ireland, Wales and Calais, and Marches of the same, according to the Ecclesiastical Laws and Ordinances of the Church of England, and after the laudable usages and customs of the Parish, or other place, where he dwelleth or occupieth. This is confirmed by the Act of 32 Henry VIII. 1540; and again by Edward VI in 1548.
  • He states in this Memorial that the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death on the 24th of March, 1603. did not transpire in Ireland till the 9th of April! On the 11th of April, he reconciled the Church of St. Patrick in Waterford, and on the next day publicly officiated at High Mass; thence proceeded to reconcile the Cathedral Church dedicated to the Holy Trinity. On the 13th of April (which was Wednesday in Passion-week) High Mass was celebrated in this Cathedral. These proceedings alarmed Sir Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, who hurried to the City with a considerable force to overawe the inhabitants.

Field, Thomas, 1549-1626, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1288
  • Person
  • 1549-07 July 1626

Born: 1549, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 06 October 1574, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Died: 07 July 1626, Asunción, Paraguay - Paraguayensis Province (PAR)

Alias Filde

Son of Dr Field and Genet Creagh
1569 There was a Thomas Field Penitentiary of English, Irish and Scots (is this he?)
1575 In April he and Fr Yates left Rome for Brazil arriving 1577. Fr Yates describes him in a letter as “Yrishe man”
1577 in Portugal ???

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Dr Field and Genet (Janet) née Creagh (Creah)
In 1586 he was captured and “evil-handed” and manacled by English pirates, put out in an open boat with no rudder or oars and drifted away to Buenos Ayres.
He was one of the three first missioners of Paraguay; of great innocence of life and alone in Paraguay for years.
He is erroneously called a Scot by Charlevoix and an Italian by Franco
(cf Cordara “Hist Soc” AD 1626 and in Foley’s “Collectanea”, p253 there is an interesting letter about him in 1589 by Fr Yates)
Alias “Felie”
Humanities at Paris, Philosophy at Louvain, graduating MA before Entered 06/10/1574 Rome
28/04/1575 Went on pilgrimage with James Sale, an Englishman from Rome to Galicia, and from there to the Brazils without having taken First Vows.
He spent many years in Brazil with Joseph Anchieta (Apostle of Brazil, styled Thaumaturgus) and was his emulator. Ordered from Brazil to Paraguay. After incident above with pirates, he died in Asunçion, Paraguay. (cf "Hibernia Ignatiana" and Oliver, Irish Section, Stonyhurst MSS)
Letter from Fr John Vincent (vere Yates), a Missioner in Brazil, to Fr John Good, dated, St Anthony's Brazil, 02 January 1589 (British Museum Lansdown MSS). he calls him by the alias name of “Thomas Feile” :
“News of Father Thomas Feile are these. Since that I wrote your Reverence of him in my other letter, in 1586 he was sent from St Vincents with three others of our company into a country far from here, which they call Tumumâ, near unto Peru, at the petition of the Bishop of that place unto our Provincial of this Brazil land; and in his way by sea near unto the great River Plate, they were taken by an English pirate named Robert Waddington, and very evil handed by him, and robbed of all those things they carried with them. The which pirate afterwards, in the year of 1587, came roaming along this coast from thence, until he came unto this city, the which he put in great fear and danger, and had taken it that if these new Christians of which we have charge, had not resisted him, so that one hundred and fifty men that he brought with him, he left unto three score slain. On this matter in other letters, I doubt not but that your Reverence shall hear. To return now to the news of Father Thomas Feile, I do give you this knowledge of him that he was very unapt to learn this Brazil speech, but he did always edify us with his virtuous life and obedience to all those with whom he was conversant, unto whom I have sent the letter your Reverence did sent him, and with the same, I sent unto him his portion of the blessed grains and images which came unto my hands, as also the roll of countrymen that be of our company. Whilst he was in this Brazil land, he took not only the holy order of Priesthood, as I do hear he took in the same place where he is now resident, which is as far as Portugal from hence”
(cf IbIg; Oliver, Irish Section, "Stonyhurst MSS")
1574 Left Portugal for Brazil arriving at Bahi in 31 December 1577
Spent 10 years as scholastic living in Piratininga (São Paolo), often accompanying Fr Anchieta on his missionary tours among the Indians

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
1587 Sent to Paraguay (escaped death by pirates after his ship was captured off Buenos Aires)
He spent time at the Mission of Córdoba de Tucuman (Argentina) and then went to Asunçion (Paraguay).
He and Fr Ortega evangelised Indians for hundreds of miles around Asunçion
1590-1599 Founded a Church in Villa Rica, Paraguay
1599 Recalled to Asunción, and the Missions at Villa Rica and Guayra were abandoned until the Province of Paraguay was formed in 1607, and he returned there then.
Eventually returned to Asunción ministering to the Indians until his death in 1626

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Field (Fehily), Thomas
by Patrick M. Geoghegan

Field (Fehily), Thomas (1546/9–1625), Jesuit priest and missionary, was born in Limerick, in 1546 or 1549, son of a catholic medical doctor, William Field (or Fehily), and his wife, Genet Field (née Creagh). Because of his religion he was sent for his education to Douai and then Louvain, in the Low Countries, and finally to Rome, where he entered the Society of Jesus on 6 October 1574. He trained for the priesthood before being sent on an important mission to Brazil. Travelling from Rome to Lisbon, he was forced to beg along the way, before beginning the long journey to South America in 1577.

In Brazil he worked with the Spanish Jesuit José de Anchieta (1534–97), who was credited with performing many miracles. In 1586 he was one of five Jesuits sent from Brazil on a mission to convert the peoples of La Plata province. During the voyage the group was captured by pirates, some of them Irish pirates who treated Field with utter contempt, despising his catholic zeal. In the end he was put into an open boat without rudder or oars and set adrift, but he survived and arrived safely in Argentina. He is believed to have been the first Irishman to set foot in Argentina and may also have been the first to go to Brazil.

When he arrived at Buenos Aires it had been in existence just seven years and comprised only a dozen houses. With Manuel Ortega as his superior he was sent on a further mission to Paraguay, where he baptised thousands, and was responsible for the conversion of many. He tended to the sick during the great fever epidemic in South America in 1588 and was respected for his hard work and dedication. A man of great piety and humility, as penance he denied himself the use of fruit on the trees. He died 15 April 1625 at Asuncion among the peoples of La Guira, Upper Paraguay.

Henry Foley, Records of the English province of the Society of Jesus (1877), i, 288; Edmund Hogan, Chronological catalogue of the Irish members of the Society of Jesus, 1550–1814 (1888), 5; Thomas Murray, The story of the Irish in Argentina (1919), 1–8; Aubrey Gwynn, ‘The first Irish priests in the new world’, Studies, xxi (1932), 212–14; ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Thomas Field SJ 1549-1626
Fr Thomas Field was born in Limerick in 1549 and entered the Society at Rome in 1574. He was attached to the Portuguese Province and from there left for Brazil, arriving at Bahia on 31st December 1577. He spent ten years as a scholastic in what is now known as Saõ Paolo, but made frequent journeys among the Indians with the Venerable Fr Anchieta during these years.

He was transferred to Paraguay in 1587, and on the voyage, narrowly escaped death at the hands of English pirates, who captured his ship off Buenos Aires. He proceeded,to Asuncion, where with Fr Ortega he evangelised the Indians for hundreds of miles around. In 1590 he built a Church at Villa Rica which became his headquarters for the next nine years.

In 1599 he was recalled to Asuncion, and the Mission at Villa Rica was abandoned until Paraguay was made a Province in 1607. He then returned to the scene of his former labours and worked among the Indians until his death in 1626.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 45 : Christmas 1986

Portrait from the Past

FR THOMAS FILDE : 1548/9-1626

Edmund Hogan

The Limerick Jesuit who was one of the founders of “The Mission” - currently showing at Dublin's Adelphi Cinema.

“On the 6th of October, 1574, Thomas Phildius, a Limerick Irishman, twenty-five years of age, enters the Novitiate. His father, Willian, was a doctor of medicine and his mother was Genet Creah. Both his parents are dead. He studied humanities for three years at Paris and Douay, and philosophy for three years at Louvain, where he became Master of Arts... under his own hand - Thomas. Phildius”. So wrote Thomas Filde in the Roman Novice-Book.

Thomas was born at Limerick in the year 1548, or 1549, of Catholic parents, at whose house he most probably often saw the Nuncio, Father Woulfe, S.J., who resided at Limerick in those days. In order to preserve his faith, Thomas was sent to study at Paris, Douay and Louvain; and he was received into the Society in Rome by the General, Everard Mercurian. He showed such advancement and solidity in virtue, that, after six months in the Novitiate, he obtained leave to go on the Brazilian mission.

With four Jesuit companions, he set sail joyfully on the “Rio de Janeiro”, and, after a prosperous voyage, came in sight of South America. They were in the Rio de la Plata and felt free from all fear of the English sea-rovers, when they discovered two sails, which were those of the cruel corsair, Cavendish. The English boarded the Portuguese merchantman, treated the passengers and crew with some humanity, but wreaked all their fury on the Jesuits. The pirates confided them to the mercy of the waves in a boat without rudder, oars, or sails, and left them to be tossed about and die of hunger in these wide waters.

Against all human expectation they drifted into the port of Buenos Ayres. When it was heard at Cordova that they had reached Buenos Ayres, almost dead with hunger and cold, they were met by the Bishop of Paraguay, who pressed them to go to Asuncion, where their Brazilian speech was well understood. Filde, de Ortega (a Portuguese) and Saloni (a Neapolitan) held a consultation, in which, after fervent prayer, they resolved to go to Paraguay, the language of which they spoke. They travelled nine hundred miles partly by land, partly by the Argentine and Paraguay Rivers, evangelizing as they journeyed on, and on August 11th, 1588, they reached a place nine miles from the town of Asuncion. The Governor of the province and other gentlemen went out to meet and welcome them The Indians seeing the respect of the Spaniards for those priests, conceived a high opinion of them, which grew greater when they considered the sympathy which the Fathers showed for them, the zeal with which they instructed them, the courage with which they protected them from Spanish oppression, and the disinterestedness and devotedness with which they had come so far, and through so many dangers, for the sole purpose of saving their souls. The neighbouring Indians hearing of these three holy nen went to see them, and were delighted to hear them speak the Guarani language.

But as the Spaniards were in a sad state in and around the town, the Fathers set to work at once to reform them, preaching to them, catechizing, hearing confessions, often spending whole days and nights in the tribunals of mercy, and scarcely ever allowing themselves more than one or two hours' rest. They converted the whole town. Then they turned to the Indians in and around Asuncion; instructed them, administered the sacraments to them; on Sundays and feast-days they got them to walk in procession, singing pious Guarani hymns. They then visited two distant Indian villages, and evangelized them, and after that Fathers Filde and de Ortega went and preached the Gospel through all the Indian tribes from Asuncion to Ciudad Real del Guayra, and produced most abundant fruit.

At about ninety miles from the first Indian village lived a barbarous race, in almost impenetrable forests and among rocks almost inaccessible. They were brave and robust; but never worked, and spent their time dancing and singing The Fathers sent two Christian natives to them with presents, and with promises of good things if they came out of their fastnesses to them; and in the meantime they prayed fervently that God would draw these poor people towards them. Their prayers were heard, and the head cacique came, with some of his men, dressed in war-paint of various colours and wearing long flowing hair, which had never been cut, with a crown of high plumes on his head. These savages were at first very shy in presence of the two strangers, but were soon attracted to them by the kindness of their looks and actions: they were converted, and promised to lead a good life and to prevail on the rest of their tribe to do likewise. The cacique was induced to remain with the Fathers, while his attendants and forty Indians recently baptized were despatched to bring out the members of his tribe. At the end of a fortnight, they brought with them three hundred and fifty men, women and children, who seened on the verge of starvation. Many children died of hunger the day of their arrival, after receiving the Sacrament of Baptism; the survivors were formed into a pueblo, were baptized, and led a holy and happy life.

The Jesuits baptized many pagans, performed the ceremony of marriage for many Spaniards and many Indians who had been living in a state of concubinage; instructed those ignorant of religion, extinguished long-standing animosities, and put an end to many scandals. The townspeople were so edified by their virtues, that they pressed them to remain and wanted to found a house of the Society in that place. But Fathers Filde and de ortega did not wish to narrow their sphere of action, and, at the end of a month's mission there, they went forth again to pour the treasures of grace on other parts of the province; they evangelized the numerous tribes between Ciudad Real and Villa Rica, baptized all the infidels who dwell along the banks of the Rio Hiubay, banished drunkenness and polygamy from among them, protected them against the oppressions of the Spaniard; and after many hardships and labours reached Villa Rica, and were there received with great solemnity. Triumphal arches were put up and the most fragrant flowers of that delightful country were displayed to do them honour. With military music and singing and other demonstrations of joy and welcome, they were conducted in procession to the church, where they declared the object of their mission. They remained four months at Villa Rica, working with untiring zeal, instructing the Spaniards whom they found ignorant of the truths and practices of religion, and doing all in their power to put in the souls of the colonists sentiments of mercy and kindness towards the poor Indians whom they were accustomed to treat as slaves.

After their apostolic labours at Villa Rica, the two Fathers went forth and converted a nation of ten thousand Indian Warriors, Indios de guerra, called Ibirayaras, who for clothing were contented with a coat of war-paint, and delighted in feeding on the flesh of their fellow-man. The Fathers had the happiness of rescuing many prisoners from being fattened, cooked, and eaten by these cannibals. They then baptized three thousand four hundred of another tribe; but before the work of conversion, Filde's companion narrowly escaped being murdered, and thirty of their neophytes were put to death by some wicked caciques. The two missioners had been often deliberating about going back to Asuncion; but as the inhabitants of Villa Rica built a church and residence for
them, they remained there for seven years longer.

In 1593, Father Romero was sent as Superior of the mission of Tucuman; he brought nine missioners with him, ordered Fathers Filde and de Ortega to continue their work in the Guayra territory, and sent Fathers Saloni and de Lorenzana to their assistance. On the 3rd of November, 1594, these two started from Asuncion, and reached Fathers Filde and Ortega at Villa Rica on the feast of the Epiphany, 1595. In this journey of over five hundred miles, they narrowly escaped being drowned in the Parana, and had often to make their way by swimming, or by wading through marshes and flooded fields. Swimming seems to have been one of the useful, and even necessary, arts of these early missionaries. We are told it of three of them, but not of Filde, who, being born and brought up on the banks of the Shannon, was skilled in the art of natation, and of driving and directing a “cot” or canoe through the water.

Fr. Filde was the sole representative of the Society in the countries of Tucuman and Paraguay until 1605 when he was joined at the residence of Asuncion by Fathers Lorenzana and Cataldino. The former wrote to the Provincial of Peru: “We found in our house, to the great comfort and joy of his soul and of ours, good Father Filde, who in spite of his infirmities has gone on with his priestly work and by his religious spirit and his dove-like simplicity (simplicidad columbina), has edified the whole town very much for the last three years. His is never done thanking God for seeing his brethren again in this far-off land".

In 1610, two Italian Jesuits made their way to Villa Rica, and found there the sacred vessels and the library which belonged to Fathers de Ortega and Filde. In the month of February they went up the River Paranapane, or “River of Misfortune”, to the mouth of the Pirape; they knew from the cacique who guided them with what joy they would be received by the native neophytes of Filde and de Ortega, and the moment they entered the lands of the Guaranis, they were net and welcomed with effusion in the name of the two hundred families whom these first missionaries had evangelized, and to whom the new-comers were bringing the blessings of civilization and liberty. On the very place that witnessed this interesting interview, Fathers Macheta and Cataldino founded the first “Reduction” of Paraguay, which was the model of all those that were formed afterwards.

In 1611, there was a burst of popular indignation against the Jesuits on account of their efforts to abolish slavery. They were “boycotted”, and could not get for charity or money anything to eat. No one would sell them anything. A poor old Indian woman, knowing their wants and the implacable hatred the Spaniards bore them, brought them some little thing to eat every day; but the other Indians had been turned against their best friends by the calumnies of the Spaniards. The Fathers withdrew to a country house in the village of Tacumbu; yet not liking to abandon the place altogether, they left Brothers de Acosta and de Aragon to teach school and Father Filde to say Mass for them. Here the Limerickman spent the last fifteen years of his life.

In 1626, Thomas Filde died at Asuncion in the seventy-eight or eightieth years of his age, and the fifty-second of his religious life, during which he spent about ten years in Brazil and forty in the missions of Paraguay, of which he and de Ortega were the founders.

Finlay, Peter, 1851-1929, Jesuit priest and theologian

  • IE IJA J/8
  • Person
  • 15 February 1851-21 October 1929

Born: 15 February 1851, Bessbrook, County Cavan
Entered 02 March 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, Tortosa, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1886, St Beuno’s, Wales
Died: 21 October 1929, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at time of death.

Younger brother of Tom Finlay - RIP 1940

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1879 at Poyanne France (CAST) Studying
by 1880 at Dertusanum College, Tortosa, Spain (ARA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1888 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) Lecturing Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.

1868 He was sent to St Acheul (Amiens) for a year of Rhetoric, and then to Stonyhurst for two years Philosophy, and then to Maria Laach for one more year.
1872 He was sent for Regency teaching Latin and French at Crescent for two years, and the four at Clongowes teaching Greek, Latin, French, German, Mathematics and Physics.
1878 He was sent to Poyanne in France with the the CAST Jesuits, expelled from Spain, and then three years at Tortosa, Spain where he was Ordained 1881. He also completed a Grand Act at the end of his time in Tortosa which attracted significant attention about his potential future as a Theologian.
1882 He returned to Ireland and Milltown where he lectured in Logic and Metaphysics for three years.
1885 He was sent to St Beuno’s as professor of Theology and made his Final Vows there 02 February 1886.
1887 He was sent to Woodstock (MARNEB) to help develop this Theologate with others from Europe - including Aloisi Masella, later Cardinal.
1889 Milltown opened a Theologate, and he was recalled as Professor of Scholastic Theology, and held that post for 40 years. During that time he hardly ever missed a lecture, and his reputation as an educator was unparalleled, shown in the quality of his lecturing, where the most complex was made clear. During this time he also took up a Chair of Catholic Theology at UCD from 1912-1923. In addition, he was a regular Preacher and Director of retreats, and spent many hours hearing Confessions of the poor.

He was highly thought of in HIB, attending two General Congregations and a number of times as Procurator to consult with the General.
His two major publications were : The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution” (1915) and “Divine Faith” (1917).
He died at St Vincent’s Hospital 21 October 1929. His funeral took place at Gardiner St where the Archbishop Edward Byrne presided.

“The Catholic Bulletin” November 1929
“The death of Father Peter Finlay......closed a teaching career in the great science of Theology which was of most exceptional duration and of superb quality, sustained to the very close of a long and fruitful life. ..news of his death came as a shock and great surprise to many who knew him all over Ireland and beyond. ...in the course of his Theological studies at Barcelona he drew from the great tradition of Suarez and De Lugo. ....Behind that easy utterance was a mind brilliant yet accurate, penetrating, alert, subtle, acute in its power of analysis and discrimination, caustic at times, yet markedly observant of all the punctilious courtesies of academic disputation. ...The exquisite keenness of his mind was best appreciated by a trained professional audience .... and with his pen even more effective in English than Latin. Those who recall “Lyceum’ with its customary anonymity failed to conceal the distinctive notes of Peter Finlay’s style, different from, yet having many affinities with the more leisurely and versatile writing of his brother Thomas. The same qualities...
were evident in the ‘New Ireland Review”, from 1894-1910. Nor were the subjects ... narrowly limited ... he examined the foundations and limitations of the right of property in land, as viewed by English Law and Landlords in Ireland. On the secure basis of the great Spanish masters of Moral Philosophy, he did much to make secure the practical policies and enforce the views of Archbishops Thomas Croke and William Walsh.
He had a close relationship with the heads of the publishing house of ‘The Catholic Bulletin’. That said, this relationship was far outspanned by his marvellous service in the giving of Retreats to Priests and Religious and Men, added to by his work in the ministry of Reconciliation among the rich and poor alike, the afflicted and those often forgotten.”

Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

From St Acheul Peter Finlay went to Stonyhurst College, England, for two years philosophy, and spent a further year in philosophic studies at the Jesuit college of Maria Laach in Germany. Returning to Ireland (1872), he taught for two years at Crescent College, Limerick, and for four years at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. His theological studies were conducted with distinction at Poyanne in France and Tortosa in Spain. Recalled home, he lectured in philosophy at the Jesuit seminary college, Milltown Park, and at UCD for three years; and then in theology at St Beuno's, Wales, for three years. The next six years were spent at Woodstock College, USA, where he professed theology. When in 1889 a theologate was established at Milltown Park, Peter was summoned home. He professed theology there from then till his death. His lectures, said to have been models of clarity, were presented in fluent and exact Latin, the medium of the time for such lectures. He also lectured (1912–22) in catholic theology at UCD. In constant demand for retreats and lectures, and with a heavy weight of correspondence, he was also rector (1905–10) of Milltown Park, and was three times elected to represent the Irish province at general congregations in Rome. Peter Finlay did not have his brother's range of interests nor his literary productivity, but his published writing on theological and apologetic themes were widely read. These included The church of Christ: its foundation and constitution (1915), Divine faith (1917), and smaller works reflecting the issues of the day, such as The decree ‘Ne temere’; Catholics in civil life, The catholic religion, The catholic church and the civil state, The authority of bishops, Was Christ God?, The one true church: which is it?, and Is one religion as good as another?. He was an unassuming man, dedicated to a life of poverty, obedience, and obligation – never, it was said, missing a lecture for thirty-nine of his forty-four years as lecturer. He died of cancer of the kidneys on 21 October 1929, having lectured till 2 October, the day before going to hospital for the final time.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

On March 2nd, Fr Peter Finlay celebrated his Diamond Jubilee. After a brilliant Grand Act at Tortosa, Fr. Peter was working at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study at Beyrouth, when a telegram summoned him back to Ireland to be Prefect of Studies at Tullabeg. From Tullabeg he passed to Milltown to Professor of Philosophy, thence to St. Beuno's where he professed theology, but Fr General sent him to Woodstock instead. From Woodstock he was transferred to Milltown in 1889; he took possession of the Chair of Theology and held it ever since. Fr, Finlay has spent 42 years professing theology, and during all that time never once missed a lecture till he fell ill in March, 1924.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary :

Fr Peter Finlay

Fr. Peter Finlay died at St. Vincent's hospital, Dublin on October 21st of cancer of the kidneys. Some twelve months previously, he felt the first symptoms of the attack. But so far was he from giving in, that he continued his lectures during the entire scholastic year that followed. This year he gave his last lecture on October 2nd, went to hospital on October 3rd, and died on October the 21st. His loss will be keenly felt far beyond the limits of the Society, for his opinion on all questions of theology was eagerly sought for and highly valued here at home in Ireland, and in many another country outside it, into which his wide learning and wonderful power of exposition had penetrated.

Fr. Peter was born in Co. Cavan, on the 15th February 1851, and educated at St. Patrick's College, Cavan. He had just turned his 15th year when on March 2nd 1866, he began his novitiate at Milltown Park. He made his juniorate at St. Acheul, France, two years philosophy at Stonyhurst, a third at Maria Laach in Germany, and returned to Ireland in 1872, Two years were passed at the Crescent and four in Clongowes as master. Theology was commenced at Poyanne in France, where the Castilian Jesuits, driven from Spain, had opened a theologate. The remaining three years of theology saw him at Tortosa in Spain, and the course was concluded by a very brilliant Grand Act.
Fr. Peter was working away at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study when a telegram recalled him to Ireland. Milltown Park had him for three years as Professor of philosophy, and St. Beuno's for two as Professor of theology. It was said that at the end of these two years he was under orders to start for Australia, but Fr. General sent him to America instead to profess theology at Woodstock.
In 1889,the theologate was established at Milltown Park, and of course Fr. Peter was summoned home to take the “Morning” Chair. That chair he held with the very highest distinction, and without interruption, until less than a month before his death. In all, Fr Finlay was 44 years professing theology, and it is said that he never missed a lecture until he fell ill in the year 1924. And often, these lectures were given at a time when suffering from a bad throat.
Milltown Park had him for Rector from 1905 to 1910, and he was Lecturer of Catholic Theology in the National University Dublin, from 1912 to1922.
Fr. Peter was three times elected to represent the Irish Province at General Congregations, and on three other occasions at Procuratorial Gongregations at Rome.
His published works are : “The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution”, 1915; “Divine Faith” 1917. In addition, he has left us several smaller publications, such as : “The Decree Ne Ternere”; “Catholics in Civil Life”; “The Catholic Religion”; The Catholic Church and the Civil State”; “ The Authority of Bishops”; “Was Christ God”; “The One Church, which is it”.
Fr. John McErlean, who had the privilege of having him as Professor for four years, writes as follows : “Merely to listen to his lectures was an education, for he was gifted with a wonderful power of exposition before which difficulties dissolved, and his hearers became almost unconscious of the subtlety of the argument. A past master of the Latin tongue, he poured forth without an instant's hesitation, a stream of limpid language in which the most critical classicist failed to detect the slightest grammatical inaccuracy in the most involved sentences”.
In addition to his duties as professor, he was frequently employed as Preacher, Director of the Spiritual Exercises etc. His correspondence alone must have been a heavy tax on his time, for his advice was much sought after by all classes of society. All these manifold duties did not prevent him from spending many hours every week hearing the confessions of the poor in Milltown village.
Fr. Finlay's piety was not of the demonstrative order, but was very genuine. He was a model of regularity. Day after day he said one of the very earliest Masses in the Community. He was most careful to ask permission for the smallest exemption. In the matter of poverty, he was exact to a degree that would astonish a fervent novice. He never parted with a trifle nor accepted one without leave. Devotion to duty, to the work in hand, accompanied him through life. His brother, Fr. Tom, gave his usual lecture in the University on the very morning that Peter died, and another lecture on the day of the Office and funeral. When some one mildly expostulated with him, his answer was : “I have done what I knew would please Peter, and what I am sure he would have done himself under like circumstances”.
Peter is now, please God, reaping the rich fruits of his 63 years loyal and devoted services to the Society.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930

Obituary : Fr Peter Finlay
We owe the following appreciation to the kindness of Fr, P. Gannon
“No man is indispensable, but some create by their departure a void that is very sensible and peculiarly hard to fill. To say that Fr. Peter Finlay was one of these is certainly not an exaggeration. Milltown Park without him causes a difficulty for the imagination. He was so large a part of its life since its foundation as a scholasticate, its most brilliant professor and most characteristic figure. Others came and went, but he remained, an abiding landmark in a changing scene. Justice demands that some effort be made to perpetuate the memory of a really great career, which, for many reasons, might escape due recognition. In this notice little more can be attempted than an outline sketch of his long and fruitful activities.
Fr. Finlay was born near the town of Cavan on Feb, 15, 1851, of a Scotch father, and an Irish mother. He was one of seven children of whom three girls became Sacred Heart Nuns, and two boys Jesuits.
The boys of the family attended St. Patrick's College, the seminary to Kilmore. Diocese, - then situated in the town. In 1866 Peter, now barely fifteen years of age, entered the Noviceship, Miiltown. Park, where his elder brother Torn soon joined him, and thus began a brotherly association in religion that was to be beautifully intimate and uninterrupted for over sixty years - par nobile fractum.
In 1868 he went to S. Acheul for his Juniorate. In 1869-70 he did his first two years Philosophy at Stonyhurst, and his third at Maria Laach (Germany) in company with his brother (1871-2). On his return he commenced his teaching in the Crescent (1872-74), passing to Clongowes in 1874, where he remained till 1878. The versatility of the young scholastic may be gauged from the fact that he is catalogued as teaching Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Latin, Greek, French and German.
In 1878 he was sent to Poyanne, France, where the exiled Castilan Province had opened up a house of studies. Here he commenced his study of Theology (1879-9). This was continued in Tortosa, Spain, (1879-82), and crowned by a Grand Act which became historic even in that land of theology, and marked him out at once for the professor's chair.From 1882 till 1885 we find him in Milltown Park teaching Philosophy and acting as Prefect of Studies. From 1885-1887 in St. Beuno's, Wales, teaching Theology (Short Course), In 1887 he was invited to Woodstock USA. where he lectured on Theology for two years with Padre Mazella, the future cardinal, as a colleague. In 1889 he finally cast anchor in Milltown Park, as professor of “Morning” Dogma. and this position he held till within a few weeks of his death in 1929 - over forty years. He was also Prefect of Studies from 1892 till 1903, and Rector from 1905 (Aug.) till 1910. In 1912 he was requested by the Bishops of Ireland to undertake the Lectureship in Dogmatic Theology which they were founding in the National University of Ireland. This he retained till 1922 when he insisted on resigning. The weekly lectures he delivered during Term time were published in full in “The Irish Catholic” and made his teaching accessible to wide circles. They formed the basis of his two published works “The Church of Christ” and “Divine Faith”. Earlier in his career he had written some articles for The Lyceum, under his brother's editorship, which caused no small stir and led to certain difficulties. It would almost appear as if this disagreeable experience had frozen a promising fountain at its source. For a long time it ceased to play. The invitations of The Catholic Truth Society and the pressure of friends to reprint his University lectures were needed to win him back to authorship, For the C.T. S. he wrote several very valuable pamphlets such as “Was Christ God”, The “Ne Temere Decree” etc. Occasionally also he penned public utterances of great weight and influence as, for example, his letter to the Press vindicating the Bishop's action in regard to Conscription (1918 and his article in Studies on Divorce when that topic occupied the attention of the Dáil (1924-25).
To finish with his literary activities a word of criticism may not be out of place, And the first thing that occurs to the mind is a sense of regret that he did not write more, he, who was from every point of view so well equipped for the task. What he has left us is very precious. All he wrote was solid, practical and beautifully clear. He had in a high degree the gift of exposition and could render the abstrusest questions of theology intelligible to any educated reader. He passed from the technicalities of the Schools to the language of the forum with instant success. Only those who have attempted something similar will be in a position to appreciate the skill with which he could combine thoroughness, accuracy and lucidity. His style was very correct. Indeed he was a good deal of a purist. He abhorred slovenliness, slang, journalese and Americanese. His prose is consequently classical clear, flexible, fitting his thought like a well-made garment, but perhaps a trifle cold, lacking colour and emotional appeal.
The occupations hitherto outlined might seem enough to fill his days and hours, But Fr. Finlay managed to add many other zealous endeavours. He was one of the founders of the Catholic Truth Society and remained to the end an energetic member of its committee. He played a large part in the creation of The Catholic Reserve Society, which has done such good work in the fight against Protestant proselytism in its meanest form.
During his Rectorship and under his auspices Week-End retreats for Laymen Were inaugurated in Milltown Park. And it would be difficult to estimate all the good these have done in the intervening years, He was a lover of books, and all through a busy life found time to keep an eye on booksellers' catalogues for rare and useful volumes, especially in Theology,
Philosophy, Church History and Patristics. More than anyone else he is responsible for the excellent library which Milltown possesses.
It was he who built what is sometimes known as “the Theologians' wing” and sometimes as “Fr. Peter's building” with its fine refectory characterised by beauty of design without luxury or extravagance. Finally he did much for the grounds and garden, planting ornamental and fruit-bearing trees. And unlike Cicero's husbandman he lived long enough to enjoy the fruit and beauty of the trees he planted.
In his relations to the outer world Fr. Peter never became as prominent a public or national figure as Fr.Tom. But he was well known in ecclesiastical circles, where his advice on theological questions was often sought. Through diocesan retreats and in many other ways he came into contact with most of the Irish bishops of his time, and he was on very intimate
terms with Cardinal Logue. He was regularly invited to examinations for the doctorate in Maynooth, when his mastery of theology and dialectical skill were conspicuous.
He counted many of the leading Catholic laymen of Ireland among his friends, such as Lord O'Hagan and Chief Baron Palles, to name only the dead. His inner, personal knowledge of Catholic life in Rome, Spain and England was also considerable , and in private conversation he could give interesting sidelights on much of the written and unwritten history of the Church in his generation.
As a confessor and director of souls he enjoyed a wide popularity. His prudence, wisdom and solid virtue fitted him peculiarly for the ministry, and his labours in it were fruitful Since his death the present writer heard quite spontaneous testimony from two nuns in widely different places as to the debt they owed him. They went the length of saying that they attributed their vocation and even their hopes of salvation Under God to his wise and firm guidance in their youth. He possessed a rare knowledge of human nature and he spared no pains in helping all who came to him. His fidelity to the Saturday-night confessions in Milltown parish chapel to the very end, in spite of obviously failing health, was truly edifying. And spiritual direction involved him in a wide correspondence that must have made big inroads on his time. In general Fr.Finlay was prodigal of time and trouble in helping others, whether by way of advice, theological enlightenment, or criticism of literary work. This seemed to spring from that strain of asceticism in him which was noticeable in his whole life - in his regularity, punctuality and devotion to duty. There was some thing of the northern iron in his composition or, as some might style it, Scotch dourness. He could be steely at times in manner, but most of all he was steely with himself. This was seen very clearly in the closing years of life when he really kept going by a volitional energy and a self-conquest which, though entirely unostentatious, was yet unmistakable to close observers, and revealed to them as never before the fundamental piety of his character - a piety made manifest in his death .
It was, however, as a professor that he won his high reputation and gave the true measure of his greatness.Only those who had the privilege of knowing him in this capacity were in a position to appreciate his real eminence. He seemed the incarnation of what Kant calls a the “pure intelligence”. He united qualities rarely combined, subtlety, profundity, clarity. He had something of the nimbleness of a Scotus without his obscurity. And that perhaps explained his marked leaning to Scotistic views on disputed questions, and his liking for Ripalda. His mind seemed attuned to theirs, though he was too independent to be addictus iurare in verba magistri. When we add to these characteristics a conscientious care in preparation, an admirable method, and a power of expressing himself in a Latin which Cicero could hardly have disowned (allowance being made for the necessary technicalities of the schools), it will be seen that his. equipment for his life's task was very complete. At his best he was a model of scientific exposition. Theology is a vast and difficult science. How would it be otherwise in view of what it treats? And to expound it adequately demands a combination and gifts granted to few. Fr. Finlay's pupils were nearly unanimous in the belief that hardly anyone of his generation possessed this combination in a higher measure or more balanced proportions than he. The only exception that could be taken to his lecturing was perhaps that it was more analytical and critical, or even destructive, than constructive. But these very features of it gave one the assurance that a conclusion which had stood the test of his scrutiny was sound indeed. Moreover he was genuinely tolerant of dissent from his views. Though a professor of dogma he was the least dogmatic of men and even strove rather to elicit your own thinking than to impose his on you. He revelled in the thrust and parry of debate and respected a good fighter. This could be seen best during the repetitions at the end of the year, and in the examinations, where he sought to test the pupil's understanding and grasp of principles rather than mere memory of councils or scripture texts. His objections were clear, crisp, to the point and faultless in form. There was no side-stepping them, no escape into irrelevancies, no chance of eluding him by learned adverbs or ambiguous phrases. Patiently, with perfect urbanity, but with deadly insistence he brought the candidate back to the point and held him there till be solved the difficulty or confessed that he could not do sol which was often enough a saving admission. Yet on the other hand no examiner was really fairer. For he seemed to see one's thoughts before they were uttered, and could penetrate through the worst Latin periphrases to what one was really trying to say. Hence no one was ever confused by misunderstanding him or lost by being misunderstood.
Neither did he keep urging a difficulty when it was solved. The answer once given he passed, easily and lightly, to something else.
Again, in Provincial congregations, of which he was the inevitable secretary, his conduct of business was a sheer delight. His writing of minutes, his resumés of previous discussions were masterly. Many a speaker was surprised, and perhaps a little abashed, to hear all he had laboured, in broken Latin and through many minutes, to express, reproduced integrally, in a few short sentences, which gave the substance of his remarks without an unnecessary word. As this was done almost entirely from memory, with the help of a few brief jottings, it compelled a wondering admiration. His election to represent the Province in Rome was nearly automatic. He attended every Congregation, general or procuratorial, which was summoned since the election of Fr. Martin, After the last general congregation he was specially thanked by our present Paternity for his signal services as head of the Commission in the Reform of Studies. These services taxed his strength severely and on his return the first clear signs of serious infirmity made them selves manifest. If even then he had taken due precautions, his essentially robust constitution might have enabled him to live for many years. But he would not take precautions and no one dared suggest any remission of work. He obviously wished to die in harness. And he did. His last lecture, as brilliant as those of his prime, was delivered within three weeks of his death, which took place on Monday Oct. 21, 1929.
No life escapes criticism, and it would be idle to pretend that Fr. Peter did not come in for his share of it. It would be even flattery to deny that he afforded some ground for it. But, take him all in all, only blind and incurable prejudice can deny that he was a very remarkable man, intellectually and morally, an ornament to the whole Society and a just source of pride of the Irish Province, which is the poorer for his loss and will feel it for many a day. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Peter Finlay 1851-1929
In the death of Fr Peter Finlay at Milltown Park on October 21st 1929, the Province lost its greatest Theologian. His death ended a teaching career in Theology, which was of exceptional duration and superb quality, which made him renowned not only in Ireland, but far beyond.

He was born in County Cavan on February 15th 1851 and was educated at St Patrick’s College Cavan. He was accepted for the Society by Fr Edmund O’Reilly at the early age of 15.

His teaching career began in 1872 at the Crescent, followed by four years at Clongowes, during which his curriculum included Greek, Latin, French, German, Physics and Mathematics. At the end of his theological course at Tortosa Spain, he was chosen for the Grand Act, the public defence of all Philosophy and Theology. His brilliant defence placed him in the front rank of the rising generation of Theologians. He lectured in Philosophy at Milltown, Theology at St Beuno’s and at Woodstock USA.

On the opening of the theologate at Milltown Park he was recalled to fill the chair of Dogmatic Theology, a chair which he held for a full 40 years, even during his Rectorate of Milltown Park from 1905-1910.

When a chair of Catholic Theology was established at the National University, Fr Finlay was appointed and continued to held it from 1912-1923.

He was an able administrator and builder. The old Refectory at Milltown, which later burnt, was built by him. He often represented the Province in Rome. He was an able controversialist and an incisive writer, as may be seen by the numerous articles of his in the Lyceum and the New Ireland review. His writings, popular and appreciated even today, include “The Church of Christ”, “Divine Faith”, “Catholics in Civic Life”, “The Authority of Bishops”, “Was Christ God?” and “The one Church, which is it?”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Peter Finlay (1851-1929)

A native of Co. Cavan and educated at St Patrick's College, Cavan, entered the Society in 1866. He did all his studies abroad, in France, Germany and Spain. His future work in the Irish Province was in the chair of dogmatic theology at Milltown Park, where he was engaged for the next forty years. Father Finlay was one of the most brilliant theologians of his time. He spent two years of his regency at Crescent College along with his brother, Thomas Finlay (q.v. infra).

Finlay, Thomas A, 1848-1940, Jesuit priest and economist

  • IE IJA J/9
  • Person
  • 06 July 1848-08 January 1940

Born: 06 July 1848, Lanesborough, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 November 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Final Vows: 25 March 1885
Died: 08 January 1940, Linden Nuring Home, Dublin

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Older brother of Peter Finlay - RIP 1929

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Lacens College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Peter Finlay Entry
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.
Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

See: Morrissey, T. J. (2004). Thomas A. Finlay: Educationalist, editor, social reformer, 1848-1940.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

Thomas Finlay went (1869) to the Gregorian University, Rome, and thence, after Garibaldi's invasion, to Maria Laach where he was trained (1871–3) in modern scientific methods and was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government, an experience he drew on in his later work. On his return to Ireland (1873) Tom joined his brother at the Crescent, Limerick, where he stayed till 1876, acting as headmaster as well as teaching German and French. He also found time to publish, under the pseudonym ‘Thomas Whitelock’, a best-selling novel, The chances of war, based on the life of Owen Roe O'Neill, which went through several editions. In addition he wrote pamphlets and was co-founder of the periodical Catholic Ireland, which became the influential Irish Monthly. In 1877 he went to St Beuno's for theology, and was ordained in 1880. His self-reliance, great energy, equable temper, and gifts for making and keeping friends were already in evidence, as also his prowess as a conversationalist and a fisherman. In 1881 he was placed in charge for a short time of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, near Tullamore, before being entrusted with the joint task of rector of Belvedere College, Dublin (1882–7), and fellow of the RUI in classics. In 1883 he and Peter were appointed joint professors of philosophy at UCD. He occupied the chairs of philosophy (1883–1900) and political economy (1900–30). Hence his unusual distinction of professing in three different disciplines – classics, philosophy, and political economy. Like Peter, he was a highly successful lecturer, noted for his clarity of exposition, and popular also with the students for his human qualities and his policy of promoting responsibility and independence. At Belvedere he built a new wing and purchased additional playing fields, while at the same time reconstructing the philosophy programme of the Royal University and responding to demands for retreats and spiritual lectures from the clergy of different dioceses. In 1887 he took up residence at UCD and turned again to writing as well as teaching. He translated articles from German on philosophy, and Stockle's History of philosophy. The extent and range of his articles during a busy life may be judged from the incomplete list of titles in R. J. Hayes's Sources . . . articles in Irish periodicals. He founded and edited the Lyceum magazine (1889–94) and the New Ireland Review (1894–1911), which was succeeded by Studies in 1912. In addition, as part of his deep involvement in the Irish cooperative movement, he founded and was an incisive editor of the Irish Homestead. In support of the movement, he traversed the country preaching the merits of being industrious and self-supporting, and won support among northern unionists as well as southern farmers. Sir Horace Plunkett (qv), founder of the movement, termed him ‘a remarkable living Irishman’ who had ‘largely moulded my own life work’, and who, ‘for a full half-century, laboured disinterestedly for the moral, social, and economic uplifting of the Irish poor’ (A page of Irish history, 246–7). Finlay's strong advocacy of high moral standards in public life made him enemies in the Irish parliamentary party; and his critical review of Cardinal James Gibbons, Our Christian heritage (1889), led to complaints to Rome from American Jesuits and his suspension from writing (1890–92).

