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Crowe, Patrick J, 1925-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/826
  • Person
  • 05 March 1925-04 July 2017

Born: 05 March 1925, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died 04 July 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1977 at St Ignatius College Prep San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/paddy-crowe-sj-a-quality-educator/

Paddy Crowe SJ – a quality educator
Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4 July, in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6 July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily. He was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare.

Born on 5 March 1925 in Edenderry, Co Offaly, Paddy was the oldest boy in a large family. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College SJ in Co Kildare before entering the Society of Jesus in 1943. Early on, it was thought he would make a good professor of philosophy, but he had a more active interest in schools. He soon found himself working in education under various roles. At Clongowes Wood College SJ, for example, he became teacher, prefect, rector, and eventually headmaster.

He served as Director of Education Policy and Education Delegate for the Irish Province and worked at several other schools, including Crescent College SJ and Mungret College SJ in Co Limerick, and Belvedere College SJ, Gonzaga College SJ, and Greendale School in Dublin. Referring to his personality, Fr Bradley said: “He was an extrovert and had such a sense of humour. He was bravely adventurous, who loved to travel, have new experiences and make new friends”.

“Educational value,” Paddy said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young.” Fr Bradley, who worked with him for many years, noted: “In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm, but fair. He lived in the continual tension between the old and the new, always reading, questioning, and seeking to move on”.
One of his former students commented: “You always knew where you stood with Fr Crowe”.

Paddy was consultant to Fényi Gyula Jesuit High School, the only Jesuit school in Hungary, founded in 1994. He was heavily involved in the University of Scranton (USA) Scholarship Scheme, which led in time to his honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud.

Later from 1998 to 2009, he returned to Clongowes where he lived among his Jesuit community; acted as spiritual father for students; assisted in a local parish and ministered to the Holy Family Sisters. His mind remained very alert as his physical health deteriorated. As one friend said of him: “He was a great man to have a conversation with but a terrible man to play scrabble with”. He also retained a great interest in computers and loved using up-to-date devices.

His passing is deeply regretted by his family, Jesuit companions, friends, former colleagues and his many students, some of whom posted warm tributes on Facebook. Fr Bradley concluded: “As Paddy arrives at last at the father’s house, we can rejoice with him and for him. Paddy, go without fear. Amen”.

Early Education at Edenderry NS; Knockbeg College, Carlow; Clongowes Wood College SJ

1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1953 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1953-1954 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Third Line Prefect; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1959 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1959-1960 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Lower Line Prefect; Teacher
1960-1965 Mungret College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1965-1976 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1968 Rector
1971 Headmaster
1976-1977 St Ignatius Prep. San Francisco, CA, USA - Sabbatical
1977-1978 Loyola House - Province Special Secretariat
1978-1979 University Hall - Vice Superior; Province Special Secretariat; Director Province Education Policy
1979-1984 Belvedere College SJ - Working in Education; Director Province Education Policy
1980 Headmaster; Teacher; Education Delegate; Colloquium
1984-1987 Campion House - Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1985 Manager Gonzaga College SJ; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ; Vice-Superior
1987-1992 Loyola House - Superior; Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1990 Central Province Admin; Asst Education Delegate; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ
1992-1995 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Rector; Provincial Team
1995-1998 Belvedere College SJ - Principal of Junior School
1997 Chair Board Cherryfield Lodge
1998 - 2017 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Assists in Clane Parish of St Patrick & St Brigid
1999 Chair Board of Greendale School, Kilbarrack, Dublin
2001 Spiritual Father to Third Line
2006 Ministry to Holy Family Sisters, Clane, Co Kildare
2009 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ The Clongownian, 1977

