Hayes, James, 1933-2016, Jesuit priest

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Hayes, James, 1933-2016, Jesuit priest

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  • Jim Hayes

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Dates of existence

06 July 1933-31 January 2016

History

Born: 06 July 1933, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 14 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1968, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 31 January 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1976 in London, England (ANG) working
by 1991 at Torry, Aberdeen, Scotland (BRI) working
by 1994 at Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland (BRI) working
by 2001 at Liverpool, England (BRI) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jim-hayes-sj/

Jim Hayes SJ
AMDG Express has saluted two of the Irish Jesuits working in Britain: Kieran Barry-Ryan and (posthumously) Jack Donovan. Jack’s near-contemporary, Jim Hayes, is living in
Liverpool, but for many years he has hardly featured on the horizons of Province activities despite a remarkably active priestly life. Paul Andrews’ report on a recent conversation with Jim.
When I rang Jim Hayes to hear his story, one picture stayed vividly with me. Jim asked had I seen “Tunes of Glory”, and in particular the scene in an officers’ mess, where you see officers at each end of the dining room table, eating in a shared solitude, with nobody saying hello. Jim’s first breakfast in Belvedere, in the early 70s, was like that. He had moved across the city from Milltown, appointed as Minister to a large community which he had never known before. He sat at one end of the table, some of the brethren gathered at the other end, and nobody greeted the newcomer or said hello. Things eased with time. Rupert Coyle, Michael Reidy, Jim Dunne and others became and remained good friends. But the Belvedere of 1970 tolerated unfriendliness, even inhumanity, in a way that reduced everyone’s energy.
Jim is remembered in both Milltown and Belvedere not just for efficiency as a Minister, but for an almost maternal eye for the needs of the brethren, and readiness to take pains and spend money to meet those needs. He is remembered with affection, and it is important for him to realise that.
Despite his frosty start in Belvedere, he worked hard at his job and grew to like it there; so he was sad, and felt it as something of a reproach, when the Provincial moved him after three years. He is happy to recall that years later the same Provincial wrote to him with an apology for making that move, and an acknowledgement that he had followed the wrong advice and done Jim an injustice.
After a short spell in his native Limerick, (at that time there were more priests in its main street than in the whole of Zambia), he was invited by Fr Oliver McTiernan to ease the shortage of priests in London. With the support of both Irish and British Provincials he moved to Islington for fifteen happy years. Both Oliver and Bruce Kent, his companions in Islington, later left priestly ministry, but Jim stayed with his parish, schools and hospital.
In the mid-1980s he felt moved to offer himself for the diocese of Aberdeen, where the shortage of priests was so chronic that it survived only through an infusion of Jesuit volunteers. Jim was parish priest in a Highlands parish west of Inverness, then in a city parish, and then for seven years in the Shetland Islands. When he went there, he found only four native Catholics, but with the development of the oil fields their number was swollen by a surge of workers, from Scotland, England, Ireland, Poland and elsewhere.
Despite the loneliness and the long winter nights, Jim enjoyed Shetland very much, moving round his parish by car and boat. But ten years ago he found that his half-moon glasses no longer served him adequately. A specialist told him that he was suffering from loss of central vision due to diabetes (of which he was unaware). His sight gave way suddenly. He could not distinguish parishioners, and he knew he had to leave the parish and the island.
He was happy to accept an invitation from the British Provincial to serve as full-time chaplain in the Catholic Institute for the Blind in Liverpool. He had to give up the chaplain’s post when he found he could no longer see faces clearly enough to recognise them. Now he is a resident, in a state of high dependency, blind and afflicted by Parkinson’s, but still able to celebrate Mass. When I asked him about the good and bad years in his memory, he said that most of his years had been good, but the last year has been an annus horribilis. Is there anything we can do to bring this good Jesuit closer?

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/20674/

Fr Jim Hayes RIP: committed to kindness and service of the Gospel
There were two sides to Jim Hayes, the Limerick-born Jesuit who has died at the age of 82. At first blush a stranger might find him serious, almost stern, in face and manner; but where he was looking after others – as he was for most of his ministry – he was kindness itself. He is remembered in both Milltown and Belvedere not just for efficiency as a Minister, but for an almost motherly eye for the needs of the brethren, and readiness to take pains and spend money to meet those needs. Any Jesuit in the job of Minister lives in a tension between the needs of the brethren and the moneywise watchfulness of superior and bursar. In that tension Jim put the brethren’s needs first. So he is remembered with great regard and affection. He sometimes felt the pressure of the bursar’s books, for instance when he was unexpectedly moved from Belvedere. Years later the Provincial who moved him wrote to him with an apology for making that move, acknowledging that it was a poorly-founded decision.
After a short spell in Limerick, (at that time there were more priests in its main street than in the whole of Zambia), he was invited by Fr Oliver McTiernan to ease the shortage of priests in London. With the support of both Irish and British Provincials he spent fifteen happy years in Islington. Both Oliver and Bruce Kent, his companions in Islington, later left priestly ministry, but Jim persevered faithfully.
In the mid-1980s he felt moved to volunteer for the diocese of Aberdeen, where the shortage of priests was so chronic that it survived only through an infusion of Jesuit volunteers. Jim was parish priest in a Highlands parish west of Inverness, then in a city parish, and then for seven years in the Shetland Islands. When he went there, he found only four native Catholics, but with the development of the oil fields their number was swollen by a surge of workers, from Scotland, England, Ireland, Poland and elsewhere.
Despite the loneliness and the long winter nights, Jim enjoyed Shetland, moving round his parish by car and boat. But ten years ago he found that his half-moon glasses no longer served him adequately. A specialist found that he was suffering from loss of central vision due to diabetes (of which Jim was unaware). His sight gave way suddenly. When he could not identify parishioners, he knew he had to leave the parish. The British Provincial asked him to serve as full-time chaplain in the Catholic Institute for the Blind in Liverpool. He worked there for fourteen years until, blind and afflicted by Parkinson’s, he returned to Ireland and settled well into Cherryfield Lodge. His condition deteriorated quickly in the past two weeks, and he died peacefully on 21 January, surrounded by his family and Jesuit companions.

Early Education at Crescent College SJ, Limerick

1953-1956 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1956-1959 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1962 Clongowes - Regency : Teacher; Prefect; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1962-1966 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1966-1967 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1967-1970 Milltown Park - Minister
1970-1974 Belvedere - Minister
1974-1975 Crescent - Ministers in Church
1975-1990 London, UK - Curate at Church of St John the Evangelist, Islington
1990-1993 Aberdeen, Scotland, UK - Parish priest at Sacred Heart Church, Torry
1993-1999 Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland, UK - Parish Priest at St Margaret’s
1999-2013 Liverpool, UK - Chaplain at Christopher Grange Centre for the Adult Blind
2013-2016 Loyola - Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

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

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

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Hayes, James, 1933-2016, Jesuit priest

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