Despite these varied activities, he was primarily an educationalist. Apart from his teaching in Jesuit schools and at UCD, he was a commissioner for intermediate education for many years, was active in establishing and administering a system of technical education at the start of the century, was editor-in-chief of the ‘School and College’ series of books for pupils and students, and inspired and guided those who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. Moreover, he was for many years a prominent member of the senate of the NUI and of the governing body of UCD, and was chairman (1909–38) of the trustees of the NLI. Little wonder that his successor to the chair of economics, George O'Brien (qv), remarked in Studies (1940) that ‘to write about him is like writing about a number of persons rather than a single man’. He alleged that in forty-seven years Finlay ‘never broke an engagement, never missed a lecture, never was late for a meeting’. Finlay's retirement (1930) was marked by a collection to provide a presentation portrait (now in UCD) by Leo Whelan (qv). It was so generously subscribed that funds were available to endow an annual Finlay lecture on an economic theme; the first was given by John Maynard Keynes. Tom Finlay died 8 January 1940 in his ninety-first year. He had been an invalid from 1936.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

University Hall :
On November 16th the Community at Lesson St. celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Fr T Finlay. As a scholastic, Fr Finlay helped Fr. Matt Russell to found the Irish Monthly and the Messenger. The latter periodical ceased to appear after a short time; it was to be revived later, again under Fr Finlay's inspiration. He took a leading part in conducting the brilliant but short-lived “Lyceum”, and its successor the New Ireland Review. For Belvedere College his rectorship represented, until quite lately, the high-water mark of its success. Since 1883 he has been a Professor at University College, first under the Royal and then under the National University. During that time he has been prominent in many movements for the betterment of his Country. He was a member of the Boards of National and of Intermediate Education, is still Chairman of the National Library, Committee, has organised food depots for the poor, while his work for industrial and agricultural co-operation has won him fame in many lands. As a preacher and a lecturer his success has been extraordinary. And though he no longer appears in the pulpit, his power and his popularity as a lecturer are as great as ever. From 1912 to 1922 he was Superior in Leeson St, and President of University Hall.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland. A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia. Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 15th Year No 2 1940
Obituary :
Father Thomas Finlay
When the Editor of “Province News” did me the honour of inviting me to write a notice of Father Finlay's life, he added a comment on the usual summary of dates which he
enclosed from the annual Catalogues : “Never did Catalogues conceal so completely the life of a Jesuit as Father Finlay's Catalogues conceal his splendid and most active life.” There is a great deal of truth in this comment, though the fault does not lie with the compiler of the annual Catalogues. From his early years as a Scholastic in Rome, Maria Laach, Limerick and St. Beuno's, Father Tom was never lacking in that remarkable power of initiative which enabled him to attempt and accomplish so much during his long life of ninety-one years. His initiative was largely personal, and many of the works for which he was known throughout the country are not even mentioned in the official records of the Catalogues. Apart from his activities, Father Tom's fame was largely due to his great gifts of personal charm, sympathetic kindness and quiet humour. No man was better. fitted to make friends everywhere, and Father Tom made and kept a host of friends during his long and most useful life. Even his birthplace is matter for dispute among the learned. He was always claimed as a Cavan man; but a record is extant from his novitiate, in which he himself has entered his birth-place as Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon. The mystery is solved by a reminiscence, of which he was proud. His father was an engineer on the Shannon River works, and young Tom Finlay was born on an island just north of Lough Ree, which his father was later to submerge beneath the waters of the Shannon. One of his favourite reminiscences was of a Hedge-schooI which he attended somewhere near the Shannon in the early fifties. The master used to test the ability of his pupils by making them spell “Antitrinitarian.” But discipline was too severe for the engineer's young son, and he ran away home from class on the second or. third day. He was then sent to school at St Patrick's, Cavan, where he remained until he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, on November 12, 1866. He took his first vows at Milltown on the Feast of St. Stanislaus, 1868. Just seventy years later it was any privilege to say Mass for Father Tom at Linden Convalescent Home on the Feast of St Stanislaus, 1938. He had then been an invalid for two years and was almost ninety years old. He had been wheeled into the Convent Chapel in a chair, and heard his Jubilee Mass in the midst of the patients and children of Linden. “Consummatus in brevi explevit tempera multa.” The young novice of 1868 can have little dreamed how many long years lay before him. But there was a great deal of simple novice's piety about Father Tom in his last years. Day by day he was wheeled into the Chapel for his morning Mass; and it was seldom indeed that he would allow his nurse to keep him away from the Chapel for the daily Rosary, which he loved to recite with the other patients every evening. From Milltown he was sent to the French Juniorate at Saint-Acheul. where he spent part of the year 1869. Then, with Father Vincent Byrne as his companion, he was sent to the Gregorian at Rome, where they witnessed the stirring scenes of the Vatican Council and Garibaldi entry into Rome. In 1936, Father Vincent McCormick, then Rector of the Gregorian visited Dublin, and stayed in Lesson Street, where Father Finlay was still resident. He was introduced as a past student of the Gregorian. “And when were you in Rome?” asked the Rector, not realizing how old his new acquaintance was “At the Vatican Council” was the smiling answer, and Father Tom’s eyes were twinkling, for he felt that he had scored a point. Garibaldi's entrance into Reine threw the Gregorian into confusion, and Father Tom was sent to Maria Laach, where he spent the next two years (1871-73). It was here that he was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government - a lesson in practical economics that he was later to turn to most practical uses. And it was from the German Fathers at Maria Laach that Father Tom received his training in modern scientific methods, which (for a time, at least) made him anxious to specialise in Biology. His intellectual activity during these years must have been remarkable. When he became Professor of Metaphysics in Father Delany's University College ten years later, one of his chief enterprises was to bring Irish Catholic students into contact with modern German thought by the translation of German works on Scholastic Philosophy.
From 1873-76 Mr. Thomas Finlay was teaching his class at the Crescent College, Limerick, with extra work as French and German master and (for the last two years) as Prefect of Studies. A full programme for most men. and the work was not lessened by the fact that the Irish schools were adapting themselves to the new Intermediate System in these years. Mr Finlay's results were brilliant in the new system of competitive examinations, but that did not prevent him from writing his historical novel, “Chances of War,” during these same years. As an old priest, with a long record of useful work behind him, he was fond of telling a story that happened in these Limerick years. Some of the older Fathers found this young scholastic too enterprising, and complaints reached the Irish Provincial, who was a firm believer in the established order of things. Father Tuite summoned the budding author to his presence, and gently suggested to him that “he should remain in his legitimate obscurity.” But the Society has its own ways of checking too great enterprise for a time, and Mr. Finlay was sent to St. Beuno's for his four years of Theology in 1877.
Father Tom was ordained in 1880, he lived to say the Jubilee Mass of his ordination in 1930. There is no trace of his Tertianship in the official Catalogues, and the reason is not far to seek. When Father Tom emerged from Theology in 1881 the Irish Province was faced with an unusual responsibility. The Catholic University which had been founded, with Newman as Rector, in 1851, had failed, so far as practical results were concerned. But the long struggle for equality of rights in University education had at long last met with a partial response from the English Government of the day. The Royal University of Ireland was founded as an examining body, with a limited number of endowed fellowships, in 1881, and the Irish Hierarchy invited Father William Delany, whose energy and ability had made Tullabeg a centre of intellectual life, to take over control of University College under the new conditions. Father Finlay was sent to Tullabeg without further delay, to assist Father Delany as Assistant Prefect of Studies. From Tullabeg a small group of Jesuit Fathers came to Temple Street in Dublin, whilst the Bishops were negotiating the final transfer of University College. As soon as the teaching staff of the new College was formed, with Father Delany as first Rector, Father Finlay was nominated to one of the fellowships in the Royal University, and was appointed Professor of Metaphysics. He held this chair until 1900, when he resigned it in favour of his most brilliant student in these early years, the present Professor William Magennis. Meanwhile, another of his brilliant students, William Coyne, had been appointed Professor of Political Economy. University College suffered a sore loss by William Coyne's death in 1904 and Father Tom Finlay, who had meanwhile taken a leading part in the Co-operative Movement throughout the country, took over the vacant Chair of Political Economy in the same year, He held this chair until the end of the Royal University in 1909; and was immediately appointed to the same chair in the new National University of Ireland. It was this chair that he resigned in 1930, having taught his classes without interruption for forty-seven years (1883-1930). It was his boast that, during all those years he had never omitted a lecture for ill-health or any other reason. God had certainly blessed him with a wonderfully strong and harmonious constitution.
During the first five years of his new career, Father Finlay was not resident in St. Stephen's Green, but was Rector of Belvedere College (1883-87) with his duties as fellow and professor of the Royal University as an extra charge. It is indeed hard to understand how any man can have thrown himself with such energy into his various activities as Father Finlay did during these early years. In Belvedere the new school-buildings were rising as proof of his keen organising ability; and they were only the symbol of an active intellectual life that was attracting general attention to the College. Father Finlay planned a whole series of school text-books and copy books that were to help him pay off the debts incurred in the erection of the new buildings. But this policy was checked for a time, and Father Finlay left Belvedere for University College in 1887. Memories still survive among some old inhabitants of North Dublin : Father Tom Finlay, as a young, vigorous and good-looking priest, riding a fine, black horse down the streets of Dublin to the Phoenix Park. For the Rector of Belvedere College was a conspicuous figure in the social life of Dublin City at that time. The friendships which Father Tom made in the 'eighties and nineties opened up a new sphere of activity, which led to his becoming one Of the best-known and influential priests in the country. His influence in Government circles was very great. He was appointed a Commissioner of National Education, a Trustee of the National Library, and a member of various Royal Commissions. His word was often decisive in the appointment of some Catholic to a post that had hitherto been jealously reserved by the Protestant ascendency, and Father Tom had the knack of making himself liked as well as respected for his solid judgment and courageous support of what he held to be good and true. During these same years he founded and edited two notable monthly magazines : “The Lyceum” (1889-94), and the “New Ireland Review” (1894-1911). There is no space here to tell in any detail the story of Father Tom Finlay's work for the Irish Co-operative Movement, by which he will probably be chiefly remembered in Irish history. It was work that could only be done by a man who had attained the special position which he held in Irish public life. But it is worth recording that gratitude to Father Tom was felt by the poor as well as the rich, for he would spare no time and trouble if he thought the Irish people could be helped by his labourers. His memory is perhaps most cherished .in Foxford Co. Mayo, where he took a leading part in the establishment of the Providence Mills, that have been founded and managed from the first by the Irish Sisters of Charity. During his last illness two of the workers in the Mills were married in Foxford. They were old friends of Father Tom, and they were not satisfied until they had travelled to Dublin in one of the lorries owned by the Mills, to get the old priest's blessing on their married life. When news of his death reached Foxford this year, telegrams of condolence were sent by the staff as a whole, and by some of his personal friends in the Foxford Mills. A notice of Father Finlay's life would be incomplete without some reference to the out-door sports which he had always clung to, in the midst of his busiest years. He was a firm believer in the policy of one good holiday a week, for which good Jesuit tradition can be quoted. His own tastes favoured fishing and shooting, and his friendships. through the country gave him opportunities that were sometimes perhaps the subject of envious comment. Father Tom and his brother Father Peter were keen sportsmen, but it is not certain that their skill was equal to their interest in the sport. Both men were individualists; and their individualism was sometimes erratic in quality, One leading Irish statesmen still has memories of a day's shooting on the lands of O'Conor Don. The party went to to the bog after breakfast; and a council of war was held during the lunch interval. The more cautious members gave it as their opinion that there was only one completely safe position in the field. You could get it by drawing a straight line between the two brothers Finlay! Even his brethren in Leeson Street were sometimes inclined to be sceptical. To the very end, when Father Tom was already long past eighty he made it a practice of. going off for a few days fishing in the Easter holidays, and Good Friday was not complete unless Father Tom brought home a salmon for the community. It was always welcome; but some at least of the Fathers used to murmur that perhaps a faithful Gilly in Co. Wexford was as much responsible for the salmon as Father Tom. But that was a joke that no one would venture to make in Father Tom’s presence. The end came, after four long years of illness, on January 8th. 1940. Father Tom had been stricken down in Leeson Street in the early autumn of 1936, and ever since he had been confined to his bed-room and an invalid chair. It was a long trial, which he bore with wonderful patience, and it was good to think that so many of his friends showed their loyalty and gratitude to him by their frequent visits and messages of sympathy. He died peacefully, having spent the last two days in almost continuous prayer. The funeral Mass at Gardiner Street gave a last opportunity for a tribute of respect and affection, which, once more, revealed the wide connections that Father Tom Finlay had made in his long and laborious
life. May he rest in peace. “A. Gwynn”

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1931

A Disciples Sketch of Father Tom Finlay SJ - William Magennis

When I first saw Father Finlay he was the youthful Rector of Belvedere College. Of middle height, squarely built - so the ordinary man of his physique would be described. But in Father Finlay's case, the face at once captured and held one's notice. It was a strong, somewhat Milesian face, marked with firm decision; not stern, however, for the shrewd bright eyes were always ready to light up with a genial smile. Even then they had that surround of wrinkles which are supposed to indicate advancing age but are more likely to be born of frequent laughter. His hair was coal-black and it lay on his shapely head just as Mr Leo Whelan's masterpiece of portraiture shows it in the painting with which he has immortalized himself.

Like, “Father O'Flynn”, Father Finlay had and still has - the wonderful way with him. Tho' he was Rector and I was an Intermediate boy, he treated me - or so it seemed to me as an equal. Never in his career, not even when in later years he was an intimate of Mr Gerald Balfour, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and Lady Gerald Balfour (a very exceptional and gifted woman of influence) and was high in the councils of the great, did he ever “put on side”. He was invariably simple, and unpretentious, apparently unconscious of his own per-eminence.

At the time I first came under his spell, he had built Belvedere College, for he was full of enterprise and courage. In spite of his humility he had faith in his own designs and projects. To me he is the living embodiment of Russell Lowell's dictum. The confidence of the world is guided to a man by a well grounded confidence in himself.

The building was erected on the grounds of Belvedere House, one of those glorious mansions which serve to make us realize to what a level of superb culture the eighteenth century Anglo-Irish - or were they Irish English? - had attained. The Rector's reception-room was at the back of the grand salon, a former music-room probably, and its windows looked out on the facade of the new building. It was there I saw him first, and the memory of him, in his fine environment, remains to me a living vivid memory unduled by all the years between.

Not the least, by the way, of his minor contributions to Dublin's improvement, was the pious care with which he had the exquisitely beautiful stucco enrichment by Italian artists that decorate the hall and staircase of the mansion, restored and delicately picked out in refined colouring.

In those years Belvedere had no playing fields; but later on, he bought grounds between Palmerston Road and Cowper Road, and constructed a bridge across the railway line to give access to them.

He was then a Nationalist in politics, and had considerable weight with not a few of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He secured entrance into the Party for Sir Thomas Grattan Esmonde, but Parnell rather suspected the neophyte as a possible instrument of a Jesuit intrigue. That superstition about Jesuitry dies hard, or rather, it lives hard; Even John Dillon, a devoted Catholic, shared it: he said to me one day - in a moment of expansion during our campaign for a new University - “That friend of yours, Father Finlay, is one of the d---est intriguers in Ireland!” When I expostulated that others might engage in intrigue, but Father Finlay never, Mr, Dillon retorted, “That only shows how he has hoodwinked you!!!”

In course of time I became a teacher of English Literature in Belvedere, and as I was simultaneously a student of Father Finlay in Philosophy, I enjoyed the inestimable advantage of walking with him from his house to the old University College in St Stephen's Green, where he lectured as a Fellow of the Royal University in Mental and Moral Science - as Philosophy was then nicknamed for prudential reasons.

T D Sullivan, poet and patriot, had fallen on evil days financially and was losing heavily on the weekly which he had acquired from his more eminent brother, “A M” Sullivan. This, “The Nation” (founded by Thomas Davis, the elder Dillon and Gavan Duffy) lived largely on recollections of its past, and had a slender circulation. Father Finlay came to T D's rescue by suggesting that three of us, of University College, should be permitted to contribute articles. The present Professor Robert Donovan, who was a tutor in English and several years our senior, Joe Farrell (long years dead) and I were thus introduced to Journalism under Father Finlay's auspices.

The mention of this serves to introduce another of his projects - provision of a Club which would serve as a social centre for Catholic professional men and others in Dublin who had passed through “Tullabeg” (then a College for laymen), Clongowes, Mungret or St. Ignatius. The late Sir Joseph McGrath (who died Registrar of the National University) and his partner “Dan” Croly, MA, who was lecturer in many Catholic institutions, were the only people connected with it whom I ever knew. It was called the “Lyceum Club” and it had the ambition, I heard, at one time to rival the Trinity College Club in St Stephen's Green. It was, however, a vaulting ambition, and it “fell on the other” financially. It was still alive, tho' moribund, when Father Finlay had us made members of it, that we might have the facilities it provided for reading magazines and reviews.

Writing and publishing had always a powerful attraction for Father Finlay. While a “scholastic” he wrote an Irish historical novel treating of the times of Owen Roe, “The Chances of War”, by Rev Thomas Whitelock - I had the pleasure in later years of making it a school reader with my photograph of the author as a frontispiece. He helped the Land Movement, I remember, by pamphleteering - one pamphlet, I remember “Ricardo on Rent”. The Lyceum was a more ambitious - undertaking, a monthly magazine cultivating philosophic politics, sociology, and the Arts, especially Literature. In the first years, Father Finlay was The Lyceum. But I need not recite its history in detail here, for my old friend and college companion-Professor John W Howley of University College, Galway has performed that service with consummate ability and considerable accuracy, in view of the fact that he was not a Lyceum-ite, his history of it forms a chapter in “A Page of Irish History” (Talbot Press). His tireless anxiety to develop his students led him to initiate all sorts of College Societies, not to speak of the Sodality. One of these was a Shakespeare reading society, and Father Finlay was fond of explaining to us different interpretations of favourite passages. I fear, however, few of our number had any histrionic capacity. He promoted, notwithstanding, college theatricals and one of his younger “stars” Tom Molloy, grew stage-struck and joined the company of Beerbohm Tree. I saw him on the boards of the “Gaiety” as Roseneranz or was it Guildenstern? - in Hamlet. He worked up also a Debating Society; and under its favouring conditions “Alex” Sullivan, now Sergeant Sullivan, KC, of the London Bar, first displayed his hereditary powers of oratory.

As regards public speaking, Father Finlay taught by example. He was never what I would call an orator. He was always a finished speaker. He himself, I fancy, rather scorned those elements, rhetorical turns of expression, semi-poetical diction, ornament and emotional appeal, which mark out oratory from the less ornate utterance of ideas. There are sincere souls to whom these “flights” savour of insincerity, or affectation. Where Father Finlay excelled was in the orderly marshalling of his facts, in lucid exposition, and ice-cold, clear-cut, hard, close reasoning that never turned aside until it had remorse lessly demolished the opponent's case. I have always thought what a magnificent equity lawyer and Lord Chancellor were lost to fame when T A Finlay entered the Jesuit Order.

There is, indeed, in the present generation a young T A Finlay who has already made his forensic mark, is an KC and TD, and will assuredly one day ornament the bench of the Supreme Court.

At the expiration of his rectorship, Father Finlay took up residence in University College, where Father Delany reigned as President, The building, famous from long before, as the city dwelling-house of Buck Whalley (a Hell Fire Club-inan with Curran) had been the scene of Newman's ill-starred attempt to found a Catholic University. Father Delany and Father Finlay, aided by colleagues like the historian of Cromwellian Ireland, Rev Denis Murphy; the Irish Mezzo-fanti, Rev J O'Carroll; Rev Gerard Hopkins, the poet; Rev Joseph Darlington (friend of Everyman), were able in some miraculous fashion, to galvanize the corpse that Newman's failure had left unburied, into healthy, vigorous life. And its activities made the National University of Ireland possible.

In St. Stephen's Green, Father Finlay found more leisure - if “leisure”can be used, without a “Bull”, to name a host of varied occupations. He gave scholarly courses of Lenten Lectures, making dry-as-dust Theology a popular “draw”; he organised Needlework Depots, creating industries, and enlarging employment for women and girls; helped to establish woollen mills; founded a publishing firm; was controlling editor of “The New Ireland Review”, and editor-in-chief of “The School and College Series” of books for pupils and students; assisted the Creamery movement; lectured all over Ireland in praise of co-operative industry; inspired and guided the men who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.

During the Parnell leadership controversy, Father Finlay, who, in virtue, perhaps, of his semi-Scottish ancestry, had always been rigidly austere in moral matters even to Puritanism, assailed Parnell vigorously, and joined with the late Mr Tirnothy Healy in calling for his deposition. To me, an ardent Parnellite, it seemed an unhappy alliance. The friendship of the two men, thus begun, remained firm and unbroken till death, some months ago, severed it rudely.

Father Finlay magnanimously forgave my political break-away from his leadership; and it speaks eloquently for his tolerance, that the strong divergence of opinion which grew up between us as the years went by never threw its shadow on our relations as co-workers in the production of school-books, and as colleagues in the University Department of Philosophy.

The hero-worship with which from the first years I could not but reverence him, survived in spite of his union with the Horace Plunkett group in a movement into which Nationalist prejudice did not permit of his being followed. Father Finlay, thanks to his reaction against Parnellism, and his deepened sense of the vital importance of economic matters in the life of the Nation, had come to consider direct, constructive effort among the farmers a more potent instrument of building up a prosperous, Catholic Ireland than political action in way of agitation could ever provide. His satirical humour, of which he has a fund, loved to play its blistering tongue on the moving and passing of resolutions, and “voicing the aspirations of a down-trodden and oppressed nationality”. Clap-trap, raimeis, make-believe, falsities and lies, he abominates by instinct. And, I fear, he relegates our political propaganda to that infamous dust-bin of things despicable.

They who have only an external acquaintance with Father Finlay cannot even guess what depths of genial humanity lie hidden from them in the man. It would, I know, displease him were I to make public here even a fraction of what I know of his innumerable benefactions. St Francis of Assisi was happily styled the “friend of every friendless beast” : Father Finlay I would style the
friend of all the friendless poor. He has a strong sense of duty; but his large heart gives as strong an urge.

Father Finlay has a keen zest for shooting and fishing, he has fished trout from every lake in the Comeragh hills, in Galway and Mayo, Sligo and the North-West. He has no less zest for humorous narrative; and can rival, at times, even Dickens in giving a comic colouring to the most unpromising materials.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1940


Father Thomas Finlay SJ

Though he was not educated at Belvedere it would be the blackest of ingratitude if Belvedere did not recognise in Fr Tom Finlay one who had paramount claims upon the School. Others have spoken and written of the wider activities with which this great man's later life was crowded, but we cannot o help rejoicing that the educationalist, who was for many years a pillar of the
National University and an outstanding force in the intellectual life of his country, served his apprenticeship to education and public affairs in Belvedere.

He was a young man, a very young man as Jesuits go, when in 1883 he s became Rector of Belvedere. Yet, he had already about him the elements which were to build up his great prestige. He was already associated with those views and projects which made him not only an ideal Commissioner of Education, and Dean of the Philosophic Faculty in his University, but Founder of the Irish Co-operative Movement and of University Hall. In a true sense, he was the second founder of Belvedere. Materially; certainly. For with the widest vision, backed by the financial resources of his own active brain and pen, he set to work to provide adequate accommodation for a great School for over fifty years.

Incredible as it seems, Belvedere had then carried on with no larger accommodation than the stately drawing-rooms and parlours of Lord Belvedere, where ugly partitions hid the beauty of the decoration and familiarity exposed it to damage. It is hard to-day to realise what those improvised class-rooms and mutilated halls must have been like; what handicaps it had of air and light and heat and cold, and noise and crowding. Fr Finlay swept all that away. First, built the new school buildings in solid red brick which now, as then, though almost doubled by recent additions, housed the Senior school. There was a fine, if small, chapel, excellent laboratories, a “manual work” room, and plenty of class-room space, well lit and warmed. It was work done, not for a day or a year, but for a century or two at the least. Not content with this achievement, he built our theatre and gymnasium, built it so well that it serves admirably the needs of what has become one of Belvedere's most remarkable activities, our popular opera week. In its construction vision, vision once again united with common sense, the spacious and solid with the practicable and the useful. Lastly, he acquired that fine mansion, fit neighbour to Belvedere House, which had been the residence of the Earls of Fingal. Part of this was designed as club house, it has since served to house the Irish Messenger Office, whose connection with Belvedere has been so happy a thing for the School. But for many years before Fr Finlay's policy could be carried further by the acquisitions Nos 7 and 8 Great Denmark Street, it served as a Preparatory school, too, and generations of Belvederians began their school life in the “Little” House. Such a record needs no emphasising. Fr Finlay's was a unique opportunity. He rose nobly to it, and all future generations have only to follow his lead..

Spiritually, perhaps, he meant even more to the School. For Fr Finlay was anything but a mere efficient machine, a juggler with bricks and mortar pounds and pence. To those who knew him that idea is so absurd as to be laughable. For those who did not, one glance at the fine countenance in Leo Whelan's portrait should reveal that wonderful combination of head and heart which made him the great man he was. One misses indeed the little smile the eyes began and the fine, sensitive lips finished, but there is in that broad clear brow and firm glance, and in the enviable repose of the features, a summary of Fr Finlay's qualities. He was one who loved knowledge greatly for herself but more for her kindness to mankind. He was one who loved boys, but again loved manhood more. This made him a teacher, a director of studies and a inspirer of studies at once zealous and not fanatical, wide and not wasteful, noble and not visionary. Of his government of boys. it can be said with certainty that it was much ahead, both in theory and practice, of the normal expectation of his time. Father Finlay was as incapable of harshness, even of what could fairly be called severity, as he was unyielding in his demand for the essentials and just in his sense of proportion. Character in him was fused with kindness. Only a few months before his death a distinguished Belvederian priest, whose picture adorns our pages, found himself in Ireland for a brief spell and learn of his old rector's accessibility even in retirement. He was on the eve of his departure to what is perhaps the world's most arduous and dangerous mission On the day he sailed he went out to Linden. There the two had long talk. Who shall say what they remembered or what they anticipated. But as his visitor rose to go Fr Finlay, with real feeling, asked for a last blessing and with tears in his eyes, his admiring son did for the last time what he was bidden The episode is characteristic. To hear Fr Finlay talk of his old boys was to hear him tell stories of the happy intercourse that can exist between master and boy almost in proportion to the humility, nay, the reverence of both.

He was too short a time (1883-1888) in Belvedere, for it was impossible to expect he should be allowed to give to one limited sphere and group the talents which have enriched the nation. But he never altered his allegiance to his old School. At the Centenary Celebrations in 1931, when he was well over eighty he preached the sermon at the commemorative High Mass, and linked with glowing words, a worthy past to the hopes of a proud future. God spared him to his ninety-second year, with all his wonderful powers of mind and affection intact, and in the final years he would enquire from his visitors after the health and happiness of the School which he had led out of the stages of childhood to the full growth of manhood and maturity. Always it was with a mind eager to hear of new effort and fresh achievement, so that his hearers surely cannot doubt that it will be part of his reward to assist from the Kingdom of Glory those who still struggle with the problems, the works and the opportunities in which he merited so splendidly of boyhood, of his country and of God.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Thomas Finlay (1848-1940)

Entered the Society some eight months after his younger brother. He also did all his higher studies abroad, as, in those days, the Irish Province of the Society had not enough men to maintain their own houses of studies. Thomas Finlay was a student of philosophy in Rome when Garibaldi took the city. He finished his philosophy in Germany and it was during this time he first acquired his interests in scientific methods of agriculture. He spent his regency at Crescent College, 1872-1877. In 1875, although he was still only a scholastic, he was appointed prefect of studies. His versatility was remarkable during his years in Limerick: he was master, prefect of studies, master of the choir and novelist! it was at this time he published his novel, “The Chances of War”. Shortly after his ordination in 1880 a new and brilliant career lay ahead for him. He became a Fellow of the newly established Royal University of Ireland and until 1900 was professor of metaphysics. It is a significant tribute to his physical, no less than his mental energy, that for the first five years of his professor ship at University College, Dublin, he was also Rector of Belvedere College.

In 1900, Father Finlay, who for years had taken a leading part in the co-operative movement, was appointed to the chair of Political Economy, and held this post with distinction for the next thirty years.

FitzGerald, George, 1583-1646, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1292
  • Person
  • 1583-11 August 1646

Born: 1583, County Meath
Entered: 23 October 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1613, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Final Vows: 05 March 1624
Died: 11 August 1646, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Alias Geraldine

Superior Irish Mission 11 August 1646

1613 Catalogue Educated at Douai
1617 In Ireland; 1622 in Leinster; 1626 in Ireland
1637 ROM Catalogue Talent, judgement and experience good, a Preacher

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Educated in Sicily and Rome
1615 In Sicily
1617 In Ireland (IER August 1874) - Preacher; Master of Novices; Consultor of Mission; Praised by Bishop Rothe
From a letter of Mission Superior Robert Nugent 01/10/1640 we learn that he has succeeded Barnaby Kearney as a Consultor of the Mission in Munster.
He is believed to be identical with the George Geraldine of Foley’s Collectanea and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS

◆ Fr Francis Finegan :
Had previously studied at Douai before Ent 1604 Rome
After First Vows he completed his studies and Rome and Palermo, and was Ordained there 1613
1613 Sent to Ireland but had to wait at Bordeaux for a ship, so did not arrive until 1615
He worked as Missioner in Leinster and then appointed Novice Master at Back Lane, Dublin (1628). In 1630 the Noviceship was dispersed due to a fresh bout of persecution.
1640 Although there is little known of the next ten years, except that he suffered from poor health, he was appointed a Consultor of the Mission
1646 Fr General sent the letter appointing him as Superior of the Irish Mission 11 August 1646, but he died in Dublin the same day.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
George FitzGerald (1646)

George FitzGerald, or Geraldine, was born in the diocese of Meath in 1583. When he had finished his year of logic at Douay, he went to Rome, and entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea there on 22nd October, 1604, He studied philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Palermo, and then went to Bordeaux to await an opportunity of getting to Ireland. He reached Ireland in 1615, and for the next thirteen years worked as a missioner in Leinster. He made his solemn profession of four vows on 5th March, 1621, and when a Novitiate was opened in Dublin in 1628 he was chosen to be Master of Novices. He held that position until two years later a fresh outburst of persecution dispersed the novices. On 29th November he was made Consultor of the Mission and on 11th August, 1646, he was appointed Superior of the Mission, on the exclusion of Fr George Dillon. But this appointment had no effect either, for before it could reach Ireland, Fr George Fitzgerald was dead. He died on 11/21st August, 1646. During his life he had a high reputation as a theologian and a mathematician, and had always been noted for his piety and religious observance.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father George Fitzgerald 1583-1646
Fr George Fitzgerald, or Geraldine as he was sometimes called, was born in Meath in 1583. He entered the Society at Rome in 1604.

Fr thirteen years after his return to Ireland in 1615 he worked as a missioner in Leinster. For many years now, Father Holywood had been requesting the General for leave to open a noviceship in Ireland. There was no lack of candidates. It was only after his death in 1628 that a noviceship was started in Dublin, and Fr Fitzgerald was appointed our first Master of Novices. He held the post for two years, until persecution dispersed the novices.

He was appointed Superior of the Mission in succession to Robert Nugent, but died in 1646 before the letter of appointment reached Ireland.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GERALDINE, GEORGE, was in Sicily, in August, 1615, when his services were required for the Irish Mission. It appears that he was stationed in Munster; for F. Robert Nugent, in his letter of the 1st of October, 1640, after announcing the death of the venerable F. Barnaby Kearney, requests F. George Geraldine to succeed the deceased as a Consultor, on account of his long experience, prudence, “et loci vicinitatem”. I think he had been gathered to his Fathers before the year 1649

Fitzsimon, Christopher, 1815-1881, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1308
  • Person
  • 03 July 1815-24 June 1881

Born: 03 July 1815, Broughall Castle, Frankford, County Offaly
Entered: 13 April 1834, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 10 September 1843
Final Vows: 02 February 1852
Died: 24 June 1881, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Early education was at Downside OSB and then at Stonyhurst.

After First Vows he did studies and Regency at Stonyhurst, and began Theology.
1840 Sent to Louvain for Theology, and Ordained at Liège 10 September 1843.
1844 Sent to Stonyhurst for some studies and teaching. 23 September he was appointed Professor of French, Greek and Roman History as well as Prefect of Juniors.
1846 He continued at Stonyhurst, teaching French and History and as Confessor to the Juniors, and by 1847 was also president of the Sodality.
1849 He became a Missioner at Stonyhurst.
1850 Sent for Tertianship at Liesse, France.
1851 He returned to his work at Stonyhurst, and was then appointed Socius to the Provincial 1851, serving Fathers Etheridge, Johnson and Thomas. Until 08 August 1860.
1860-1863 Returned to his former work in Stonyhurst, and by 1862 was also Minister and Prefect of Juniors.
1863 He was appointed Vice-Rector of St Beuno’s and Prefect of Studies.
1864 He was appointed Rector and Master of Novices at Roehampton and a Consultor of the Province.
1869 He was sent to Beaumont as Spiritual Father and President of the Sodality.
1871 He returned to Stonyhurst again as Minister, Spiritual Father and President of the Sodality.
1875-1878 Sent as Spiritual Father to the London Residence.
1878 He was sent to Holy Name Manchester as Missioner and Spiritual Father. here he was attacked by cancer of the face and head, the roots of which had been present for more than thirty years. After a long and agonising illness of many months, borne with superhuman patience, he died a holy death at Stonyhurst 24 June 1881, aged 66, and on the feast of John the Baptist and the Sacred Heart , to whom he was so devoted.

FitzSimon, Henry, 1566-1643, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1297
  • Person
  • 31 May 1566-29 November 1643

Born: 31 May 1566, Swords, County Dublin
Entered: 13 April 1592, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1596, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 04 October 1610
Died: 29 November 1643, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Parents Nicholas FitzSimon and Anne Sedgrave
Cornelius Lapide was a fellow Novice
Studied Humanities at Manchester - being an MA before Ent
Studied 3 years Philosophy 1 year Theology at Pont-á-Mousson
Studied 3 years Theology at Louvain
1596-1597 Taught Philosophy at Douai - gave the Bollandists the Life of St Feichín and other MS
1603 Tertianship at Tournai
Then 4 (or 20?) years as Military Chaplain at Castris
1608-1611 Called to Rome regarding Irish Mission and remained there till 1611. Then sent back to Douai for 5 years writing and confessing
1619 at Liège and 1625-1628 at Dinant
1625 published at Frankfurt a 12 mo on Philosophy of 704pp. It appears that he was an SJ from “Palface” and that such was not a real name - was it a Holy word? Or was it “Fitzsimon” or “White” or “Kearney”? P396 shows he professed at Douai. Hogan thinks it is “Fitzsimon” (Foley "Collectanea" p 524)
1630 To Ireland (7 years, 2 free, 5 captive)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Sir Nicholas, Kt and Senator of Dublin, and Ann née Sidgreaves
Early education was at Manchester School, and then matriculated at Hart’s Hall Oxford, 26 April 1583. He then studied for four years at at Pont-à-Mousson, graduating MA, followed by some months at Douai in Theology and Casuistry, and received Minor Orders.
He was received into the Society by the BELG Provincial Manaereus and then went to Tournai.
After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for Theology and was a pupil of Father Lessius there. He also taught Philosophy for a while.
1597 At his own request he was sent to the Irish Mission. His zeal soon led to his arrest in 1598.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Sir Nicholas and Anna née Sedgrave
Early education was in England and he matriculated to Oxford - though unclear if he graduated there.
He drifted into or was enticed into Protestantism, becoming a convinced one. In 1587 he went to Paris where he met the English Jesuit, Darbyshire, who reconciled him to the Church. He then went to study at Pont-à-Mousson where he graduated MA, before Ent 13 April 1592 at Tournai
After First Vows he studied Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 1596
1597 Initially he was sent to teach Philosophy at Douai. However, as an Irish Mission was under consideration Henry was chosen to be part of this venture, and duly arrived at the end of 1597. He was based roughly in the Pale, and established a reputation for zeal and success in arresting the growth of Protestantism, and in encouraging the Catholics of the Pale to stand firm in their allegiance to the Catholic Church. His most powerful weapon in this ministry was the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin.
1599-1603 Arrested in December, 1599 he was imprisoned in Dublin Castle at the end of May 1603. Even from his prison cell his influence was felt and he debated theology with bitter opponents of the Church such as Ryder and Hanmer who visited him in prison.He was released and then deported back to the GALL-BEL Province.
1603-1608 He was based at Douai and for five years was an Operarius, a Military Chaplain and a Writer, as well as making his Tertianship.
1608-1611 Sent to Rome to advise on Irish Mission affairs.
1611-1618 He was sent back to Douai and continued his earlier ministries of Writing, Military Chaplaincy and Operarius
1618-1620 He was sent to follow the same ministries at Liège
1620-1623 At the outbreak of the Thirty Years War he left Belgium to minister to Irish soldiers in the Imperial Army (Hapsburgs), and was with them until 1623
1623-1631 Was at Dinant, and by 1628 had served twenty years as a Military Chaplain
1631 He sent to Ireland after a thirty one year exile. Over the preceding decades he repeatedly sought permission to return, but the Mission Superior (Holywood) decided that Fitzsimon's return if discovered by the Government could only jeopardise if not ruin the works of the Irish mission. On return he lived at Dublin as Confessor and Preacher until the surrender of Dublin and expulsion of priests. After a difficult time he eventually arrived in Kilkenny, where he died 29 November 1643

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Fitzsimon, Henry
by David Murphy

Fitzsimon, Henry (1566–1643), Jesuit priest and controversialist, was born on 31 May 1566 at Swords, Co. Dublin, son of Nicholas Fitzsimon, merchant, and alderman of the city of Dublin, and Anna Fitzsimon (née Sedgrave), one of the Sedgrave family of Killeglan and Cabra, Co. Dublin. She was related to Henry Ussher (qv) and James Ussher (qv), both of whom were later Church of Ireland primates. Henry Fitzsimon's paternal grandfather was Sir Knight Fitzsimon.

In 1576 Henry went to England for his education, where he converted to protestantism. He studied grammar, rhetoric, and humanities in Manchester for four years, and on 26 April 1583 he matriculated for Hart Hall, Oxford. By 1587 he had moved to Paris, where he carried out further studies. He also encountered an English Jesuit, Fr Thomas Darbyshire, and after instruction from him, reconverted to the catholic faith. Entering the university at Pont-à-Mousson, he studied rhetoric and philosophy, graduating MA (1591). Further theological studies followed, both there and at Douai, and, taking minor orders, he was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Tournai (April 1592). He completed his noviciate in Tournai and in June 1593 he went to Louvain to complete his theological studies, where he associated with prominent counter-reformation theologians such as Dr Peter Lombard (qv) and Fr Heribert Rosweyde. Appointed as professor of philosophy at Douai, he also began to collect manuscripts with the intention of writing a history of Ireland.

In 1597 he was sent to Ireland at his own request as a member of the first Jesuit permanent mission to the country. He travelled in the company of Fr James Archer (qv), who was being sought by the English authorities, and this made life extremely dangerous for him. Nevertheless, he concentrated his work in the Dublin area, where the greatest efforts were being made to convert the local population to the protestant faith. He began preaching in public, often to large crowds, and was successful in reconverting many catholics who had converted to protestantism. Touring the county of Dublin, he called on prominent catholics, exhorting them to remain loyal to their faith. A catholic nobleman also gave him the use of a house, which he converted into a chapel where he celebrated high mass. The atmosphere in Dublin was so tense at the time that many men came armed to mass, determined to resist any attempts to arrest them.

Fitzsimon was a flamboyant character by nature and rode around the city and county with three or four retainers. Openly hostile to the government's religious policy, he was arrested in 1599, and in many ways his imprisonment served to enhance his public status. Many protestant divines came to his cell to debate points of religion and it soon became known that he was more than a match for them. Among those who debated with him were Dr Luke Challoner (qv), Dean Meredith Hanmer (qv), Dean John Rider (qv), later bishop of Killaloe, and an extremely young James Ussher (qv). These debates resulted in further written exchanges. In January 1601 he sent a manuscript to Dean Rider entitled ‘Brief collections from the Scriptures, the Fathers, and principal protestants, in proof of six catholic articles’. Rider published an answer to this manuscript in 1602 entitled A caveat to Irish catholics. Fitzsimon in turn replied to Rider's Caveat in a manuscript, which he sent him in 1603, Rider publishing his pamphlet Rescript in response to this in 1604. These exchanges only served to create a friendship between the two men, and Rider not only later acknowledged Fitzsimon's superior debating skills, but also began to send him food, drink, and other comforts. Among those who petitioned for Fitzsimon's release was Hugh O'Neill (qv), and in March 1604 James I signed an order that he be freed. In June 1604 he left Dublin and travelled into exile on the Continent.

He spent periods in Spain and Flanders, and in 1608 travelled to Rome. Most of his publications date from this time and he established himself as one of the most erudite minds of the counter-reformation. In 1608 he published A catholick confutation of Mr John Rider's claim to antiquitie and a calming comfort against his Caveat etc., which was printed in Rouen as a last exchange in his debate with Rider. Attached to this publication was another pamphlet, An answer to sundrie complaintive letters of afflicted catholics. By 1611 he was also writing an ecclesiastical history of Ireland, ‘Narratio rerum Ibernicarum’, which, if ever completed, was not published. Later publications included The justification and exposition of the divine sacrifice of the masse (Douai, 1611) and Britannomachia ministrorum in plerisque et fidei fundamentis, et fidei articulis dissidentium (Douai, 1614), a defence of catholic doctrines and a refutation of theories of reform. In 1619 he edited Catalogus sanctorum Hiberniae, published in Liège.

In 1620 he travelled to Bohemia as a chaplain to the forces of Emperor Ferdinand II, later publishing a history of the campaign using the pseudonym ‘Constantius Peregrinus’. He volunteered to return to the Irish mission and travelled in 1630 to Ireland, where he resumed his work among the poor of Dublin. After the outbreak of the 1641 rebellion, he was condemned to be hanged on suspicion of being involved with the rebels. He spent his last years on the run from government forces, finally reaching the relative safety of the confederate camp in Kilkenny. Worn out by work and hardships, his health finally broke and he died in Kilkenny on 29 November 1643.

His papers and writings have remained a focus of interest for historians of the period. Edmund Hogan (qv), SJ, included many excerpts from his papers in his publications on Henry Fitzsimon, and in 1881 edited a collection of Fitzsimon's papers, publishing them under the title Diary of the Bohemian war. This included Fitzsimon's An answer to sundrie complaintive letters of afflicted catholics under the new title Words of comfort to persecuted catholics. There is a large collection of Fitzsimon's papers in the Jesuit archives in Dublin.

Webb; Allibone; Edmund Hogan, SJ, Life, letters and diary of Father H. Fitzsimon (1881); id., Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894), 196–311; Dictionary of catholic biography; James Corboy, SJ, ‘Father Henry Fitzsimon, SJ’, Studies, xxxii (1943), 260–66; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); information from Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, of the Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962

Henry Fitzsimon was born at Swords on the 31 May 1566. His father Nicholas, a Dublin alderman and an eminent merchant of his day, was the son of Sir Knight Fitzsimon. His mother was Anna Sedgrave or Edgrave, and he was related to Henry and James Ussher, both of whom where afterwards Protestant Primates of Armagh, At the age of ten Henry Fitzsimon went to England, where he lost the (faith) and became a zealous Protestant. On the 26 April 1583, he matriculated as a member of Hart's Hall, Oxford. It is not known how long he remained here; but after a few years we find him in Paris, where according to himself he was “so farre overweening of my profession, that I surmised to be able to convert to Protestancie any incounter whosoever ..... At length by my happiness I was overcome by F.Thomas Darbishire ane owld English Jesuit long tyme experienced in the reduction of many thowsands to the Catholic religion”.

After his conversion in 1587 he went to the University of Pont-à-Mousson, where he studied rhetoric and philosophy, becoming. a Master of Arts in 1591. On the 15 April 1592, he entered the Society of Jesus, Having spent only fifteen months in the novitiate of Tournai, he was sent to Louvain in 1593 to finish this theological studies, where he had already begun before his entry into the Society of Jesus. Here he made such great progress, under the able supervision of the famous Fr Lessius, that in a short time he was appointed professor of philosophy at Douai. Here also he made the acquaintance of Fr Rosweyde, the pioneer of the future Bollandist Fathers, and Dr Peter Lombard. In his writings he frequently recalls these two scholars as having been intimate friends. At this time, already interested in Irish history, he says that he “ransacked all the libraries in his way for our country's antiquities, and found a hand-written life of St Patrick in the library of our college at Douai”. He remained at Douai until his return to Ireland towards the end of 1597.

To appreciate the value of Fitsimon's work in Ireland, we must review briefly the political and religious state of the country at the end of the sixteenth century. The Reformation in Ireland during the sixteenth century - i.e., under the Tudor dynasty from Henry VIII to Elizabeth - was primarily a political movement. Not until the advent of James I, was any real attempt made to establish a Protestant mission all over the country. Ireland had been saved from undue religious persecution because the English could not exert political control except in or about Dublin and in some of the other towns. But the results of the Nine Years' War changed the whole aspect of the situation. In 1603 Ireland lay at the feet of her conqueror. Never before was there such an opportunity for propagating the reformed doctrines. It was in these years, so crucial for the Catholic religion, that the Jesuits of the first permanent Mission in Ireland arrived. Among them few had wider influence than Father Henry Fitzsimon.

Although Fitzsimon was imprisoned after the first two years, the result of his work was lasting. During that short period he had visited most of the influential families of the Pale. He has been particularly active in the City of Dublin, where he knew the brunt of the battle was borne. Every Sunday and feast-day he said Mass in the city and preached at least one sermon. On week-days he travelled into the country and visited the houses or the gentlemen of the Pale. His exhortations to remain steadfast in the Faith were generally successful and he converted to a more fervent life several who had grown remiss in the practice of their religion.

One instance typical of his work will suffice to give some notion of the nature of his activities. Describing the actions of the Dublin Council prior to the death of Elizabeth, he says: “A sudden and violent persecution burst upon the Catholics. By order of my Superior (Fr Holywood), I confirmed the chief men of the city by letters of consolation, by messages and by many other ways. The other fathers also performed their duty with increasing care and with ardent zeal and devotion”. But unfortunately the Catholics had not been well instructed in the doctrines of Faith and therefore might easily be duped by the reformers. In several parishes in Dublin the people were ordered to attend the Protestant Services, but all refused. Finally, a number of the inhabitants were summoned to appear before the magistrates. Fr Fitzsimon visited them all personally and instructed them before the meeting. In his own words “all stood firm, rejoicing that they were deemed worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus”. This victory strengthened the Catholics in the other cities of Ireland.