Appreciation

Father Patrick Crowe SJ

It is doubtful if anyone has had such a varied experience of responsibility in Clongowes as Fr Crowe, our first Headmaster, who left us last summer. He was Third Line Prefect 1953-54, Lower Line Prefect '59-60, Prefect of Studies '65-68, Rector '68-71 and finally Headmaster from '71 to '76. For eleven years, then, his office, if not regal, was at least consular in the Roman sense: he was one of two holding “imperium” in our little state. Anyone in a position to make a “before-and-after” assessment of that period in Clongowes must agree that the many changes which took place have amounted to a transformation. These range from unlocked notice-boards and study. halls to new buildings, from boys distributing their own letters to voluntary Mass on week-days, from entrance exams to self-service in the refectory, from a catering committee to a School Council, from monthly breaks to women teachers, from an integrated staff lunch to a stand-by generator, from cups for tennis, choir and orchestra to work for the poor and aged of the district and the handicapped children in Stewart's hospital, from masters' classrooms to parents' meetings, from social evenings to an O Level year, from boys telephones to a crowded programme of holiday engagements in the college. The degree of Fr Paddy's involvement in these changes varied, of course, from agonising personal decision to mere encouragement of other people's energy and initiative. But the work of any man in government or administration is judged, for credit or condemnation, by what actually took place during his term of office. By that test our first Headmaster when he comes back to visit Clongowes - which we hope he will do very often - will be able, with all the confidence and gratification of Christopher Wren in St Paul's, to look around and see everywhere monuments to his vision and efficiency. His devotedness to visiting the sick and attending funerals will endure in the grateful memory of very many parents and past pupils, the community and teaching staff, and all whom, in a favourite phrase, he liked to call the “Clongowes family”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2017

Obituary

Father Paddy Crowe SJ : A Quality Educator

Fr Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4th July, 2017 in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6 and was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare. Paddy spent much of his life in Clongowes, first as a pupil and then as teacher, prefect, rector as well as being the first headmaster. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6th July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily

Herbert McCabe, the English Dominican theologian of Irish descent and a near contemporary of Paddy's, wrote in his book, “Faith Within Reason”, published posthumously in 2007: “The whole of our faith is the belief that God loves us; [...] there just isn't anything else. Anything else we say we believe is just a way of saying that God loves us”. And the corollary of that is that everything we hear in Scripture is the message of God's love. The whole of salvation history, the account of God's interaction with us from the beginning of time, through different epochs, across diverse cultures, expressed in a variety of human literary forms and devices, all of that history recorded in the complex collection we call 'the Bible', carries the same message, finally summarised in St John's heartbreakingly simple phrase of just three words at the end of the New Testament: “God is love”.

Herbert McCabe's fellow-Dominican, the great Flemish theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, prefaced his book on the Church with a memorable anonymous quotation: “People are the words with which God tells his story”. In the Word of God we read at a funeral, we seek to cast light on the human life we are celebrating and to discern the working out of God's love in that life. It's not difficult to see that the leit-motif of Paddy Crowe's story, the leading theme, was education. On one occasion, speaking in this instance about Clongowes - but the remark has much wider application when referred to himself - Paddy said: “We think Clongowes is a good school and to it we are willing to give our time, our energy. our humanity, our lives”. Education, the eliciting of potential and the nurturing of gifts and talents in young lives, is, properly understood, above all a work of creative love. And that is the work to which Paddy gave himself, directly or indirectly, for much of his long, dedicated life.

Clongowes, of course, where he went after the local national school and a period in Knockbeg, looms large in his story. The oldest boy in a large family from Edenderry, to which he remained always attached, he was there as a student in the war years from 1938 to 1943. The records - as is often the case - hardly presage the distinguished career in education that lay ahead of him, although he was clearly an able first division student and produced excellent Leaving Certificate results. He was a prominent and able debater from the beginning and in his second year - perhaps a little harder to imagine but accurately reflecting the interest he always had in music - he was praised for his portrayal of the shy and petite Germaine in the comic opera “Les Cloches de Corneille!”