Of his work in Dublin we have an interesting account from the pen of Fr Hamill, a secular priest. Writing on the 25 December 1598 he says: “As the Catholics increased daily, Fr Fitzsimon thought it well to erect a chapel in the house of a nobleman, at which the faithful night assemble. He got the hall lined with tapestry and covered with carpets, and had an altar made, which was as handsome and as elegantly furnished and decorated as any altar in Ireland. In this chapel Fr Fitzsimon celebrated High Mass, an event which was phenomenal in the Dublin of the time”. Fr Hamill, referring to his apostolate, says: “He converts hundreds to the faith. Not to speak of others who have returned to the Catholic Church in Dublin, one hundred persons, who last communicated according to the Protestant fashion, this year received instruction, reconciliation, confession and communion for the good father”. For two years he worked incessantly and indeed most successfully to stem the tide of reform, but his good fortune did not last long. In November 1599, he was captured by the authorities and imprisoned in Dublin Castle.

Had Fitzsimon devoted himself solely to the active ministry of preaching and administering the sacraments, his main work would have ended here and his period of imprisonment would interest us both little. But his apostolate was more varied, and his most notable achievements lay in another field. As a controversialist he scarcely had an equal during his time in Ireland. On his arrival in 1597 We find him issuing challenges to all comers. Like St Paul, he excalimed that he himself had been defiled with almost the very same errors which he now sought out and refuted. “Why do I spend”, he says “so precious time and so much pains? Only to confound my errors and to do satisfaction to truth and religion which I impugnated. This also was the cause that, for two years after my return to Dublin, I was burning to dispute with the ring-leaders of the Reform - I wished it even, for this reason alone, that where my error had given disedification, my condemnation of error might wipe away the stain”.

His imprisonment did not put an end to his controversial activities. On the contrary it seems that it increased his opportunities for disputing with the reformed leaders. Prison life in Ireland at this time was not always a pleasant experience, as anyone will understand who peruses the accounts left of the suffering of Father David Wolfe or Archbishop Creagh. Fitzsimon himself gives us a description of his life during these days and of the hardships he had to endure. “From the time the Spaniards landed (September 1601) care was taken that I should be kept in the closest confinement, and be deprived of books and of every comfort that might alleviate the monotonous misery of prison life. By employing the most savage keepers he (the Governor of the prison) can find, by flogging some for being over-indulgent to me, by dismissing eight of them on that ground alone, and by suborning false witnesses against me, he shows the excess of his hatred against the name we bear (Jesuits) and the end we have in view”. It is a remarkable fact that, before he left the prison-cell, Fitzsimon had made a fast friend of the governor, Yet in spite of these hardships Fr Fitzsimon never ceased to carry on the work of the apostolate. The Protestant historian Wood, speaking of him at this time, says that he was the most able defender of the Catholic religion in Ireland. In prison he was always eager for the fray, and he compared himself to a bear tied to a stake waiting for someone to bait him.

It is interesting to note that Hugh O'Neill, on hearing of Fr Fitzsimon's imprisonment, demanded his instant release. He threatened even to renew hostilities with the government if his request was not granted, saying: “Wherefore as ever you think, that I shall enter to conclude tieher peace or cessation with the State, let him be presently enlarged”. But he added that he was “no more ‘beholden’ to him than to an Irish Catholic that is restrained in Turkey for his religion”. The precise reason for O'Neill's antagonism to him is not clear. Some authors infer that Pitzsimon had no sympathy for the Irish in their effort to withstand by force of arms the efforts of the English to conquer the country. But there is no evidence for these assertions, and all we can say is that Fitzsimon's primary interests lay not in matters of state or politics, but as far as possible in purely spiritual affairs, his love for Ireland rests not merely on such meagre proofs as his desire to write her history and, as an exile, to forward her religion, but above all, as we shall see later, it is shown by his longing to return to a country wherein he knew that death would surely be his destiny if only he were once more captured by the authorities.

During his imprisonment Fr Fitzsimon had controversies with many of the Protestant ministers, including the most outstanding men in the Dublin of the time. Among these were Dr Challenor, Dean Meredith Hanmer, James Ussher and Dean Rider. To assess the moral value of this work, we need only recall the great advantage secured by the reformers in Germany - and by Luther in particular - on account of the lack of outstanding supporters of the Catholic cause. The history of the Catholic Church in France in the eighteenth century evinces the same defect. And we need only glance back over the history of the sixteenth century in Ireland to understand the vital necessity to the Catholic Church of able defenders of the Faith. Fr Fitzsimon fully realised the inestimable advantage that would accrue to Catholics by the overthrow of the most prominent of their opponents. He saw that what the Catholics most needed was leadership. He would seek out their enemies, therefore, and refute their false doctrines, thus strengthening his own people in their Faith.

The language Fitzsimon used in the disputations might be considered unbecoming or even vulgar in our age, but such was the in language of controversy of the time. That he has no personal enmity for his opponents is shown by the extraordinary number of them whom he converted. Even the gaoler, who had been so antagonistic to him, became a Catholic before Fitzsimon was released. Hanmer too, as we shall see, became his friend and never molested him again. Fitzsimon was too good-humoured to be easily upset by criticism and too disinterested in his work to take personal offence at every slight indictment.

Of his encounter with Challenor, Fitzsimon gives us a short account. “As I knew the Protestants considered Challenor as one of their champions, I challenged him. He refused to have any dealings with the Jesuits, because they were disliked by his sovereign. This was an excuse created by his cowardice ...” When Challenor failed, Hanmer, nothing daunted, accepted the challenge. He had already written against Edmund Campion and was esteemed very highly by the reformers. Fitzsimon, with his usual candour, gives us an account of their meeting. “Dean Meredith Hanmer.... came with many high people to my prison. As he remained silent, I, trusting in the goodness of my cause undertook to defend what was weakest on our side and to attack what seemed strongest on theirs”. But Hanmer, unable to uphold his side, yielded and, from that time forward, refused to debate on controversial subjects with Fitzsimon. It is typical of the latter that after their dispute he should make friends with his discomfited rival. Hanmer, on his part, was not ungrateful, as we learn from Fitzsimon, who in a time or great need received from his former adversary a barrel of beer, a sack of flour, and the use of his library.

His next opponent was James Ussher, who was appointed Archbishop of Armagh later. Even at the age of fourteen Ussher had shown signs of genius. At that time he had already made a careful study of Ancient History, the Scriptures and the Meditations of St Augustine. Soon afterwards he made an extensive study of Latin and Greek authors, became interested in polemics, and was eager to read all the Fathers of the Church from the earliest tines up to the Council of Trent. Whether Ussher really understood what he had read is extremely doubtful. But at least the vast learning that he had attained - superficially or otherwise we cannot discuss here - incited him to undertake the defence of the reformed doctrines against anyone who would dispute with him. He visited Fitzsimon in prison and had several discussions with him. Finally Ussher sought a public disputation, which Fitzsimon refused. Many writers, following Elrington, hold that the Jesuit shirked a trial of strength with this brilliant young man of eighteen. But even the Protestant historical Wood is of opinion that Fitzsimon grew weary of disputing with Ussher, as he probably saw that further argument was futile. Even though we admit the talent of Ussher, yet when we compare the age, experience, and theological training of the two, we prefer to accept the statement of Wood, which in fact is corroborated by a letter or Fitzsimon himself. In it he says: “Once indeed a youth of eighteen came forward with the greatest trepidation of face and voice. He was a precocious boy, but not of a bad disposition and talent as it seemed. Perhaps he was greedy of applause, Anyhow he was desirous of disputing about most abstruse points of divinity, although he had not yet finished the study of philosophy. I bid the youth bring me some proof that he was considered a fit champion by the Protestants, and I said that I would then enter into a discussion with him. But as they did not think him a fit and proper person to defend them, he never again honoured me with his presence”. Even a cursory glance through Fitzsimon's writings is enough to convince one of his vast erudition, his prodigious knowledge of Scripture and the Classics, and his innate ability to turn an argument against an opponent.

Fitzsimon's final encounter was with Dean Rider, who later was appointed Bishop of Killaloe. Rider himself provoked the disputation but once Fitzsimon had accepted the challenge, he lost heart and kept postponing the ordeal. Finally Rider was forced to admit of his adversary “that in words he is too hard for a thousand”. Fitzsimon remained in prison for five years, but during that time he defended the Catholic cause with such success that, at the end of the period, he could sincerely declare that the reformers in Ireland were “clouds” without water, wafted by the winds: they are autumn trees, barren and doubly dead”. On the 5 April 1604, Fitzsimon gave an account of his five years' imprisonment. “I have been five years in prison, and I have been brought eight times before the Supreme Court... The Governor of the prison has been my deadly enemy.... At present they deliberate about driving me into exile... this is dearer to me than anything else in this world except death for the Faith”. Soon after this he was released and banished from the country.

For the next twenty-six years Fitzsimon worked on the Continent. Many of his written works belong to this period, and he attempted even a History of Ireland, which unfortunately is not extant. He was chaplain to the Emperor in the Bohemian Campaigns of 1620 and was an intimate friend of the greatest generals on the Austrian side. Little is known of his activities during these years, but in 1630 he was sent back to the Irish Mission. He was then about sixty-four years old. From casual references here and there we can gather that age had not damped his zeal or enthusiasm. In 1637 it was reported that he was in good health for his years (he was then seventy-one) and that he still preached and heard confessions. In 1660 his contemporary Fr Young wrote a sketch of his life where we find a description of his last years.

In the winter of 1641, Fitzsimon then about seventy-five years old was condemned to be hanged. In company with many other Catholics he fled to the Dublin mountains, where he sought shelter in a shepherd's hut, Even at this time he did not remain inactive, but went from house to house instructing the children of the poor and administering the sacraments. At last, worn out by fatigue, and hardship, he was taken to the quarters occupied by the Irish army - probably at Kilkenny. There he was entrusted to the care of his religious brethren, but in a few months he was dead. The date of his death is uncertain, but it was probably the 29 November 1643. Writing of Fr Fitzsimon, Fr Young says that heresy feared his pen, and that Ireland admired and loved him for his piety and for the great gifts of nature and grace with which God had endowed him.

Fr. Fitzsimon's end was marked with a note of tragedy and even of apparent failure. An outlaw on the hills, he died far from the scene of his constant toils. Probably no priest had done more for the Catholics in the Pale than he had. No opponent had ever encountered him and gone away victorious. Yet, despite all his controversies, he had very few personal enemies. “By his death” says Wood “the Catholics lost a pillar of the Church, being esteemed a great ornament among them, and the greatest defender of religion, and the most noted Jesuit of his time”. From these facts it is clear that Fitzsimon played a large part in the Catholic counter-reformation in Ireland.

Perhaps, before concluding this brief sketch of the life of Fr Fitzsimon, it might be well to refer to his literary activities. He was one of the most voluminous writers of the time. Two of his books were written in refutation of the theories put forward by Dean Rider, whom we have already mentioned. These are “A Catholic Confutation of it, M John Riders clayne of Antiquitie” and “A Reply to M Riders Postscript!” These and another book, “An Answer to certain complaintive letters of afflicted Catholics for Religion”, were printed at Rouen in 1608. The latter has been edited by Fr Edmund Hogan, SJ, under the title of “Words of Comfort to Persecuted Catholics”. It gives a description of the persecutions which Catholics had to endure at the beginning of the seventeenth century in Ireland.

His next book was a treatise on the Mass. Printed at Douay in the year 1611, it is entitled “The Justification and Exposition of the Divine Sacrifice of the Masse, and of al rites and Ceremonies thereto belonging divided into two bookes”. In the words of Fitzsimon, his first book treats of “controversies and difficulties, and devotion belonging to the Masse”, while in the second book “the first masso in the missal is justified, and expounded for all and everie parcel thereof”. This treatise, which contains almost 450 pages, displays remarkable intimacy with Sacred Scripture and with the writings of the Fathers of the Church.

The next work we know of is entitled “Britannomachia ministrorum in Plerisque et Fidei Fundamentis, et Fidei articulis Dissidentiunt”. Divided into three books it contains a defence of Catholic doctrines and a refutation of the theories propounded by the reformers. In 1619 Fitzsimon edited at Liège the “Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae”, which has been annotated by Fr Paul Grosjean, SJ, in "Feil Sgribhinn Eoin Mhic Neill”. The “Bohemian Campaign” he published in 1620 under the pseudonym of “Constantius Peregrinus”. This work is really a diary written during the wars in Bohemia. He also published another work, in connection with this campaign, under the title of “The Battle of Prague”. After his return to Ireland in 1630, Fitzsimon was so harassed by persecution that no opportunity was given him for further literary work.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Henry FitzSimon 1566-1643
Our ablest and unsurpassed controversialist was Fr Henry FitzSimon. He was born at Swords County Dublin on May 31st 1566 of wealthy and prominent parents. These latter, dying when Henry was young, he was brought up a Protestant.

He got his early education at Manchester, and studied later at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was converted to the Catholic faith in his infancy by Fr Thomas Derbyshire in Paris. He retained one relic of his Protestantism, an aversion to holy water. One morning however, on his way to Mass, having a violent pain in his thumb, he plunged it into the Holy Water font, and was instantly cured.

In 1592, at Tournai, he entered the Society, and he came to Ireland with Fr James Archer in 1597. Most of his work was carried on in the Pale. He displayed a fearlessness in the face of Protestants in Dublin, which in the opinion of his Superior, almost amounted to recklessness. For example, he set up a chapel in the house of a nobleman, and had High Mass celebrated with a full orchestra, composed of harps, lutes and all kinds of instruments, except the organ. The like had never been seen in Dublin for years, and hundreds flocked to the ceremony. Most important of all he founded the Sodality of Our Lady, the first in Ireland.

Arrest followed in 1599 and he was lodged in Dublin Castle. But “stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage” was certainly true of him. He held conferences in prison with the leading Protestant divines, Challenor, Ussher and Dean Rider. On the naccession of James I, he was released and banished to Spain.

In Spain he did trojan work for the Irish Colleges from 1604-1630. In that year he returned to Ireland. In the Confederate War, he was forced to take to the Dublin hills, where he ministered to the people for a year. Finally, overcome by old age, exposure and hunger, he collapsed, and being conveyed to Kilkenny, in spite of tender care, he died on November 29th 1643.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
FITZSIMON, HENRY, was born in Dublin, in 1567,his Father was an eminent merchant. He was matriculated at Hart’s-hall, Oxford, 26th April, 1583. Nine years later, at the age of 25, he associated himself to the Society of Jesus at Douay. Under the instructions of the great Lessius, he soon was qualified for the chair of Philosophy, which he filled for several years. An ardent zeal for Religion urged him to solicit his return to his native Country; and I find that he reached Dublin late in the year 1597. Here he gave abundant evidence of commanding talents as a Preacher, of a fearless spirit and unbounded charity. Strange to say, he ventured to have a solemn High Mass, performed with great variety of musical instruments a sight that Dublin had not witnessed for Forty years before : and he also instituted a Sodality or Confraternity in honour of the B. Virgin Mary. But he was at length apprehended and detained in prison for five years, during which period, at eight different times, he was brought into Court; but was always remanded. Soon after the Accession of K. James, great interest was made for his discharge, and alter much negotiation, he was hurried as an exile on board a ship bound to Bilboa, without being allowed to take leave of his friends. Before he left the jail, he had reconciled many to the Catholic Church, and during the voyage his zeal produced the happiest effects among the crew and passengers. On the 14th of June, 1604, he landed at Bilboa. Rome, Liege, and the Low Countries admired his devotion to the labours of his Ministry : it was his pleasure and delight to visit the sick, to attend the infected, to assist prisoners and persons condemned to death; but his heart panted to re-enter the field of hardship and danger in his beloved and afflicted Country; and at last Superiors allowed him to follow his own inclinations. Like the giant he exulted to run his course : and the fruits of his industrious activity everywhere appeared in the numerous conversion of heretics, and in the strengthening of Catholics in practical religion. The Civil and Military Authorities marked him out for vengeance. In the winter of 1612, in the darkness of the night, he effected his escape from Dublin. Winding his way through sequestered woods and dells, he took up his quarters in a wretched cabin that he found in a Morass, where he was safe from those who hunted after his blood. Though exposed to the pitiless storm, and suffering every privation, this blessed Father never lost his serenity and elastic gaiety, and was always ready to administer consolation to others. But this Winter campaign broke down his constitution. Removed to a place of comparative comfort, he was treated by his brethren with the most affectionate care and charity; nature however was exhausted, and after a short illness, full of days and fuller of merits, he passed to never- ending rest, with the name of Jesus on his lips, on the 29th of November, 1643, or as another account has it, on the 1st of February, 1844. “By his death the Roman Catholics lost a pillar of their Church, being esteemed a great ornament among them, and the greatest Defender of their religion, in his time”. Wood’s Athenae. Oxon, vol. II. p. 46. This eminent writer left to posterity,
1 “A Calholic Refutation of Mr. John Rider’s claim of Antiquity”. N.B. This Rider was Dean of St. Patrick, and subsequently appointed to the See of Killala.

  1. “Reply to Mr. Rider s Postscript”.
  2. “An Answer to certain Complaintive Letters of afflicted Catholics for Religion”.
    All these were printed in a 4to. Vol. Rouen, 1608.
  3. “The Justification and Exposition of the Divine Sacrifice of the Masse, and of all Rites and Ceremonies thereto belonging”. 4to. 1611, pp. 356. I think printed at Douay.
  4. “Britannomachia Ministorum in plerisque et fidei fundamentu a Fidei Articulis dissidentium”. 4to. Douay, pp. 355.
  5. “Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae” Svo Liege, 1619, pp. 117.
    This was appended to the Hibernice sive Antiquioris Scotiae vindicia adversus Thomam Dempsterum, an 8vo. printed at Antwerp, 1621. Its author adopted the initials G. F.

Fogarty, Philip C, 1938-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/857
  • Person
  • 04 September 1938-26 November 2019

Born: 04 September 1938, Taylor’s Hill, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 26 November 2019, Sewickley PA, USA

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street community at the time of death

Raised at Taylor’s Hill, Galway
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at Chantilly France (FRA) studying
by 1972 at San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) studying
by 1973 at University of London (ANG) studying
by 1974 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1992 at Wernersville PA, USA (MAR) sabbatical
by 2009 at Pittsburgh PA, USA (MAR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/phil-fogarty-rip/

Living the Jesuit vision: Phil Fogarty RIP

The funeral Mass of Philip Fogarty SJ took place in Sewickley, Pittsburgh on Tuesday 3 December 2019. The celebrant was Michael Shiel SJ who had flown over with fellow Jesuit and socius Declan Murray SJ. Cathal Doherty SJ flew from San Francisco to join all those who had gathered to give thanks for Philip’s life of service. Because he suffered from severe heart trouble over the past 20 years Philip spent a good bit of time in the United States but he continued to work both in Ireland and the states, “a testament to his courage” as one Jesuit colleague put it. He was well known as a retreat giver and writer and for the past 10 years in Sewickley, near Pittsburgh in the USA. He spent the latter part of his life engaged in the spirituality apostolate, both at home and with the CSJ Sisters in the USA. Philip had lived a full life in the Irish Province. Much of the early part of his ministry was in education, he taught in Coláiste Iognáid and spent 11 years as headmaster of Clongowes Wood College. Writing in the Clongownian (1987) about his time there the late Michael O’Dowd (former deputy headmaster) said Philip ‘eventually built Clongowes in his own image and likeness’. On hearing of his death, the current deputy headmaster of Clongowes, Martin Wallace, penned a moving tribute for the school’s website, echoing Michael O’Dowd’s sentiments. “As Headmaster, Philip was the leader of a remarkable triumvirate that included Michael O’Dowd as Deputy Headmaster and Fr. Michael Sheil SJ as higher line prefect. Soft-spoken and pipe smoking, Philip ran the school with kindness and compassion, relying on the goodwill of all, but backed up by his two enforcers, to ensure that a culture of mutual respect reigned in every domain of the college. Fairness, consistency and respect for all were the pillars of his authority and it would be no exaggeration to say that he transformed the culture of Clongowes through his vision of what a Jesuit school should be, his communication of that vision at every opportunity, and through the way he lived that vision in his interactions with every person in the community.” Philip frequently wrote for The Sacred Heart Messenger and published with Columba Press and Messenger Publications. For the last twenty years, his health was increasingly compromised. But as his friend and current editor of the Messenger, Donal Neary, notes, “He had a wonderful approach to his ailments and he tried to live as positively and as fully as he could, enjoying the fact that he was constantly defying all the medical prognoses.” His most recent visit home was in April 2019, where he enjoyed a great visit with his sisters, family and the community at Leeson St. Over the past two weeks, he had been detained in the ICU of the UPMC hospital with significant medical issues, but was released home from there only last Saturday. He wrote saying he was very happy to be at home and expected to recover. However, he died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Tuesday morning, November 26th in the care of the CSJ Sisters at Sewickley, and he will be buried with them there in their community plot. He was 81 years old. “We are grateful for his life” says Donal, adding “and his fellow Jesuits and family give thanks for having known him and his friendship. May he rest in peace.”


Fitting tribute for Phil
Clongowes Wood College SJ celebrated the life of Philip Fogarty SJ with a special memorial Mass in the school sports hall, on Sunday 19 January 2020. Phil died last year in America on Tuesday 26 November. Jesuits, teachers, former staff, family, friends, pupils and past pupils all gathered to pay tribute to Philip who was headmaster in the school from 1976 to 1987.
Michael Sheil SJ said the Mass and gave the homily, which included a touching account of the many years he shared with Phil. And he made special mention of Phil’s ground-breaking re-imagining of Clongowes and its ethos as a Jesuit boarding school.”
Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes conducted the Schola choir comprised of current students. They sang the Requiem aeternam introit and the Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. “ It felt like a homecoming requiem Mass for our former headmaster,” said Cyril, adding that “It was a very moving liturgy. To see the numerous past pupils flooding through the doors before the liturgy ever began was testament enough to ‘Phili’, as he was affectionately known.”
Phil’s sister Oonagh was present along with members of the Mc Keagney family who laid a framed portrait of Phil before the altar. The picture was later presented to Oonagh. Sr. Catherine Higgins, a great friend of Phil’s, travelled from the United States especially for the occasion. ”The whole event was a testimony to the affection and esteem in which Phil was held,” Cyril reflected, adding that “The pods of conversation and the reluctance of people to leave the sports hall after the Mass was over was striking in its manifestation of the legacy of goodwill which Phil left behind.”
One of those legacies was Phil’s promotion of an ecumenical friendship between Clongowes and Portora Royal School, Enniskillen which began 40 years ago. There is still a strong bond between the school and Ms Janet Goodall and family, long-time friends of Clongowes and Portora, attended the Mass. Present also were neighbours and friends from the King’s Hospital including Mark Ronan, the headmaster of King’s Hospital, his wife Fiona, Mr John Aiken, Deputy Head, Ms Jenny Baron and number of pupils.
Guests did eventually leave the sports hall moving to the refectory for a hearty Sunday lunch. Phil would have approved.

Early Education at Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway, Clongowes Wood College, SJ

1959-1962 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1962-1965 Chantilly, France - Studying Philosophy at Séminaire Missionaire
1965-1968 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1968-1972 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1972-1973 San Francisco, CA, USA - Studying Educational TV at St Ignatius College Prep
1973 Mount St, London, UK - Studying Educational TV at London University
1973-1974 St Asaph, Wales, UK - Tertianship at St Bueno’s
1974-1975 Belvedere College SJ - Audio Visual Organiser for SJ Schools
1975-1976 Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway - Teacher; Promoting TV Ed in SJ Schools
1976-1987 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Headmaster; Editor “Clongownian”; Teacher
1987-1988 Sabbatical in South Africa (till Jan 1988)
1988-1991 Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway - Headmaster; Director Pastoral Care; Province Consultor (from Jan 88)
1991-1992 Wernersville, PA, USA - Sabbatical at Jesuit Centre of Spirituality
1992-1995 Sandford Lodge - Superior; Chair Young Adults Board; Provincial Team; Provincial Representative at NCIR; Chaplain to Jesuit Alumni/ae; Chair JVC Board
1994 Bursar
1995-1996 Leinster Road - Superior; Bursar; NCPI; Young Adults Delegate
1996-1999 Loyola House - Superior; Provincial Socius; Provincial’s Admonitor; Province Consultor; Provincial Team; Delegate Young Adults; Past Pupils Apostolate
1999-2019 Leeson St - Writer; Assists CLC; Assists LRA; Assists Cherryfield
2003 Hospice Chaplain (USA)
2009 Sewickley, PA, USA - Writer;19th Annotation Retreats in Parishes; Spiritual Direction; Assists the Jesuit Collaborative in Pittsburgh

◆ The Clongownian, 2020


Father Philip Fogarty SJ : Living the Jesuit Vision

On 26th November 2019 we heard the sad news that Philip Fogarty (OC'57), reforming Headmaster of Clongowes (1976-1987) passed away in the United States, where he had been living for much of the last twenty years, due to the severe heart trouble from which he had been suffering. Philip's death sparked an out-pouring of fond and affectionate memories from former students, colleagues and friends both within and without the Society of Jesus touched by the life and love of this most remarkable man, who may truly be said to have lived the Jesuit vision...

Philip Fogarty was born on 4th September 1938 at Taylor's Hill in Galway. Following early education at Coláiste lognáid SJ, Galway he entered Clongowes in 1952 and, when he graduated five years later he was a member of the Sodality of Our Lady and the Choir as well as Reachtaire of An Cumann Gaelach. His membership of the Dramatic Society earned him a role as a “Reaper” in “The Tempest”, while in the winter session of the House Debates he opposed a motion 'That the British Empire has been, in the main, a force for good'. Three months after leaving Clongowes the young man entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Emo, where he spent two years before moving to Rathfarnham Castle to study Arts at UCD. His regency was spent in Clongowes (1965-68) where he also edited “The Clongownian”. Following his Ordination in 1971 a love for educational TV was sparked in San Francisco and nurtured at London University leading to his role as Audio Visual Organiser for SJ Schools (1974-75). He returned to Clongowes in 1976 as Headmaster, editor of “The Clongownian” and teacher. Following his eleven years as Headmaster the longest in the modern role to date) and a sabbatical in South Africa he returned to his other alma mater and his native land when he was appointed Headmaster at Coláiste lognáid (1988-91).

Because he suffered from severe heart trouble over the past twenty years Philip spent a good bit of tirne in the United States but he continued to work both in Ireland and the States, “a testament to his courage” as one Jesuit colleague put it. He spent the latter part of his life engaged in the spirituality apostolate, both at home and with the CSJ Sisters in the USA. He was well known as a retreat giver and writer for the past ten years in Sewickley, near Pittsburgh. Philip frequently wrote for The Sacred Heart Messenger and published other works with Columba Press and Messenger Publications. Despite the fact that, for the last twenty years his health was increasingly compromised his friend (and current editor of “The Messenger”) Donal Neary notes “He had a wonderful approach to his ailments and he tried to live as positively and as fully as he could, enjoying the fact that he was constantly defying all the medical prognoses. His most recent visit home was in April 2019, where he enjoyed a great visit with his sisters, family and the community at Leeson St”.

For two weeks before his death he had been detained in the ICU of the UPMC hospital with significant medical issues but was released home from there and expected to recover. However, he died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of November 26th in the care of the CSJ Sisters at Sewickley, Pittsburgh and was buried in their community plot following his Funeral Mass on December 3rd. The celebrant was the rector of Clongowes, Fr Michael Shiel SJ, who had flown over with fellow Jesuit and socius Declan Murray SJ. Cathal Doherty SJ flew from San Francisco to join all those who had gathered to give thanks for Philip's life of service. “We are grateful for his life” says Donal Neary, adding “and his fellow Jesuits and family give thanks for having known him and his friendship”. May he rest in peace.


A Legacy which has Endured

We received news of the passing of Fr Philip Fogarty SJ in late November. Philip came as a new broom to the school, arriving with Fr Michael Sheil SJ as Higher Line Prefect and, together with the then Deputy Headmaster, Michael O'Dowd, they ushered in a new era with changed relationships and a friendlier atmosphere; a legacy which has endured, and is such a key feature of Clongowes life today. Philip was clearly a man of great vision and someone to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude. He abolished corporal punishment in Clongowes well before other schools in the country had the courage to do so. The leadership of schools has probably never been easy. In today's climate, with its financial pressures on all of us, the increasing volume of regulation from external agencies and; for Clongowes as a Catholic school, the growing secularisation of the culture around us, the demands are considerable. They were doubtless considerable for Philip too and i am really struck by his style of leadership, and the warmth with which he is remembered. Those who knew him use words such as considerate; kind, compassionate, and fair to describe him - something for all of us to draw inspiration from:

Mr Chris Lumb, Headmaster


A Truly Apostolic Priest

Homily at the Memorial Mass for Fr Philip Fogarty, SJ

He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times - so that many will thank God for your gifts ... (2 Cor. 9: 10-15)

When I was asked to celebrate the Funeral Mass of Phil last month in Pittsburgh I happened upon the text of our first reading and it struck me as being very appropriate for the occasion of his passing to new life because of the legacy he has left behind. Phil was a year behind me when we were students here in the 1950s and we both returned here in 1976 as a double act - he as Headmaster and I as Higher Line Prefect. It was a time of great strife and suffering in Ireland and so to-day, as we celebrate Church Unity Sunday in more peaceful times and welcome our friends from The King's Hospital on their annual visit as well as some members of staff from Portora it is important to recall Phil's ecumenical initiative in setting up a twinning with Portora Royal School in Enniskillen. We gather also to thank God for the gift that he was to the Society of Jesus in treland and to Clongowes, fellow Jesuits and former pupils. We gather as the Christian Community mourning his passing - sad, yet in a deep way rejoicing in the New Life that is his. As humans we share our sense of the loss of a wonderful priest in service to his Lord and that sharing helps ease our individual pain. It is also a time for our Community when we reminisce on his life. We give thanks and - even in sorrow -laugh at shared memories. Surely that is how Phil himself would have wanted it to be, as his spirit lives on in the lives of each of us. For, as is promised to those who have received the gift of Christian Faith, Phil is indeed alive in that New Life to which God called him at his Baptism. Through all our pain we find reason to be happy for him because of what he has gained and we can give thanks to God for His gifts to Phil and for His gift of Phil to us as, in thanksgiving, we now offer that gift back to God. So as Christian believers we can, in spite of our pain, give thanks for his life and offer him back to God.

And what do we offer? The life of Philip Fogarty was a full, loving and sharing one, the life of a wonderful person and a truly apostolic priest. And a good listener. It is a very special gift to be a good listener and Phil received that gift in full and was also a very reflective educationalist. We all have our own memories and stories, precious and personal so, at his passing, it is only natural that a tsunami of thoughts should come flooding in, each of us with our own tale to tell. At one Farewell Dinner for our Final Year Students, I mentioned that Phil had taught me Irish dancing when in France and the Headmaster was prevailed upon to do a jig. His performance received a standing ovation - but it came at a price, for Phil spent most of the following summer holidays in plaster in hospitali He was also an inveterate pipe-smoker and one day went to visit a kindred chain-smoker soul in hospital. His friend, lying in bed wearing an oxygen mask, saw him enter; her eyes lit up and, as he approached to give her a hug, she whipped off the mask, grabbed his smoke-impregnated scarf and took a wonderful whiff of tobacco and replaced the mask!

For the past 20 years Phil lived out his life of giving in a way none of us could have expected. I am reminded of what Jesus said to Peter when, after the Resurrection, He met the Apostles on the Lakeshore after a night's fruitless fishing: When you were young - you went where you wished - but, when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will lead you. I am also reminded of Portuguese proverb, which says that God writes straight with crooked lines! How wonderfully did God tead Phil in what was to be the twilight of his life, using his illness all those years ago to bring him to Pittsburgh to do so much good for so many and to become, in turn, the gift of someone in need of the care of those whom God was calling to show just how much they could love Phil in return. And here I must pay tribute to the Sisters of St Joseph, whose home-from-home was their special gift to their very special person sent to them by God.

Now, as we offer him back to God, we offer all those gifts and memories and our thanks for all that he meant to us, and we entrust him to the care of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who has told us: “Trust in God still and trust in Me! There are many rooms in My Father's house. I am going now to prepare a place for you - and I shall return to take you with Me - so that, where I am, you may be too”. (Jn 14: 1-6)

For now - like Jesus - Phil has gone ahead of us and is preparing to welcome us when our turn comes to answer God's call home so that we may share together the place Christ has prepared for each one of us. And is it not this that brings us together in the Eucharist this afternoon? Is it not this that makes sense of our being here? God calls us home when He sees best. Late last year, in a moment unnoticed and unmarked by the world, Christ did indeed return to call Phil home in his sleep in a meeting known only to himself and his Lord. He called His good and faithful servant to come and share in his Master's happiness. Phil has followed his Master who was his Way - Truth - Life. He had known for so long the place to where he would be going. It was for Phil the celebration of what the ancient Roman martyrology proclaims as the Christian's dies natalis - his heavenly birthday - Phil's birth into New Life. So often in life we say 'good-bye'. It comes from the ancient wish or prayer 'May God be with you' ('Dia dhuit' in Irish) and to day we say it to you, Phil, at this, our last Mass with you and we pray in these words:

May Christ enfold you in His Love and bring you to eternal life. May God and Mary be with you.

We will pray for you, Phil - may you also pray for us. And so we say farewell and - until we meet again - Good-bye!

Fr Michael Sheil SJ, Rector


Fairness, Consistency and Respect for All

When Philip Fogarty stepped down as Headmaster of Clongowes in 1987 after eleven years at the helm, his deputy, the late Mr Michael O'Dowd wrote an appreciation of his time in Clongowes “The Clongownian” 1987, 3-4). Now -32 years later - it has fallen to one of Michael's successors, Mr Martin Wallace, to put pen to paper in memory of the man most associated with the development of the modern Jesuit school that we know today...

...[Philip) eventually rebuilt Clongowes almost in his own image and likeness. - Michael Byrne

On Tuesday, 26th November, Seamus Aherne, Declan O'Keeffe, Tony Pierce and I gathered with unqualified sadness to mark the passing of Philip Fogarty - Uncle Phil - the man who employed and inspired us during that belle époque (or so it seemed to us] from the late seventies to the mid eighties. As Headmaster, Philip was the leader of a remarkable triumvirate that included Michael O'Dowd, Deputy Headmaster, and Fr Michael Sheil SJ, Higher Line Prefect, Soft spoken and pipe smoking, Philip ran the school with kindness and compassion, relying on the good will of all, but backed up by his two enforcers, to ensure that a culture of mutual respect reigned in every domain of the college. Fairness, consistency and respect for all were the pillars of his authority and it would be no exaggeration to say that he transformed the culture of Clongowes through his vision of what a Jesuit school should be, his communication of that vision at every opportunity and through the way he lived that vision in his interactions with every person in the community. So much of what he changed about Clongowes is encapsulated in his very firm decision to abolish corporal punishment long before anyone else in the country had the courage or conviction to do so. While he always sought consensus, there were certain issues that were fundamental to his understanding of community.

Philip always enjoyed seeing the humorous side of human affairs and relished the convivial gatherings that became known as 'The Tuesday Night Club', a sortie to one of the local establishments for what might be called an offsite meeting'. Everything that was happening in the school was laid bare from every angle, allowing Philip, as he puffed his pipe and sipped his Black Bush, to chuckle away at the anecdotes, but also to discern what was really going on amidst the fog of subjectivity that enveloped conversations. He understood instinctively that, when all the rules and regulations, curricula and governance issues are stripped away, a school is a community of relationships, and the quality of those relationships is where the ethos is found. When I arrived in Clongowes in 1979, I was astonished by the gentle culture that emanated from the Headmaster through the whole school. It felt strange to have an immediate sense of trust in a person I hardly knew - especially as he was the boss! I came to learn over the years that this was also the experience of every student and teacher, every employee of and visitor to the school, and that is why Philip is remembered by all with such warmth and deep affection. To quote Michael Byrne again:

By the time I left Clongowes at the end of his first year there, it was slowly beginning to dawn on me that this man was in charge in a way in which no one else that I had ever seen, in my vast experience of seventeen years, was in charge.?

Rest in peace, Philip - we miss you.

Mr Martin Wallace, Deputy Headmaster


His Reign was Mild

The editor of The Clongownian has many reasons to be grateful to the late Philip Fogarty, not least the receipt of a teaching job in Clongowes, when positions in education were not easily come by. He echoes the observations of the previous contributors and adds his own thanks to his erstwhile boss for the many kindnesses shown to him as a newly minted university graduate. As a devotee of the work of another Old Clongownian, James Joyce, the editor has always felt that Philip's holistic view of education draws a direct line from the philosophy of one of his predecessors, Fr John Conmee. Like Philip, Conmee was an Old Clongownian (one of the earliest in 1837) and “the decentest rector that was ever in Clongowes” (1885-91) according to James Joyce, masquerading as Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He had been Prefect of Studies and Rector in Clongowes, where he oversaw the difficult and sometimes fractious merger with Tullabeg in 1886 and Philip Fogarty supervised an equally momentous period of transition during his time as Headmaster of Clongowes. As another former Headmaster, Bruce Bradley (1992-2000) has observed, “the traditional values of the Ratio Studiorum are embodied in Fr Conmee, and the same may be said of Fr Fogarty. Philip was - above all - a kindly; diligent; sympathetic listener, and we all knew it: Conmee is affectionately remembered again in Ulysses and Joyce's summing up could be easily re-worked by many a pupil; teacher and Jesuit to apply to Philip Fogarty:

He was their Headmaster: his reign was: Mild

Mr Declan O’Keeffe, Editor


The Portora Connection

In February we welcomed visitors from Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (formerly Portora Royal School) to Clongowes. During the visit, Ms Janet Goodall from Enniskillen delivered the following tribute to Philip Fogarty at Morning Prayer...:

On the 26th November Fr Philip Fogarty passed away after a lifetime as a good and faithful servant of God and The Society of Jesus. On Sunday two weeks ago, I was honoured to join with you to celebrate his life and his tremendous contribution to the living culture and ethos of Clongowes Wood College. I did not know Fr Phil personally, but I know of his legacy. It was a legacy of friendship and a legacy of bravery. In 1980, when Fr Phil was Headmaster at Clongowes, Ireland was a different place, and Northern Ireland was a very different place. The series “Derry Girls” has painted the picture of how the people of Northern Ireland found normality and dark humour during “The Troubles”, but in 1980, 80 people died in Northern Ireland as a result of sectarian violence. This week 40 years ago three people were killed, two Catholics and one Protestant; one was from Fermanagh, and one was just a child. Northern Ireland was not a safe place. Unsurprisingly most people in the Republic of Ireland just chose not to go there. Fr Philip Fogarty knew that peace could not be achieved without first understanding our differences but also our shared Christian values and identities. His part in seeking this understanding was to reach out and propose a twinning with Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, the alma mater of Blessed John Sullivan. This was a risk that could have provoked much criticism. This was a risk that Dr Alan Acheson, then Headmaster of Portora, also took. Today crossing the border into Northern Ireland is marked only by the change of the road signs. In 1980 it could be an intimidating or frightening experience. You queued, you were profiled, your car was searched or your bus was boarded. The noise from overhead military helicopters was deafening. On one journey to Enniskillen, the Clongowes minibus had its tires blown by a UVF roadside trap. I often wonder how Margaret Doyle must have felt, with a bus full of boys, flagging down help, not knowing who, if anyone, would stop. Today as a teacher planning a trip, I risk assess hazards such as “stopping at a service station”; I think that the assessment of the hazard “terrorist booby-trap” might be off the scale.

What was mportant was that the match was played
While life in Enniskillen was quieter than other parts of the North, daily life was punctuated with checkpoints, security alerts, control zones and army patrols. When Clongowes boys arrived at Portora they bore witness to the effect and pain of the troubles. On one visit they were told “I'm not sitting with that Fenian”. How easy would it be to be offended by this? How much harder is it to listen and learn? That Portora boy's father was an RUC officer who was killed by the IRA. That Clongowes boy extended his hand in sympathy for his loss, The Clongownian 1981 reports that Fr Michael brought a cricket team to Portora where they were welcomed with “marvellous hospitality”. It was 11 days after the death of republican hunger striker Bobby Sands. No one remembers the result of the cricket for the result was not important - what was important was that the match was played. Following an overnight visit to Portora, Fr Michael recalls that a student reported to him how a Clongowes “republican” and a Portora “Paisleyite” had kept the dorm awake with their exchanges, They eventually fell asleep after becoming the best of friends.

In November 1987, Enniskillen suffered one of the worst terrorist atrocities of the troubles. The IRA bombed the town's Remembrance Ceremony: 12 lives were lost and 63 were injured. The following year, Clongowes joined Portora at the Cenotaph to share the pain of Enniskillen's community. Again this risk was both political and perilous. In more recent years, An Taoiseach has represented the Irish people at Remembrance in Enniskillen; Clongowes has being doing this for decades. So much has changed in 40 years - the Good Friday Agreement, prosperity, the Internet - but our friendship has been sustained and has thrived through the relationships between both pupils and staff. Today, thousands of Portorans and Clongownians live and work on this island knowing more of each other and our faiths. In 1980 Fr Phil was a visionary; today we are so very grateful for his legacy, which reminds me of the prayer attributed to John Wesley:

Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.

So today I ask you to live Fr Phil's legacy; reach out when you can listen when you can, and learn when you can. That good could change lives and resonate for decades. Buíochas on chroí leis an Athair Phil, agus buíochas agus beannacht libh go léir. Thank you, Fr Phil and thank you all.

Foley, Peter, 1826-1893, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/158
  • Person
  • 06 January 1826-01 February 1893

Born: 06 January 1826, Carrigaholt, County Clare
Entered: 06 January 1856, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 01 February 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

in 1857 2nd yr Nov at Beaumont, England (ANG)
1856 Cat says Ent 22 December 1855

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He Entered at Beaumont (or finished there?) already a Priest of the Killaloe Diocese, and at exactly 30 years of age.
1858 He was “per exam. ad gradum” at Clongowes.
Soon after he was sent to Crescent in Limerick, and there he spent two long periods of his life as Minister, Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father. He was also for some years at Clongowes in the same capacity.
1891/2 Failing in health he was sent from Limerick to Tullabeg, and he died there as he had lived, piously 01 February 1893.
He was greatly esteemed and loves, most kind and charitable to all.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Peter Foley (1826-1893)

A native of Carrigaholt, was a secular priest and sometime professor of theology at Maynooth College before he entered the Society in 1856. Father Foley was one of the founder members of the first community in Hartstonge St in 1859. Nearly all his religious life was spent in Limerick. He was a member of the Limerick community from 1859 to 1876. There followed a break with Limerick for some years when he was a member of the Clongowes and Galway communities. He returned to Limerick in 1885 but owing to increasing ill-health retired to Tullabeg, where he died on 1 February, 1893.

Father Foley was an able master and a zealous worker in the church where he was long respected by the people of the city. He was a fluent Gaelic speaker, and, so far as official records go, was the first Irish teacher in the Jesuit colleges before the Gaelic revival.

Ford, George, d 1682, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2320
  • Person
  • d 1682

Ordained: St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Died: 13 August 1682, Douai, France - Gallo Flanders Province (BELG)

◆ CATSJ A-H has
a “George Ford”
“Scotch juxta Foley, most probably Irish juxta Hogan”

Forde, James, 1603-1676, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1323
  • Person
  • 15 May 1603-25 January 1676

Born: 15 May 1603, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 01 December 1626, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1634, Naples, Italy
Final Vows: 1644
Died: 25 January 1676, Dublin City, County Dublin

Superior of Irish Mission 25 December 1675-25 January 1676

Had studied Rhetoric and 2 years Philosophy, Bachelor of Philosophy
1633 At College of Naples Studying Theology and teaching Humanities.
1635 Comes to Rome as Rector of Irish College 31 May 1635
1636 Rector of Irish College, Rome
1639 Came to Mission in 1639 (1650 Catalogue)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied two years Philosophy and four Theology in the Society. Knew English, Italian and Latin, and taught Humanities for many years (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1636 or 1639 Came to Ireland
Had been a Professor of Humanities and Rhetoric for many years.
At the time of the Visitation of the Irish Mission by Mercure Verdier he was living in Limerick (1649). He was in delicate health then and was teaching.
1652-1656 Kept a School in a vast bog, and in imitation of their master, the boys practised great austerities.
1666 Chaplain to a nobleman living sixteen miles from Dublin. He had been thirty years on the Mission (HIB CAT 1666 - ARSI)
He is named in a short account of the Irish Mission and Catholics in Ireland 1652-1656 by Thomas Quin, Superior of the Irish Mission : “Father Ford has erected a small dwelling in the midst of an extensive marsh, where the ground was rather firmer. Here the youths and children of the neighbourhood assemble to receive their education, and to be trained in the principles of faith and virtue” (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had graduated in Philosophy at Douai before Ent 02 December 1626 Rome
After First Vows he taught Humanities at Soria and then studied Theology at Naples where he was Ordained 1634.
1635-1637 Rector of Irish College Rome 02 December 1635
1637-1642 Sent to Ireland and to Dublin he taught Latin until he was expelled by the Puritans in 1642. He managed to arrive in Limerick where he was known to be teaching 1649. After the fall of Limerick he headed back to the Dublin region where he ran a hedge school.
1655 He changed from teaching to Missionary work and was based in the house of a nobleman some thirty miles from Dublin
1675 Appointed Superior of the Irish Mission 10/08/1675. He began this Office on 25 December 1675 but died a month later 25 January 1676

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
James Ford (1675-1676)

James Ford was born at Dublin on 15th May, 1603. After taking out his degree of Bachelor of Philosophy at Douay, he went to Rome, and entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea on 2nd December, 1626. After teaching humanities at Sora for two years, and studying theology for four at Naples, he was appointed Rector of the Irish College in Rome on 2nd December, 1635, and held that office till the end of February, 1637, when he set out for Ireland, and took up the work of teaching Latin at Dublin. In 1642 he was expelled from the city, but continued his teaching in other places. He made his solemn profession of four vows in September, 1644. In 1649 he was teaching in Limerick. On the fall of that city he returned to the vicinity of Dublin, where he carried on the instruction of youth in a remote spot surrounded by bogs (1652-62). He was appointed Superior of the Mission on 10th August, 1675, and entered upon office on the Christmas day following, but he only survived his appointment a month, and died at Dublin on 25th January, 1676.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father James Ford SJ 1603-1676
Fr James Ford was famous as a teacher of the classics. He was a Dublin man, born in 1603.

Having been Rector of the Irish College in Rome from 1635-1637 he returned to Ireland, where he taught Rhetoric in Dublin, Limerick and other places.

During the Cromwellian persecution, he conducted a school on a patch of firm ground in the middle of a bog. Here the youth and children of the neighbourhood assembled to receive their education and to be trained in the principles of Faith and virtues. It is disputed exactly where this bog was, some saying it was the Bog of Allen, which does not seem likely as it was far removed from Dublin. Others held that it was situated outside Limerick city, at a place known nowadays, as Crecora.

Fr Ford was appointed Superior of the Mission in 1675, but he died on January 25th of the following year, 1676.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
FORD, JAMES. This Professed Father, a native of Dublin, was living at Limerick, when Pere Verdier made his Visitation. He is then reported to be about 40 years old, but in delicate health, and employed in teaching Rhetoric, and also “bonus et doctus”. The next time that I meet him, is in a short statement of the condition ot the Catholics in Ireland, between the years 1652 and 1656, written by F. Thomas Quin, then Superior of the Irish Mission, “F. James Ford, has erected a small dwelling in the midst of an extensive marsh, where the ground was rather firmer. Here the youths and children of the neighbourhood assemble to receive their education, and to be trained in the principles of faith and virtue”.

Fortescue, William. 1814-1888, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/749
  • Person
  • 26 June 1814-23 February 1888

Born: 26 June 1814, Killyman, County Tyrone (Armagh)
Entered: 24 April 1850, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 23 February 1888, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1866 at Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was for a short time at Clongowes.
1853-1884 He was sent as Operarius and Missioner to Gardiner Street. As a Missionary he preached in all parts of Ireland with Robert Haly and others.
1884-1888 He was sent to Galway and then to Limerick
1888 He was moved to the Mater Hospital Dublin where he died 23 February 1888, and of the Gardiner Street Community.
He was a powerful Missionary, and very strong on Hell!

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father William Fortescue (1814-1888)

A native of Co. Louth, was admitted in France as a secular priest into the Society in 1853. He was many years in Gardiner St Church or engaged in missions throughout the country. He came to the Crescent in 1885 but died in Dublin on 23 February, 1888, after an operation.

Gaffney, John, 1813-1898, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/171
  • Person
  • 14 October 1813-31 March 1898

Born: 14 October 1813, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 13 September 1843, Drongen, Belgium (BELG)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1860
Died: 31 March 1898, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of Myles Gaffney - RIP 1861
Grand-nephew of John Austin - RIP 1784

by 1847 in St Paul’s Malta

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Myles Gaffney - RIP 1861. He had been Dean at Maynooth, and he resigned that position in order to spend the last years of his life in the Order his older brother had chosen long before him. Their Grand-uncle was the celebrated John Austin, a remarkable Jesuit in Dublin towards the middle of the eighteenth Century.

He did his first Ecclesiastical studies at the Little Seminary of Beauvais, France. From there he went to the Irish College in Rome, and was there in the days when Cardinal Cullen was President, and they had a good friendship. He gained three Doctorates at the Irish College, Philosophy, Laws and Divinity. After Ordination he returned to the Dublin Diocese and was appointed a Curate at Athy, and then Booterstown. And then just before his thirtieth birthday, he Entered the Society 13 September 1843.

By 1847 he had been sent to the Malta station, and he remained there for some time.
After that he was sent to Gardiner St, and spent close on forty years there, and was noted as one of the most active and zealous members of the Society in Ireland. He was mostly identified by Mission work, but he was also devoted to poor schools, particularly for the Catholic youth, who were under intense pressure of proselytism, He was seen as a man who brought salvation to these people. He established a ‘ragged’ school in Rutland St in close proximity to one of the proselytisers schools. He was so successful in attracting students that he had to seek larger premises, building a school on the site which became the St Francis Xavier School on Drumcondra Road. These schools were popularly known as “Father Gaffney’s Schools”.
1884 Failing health meant he had to abandon some of the active work and retire to Milltown. he remained there until his death 31 March 1898.
He was a man of marked ability. He was a profound Theologian and Philosopher, as well as an exceptional linguist, especially in Italian and French. During his years at Gardiner St, he was well known in Dublin, and admired and esteemed by all who knew him.
When he was moved to Milltown, there was a demonstration to keep him at Gardiner St. Later, the illness which caused his retirement became more severe, and his last days were ones of great suffering which he bore with resignation and fortitude. He died aged almost 85, and had spent fifty-five years in the Society. His funeral was held at Gardiner St and there was a large attendance of the clergy in the choir, and the laity filled the Church. Dr Leonard, Bishop of Cape Town presided.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Gaffney 1813-1898
The name of Fr Gaffney was a familiar one in the mouths of Catholics in Dublin in the ‘80s, and his memory will linger long as that of one who “rose in dark and evil days” to fight the battle of the Christian faith against unscrupulous opponents.

Born in Dublin on October 14th 1813, he was educated for the Church in the Petit Seminaire of Beauvais, France. After seven or eight years, he entered the Irish College Rome, in the days of Cardinal Cullen. He got a Doctorate in Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law.

On his return to the Dublin diocese, he was a curate first at Athy and then at Booterstown, but before his 30th birthday in 1843, he entered the Society of Jesus.

He worked for a time in Malta, but the greatest part of his life – 40 years – was spent in Gardiner Street. His main work was to fight against the proselytisers. With this object in view, he opened a school for poor children in Rutland Street, near a centre for souperism. So well did he succeed in his venture that he had to transfer to more extensive premises in Dorset Street, the site of the present day St Francis Xavier’s School. His efforts for the education of Dublin’s poor will cause no surprise when we recall that he was a grand-nephew of Fr John Austin SJ, who had done so much himself in this same cause at the end of the previous century.

Fr Gaffney died at Milltown Park on March 31st 1896. His elder brother, Dr Miles Gaffney had been Senior Dean at Maynooth College and had become a Jesuit in his last years, and predeceased John in 1861.

Galtrim, George, 1590-1617, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1344
  • Person
  • 1590-12 March 1617

Born: 1590, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 17 May 1609, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c 1617
Died: 12 March 1617, Dublin City, County Dublin

1613 Studying at Douai
1617 Catalogue In Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1617 In Ireland

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had previously studied at Douai before Ent 17 May 1609 Rome
There is no record of his scholastic life after Novitiate, but he is noted as being a priest by 1617 in Ireland.

Galway, David, 1575/7-1643, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1345
  • Person
  • 1575/7-22 December 1643

Born: 1575/7, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 10 November 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1609, Rome Italy
Died: 22 December 1643, Cork Residence, Cork City, County Cork

RIP 1634 or 1643 (if he appears in Verdier’s Report it is more likely 1643?)

Educated at Irish College Douai
1617 Catalogue Living in Ireland
1621 Catalogue On the Mission. Strong and fitted for more practical than speculative subjects. Not circumspect in conversations. An assiduous operarius
1622 in West Munster
1626 In Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was a merchant in early life; A devoted and daring Missioner for thirty years.
He had extraordinary adventures in Ulster, the Scottish Isles and Highlands, and the Isle of Man;
He converted hundreds to the orthodox faith; He was idolised in Cork; He was a man of singular mortification and piety; Miraculous things are told of him
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)
He left Ireland for Rome with a letter of introduction from Christopher Holywood. 30 June 1604, and a request that he might be sent to the Noviciate at St Andrea, Rome, and might make his Theology at the Roman College.
1617 In Ireland (Irish Ecclesiastical Record August 1874). After his studies and Ordination he came to Ireland, and visited Scotland and the Hebrides and Orkney Islands three times, in the disguise of a merchant, gaining many souls for Christ. he was a daring ad devoted Missioner for thirty years.
He is named in a letter of Father Lawndry (Holiwood) 04/11/1611 (IER April 1874) being then a companion of Robert Nugent, both of whom were assiduous in labour.
We also find him named in the Verdier Report to General Nickel on the Irish Mission 1641-1650, with an account of his virtues and labours.
His death was occasioned by need and want (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Initially had a career of a merchant, but let that go for Priesthood
Studied at Douai from 1601, but returned to Ireland with Christopher Holywood after his release from prison in 1603. Holywood then sent him to the Novitiate in Rome Ent 10 November 1604 St Andrea, Rome
After First Vows he continued his studies at the Roman College, and was Ordained there in 1609
1609 Sent to Ireland and worked mainly in West Munster, but occasionally went to Ulster, as well as visiting Scotland three times and the Isle of Man In later years he was sought by authorities for having reconciled a Protestant woman with the Church, and so he had to leave Cork. For a while he worked on Clear Island, but when he became ill he returned to the Cork Residence where he died 22 December 1634

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father David Galwey 1579-1643
Fr David Galwey was a merchant in his early life, and well used to the sea. This was of great advantage to him in his later life as a priest. Born in Cork in 1579, he became a Jesuit in 1604. He laboured in Cork City for 30 years, where he was idolised by the people, and after his death on December 22nd 1643, miraculous events were connected with his name.

His most noteworthy exploit was his mission to the Hebrides in 1619. A fluent speaker of Irish, he was at home with the Scots. He visited none of the islands, Islay, Oronsay, Colonsay, Gigha, Kintire, Jura, Arran, Sanday and Torsa. He visited these islands on three separate occasions. While there he went about disguised as a merchant. The Protestants hated him so much that they sent his likeness about in oder to secure his arrest. On wonder what is meant by the word “likeness”. Was it some kind of picture or drawing or a mere verbal description? Be that as it may, his life was hazardous in the extreme. For five months he never changed his garments, though often exposed to wind and rain. He had the consolation of converting many people on the islands, and of saying Mass for Catholics who had never seen the Holy Sacrifice offered up. This mission to the Hebrides was financed by Daniel Arthur, a merchant of Limerick, and fostered by the Irish Jesuits for a hundred years afterwards. A Fr Kelly was there some years after Fr Galwey, and a Fr O’Meara from Drogheda reconciled 200 Scots to the Church in 1712. It is a remarkable fact and a proud memory for the Irish Province, that in the midst of the struggles and dangers of the Penal Times, we still had men and interest for the foreign missions.

Fr David Galwey died himself of a cancer in Cork on December 22nd 1643.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GALWEY, DAVID. In a letter of F. Holiwood, written from Ireland, 30th of June, 1604, he begins by saying, “I send as the bearer of this, Mr David Galwey, an Alumnus of our Society. I wish you to send him to St. Andrew’s house of probation, and to go through his Theological studies in the Roman College. He has been with me for the last year, and in our opinion is fit for the Society, and specially adapted for this Mission, because he is well acquainted with the Irish as well as the English language. The life of a merchant which he followed before, makes him in the transaction of business more cautious and expeditious”. In due time F. Galwey returned to his native country, and multiplied himself in the cause of the Missions. Ireland did not present a field sufficiently extensive for his zeal and charity. For thrice, in the disguise of a merchant, he visited Scotland, the Hebrides, and the Orkney Islands, and gained many souls to God. Severe to himself and dead to the world, he labored and lived but to promote the greater honour and glory of his God. This Apostolical Father died ar Cork, of a cancer, on the 22nd of December, 1643.

Galwey, William, 1731-1772, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2324
  • Person
  • 30 September 1731-27 April 1772

Born: 30 September 1731, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 20 September 1752, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Died: 27 April 1772, Waterford City, County Waterford

◆ HIB Archive CAT SJ Notes

CATSJ A-H has “Wm Francis Galwey”; DOB 30 September 1731 Carrick-on-Suir; Ent 04 October 1752 or 20 September 1752 in France;
Did MA at Poitiers
1757 At College of Arras (FRA)
1761 2nd year Theologian & Bidell in the Boarding House attached to La Flèche
1762 at La Flèche (FRA)

◆ JC Archive Notes

  1. He was Dean of Waterford. 2. He was educ in Rome, entered the Jesuit Order 20 Sep 1752 (Ref 2 per Rev JB Stevenson SJ). 3. At the time of Anthony Galwey of Rochelle’s marr (1761) Rev WF Galwey was a Jesuit at La Fleche and was chosen to represent his father, but was unable to attend. 4. He was inducted PP of Trinity Within, Waterford, 13 Oct 1767 (It was not uncommon for Jesuits to undertake parochial duties at this period. All members of the Order became secular priests after its suppression, and remained so until its restoration in 1811). 5. He made his will 25 Apr 1772. 6. He was reported to be 'universally beloved and esteemed'. 7. The inscription on his tomb in St Patrick’s churchyard, Waterford styles him ‘Very Rev William Galwey’ (Canon Power considered that ‘Very’ coupled with the fact that his successor was appointed Dean immediately after his death indicates that he was Dean of Waterford (Refs 3 & 4). 8. His will (in which he styles himself ‘gent’ without any ecclesiastical prefix) is printed in Ref 5.

  2. Blackall, H., Galweys of Munster, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol. LXXII No. 215 (Jan-Jun 1967) p. 43.

  3. Records of the Jesuit Order in Ireland. 3. Catholic Record of Waterford & Lismore, 1916-17 4. Power, Hist of Dioc of Waterford & Lismore, p. 274. 5. Waterford Arch Soc Jn, vol 17, 1914, p. 103.

Gellous, Stephen, 1613-1678, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1358
  • Person
  • 01 February 1613-22 July 1678

Born: 01 February 1613, Gellowstown, Dublin, County Dublin
Entered: 17 May 1639, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 04 April 1643, Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 22 July 1678, New Ross, County Wexford

Son of John and Maud O’Dunn.
Studied Humanities in Dublin under a priest Mr Edmund Doyle, Philosophy in a house of the Society under Fr Henry Cavell. They taught Grammar in Dublin.
Received into Soc in Belgium by Fr Robert Nugent
1644 At Antwerp (Arch Irish College Rome IV)
1647 Came to Mission (1650 CAT)
1649 Catalogue is at Kilkenny
1666 Is near New Ross where he conducts a boarding school with Fr Rice, administers the sacraments and other parochial duties. Was captured three times but set free each time. Now on the mission 23 years
A book in Waterford Library has “Steph Gellous Soc Jesu Resid Waterf”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of John Gellows, a carpenter, and Maud née Dunn (Mechelen Album) Family originally from Gellowstown, Co Meath (now Bellewstown)
Early education was in Dublin under Edmund Doyle, a Priest, and then two years Philosophy under Henry Cavell at the Dublin Residence. He then taught Grammar at Douai until he was admitted to the Society by Robert Nugent, Mission Superior, 07 March 1637, and then sent to Mechelen for his Noviceship in 1639.
Studied three years Moral Theology. Knew Irish, English, Flemish and Latin.
1647 Sent to Irish Mission and had been a Professor of Poetry. Taught in the lower schools for three years and was a Confessor (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI)
1649 Teaching Humanities at Kilkenny (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
1650-1660 He was a Missioner in New Ross, and in spite of all the efforts of the rebel Cromwellian forces, he continued by a constant miracle to escape arrest and say his daily Mass, which he did for twenty years. He went sometimes disguised as a faggot-dealer, a servant, a thatcher, porter, beggar, gardener, miller, carpenter, tailor, milkman, peddlar, dealer in rabbit-skins etc. he was nevertheless arrested four times, but always contrived to escape.
1666 Living near New Ross, where he kept a boarding school with Father Rice, taught Humanities and was a Missioner, Preacher, and occasionally with Father Rice, performing the duties of PP to the satisfaction of the Vicar General. The school took the lead of all the others in the country, but it was broken up in the persecution of 1670.
1673 He then taught about forty scholars near Dublin, and then tried to return to New Ross to unsuccessfully re-open his school there.
He was captured four times, and as often released, including riding a race with Cromwellian soldiers. He worked in the Irish Mission for twenty-three years.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John, a carpenter, and Mouda née O’Dunn
Had studied Humanities for seven years under Edmund Doyle, a secular priest in Dublin, and then studied Philosophy for two years at the Dublin Residence with Henry McCavell (McCaughwell) as his teacher. With these studies, he then started teaching Grammar in Dublin, until he was received for the Society by Robert Nugent.
1641 After his First Vows he studied Theology at Antwerp, and with special dispensation from Fr General before he had begun his fifth year in the Society, he was Ordained there 04 April 1643. This dispensation was granted thanks to the Flemish Provincial’s report on Stephen's mature virtue.
1643-1644 Theology was not his forte and so he was sent immediately to Lierre for Tertianship
1644 Sent to Ireland and was to teaching at Kilkenny. Mercure Verdier in his Report of 24 June 1649 for the General on on the Irish Mission described Gellous as “an excellent religious man, who takes no part in worldly business”.
After the Cromwellian conquest he left Kilkenny to exercise his mission in Co Wexford. He became something of a legend for resourcefulness during the “commonwealth” regime. he was captured four times but managed to get free. On one occasion, a protestant judge, disgusted by the perjury of Gellous’ betrayer let him go free. On another occasion he was deported to France, but due to a storm the Captain had to return to port, and once there let Gellous go free. On yet another occasion, he was out on a mission when he rode straight into a troop of Cromwell’s, and he challenged them to a horse race. They accepted, and at the end of the race let him go.
His HQ during these years was New Ross, and it was there, probably at the Restoration, that he opened a famous school, and with Stephen Rice conducted it with great success. Protestants, no less than Catholics were anxious to have their sons educated at this school whom was seen as a genius teacher. One feature of this school was the production of plays he had seen acted in Belgium.
1670 He was visited by the Protestant bishop and told to close the school and leave New Ross. The decision angered Catholic and Protestant locals alike. He staged his farewell by putting on for free, four plays acted by his pupils for the town, and then withdrew to Dublin.
1671-1673 Outside Dublin he conducted a small school by himself for two years
1673 Back in New Ross by popular acclaim and was there until 1678 - the year of his death
Most probably notifications of his death to the General would have gone astray due to the confusion caused during the Titus Oates's Plot.
By the Society’s standards, Stephen was not a clever man in book-learning, but his judgement on weighty matters affecting the Irish Mission was both sought for and respected by the General.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Stephen Gelouse SJ 1614-1675
In Ireland exact date and circumstances unknown died Fr Stephen Gelouse, a man of versatile talents and great zeal. He was born in Meath in 1614, was admitted to the Society in 1639 by Fr Robert Nugent in Dublin, did his noviceship in Mechelen and two and a half years of Philosophy under Fr Henry Cavell in the Dublin Residence.

He will always be remembered for his long and arduous ministry in New Ross, where for nineteen years he laboured as a priest and teacher. His school was famous. Fr Stephen Rice, the Superior writes this to the General : “Stephen Gelouse SJ has been working in and near New Ross this year 1669, and ever since 1650. When the plague and Cromwell’s tyranny ceased, Fr Gelouse taught a small school in a wretched hovel, beside a deep ditch, and there taught a few children privately. When the king was restored, his companion thought they might make a venture, the hut was levelled and a large house built, where they opened a school. It became famous and drew scholars from various parts of Ireland. There were 120 boys, of whom 35 (18 Catholics and 17 Protestants) were boarders. The Jesuits were forced to take the Protestants by their parents. The school flourished for 6 years. Fr Stephen produced a play which was enacted in the main square in new Ross. The play lasted three hours and was witnessed by a very large throng of Protestants and Catholics, many of whom came from distant towns to witness the novel spectacle. For the first time in Ireland, scenery was used on the stage. After the play there was a distribution of prizes”.

When the school was forced to close in 1670, in spite of Protestant parents who fought the authorities for its continued existence Fr Gelouse went to Dublin, where he taught a school of 40 pupils. In spite of persecution, he never missed a day saying Mass for 20 years. He was arrested 4 times, but managed to escape. He used adopt many forms of disguise : a dealer in faggots; a servant; a thatcher; a porter; a beggar; a gardener; a miller; a tailor; a milkman; a peddler, a carpenter and seller of rabbit skins. It was no wonder that he was so expert at training the youth to act.

In 1673 he tried to reopen the school at New Ross, but Protestant fanaticism defeated him. He was still alive in 1675.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GELOSSE, STEPHEN, born in 1617, was teaching Poetry in Kilkenny College in 1649, and was then reported by the visitor Pere Verdier, as a truly good and religious man. I believe he made his debut as a Missioner at Waterford, whence he was sent to Ross to attend F. Gregory Dowdall in his last illness, and who died in his arms, on the 9th of August, 1659. For the next 19 years he continued to exercise his pastoral functions in that town and neighbourhood. No dangers that threatened him from the Cromwellian party who filled every place with blood and terror, could deter this genuine hero from doing his duty : no weather, no pestilential fevers, no difficulties could hold him back from visiting the sick and the dying in their meanest hovels!. His purse, his time, his services, were always at the command of the distressed Catholic : it was his food and delight to exercise the works of mercy corporal and spiritual. Though the tyrant Cromwell had issued a proclamation to his troops, (and they were in the habit of searching the houses of respectable Catholics), that should they apprehend a Priest in any house, the owner of such house should be hung up before his own door, and all his property be confiscated; and that the captors of the Priest should be rewarded at the rate the Wolf destroyers formerly received (so little value was attached to a Priest s life); nevertheless F. Gelosse managed every day to offer up the unbloody sacrifice of the altar : his extraordinary escapes from the clutches of his pursuers border on the miraculous. He adopted every kind of disguise; he assumed every shape and character ; he personated a dealer of fagots, a servant, a thatcher, a porter, a beggar, a gardener, a miller, a carpenter, a tailor with his sleeve stuck with needles, a milkman, a pedlar, a seller of rabbit skins, &c. thus becoming all to all, in order to gain all to Christ. However, he was four times apprehended, as he told F. Stephen Rice; but his presence of mind never forsook him and he ingeniously contrived to extricate himself without much difficulty. After the restoration of Charles II. he set up a school at Ross, which took precedence of all others in the country, whether rank, numbers, proficiency, discipline, or piety, be taken into consideration, but this was broken up by the persecution in 1670. He then removed to the vicinity of Dublin, where he taught about forty scholars; and in August, 1673, he returned to Ross to reopen his school, but at the end of three months was obliged by the fanatical spirit abroad to abandon this favourite pursuit. He was still living in the summer of 1675, when I regret to part company with him.

Geraldine, Michael, 1588-1621, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1517
  • Person
  • 29 September 1588-30 August 1621

Born: 29 September 1588, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 20 September 1607, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 15 March 1614, Brussels, Belgium
Died: 30 August 1621, Antwerp, Belgium - Flanders Province (FLAN)

Alias Fitzgerald

Son of Richard Geraldine and Margaret Cusack
Studied Humanities in Ireland and Antwerp before Ent
Educated at Irish College Douai
1611 Strong, clever, industrious, and a good classical scholar. Pleasing in conversation. Will possess some judgement when he develops, can show impatience.
1613 At Louvain studying Theology

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica”
Son of Richard Geraldine and Margaret née Cusack
Early education in Ireland, then three years Philosophy at Antwerp.
Admitted to the Society by the FLAN Provincial Father Florentine before Ent at Tournai.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ
Son of Richard and Margaret née Cusack
Had studied at Irish College Douai before Ent 20 September 1607 Tournai
After First Vows he completed his studies and Douai and Louvain and was Ordained at Brussels 15 March 1614
After Ordination he taught Philosophy and later Scripture at Antwerp until his death there 30 August 1621

Gwynn, John, 1866-1915, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1396
  • Person
  • 12 June 1866-12 October 1915

Born: 12 June 1866, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 18 October 1884, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 12 October 1915, Béthune, France - Military Chaplain

Member of the Mungret College, Limerick community at the time of death
Younger brother of William - RIP 1950
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1892 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Coláiste Iognáid.

He studied Philosophy at Louvain and Theology at Milltown. He also did Regency in the Colleges, and at one stage was a Teacher for the Juniors. He was a man of brilliant achievements academically. He was for some years at Crescent as a Teacher and Operarius. He gave Lenten Lectures at Crescent and Gardiner St, reputedly brilliantly. For some years before he became a Chaplain to the troops he acted as Dean of Residence at University Hall.
1914 He became Chaplain to the Irish Guards and continued with them until his death in France 12 October 1915

The following Tribute was paid to him in a letter from Desmond Fitzgerald, Captain Commanding 1st Battalion Irish Guards 16/10/1915 :
“Dear Father Delaney, You will of course by now hard of Father Gwynn’s death, and I know full well that the universal sorrow felt by all ranks of this Battalion will be shared by you and all the members of your University, who knew him so well. No words of mind could express, or even give a faint idea of the amount of good he has done us all out here, or how bravely he has faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every officer, NCO and man in the battalion.
The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left who saw him out here we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. The unfortunate shell landed in the door of the Headquarter dugout just as we had finished luncheon, on October 11th. Father Gwynn received one or two wounds in the leg, as well as a piece of shell through his back in his lung. He was immediately bound up and sent to hospital, but died from shock and injuries at 8am the next morning, October 12th. he was buried in the cemetery at Bethune at 10am October 13th. May his should rest in peace. But, although he has been taken from us, he will still be helping us, and rather than grieve at our loss, we must rejoice at his happiness. Yours sincerely, Desmond Fitzgerald..”

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/201511/john-gwynn-sj-no-greater-love/

John Gwynn SJ – “No greater love”
A memorial mass took place on Sunday 11 October 2015 at the Sacred Heart parish in Caterham, Surrey, to commemorate the centenary of the death of Irish Jesuit Fr. John Gwynn, who was Chaplain to the Irish Guards and who served in France during the First World War. Many knew him as a powerful and eloquent preacher at the Sacred Heart Church and at St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Dublin, where questions of sociology had a strong attraction for him. Fergus O’Donoghue SJ who represented the Irish province at the event said, “I was very glad that myself and Brother Michael O’Connor (former Royal Marine and British Jesuit) had gone because the local parish people had made such an effort, and there was a display on John Gwynn’s life, and generally it was just great.” A memorial plaque was erected in the Church by the Irish Guards who were based at Caterham barracks nearby. Bishop Richard Moth, the bishop of the diocese and former bishop to the Armed Forces, noted the enthusiasm of the Sacred Heart parish and presided over the special mass on Sunday evening. “It was by chance that an article of Fr. Gwynn was seen online by his grandniece from Massachusetts,” says Fr. Fergus. “She got in touch and sent a message. It was lovely because the whole parish got involved.” The mass itself featured the song We Remember You by children from St. Francis’ School as well as the recessional hymn Be Thou My Vision, based on St. Patrick’s Breastplate. Lord Desmond Fitzgerald, the Captain of the 1st Irish Guards has written: “It is certainly no exaggeration to say that Fr Gwynn was loved by every officer, N.C.O. and man in the battalion.” Furthermore, an Irish Guard who was also an Old Belvederian spoke of the Jesuit’s presence at the Medical Officer’s dugout so that he could be near his injured men, and that he organised sports and concerts to keep up morale. He even returned to the battlefield despite being crippled after a shell wounded him.
John Gwynn SJ experienced internal suffering during his lifetime. “It’s quite clear that he had a condition like bipolar disorder (a mental illness characterised by extreme high and low moods), then known as suffering from nerves,” says Fr. O’Donoghue. Through all of this, he was extremely brave and he was an enormously successful chaplain. Fr. Gwynn was fatally wounded in action near Vermelles, Northern France on 11 October 1915 and he died the next day at 50 years old. It was said that he would have been happy to die as a ‘soldier of God’.

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

Note from William Gwynn Entry :
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway.
.........After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Gwynn 1866-1915
Fr John Gwynn was born in Youghal on June 18th 1866, and received his early education at St Ignatius Galway. He was one of those who made his novitiate at Loyola Dromore.

He was a man of brilliant attainments. His Lenten Lectures delivered at Limerick and Gardiner Street, were outstanding, and were published afterwards under the title of “Why am I a Catholic?” He acted as Principal of University Hall for some years.

In 1914 he became Chaplain to the Irish Guards, and was killed in France on October 12th 1915. The following are one or two excerpts from the Officer Commanding the Battalion at the time of his death :

“The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left out here, we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. No words of mind could express or even give a faint idea of the amount of good e has done us all out here, or how bravely he faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is certainly no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every Officer, NCO, and man in this battalion.

He was buried in the cemetery at Bethune at 10am on October 13th 1915. May he rest in peace”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1916


Father John Gwynn SJ

Though not. a pupil of Belvedere, Father Gwynn was connected with the College by teaching here for some time, and many who knew him here or came into contact with him in other ways will be glad to read the following brief sketch of his time as Chaplain to the Forces. It was sent to us by one of the Irish Guards, who writes of Father Gwynn thus :

“This account does not in any way exaggerate his doings. On the contrary more could be said by those who were more intimate friends of his.

When he joined us in Meteren last November twelve months. I had a conversation with him, in which I learned he was. an old Belvederian, but before my time. He was actually loved by the men of our battalion, and too much cannot be said of the way in which he looked after each and every man of the battalion.

His first experiences were very rough. It was January 15th when I saw him wading in water up to his chest to reach the front line of trenches to comfort the men with his jolly conversation.

He was as well known and appreciated by the other battalions which comprised our Brigade as he was with us, and made friends with all. He was taken to hospital suffering with lumbago a few days prior to the 18th May, 1915, when I was wounded. His loss was a great blow to all ranks: Not being present at the time, I can only imagine the regret his death caused to all those who had made his acquaintance”

The following is the account referred to :

A short appreciation of his work while he was attached to the 1st Bn Irish Guards, on active service, from November, 1914, until his death from wounds received in action on October 11th, 1915.

This account, written by request, is an attempt to give, quite shortly and . simply, a rough idea of Father Gwynn's work at the front with the 1st. Battalion Irish Gụards. No words could express the amount of good he did, and it is impossible to draw a true picture of his life and work. Only those who knew him personally and watched him, out there, can realise how wonderful his work was.

For many years before the outbreak of war, Father Gwynn was one of the governing body at University College, Dublin, but as soon as the war began he volunteered to act as Chaplain on active service. In the first week of November, 1914, he was attached to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and joined it forth with, having, as he often said afterwards, but little idea of what his work would be. He was our first war-time Chaplain, so there were no precedents to follow, and he had to strike out his own line. When he joined us he found the Battalion resting and re-equipping in a little French village; for it had just come through very bad days at Ypres, and was greatly reduced in officers and men. We remained in this village until the week before Christmas, and during this rest we were reinforced by large drafts from home. Father Gwynn at once set to work to get to know the men, and very quickly they understood each other, for he and they were Irishmen. His tact and judgment gained for him the confidence of officers and men, and after a very few days he settled into his new surroundings as if he had been in them from the beginning.

From Christmas week onwards the Battalion was employed in trench warfare, and underwent many vicissitudes. Father Gwynn shared with us every hardship and trial throughout the wet winter; he lived with us, and became part of the Battalion. When we were in the trenches or in action he stayed with the Medical Officer at the Battalion Regimental Aid Post, near the Headquarters - the place to which wounded men are taken for first dressings. At other times he would share the Medical Officer's dug-out, so that he might lose no time if a man were wounded but go to him if need be at any moment of the day or night. During the day he would constantly go round the trenches, even when they were being shelled, and visit and talk to the men, heedless of his own danger.

When the Battalion was in billets or resting he would hold services, hear confessions, or give help to any man in his own billet, or in the local churches. Those churches in which he held his services had often had their roofs blown off by German shells. He was ready, too, to take an active part in any concerts or sports for the men, and employed his spare time in training some of them to form a choir to sing at his services. As far as was humanly possible he attended all the wounded and dying, and administered Extreme Unction whenever this was necessary; and he invariably read the burial service over men who were killed, even when it meant, as often it did especially after the British advance in September - that he must stand up at night in the open on a battlefield swept by bullets.

On February 6th, 1915; when an attack was being made, Father Gwynn was slightly wounded by a shell which burst near him. He was shaken, but remained at duty. In April and early May he suffered much from lumbago, but pluckily stayed at work till the middle of May, when, completely crippled, he was carried into hospital on a stretcher. He was absent two months, staying at different French hospitals. During that time another. Chaplain was posted to the Battalion to carry on his work, but Father Gwynn returned in mid-July, before lie was really fit to do so. By sheer force of will, and with the necessary amount of care, he gradually regained a great part .of. his normal health, but he was never quite so strong as he had been before his illness. Nevertheless, from the moment he returned to the Battalion he took up the work he had begun, and continued it right up to his death. In October, 1915, we were employed in holding and consolidating the trenches captured from the Germans, and those days were some of the most unpleasant in our experience. At this time more, if possible, than at any other, did Father Gwynn show the most splendid courage and unselfish care for the men. Certain portions of the line came in for vigorous shelling, and the trench was often blown in by aerial torpedoes, which in some cases buried a number of men. At the worst place would be found Father Gwynn, always ready to help the wounded, or to administer the Blessed Sacrament to the dying. He made it his unaltering practice to write to the relations of any man that had fallen, and in this way his words will have brought comfort to many desolated Irish homes. Thus each day he did his work.

On October 11th, 1915, he was at luncheon in the headquarters dug-out with four companions when a German shell landed and burst in the doorway. Father Gwynn received many wounds in different parts of the body, and one piece of shell struck his back and pierced a lung. That same shell also wounded our Commanding Officer, so that he too afterwards died, and slightly wounded another. Luckily, the Medical Officer was present, and Father Gwynn's wounds were at once. dressed; and, although he was in great pain, he was only unconscious for a few minutes. The stretcher on which he lay was carried with difficulty down a long communication trench-in many places blown in by German shells - and eventually reached the motor ambulance that took him to the Officers' Hospital at Béthune, where he received every possible attention. But it was the end. He died at eight o'clock next morning, October 12th, 1915, from wounds and shock. He was buried at 10 am on October 13th in the Béthune cemetery, where lie so many other officers and men who have likewise given their lives for their country. The burial service was read by Mgr Keating, the head of the Roman Catholic Chaplains in France. All the men would have wished to be present, but the Battalion was still in the trenches, and few could be spared. Yet many other officers and men of other units managed to be there, It can truly be said that the news of his. death was felt as a blow by every officer, NCO and man, and each one realised the loss, pot merely of their chaplain, but of a dearly loved friend.

A monument of marble has been raised by the Battalion over his grave, which bears these two inscriptions :

attached to the
1st Irish Guards
He died at Béthune on October 12th,
1915, from wounds received in action
near Vermelles on October 11th,

  1. Aged 44 years.

This Monument has been erected by all ranks of the 1st Bat. Irish Guards in grateful Remembrance of their Beloved Chaplain, Father Gwynn, who was with them on Active Service for nearly, 12 months from Nov 1914, until his death, and shared with unfailing devotion all their trials and hardships.

Father Gwynn was fortunate in his death, and in the cause for which he died, and also fortunate, as he often said, in finding in the 1st Battalion of Irish Guards a splendid and worthy field for his work - a body of men capable of vision and of inspiration as well as. of courage and faith. And now can only be said over again what I said in the beginning : by his deeds, which cannot be expressed in words, he has left to those who saw him at his work an in indelible memory, and -an inspiration.

May his soul rest in peace!”

◆ The Clongownian, 1916


Father John Gwynn SJ

Chaplain to the 1st Irish Guards

Born 1866. OT 1884. Died of wounds, Béthune, Oct. 12th, 1915

The following notice of Father Gwynn's death appeared in the Freeman's Journal :

We regret to announce the receipt of intelligence from the War Office by his relatives of the death at the Front of the Rev John Gwynn SJ. The sad event took place on the 12th inst. Father Gwynn had been at the Front almost since the beginning of the war, having been appointed Chaplain to the Irish Guards. He was wounded early this year, and though ill and suffering since that time, and occasionally in hospital, remained at his post as long as he was able. His loss will be greatly felt, not only by the men of his gallant regiment, but by all who had the pleasure and honour of knowing him and his work in Dublin. He was a Galway man, born half a century ago, entered the Society of Jesus in 1884, and was a student at historic Louvain, subsequently becoming a professor in Clongowes and in the University College, Dublin. He was a powerful and eloquent preacher, and questions of sociology had a strong attraction for him.

One of the papers he read some years ago before the Catholic Truth Society on social problems in Dublin was of special interest. His Lenten Lectures at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, received much attention.

The high esteem in which Father Gwynn was held by both officers and men is shown in the following letter from the late Lord Desmond Fitzgerald to Father William Delany SJ

1st Batt, Irish Guards, BEF,
October 16th, 1936

Dear Rev Father Delany,
You will, of course, have heard by now of Father Gwynn's death, and I know full well that the universal sorrow felt by all ranks of this battalion will be shared by you and all the members of your University, who knew him so well. No words of mine could express or even give a faint idea of the amount of good he has done us all out here, or how bravely he has faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is certainly no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every officer, NCO and man in the battalion. The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left who saw him out here we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. The unfortunate shell landed in the door of the Headquarter dug-out just as we had finished luncheon, on October 11th. Father Gwynn received one or two wounds in the leg, as well as a piece of shell in his back through his lung. He was immediately bound up and sent to hospital, but died from shock and his injuries at 8 am the next morning, October 12th. He was buried in the cemetery at Bethune, at 10 am, on October 13th. May his soul rest in peace. Although he has been taken from us, he will still be helping us; and rather than grieve at our loss, we must rejoice at his happiness.

Yours truly,
Captain Commanding 1st Batt, Irish Guards.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1916


Father John Gwynn SJ

Most of our readers will have heard of the death of Father Gwynn, which occurred on October 12th, 1915, in France, where he was acting as Chaplain to the First Battalion of the Irish Guards. Our College has much reason to mourn his loss. He was on our Teaching Staff in 1902-03 and again in 1913-14. Soon after the outbreak of the war he volunteered as an Army Chaplain, and those in this house can well remember the eagerness with which he awaited the all too tardy, acceptance of his offer by the War Office, for he was in spirit and temper a born soldier In November, 1914, he was attached to the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards as, their Chaplain. He was no stranger to that regiment; for he gave retreats to them more than once at Knightsbridge and Caterham.

The life of a Chaplain at the front must be a busy one; and certainly Father John did not spare himself: “When the men were in the trenches” a Guardsman says of him, “he constantly shared the Medical Officer's quarters, either in his dug-out or at the Regimental Aid Post, where the wounded were taken for first dressings”. It was his practice also to write to the relations of any man that had fallen, and thus was the means of bringing consolation to many an Irish home. He still managed to spare time to take part in any concerts or sports got up by the men, and he contrived to train some of them to form a choir for his services. He had indeed a great fund of gaiety and bonhomie, and he had much of the boy about him. It was a treat to hear him render “Clare's Dragoons”, “De Wet” or “Corcabaskin”. He had great gifts as a lecturer too, and as a preacher. At the front he had much to suffer. Shortly after his arrival he was knocked down by the concussion of a shell and slightly wounded by a splinter. He soon, however, recovered consciousness and did not even go off duty. On another occasion, while ministering to the wounded under fire, it would seem that he was almost buried under a fall of sand and clay, caused by the bombardment. He had to spend a month or two in a hospital in France because of severe lumbago, and indeed returned to his men before he was completely cured. Finally, on the 11th of October he was in a dug-out with some of the officers when an enemy shell landed in the doorway and, exploding, injured several of them. Portion of it pierced Father Gwynn's left lung, and he was wounded in several other places. Taken at once to hospital he lingered through the night, preserving perfect consciousness. Having received the Last Sacraments he expired calmly on the morning of the 12th. He was buried at Bethune next day with solemn rites, the last blessing being read by Mgr Keatinge, Senior Chaplain to the Forces, who in a letter subsequently described him as “a splendid priest, absolutely devoted to his men”. Another soldier who shared his dangers has written of him - “By his deeds he has left to those who saw him at his work an indelible memory and an inspiration”.

The marble monument which the Irish Guards have raised to his memory in the churchyard at Bethune has this inscription :

Attached to the
1st Irish Guards,
He died at Bethune on October 12th, 1915,
from wounds received in action near
Vermelles on October 11th, 1915,
Aged 49 years.
This monument has been erected by all Ranks of the 1st,
Bat. Irish Guards in
grateful Remembrance of their Beloved
Chaplain, Father Gwynn, who was with
them on Active Service for nearly twelve
months, from Nov 1914, until his death,
and shared with unfailing devotion all
their trials and hardships.

To his sister, Mrs. Daly, Mount Auburn, Mullingar, and to his brother, Father William Gwynn SJ, of Manresa, Norwood, S Australia, we offer our deepest sympathy. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father John Gwynn (1866-1915)

Was born in Youghal and received his early education at St Ignatius' College, Galway. He entered the Society in 1884 and made his higher studies at Louvain and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1899. Father Gwynn spent three years as master at the Crescent, 1903-06. With the exception of one year, 1910-11, when he was temporarily employed as lecturer in theology at Milltown Park, he was henceforth a member of the community at UCD, first at St Stephen's Green and later at Leeson St. He was the first warden of Winton House, the parent of Modern University Hall, Hatch St, Dublin. Father Gwynn volunteered as chaplain in the first world war and earned fame for his courage and devotion to his men. He died in the discharge of his duties as a priest.

Halley, Thomas, 1578-1613, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1402
  • Person
  • 1578-21 November 1613

Born: 1578, Kilmallock, Co Limerick
Entered: 13 October 1605, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1605, Douai, France - pre Entry
Died: 21 November 1613, Saint-Winoc, Bergues, France - Belgicae Province (BELG)

Father was Robert and Mother was Joanne Verdon
Studied in Ireland, Douai and Lille. read 3 years Philosophy at Douai and 2 years Theology at Louvain
1611 Teaching Greek for 2 years at Louvain
1611 CAT “Strong constitution, upright though sometimes indiscreet. Rather mediocre, suited for Mission in Ireland, because of his local knowledge but also his readiness for work and powers of updating himself on the ways of others”
1617 Is in Ireland???