His keen, enquiring intellect
Having joined the Jesuits straight from school, in the course of his formation he was at one stage envisaged as a future professor of philosophy. That points to his keen, enquiring intellect but it was almost certainly a misreading of his temperamental inclinations and he was destined to more active work in schools for almost all of his life. He served as Third Line Prefect in Clongowes from 1953 to 1954, as Lower Line Prefect from 1959-60, as Prefect of Studies from 1965 to 1968, as Rector in the old days of the Rector Magnificus from 1968 to 1971, as Headmaster from 1971 to 1976, as Rector again from 1992 to 1995 (though by then, as he discovered somewhat to his disappointment, with headmasters now in place to lead the school the role had gone down a bit), and, finally, for the years from 1998 to 2009, as a member of the community and carrying out some duties inside and outside the school, but without the burdens of office which he had carried for so long and at a time when his health was beginning to decline.

“But Clongowes was far from the whole story. Apart from the valuable work he did in other Jesuit schools in Ireland - the Crescent in Limerick; Mungret, where he was Prefect of Studies for five years before moving to the same role in Clongowes; Belvedere, where he served as Headmaster for four years at the beginning of the eighties, after his long stint in Clongowes, and later as Principal of the Junior School in the mid nineties; and Gonzaga, where he was manager for a time - he was also Education Delegate to the Provincial in the 1980s, giving him oversight of all the schools and those who worked in them. In addition, he was heavily involved in these years in promoting what was known as the Colloquium, which brought Jesuit and lay teachers together to talk about their shared aspirations - the kind of dialogue he had come to believe in more and more. It partly explains, too, his great interest in psychology. And I have not mentioned the many organisations and projects and committees beyond the Jesuit sphere to which he made substantial contributions, often in leadership roles, to promote an educational vision and foster its practical application to the actual life of classrooms; or his chairing of the board in Greendale Community School in north Dublin for several years from 1999; or his heavy involvement in the Scranton University scholarship scheme, which led in time to an honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud; and so on. And that list, long as it is, is not exhaustive.

Paddy thought a lot about education and, over his time of leadership in Clongowes, he delivered reflective, well-crafted addresses at the annual past pupils' dinner, expounding his own developing understanding and the need for change. One such speech even made the front page of The Sunday Press! His first administrative appointment was to Mungret in 1960 and he would remain in school leadership continuously until 1976, almost two decades, which finally left him exhausted. This was a period of huge change in ireland and further afield. Paddy was keenly aware of such change and worked hard, reading and consulting widely, to keep abreast of it. in his speech to the Clongowes Union, in the autumn of 1969. he made what must have been one of the earliest references to computers in such a context - computers, as we know, would prove a lifelong passion and his room in Cherryfield became something of a computer graveyard, as latest model succeeded latest model in the relatively confined space, all identified and ordered on-line by Paddy himself! In that speech he also spoke, in the same sentence, of the government's pivotal Investment in Education report and the all-important decree of the Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 'The Church in the Modern World'. The introduction of free education in Ireland, followed by the points system, gradually transformed the system here, asking new questions of Clongowes and all the Jesuit schools. The Church's role in education, as has become so familiar to us now, was beginning to be called into question. Les évènements in Paris in 1968 took place as he was making the transition from Prefect of Studies, in which he had been, in the words of “The Clongownian”, “the architect of aggiornamento”, to the heavier responsibilities of Headmaster.

Personal contact of good people
“Educational value”, he said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young”. Paddy himself was one such good person and he sought this kind of contact to the extent that he could. Over time, his direct manner, which could be intimidating, softened considerably. In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm but fair. One former student was quoted as saying that you always knew where you stood with him. He was never afraid to confront but colleagues and parents found him accessible and often became his good friends. A notable part of his legacy in Clongowes was the effective abolition of corporal punishment, which took full effect after he left. In Belvedere he put an end to streaming just before he completed his term, a no less important change for the atmosphere and culture of a school. Schools, boarding schools especially perhaps, have a tendency to be somewhat conservative places and Paddy was well aware that his modernising policies were the subject of criticism inside and outside the school. He confronted the challenge directly at the Clongowes Union Dinner in 1974. “Meeting many of the older men here”, he said, “sets me thinking of all the things that have changed”. Having listed some of the changes, he asked: “How did it happen? If you like simple answers to complex questions, take your choice: ‘they’ have gone permissive, soft, have no backbone, will not stand out against the rot... As we see it, things began to happen, matters were forced on our attention - we began to listen to others, began to accept an enormously changed world, began to reflect more on what we were trying to do and what in fact we were doing. The Catholic school could easily become a place of comfortable conformity, he had said a year earlier.... Priests and religious do not wish to stay in their schools for this ... We are at the end of Phase | Catholic Education in Ireland. The response of 1814 does not answer the needs of 1973”.

He ended one of his addresses by quoting the inspirational Jesuit General of the time, Father Pedro Arrupe, whose “Men for Others” address in Valencia would soon make its impact on all Jesuit schools: “If our schools are to perform as they should, they will live in continual tension between the old and the new, the comfortable past and the uneasy present”. Paddy, destined to lead schools in a period of extraordinary change, always wanted them to live in that way. That was where he tried to live himself, always reading and questioning and seeking to move on.

Bravely adventurous There is so much more to be said but time does not allow and, despite what you might think, this is not, in the end, intended to be a lecture on the educational career of Paddy Crowe or a mere personal eulogy. Through these - often lonely and taxing - endeavours (and he could get down and discouraged), Paddy was working out his vocation, responding to God's call, telling God's story through his own life. In this very inadequate sketch, I have stressed the educational component and the richness of what he achieved, for particular reasons. From our present vantage-point, Paddy's life easily seems to fall into what we might almost think of as two “halves”. There have been more recently what seem - and certainly seemed to him - like the long years of decline, which weighed so heavily on him, despite the devotion - and even, we have to say, the forebearance! - of Mary Rickard and Rachel McNeill and the staff who cared for him in Cherryfield, since he went there actually less than a decade ago. Even before that, in his last years in Clongowes, as the extrovert that he was, with such an appetite for life and involvement and activity, as a man who was so bravely adventurous and loved to travel and have new experiences and make new friends, as a man used to being in authority and exercising influence and in control, he felt himself”'beached” and on the sidelines and found this very painful. Who knows what heroism he practised, behind the mask of failing powers and old age, as he went, increasingly and inscrutably silent, through all this? And so it is appropriate to correct the balance and beware of forgetting his achievements in the many earlier decades of his life. That's my first reason for laying such emphasis on them now, as the trajectory of that life comes more clearly into focus.

The second reason for thinking about those achievements, which perhaps brings us closer to what Paddy's inner experience was like, is that I think he did not always believe in all the good he had accomplished himself. And, for all his extroversion and his capacity to encourage others and promote development around him, there was a depressive side which showed at times and he was prone to self-doubt or at least to doubt the extent to which his efforts were appreciated by others. For him, on a superficial level at least, the measure of success - and perhaps of approval - was always further worthwhile employment. And when, in the judgment of others though not his own, he was past that, he found it harder to cope.