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Robert and Johanna née Verdon
Studied partly in Ireland and partly at Douai under the Jesuits, and Ent after Ordination, received by BELG Provincial Oliverius
He was a very learned and pious Priest (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
(cf Tournay Diary MS, Brussels n 1016 p 557; Irish Ecclesiastical Record August 1874)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan :
Son of Robert and Joanna née Verdon
Had studied at Douai and was Ordained 1605 before Ent 13 October 1605 Tournai
After First Vows he taught Greek for two years
1609 Sent to Louvain to do more Theology
1612 Moved from Louvain to Berghe-Saint-Winoc where he died 21 November 1613
Noted for his command of Irish and so was in demand by the Irish Mission

Hanrahan, Nicholas, 1831-1891, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1407
  • Person
  • 21 October 1831-09 April 1891

Born: 21 October 1831, Templeshanbo, County Wexford
Entered: 12 September 1853, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1861
Professed: 15 August 1873
Died: 09 April 1891, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Hanregan, Thomas, 1592-1623, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1408
  • Person
  • 1592-1623

Born: 1592, Clonmel, CoUNTY Tipperary
Entered: 1616, Landsberg, Germany - Gemaincae Superioris Province (GER SUP)
Ordained: 10 June 1622, Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: 23 October 1623, England in transit

1619-1621 At Ingolstadt, in Theology and teaching Philosophy
1623 Sent from Germany to Ireland via England (1622)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1617 In Bavaria
1622 In Fourth Year Theology at Ingolstadt
Sent for by Christopher Holywood

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ
Had studied at Douai and graduated MA with a brilliant public defence before Entry 1616 Landsberg
After First Vows he studied at Ingolstadt and was Ordained there 1622.
1622 Sent to Ireland for health reasons. He was so poorly that he had to spend a year convalescing at Munich before departing for Ireland. He then died 23 October 1623 England in transit

Harper, J Conor, 1944-2024, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2370
  • Person
  • 20 November 1944-25 January 2024

Born: 20 November 1944, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered: 12 September 1963, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1975, Gonzaga College SJ, Ranelagh, Dublin
Final Vows: 31 May 1985, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare
Died: 25 January 2024 - Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death

Born : 30th November 1944, Dublin
Raised : Rathmines, Dublin
Early Education at De La Salle, Churchtown, Dublin

12th September 1963 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
27th September 1965 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1965-1968 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1968-1970 Chantilly, France - Studying Philosophy at Séminaire Missionaire
1970-1972 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD
1972-1975 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
20th June 1975 Ordained at Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
1975-1976 Paris, France - Studying Theology at Centre Sèvres
1976-1980 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Assistant Headmaster;
1977 Gamesmaster; Chaplain to French Community in Ireland
1980-1981 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1981-2009 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Chaplain to French Community in Ireland
1982 Spiritual Father to Higher Line; Vice-Postulator for Cause of Fr John Sullivan SJ
31st May 1985 Final Vows at Clongowes Wood College SJ, Co Kildare
1987 Vice-President of Alliance Française
1998 Sabbatical in USA
1999 Teacher; Spiritual Father to Poetry; Co-ordinator of Student Exchanges; Co-ordinator of twinning Clongowes and Portora Royal School, Enniskillen; Chaplain to the French Community in Ireland; Vice-Postulator of the Cause of Fr John Sullivan SJ
2000 Moderator Higher Line Debating Society
2001 Patron Higher Line Debating Society; Consultor; Chaplain to Higher Line
2007 Vice-Postulator of the Cause of Fr John Sullivan SJ; Teacher; Spiritual Father to Higher Line; Assists in College; Chaplain to the French Community in Ireland
2009-2024 Milltown Park - Curate in Sacred Heart Parish, Donnybrook; Vice-Postulator of the Cause of Fr John Sullivan SJ; Chaplain to French Community in Ireland
2018 Assists in Sacred Heart Parish, Donnybrook, Dublin 4; Vice-Postulator of the Cause of Fr John Sullivan SJ
2021 Cherryfield Lodge - Vice-Postulator of the Cause of Fr John Sullivan SJ; Prays for the Church and Society


Conor Harper SJ: Rest in peace

Jesuits, family and friends, and Michael Jackson, the Church of Ireland Archbishop, attended the funeral Mass of Conor Harper SJ, in the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook, Tuesday 30 January 2024, 11 am. Conor died peacefully in Cherryfield nursing home on Friday 26 January, where he was being cared for after a long illness. Many who could not make his funeral Mass in person watched it online.

Fr Conor was part of the parish team in Donnybrook parish from 2009 until 2021. At the start of Mass the parish priest of the Sacred Heart Church, Fr Ciaran O’Carroll, welcomed the large number of parishioners who were in attendance and said that their presence was a testament to the service that Fr Conor gave to the parish.

Bruce Bradley SJ presided at the Eucharist. In his homily, he spoke about Fr Conor’s deep affiliation with France and his contribution as chaplain to the French community in Dublin. He welcomed the French Ambassador Vincent Guerend’s attendance at the Mass noting that Conor loved all things French and was awarded the medal of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2014 ».

Fr Bruce recalled his time with Fr Conor at Emo in 1963 as a Jesuit novice. “He was a larger-than-life figure. He was loyal and generous,” commented Bruce; “And he would truly go out of his way for another person again and again… Conor honoured the work of Pope Francis in mirroring the understanding of the Church as a field hospital for the wounded.”

Fr Bruce concluded by telling those gathered the story of what Conor replied when asked what God might say to him when he returned home. “God will forgive me,” said Conor, “That’s His job, that’s who He is”. Conor died holding the crucifix with which he made his first vows, said Bruce. “He trusted in God’s mercy to bring him home safely to His blessed room.”

Fr Conor joined the Jesuit Order in 1975. He taught at Belvedere College SJ and Clongowes Wood College SJ. He was appointed Vice-postulator of Fr John Sullivan SJ’s canonisation cause and was deeply devoted to Fr John and his cause.

Fr John Sullivan SJ was baptized in the Church of Ireland. His father was a Protestant and his mother was a Catholic. At 36, he converted to Catholicism and later joined the Jesuit Order. It was in this context that Fr Conor became a close friend of the Church of Ireland. On hearing of his death, Dr. Michael Jackson, Church of Ireland Archbishop, issued a statement expressing his condolences to Conor’s family, to his fellow Jesuits, and in particular “to the community of Clongowes where Conor taught for many years”.

The Archbishop noted that “Conor was a lifelong friend of the Church of Ireland and fearless in his expounding and living a gracious ecumenism. He died fittingly on the culminating day of the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. In this spirit, Conor is known throughout Ireland and worldwide for his advocacy of the cause of The Reverend John Sullivan SJ who in so many ways lived the best of both the Anglican and the Roman Catholic traditions. Conor rejoiced in working for this cause and in the family members of John Sullivan whom he met through this”.

Fr Conor’s brother Neil shared some final words at the end of Mass, telling the congregation that Conor was “full of life, and joy and he loved the company of others.”

Before his final commendation, a family relative led the congregation in saying the novena prayer to Fr John Sullivan SJ. Fr Conor’s cortège then made its way to Clongowes Wood College SJ, where he was buried alongside the Blessed Jesuit for whose cause he worked so tirelessly right until the end.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Hogan, Edmund, 1831-1917, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/472
  • Person
  • 23 January 1831-26 November 1917

Born: 23 January 1831, Clonmel, Cobh, County Cork
Entered: 29 November 1847, St Acheul, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1855
Final vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 26 November 1917, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

by 1854 at Laval, France (FRA) studying Theology 2
by 1856 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology 4
by 1865 at Rome, Italy (ROM) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
“Educated at UCD; D Litt 1897; Fellow and Examiner RUI; Professor of Irish and History at UCD; RIA Council, Todd Professor of Celtic Languages, Sec for Foreign Correspondence; Governor of the High School of Irish Learning; Brehon Law Commissioner for the publication of the ancient laws and institutes of Ireland; Has written more twenty or thirty works .......” - Catholic Who’s Who and Year Book”, 1915.

On his death, the following notice was published :
Father Hogan, who passed away peacefully after an illness which, up to the last, had not impaired his mental powers, was the last link with the pioneer days of O'Donovan, O’Curry and Zeuss. He was born in Clonmel, close to Queenstown 23 January 1831. Entering the Jesuit Noviceship at St Acheul at the age of sixteen, he was Ordained nine years later, and spent long and active years in labouring, now in the pulpit and confessional, now in the classroom. He was one of the founders of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, in 1859, remaining there until 1865.
A subsequent year in Rome contributed largely to the definite trend of Father Hogan’s mind and interests towards the study of Irish antiquities. The Irish and other archives in the Eternal City started him upon a field of enquiry where he was to prove himself a singularly diligent and competent toiler. In spite of many difficulties, including the failure of his eyesight, he pursued studies along various lines of Irish linguistics, history and archaeology, and commenced in 1880 the publication of a series of works, many of which, at least will survive as imperishable monuments of energetic and well-directed scholarship.
The list of over twenty numbers would be too long to print here - we may mention as types, the “Documenta de Sto Patricio’, the “Battle of Ros-na-Righ” and other volumes in the Todd Lecture Series. “Ibernia Ignatiana”, “Distinguished Irishmen of the 16th Century” and the great “Onomasticom Goedelicum (completed in his 77th year) - a work bearing witness to his powers of laborious and minute research.
From 1888-1908 Father Hogan filled the Chair of Irish Language and History at UCD. He was a useful and active member of the RIA, and a Commissioner for the publication of the Brehon Laws.
His many fine personal qualities, no less than his eminent merits as a scholar, gained him the esteem of a circle extending even beyond the shores of the country, for which he laboured so untiringly and unselfishly, and will cause his departure, even at the ripe old age of eighty-seven, to be sincerely mourned.”

Note from Joseph O’Malley Entry :
He made his Noviceship in France with William Kelly, and then remained there for studies with Eugene Browne and Edmund Hogan

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Hogan, Edmund Ignatius
by Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh

Hogan, Edmund Ignatius (1831–1917), priest, Irish-language scholar, and historian, was born 23 January 1831 at Belvelly, near Cobh, Co. Cork, youngest son of William Hogan, craftsman, and Mary Hogan (née Morris). Though the older members of the family were native speakers of Irish, he was brought up through English. He entered the Jesuit Order at 16, beginning his noviciate in the Jesuits' French province on 29 November 1847. He stayed there until 1854, when, having completed his first two years of theology, he transferred to St Beuno's College, Flintshire, Wales, where he was ordained on 23 September 1855, completing his fourth year of theology the following year. He took his final vows in 1866.

On his return to Ireland he began teaching at Tullabeg House, King's Co. (Offaly) (1857–8), and was transferred the following year to Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. He was one of the founders in 1859 of Sacred Heart College, The Crescent, Limerick, where he stayed until 1865. That year he travelled to Rome, where he researched Irish Jesuit history. This resulted in Ibernia Ignatiana (1880). From 1873 to 1877 he was attached to the Catholic University, teaching moral theology. He served as priest and teacher in various Irish Jesuit colleges, although his teaching duties gradually decreased as he devoted himself more to scholarship. He began teaching in UCD in the 1880s and served as professor of Irish language and history there until the dissolution of the Royal University of Ireland in 1909. He was appointed examiner in Celtic by the RUI in 1888 and subsequently served as fellow in Celtic/Irish until 1909. He received a D.Litt. honoris causa from the RUI in 1897. In the RIA, to which he was elected in 1890, he was Todd professor of Celtic languages (1891–8), a member of the council (1899–1904, 1905–9), and secretary for foreign correspondence (1907–9). In addition, he was appointed a commissioner in 1894 for the publication of the ancient laws of Ireland and was a governor of the School of Irish Learning from its foundation in Dublin in 1903.

His impressive literary output in Latin, Irish, and English began in 1866 with Limerick, its history and antiquities. Other publications include Cath Ruis na Ríg for Bóinn (1892), Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894), History of the Irish wolf dog (1897), and A handbook of Irish idioms (1898). He spent ten years preparing his greatest, and as yet unsurpassed, work, Onomasticon Goedelicum (1910), a reference book on names of places and tribes found in Gaelic manuscripts. After its publication his sight and general health began to deteriorate and he lived a life of semi-retirement.

He died 26 November 1917 at the Jesuit House, Lower Leeson St., Dublin, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery. Papers relating to him are housed at the Jesuit Archives, 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin.

Royal University of Ireland Calendar, 1888–1909; Douglas Hyde, ‘A great Irish scholar’, Studies, vi (1917), 663–8; John MacErlean, ‘A bibliography of Dr Hogan, S.J.’, Studies, vi (1917), 668–71; IBL, ix (1918), 64; The Society of Jesus, A page of history: story of University College Dublin 1883–1909 (1930); Michael Tierney (ed.), Struggle with fortune (1954), 33; William Hogan, ‘Rev. Edmund Hogan S.J.: an eminent Great Island scholar’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., lxx (1965), 63–5; Beathaisnéis, i, iv, v

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund Hogan 1831-1916
“At a ripe old age, loved and admired by a large circle of friends and honoured by scholars in many countries, there passed away from us the Rev Edmund Hogan SJ D Litt”. These are the opening words of an article on Edmund Hogan by the late Dr Douglas Hyde, in Studies 1917.

Edmund Hogan was born on 23rd January 1831 near the Cobh of Cork. He became a Jesuit at the age of sixteen and was ordained nine years later. He was one of the founders of the Sacred Heart College Limerick, and remained there from 1859-1865. From there he proceeded to Rome where he ransacked the Archives, and he gathered a vast amount of information relating to the history of the Society and of the Irish Church.

The fruit of his labours may be seen from a brief list of his works :
“Ibernia Ignatiana”, “Onomastican”, “Goedelicum”, a life of “Father Henry Fitzsimon SJ”, “Distinguished irishmen of the 16th Century”, “Outlines of Grammar of Old Irish”, “The Bollandists Life of St Patrick”, “Chronolofical List of the Irish Jesuits 1550-1814.
His net was wise. His studies include :
“History of the Irish Wolf-dog”, “Irish and Scottishe names of Herbs, Plants, Trees, etc”, “Physical Characteristics of the Irish People”.

He was Professor of Irish Language and Hostory at University College Dublin, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, Governor of the High School of Irish Learning, and one of the Brehon Law Commissioners for the publication of the ancient laws and institutes of Ireland.

“He had a fine presence, his head was handsome, his forehead broad, his eyes kindly, and his manner always courteous and affable. With all his great learning, he was charmingly simple, and he delighted in anecdotes about people he had met and known”.

He died at Leeson Street on November 26th 1916. It was of him that Fr Henry Brown made a famous remark at recreation after his funeral “Well, I’m sure Fr Hogan will take what is coming to him like a man”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Father Edmund Hogan SJ
By Richard Ingham (Giving incidentally a glimpse of Clongowes in the Sixties)
My recollection of Father Edmund Hogan goes back to the year 1865-6, when he came to Clongowes to teach a class of philosophy. consisting of four students, James Galavan of Waterford, James Doyle of Wexford, Myles McSwiney of Dublin, and Stephen Boisson a Frenchman. These were high and mighty gentlemen, from the schoolboy's point of view, not mixing with the ordinary students and seldom seen by them except at a distance in Chapel, where they occupied one of the Community tribunes.

The professor of philosophy, then a fairly tall man, dark haired, and with an alert soldierly carriage, and a most genial and prepossessing appearance, we admired from a distance, but we had no acquaintance with him. In the next year, 1867-8, Father Hogan taught the class of 1st of Grammar, of which I was a member. Feeling deeply the loss of Father Stanley Mathews, of the family of Mount Hanover, Drogheda, one of the most fascinating men I ever met, always in college and in after life the best and truest of friends, the welcome extended to Father Hogan was, I fear, not warm.

After a little, his kindly, genial temperament won our regard and respect, and we pulled along evenly and well.

In those days the relation of master and pupils was intimate and very personal. In nearly all the subjects of their course the master was their sole teacher, and he was their guide, philosopher, and friend, and from the affection born in the classroom of times grew a strong, loving friendship, a help and stay to the pupil in all the joys and sorrows of his after life. Thank God, I have precious memories, alas, only memories, of many.

The present system in our colleges, I fear, is not calculated to foster such old world sentiments.

Long ago it was the custom for the master to bring his boys out to walk on playdays and half holidays, if they so wished, but the boys had to go to the castle and ask him.

Father Hogan was ever a great student, and in my days under him, all his spare time, and indeed all his waking thoughts, were devoted, we boys understood, to the preparation of a grammar, I daresay a Gaelic one, that was to throw into the shade all grammars hitherto in use. We sometimes found it difficult to catch our hare when he was wanted for a run, but when once caught, he gave us good sport, and was the most amiable and best of leaders. On one occasion we went to Maynooth, and after seeing the College, had a grand lunch of beefsteaks and pies in the hotel, over which Father Hogan presided, and we toasted the President in ginger beer.

It must have been trying to a man of his habits and tastes to have to run about the country roads with a pack of raw lads who took not the slightest interest in the studies or pursuits he most cared for. Never once, during the whole time he was our master, did I see Father Hogan show the least touch of annoyance, or shall I call it low spirits, on those occasions.

In 1868-9 Father Hogan was again our master in the class of poetry, of which Stephen Brown, now the Crown Solicitor of Kildare, was easily and worthily the Imperator primus. In this year our class acquired musical celebrity. Every day at the end of the after noon class our master, closing his desk, stood up and said, “Now, boys, a little French pronunciation”, and all standing, some in tune and some far from it, sang two verses of a hymn to our Blessed Lady, called “Reine des Cieux”. Never before, nor I suppose since, has choral music waked the corridors of Clongowes during class hours.

Father Hogan was singularly painstaking and patient in his efforts for our improvement, and always anxious that his class should make a decent appearance on all public occasions. As instances of the trouble he gave himself in these matters, I may mention the following. Twice he distinguished me, to my great annoyance, by selecting me to read the essay written by him at the academical exercises in July, 1868, and again as the reciter of the English poem in July, 1869. Curiously, the latter, called “A War Mirage on the Rhine”, was a vivid picture of the war that broke out the following year, 1870. Day after day alterations were made in that poem, until my small stock of patience being exhausted, I bluntly said I would learn no more new lines. My ill-temper was met with a genial smile, but the verses still grew. To practise' me in the required strength of pronunciation, I was brought to the big field beyond the pleasure ground, where, standing at one end and Father Hogan at the other, my success or failure depended, without regard to wind or distance, on Father Hogan's hearing me distinctly. I used to have a rough throat after these performances. To all of us, notwithstanding our shortcomings, Father Hogan was ever cheerful, kind, and singularly amiable, and at the end of the two years his class parted from him with the most kindly feelings, which lasted with the survivors to his death.

These thoughts were in my mind as I prayed beside the coffin, and looked upon the face of my dear old master for the last time. I seemed to hear again the voice coming to me across the big field, “Speak louder, I can't hear you”, or again calling on his class of Poetry to sing their evening hymn.

Richard Ingham


For Father Hogan's subsequent career as Irish historian, archæologist, and linguist, we must refer our readers to a sketch of him which appeared in “Studies” of last December under the heading “A Great Irish Scholar”. It is from the pen of Dr Douglas Hyde, joint founder and first president of the Gaelic League, and is a worthy tribute to his work, It is followed by a list of no fewer than thirty-eight publications by Father Hogan, Included in this list, which fittingly ends with his masterpiece, the “Onomasticon Gadelicum”, completed at the age of seventy-nine, appear four items which are the fruit of his connection with Clongowes. It was from a MS. preserved in Clongowes that he published for the first time in a large quarto volume of nearly four hundred pages, the “Description of Ireland and the State thereof as it is at this present in Anno 1598”. From another MS preserved in Clongowes he published in the “Irish Ecclesiastical Records” : “Hayne's Observation on the State of Ireland in 1600”. Then there is “The History of the Warr of Ireland (from 1641 to 1653)”, by a British Officer of the regiment of Sir John Clotworthy. This from a third Clongowes MS was published by Father Hogan in 1873, in a little volume of one hundred and sixty pages. Lastly, he published comparatively recently from yet another MS preserved in our Museum, “The Jacobite War 1688-1691”, by Colonel Charles O'Kelly.

Father Hogan died at 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin, on 26th November, 1917. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959
Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Edmund Hogan (1831-1917)

A native of Cobh, the eminent Gaelic scholar and historian, was one of the pioneers in the foundation of Sacred Heart College. He entered the Society in 1847; and it is clear that his superiors expected great things of him from the fact that his period of formation was so shortened that he was only twenty-eight years of age when he arrived as a priest in Limerick in 1859. He was appointed minister of the house in 1861 and was in charge of the boys' choir. He remained in the Crescent until 1864. The following years were devoted to research work amongst medieval Irish MSS. For a time he worked with the Bollandists in Belgium on the Lives of the Irish Saints. He returned to the Crescent in 1884 on the teaching staff but remained only one year. The following year at Clongowes saw the end of his career as master. After a short period in Tullabeg, where his sole work was study, he became lecturer in Celtic studies at University College, Dublin and retained that post until the National University replaced the Royal University of Ireland. He remained in the Leeson St community for the rest of his days. Limerick is proud of its associations with Father Hogan's great predecessor in the chair of Celtic Studies, Eugene O'Curry, whose business here was that of time keeper for the building of Sarsfield Bridge. The city may also be proud of its association with Edmund Hogan whose business here was the humble task of educating Limerick schoolboys.

Hudson, James, 1669-1749, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1462
  • Person
  • 1669-14 May 1749

Born: 1669, County Wexford
Entered: 1689, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Died: 14 May 1749, Douai, France - Belgicae Province (BELG)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
HUDSON, JAMES, born 17th June, 1665: entered the Society at Bologna, 27th September, 1689. After completing all the higher studies in Italy, and teaching Humanities there, he returned to his native country on the 4th June, 1704. This Professed Father resided with the Earl of Nithsdale, and is described in a letter of the 9th September, 1712, as “Vir prudens et religiosus qui suum munus omni cum diligentia obit, Multis utilis, omnibus charus?” Whilst Superior of his brethren, he was apprehended in 1715, as Chaplain to the nobleman above-mentioned, and committed to close custody. On his discharge he retired to Douay, where he died full of days and merits on the 14th May, 1749.

Hughes, Joseph, 1843-1878, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1466
  • Person
  • 13 January 1843-02 September 1878

Born: 13 January 1843, County Carlow
Entered: 02 March 1865, Milltown Park
Ordained: 1874, Leuven, Belgium
Final Vows: 02 February 1878
Died: 02 September 1878, Milltown Park

member of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick community at the time of death

Younger brother of John Hughes- RIP 1888 and William Hughes - RIP 1902

2nd year Novitiate at Amiens France (FRA)
by 1867 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1872 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1877 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of John Hughes- RIP 1888 and William Hughes - RIP 1902
He had made some of his Priestly studies before Entry.

His second year Novitiate was at Amiens, where he also studied Rhetoric..
He studied Theology for three years at Louvain, and was Ordained there 1874.
1876 He was sent to Drongen for Tertianship
1877 He was sent to Limerick Teaching
He was Prefect and Teacher at Tullabeg over different periods.
1878 He arrived in Milltownfor his Annual Retreat, and then for Villa at Killiney. He contracted a fever there, was nursed and died at Milltown 02 September 1878.

Jordan, Michael, 1610-1673, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1486
  • Person
  • 29 September 1610-08 December 1673

Born: 29 September 1610, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 19 March 1633, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1641, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 01 January 1651
Died: 08 December 1673, Sezze, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

1636-1639 At Roman College - Disposition or talent, judgement and proficiency good.
1642 At St Andrea Tertianship
1645 At Illyricum College (Loreto) (ROM) teaching Grammar and Philosophy. Fit for lighter subjects and for governing
1649 In the Greek Seminary Rome as Minister and teaching Philosophy and Theology
1651 At Spoleto College - fit to teach speculative sciences
1655 In the Illyricum College teaching Grammar, Philosophy and Theology
1658-1661 Penitentiary at Loreto teaching Philosophy and Theology
1669, 1671 Rector of Irish College Rome, but also said to be Rector of Montesanto (ROM) in 1669
1672 at Politabo College, teaching, penitentiary Rector for 4 years and Minister for 2
1675 & 1678 Catalogue not mentioned

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already studied at Douai before Ent 19 March 1633 Rome
After First Vows he resumed studies at the Roman College and was Ordained there 1641
1644-1664 Sent to a Chair of Philosophy at Illyrian College Loreto, and later a Chair in Theology - and during this time he also lectured at Spoleto and Viterbo (1650-1652)
1664-1670 Sent as Minister to Montesanto, where he became Vice-Rector in 1665, and then Rector 28 September 1667
1670-1671 Rector of Irish College Rome where he showed himself a far-sighted financial administrator, but his rule was unpopular with the seminarians whose summer vacation he decided should be shortened from twenty to fifteen days. His rectorship lasted only a year.
1671 With failing health he retired with permission from Fr General to the College of Montepulciano, and he died at Sezze 28 December 1673
He had been chosen to go to Ireland in 1649 but the worsening condition of the country caused the General to cancel permission for the journey

Kane, Robert I, 1848-1929, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/25
  • Person
  • 29 March 1848-21 November 1929

Born: 29 March 1848, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 03 November 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880, Laval, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1888, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 21 November 1929, Milltown Park, Dublin

Oldest brother of T Patrick - RIP 1918 and William V - RIP 1945
Cousin of Joseph McDonnell - RIP 1928

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1869 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1875 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying
by 1877 at Laval, France (FRA) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Oldest brother of T Patrick Kane SJ - RIP 1918 and William V Kane SJ - RIP 1945

Paraphrase/Excerpts“Irish Catholic” :
“Father Robert Kane SJ, well known as ‘the Blind Orator’ died at Milltown Park.... The son of William J Kane of Dublin and his wife Mary MacDonnell of Saggart ... he was a nephew of Sir Robert Kane, distinguished Irish scientist, author of “The Industrial Resources of Ireland”, and first cousin to the famous Admiral Henry Kane. He received his early education at Clongowes (1859-1864) and Ushaw (1864-1866).

After First Vows he went to St Acheul and then Roehampton for studies. He then spent three years Regency at Clongowes teaching Classics, and then back to France at le Mans, then two years Philosophy at Laval and followed by three years Theology and he was Ordained in 1880. Ill health forced him back to Ireland where he finished his Theology.
When the Philosophical school was opened at Milltown in 1881 he was appointed Professor of Physics and Ethics, which due to failing sight he was forced to abandon after a couple of years. He made his Tertianship at Roehampton and was then sent to Gardiner St. for two years and where he made his Final Vows. Then the Theology faculty was opened in 1889, and in spite of his disability, he was appointed Professor, and again after three years he had to abandon this post due to poor sight.
He remained at Milltown after he finished as professor, with the exception of two years at Crescent (1901-1903). He now devoted himself to the ministry of Preaching, Confessing and giving Retreats. Though totally blind for almost 30 years he would not abandon work. His strong and determined character would not consider a life of inaction or repose. He was fifty-six when he started teaching Philosophy and an oculist told him his eyes would not stand the strain, but he went ahead anyway. Instead, knowing blindness would come, he resolved to acquire a thorough knowledge of Philosophy and Theology, a store on which he would have to draw in the future. In the darkness of his blindness he sat composing his sermons and committing them to memory. He was then continuously sought after as a Preacher both in Ireland and England. His style was florid and rhetorical, but the matter was solid and profound. He could make dry scholastic argument live by the touch of his poetic mind.
Although blind he was able to prepare many works for publication, ad so he kept working right until the end. His last illness lasted 10 days and he died peacefully at Milltown.
Shortly before his death the Senate of the National University of Ireland notified him that they intended to confer the Degree ‘Doctor of Literature’ on him, in recognition of his published work.”

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930
Obituary :
Fr Robert Kane
Fr. Robert Kane ended his long and heroic life at Milltown Park, Dublin, on Thursday Nov. 21st. 1919. Fighting a battle against blindness for 40 years, and during all that time preaching sermons, many of them on great occasions, giving retreats, writing books, travelling alone through a crowded city, going on long missionary journeys, surely all that lifts a man's life to the heroic level. And such was the life of Fr. Robert Kane.

He was born in Dublin on the 29th March 1848, His first school was the Loreto Convent, N. Gt. Georges St, in which street his family then lived. He spent a short time at a school in Gloucester St., then for a year was with the Carmelites in Lr. Dominick St., another year at Newbridge, went to Clongowes in 1859, and finally to Ushaw in 1864 where he put in two years. When at Clongowes he began to think of joining the Society. At that time he was a Ward of Court, under the authority of the Lord Chancellor, and the change to Ushaw was, possibly, to test his vocation. He remained firm and entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park on the 3rd. Nov. 1866. He went to St. Acheul for his juniorate, where, on his 21st birthday, 29th March 1869, he took his vows. A second year's juniorate, spent at Roehampton, followed, and then Clongowes for three years teaching 1st Grammar and Poetry.
It was during these three years that his eyesight, in consequence of a neglected cold, first became affected. A distinguished Dublin oculist, a protestant, told him that he would eventually lose his sight, that he would he unable for a life of severe study, and suggested settling down in the country to farm land. Fr. Kane went to our College at Le Mans instead, and put in a year as lower line prefect.
Next came philosophy, two years at Vals, and a third at Laval. On his way to Vals he got leave to visit Lourdes, and he ever afterwards believed that the result of the visit was a special grace that enabled his eyesight to hold out during the long years of severe Jesuit study. Theology followed immediately - three years at Laval, (at the end of them came the expulsion
from our houses in France), the fourth year was passed in private study at Clongowes. Fr. Kane was ordained in the Cathedral at Laval on the 8th Sept. 1880, travelled to Dublin and said his first Mass at St Francis Xaviers, Gardiner St. on the feast of the Dolours BVM.
Those who made their studies at Laval will remember the excellent custom of having a long sleep to 5am during the minor vacation. Fr. Kane would not avail of this privilege. Up at 4am., and, when the morning devotions were over, pounded hard in his room until 11.45. On Villa days there was a forced march of some 40 or 50 miles. On getting back to Ireland
this too strenuous work was increased rather then lessened. People say that he burned the candle at both ends.
However the studies were get through without serious mishap. From issi to 1991 the 1883 the philosophers of Milltown had him as one of their professors and their immediate Superior. In the latter year tertianship was commenced at Milltown, but did not last long, the eyes were getting ominously bad, and for nearly two years he was laid up partly at Milltown, partly at Dusseldorf. In 1885, all the Catalogue says about him is “Cur Val”. In 1886-87 he made his tertianship at Roehampton, and when it was over went to Gardiner St., remained there for two years and then returned to Milltown as professor of the “Short Course”. He held this position for three years, but the eyes seem to be getting slowly, steadily worse, and by 1892 his energies were confined to “Exam. NN., Trad. exerc. spir., conf. ad jan”. From that date he remained at Milltown until his death, with the exception of two years spent at the Crescent, Limerick . Limited space inexorably compels to postpone a further sketch of Fr. Kane's life to the June number.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930

Obituary : Fr Robert Kane continued

Up to about the year 1901, Fr. Kane was still able, under favourable circumstances, to read his own manuscripts, large, heavy writing. But about that date the sight failed completely. He became stone blind.
It was then that the heroism of the man asserted itself. He did not lie down under the weight of his heavy cross. He continued to preach, to give lectures, retreats, to move about the country on missionary journeys. And he prepared all his discourses with the upmost care. At first sight this would seem impossible, but with the help of a secretary, and the aid of the more than willing scholastics of Milltown, the work was done.
Fr. Kane's style of preaching had many ardent admirers and many very severe critics, He was quite alive to this fact, and defends himself as follows : “I frankly and most willingly admit that there are able and admirable men who don't quite approve of my style of preaching. To them, and to all those who share their views, I offer my “Apologia”. I never for a moment thought my style is the only good style, nor did I ever fancy that it is the best style. My position is this : My style is the best style for me, and for those amongst my audience whose character and sympathies are like my own.
“Nothing is too good, too beautiful, to he the living shrine of the living Word. The inspired practice of the Church has been always, when this is possible, to build her grand Cathedrals., her humble pretty Chapels for her King to dwell therein. No gold is too pure, no precious stones too costly or too brilliant to enshrine His Precious Blood, no silk too fine, no lace too delicate to adorn His Altar or its ministers. So, too, no oratory is too elevated, or too touching, or too beautiful to be the medium of His teaching or His appeal.
This is true of the personal character of the Priest, as he is Christ's Preacher. To his Divine work, the individual Priest must put all the thinking of his mind, the knowledge of his study, the care of his writing, the accuracy and finish of his speech, the power and attraction of his voice, the fitness, the reverence and the subdued sacredness of good taste in gesture. In all this the Priest must he himself, his very own best self. This is my ideal, and I have tried to realise it in myself.”
The depth of Fr. Kane's holiness has been, fortunately, revealed to us by a little book, a few copies of which were distributed on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee. It consists of a collection of prayers composed by himself. The prayer for patience occupies just six pages of that book. Though he does not say so, it is quite obvious that his own heavy cross was pressing on him, and the prayer tells us how he bore it. Only a few lines of those six pages can be given : “Jesus Christ, my God and my Redeemer, I accept my cross as a result of my own folly, ignorance, or obstinacy, as a result chosen or permitted by Thy Supreme Will. I accept it as a punishment inflicted by Thine Absolute Justice, As a keepsake sent from Thy Sacred Heart; As the Sign of the Cross upon my life; As a moulding of my life into a likeness of Thine own life. I accept it in union with Thine own most bitter Passion, and in union with the Dolours of Thine own most Blessed Mother. I accept it with unquestioning resignation, with thanksgiving, with gratitude for Thy goodness to me and mine, in reparation for my faults and sins”. He confided to a friend, that it costs him years of struggle to say this prayer with his whole heart. The “Prayer of a Religious” is very striking. Again no mention of himself, and again quite obvious that he is unconsciously laying bare his heart . He thanks God for the “inestimable grace of vocation”, for God's “mysterious mercy”, in keeping him true to that vocation, and then, in impassioned words, begs for the grace to he faithful to that vocation in life and in death. Those who can speak with certain knowledge tell us of his tender devotion to Our Blessed Lady, from boyhood. Of course the “Few Special Prayers” contains prayer to the “Virgin Mother”. But there is scarcely a prayer in the book in which Mary is not called on with tender devotion and absolute confidence. Fr. Kane was very honest when telling us of the praise or blame meted out to him during life. Surely he was not less honest when dealing heart to heart, with God, and these Special Prayers tell us how he dealt. His piety did not lie on the surface, but every page of that book reveals the true Jesuit, the real, genuine A “Man of God”
During his period of total blindness Fr. Kane prepared for the press and published the following : “The Eucharist”; “From Peter to Leo”; The Virgin Mother”; “The Sermon of the Sea and other Stories”; “Socialism”; “The Plain Gold Ring:’ “Good Friday to Easter Sunday”; “God or Chaos”; “From Fetters to Freedom”; “Worth”; “A dream of Heaven and other Discourses”. A poem of his “From out the Darkness” appeared in the Irish Monthly, October 1885, 1885, that gives a good idea of his character.
Shortly before his death, the Senate of the National University notified him that they intended to confer the degree of Doctor of Literature on him in recognition of his published work.
We are again indebted to Fr. P. Gannon for the following appreciation It appeared in the : Standard” 1of Nov. 30th. :
After Fr. Finlay, Fr. Kane, and another link is snapped with the ecclesiastical Ireland of the last half century. Much more, too, than his younger colleague did Fr. Kane pertain to that past. The final years of blindness naturally lessened contact with men and passing events.
Yet Fr. Kane refused to be alone, or to be severed from the world of men. He did not retire to his tent embittered and inactive. He came of a fighting race and continued the good fight, as he saw it, with a gallantry well nigh heroic. He reminded one a good deal of an abbé of the ancient régime - perhaps because so much of his education was received in France. He had the dignity and stately courtesy of older times. His appearance in the pulpit suggested even a prophet of the Old Testament - The handsome face, the flowing beard, the voice, rich and sonorous till age weakened it, the gestures graceful and impressive, the moral earnestness, the air of conviction of this sightless seer caught the attention and stirred the imagination of his listeners. These external characteristics, united with a genuine gift of eloquence which he had cultivated with his wonted thoroughness and assiduity, made him perhaps the most distinguished pulpit orator in Ireland for a whole generation. Loss of sight, making its insidious approach from early manhood gradually forced him to relinquish the professor's chair, for which he was highly qualified, and compelled him to devote all his energies to the pulpit and the lecture platform. He became “the blind orator”, widely familiar as such throughout Ireland and Great Britain, and rarely has success been more nobly won. The style of his oratory is less in harmony with the taste of to-day, and never lacked its critics. It is studied, self-conscious and somewhat artificial. It abounds in antitheses, alliteration, and elaborate cadences, which would have earned for him the reproach of Asianism among the ancients. His very dedication to his art, so admirable under the circumstances, rendered him a victim to its wiles, which are not without their seduction. The loving care which he devoted to his periods robs them too often of naturalness and spontaneity.
But when criticism has had its say, it remains true that he was a very polished, impressive and at times even great preacher, who exercised an undoubted spell upon crowded congregations for almost fifty years, and has left eleven volumes of sermons and lectures to perpetuate his fame.
They are, perhaps, a little too rhetorical, but they are not mere rhetoric, They are informed by a sound knowledge of theology, and philosophy, and give evidence of an earlier literary formation which an almost phenomenal memory kept at his disposal even to the end. This would be no mean achievement for any man, and for him, with his tragic handicap, was a triumph of will-power and brain-power which none can fail to admire.
Indeed we may say that, though he preached frequently and eloquently, the noblest sermon of all was just his life-long fight against disabilities that would have daunted the courage of any heart less resolute than his, or less stayed on God. For the secret of his strength was just an unwavering faith in “HIM who rules the whole”.
His cousin, the admiral, rescued the Calliope from a storm in southern seas in which all others perished. Father Kane saved the vessel of his own career from similar shipwreck by moral seamanship not less wonderful. In addition to his activity in the pulpit he was an assiduous giver of retreats to priests, religious and laymen, He was also a very popular and trusted confessor, and the director of many souls. Many still remain who will mourn hint and miss the cheery tones inculcating courage and confidence all the more persuasively because coming from one who had never failed to exemplify these virtues in his own sorely tried life.
Fr. William Kane once asked Fr. Robert, by letter which of his sermons or sets of lectures did he himself prefer. The reply was a straight and as honest as the passage in which he gives us the criticisms of those who disliked his style of preaching : “The dearest to me of all my writings is my set of lectures on “the Virgin Mother”. They are the realisation of a long cherished hope. They are inferior from a literary point of view to many other sermons and lectures which I have written , yet, as I told you once, I want to have a copy of them put in my coffin. The sermon on Dr. Nulty was the greatest triumph which I have achieved. The fierce feud between the Parnellites and anti-Parnellites, the rancour of anti-clerics, with many other causes, made the occasion one of almost unparalleled difficulty. To my own mind it appears that I never got so near the highest oratory, as in the way in which I approached the subject, marshalled my materials, interested my audience, and won their sympathy for my hero before they were conscious of it, brought his enemies to lay down their arms, brought his friends to be generous towards their opponents. and left the feud buried with the great old Bishop. That will sound very conceited, but it is not really so, I had prayed with the most intense earnestness, and I relied exclusively on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Against the entreaties of my greatest friends and those whose wisdom I esteemed most highly, I neither asked nor took advice. I let my own thought and feeling follow implicitly the inspiration which I knew l had a right to claim from God in the doing of His work.
“Good Friday to Easter Sunday” puzzles me. On the one hand, it is my natural expression of my most intense reverence and feeling, and, as far as I can look upon it coolly and impartially, it seems to me very good literature, as far as my own personal style goes , but, on the other hand, it falls so immeasurably below its subject, that 1 should wish to to rewrite almost every sentence of it, but 1 know and feel that if I were writing and re-writing it for ever I should always remain dissatisfied.
If you find all this too long and too egoistic, you have only got yourself to blame for asking an imprudent question”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Kane 1848-1929
Fr Robert Kane, well known as the “Blind Orator”, died at Milltown Park on November 21st 1929. He was born in Dublin on March 29th 1848, brother of two other famous Jesuits, Frs Patrick and William. He was a nephew of the renowned scientist Sir Robert Kane, and a firsst cousin of Admiral Henry Kane.

Fr Robert entered the Society in 1866, and he professed Philosophy at Milltown Park, a post he had to relinquish owing to weak sight. On the opening of the Theological faculty at Milltown in 1889, he was appointed to a chair there from Gardiner Street, in spite of his defective sight. Again, after three years he had to give up. From 1889 he resided at Milltown Park, apart from two years at the Crescent.

During all those 37 years he devoted himself to preaching and giving retreats. Though totally blind for 30 years, he never ceased working for God.

At the beginning of his philosophical studies he had been warned that his eyes could not stand the strain of study. Yet he persisted, and he refused to renounce his vocation. Knowing the affliction that would ultimately come upon him, he laid up a store of learning in the Sacred Sciences, that never failed him during his years of darkness.

He was in continual demand as a pulpit orator, both in England and Ireland. His style eas florid and rhetorical, but the matter was solid and profound. It was during this long night of the soul that he prepared for the press those numerous volumes of his including “Sermon on the Sea”, “God or Chaos” and “Socialism”. Thus he kept working up to the very end.

The character and determination displayed by him iin overcoming his handicap, and the vast amount of good he accomplished for religion, are a lasting and inspiring example to all Jesuits.

◆ The Clongownian, 1927

The Past

Father Robert Kane SJ

We take this opportunity of offering to Fr Robert Kane our very sincere felicitations on the celebration of his Diamond Jubilee in the Society, in November last.

His service in the good cause has not been that of those who stand and wait. Through forty long years of the darkness he himself has suffered he has continually upheld the torch to light the way for others. In the pulpit, in the confessional, with the pen, he has laboured with un rernitting vigour, with undaunted courage, with a vision before his eyes which is denied to many who look upon the beauties of this world. Only last year his most recent book, “The Unknown Force”, was reviewed in the “Clongownian”, while large as is the number of his published works, the body of his unpublished work, sermons, lec tures and addresses of various kinds, is greater still. Thus, even in his eightieth year, is his sword not rusted.

Contre mauvaise forturte bon coeur is a motto which Fr Kane will recognise, should these words come to his ears. Courage is the word which seems most effectively to sum up his character and his outlook. His is a courage in the truest and highest sense of the word, a courage which finds its strength in God, and which, relying on Him, has fought its way through black difficulties which most men can but dimly guess at.

◆ The Clongownian, 1930

“My Star” (Ave Maris Stellis)

Father Robert Kane SJ

Hid in tumultuous gloom, the winds made war
On the sad sea, which, wild with pain and white
With terror, leaped from the storm's stroke to height
Of cloud ; then stunned, fell moaning back afar
Down to vague chasms. Forth flashed forked fire to mar
Death's sacred horror with its demon light,
When, through the gale, the gloom, the rage, the night,
Appeared a lull, a gleam, a hope, a star.

Thus did a storm of sorrow , my day
In tangled violence of woe, that tore
My heart with wreck and havoc. But the gray
Grim tempest fled in scattered drift before
My star, and, as its mutterings died away,
The waves still sobbing, smiled and slept once more.

Written by the late Father Robert Kane, S.J.. and first published in “The Irish Monthly”, May, 1896,



Father Robert Kane SJ

Nowhere ought the memory of Father Robert Kane be enshrined with more reverent care than in “The Clongownian”. Father Kane was the soul of loyalty to the College, and represented the best type of its sons. From nature he had received striking gifts, but to Clongowes he owed very much of their development and of his life-long characteristics in mind and manners. Holy, priestly, learned, a cultured gentleman-such he was in gerin when in his eighteenth year he left the College walls to enter the novitiate of the Society of Jesus; such he was when he returned thither to form the minds and tastes of another generation of Clongowes' boys; such he was in fullest development when, on Whitsunday, 1914, in the new chapel, he hailed with enthusiastic eloquence the joyful occasion of the College centenary. He was proud of Clongowes, and Clongowes has had good reasons to be proud of him.

Undoubtedly, other influences also moulded him into what he became. Of his early surrender of himself to the Society of Jesus I will not speak, save to recall that it was followed by sixty-two years of unwavering loyalty. He spent altogether nine years in France. There his mind was trained to the orderly and disciplined habits that go to make the clear thinker and the thoroughly Catholic theologian, and that in other ways too help to render life successful and beautiful. But he was too much of an Irishman to like everything he met in France. I think he sensed there a certain narrowness and rigidity which repelled him and which made him throughout life to use a French expression something of a “rondeur” a ready critic of what he thought impostures, and a tendency (controlled, no doubt) to be “agin the government”. He was not always patient with the failures of other people to reach the high ideals he had conceived as to life's conduct; and his refined idealism, combined with a quick wit and a cultivated power of epigrammatic expression, were not gifts calculated to win him unvarying popularity. One thing they would have done, combined with his strong intellect and eager ...ness as a student-that was to make him a brilliant professor. He was beginning to find himself thoroughly, it seemed, as an exponent and disputant in theology or philosophy. But it was not so to - continue at least not in the obvious way.