I began by quoting Herbert McCabe and I want to end with him. Paddy, full of humanity, longed for acceptance and emotional connection with others. In him I sensed that the emotion was often masked behind the brusque, direct, sometimes even abrasive manner. He was hardly aware of this or the degree to which it conditioned some of the responses he evoked in others. I think, to the extent that I knew this or have any right now to make such a surmise (and we lived and worked together in a variety of capacities over many years), in some measure it affected his spirituality and his search for a closer felt relationship with God. The uncertainty of the prodigal son in the parable in Luke's gospel at the reception he might expect from his father when he returned home, the journey on which we are all embarked, sometimes, judging by what he would say himself, seemed to infect Paddy's efforts to pray and to find rest in prayer. Herbert McCabe, interpreting that wonderful, utterly seminal parable in his posthumous book earlier referred to understands the essence of the story of the prodigal not to be the father's forgiveness of the son, but the father's welcoming and celebrating the son's homecoming with a feast. The love shown in this by the father is, for McCabe, analogous to God's love for us, sinners that we are. “His love”, he writes, “does not depend on what we do or what we are like. He doesn't care whether we are sinners or not. It makes no difference to him. He is just waiting to welcome us with joy and love”. As Paddy arrives at last at the Father's house and the banquet of which Isaiah writes so eloquently (Paddy would appreciate that!), the good fight finished (and he was always a fighter) and his race run, we can rejoice with him and for him that he knows the truth of the parable of the returned prodigal and the heavenly Father's welcome now. Now he can say with the psalmist that, through all his endeavours and all his struggles, “I was always in your presence; you were holding me by your right hand” (Psalm 73 1721,23). In the words Pope Francis, a man after Paddy Crowe's heart, likes to use for such a moment, we say to him: “Paddy, avanti senza paura! Go without fear! Amen”.

FitzGerald, Richard, 1624-1678, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1294
  • Person
  • 25 November 1624-09 March 1678

Born: 25 November 1624, Vienna, Austria
Entered: 1640, Vienna, Austria - Austriacae Province (ASR)
Ordained: 1655, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 01 November 1658
Died: 09 March 1678, Vienna, Austria - Austriacae Province (ASR)

Alias Geraldine

Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Born of illustrious Irish parents
Writer; Professor of Theology and Philosophy (cf Balthazar Geraldini in de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)

Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows studied Rhetoric and Philosophy at Vienna. He was so talented that he was chosen to make a public defence of his Philosophical theses.
He then went on Regency to Tyrnau and Sopron (now in Hungary)
Then he went to the Roman College for Theology, showing outstanding ability, and was Ordained there 1655 and graduated D Phil
He then held a Chair of Philosophy at Vienna and also taught Theology there and later at Munich
1671-1674 Rector at Linz College
1674-1678 At Vienna until he died there 09 March 1678

Ladányi, László, 1914-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1553
  • Person
  • 14 January 1914-23 September 1990

Born: 14 January 1914, Diósgyőr, Borsod, Miskolc, Hungary
Entered: 30 July 1936, Hungariae Province (HUN)
Ordained: 08 June 1946, Shanghai, China
Professed: 15 August 1952
Died: 23 September 1990, Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HUN to ExOr; Applied ExOR to HK 1950
by 1949 came to Ricci Hall, Hong Kong (HIB) working 1949-1967

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Veteran China Watcher
Father Laszlo Ladányi Dies

Father Laszlo Ladányi S.J., veteran China watcher died of lung cancer on 23 September 1990 at the Canossa Hospital, Hong Kong, aged 76 years.

Laszlo Ladányi was born in Hungary in 1914. He later graduated from the University of Budapest and he also received training in the violin at the Music Academy in Budapest. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of 22 and arrived in Beijing, China in 1939. He was later transferred to Shanghai where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1946. In mid 1949, Fr. Ladányi came to Hong Kong and was appointed chaplain to university students at the Ricci Hall.

In 1953 Fr. Ladányi founded the China News Analysis (CNA) in Hong Kong, a weekly and later a fortnightly newsletter. Ever since then, he worked as Editor to this publication for the following 30 years. The main purpose of the CNA is to keep missionary circles informed of Mainland China’s developments. The CNA is widely subscribed by those who are interested in the Mainland China affairs.

In 1982, the editorship of the China News Analysis was passed over to the present team of Jesuit priests, but Fr. Ladnay was still deeply engaged in his China studies up to the time he was admitted to Hospital last month.

The funeral took place at 10am on 26 September with a Mass of the Resurrection concelebrated by his Jesuit confreres and friends at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, Hong Kong. He was buried in the St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 October 1990

In Memory of Father Laszlo Ladany, S.J.
R.I.P.

On 23 September 1990, 9:35am, our beloved Father Ladányi left this world. My mother phoned me from Hong Kong, weeping, and informed me about his death. As soon as the news came, the Chinese Catholics in America passed the information round and all expressed their affection and remembrance of him, as well as their sorrow and prayer for him…

Father Ladányi was a Hungarian, ordained priest in China in 1946. When he was a missionary in China, he already had deep love for China. After mainland China was taken over by the Communists, he was expelled and sent to Hong Kong. He always wanted to be near China and so he stayed in Hong Kong and began his work there. Diligently, spending 40 years as one day, he studied the problem of China with total dedication. In this way, he worked silently for the Church in China to the end of his life.

He was an outstanding political observer. He had a unique understanding of the problem of China. No one could match him for penetrating understanding, foresight, the depth and width of his study in the problem of China. He was a gifted writer, scholar and commentator. He wrote many analyses about China and the present and past situation of the Church in China. His sources made his information very accurate, looking at the question from every angle and written with simple precision so that his Analysis became an essential source of information for others and had much authority. All the Embassies bought and used his China News Analysis for reference. Libraries throughout the world have his writings, which are of the greatest historical value.

But, we are not only commemorating his outstanding work or his life, but paying tribute to his heart which really understood, loved and sympathised with the Church in China - this heart was precious as gold and as bright and crystal-clear as water. This is what we most cherish today and find most worthy of remembrance. His clear and firm stand-point and views always harmonised with the spirit of the faithful Church in China. His sense of Justice, experience and solid knowledge of the facts, moved him to speak from a sense of Justice. He never left anything unsaid which he knew could be said and he always said everything without fear of human respect. He worked with dedication and spoke up for the faithful Church in China. His heart beat as one with the faithful Church in China. He was the intimate companion of the faithful Church in China, and the good understanding teacher and friend of the faithful Church in China.

In the 1950’s the Catholic Church in mainland China was severely crushed. Bishop Kung of Shanghai was arrested. Many priests and Catholics were imprisoned. Only a few Catholic had the chance to flee abroad. It was he, the good shepherd, who organised these exiled sheep, cared for them, gave them guidance in their spiritual life and helped them to keep their faith. When the Trappist Monastery in Yang Jai-ping was persecuted, some of the monks fled to Hong Kong. It was he, their spiritual brother, who consoled them and later helped them to build the monastery and restore their community life.

When my younger sister became very sick in Shanghai Prison, she was allowed to leave the prison for medical treatment and died a year later. It was father Ladányi who crossed to Kowloon during the night to console my sorrowful parents. It was he who always opened wide his arms to embrace with affection the suffering Chinese Catholics. In his simple office, he used to talk intimately with these exiled faithful so that they might enjoy the warmth of a family spirit.

When I arrived Hong Kong in 1979, I carried within myself all the wounds as well as a loving memory of the faithful Church in China. He said to me; “Write it down! Write it down as soon as possible!” I said reluctantly, “I have been imprisoned for so long, I don’t know how to write freely. Also, I have no experience in writing.” He said very earnestly: “Write! When you begin to write, as you go along, you will discover how to write!” So with his encouragement, I finished writing the book entitled “Catholic Children in the Labour Camp” within half a year.

I visited him in his office a number of times, listening to all he had to say. He spoke Mandarin perfectly, sometimes mixed with a few sentences of Cantonese. There was no difference of nationality between us. Sometimes when I saw him two hands trembling because of his sickness, I wanted to give him a helping hand but he always made every effort to arrange everything himself. Sometimes when I saw his desk was in disorder and wanted to put in order for him, he would said, “Not necessary. I am accustomed to it.” Yes, even if your desk was disordered, this would not affect your clear mind and thinking, nor your keen eye-sight. His tall, thin frame conveyed an impression of profound wisdom. His ageing face expressed the warm affection of his heart. It would not be easy to find another good missionary like him, an understanding priest!