And so. We come to the last great formative influence in his career. This was his blindness. Induced by whatever causes - imprudence on the part of others, or imprudence in his own application to study - this dread affliction fell upon Father Robert in the prime of his manhood, came as a death-in-life when he was beginning to add to the successes of a gifted professor those of a popular preacher, when, too, he was physically full of a still-juvenile activity. A harder trial could not easily be imagined. Inexorably the shades of i night crept on, while hope after hope faded out, the long succession of forty-three years began to build round the sufferer an ever-closer prison of darkness and repression. No longer could he pick out from their shelves and skin through at will the great tomes that were his chief nental food, no longer stride forthi at four miles an hour to drink in the beauty of mountain Or sea, no longer wander freely through the pictured pages of poet or novelist or essayist.

Yet it was a wonderful proof of his elasticity and resource that he made life for himself so livable in a simply natural way as he did. He was astonishing, even in his completely blind days, as a walker, a skater, a swimmer, a diver, In such recreations he often proved his light-hearted courage in feats that left onlookers open-mouthed. But better than all this was his victorious battle against idleness and uselessness. Early he acquired the habit - afterwards so marked a feature of his career, and his success - of composing sermons and other discourses in his mind not in a vågue or haphazard fashion, but with complete grasp of the whole and the parts, and with exacting choice of every word. {In his published volumes one notices with regret that his inability to revise printers' proofs has often played false with this text). He could then dictate without pause the finished discourse to whatever scribe presented himself or was sent to him by Superiors.

In and above this activity there was something greater than a merely natural force of heroism. The supernatural was needed - and it was there. A temperament that might have been drawn, too violentīy to love of the external world, an abundance of gifts that might have proved intoxicating all these were secured for the highest aims by those angels of Providence that bring at once the chalices of pain and the mystic words of strengthening. Not only of the Greatest of Sufferers has it been written : “And, being in an agony, he prayed the longer”, but also of many a weak human follower. Robert Kane prayed long and well in his cell of darkness, and strength from above was given to him.

It was my good fortune to live on somewhat intimate terms with him during two of the earlier years of his great calamity, when, kept within a shuttered room and plagued with useless drugs, he was still encouraged to keep up the hope that sight would one day again be his. His patience and good humour were uniform. Sometimes he varied graver occupations with verse-making. His fastidiousness as a poet was all that one might expect from such a writer of prose. He anused himself with polishing and refining. I can recall how long he wavered between “whin” and “gorse” as the fitting word for a certain line of a certain sonnet. I wonder does that sonnet - or do others of his poems - survive in accessible form? I made no copies for myself - in those days, of course, carbon copies were a thing undreamt of. But my memory retains something of the most pathetic piece he dictated to me - a sonnet suggested by the first sense of despair as to his cure. It ended thus :

“My eyes shall light with joy no more
Until they look upon His face”.

But, throwing aside despair, he set himself to walk along his lightless way. He performed, during some forty-three years, work oratorical and literary that was, considering his difficulties, both in quantity and quality really astonishing. It had an immediate reward in great popular successes. As to its absolute and lasting value there may be, as there has always been, some difference of opinion. He showed himself a thoroughly-equipped philosopher and theologian - of that there need be no doubt. His literary expression he consciously and conscientiously worked up to the highest standards he knew of. He would rival Ruskin, Chateaubriand and all the literary florists in effectiveness and beauty of language. No flowers were too brilliant to set before the altar of Truth. At the same time he detested along with boldness of expression and commonplace simplicity, the exclusion of emotion, even passion, from religious art - whether music, oratory, or any other. All such negations he anathematized as puritanism, Jansenism, pharisaism. Not going into the deeper questions thus raised, I will merely say that these views of Fr Robert's had for their literary result a deliberate letting loose of emotion, a warmth (or heat) of language and an accumulation of ornament which did not win the admiration of all hearers or readers; and which in some respects such as the abuse of alliteration will be defended by few persons of good taste.

Many, undoubtedly, listened with more complete satisfaction to his less formal, less carefully prepared discourses such as those, for example, that he delivered, during a long series of years to the Students Sodality at University College, Dublin. No one was so frequently invited to help at its meetings, because no one was so surely trusted to please and to do good. Personally, I thought a little discourse of his on St Joseph delivered to that audience the most beautiful thing I ever heard spoken by him.

If there were only room for it, I should have liked to quote here, as a fine specimen of his fully-elaborated rhetorical passages, a piece which is'to be found at page 77 of the volume entitled “The Sermon of the Sea and other Studies”. Its theme is the Church as the friend of human intellectual effort.

Such a passage may well suggest to some of my readers that they have lost a good deal by not reading and studying Father Kane's books. To the more thoughtful, to the youth (for example), who is facing newly a world uncatholic and argumentative, one night suggest - as a first choice - the volume named “God or Chaos”. It was much admired by a school-fellow and unchanging friend of the author's, who was also a man of the keenest judgment - Chief Baton Palles. He said of it that though it seemed at first approach “deep” and “hard reading”, yet, when one read it slowly and thoughtfully, it is “very simple”. It has, in fact, the simplicity that belongs to clear and logical thought; it is a repertory of philosophical and theological argument clothed in a vivid and trenchant style.

Much else might be said concerning Father Kane. Here are set down merely the chief impressions and recollections of one among the many who cherish his memory. His soul is beyond concern for these human appreciations - perhaps already in bliss; still, let none of us forget him in prayer.


◆ The Clongownian, 1941


Father Robert Kane SJ

In the first four numbers of “Black and White”, a new magazine devoted to the cause of the blind in Eire, there appeared a series of articles on Father Robert Kane SJ, the great preacher and conferencier, familiarly known as the “Blind Doctor”, who died in 1929. These articles are from the pen of Fr Hugh Kelly SJ, and they give in eloquent and touching words the life story of that truly great Jesuit and loyal son of Clongowes. As an obituary notice of Fr Kane appeared in “The Clongownian” of 1930, it will not be necessary to do more than to recall briefly the main features of that wonderful life,

Fr Kane's blindness came upon him just when he felt himself facing his life's work and longing to do great things for The Master. In spite, however, of his great handicap he did the great things that he dreamt of, and did them with a success that he would hardly have attained had he not to face difficulties that would have daunted a less determined spirit. There was hardly an important occasion, or a great ecclesiastical function in Ireland during almost 30 years in which Fr Kane was not a prominent figure. Many will remember the truly eloquent sermon that he preached at the High Mass in our Chapel on the occasion of the Clongowes centenary. It was for him a great occasion, the greatest of his life, as he said, and he rose gloriously to it.

We trust that the purpose for which Black and White was started may be achieved, and we are glad that its earlier numbers are associated with the name of Fr Robert Kane. We are sure that now that he is in the presence of the Great Light he will not forget those, in Eire especially, who are enduring the great privation which he endured so long and so patiently, but will plead for them that they may be comforted, and perhaps relieved, in their hard lot. Certainly in Fr Robert Kane they will have a powerful advocate,

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Robert Kane (1848-1929)

The celebrated pulpit orator was stationed here from 1901 to 1903. He was educated at Newbridge, Clongowes and Ushaw and entered the Society in 1886. He made all his studies abroad chiefly in France and was ordained at Laval in 1880. He was for a time lecturer in philosophy and later, professor of theology at Milltown Park but had to relinquish these posts of responsibility because of failing eyesight. By 1901, when he arrived in Limerick, he had become totally blind. Yet in spite of this handicap, he was one of the most sought-after preachers for great occasions. And his eleven books of published sermons and lectures had a wide popularity in their day.

Kavanagh, Michael A, 1805-1863, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/45
  • Person
  • 11 October 1805-13 February 1863

Born: 11 October 1805, Harold's Cross, Dublin
Entered: 19 September 1823, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 24 September 1836
Professed: 02 February 1846
Died: 13 February 1863, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin

by 1829 in Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His father died when he was very young, but his mother was able to attend to his education, and as soon as Clongowes was opened, he was sent there, and she was happy to put him in the care of Peter Kenney. His friends there were keen that he would be come a Jesuit.
Once he finished school he Entered and did his Noviceship in France.
After First Vows he went for studies in Physics at Paris, under Moigno and Lejariel. He was then sent to Clongowes for Regency, where he taught Classics for several years.
When he finished Regency he was sent to England for Theology, and was Ordained at Stonyhurst by Dr Briggs.
1837 He came back to Clongowes, teaching the higher classes with great success, and was appointed Rector in 1850, a position he held for five years. he faithfully adhered to the old custom of wearing a Court Suit on Academy Day.
1855 He was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius, and worked thus for some years. Unfortunately towards the end he suffered greatly from scruples and so was unfit to work. he died quite suddenly in the end. All through his final sickness, he was patient and kind to all.
He was a great classical scholar, a good poet, very zealous, and a pious observant of his faith.

Kearney, Barnaby, 1567-1640, Jesuit priest and writer

  • IE IJA J/1497
  • Person
  • 29 September 1567-19 August 1640

Born: 29 September 1567, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 17 October 1589, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 14 February 1598, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 02 August 1605
Died: 19 August 1640, Cashel, County Tipperary

Alias Bryan O'Carney

Son of Pat Kearney and Elizabeth Connor
Master of Arts and studied Philosophy for 6 years - studying at Douai (1588) - D Phil (1589)
1593 at Antwerp teaching Humanities and Poetry
1597 2 years Theology at Louvain
Taught Rhetoric at Lille for 2 years
1599 At Bourges teaching Greek?
1617 In Ireland
1621 Superior of Jesuits in East Munster.
“chiolericus, has judgements and prudence and a good preacher”.
Uncle of Walter Wale - RIP 1646; James O’Kearney - RIP 1648

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Patrick O’Carney and Elizabeth née Coney. Brother of the Archbishop. Uncle of Walter Wale.
Ent 17 October 1589 Tournai; RIP 20 August 1640 Cashel
Studied in Ireland and then four years Philosophy, graduating MA and D Phil at Douai
Admitted by FLA Provincial Oliver Manraeus 17 October 1589, and Noviceship at Tournai
1591 October 2 Sent to St Omer for studies in Humanities
Regency teaching Greek and Rhetoric at Antwerp and Lille;
1603 Arrived with nephew Walter Wale in Ireland
Both he and his nephew were tried and condemned to death
Writer; a fervid Preacher; gave Missions throughout Ireland
He went in disguise for many years and had many hairbreadth escapes (Foley’s Collectanea)
He is also mentioned in the Report of the Irish Mission SJ made to Fr General Nickell (1641-1650) which are preserved in the English College Rome, and a copy at RHC London.
(cf Hibernia Ignatiana" for letters of Fr Kearney recounting his work in Ireland; Oliver’s “Collectanea”, from Stonyhurst MSS; de Backer’s “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” for published sermons)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Patrick and Elizabeth née Convey
Studied in Ireland and under the Jesuits at Douai and graduated MA before, and Later DD Ent 05 October 1589 Tournai
1591-1595 After First Vows he taught Humanities successively at St. Omer, Antwerp and Lille.
1595-1598 He then studied Theology at Louvain and was Ordained there in 1598.
1698-1601 He had requested to be allowed go to the Irish Mission, and while waiting for permission taught at Bruges and Douai
1601-1602 Made Tertianship at Tournai
1603 Late Spring accompanied by his nephew Walter Wale (both sent an account of their journey to the General once arrived) he set out for Ireland where he was sent to Cashel and Kilkenny but his last years were passed in Cashel, where he died 20/08/1640. In the early days of his ministry he was seen in many parts of Munster and also was able with his nephew Walter to reconcile the Earl of Ormonde with the Catholic Church. He died at Cashel 20 August 1640.
He was for many years a Consultor of the Mission.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Kearney, Barnabas (Ó Cearnaigh, Brian)
by David Murphy

Kearney, Barnabas (Ó Cearnaigh, Brian) (1567–1640), Jesuit priest and writer, was born 29 September 1567 at Cashel, Co. Tipperary, son of Patrick Kearney and Elizabeth Kearney (née Convey). His elder brother was David Kearney (qv), a secular priest who served as archbishop of Cashel (1603–24). Educated locally, Barnabas left Ireland for the Spanish Netherlands and studied philosophy at the Jesuit college in Douai, where he graduated MA (1588), later obtaining a doctorate in philosophy. He entered the Society of Jesus at Tournai on 5 October 1589 and, after his noviciate, taught humanities at Saint-Omer, Antwerp, and Lille (1591–5). Completing his studies at Louvain, he was ordained priest (1596) and then taught at Bruges and Douai. He completed his tertianship at Tournai in 1601–2.

In 1603 he travelled to Ireland with his nephew, Walter Wale, SJ, and for the next thirty years he played a prominent part in the work of the Irish Jesuit mission. Based in Cashel, he enjoyed the assistance of his brother David and, with Walter Wale, worked as one of the pioneers of the counter-reformation in Ireland. Discouraging locals from attending protestant services, in 1605 he avoided being captured by English soldiers when a party of men from the town assisted his escape. A powerful preacher and fluent in Irish, he worked mostly in Munster but also travelled to areas of Leinster, where he worked giving basic religious instruction and also trying to raise the level of the diocesan clergy. In 1610 he was appointed as consultor of the mission and, with Wale, was reputed to have brought Thomas Butler (qv), 10th earl of Ormond, into the catholic faith.

He published collections of his sermons, having manuscripts smuggled abroad to printers on the Continent. His first collection of sermons, Heliotropium, sive conciones tum des festis quam de Dominicis quae in solani totius anni circulo occurrunt, was published in Lyons (1622). In 1623 he sent over a second collection of sermons, ‘Tragici discourses de Passione Domini’, but the Jesuit censors refused to approve it for publication. The manuscript no longer exists and the reason for the censors’ decision remains unclear. Another collection of his sermons was, however, later approved by the censors and published as Heliotropium, sive conciones de mysteris redemptionis humanae quae in Dominica Passione continentur (Paris, 1633). This was dedicated to Archbishop Thomas Walsh (qv), who succeeded Kearney's brother at Cashel. Among the earliest collections of counter-reformation sermons, both of Kearney's publications are now extremely rare, only two copies of his 1622 Heliotropium surviving in Irish libraries (one in TCD, another in the Milltown Institute Library).

In 1629 he was appointed superior of the Cashel ‘residence’ (the territory of the local Jesuit community). His brother had left a small house to the Society and he later supervised the establishment of a small Jesuit community in Cashel. He died 20 August 1640 in Cashel. A collection of his letters is held in the Irish Jesuit Archives, Dublin.

‘Irish ecclesiastical colleges since the reformation: Salamanca, III’, IER, x (Aug. 1874), 527; E. Hogan, SJ, Ibernia Ignatiana (1880); B. Millett, ‘Irish literature in Latin’, NHI, iii, 579; Francis Finnegan, SJ, ‘A biographical dictionary of the Irish Jesuits in the time of the Society's third Irish mission, 1598–1773’, 142–3 (MS volume in Jesuit archives, Dublin); Charles E. O'Neill, SJ, and Joaquín M. Domínguez, SJ (ed.), Diccionario histórico de la Compañía de Jesús: biográfico-temático (Madrid, 2001), iii, 2182; information from Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Barnaby O’Kearney 1565-1640
One of our greatest Missioners during the Penal Days was Fr Barnaby O’Kearney. Born in Cashel in 1565, where his brother David was afterwards Archbishop, Barnaby entered the novitiate in 1589, and was a brilliant classical scholar, teaching in Antwerp and Lille.

He came back to Ireland with his nephew Walter Wale SJ in 1603, and there he laboured for 37 years. He worked most of hism time in Munster, based in Cashel. On one mission he terrified 5 men who were leading wicked lives, by his description of hell, so that they mended their ways. In another sermon he converted a Viscount and his three brothers. The restitution he caused to be made for sins of injustices in Munster amounted to thousands.

Naturally he incurred the fierce hatred of the priest-hunters. The story of his escape from almost certain capture read like episodes of life in the Wild West. So great was the improvement in public morality as a result of his work, that the judges of the Assizes declared in open court, that Barnaby O’Kearney and Walter Wale did more to prevent robbery than all the enactments and terrors of the law.

It is truly remarkable that this man, in spite of the hazards and perils of his life, lived to celebrate his jubilee in the Society, and also had time in thew midst of his labours to publish his sermons, one volume of Homilies for Sundays and Feasts and another volume on the Passion of the Lord.

He died an old man of 75 years on August 20th 1640.

◆ The English Jesuits 1550-1650 Thomas M McCoog SJ : Catholic Record Society 1994
With his Jesuit companion Walter Wale, Kearney stayed in London with Henry Garnet during the Winter and Spring of 1602/1603 (AASI 46/23/8 pp 399-400

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
KEARNEY, BARNABY, was born at Cashell in 1565, and was brother to David, Archbishop of Cashell. He was admitted into the Society at Douay in the 24th year of his age. After teaching Rhetoric and the Greek Language at Antwerp and Lisle, he was ordered to the Irish Mission, where he arrived with his nephew, F. Walter Wale, in the summer of 1603. Both vied with each other in giving themselves up to the ministry of the Word : and both were marked out for the vengeance of the government. A troop of horse was sent by the Viceroy to Cork to apprehend them at the dawn of the 5th of September, 1606 : but God delivered his servants from their malice. F. Kearney in a letter dated the 4th of October, that year, after mentioning this escape, writes that he followed his Excellency’s footsteps to Waterford, and entered that City unsuspected with the immense concourse of the spectators, and was an ear and eye witness to his triumphant reception. His Excellency on arriving at the Court House, summoned before him eleven of the most respectable inhabitants of Waterford, viz. Paul Sherlock, who had been elected Mayor for the ensuing year, Nicholas Marian, Michael Brown, Nicholas White, James Fagan,* Nicholas Strong, James Sherlock, Richard Wadding, James Walsh, Patrick White, Richard Boucher; six neglected to make their appearance, and were heavily fined, and ordered to present themselves at Cork. The five who attended, with great spirit professed that they would never swerve an iota from the Roman Catholic Religion which they had inherited from their Fathers; but should ever manifest loyal allegiance to their Sovereign, and obedience to his representatives in all civil and political matters. His Excellency marked his indignation at this bold expression of sentiment imposed a heavy fine, and gave them in charge to his Secretary, until they should alter their opinions. Finding them immovably firm in their faith, he caused them to appear before the Lord Chief Justice, who endeavoured to gain them over by promises of place and emolument, and assured them that the Government would be satisfied, if they would but once attend the Protestant service. But these heroes well knowing that dissimulation in Religion was inadmissible, refused their consent, telling him, that they had given, and ever would give undeniable proofs of their civil allegiance; that it could never benefit the king’s interests for them to act against the dictates of conscience; and that they could not believe that the King wished them to make such a sacrifice of principle. The Sheriffs JAMES WAISH and JAMES BREWER “vere duae olivae in Domo Dei”, were then attacked; but with no better success. One hundred and sixty citizens were then selected as likely persons to be prevailed on to surrender conscience to the motives of fear and interest; but God who chooses the weak things of the world to confound the strong, supplied them with courage to resist every assault, and not one, God be praised, of the whole number, nor even in the whole population of Waterford, comprising many thousands of inhabitants, would degrade himself by an act of hypocrisy and apostasy. In revenge, tyrannical iniquity, calling itself justice, and the gospel of the Redeemer, inflicted pecuniary penalties. The base attempt of the Chief Justice to rob the inhabitants of Ross of their conscientious integrity proved equally abortive. “The Viceroy in his progress towards Carrick was informed that Nicholas Madan harboured in his castle of Whitfeld, three miles from Waterford, a learned English Priest, Thomas Hill, an Alumnus of the English College at Rome. Under some specious pretext, his Excellency proceeded in that direction with a troop of horse, and sent a detachment to search every corner of the Castle; but they found nothing, and Mr. Hill, thanks be to God, is still safe in Ireland”. The letter is dated from his hiding place, where his brother, the Archbishop of Cashell lay also concealed “e nostro latibulo, ubi frater modo est”, 4 Octobri, 1606.
F. Kearney continued during the long period of 37 years and in very difficult times the diligent and faithful Steward of the mysteries of God. The friend of peace, the promoter of habits of honest industry and sobriety, this true patriot, deserved to hear that his efforts to advance the public good, and prevent the disturbance of the public tranquillity, were duly appreciated by the constituted authorities. Even judges of assizes were known to declare in open court, that the two Jesuits, Barnaby Kearney and Walter Wale, did more to prevent robbery, than all the terrors of the law, than all the framers of coercive restrictions. I find by a letter of F. Robert Nugent, dated (ex Hybernia 1 Octobris, 1640) the following account of his death :
“F. Barnaby Kearney, an old man of 75 well spent years, quitted on the 20th day of August the labors of this life, as we hope, for everlasting rest, fortified with all the Sacraments of the Church. He had spent 51 years in the Society, and 37 in the Mission, was professed of the Four Vows, and was always zealous in preaching, (some of his sermons are in print) : in various places he taught the people with Evangelic fervour and abundant fruit!”
The sermons alluded to in this paragraph are in Latin for the Sundays and feasts in the whole year. The Title of the book is “Heliotropion”, in 8vo. printed at Lyons in 1622. A second volume of his sermons, on the Passion of Christ, was published in an octavo form at Paris, in 1633. He left in MS. an account of the death of the Earl of Ormond. This nobleman, I take it, was Thomas Butler, called “The Black Earl”, in whose conversion before his death, in 1614, F. Kearney was greatly instrumental.

  • The Fagans were generous supporters of religion. F. Fitzsimon, in a letter dated 25th of November, 1599, mentions, “Dominus Thomas Fagan, insignis Benefactor noster”. as entitled to the special prayers and gratitude of the Society.

Keating, Patrick, 1846-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/201
  • Person
  • 17 March 1846-15 May 1913

Born: 17 March 1846, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 28 August 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 21 September 1880, St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales
Final Vows: 15 August 1890, Australia
Died: 15 May 1913, Lewisham Hospital, Sydney, Australia

Part of St Ignatius College community, Riverview, Sydney, Australia at the time of death.

Younger brother of Thomas - RIP 1887
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 3 December 1894-11 November 1900.
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 05 April 1890-1894

by 1868 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
Early Irish Australia Mission 1884; Mission Superior 05 April 1890
PROVINCIAL 03/12/1894

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Thomas - RIP 1887. They were very close.
Early education was in America and then Clongowes.

After First Vows he did his studies at Amiens and Rome, later at Maria Laach and Innsbruck, and in the end at St Beuno’s. Wherever he went, the same spirit of kindness and good humour went with him, and this was true throughout his life. On Australian who went to visit him in Rome was greeted warmly at first, but when he mentioned that he was to see Father Keating, the courtesy was unbridled.
1870 He was living in Rome at the same time as the “Robber King of Sardinia” Victor Emmanuel laid siege to and conquered the city. he was a student at the time, and not inactive in the siege, going here and there to tend to the injured and dying. He was truly a martyr in desire. The conquerors drove the Jesuits from the Roman College. By 1872 the Jesuits were banished from Maria Laach and Amiens, and he was in these places.
1877 He was sent for studies to Innsbruck where he joined Thomas Browne and Francis Carroll.
1880 He joined Joseph Dalton in Australia, and succeeded him as Rector of Riverview.
1890 He was appointed Mission Superior in Australia.
1894 He was recalled to Ireland as provincial of HIB, and he remained there for six years.
1901 He returned to Australia as Rector of Xavier College, Kew. He then moved to North Sydney, for a time at St Mary’s, then Lavender Bay, succeeding John Gately. While working in these Parishes, his gentleness, friendliness and care for every man, woman and child, won the hearts of all. When he left Lavender Bay for a second stint as Rector of Riverview in place of Thomas Gartlan who had been sent to Melbourne, the people gave him a wonderful send off.
His death took place at Lewisham Hospital (run by the Nuns of the Little Company of Mary) 14 May 1913. The funeral was hugely attended and the Archbishop of Sydney, Michael Kelly, both presided and Preached. The Jesuits at Riverview received countless letters and telegrams from all parts of Australia condoling with them on the death of Father Keating.

Catholic Press, Sydney :
Rev W A Purves, Headmaster of the North Sydney Church of England Grammar School wrote : “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself I never knew quite so courteous and kindly and entirely charming a gentleman; and for you who knew well his other great and endearing qualities, the blow must indeed be heavy. I think sch personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendliest relations among us all, and whilst in a sense one cannot mourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely.”

Rev Arthur Ashworth Aspinall, headmaster of the Scots College, in conveying his sympathy to the Acting Rector, the Staff and Pupils of Riverview, wrote :
“It was my privilege to meet Father Keating years go and more recently, I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the College and your Church has sustained. The State has too few men of culture not to deplore the removal of one so much honoured in the teaching profession.”

Note from Thomas P Brown Entry
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Although born in Ireland, Patrick Keating received much of his early education in the USA. His secondary education began at Clongowes Wood College, Kildare, Ireland, where he had a reputation as a fine athlete and was a good rifle shot. He entered the noviciate at Milltown Park Dublin, 2, August 1865. His juniorate studies were at the College of St Acheul, France, his philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Innsbruck and St Beuno's, Wales, 1877-81. Regency was undertaken after philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1871-77, where he was assistant prefect of studies and taught university students.
Keating was living in Rome in 1870. On 20 September the troops of Victor Emmanuel laid siege to the city of Rome. He risked his life by helping the wounded on the streets. The Jesuits were driven from the Roman College. So Keating finished his third year philosophy at Maria Laach during the Franco-Prussian War.
After his ordination in 1880, he taught religion, French and Italian for a short time, 1881-82, at Clongowes Wood, and the following year was socius to the master of novices at Milltown Park, during which time he completed his tertianship.
In 1883 Keating arrived in Australia, joined Joseph Dalton at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and succeeded him as rector in 1888. He was appointed mission superior in 1890 and resided at Riverview. In 1894 he returned to Ireland as provincial, residing at Gardiner Street.
He returned to Australia in 1901 and was appointed rector of Xavier College, Kew, and taught for the public examinations. From 1908-11, he performed parish ministry at North Sydney and at Lavender Bay, Sydney, and in 1912 was appointed rector of Sr Ignatius' College, Riverview. He died in office the following year following a cerebral haemorrhage.
Patrick Keating was one of the most accomplished Irish Jesuits to come to Australia. He was spiritually, intellectually and athletically gifted, and respected for his administrative skills. People spoke of “his urbanity his culture, his charm, his good looks, his human insight and his ability to inspire affection”.
Christopher Brennan, the Australian poet and former student of Keating, paid him an outstanding tribute. He believed him to be “the most distinguished personality that I have ever met, a standard whereby to test and judge all others. To come into his hands ... was to be initiated to a quite new range of human possibilities”. He praised Keating for his 'rare qualities of gentleness and sympathetic comprehension.
His Jesuit community praised his great spirit of exactness and neatness, the kindness he extended to all, his strong sense of duty, a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and his work in adorning the chapel. Under his direction, Brother Girschik made a line cedar vesting press for the sacristy at Riverview, which still stands.
Writing to Ireland in 1894, Dalton, at Riverview, believed that Keating's students had great confidence in him and “liked him well”. John Ryan, mission superior, did not lavish praise upon him. He believed him to be good at administration, but not with finances, not overly strict in discipline; firm and decisive, but easily influenced by anyone of strong mind, cool of temper, but not fatherly or sympathetic, somewhat superficial, cold and at times sarcastic, discouraging more than encouraging. The Irish provincial, Timothy Kenny, while visiting Australia in 1890 believed Keating to be “the most admirable man I ever met”. That being the opinion that counted, Keating became the next Irish provincial.
In his speeches as rector of the various colleges, Keating showed his openness, appeal to reason and genuine belief in the goodness of human nature. He was truly a cultured humanist. He kept well informed about contemporary ideas in education and gave critiques of them, continually stressing the traditional classical education of the Jesuits. He was concerned at Riverview by the rather poor quality of Jesuit teachers, men “rather broken in health”, who were not helping the boys achieve good examination results.
At the time of his death, Keating was one of the most significant Jesuits in Australia, much loved and most appreciated by those who experienced him, both as a kind and courteous gentleman, and as a cultured scholar.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Keating SJ 1846-1913
Fr Patrick Keating was born in Tipperary on March 17th 1846. Although born in Ireland he received his early education in America, then completing his secondary course at Clongowes Wood.

As a Jesuit, he was present in Rome when it was captured by Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia. In the midst of the bombardment, he went here, there and everywhere, assisting the wounded civilians and soldiers. He, with his companions, were driven from Rome and proceeded to Maria Laach in Germany and then to Innsbruck.

Fr Keating went to Australia where he became the first Rector of St Ignatius Riverview, and then Superior of the Mission.

He was recalled to Ireland to become Provincial in 1894. After his term as Provincial, he returned once more to Australia, where he filled many administrative posts and became a widely-known and popular figure in public life. He figures largely in the long and brilliant school-story of Fr Eustace Boylan”The Heart of the School”. Fr Keating (Keeling of the story) is a winning and lovable Rector of Xavier.

At his death in Sydney on March 15th 1913 there were many generous tributes to his work and character, not only from Catholics, but from persons of all religious denomination.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 42 : Easter 1986

Portrait from the Past


Province Archives

The following appreciation of a former Irish Provincial appeared in the CATHOLIC PRESS of Sydney on 22nd May 1913.

Born in Tipperary on 17th March, 1846, Fr. Keating occupied almost every position a Jesuit can occupy except that of General. His last sickness was brief. It was only a few days before his death that he became ill. His medical attendants pronounced his case serious - cerebral hemorrhage - and the last Sacraments were administered to him at once by the Rev. Father C. Nulty, S.J. He was taken to hospital the following day, and had been a patient only twelve hours when he died.

Of Father Keating, as boy and man, as student and teacher, as pastor of souls and Provincial of the Irish branch of his Order, it may be safely said that his whole life was one well-sustained effort to be ready for the final sunmons of the Sovereign Master who has called him home so suddenly. He was Superior of the Australian Mission of the Society of Jesus in 1894. At a later date he governed the Irish Province. He was for some years Rector of St. Francis Xavier's College at Kew, and before he went to Riverview as Rector for a second time, he had been zealously labouring as pastor of souls among the people of North Sydney.

Although he was born in Ireland, Father Keating imbibed the rudiments of knowledge in America. His high-school studies began at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park, near Dublin in 1865. His later studies were made at the College of St. Acheul, in France; at the Roman College of Maria-Laach, in Germany; at the University of Innsbruck, in the Tyrol; and at St. Beuno's College, in Wales Wherever he went, the same spirit of genuine kindness and genial good-humour that we ourselves witnessed invariably went with him, An Irish-Australian who visited Rome a few years ago called at one of the principal colleges there. The Professor who showed him over the place was kind and courteous; but when the name of Father Keating was mentioned to him, then to kindness and courtesy were added all manner of friendly offices. The Professor had been an old class-fellow of Father Keating, about 40 years before, and his face glowed with pleasure at the very mention of his name.

Father Keating was living in Rome in 1870. On September 20th of that year the troops of the robber King of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel, laid siege to the city of the Popes, bombarded the walls of Rome, and entered into its streets as conquerors. While all this was going on, Mr. Keating, as he then was, was not inactive. In the midst of balls and bombs, in the midst of whizzing bullets and falling masonry, at the risk of his own life, he went here, there and everywhere on his mission of assisting to the best of his power the wounded and dying soldiers and civilians. He was truly a martyr in desire. The same bandits that deprived the Pope of his dominions deprived the Society of their college. They were driven from the Roman college in 1870. In July, 1872, they were banished by the German government from Maria-Laach, a college they had acquired only ten years before. If Father Keating had remained only a little longer, at Maria-Laach and St. Acheul, he would doubtless have driven out of house and home like so many of his brethren, at the point of the bayonet.

In 1877, Father Keating was sent to Innsbruck, where he studied for a time with Father T. Browne and Father Carroll, of North Sydney.

Three years after his ordination, which took place in 1880, Father Keating came to Australia. He joined the late Father Dalton, founder of the college, at St. Ignatius', Riverview, and succeeded him as Rector. He held the position for six years, and was then appointed Superior of the Jesuits in Australia. He was recalled to Ireland in 1894 to be Provincial of the Irish Province, an office he filled with distinction for six years. He returned to Australia in 1901, having been appointed Rector of Xavier's College, Kew. He was transferred to North Sydney some years ago, and for a time was on the staff at St. Mary's, Ridge Street. Thence he was placed in charge of St. Francis Xavier's, Lavender Bay, succeeding the late Father Gately. While working amongst the people of the parish, Father Keating's gentleness, geniality, zeal and solicitude for the welfare of every man, woman and child in his flock, won the hearts of all, as they did everywhere he laboured throughout his career.

When he left Lavender Bay in January 1912 to assume the Rectorship of Riverview for the second time, in the place of Father Gartlan, who was transferred to Melbourne, the people entertained him, and demonstrated their affection for hin in no unmistakable way.

The late Father Keating belonged to an old Tipperary family. An elder brother, Father Thomas Keating, S.J., came to this country two years before him. In Ireland he had been Rector of Clongowes Wood College. In Australia he joined the teaching staff of St. Aloysius' College, then in Sydney. He died many years ago in St. Francis Xavier's College, Kew. The deepest affection existed between the two brothers. Both were excellent religious and most saintly men. Their immediate relatives reside in a fine place close to Chicago, USA.

Father Keating's death took place as described at Lewisham Hospital on May 14th, 1913. The obsequies were largely attended and were presided over by His Grace, the Archbishop of Sydney, who, after Mass, preached the panegyric, basing his discourse on the inspired words of St. Luke:- “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching. Amen, I say to you, that He will gird Himself, and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them, and if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready; for at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come”. His Grace said the Divine Redeemer spoke these words tacitly for circumstances like those in which they were now assembled. One of their number had been called away, his soul had gone to eternity, and the earthly tenement of that soul lay on the catafalque before them like a house broken through, the spirit gone. This fact shocked them, but Holy Faith told them that blessed was the soul that was found watching, as Father Keating's was.

Now that they were gathered together according to the traditions of the Church, to mourn together, they must attend to the spiritual profits to be derived from the occasion, and first of all heap up powerful supplications for the soul that had been called away that it might speedily, if not immediately, enter into the joy of the Lord. The sacred liturgy which guided them to that bier to send forth their last prayers, and to accompany those mortal remains to the grave, wished that they would first of all derive consolation from the solemnities, and secondly, edification. The good man would be encouraged to greater perseverance, the tepid would be made fervid, and those who might be asleep in the sleep of sin, induced by the concupiscence of the flesh, would be wakened up. Father Keating served God and guided youth in the paths of learning and holiness which were characteristic of himself when his soul inhabited that human frame, with its vital organs stilled in death, and like a house abandoned. The earth would go back to the earth until the Last Day, but the soul was at that moment in the strange land from which no traveller returned. What did they think had been its lot? A week ago Father Keating had been with them in the flesh as a brother, as a fellow-worker, but suddenly he was caught up and taken from their midst. Well for his friends to know what a life Father Keating had led, happy for them that the record he wrote upon their memories was ripe in personal sanctification and spiritual victory. Therefore, he was found watching in the observance of the rules of his Order, watching at his post of duty, Father Keating had triumphed, he had fought the good fight, and kept the faith. But though they looked upon him as one already saved, he might be crying out for their suffrages from the fires of Purgatory. Sinners though they be, they could help him, for in the economy of God's Providence prayer was the Key of Heaven. God would hear their supplications on behalf of the faithful departed, but he would be dear to their prayers when they themselves were bring purged. Hence, let them studiously avail themselves of the period during which the recollection of Father Keating would be living amongst them to send up this prayer from the bottom of their hearts: “Eternal rest grant him, O Lord, and let perpatual light shine upon him. From his iniquities cleanse him, for all human frailties forgive him. What is man taken from this vale of tears that he shall be justified in the sight of God? Purify, O Lord, all this is to be purified, and take the soul of your servant and our brother, and peruit him to pass quickly, if not at once, into the joys of your heavenly abode”.

The Archbishop then vested in cope and mitre, and pronounced the Last Absolutions. As the strains of the “Dead March in Saul” throbbed through the church, the coffin was raised on the shoulders of the bearers and carried to the main entrance, the Archbishops and priests accompanying the remains to the hearse, where the Benedictus was chanted.

The Jesuit Fathers at Riverview received countless letters and telegrams from all parts of Australia condoling with them on the death of Father Keating.

In the course of his letter, the Rev. WA Parves, head-master of the North Sydney Church of England Grammar School, wrote: “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself, I never knew quite so courteous and kindly and entirely charming a gentleman; and for you who knew well his other great and endearing qualities, the blow must indeed be heavy. I think such personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendliest relations among us all, and while in a sense one cannot mourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely”.

The Rev. A. Ashworth Aspinall, head-master of the Scots College, Bellevue Hill, in conveying his sympathy to the acting-Rector, the staff, and pupils of Riverview College, wrote:- “It was my privilege to meet Father Keating years ago and more recently, and I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the college and your Church has sustained. The State has too, few men of culture not to deplore the removal of one so much honoured in the teaching profession.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1913


Father Patrick Keating SJ

The news of the death of Fr. Keating came as a shock to us in Kew. Schools change fast, and there are few of the boys of his time amongst us this year, but his passing stirred up again in many of us the very kindly feeling that accompanied his presence when he was amongst us before.

Fr Keating was born in Tipperary, in 1846. He left his native land for the United States when still young, and found his home for a time in Illinois; but he returned to Ireland as a student of Clongowes, of which his brother at that time was Rector. Some old Xaverians will remember Fr Thomas Keating as he came to Australia later, and was on the staff of Xavier for a few months of 1887, teaching classics in the Honour Class till within a couple of days of his death.

According to contemporary accounts, Fr Keating was very prominent in school life at Clongowes, leading in class and sports. He was a good all round athlete, and to his early training must have been due the fine physical development which he retained to his later years. He was a good rifle shot, and kept up his interest in everything touching on school life to the end.

His studies took him to France, Germany, Austria and Rome, and he had many interesting recollections of life in those places. He was present in Rome during its bombardment by the Garibaldians, which resulted in the breach of the Porta Pia and the spoliation of the States of the Church. In 1883 he came to Australia, and was a master in Riverview till 1990, when he was appointed Superior of the Society of Jesus in Victoria and New South Wales. In 1894 he was transferred to Ireland, as head of the Irish and Australian Province, and after seven years spent in that office he returned to Australia to be Rector of Xavier in 1901. In 1908 he was sent to North Sydney to take up parish work at Lavender Bay, wliere he had as his assistant Fr Corish, who had been minister here with him for some years. The good work done by these two old Xaverians there was such as those who knew them both could expect. The same' kindly spirit accompanied Fr Keating. always, finding everywhere the same return. He liked his work, and him self was liked by young and old. So it was with a feeling of distress that he received the cabled order to return to Riverview as Rector. But the buoyancy of his spirit soon showed itself, and, as was his way, he entered heart and soul into his work there. During the illness of Fr Brown he was called upon to take up again the burden of Superior, until he was relieved after a few months by the appointment of Fr Ryan.

As he was settling down now to work, as he hoped, undisturbed, he was taken ill on May 12, and died early on the morning of the 15th. His death was the occasion of most generous expressions of a kindly feeling on all sides, induced as was evident, not so much by his position as by his personal qualities.

Fr Keating was a man of many parts as we knew him. His unfailing kindliness and courtesy made everyone feel at home with him; and, what is" after all perhaps the best test of a character, those who lived on closer terms with him, felt that in parting with him they had lost a friend.

May his soul rest in peace.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1913

Father Patrick Keating SJ

At the last Old Boys' dinner I promised to say something about Father Keating in this “Alma Mater”. At that time his death was too poignantly near to allow (so it seemed) of any direct emotional expression in English verse or of elaborated and transposed elegy in one of the classic tongues; and I stipulated for mere personal reminiscence. in pedestrian phrase. And then, as I came to carry out my promise, I felt a certain disgust with what I was trying; it was not worthy of the dead man, and all that I owed him, and who was I to utter my school-boyish reminiscences: among others so better called to speak? So, at. the risk of exhausting all the editors' kindness - and patience, I destroyed what was beguin, and I waited and waited, until at last I have, perhaps, fallen between two stools - the Pindaric ode and the Boswellian note-book - missing both.

I first came under Father Pat Keating in the year 1885. It was my happy chance to spend the five best years of my boyhood under two Keating brothers. At old St Kilda and St. Aloysius', in Bourke Street, I had for two years sat under Father Tom, that gentle ascetic with the full head of silvery hair, and beneath it a face like that of a kindly Moltke, and the shrewd fold of the eyelids; Father Pat had the same, but whereas his eyes never missed anything (I remember well!), Father Tom's often seemed to be gazing within. But how could there be two Fathers Keating? I wondered and wondered - for a boy is slow to catch such a likeness: he knows father and uncle, but has no idea or fancy of how they were boys and brothers together, how much less then will he imagine his masters as standing in human kindship to each other or anyone at all? - and it was months before some better-informed schoolmate, who had preceded me from St Aloysius', amazed me with the truth. My amaze was further excusable in as much as there was twenty years between the brothers, and Father Tom had seemned such a very old man. How different Father Pat!

To live at a boarding school has this advantage, that one meets one's masters outside the class-room, adi comes into touch with their personality. I was probably just at the right age to undergo the influence, and absorb the charm of a personality when I met Father Keating and that, perhaps, has helped to make ineffaceable the impression I received from him. But time and favouring occasion are of no avail unless the personality, unless the man is there. And Father Keating was unique.

Distinction is a subtle thing: unmistakable to perception, intangible to analysis and definition. Everyone, I think, who uses and understands the word must have, in his mind's eye, some persons, and pre-eminently one, to make his idea of distinction palpable to his thought and fancy. For me, Father Keating always was and shall be that man; easily the most distinguished personality that I have ever met, a standard whereby to test and judge all others. To come into his hands, at that age and at that conjunction of things, was to be initiated to a quite new range of human possibilities. It is not always nor altogether an easy and flattering thing, such initiation. One feels oneself rebuked, by the unspoken contrast between what the other is and one's own crudeness; so at least it was with me, and it is another proof of Father Keating's rare qualities of gentleness and sympathetic comprehension that he bore for a long time with the wily discourtesies of what was, after all, only a distorted admiration. At last he had it out with me, man to man, and that made me his friend for ever. It showed me, behind all that perfection of word and manner and bearing that might have been the envy of any diplomat or man of the world, the simple and affectionate humanity that was always there, in Father Keating, for those who wanted it or appealed to it.

It is curious how, when one reflects upon one's impressions of Father Keating, one never thinks of him in terms of this or that; it is always the man and the personality that lives before one. Not that one abstracts from the things he was, but they do not force themselves to the front. Thus, Father Keating was of course Father Keating, and a priest of the Society, and one never knew him otherwise and yet even that seems, as it were, absorbed into the nature of the man that one remembers. And so with the rest. He was a fine athlete, and it was a sight, regularly expected, regularly recurring, to see him lift a leg-ball right out of the cricket-ground; but it seemed all to be done by the way. Just so, for all his fine knowledge of the classics (and how much else!) one hesitates to call him a scholar; that name seems to be better reserved for smaller men who have chosen the one-sided development of a single faculty. And yet the classics will help me to express, to some degree, what I feel. I remember how he enjoyed doing Horace; and there was a certain Horatian felicity and perfection of style about everything he did. I think he was aware of it, and it was a pleasure to him; but the thought never came and never can come to one that he tried after it; it was all so natural, so himself, Even so, the word “gentlemanly”, would be all too common, in fact all too shoddy for Father Keating's exquisite ways. It was just that: he was unique, he was hirrself.

When I first knew him, Father Keating was in his early prime, only just forty. I had three years with him; then during my University years I saw him continually. Then we went our ways in life (and his took him far), and after 1894 many a year went by without our meeting; when, one day, a letter arrived, in his well-known hand, telling me that he had discovered my whereabouts and asking me round to St. Xavier's. I found him there, just a little stooped and his hair whitening, but otherwise the same as ever. I was looking at the bookshelves as he came into the room, and he asked me what had caught my notice. It was the life of Coventry Patmore, and I remarked what a great poet he was: “But not as great as Homer, surely”! said Father Pat. He showed me where his old copies of Homer and Horace stood, but regretted that parish work left him but little time for such reading, Then, I remember, some incident of his morning's round led him to remark on the lack of politeness in our youth: “I remember I had a lot of trouble with you”, he said, turning to me with a smile. I confessed that I had been something of a cub and that I had deserved to catch more than I did catch.