Good-bye, Father Ladányi! Best wishes for your journey. The memory of you will never fade from our hearts. But now, your long journey, this important long journey, has made us in this world, think so much of you and your life.

You are another Father Lebbe, the glory of missionaries. May you still continue from Heaven, to protect the Church in China. Bless our faithful brothers and sisters who are still suffering now, who are crushed to the ground and are not understood! Bless those who are exiled in other countries, waiting for the mercy of God to re-establish the Church in China.
By Ho Hoi-ling from America
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was a scholar who published many articles and books which include :
“The Catholic Church in China” (Freedom Press, New York 1987); “The Communist Part of China and Marxism : A Self-Portrait” (Hoover Institute Press, Stanford, 1988); “Law and Legality in China : The Testament of a China-Watcher” (Hurst, London, 1992).

His books are scholarly and influential to the study of modern and contemporary China.

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 64 : Easter 1991

DEATH OF A CHINA-WATCHER - Fr Laszlo Ladany

Jurgen Domes

For several decades, Hungarian Jesuit Fr Laszlo Ladany edited in Hong Kong his China News Analysis: the publication attempted, by comparing different versions of official reports, by noting omissions and changes, to outline the true trajectory of events within China. He died on 23rd September, 1990, and is recalled in a commemorative issue of the periodical (kindly sent by Michel Massan, S.J.).

Robert Elegant, journalist, writes:
He was very proud and fiercely defensive of his work. He had contempt for journalists who rewrote his reports under their own names. Still, he had pity for those, sometimes the same individuals, who could not make the intellectual and imaginative jump that would enable them to see what was happening in China with the same clarity he did.

That incapacity was particularly marked during the Cultural Revolution, which, as we later discovered, outdid in horror even our most daring reports. Nonetheless only four professional China Watchers came close to the true story: Laszlo Ladany in the van; Burton Levin of the American Foreign Service, later Ambassador to Burma; Knobby Clark of the Regional Information Office; and myself with Ladany's guidance. Almost everyone else first believed that Chairman Mao Zedong had everything under control - and later refused to believe the enormity of the cataclysm.

Simone de Beauvoir called him “a fanatic anti-communist full of hatred”. After many accusations in the same vein, Han Suyin eventually remembered him as her “Hong Kong Jesuit Friend”, “tall and dignified and admirably versed in Chinese”, “owner of uncommon intellect” who spoke “with eloquence and restraint” and had “humour, zest and knowledge”.

For the many sycophants and apologists of totalitarian communist dictatorship in American and West European Contemporary China Studies, he was hardly quotable. They tried to ignore him as much as possible. But for all of us who ventured the attempt to develop a distanced and sober view of the Peoples' Republic of China, he had assumed an unprecedented prestige as a China scholar. Indeed he was the dean of the international trade which observes contemporary politics in the Peoples Republic of China.

With Fr. Ladany, we lose a brilliant analyst, a steadfast Christian, and warm-hearted friend.

For almost forty years of continuous observation of the developments on the Chinese mainland, thirty years of which were dedicated to the regular publication of China News Analysis, he succeeded in submitting, with very few exceptions, a correct and precise picture of the Peoples' Republic of China as well as projections of her future perspectives which have proven much more often right than wrong. When thinking back, we remember that he was the first among the very few observers who, at that time, realized that the “Great Leap Forward” resulted in economic chaos, and in the greatest famine in this century. In January 1967, he suggested that the military leaders in the provinces were the men to watch in the following years. And in his last conceptual January edition of China News Analysis entitled “Deja Vu”, he drew the first comparison between the developing features of communist collapse and the final years of Kuomintang rule on the Chinese mainland.