I was Father Keating's guest twice after his return to Riverview. One noticed, just now and then, a little sign of approaching age: a slight uncertainty of vision, where the eyes had once been so keen; a slight uncertainty of movement, where the hands had once been so precise. But old age had not yet overtaken him, and it seemed as if he yet had many a happy year before him. I was thinking to myself: “It's too bad, you haven't been up to Riverview for some time now”, and planning to get a day free in a fortnight or so, when, one morning, the paper opened on his portrait and I knew that I should not see him in this life again.

We were a small class in those days at Riverview, Steve Burke and myself; Harry Fitzgerald was with us for a while, but I think we always regarded him as an outsider; we had gone through St Kilda and St Aloysius' side by side, and come up to Riverview together. Our little class was tended by three teachers, Father O'Malley, Father O'Connell, and especially Father Keating. And now they are all gone: Steve is dead and Father O'Connell and Father O'Malley, and now, at last, Father Keating. Life begins to get lonely when one thinks of the best days of one's boyhood and finds none of those who were an intimate part of them to share or stimulate one's memories. And for me a great part of what is dear and precious in life was carried away as I saw his coffin borne out of the church, and whispered to myself just the simple farewell, “Good-bye, Father Pat”.


The Late Father Keating

In setting out to write this little sketch of Father Keating, we are fortunate in having his autobiography at hạnd. It was begun at Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, during his rectorship of that College, on a piece of notepaper, and on the last sheet we find the last entry, recording, his entrance into office as Rector of Riverview, in January, 1912. A feeling that it was perhaps too intimate to expose to the gaze of all who may read has prevented its inclusion; its substance is our guide in what will follow. Father Keating often used to say, in his characteristic way, that one should leave one's things in order and not cause people unnecessary trouble, even at the end; and we have no doubt that it was sheer good nature that urged him to leave us his life in miniature.

Father Patrick Keating was born at Tipperary, in Ireland, on the 17th March, 1846; of an excellent Catholic family which had the distinction of giving three of its members to the service of God, in religion. His elder brother, Thomas, like himself, became a Jesuit; a sister is a Sacred Heart nun in America. In 1850, a little boy of four years old, he went to America with his parents, to live at Elgin, Kane County, Illinois. His first education was obtained at a private school at Elgin; in 1861 he was sent by his parents to the Jesuit College, at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, Ireland. After four years at Clongowes, in 1865, being then nineteen years of age, he entered the Irish Jesuit novitiate, taking his vows two years later, in 1867. He spent the next two years studying thetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, and in 1868 went to Rome to study philosophy at the Roman College. He was in Rome during the Session of the Vatican Council at which the dogma of Papal Infallibility was declared, and in the same year, 1870, the Italian army entered Rome through the breach in the Porta Pia, after the famous siege.

It must have been a stirring time! We have heard Father Keating describe the walks the philosophers would take in the city during the siege. There was one poor fellow who had both legs blown off by a shell. Father Keating and his companions took pity on him, and told him he should resign himself to the misfortune God had sent him. “But how can I?”. he cried, “what can I do without legs?” Then they carried him to his home. There must have been many such scenes, and one can easily imagine the charitable “Mr” Keating of those days, often rendering such assistance.

The Roman College was appropriated by the government - it is still in use as a caserna, or military barracks and the philosophers moved to Maria-Laach, in Rhein Preussen. Here Father Keating completed his third year of philosophy. During his stay at Maria Laach the Franco-Prussian War was going on, and we have been told some interesting stories of the community at the German house, where Frenchmen and German would fraternise, forgetting or trying to forget national animnosities, while their compatriots were killing each other almost within view of the College. In 1871 he returned to Ireland to act as Prefect of the Lower Line at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and to teach the classes of rhetoric and poetry till 1877. In this year he went to study theology at Innsbrück, in the Tyrol. After two years at Innsbrück, he was sent to complete his theology course at St Beuno's College, North Wales, and here he was ordained, in 1880, on September 21st. He next returned to Clongowes and taught for a year, going to his tertianship ini 1882.

During most of his “third year:, he acted as Socius to the Master of Novices in Milltown Park, Dublin. He spent the last three months of the year of the tertianship at Hadzor House, near Worcester. In 1883 he came to Australia with Fathers Sturzo and Edward Murphy, and taught at Riverview for seven years. In 1889 he was appointed Rector of Riverview, and in 1890 Superior of the Australian Mission. In 1899 he was recalled to Ireland to act as Provincial of the Irish Province. In 1901 he returned to Australia as Rector of Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne. In 1908 he took charge of St Francis Xavier's Parish, Lavender Bay, North Sydney. In 1912 he succeeded Father Gartlan as Rector of Riverview, entering on his office early in January.

During this, his second rectorship of Riverview, he again won the respect of all. The boys thought him a little strict at first, but his sterling character soon won their admiration and affection. We who lived intimately with him then had an opportunity of noticing more closely his salient characteristics. There was a great spirit of exactness and neatness; a kindness extended to all; a strong sense of duty; a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and a great desire to beautify and adorn the chapel, and all connected directly with it. There was renovation and improvement in many quarters, but the chapel got most of it, and nothing seemed too good for God's own house. Under his orders, Brother Girschik made a fine cedar vesting press for the Sacristy, and we know that it was his intention to complete the Chapel furnishing before all else. We were hoping to have him with us for many years when God saw fit to take his to Himself, after a little more than a year of office.

On Monday, May 20th, he took the mid-day meal with the Community, and chatted after dinner in his usual cheerful way. During the afternoon he told Father Pigot that he felt unwell, and he was advised to rest himself. In the evening his illness took a serious turn, and next morning we were grieved to hear that he was very ill. He had developed a cerebral hemorrhage, and the doctors said that the only chance of recovery lay in his immediate removal to the hospital, and con stant skilled attention.

He showed the greatest resignation and sweetness throughout. He often used to say, when in health, that he would be ready to go “on the last journey at any moment”, and this was literally true of him. When Father Corcoran went to his room early on the Tuesday morning, he said, quietly, “Well, Father Minister, I will be going home before you, after all. I believe I am going there now”. Father Corcoran was on the eve of his departure for Ireland, his homeland, and the remark was characteristically supernatural.

He was taken to Lewisham Hospital that morning, and edified all by his patience, even joyfulness, at the call of God. When he was brought to his room in the hospital, he looked round quietly and smiled, and said, “Everything is so nice and neat; so it's here it is to be”. When told by the Sister that he might die, he said, “Yes, but I received the last Sacraments two days ago, and am ready”. He passed away gently and unobtrusively - his death was like his life - in complete peace and resignation, early in the morning of Thursday, the 22nd May. He really was “going home”,' and why should he be sad?

On Friday evening the remains were brought to the College, where an escort was waiting at the avenue gates to welcome all that was left of one whose death had made a void in the hearts of many in Riverview. The Rosary was recited by all, and when the Chapel was reached we said the Vespers for the Dead, and then during the evening many a boy, and many a master, would say a prayer for the soul of their dear Rector. Next morning we sang a short Requiem Mass, and then the remains were conveyed to St Mary's, Ridge Street, North Sydney. Here an immense concourse of members of the clergy and laity had assembled to take part in the Solemn Office for the Dead and Requiem. His Grace the Archbishop presided. Very Revs T O'Reilly PP, VF, and J P Moynagh PP, VF, acted as deacons at the Archbishop's throne. The chanters at the office were Revs L Chatelet SM, and T Hayden. The Mass was celebrated by Rev E Corish SJ, the deacon being' Rev J HealySJ, and the sub deacon Rev Father Ignatius CP, (an old Stonyhurst boy). Among the clergy: present: were Right Rev Monsignor O'Haran DD, PA, Right Rev Monsignor. O'Brien DD, Right Rev Monsignor Coonan PP, VG,. and Venerable Archpriest Collins PP, Very Rev P B Kennedy OFM, Revs H E Clarke OFM, R Piper OFM, F S McNamara OFM, M P Kelly, OFM, Very Rev P Treand MSH, Revs E McGrath MSH, F Laurent SM, Ginsbach SM, Very Rev Father Francis CP, Revs P Tuomey DPH, W McNally, E Brauer, P Walsh, T Barry, W Barry, T Phelan PP, J Kelly, J Roach, R O'Regan, J Rohan, R J O'Régan, R Darby, P Nulty, A O'Farrell, M Rohan, J J O'Driscoll, T Whyte, P Murphy.

Representing: the Society of Jesus there were present the Community of Riverview College, also Fathers J Colgan, J Brennan, P McCurtin, E Sydes, J Forster, R O'Dempsey, R J Murphy, T Cahill, T Fay, T Carroll. There were also representatives of the Marist. Brothers and Christian: Brothers; De la Salle Brothers, Sisters of the Little: Company of Mary, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy, Loreto Nuns and Sisters of St Joseph. Many prominent members of the Catholic laity were present, including a large number of Riverview ex-students. One seemed to recognise old Riverview boys everywhere, and all ages were represented.

Among the laity present were the President of the Ex-students Union, Mr A W M d'Apice BA, LLB, Hon Thomas Hughes MLC, Messrs T J Dalton KCSG, James Dalton KSG (Orange), T Mac Mahon, C. Brennan MA, C G Hepburn, F W T Donovan, T McCarthy, P Minahan, I B, Norris BA, LL, Lieutenant-Colonel Fallon, J Lane Mullins, B A McBride, G E Flannery, BA, LLB, P J ODonnell, G B Bryant, C Moore, Roger Hughes BA, A Deery, P Moore, Bryan Veech, A Moran and very many others. All the great public schools were represented at the church or at the funeral, the Headmasters' Association being specially represented by the Rev C J Prescott MA (Newington College), Brother Borgia (St Josephs College), and Mr Lucas (Sydney Grammar School).

After the last Gospel His Grace the Archbishop: delivered a touching panegyric based on the text from St Luke, “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching”.. His Grace referred to the shock which such a sudden death must give to all, and to the temper of consolation to be found in our Holy Faith, and the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, by which we believed that we could help our suffering departed friends by our suffrages to God, that their purging pains might be shortened, and they might soon enter into the life of bliss, a life which Father Keating had “richly deserved”, we might hope with assurance, by his many good deeds. We should all be ready like him, at the call of our: Maker, to render an account of our stewardship. After His Grace the Archbishop had pronounced the last absolutions, the funeral procession proceeded to Gore Hill Cemetery. The cortège was headed by a detachment of cadets from St Joseph's College, Hunter's Hill, St Aloysius College, North Sydney, The Sydney Grammar School, and the Church of England Grammar School,
The cadets from Riverview College formed the immediate guard of honour to the hearse, and: the detachment marched with reversed. arms, while muffled side-drums rolled a plaintive accompaniment to the marching. Major J Lee Pulling, of the Church of England Grammar School, was in command of the military escort, and was assisted by Lieutenant Murphy, of St Aloysius College Corps, and Lieutenant Loughnan, of Riverview, while Staff-Sergeant Major Harvey represented the Fifth Brigade.

The cortege was a very long and representative one, many, who had attended the long church service walking in the funeral procession to the graveside, as a last tribute of respect.

At the graveside the Rev J Corcoran SJ, performed the burial service, at the termnation of which the Riverview choir chanted the “Benedictus”. The guard of honour saluted our departed Rector by presenting arms, and then rested on reversed arms, while the bugler of St Joseph's College Corps sounded the “Last Post”.

Father Keating was a man of great culture and charming personality. He was a master of the Latin and Greek languages, and conversed fluently in French, German, and Italian, As one can see from the life account we have given, he spent many years of his life in various parts of Europe, as well as America and Australia, and perhaps this contact with diverse types of men gave to him much of the urbanity which was to many his greatest charm. One remembers the interesting way he would chat about his stay in Rome during the siege of 1870, of the Vatican Council, of his life at Maria-Laach, and the almost constant habit he had of breaking off into snatches of foreign popular airs.

The charm of his personality seems to have been felt by all who knew him. Among the very numerous letters and telegrams which came to the College for several days after his death, there were many from old boys, from parents of present boys of the college, from those who had found in him a strong guide and a warm friend. But perhaps what impressed one most was the obvious effect of his personality on those who had not known him so intimately as his confrères, his pupils, or his clients. From headmasters of the schools, from mernbers of the legal and medical professions, from the clergy, from men of commerce, came a continual stream of letters, in which one and all attested their conviction of his sterling worth. Mr W A Purves MA, headmatser of the Sydney Church of England Grammar School, wrote: “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself, I never knew quite so courteous an entirely charming a gentleman. I think such personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendly relations among us all, and while in a sense one cannot mnourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely”.

In a letter from the Rev Ashworth Aspinall MA, headmaster of the Scots College, we find these words: “It was my privilege to meet him years ago, and more recently, and I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the College and your Church has sustained. The State has too few men of culture not to deplore the loss of one who so muclı honoured the teaching profession”.

The letters received from old pupils were characterised by a note of warm affection, Everyone who knew Father Keating intimately loved him. At the Annual Dinner of the Old Boys' Union, held shortly after his deatlı, several told of incidents illustrating all those things that went to make up “dear Father Keating's” character - how he had reproved one for his good, and almost crushed him with sarcasm; how he had encouraged another, how he had entered into the sports of the boys to gain their hearts, how he had shown sympathy with the sorrows of the new boy whose heart ached with thoughts of the home he had left. The homesickness of one new boy seemed incurable. Father Keating, Rector of Riverview at the time, won his affection and it was lifelong and cured his homesickness by chaffing him about his untidy hair, and brushing it for him in quite fine style with his own hair brush! Perhaps the occasion may excuse the writer for telling of Sunday mornings he remembers himself, when Father Keating's room would be invaded by an army of small folk - Father Keating always loved the little ones and a judicious selection would be made from the throng. We would go off bird-nesting, and the two hours before dinner-time would pass in a flash. Everyone would enjoy the walk, Father Keating himself most of all. It was difficult to say why one liked him so much; perhaps it was the simplicity of his view which suited the young ones. He seemed, like them, to have an insight into the things which are more real because invisible and intangible, the really beautiful things which Plato imagined to be stored away in some ideal place where all is perfect and without spot.

Looking back one sees that those early days of companionship were indeed a time when the common things of nature.
“did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream”.

Further intercourse with Father Keating at a more mature age has strengthened this feeling; the key to his charm lay in the simple child-like, single view of all, which gave a zest to life. One felt in his presence the value of living, and the joy; the supernatural became evident in his cheerful, bright view of all eventualities, actual or possible. It did one good to know him, and one felt a participation of the strength which the supernatural view of all things gives, a strength proof against all vicissitudes, against the onslaught of external or internal foes, an unutterable security which seemed to be his reward for his perfect life; and which radiated in some way from Father Keating to all those who had the privilege of knowing him.



Lines to Father Keating, Scholar and Priest

Was it from wells of ancient classic lore
He drew his cultured sweetness, and the store
Of high and holy thoughts that made his life
So gracious, yet so firm-amid the strife
Of warring creed and class - that if the world
Had crashed, and all its fragments wildly hurl'd
Thro' space, his soul had still stood unafraid?
Perchance 'twere so! But something he displayed,

Ne'er caught from Greece or Rome's most glorious days,
That, more than classic culture, won the praise
And love of men. For now, the Light of Old
Is but a lonely star, that sternly cold,
Keeps from the frighted herd of clouds apart,
Or stoops to let them pass with scornful heart,
And glimmers thus thro' life, and dies at death.
Not thus was he! His was the mighty Faith.
Unclouded, glad, and simple as the sun,
That saw and met life's sorrows one by one,
The weariness—the sadness—and the crime,
The “tears of things” but straight, o'erleaping Тіmе,
Reached out to Heav'n with hands of eager prayer,
And caught and flung the mantle of God's care
O'er all the world-and what before was night
And night's wild storm-lo! now was Peace and Light.


◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

Riverview in the ‘Eighties - A McDonnell (OR 1866-1888)

Father Pat Keating (whose brother, Fr, Tom Keating was then at Bourke St.) was a most remarkable man in many respects. A scholar in every sense of the term, he was a man of a most striking personality. Strikingly handsome, he was an all round athlete. It would be hard to find a game requiring strength and skill, which he could not play well. He used to play as a member of our team when the teams of the most formid able cricket clubs about Sydney visited Riverview. Being an all round expert at the game, he used to surprise these strangers, as the following incident will show. A match was being played against one of Sydney's best clubs, and the visitors won the toss. Father Keating went on as one of the bowlers. I was sitting near, and just to the rear of Father O'Connell, who was sitting next to the club's scorer and Secretary. Their admiration of Father Keating's bowling was freely expressed. As the bowler at the other end was also of good quality, the visiting team was out in a short space of time, and Father Keating was one of the opening batsmen. When he proved himself as expert with the bat as he had with the ball the visitors applauded heartily; but when he drove a ball from the visitors' best bowler far into the bush beyond the boundary, the gentlemen with the scoring book jumped to his feet and shouted: “By- that - parson can play cricket”. We did not laugh-aloud..because “language” was bad form; but I noticed that Father O'Connell's back underwent some decided convulsions for some time after.

Father Keating was a man of untiring energy. His day began before five in the morning, and he was still at work at ten o'clock at night, and this year in and year out. His was the first Mass celebrated, and for several months, I, with another boy, served this Mass. Father Keating always acted as prefect of the late or “voluntary” study—from nine to ten pm, and many a knot he solved for me when construing. It was he who awakened in me the admiration for Cicero which I have ever since retained. Though a man naturally of a quick and violent temper, no one could believe such to have been the case except on his own admission. He had so far trained himself in this respect that no one ever saw him exhibit the slightest annoyance or impatience, in word or action, although his face might flush. Some of the wilder spirits used to try to annoy him, but they never succeeded. He succeeded Fr Dalton as Rector at Riverview, and after he had been called by his Order to serve in the United Kingdom he was again made Rector at Riverview, and held that office until his death, which came alas too early, and we may well say we shall never see his like again. He united in himself so many great and admirable qualities, and such high attainments in the intellectual sphere, and yet he was the most humble and approachable of men. A great priest, a great scholar, a cul tured gentleman, a sterling friend, a model of the highest type of manhood, a great member of a great Order, the death of such a man leaves this world much poorer.

◆ The Clongownian, 1913


Father Patrick Keating SJ

A cablegram received yesterday at St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, an nounced the death at Riverview College, Sydney, Australia, of the Very Rev Patrick Keating SJ. Although his field of duties during the greater part of his full and laborious life lay outside Ireland, there are still very many amongst us to whom the announcement of his death will cause a pang of bitter regret. Among the older generation, to whom he was a familiar figure, whether in his schooldays at Clongowes, or in the later years as Master there, and in Tullabeg, his name will come back as a fresh and invigorating memory. Prominent in his class, first in games, first in the affection of his school-fellows, such was he during his earlier years, and his later life did not belie the promise of his vigorous youth.

He was born in the town of Tipperary, and from there his family proceeded to America while he was yet very young. Later on he returned to pass his schooldays in Clongowes. He entered the Society of Jesus immediately after his course of rhetoric, and having gone through the full course of studies of literature in France and philosophy in Rome and Ger many, he was called back to Ireland to take up the work of teaching for six years before proceeding to his final theological studies. These were made in Austria and in England. In the year 1883 he volunteered for missionary work in Australia. His name and fame are well known in the Commonwealth. He directed with signal success the destinies of the important College of Xavier in Melbourne, and, later, Riverview, Sydney. Having been for many years Superior of the whole Australian Mission, he was recalled to Ireland to undertake the government of the Irish province. Having accomplished the work with conspicuous success, to the general regret of his friends in Ireland he was recalled to the broader field of his labours, and directed by his gentle and effective sway the Xavier College, Melbourne, before he was sent to undertake again the direction of the great Riverview College, overlooking Sydney Harbour. This position he occupied for some time past, and his later letters from there, received in Dublin during the week, gave his friends no indication either of weakened health or failing powers.

Thus the cable yesterday came as a great shock to his brethren. Father Keating was a man of varied parts. In a remarkable degree his gentleness, prudence, and knowledge of men were evinced in all his dealings and intercourse with others. He seemed particularly suited to the work of conducting retreats to the communities, but his labor lay mostly in other fields. It was, however to those who knew him most intimately, who enjoyed his confidence and friendship, to those who shared with him the intimacy and amenities of community life - it was to his brethren in religion to whom the charm and worth of his character were best known. His death is a serious loss to the Australian Mission as well as to the whole Jesuit Order in Ireland.

“Freeman” May 16th, 1913.

Keating, Thomas, 1827-1887, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1502
  • Person
  • 06 July 1827-13 March 1887

Born: 06 July 1827, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 24 September 1849, St Acheul, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1863, Stonyhurst
Final Vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 13 March 1887, St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, Australia

Older brother of Patrick - RIP 1913

by 1854 at Brugelette College, Belgium (FRA) for Regency
by 1863 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology 4
by 1865 at Tournai Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Early Irish Australian Mission 1882

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of Patrick - RIP 1913
His family emigrated to the USA. Thomas did not go with them and studied at Thurles and Maynooth. His family had owned an ironmongers shop in the town.

Fellow Novices of his in France were Christopher Bellew and James Tuite.
He was sent to Laval for Theology, which he completed at Stonyhurst at a later time. A reason for the delay in Ordination was because he did not wish to receive it from a French Bishop. So, in the intervening years before he completed his Theology and was Ordained at Stonyhurst, he had been a Teacher and prefect under John Ffrench at Tullabeg.
1856-1862 He was a Teacher at Clongowes.
1863-1864 He completed his Theology and was Ordained at Stonyhurst.
1864-1865 He was sent for Tertianship to Tournai.
1865-1869 He was again sent teaching at Tullabeg and Clongowes.
1869-1873 He was sent as Operarius to Gardiner St, and preached frequently.
1873-1876 He was appointed Superior of St Patrick’s (Catholic University).
1876-1881 He was appointed Rector of Clongowes on 17 February 1876.
1881 He returned to Milltown. he had offered for the Australian Mission, and sailed there with Joseph Brennan, who was a Novice Priest at the time.
When he arrived in Australia, he was sent to St Aloysius, in Sydney as a Teacher.
1886 He was sent to St Patrick’s in Melbourne, where he died March 1887. His brother Patrick had come from Sydney to be with him when he was dying. he died aged 60, which was a real surprise in the community, as he had appeared to be a very strong man.

He was a very capable man. The Abbé of Dunleary said he was very knowledgeable of the Fathers and Scripture, and he gave many Priests retreats. he was though to have a somewhat cold manner and perhaps not very genial, but was considered kind.

Note from Joseph Brennan Entry :
1882 He and J (Thomas) Keating arrived in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas Keating, older brother of Patrick, studied at Thurles College and the Maynooth seminary before entering the Society 24 September 1849. He was professed of the four vows on 15 August 1866 during his time of teaching the humanities at Clongowes Wood College. From 1874-76, he was superior and procurator at St Patrick's House, Catholic University of Ireland. Then he was appointed rector and prefect of studies of Clongowes Wood, 1876-81, before being sent to Australia.
Upon arrival in Australia in 1882, he went to St Aloysius' College, where he worked until his early death.
He was considered by the Irish provincial to be of “great merit and learning, and full of zeal for God's Kingdom”. Bishops admired him for his retreats, but he was not recommended to be a superior, as he was previously rather stern and exacting on others. Despite this, Jesuits in Ireland held him in “great esteem”.

Kelly, William E, 1823-1909, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/212
  • Person
  • 21 October 1823-30 January 1909

Born: 21 October 1823, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 24 April 1850, St Acheul, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1854
Final Vows: 15 August 1881
Died: 30 January 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin

Older brother of Edward - RIP 1905 and Thomas - RIP 1898

by 1854 at Laval France (FRA) studying Theology 4
by 1856 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) teaching Theology
1st Missioner to Australia with Joseph Lentaigne 1865

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Older brother of Edward - RIP 1905 and Thomas - RIP 1898

Paraphrase and excerpts from a Tribute which appeared in the Melbourne Advocate :
“The Jesuit Order in particular and the Church in general have lost a cultured and fearless champion of Catholicity by the lamented death of Rev William Kelly SJ, who may be said to have died in harness, as when the summons came the Rev gentleman held the Chair of Ecclesiastical History in the famous College of the Order at Milltown Park.
Last Sunday, the Mission Superior of Jesuits in Australia, Thomas P Brown, received a cable message announcing the death of Father Kelly at the ripe old age of 86. .......
The late Father Kelly was in the very forefront of scholars, and did he desire it, that very conservative body, the French Academy, would have put his name on the Roll of Honour, so deep and thorough was his scholarship. Science and Art owe him a great debt of gratitude, for he did much for the advance of Science. He accompanied a gathering of the Members of the Royal Society for observing a transit of Venus, and for the promotion of military knowledge, he also did much. Those who had the privilege of listening to his lectures and sermons will never forget the power of his eloquence and his magnetic force of the treatment of the subject. He was, in a sense, an alchemist, for he had the power of turning anything he touched into gold. As a controversialist, he stood head and shoulders above his opponents. One of his masterly efforts was the vindication of the truth of eternal punishment. The late Archbishop Roger Vaughan of Sydney erected a Catholic Bible Hall in the capital, where lectures were given on Scripture and Sacred History by the late Father Kelly. He declined to discuss subtle biblical questions except with scholars, and this sometimes led to amusing episodes. Whilst in Victoria, he had very little leisure time, with calls for sermons and lectures taking up his attention. He also had charge of University classes at St Patrick’s College. He was born in Dublin 31 October 1823, and at the time of his death was in his 86th year. He made studies at Maynooth, at Laval and then Entered the Jesuits 24 April 1850. Just before leaving for Australia, he was on active Missionary work and had taught in the Colleges in Britain and Ireland. He was for some time Professor of Theology at St Beuno’s.
With Fr Joseph Lentaigne, Father Kelly reached Victoria in 1865. For years he worked zealously in Melbourne and Sydney, and in the latter he was wont to deliver two lectures a week on ecclesiastical subjects. He was a lecturer in Moral Philosophy at St John’s College within Sydney University, and he taught at the Jesuit College there too. he left Australia in 1889 and worked in Ireland until his death”.
1889 He returned to Ireland from Australia and became a distinguished Theologian at the newly opened Theologate at Milltown. And he lived and worked there until his death 30 January 1909, twenty years after his return.

He was a great personal friend of Archbishop James Goold of Melbourne, and travelled round with him a great deal. In Dr Goold’s Journals, he frequently made mention of William Kelly’s activities, such as : Sermon at the laying of the foundation stone at St Kilda’s; Sermon at St Augustine’s; Sermon at Blessing of Bell - St Francis; Month’s Mind of Dr James Quinn of Brisbane; At Requiem of Reverend Mother at Abbotsford; Installation of Dr Michael O’Connor at Ballarat; Special sermons at Heidelberg, Maryborough and Williamstown; At laying of foundation stone at Kew College. These are but a few of his activities. He preached up and down Australia, gave lectures, answered attacks on the Church, all through the 24 years he spent in Australia. 1865 to 1889.

Note from Joseph O’Malley Entry :
He made his Noviceship in France with William Kelly, and then remained there for studies with Eugene Browne and Edmund Hogan

Note from Charles O’Connell Sr Entry :
William E Kelly, Superior at Hawthorn, says in a letter 09 April 1912 to Thomas Wheeler “Poor Father Charlie was on his way from his room to say the 8 o’clock Mass, when a few yards from his room he felt faint and had a chair brought to him. Thomas Claffey, who had just returned from saying Mass at the Convent gave him Extreme Unction. Thomas Gartlan and I arrived, and within twenty minutes he had died without a struggle. The evening before he had been seeing some sick people, and we have since learned complained of some heart pain. Up to the last he did his usual work, taking everything in his turn, two Masses on Sundays, sermons etc, as the rest of us. We shall miss him very much as he was a charming community man.

Note from John McInerney Menologies Entry :
He went afterwards to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, and there he had amongst his teachers Fathers William Kelly, Frank Murphy and William Hughes.

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online
Kelly, William (1823–1909)
by G. J. O'Kelly
G. J. O'Kelly, 'Kelly, William (1823–1909)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/kelly-william-3937/text6195, published first in hardcopy 1974

academic; Catholic priest; schoolteacher

Died : 30 January 1909, Dublin, Ireland

William Kelly (1823-1909), Jesuit priest, was born on 21 October 1823 in Dublin, Ireland. After secondary education he entered Maynooth seminary but was expelled because of a poem he wrote in sympathy for the 'Young Ireland' movement. Later he applied for admission to the Society of Jesus and was accepted on 24 April 1850. On 21 September 1865 he arrived at Port Phillip with Joseph Lentaigne who became rector of St Patrick's College, East Melbourne; they were the first Irish Jesuits in the colony. For the next twelve years Kelly was officially master of the matriculation class at St Patrick's but was also appointed by his superior, Joseph Dalton, to teach philosophy and theology to the students for the diocesan priesthood then housed at the college.

Kelly's repute as a versatile scholar did not rest simply on his classroom activities. He excelled as a polemicist and was the most celebrated Catholic preacher in Victoria from 1866 to 1877. Almost weekly the press carried reports of his Town Hall lectures and apologias. Dr James Goold's diary for 1869 has him preaching at thirteen special functions all over Victoria, and Howard Willoughby claimed that 'Father Kelly is the orator chosen in Melbourne when the Church has to show that her right hand still possesses its cunning … He is the controversialist called upon to confute error in the lecture-hall, and win ringing applause from fiery partisans'. He was very popular and his speeches were often interrupted by 'deafening applause'. Perhaps his most celebrated doctrinal controversy was with Dr John Bromby in several Town Hall lectures on the existence of hell. From 1869, although Kelly's most frequent topic was secular education, he also lectured in such diverse fields as history, zoology, literature, physics, astronomy and chemistry. In 1871 his paper on tests for arsenic to the Royal Society of Victoria won him election to its council in 1872-73. Optics and astronomy were his favourite fields and in 1882 the Royal Astronomical Society invited him to join the party which intended to observe the transit of Venus from the Blue Mountains.

In 1878 Dalton sent Kelly to Sydney as prefect of studies at St Kilda House, the forerunner to St Aloysius College. In Sydney he revealed himself less as a polemicist and more as a scholar, and so never attained the popularity that he had in Victoria. In 1888 he was recalled to Ireland to profess Greek and Hebrew to the Jesuit theological students at Milltown Park. At 80 he was credited with undertaking the study of Persian. He died on 30 January 1909 in Dublin.

Select Bibliography
H. Willoughby, The Critic in Church (Melb, 1872)
Age (Melbourne), 1 Feb 1909
Jesuit and St Patrick's College records (Jesuit Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne).

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : 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
William Kelly studied for the diocesan priesthood at Maynooth but left without completing his course because he had written a poem in sympathy for the “Young Ireland” movement. He entered the Jesuits 24 April 1850, at the age of 26. There is no record of his work in Ireland before he arrived in Australia 1865, where he taught matriculation students and seminarians at St Patrick’s College, East Melbourne.
While in Melboune he produced at least two dramas that were published. The first was “The Young Queen : Will She Tell? A Christian Drama in Three Acts”, composed for the students of the Convent School of Our Lady of Mercy, Perth, Western Australia, published in 1871. The second was “Marie Antionette, A Drama in Three Acts” 1875. The first was described by William as “embodying some of the principle agencies made use of by Divine Providence for the conversion of the pagan world”, while the second was written entirely in rhyming pentameters with songs and original music.
He moved to Sydney and St Kilda House in 1879, teaching the boys Physics, Chemistry and Astronomy until 1889. He also gave lectures in Logic and metaphysics at St John’s College within the University of Sydney for an annual fee of £100, and many public lectures on the Scriptures' and Catholic dogma. He was in demand for occasional sermons at the opening of churches and solemn festivals.. He was also a poet, linguist, controversialist and missioner, remaining in Australia 24 years. He returned to Ireland in July 1889 to become a Professor of Scripture, Hebrew and Church History at the Jesuit Theologate in Milltown Park.
He was one of the most gifted Jesuits ever to have worked in Australia. Only superlatives are used to describe his gifts, “a veritable polymath, poet, scientist linguist, scripture scholar, controversialist and preacher”. He was adept in Science, Mathematics, History, the Classics, Arabic, Syriac and Sanskrit. As an Astronomer he was highly esteemed by the Royal Astronomical Society. He had worked with them in observing the transit of Venus that took place in 1882.
He was recognised for his wit, good humour and modesty. He completely supported the traditional Jesuit emphasis on a classical education, Mathematics and astronomy.
His students appear to have reacted to him with awe. He was loved and admired at St Patrick’s College, where he taught all nine matriculation subjects, to which he added Chemistry and Physics. He particularly enjoyed preparing academic vignettes with the students for speech day entertainment. He was equally at home with music, drama, recitations in different languages and debates.. One former student reckoned him to be a better lecturer than teacher, but he was above all a kind and lovable person, “most affable and amiable and intimately known by his pupils”. He was a good friend to his students, sharing “the encyclopaedic repository of his gigantic intellect”.
As with many Jesuits, his contribution to Australian education was not restricted to the classroom. He entered every kind of religious controversy, not least the religious education debate in Victoria in the 1870s. His farewell, amid much ceremony, from Victoria was an emotional affair, his departure being considered a tragedy for the Church in that colony. A similar ceremony was held by the Catholic community in Sydney on his departure to Ireland, at which he was praised for his eloquence, devotion and unsurpassable kindness of heart, as priest, scholar and gentleman. His equal was rarely seen again among the Jesuits in Australia.

Note from Walter Steins Entry
Under medical advice he sailed for Europe on 4 May, but was forced to break his journey in Sydney, and went to St Kilda House. Here his condition became worse, and on 4 August, William Kelly said Mass, administered extreme unction and gave him viaticum. Steins held on for a few more weeks until he finally died.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925

St Patrick’s College, Melbourne has just celebrated its Diamond Jubilee as a Jesuit College. It is the mother house of the Australian Mission.
On September 21st 1865, Fathers Joseph Lentaigne and William Kelly, the pioneer Missioners of the Society in Victoria, landed in Melbourne and took over the College.
On September 17th, 1866 , the second contingent of Irish priests arrived - Fr. Joseph Dalton, Fr. Edmund Nolan, Fr. David McKiniry and two lay brothers - Br. Michael Scully and Br. Michael Goodwin.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930

St Aloysius College Sydney Australia : Golden Jubilee
St Aloysius College celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its Foundation in the course of last year. The principal functions were held on the 22nd July, and from the 25th to the 29th September.
The beginning of the College is mentioned in Fr, Dalton's diary, under date Nov. 21st 1878. After much negotiation terms were accepted for St. Kilda House at £260 rent per annum. At that date, if the Jesuits, at the invitation of Archbishop Vaughan, had not come to the rescue, there would not have been a single Catholic College in Sydney.
The College was opened early in 1879 with Fr. Dalton as first Rector and Fr, Wm Kelly, Prefect of Studies At the first distribution of prizes, Dec. 23rd 1879, Archbishop Vaughan presided, and claimed the responsibility of having brought the Jesuits to Sydney. “It is I who invited Fr. Beckx, the venerable and saintly General of the Society of Jesus, to found a school and finally a College in Sydney, and gladly do I publicly acknowledge before you all my great gratification at having done so”.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1887


Father William E Kelly

English Ode

Hair scion, sprung from line of kings,
To thee, Australia Felix sings -
At all time “Feliz” - happier now,
Beneath her Prince's beaming brow.

First Royal foot that ever trod
Remote Australia's youthful sod,
Victoria welcomes, Melbourne greets,
The future hope of Eagland's fleets.

Neatlı canvas broad and flag unfurled,
He hies him o'er the ratery world,
To bear unchangecl, to Southern isles,
The sunshine of a Mother's smiles.

Whispered of old Rome's lyric son,
“Fair Galatea, Ocean shun”.
He sang the perils of the deep,
Orion setting wild and steep,

Black billows lashed by furious gale,
Unbridled storm and straining sail,
“Shun, Galatea, shun the sea,
Live happy, and remember me”.

No storm thy Galatea dreads,
From rolling Thame to southern heads;
The perils of the wind and wave,
Stout ship anel Royal captain brave.

Haill spreading sea, great path of man
Hail! boundless oceanic span;
On thee, fair Science writes her trace,
Grand highway of the human race.

Be not displeased then if my voice,
Heroic Prínce applaucl thy choice,
O'er ocean, gulf, stream, bay to roam,
And make the mighty sea thy home.

To change the palace fair and high,
For gallant ship and starry sky,
To quit the haunts of gorgeous case,
And be a Prince upon the seas.

A sailor Prince that magic word
Has deepest reminiscence stirred,
Of Royal steersmen, sea-kings brave,
And princes powerful on the wave

In mystic days of earlier Greece,
Prince Jason sought the Golden Fleece,
Led hearts of oak o'er Euxine foam,
And plough'd his way triumphant home

O'er wider ocean's plash and roar,
A Prince has sought Australia's shore,
The land which yields true Fleece of Gold,
Exhaustless mines and flocks untold.

The princely flag of Austrian John
Once lecl united nations on ;
That pennon at Lepanto waved
O'er Crescent cbeckecl and Europe saved.

Thy Royal banner floats to-day
O'er hosts engaged in bloodless fray,
Thy streamer waves o'er triumphs won
Where flashed no cutlass, boomed no gun.

The tongues that Gaul and Briton speak,
And stately Roman, fiery Greek ;
The page that pictures deeds of yore,
And Science with her varied lore.

Such is our field, and such our arms -
This Royal scene attests their charms.
The memory of this gracious day
Shall live till life has ebbed away,

Thy princely band the prize accords ;
That hand, thy smile, our best rewards.
Hail gallant Prince! loud, long our cries
Of gratitude and welcome risc
Sonorous, through land, sea, and skies
The Queen, God save!
Heaven shield the brave;
Be Prince Alfred happy on land and wave.

◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1929


Father William Kelly SJ

by Father Frank Connell SJ

Any history of St. Aloysius College would be faulty indeed without notable mention of Father William Kelly. This great man - we carefully select our terms - was on the original staff, and in his memory is held in benediction by Old Collegians of the first decade of the life of the College. He was of a most affable and amiable disposition, and was intimately known by his pupils none of whom he ever afterwards forgot - just because he was so easy to know and deal with. At the time of his departure from Sydney to begin his career as professor of Hebrew, Scripture and Church History at the Theological Seminary, at Milltown Park, Dublin - a post he held for 20 laborious years - one of his former pupils, who had become a prominent medico, said of him: “With Father Kelly, you were not just a college-boy paying for your education; you were a personal friend with a passport to the encyclopaedic repository of his gigantic inteilect”. He was an adept in science, mathematical, physical, and natural; he was a historian with a tenacious memory for even small details of ancient mediaeval and modern history; he was a linguist, with an astounding familiarity with ancient classics, as well as modern languages, he knew Arabic, Syriac, Sanscrit, Hebrew; he once acted as interpreter in a law-court for a poor Polynesian prisoner; he was a wonderful orator; he was an astronomer, he was a poet; he was it seemed, everything that intellectual activity could make a man. In addition he was a ravishing conversationalist; and a glorious wit. In 1889. Father Isaac Moore SJ, himself known in Ireland, England and Australia as a man of great learning, said of him after consulting him about some abstruse matter “I have known him forty years, and have always classed him a universal genius; but I am finding out new things about him every day”. The present writer heard him say in a conversation among his brethren, when a Greek quotation was being discussed: “That word occurs only three times in Greek literature outside of the writings of St Paul, Each time it is used by Theocritus, who always uses it in the same sense”.

Before entering the Society of Jesus Father Kelly had been a student at Maynooth. One day during a mathematical lecture by the famous Dr Callan, that professor imagined he saw Mr Kelly somewhat inattentive, and called him out to the black-board to complete the solution of a problem. In course of interrogation the professor asked “How would you find a key to deal with that set of numbers in order to attain that result?” “I would go to my logarithm tables”, was the reply. “What if there were no logarithm tables?” was the poser put by the professor. Mr. Kelly looked puzzled for just a moment, and then after looking at the board for a moment, he flashed out the original answer: “If there were a set of numbers in arithmetical progression and the same set in geometrical progression, they would be logarithms to each other” and now it is in all the books.

He entered the Society of Jesus in. 1850, and after his two years' novitiate, was sent to France where he soon completed his clerical preparation, and was ordained priest. His next brother had preceded him as a Jesuit novice, and a third entered a few years later. These two brothers were also men of great talents, and became famous as school men and preachers, but their wonderful brother stood even above them. Father William had already speedily become renowned throughout Ireland when, in the fifties he was appointed, though yet a young man, professor of Dogmatic Theology at St Beuno's College, Wales, in the English Province. An anecdote will testify to the reputation he gained there. This writer having being introduced to Old Father Everard of Stonyhurst, as an Australian about to proceed to Ireland, the old Father said: “O then you know and will meet Father William Kelly. He was my professor forty years ago and we regarded him then as a prodigy of learning. He was also a tireless student, so what must he be now? Give him my affectionate regards, and tell him that if I had Saint Peter's boots I'd walk over the sea to meet him once more”.

When, in 1865, the Jesuits, in compliance with the request of Dr Goold OSA, Bishop of Melbourne, consented to take charge of St Patrick's College, Melbourne, until then under other management, Father Lentaigne and Father William Kelly were appointed to pioneer the movement. There is a pretty story of their landing. Their steamer, the Great Britain, had cast anchor some distance out, and the passengers were rowed ashore. When the two priests stood up to step ashore on the sand, Father Kelly stood back to let his superior go first. The latter however, was equally humble, and did not want the honour of landing first. “Go on”, said he. “No Father”, said Father Kelly, “You are the Superior; you go first”. “Yes, I am Superior, and I order you to go first”. But Father Kelly pleaded and won. The other landed first. On that very day they landed Father Kelly got into the pulpit, and preached the evening sermon at a mission which was being conducted by the Bishop. He became famous at once. Space will allow us to present mere patches of his wonderful career as a preacher, writer and teacher. Look up old newspapers, or ask the aged for details of the rest. One noteworthy exploit was his refutation at the request of the Bishop, of a series of eloquent lectures by a Protestant dignitary, Dr Bromby, whose addresses on “Beyond the Grave” were deemed dangerous to Christian truth regarding eternity. An immense mixed audience thronged the Melbourne Town Hall to hear Father Kelly in reply, and the Argus sent quite a staff of reporters to secure a complete report of the lecture which took two hours and a half to deliver. Father Kelly appeared on the platform without a book or note of any kind in his hands, and poured forth a torrent of eloquence that frequently carried the whole audience into enthusiastic outbursts of cheering. He was a very rapid but distinct, speaker, and only two of the reporters - one of whom was Dr Cunningham, the recently retired editor of the Argus - by relieving each other, secured a complete report, which was afterwards published as a pamphlet. It is treasured by Catholic scholars as a triumph of eloquent apologetic.

After 13 fruitful years of varied and untiring toil Father Kelly was transferred to Sydney, whither the Jesuits came under Father Dalton, the first Superior, to open a college at the request of the Archbishop, Dr Roger Bede Vaughan OSB. A house was secured in the now unlikely district of Woolloomooloo in the part touching on Darlinghurst, and here it was that the first College of St Aloysius was initiated in 1879. It was afterwards - in 1883 transferred to Bourke Street, Surry Hills. Some years later 1903, it was changed to its present site at Milson's Point; but that was after Father Kelly had left for Ireland. Old Aloysians of those days will be able to testify to the unremitting labours of Father Kelly during the eleven years he was connected with the college. He had been from the date of his arrival lecturer on philosophy in St John's College, University, and in 1883 was appointed by Dr Vaughan to be Public Scripture Lecturer in the newly-opened “Bible Hall” in William Street*. One outstanding episode was his brilliant funeral oration in St Mary's Cathedral, at the obsequies of Dr Steins SJ, formerly Archbishop of Calcutta, and later Archbishop of Auckland, who died at the first St Aloysius College, “St Kilda House”. An even more brilliant funeral oration was that which in 1889 he preached over the remains of his friend, the Hon William Bede Dalley, also in St. Mary's. Non-Catholic Parliamentarians and other public men who heard him for the first time were heard enquiring who was this great orator, and where the Catholics had got him.

The rest of the career of this great scholar and holy priest was spent in Ireland.

(*Father Kelly, as desired professed himself ready to meet any non-Catholic opponent in controversy on Scriptural and doctrinal sub jects. He merely stipulated that any prospec tive adversary should have a thorough know ledge of Hebrew and Greek, Needless to say, no one entered the lists).

Kennedy, Anthony, 1711-1734, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1523
  • Person
  • 02 February 1711-07 March 1734

Born: 02 February 1711, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 14 August 1731 , Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Died: 07 March 1734, Douai, France - Belgicae Province (BELG)

Parents were Timothy and Eleanor Bolland
Studied Grammar and Humanities under Fr Hugh Kelly a Dublin priest, and 2+ years of Philosophy under Fr John Harrold PP of St James Dublin
Admitted to Society by Fr General Retz 30 May 1731

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Humanities under Milo Byrne and Michael Murphy, and then Philosophy under Canon John Harrold before Ent 14 August 1731 Tournai, which was expressly for the Irish Mission
1733 After First Vows sent to Douai for Theology, a tribute to the good teaching he had received under John Harold. He died there a year later 07 March 1734
His obit stated “This young man was truly remarkable for his penetrating intelligence but especially for his candour and innocence of life”

Leahy, Thomas, 1846-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1564
  • Person
  • 25 August 1846-11 February 1908

Born: 25 August 1846, Ballinasloe, County Galway
Entered: 05 August 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880, Laval, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1886
Died: 11 February 1908, St Patrick’s, Melbourne, Australia

by 1868 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Antwerp Institute Belgium (BELG) Regency
by 1879 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1885 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia in 1887

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at College of Immaculate Conception, Summerhill, Athlone. Here he had as fellow students, Michael Watson SJ, Sir Anthony MacDonnell who became Under-Secretary for Ireland and Mr TP O’Connor, later editor of “MAP” and other Journals.

After First Vows he studied Rhetoric at Amiens, Philosophy at Louvain, Theology at Louvain and he was Ordained there in 1880.
He was a Teacher at various Colleges, Tullabeg, Galway and Belvedere, and later Minister at Crescent.
1880 After Ordination he was sent to Australia.
1890 Appointed Rector of St Patrick’s Melbourne. After his time as Rector he continued on teaching at St Patrick’s, acted as Minister for a time, and remained there until his death 11 February 1908 aged 62.
He was thought gentle and courteous to all, and sometimes called “Silken Thomas”. His death was reported as most edifying.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas Leahy studied at Athlone before entering the Society at Milltown Park, 5 August 1865 . He studied philosophy at Louvain, 1869-70, and theology at Laval, France, 1879-80. He taught mathematics and natural philosophy at the Crescent, Limerick, 1874-76, and French, mathematics and physics at Belvedere College, Dublin, 1880-83. Before tertianship at Roehampton, England, 1884, he was minister at University College, Dublin. Then he was appointed to teach at the Crescent and in Galway, 1885-87, before leaving for Australia in 1887. His first appointment was to prepare students in Classics, French and English for the public examination at Riverview. He became prefect of studies at St Aloysius' College, Bourke Street, 1889-90, and continued his teaching for the public examinations. His first administrative appointment was as rector of St Patrick's College, 1890-97, when he was also procurator and prefect of studies, as well as a teacher. Afterwards he taught in succession at St Aloysius' College, 1897-98, Xavier College as minister, 1898-1901, and St Patrick’s College as minister 1901-08. He was a very gentle, kind man, whom everybody seemed to like, and he did a great deal of good work, but without any fanfare. At Riverview he was considered a fine teacher of classics.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1908


Father Thomas Leahy SJ

Xaverians of the early nineties will remember Father Leahy. He was Minister of the College during part of the time in which Father Ryan was Rector. Later he was transferred to St Patrick's. He was remarkable for his kindness and good nature, having al ways a cheerful word, and loving a quiet joke. He died at St Patrick's, after a short illness, on February 11th, RI.P.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

Riverview in the ‘Eighties - A McDonnell (OR 1866-1888)

Fr Leahy, who came to Riverview at the same time as Fr Tuite, in 1886, was his opposite in many respects.. A big handsome man with a singularly benevolent face. And he was as good as he looked. When he took over the office of Prefect, he addressed us, and announced his policy, and told us what we might expect from him, and what he expected from us. For the first two or three weeks he rather kept us at arm's length, but after that he put unbounded confidence in us, and I think I can fairly say that this attitude was justified. During the half it was not necessary for the Prefect to secure order, the boys relieved him of that duty. Some times one of the “game chaps” would be inclined to play up, but an admonition from the more steady ones to the following effect would secure order: “Don't be a fool, you don't know when you have a good thing on”. Such warning or advice was not couched in formal terms, or strictly correct language, but it was always effective, because it expressed the opinion and the will of the majority. I have said that Fr. Leahy was not to be imposed upon by “leg-pullers”, and the boys soon found that out. They tried it in the playground, and they tried it in class, but he was proof against all their wiles. He was teacher of classics in my class, and a fine teacher, too. His idea of learning any language was to acquire it by ear. Acting on this principle, he used to make the whole class recite, in a good loud voice, declensions and conjugations, he leading. This was soon found to fix the grammar, even into the heads of the inattentive. It also had the effect of imparting a correct idea of “quantity”. When construing a Latin text, he would recite, in his fine style, parallel passages from both Latin and Greek authors, and it was a treat to hear him giving out the sonorous Greek. The artful boys used to “fag up” passages from “word books” of these languages, and put them to him as posers, but he was equal to them. When they attempted to coax him away from the class work, he would say: “Now boys, we have digressed sufficiently, let us return to our work”. Nothing delighted him more during playtime, than to engage the boys in conversation, above all he was anxious to learn all he could about Australia. Its birds, animals and plant life interested him intensely, and he longed to see the conditions of life in the interior.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Thomas Leahy (1846-1908)

A native of Ballinasloe, entered the Society in 1865. He spent four years of his regency at the Crescent, 1874-78. He returned for a year after the completion of his studies when he held the position of minister. The next year was spent in the same office at St. Ignatius', Galway when he was transferred to the Australian mission. The greater part of his career was afterwards spent at Melbourne, where he was rector of St Patrick's College from 1890 to 1896.

Lenan, Patrick, 1561-1621, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1568
  • Person
  • 1561-06 September 1621

Born: 1561, Drogheda, County Meath
Entered: 10 November 1596, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: pre Entry
Final Vows: 1617
Died: 06 September 1621, Dublin Residence, Dublin City, County Dublin

Studied Theology before Ent. BA An Oxford graduate, MA of Douai and BD of Louvain. For 6 years a student of Stapleton and Lessius
1600 Not in Catalogue
1616 Catalogue On Irish Mission 14 years Age 60 Soc 17. Consultor on Mission. Strong in health, preacher, talented and zealous, pleasing address. Fit to be Superior. Of a choleric nature. Gifted as a Missioner “in perpetual motion”, a reconciler of enemies.
1617 Age 63 Soc 20. In Ireland
1621 At Poitiers, confined to bed by sickness
1622 In Leinster, Consultor of Mission. Suffering from Apoplexy.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
He was a missioner in Leinster and is mentioned in a letter of Thomas Lawndry (vere Christopher Holywood) to the General, November 1611, and printed in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1874.
The Royal Commissioners in 1615 state :Lennon, a famous Priest, is kept by Nicholas Netterville” (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
He was an accomplished Theologian and Missioner “in perpetual motion”, the great reconciler of enemies.
He was a graduate of Oxford; MA Douai; BD Louvain; for six years a pupil of Stapleton and Lessius - a gifted solid man. (cf Holiwood and Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Studied Humanities at Oxford. Graduated MA at Douai and BD at Louvain, and was already Ordained on Ent 10 November 1596 Rome
1598-1600 After First Vows he studied at the German College
1600 Sent to Ireland and to the Dublin Residence and his work was limited to the city due to his lack of Irish language.
1606 Superior of Dublin Residence, succeeding Richard Field, until his death in office there 06 September 1621

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Lenan SJ 1561-1621
In Drogheda in 1554/5 was born Father Patrick Lenan. He was an accomplished scholar and theologian, a graduate of Oxford, an MA of Douai, BD od Louvain. He was for 6 years a pupil of Dr Stapleton, the great English controversialist, and also had Leonard Lessius as his Professor. He became a Jesuit in 1597, returning to Ireland in 1601.

His work lay mostly in the Pale and in Dublin, where together with Henry Fitzsimon and Barnaby O’Kearney, he was engaged in educating the youth of Dublin.

The Superior Fr Holywood referred to him as a very mature and reliable man and appointed him his Socius. The Royal Commission or Visitation of Dublin, charges Sir Nicholas Netterville as privately harbouring Lenan, a famous popish priest, and others in 1615.

A Proclamation of October 18th 1617 banished all priests from the country and Father Lenan was forced to leave. His subsequent history is unknown, but he died about 1621.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LENAN, PATRICK. With regret I am obliged to confess that I can barely state of this worthy Jesuit, that I find him actively employed in Leinster, in February, 1603, and in February, 1605. I believe he is the person thus reported by the Royal Commissioners in 1615, “Lennon, a famous Priest is kept by Nicholas Neterville”.

Locke, Edward, 1619-1671, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1585
  • Person
  • 10 October 1619-08 December 1671

Born: 10 October 1619, Colemanstown, County Dublin
Entered: 08 October 1629, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1648, Wilna (Vilnius), Lithuania
Final Vows: 25 October 1654
Died: 08 December 1671, Dublin Residence, Dublin City, County Dublin

Son of Patrick and Mary Sarcefield
Studied in Ireland and Douai
1641-1642 Repeats Philosophy at Lille (GAL-BEL) and teaches Philosophy
1642-1646 At Vilnius studying Theology
1645 Not at Lille
1647 In Tertianship
1648-1651 At Brunsberg College Lithuania - made Doctor of Philosophy in 1651
1655 The Cossacks invade Lithuania, Jesuits dispersed, Locke went to Ireland
1665 In Brixia College (VEM)
1668-1669 Rector of Irish College - where?
related to Sarsfield and Edward Locke surgeon

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1650 D Phil at Wilna (Vilnius)
Rector of Irish College Rome; Travelled to England with Primate Plunkett
Had been out of Ireland thirty-five years on return

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Patrick and Mary née Sarsfield
Had studied Humanities and Philosophy under the Jesuits firstly in Dublin and then at Douai before Ent 08 October 1639 Tournai
After First Vows he studied at Lille graduating MA, and then went to Poland for Regency and studies where he was Ordained c 1648 and graduated D Phil at Wilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1650
1650-1655 Teaching Philosophy and then Theology at Wilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania)
1655-1660 Driven into exile with his Polish Jesuit colleagues, and he found refuge in the Lower Rhenish Province where he taught Moral Theology at Trier.
1660-1667 He was in the Venetian Province teaching Moral Theology at Brescia and Bologna
1667-1679 Rector of the Irish College Rome
1670 Sent to Ireland, he made the journey with Oliver Plunkett, arriving 20 February 1670, and he was made Superior of Dublin Residence, where he died the following year 08 December 1671

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Edward Locke 1620-1671
Fr Edward Locke was a Dublin man, born about 1620. In 1635 he left that city for Rome, where he was educated and joined the Society.

In a letter of his from Dublin, dated 27th February 1670, he tells us, that after a long and painful journey, he had reached Dublin 7 days before, and that owing to a severe winter he had remained about six weeks in London before sailing for Dublin. He says that he had left Dr Oliver Plunkett behind, in whose company he had travelled from Rome. He also remarks that he had returned to Dublin in the very same hour that he had quitted it 35 years beforehand.

Fr Locke was appointed Superior of the Dublin Residence, and in that capacity he called on the Archbishop, Peter Talbot, a sincere friend of the Order.

He died as Superior on December 8th 1671

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LOCKE, EDWARD. His letter dated Dublin, 27th of February, 1670, informs us, that after a long and tedious journey, he had reached Dublin seven days before that owing to the very severe winter he had remained about six weeks in London, before he took shipping for Dublin that he had left Dr. Oliver Plunkett behind (in whose company he had travelled from Rome) - that he returned to Dublin the very same hour that he had quitted it thirty-five years, before - that the new Superior of the Mission, F. Richard Burke, arrived at the same time, of whose character he speaks highly, and of whose future government he augurs most favourably that he had waited on the most illustrious Archbishop Dr. Peter Talbot, who was a sincere friend to the Order. The Father gives it as his opinion, that the distress of the country cannot be equalled elsewhere. I learn from F. Stephen Rice’s Annual Letters, that F. Locke died at Dublin in the year following, “in Missione et alibi de Societate bene meritus”.

Long, Dermot, 1679-1736, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1591
  • Person
  • 07 June 1679-26 February 1736

Born: 07 June 1679, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 29 August 1701, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1712, Paris, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1717 Arras
Died: 26 February 1736, Irish College, Poitiers, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

1714 At College of Eu (FRA) Taught Humanities and Rhetoric
1717-1733 At Arras Collège teaching Rhetoric, Minister - good in all
1734-1735 Minister and Procurator at Poitiers
1733-1736 Rector of Irish College Poitiers succeeded on death by Bernard Routh

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already studied Philosophy in France before Ent 29 August 1701 Paris
1703-1709 After First Vows sent on Regency at Vannes and Paris
1709-1712 Completed studies in Paris and was Ordained there 1712
1712-1715 He then taught Humanities for brief periods at Auch and Arras
1715-1716 Made Tertianship
1715 Sent as Minister to Arras and later Procurator, but mostly he was Operarius and Sodality Director for 16 years
1732 Rector of Irish College Poitiers 14 November 1732, and died in Office 26 February 1736

Long, William, 1616-1685, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1592
  • Person
  • 20 March 1616-24 January 1685

Born: 20 March 1616, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 15 May 1639, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province BELG)
Ordained: 05 April 1645, Douai, France
Final Vows: 06 December 1656
Died: 24 January 1685, Dublin Residence, Dublin City, County Dublin

Parents Richard and Margaret Frende
Studied Grammar, Humanities and Philosophy under the Jesuits in Ireland - Fr Henry Cavell
Admitted by Provincial Robert Nugent
1642 At Lille repeating Philosophy
1645 At Douai in 3rd year Theology
1648 At Wexford
1649 Not in Catalogue but in the 1678 Archdekin edition said to be Residing at Dublin
1650 In Ireland, is a Minister and Teacher
1666 ROM Catalogue Confessor at Dublin Residence - catechising and administering sacs. On the Mission 18 years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent. Knew Irish, English, French and Latin.
Taught Humanities for three years,
1650 Came to Irish Mission and was a Minister at Wexford (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI) A very religious and zealous man.
1659-1669 He converted many in Wexford and Dublin.
1660 In the Dublin Residence
(cf Father Morris’s “Excerpta”; Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Richard and Margaret née Frende
Had previously studied Philosophy under the Jesuits (Henry Cavell) in Dublin before Ent 1639 Tournai
1641-1645 After First Vows he resumed studies at Lille and Douai where he was Ordained 05 April 1645
1646 Sent to Ireland and Wexford until the fall of Wexford to Cromwell. During that “commonwealth” he exercised his ministry in Co. Dublin and after the Restoration he lived in the Dublin Residence where for many years he was Procurator. His preferred ministry was Catechising the poor and ignorant. he died in Dublin 24 January 1685, and was buried in St. Catherine's churchyard

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LONG,WILLIAM, was born in 1601. Pere Verdier, who visited him at Wexford in 1649, describes him as “valde religiosus”. In the sequel he obtained distinguished reputation as a Catechist. I find him actively engaged at Dublin in 1669, in the work of the ministry.

Lynch, John, 1796-1867, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1601
  • Person
  • 10 October 1796-26 November 1867

Born: 10 October 1796, Dublin City County Dublin
Entered: 03 October 1821, Montrouge, Paris, France - Angliae Province (ANG) / St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 20/05/1826, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Final Vows: 08 September 1841
Died: 26 November 1867, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin

Ordained at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, within an octave of Pentecost 1826, having studied Theology at Clongowes. (Given as “James” Lynch, but in previous lists at St Patrick’s he is called “John”

by 1829 in Clongowes
by 1839 doing Tertianship in Amiens France (FRA)
by 1851 at St Joseph’s Church Philadelphia, PA

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had studied some years at Maynooth before Entry.

His Novitiate was spent partly at Montrouge and partly at Tullabeg.
After Ordination 20 May 1826 at Clongowes, where he spent many years as a Prefect and Teacher, he was sent for Tertianship in France.
Before 1850 he was sent to the Maryland Mission, returning to Ireland in 1854. he sent many novices from Ireland and France to the Maryland Mission.
The final years of his life were spent at the Dublin Residence, Gardiner St. He suffered from a most painful cancer of the stomach, and enduring this with patience and fortitude, he died 27 November 1867.
He was a man of great piety, observing the rules, active, zealous and charitable. He was a good mathematician, and had a keen interest in architecture. He had planned many houses in both Ireland and the US. he also translated many books from Italian and French into English. he was a very zealous promoter of the Apostleship of Prayer. He was distinguished for his great constancy in faith in God.

MacDonnell, John Charles, 1814-1852, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1625
  • Person
  • 12 July 1814-14 January 1852

Born: 12 July 1814, Killarney, County Kerry
Entered: 01 July 1846, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 14 January 1852, Fordham College, New York, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)

MacKenzie, Alexander, 1730-1800, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1635
  • Person
  • 23 March 1730-05 June 1800

Born: 23 March 1730, Scotland
Entered: 25 October 1749, St Andrea, Rome - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1758
Final Vows: 02 February 1767
Died: 05 June 1800, Dublin City, County Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Clinton

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He defended all the theses in Theology.
1756 Sent to London Mission, which he served for many years, and was distinguished for his attention to the poor, especially prisoners.
1773 ANG Catalogue he is named as Newgate Missioner.
1781 He became Chaplain at Lulworth Castle, Dorset.
1795 He retired to Ireland, where he died 05 June 1800 aged 70
He wrote :
1) An edition of Dunlevy’s Catechism
2) “The Spiritual Guide”
3) “Treatise on Communion” dedicated to Bishop Challoner, London 1780
4) A translation of Père Grou’s “Moral Instructions”, 2 Vols, Dublin 1792
5) “Characters of Real Devotion”, London 1791
6) “School of Christ”, Dublin 1801
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS, asks if he was not also the author of “The Poor Prisoner’s Comforter”, London 1764
(cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CLINTON, ALEXANDER. His real name was Mac Kenzie : he was born 23rd of March, 1730, entered the Novitiate in 1749, and seven years later was sent to the London Mission. Here he had ample field for exertion, and was deservedly esteemed and admired for his fatherly attention to the poor, and especially to the unfortunate prisoners. In 1767 he was raised to the rank of a professed father. The late Thomas Weld, of Lullworth, Esqr. charmed with his merits and social qualities, engaged him for his chaplain in

  1. Retiring from that situation about 14 years later, he went to Ireland, where he died 5th June, 1800. We have from his pen
  2. An edition of Dunlevy s Catechism,
  3. The Spiritual Guide.
  4. A treatise on frequent Communion, (dedicated to the venerable bishop Challoner.) 12mo. 1780 London, pp. 406.
    He translated from the French of Pere Grou, “Morality of St. Augustin” “Characters of Real Devotion”. “The School of Christ” Was he not also the compiler of “The poor Prisoners Comforter”. 12mo. London. 1764. pp. 228.

Mahon, Henry, 1804-1879, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1660
  • Person
  • 25 September 1804-04 May 1879

Born: 25 September 1804, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 01 November 1823, Montrouge, Paris, France - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 20 December 1834, Stonyhurst
Final Vows: 15 August 1841
Died: 04 May 1879, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Early education in Humanities at Stonyhurst before Entry

1827 At a newly opened Jesuit school in London
1834 Ordained at Stonyhurst by Bishop Penswick 20 December 1834
1842-1847 After serving at Wardour Castle and St Ignatius Church, Preston, he was appointed Superior of the St Francis Xavier College (Hereford District), and of the Residence of St George (Worcester District), and residing as Chaplain at Spetchley Park.
1848-1851 Served the Shepton Mallet and Bristol Missions, also being Superior At St George’s.
1851-1858 Served on the London Mission
1858 he served the Great Yarmouth, Edinburgh, Worcester, London and Liverpool Missions, and then went to Stonyhurst for health reasons in 1872. He died there 04 May 1879 aged 75.

He was distinguished for his eloquence in the pulpit and skill as a Confessor. (Province Record)

Malone, William, 1586-1656, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1667
  • Person
  • 06 February 1586-18 August 1656

Born: 06 February 1586, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 24 September 1606, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1615, Coimbra, Portugal
Final Vows: 21 April 1624
Died: 18 August 1656, Irish College, Seville, Spain

Superior Irish Mission 20 April 1647-1650 and 27 June 1654

Educated at Portugal, Rome and Irish College Douai
1614 At Évora LUS in 3rd years Theology
1617 In Ireland Age 31 Soc 11
1621 Catalogue Talent prudence and judgment good. Gentle, a good preacher.
1622-1626 In Ireland
1638-1647 Rector Irish College Rome (Arch I C Rome Lib V 199) - 10 May 1647 (in 1642 Fr Richard Shelton is Prefect)
1650 Catalogue 65 years old on Mission 35 - Superior Irish College Rome and Sup Irish Mission 3 years
1655 Catalogue In Professed House Seville “Hospes HIB and operarius”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
The family had the title “Baron Sunderlin”
Very placid and gentle; A Good Preacher; Provincial; Writer; A good religious; Rector in Rome and Seville;
Irish Catalogues of 1609, 1621 and 1636 call him “Dublinensis”. In Foley’s Collectanea evidence is produced in favour of his being a native of Manchester. The author is of the view that Simon Malone was married in Manchester and returned home, or, that he took William to be educated in Manchester as “Harry Fitzsimon, and had him baptised there and that William was then sent to Rome.
William Malone Esq of Lismullen is on the Roll of Attainders of 1642
After First Vows did two years Philosophy and four Theology; He was proficient in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Latin.
Sent to Ireland 1615; Preacher and Confessor many years; Rector of Irish College Rome; Superior Irish Mission for three years (HIB Catalogue 1650)
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS says DOB 1586. After studies in Rome and Portugal was sent to Ireland 1617, his name is on a list in 1617 (Irish Ecclesiastical Record August 1874);
Sent to Rome in 1635 as Rector of Irish College; Made Superior of Irish Mission 23 December 1647, succeeding Robert Nugent.
Taken prisoner at the siege of Waterford and deported. He went to Seville, and there he was appointed Rector of St Gregory’s 1651-1655 and he died there 15/08/1655 age 70.
His famous work dedicated to King Charles I : “A Reply to Mr James Ussher, his answere”, 1627, was published at Douai (cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”; Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS.
Hollingsworth - of “Christ College” - states he was born in Manchester 1592. This is supported by the paper by Rev Laurence Canon Toole SS, of St Wilfred’s Manchester, regarding his birthplace (Chronicle of Manchester at Chetham Library, also published as “Mancunis” in 1839). “Anno 1592, was borne in Manchester, William son of Simon Malone, a young man with pregnant wife, he was tempted by some Irish merchants till the rebellion broke out 1649... Seduced from the Reformed to the Romish religion, of which he became one of the most earnest and able assertors; he made a reply to Archbishop Usher’s answer to the “Jesuite’s Challenge”, but he was overmatched, his adversary being more eminently learned, and having truth on his syde
“Thomas de Warre, subsequently by inheritance, Lord de Warre, a priest and rector, or parson of the Parish Church of Manchester in the reign of Henry V, founded a college to be attached to that Church for the daily celebration of the Divine Office. This College was dissolved in the first of Edward VI; it was refounded by Queen Mary; suppressed again in the first of Elizabeth, and refounded again under the name :”Christ College” in 1578.
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS gives date of RIP as 15 August 1655 age 70, making his birth 1586, six years earlier than Hollingsworth, who may have assumed date of Baptism to be DOB. There continues to be dispute about his place of birth in that his father’s name is in the marriage register in Manchester, and there is an entry in the burial register which suggests continual living in Manchester “1597, April 29, an infant douter of Symon Mallon”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Early education was at Douai
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at the Roman College and Theology at Évora and Coimbra (LUS) where he was Ordained 1615
1615 Sent to Ireland and Dublin. He immediately became involved in a controversy with James Ussher (afterwards Protestant Archbishop of Dublin). Ussher’s book “An answer to a challenge made by a Jesuit in Ireland” (1625) was triumphantly refuted by Malone in a work entitled “A Reply to Mr . James Ussher, his Answer”, published in Douai which reduced Ussher to silence and encouraged the Catholics.
1626-1637 Sent as Procurator to Rome
1637-1642 Rector of Irish College at Rome 10 December 1637. While in office he secured for the College the house in the Via Baccina, where it remained until the suppression
1642-1647 Prefect of Studies at Irish College Rome until 20 April 1647
1647-1650 Superior Irish Mission 20 April 1647. In more normal times he would have been eminently equipped for the duties of Superior in view of his past successes as a missionary priest in Ireland and an administrator at Rome. But taking into account the complicated politico-religious state of Ireland in 1647 and his long absence abroad he proved quite somewhat challenged by the tasks awaiting him. He identified himself with the Ormondist faction, quarreled with Rinuccini and caused a rift between his subjects of Old Irish and Anglo-Irish origin. In the first months following the “Censures” he was away temporarily and had entrusted the Office to John Young, and he had neglected to inform the General of the evolving crisis. It has been suggested that his actions later demonstrated that he sides with the small Ormondist faction on the Mission who had publicly sided with the “Confederation” against the Nuncio. In his 1649 Report to the General on the Irish Mission, Mercure Verdier recommended that he be replaced in office as soon as he had finished three years, but not before tat so as to avoid trouble with the Confederation. In the event, the General died 08/06/1949 and the election of his successor 21 January 1650, it became possible to replace Malone without incurring the displeasure of the Confederation.,
1650 He was replaced in office in January 1650, and was a very zealous missioner, but he was asked to act as Vice-Superior, 1653, on the arrest of William St. Leger. Despite the advice of the Visitor Mercure Verdier, he was again appointed Mission Superior 27 June 1654, but as he was then in prison he could not assume office. He was then deported to Spain and appointed Rector of the Irish College, Seville, 27 October 1655. By this stage he was in somewhat broken health, and much of the administration involved on the rectorship was devolved to his companion John Ussher. He died at Seville 18 August 1656
(Addendum. William Malone published in 1611 the first English translation of the works of - the then Blessed - Teresa of Avilá)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Malone, William
by Terry Clavin

Malone, William (1586–1656), Jesuit, was born 6 December 1586 in Dublin, the son of Simon Malone, a local merchant, and his wife, Margaret Bexwick from Manchester. He studied humanities at Douai before entering the Society of Jesus on 24 September 1606 at Sant’ Andrea, Rome. After completing his theology course at the Roman college, he went to Portugal, where he studied theology at Evora and Coimbra and was ordained in 1615. He was sent to Ireland in 1615 on the Jesuit mission and was based in Dublin for the next eleven years.

Shortly after arriving in Ireland and at the request of his protestant friend Sir Piers Crosby (qv), he drew up a brief outline of the fundamentals of the catholic faith. Crosby brought this statement to James Ussher (qv), at that time professor of divinity at TCD and rector of Finglas. Malone then wrote a challenge for Ussher, asking of the protestant clergy when it was that the catholic church had fallen into error and how was it that the protestant faith could be true if it rejected a number of tenets held by the early church. Crosby brought this statement to Ussher and a relatively amicable private correspondence ensued between the two clerics as they debated the tenets of the early fathers of the church. Eventually, in 1624 Ussher published an expanded response to Malone's initial challenge. As the publication of catholic literature was prohibited in Ireland, Malone left for the Spanish Netherlands in 1626 and then arranged for the publication at Douai of his A Reply to Mr. James Ussher his answer (1627). In the Reply Malone details disagreements among protestant theologians and argues that the contrasting unity of the catholic church was the surest sign of the rightness of its claim to be the one true church. He notes that whereas previously protestant divines had based their arguments solely on scripture, they have more recently come to agree with the catholic position that the church fathers constitute an important religious authority. Controversially he dedicated the Reply to Charles I and declared that not even the pope could draw the catholics of Ireland from their obedience to their rightful king. Such fulsome expressions of loyalty met with the disapproval of many of Malone's fellow clergy and compatriots. The Reply eventually found its way into circulation in Dublin c.1629–30, after which, at Ussher's behest, three protestant writers published between 1632 and 1641 rejoinders to Malone's work, each dealing with a different topic in the debate.

After the publication of the Reply, Malone was sent to Rome to act as procurator of the Irish Jesuits there. From 1637 to 1647 he was rector of the Irish college in Rome and seems to have performed this task with great distinction. On hearing that Malone intended resigning as rector, the Jesuit superior in Ireland, Thomas Nugent, wrote to Rome in March 1641 begging that Malone remain at his post. Nonetheless he did resign in 1642, but remained in the college as prefect of studies until 1647.

He returned to Ireland that year to become superior of the Jesuit mission in Nugent's stead and soon found himself caught up in the political turmoil of those times. In May 1648 the papal nuncio to Ireland, GianBattista Rinuccini (qv), excommunicated all those who adhered to the truce between the supreme council of the Catholic Confederation and the protestant forces in Munster. He also prohibited church services and the normal administration of the sacraments throughout Ireland. This act divided the catholic laity and clergy and put Malone in a very difficult position. On one hand, the Irish Jesuits were predominantly the sons of wealthy Old English landowners, a group who broadly sympathised with the supreme council. Malone himself was Old English and supported the truce with Inchiquin. Indeed, he appears to have opposed the admission of Gaelic Irish clergy into the Jesuits and, unusually for a catholic clergyman, spoke no Irish. Given these views, it is not surprising that his relations with Rinuccini, whose most reliable supporters tended to be Gaelic Irish, had been tense. However, on the other hand, the Jesuit order stood for obedience to the pope above all else, and could hardly defy his representative in Ireland.

Malone finessed the situation with some skill, but little success, by ordering the Irish Jesuits to follow the example of their diocesan bishop regarding the nuncio's interdict. As most of the Jesuit houses were located in the dioceses of bishops who supported the supreme council this meant that, in effect, the Jesuit order did not observe the interdict. Only in Limerick did the Jesuit house defy the local bishop, and by implication Malone, by observing the interdict. Moreover, many Jesuits actively encouraged the supreme council's defiance of the nuncio and in August 1648 six leading Jesuits signed a declaration supporting the supreme council. At some point in late 1648, Malone visited Rinuccini in Galway city in an effort to convince him of his good intentions. However, the nuncio regarded Malone's behaviour as treachery and believed that the Jesuits played a major role in the failure of his excommunication to defeat the supreme council.

Meanwhile, the Jesuit general in Rome, Vincenzo Carafa, ordered Malone to travel to Bordeaux to explain his behaviour (which he declined to do) and sent Mercure Verdier to Ireland as Jesuit visitor, to ascertain the situation in Ireland. After meeting Rinuccini in Galway, Verdier travelled to Kilkenny to hear Malone and his supporters state their case. Recognising the depth of opposition to Rinuccini within the order, Verdier did not remove Malone from his position, and absolved the Irish Jesuits from Rinuccini's censures. The latter act angered the Jesuits who held that Rinuccini's interdict was invalid.

By the spring of 1650 Malone was in Waterford city, which was being besieged by Cromwellian forces. A plague broke out and Malone and other Jesuits were active tending to the sick and dying. The same year, he was replaced by Thomas Nugent as head of the Jesuit mission in Ireland. Following the fall of Waterford in 1651, Malone went into hiding and was eventually captured in Dublin in 1654. Initially sentenced to death, this was commuted to transportation to Barbados, before he was simply put on a ship for Cadiz in 1655. On 27 October 1655 he was appointed rector of the Irish college at Seville. However, his health was failing and most of the work was carried out by his colleague John Ussher, who succeeded Malone as rector following his death in Seville on 13 August 1656.

C. R. Elrington and J. H. Todd, The whole works of James Ussher, 17 vols (1847–64), iii, 3–5; W. J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Ireland (1854), 70–72; Annie Hutton, The embassy in Ireland (1873), 399, 413, 468–9, 473–5; Michael J. Hynes, The mission of Rinuccini (1932), 264–5, 297; Comment. Rinucc., vi, 139–40; D.Cath.B., ix, 573; Francis Finegan, ‘Irish rectors at Seville, 1619–1687’, IER, ser. 5., no. 106 (July–Dec. 1966), 45–63; D. Gaffney, ‘The practice of religious controversy in Dublin, 1600–41’, W. J. Sheils and D. Wood (ed.), The churches, Ireland and the Irish (1989), 145–58; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory (1991), 49, 70–73, 78–9, 82–4; Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin, Catholic reformation in Ireland (2002), 241–3; Alan Ford, James Ussher (2005), 62, 67–8

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
William Malone (1647-1650)
William Malone was born at Dublin on 6th February, 1586. After studying humanities and rhetoric at Douay, he entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea in Rome on 24th September, 1606. He studied philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Evora and Coimbra in Portugal. Returning to Ireland in 1615, he was stationed in the district of Dublin. Soon after he became engaged in a controversy with James Usher, afterwards Protestant Primate. Usher's book, “An Answer to a Challenge made by a Jesuite in Ireland”, 1625, was triumphantly refuted by Fr Malone in a work entitled “A Reply to Fr James Usher, his Answer”, published at Douay in 1627, which reduced Usher to silence and encouraged Catholics greatly. In 1620 Fr Malone was made a Consultor of the Mission. On 11th April, 1624, he made his solemn profession of four vows. In 1626 he was sent as Procurator to Rome. When the administration of the Irish College, Rome, was given to the Society of Jesus by the will of the founder, Cardinal Ludovisi (1635), Fr Malone was selected to become Rector, but various obstacles arose which prevented him taking up that duty until 10th December, 1637. During his term of office he secured for the College the house in the Via Baccina, where it remained till the suppression of the Society. He ceased to be Rector on 1st February, 1642, but remained on as Prefect of Studies and Confessor till 20th April, 1647, when he was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission. During the dissensions that arose among Catholics on the occasion of the Nuncio Rinuccini's censures, he was a strong partisan of the Ormondist faction, and was in consequence denounced to Rome by the Nuncio. The General on 5th September, 16148, appointed a Visitor of the Irish Mission, and ordered Fr Malone to withdraw quietly to France. The Visitor, Fr Maurice Verdier, who arrived at Galway on 28th December, 1648, reported that it would be inadvisable to remove him just at that time. By the death of the General, on 8th June, 1649, all changes of Superiors were, with the approbation of the Holy See, suspended till a new General should be elected. Fr. Francis Piccolomini was elected on 21st December, 1649, and a few weeks later Fr Malone's Socius, Fr George Dillon, was appointed Superior of the Mission.

William Malone (1654)
Fr William Malone, who acted as Vice-Superior of the Irish Mission when Fr. William St Leger was exiled, was appointed Superior of the Mission for the second time on 27th June, 1654, but the General's letter to that effect can hardly have reached him before he, too, was tracked down by spies. To save his host he delivered himself up, and was sentenced to death. This sentence was afterwards changed to one of transportation to the Barbadoes; but just before he was put on board a ship sailing thither, another order arrived that he should be handed over to the captain of a ship bound for Cadiz. After many adventures he arrived there, and was appointed Rector of the Irish College at Seville on 27th October, 1655. But worn out by hardships he died there on 18th August, 1656, regretting the crown of martyrdom had escaped him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father William Malone 1586-1656
William Malone was born in Dublin on February 6th 1586. After pursuing his studies at Douai, he entered the Socirty in Rome in 1606.
Returning to Ireland as a priest, he was stationed in Dublin where, like Fr Fitzsimon before him, he engaged in controversy with the Protestants, and became the great champion of the Catholics. He made his name in a clash with James Usher, afterwards Protestant Primate. The latter published a book entitled “An Answer to a Challenge made by a Jesuit in Ireland”. Fr Malone replied with his famous work “A Reply to Mr James Usher, his Answer”, published at Douai in 1627, which reduced Usher to silence and greatly encouraged the Catholics.

Fr Malone was the first Rector if the Irish College in Rome, when that institution was willed to the Jesuits by its founder, Cardinal Ludovisi in 1637. Ten years later Fr Malone was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission.

During the dissensions which arose among Catholics during Rinuccini’s mission, Fr Malone sided quite definitely with the Ormondist faction. As a result, he was denounced to Rome by the Nuncio, and the General appointed a Visiitor, Fr Verdier, to inquire into the state of affairs in Ireland. The General had in fact ordered Fr Malone to withdraw to the continent. It is interesting to note that the Visitor, after his investigations, advised against this course.

On the death of the General, his successor Fr Piccolini appointed Fr George Dillon as Superior in 1649. When Fr William St Leger, the next Superior after Fr Dillon was banished from Ireland, Fr Malone acted as Vice Superior, and was himself again appointed Superior in 1654. However, he was tracked down by spies, and to save his host he gave himself up.

He was banished to the Barbadoes, but the order was changed, and instead he was sent to Cadiz. On his arrival at Cadiz he was appointed Rector of the Irish College in Seville, but worn out by the hardships, he died there on August 18th 1656, regretting the crown of martyrdom which had escaped him.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MALONE, WILLIAM, a native of Dublin : enrolled himself at Rome, in 1606, amongst the Children of St. Ignatius. After pursuing his studies in that city, and finishing them in Portugal, he was ordered to the Irish Mission, to which during nearly a quarter of a century he rendered good service by his splendid talents, apostolic zeal, and extraordinary prudence. Recalled from Dublin, where he was Superior of his brethren, in the early part of the year 1635, to preside over the Irish College of St. Patrick at Rome, founded by Cardinal Ludovisi, he continued its Rector during the space of several years. Of his talents for government his brethren had formed the highest opinions. In a letter now before me addressed by F. Robert Nugent, the Superior of the Irish Mission, to the General Vitelleschi, of the 14th of March, 1641, he earnestly conjures him “not to yield to his petition of being released from the Rectorship of the College, however painful such pre-eminence may be that he knows no one at present qualified to succeed him in that office that there is not one of his brethren so conversant with the state of this Kingdom and Mission none so thoroughly acquainted with the character of the Irish youth as F. Malone”. On the 23rd of December, 1647, F. Malone was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission in the place of the said F. Nugent. His superiority fell in most difficult times.
In a letter dated Waterford, the l5th of March, 1649, he says, how thankful he should be to be relieved from it that the burthen was heavier on his shoulders than Mount Etna, insomuch that he could say with the Apostle (2 Cor. i. 8 ), he “was even weary of life”. Naturally of a most placid disposition, he found it impossible, during the period of the Interdict, to give satisfaction to the Party supporting the Nuncio, John Baptist Rinuccini * (a prelate ignorant of the country, and of very high pretensions ), and the conflicting interests of the supreme Council at Kilkenny. During the siege of Waterford, he was in the town : on its capture by the enemies of the Catholic Faith, he was apprehended and sent into banishment. On reaching Seville his talents for government were put in requisition, as Rector of F. Gregory’s College in that city. There he consummated his course of usefulness by the death of the righteous, in August, 1656, act. 70.
F. Malone will always rank among the ablest Champions of Orthodoxy in that immortal work entitled “A Reply to Mr James Ushers His Answere”, 4to. 1627, pp. 717. It was printed at Douay; but F. Southwell incorrectly fixes the date of publication to the year 1608. The admirable dedication of the work to King Charles I is abundant evidence of the Author’s loyalty and undivided Allegiance, as well as of his Patriotism. Harris’s notice of this truly learned work satisfies me, that he had never ventured to read it. See p. 130, Book I. Writers of Ireland. Doctor Synge, Archbishop of Tuam, and Dr. Joshua Hoyle, would have consulted their literary fame, had they not attempted to grapple with F. Malone.

  • The Latin Report of his Nunciature in Ireland is in the Holkam Library, and as translated by Archdeacon Glover, may be read in the Catholic Miscellany of October, November, and December, 1829. See also “Hiberaia Dominicana”, also Third Section of the “Political Catechism”, by T. Wyse, Esq. London, 1829. Lord Castleniaine, p. 277, of the “Catholic Apology”, 3rd edition, says that “The Pope on being informed of the Nuncio’s conduct, recalled him, and sent him to his Bishoprick, where he lived to his dying day in disgrace, and never had the least preferment afterwards”. He died on the 13th of December, 1653, aet. 61.

Mathews, John Stanley, 1833-1878, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1681
  • Person
  • 16 November 1833-31 December 1878

Born: 16 November 1833, Mount Hanover, Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 13 November 1852, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 22 September 1866, Drogheda, County Louth
Final vows: 15 August 1872
Died: 31 December 1878, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

by 1855 at Villa Mongré France (LUGD) studying
by 1862 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying Philosophy 3
by 1864 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology 1
by 1865 at Montauban France (TOLO) studying Theology 3
by 1866 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology 4

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
1856-1863 He was sent for Regency to Teach at Tullabeg, and then for two years at Limerick.
1863 He was sent to Stonyhurst for Philosophy and from there to St Beuno’s for 1st and 4th Year Theology, 2nd and 3rd Years were completed in the South of France.
1866 He was Ordained by Dr Nulty at Drogheda 22 September 1866.
1869 He was sent to Teach at Belvedere and was appointed Rector there in 1873. He died in office there 31 December 1878.
He was a very good religious. Though not of a robust constitution, his death was a peaceful one.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Stanley Mathews 1833-1878
Fr Mathews was born in Drogheda on November 15th 1833. He entered the Society in 1852 at St Acheul. He did most of his studies abroad but was ordained at Drogheda by Dr Nulty in 1866.

Three years later he went to Belvedere as a Master, and in 1873 he becmae Rector of the College. This post he filled until his death, which took place on December 31st 1878.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father John Stanley Mathews (1833-1878)

Was born at Drogheda and entered the Society at St Acheul in 1852. He spent two years of his regency at the Crescent, 1860-62, and can therefore be regarded almost as one of the pioneers of the re-establishment of the Society in Limerick. His higher studies were made in England and France, but his ordination took place at Drogheda on 22 September, 1866. The years after his ordination were spent entirely at Belvedere College where he was rector at the time of his early death.

Matthews, Peter, 1692-1752, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2344
  • Person
  • 02 February 1692-02 February 1728

Born: 02 February 1692, London, England or Ireland
Entered: 07 September 1711 Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1722, Liège, Belgium
Final Vows: 02 February 1728
Died: 13 January 1752 Grafton Manor, Worcester, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ CATSJ I-Y has Taught Philosophy, S Scripture and Controversies (CAT ANG)

◆ In Old/15 (1) and Chronological Catalogue Sheet

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MATTHEWS, PETER, born on the 2nd oF September, 1692 : at the age of 19 consecrated himself to God in Religion; and at the usual period took his station amongst the Professed Fathers. For a time he was Professor Holy Scripture at Liege; on the Mission he often passed by the name of Nevill. At Christmas, 1748, he succeeded F. Carpenter at Brin, in Lancashire, and died at Garswood on the 13th of January, 1752.

McCarthy, Peter, 1591-1660, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1692
  • Person
  • 1591-28 December 1660

Born: 1591, Belgium
Entered: 22 September 1617, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 03 April 1627, Mechelen, Belgium
Died: 28 December 1660, Roermond, Netherlands - Belgicae Province (BELG)

Son of Charles and Anne Wynter
Place of birth Trefontanensis - Rome? or could be Cerfontaine in Belgium
Fellow Novice of St Jan Berchmans. Studied at Antwerp
1638 “Fr Peter Carthy Superior in altero exercitu”
1642 at Dunkirk
Taught Humanities and Spiritual Father. On Castrensis Mission

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Charles and Anne née Wynter
Fellow Novice of Jan Berchmans
1638 He and William Boyton were on the Dutch Mission; He was Chaplain-in-Chief or Head Camp Missioner;
He was “Trifontanensis” by birth

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Charles (from the noble family de Clancar) an offier in the Spanish Army, and Anna née Wynter (she was Flemish)
He had already studied Humanities at the Jesuit College in Antwerp before Ent 22 September 1617 Mechelen
At Mechelen one of his fellow Novices was Jan Berchmans
After First Vows be was sent for studies in Philosophy to Antwerp and then Louvain. He then did three years Regency at BELG Colleges.
1694 He then returned to Louvain for Theology, and he was Ordained at Mechelen 03 April 1627
After Ordination he was in BELG as Operarius and frequently as a Military Chaplain. His longest periods of service were at Breda and Dunkirk, but he also worked at Ghent, Brussels and Roermond, where he spent the las four years of his life, dying there 28 December 1660
Not regarded as a “foreigner” in Ireland, he was frequently asked for by William Bathe for the Irish Mission. His capacity for languages (he was fluent in eight) meant it was decided he would be more useful remaining in Belgium, particularly because of his special qualities as a Military Chaplain, where his facility in languages meant he could minister to many different races of the Spanish Army based in the Low Countries.

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