What made him so correct in his descriptions and so reliable in his analysis? Three observations provide the answer to this question. First, he knew China and the Chinese very well. His sovereign command of Chinese among altogether eight languages which he spoke fluently gave him access to all available sources including the extremely important interviews with recent refugees from the Peoples' Republic of China. Second, he had a firm and deep understanding of Marxism-Leninism. Philosophically trained, he had developed the ability to divest the communist ideology of its fallacious prophecies and to penetrate the rosy fog of the doctrine to unveil the realities of totalitarian rule. Third, he had a deep compassion for humanity, for the joys, trials and tribulations which affect human beings everywhere in the world.

These three elements produced his unique analytical approach, the method of qualitative content analysis which is based on rigid and uncompromising Textkritik.

But apart from his fundamental contribution to the understanding of China, he was also a wonderful person. While never propagandizing his Christian beliefs in a patronizing manner, his life as a Christian has been convincing for many and decisive for some.

Hence, we have lost a great scholar and a passionate man. Hong Kong changed, and the international community of China specialists changed when God called him. It is a small consolation in this moment of grief that Fr Ladany could still be alive when his Hungarian motherland was liberated from Communism.

Meagher, Thomas, 1600-1640, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1740
  • Person
  • 1600-24 November 1640

Born: 1600, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 19 November 1618, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1630, Louvain, Belgium
Died: 24 November 1640, Ireland

Alias O’Meagher

Son of William Macarius and Catherine Butler. Father ordained a priest in 1616 (after mother’s death?) free from all clerical duties and supporting his family.
Thomas studied in Hungary, Ireland and Mechelen under Jesuits - 6 years at Mechelen before Entry
Fellow novice of St Jan Berchmans
Wrote a “MS Treatise de voto” which in in the Salamanca Library
1628 At Louvain, but not in 1633
1637 ROM Catalogue Teacher of Greek, Rhetoric and Poetry. Mediocre in all and fit to teach Humanities

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of William Macharius and Catherine née Butler. Following Catherine’s death (1615), William entered the Priesthood, and was Ordained 1616. He was exempted from duties to look after his family.
Thomas made his studies in Ireland and at Mechelen under the Jesuits before Ent there 19 November 1618 (Mechelen Novitiate Album).
He is named in a report of Robert Nugent to the General in 1640, as an eminent scholar, a pious and prudent man, well versed in Greek and Hebrew literature, and in sacred and profane history; A good Preacher.
Had prepared for the press a volume of “Inscriptions, concerning the heroes of the Old and New Testament”.
1640 Was sent with two companions to act as Chaplains in the Royal Army, and died of fever in the same year. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS; Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of William and Catherine née Butler
After First Vows he was sent for Philosophy to Louvain, and then in Regency showed himself a schoolmaster of ability. He returned to Louvain to study Theology and was Ordained there 1630
1630 Sent to Ireland. No account of his missionary career has survived but he was attracted by scriptural studies and was about to travel Belgium, 1640, to have a book-published when he was appointed Military Chaplain. He died that year in Ireland 24 November 1640
His father, William, on the death of his wife also became a priest

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MAC-GUIRE, THOMAS, (sometimes called Maccharius) was educated it seems in Flanders. F. Robert Nugent reports of him in 1640, that all the Consultors (assembled to consider his degree in the Society) agreed that F. Mac-Guire was a very superior classic scholar, well versed in Greek and Hebrew Literature, and in Sacred and profane History, and a good preacher; that he had ready for the press “a volume of inscriptions, concerning the Heroes of the Old and New Testament” that the work had been much commended by those who read it in Flanders, and prays permission for its publication there. About two months later. F. MacGuire was ordered, with FF. Michael Chamberlain, and Matthew Hartegan, to attend the Royal army. This fatiguing duty brought on Fever; and I find from a postscript of a letter of the said Superior, dated the 22nd of November, 1640, that he had just received intelligence that “this upright, learned, zealous and indefatigable Missionary”, had sunk under it.

Peifer, Johannes, 1860-1948, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1972
  • Person
  • 16 January 1860-17 November 1948

Born: 16 January 1860, Kanzem, Trier, Germany
Entered: 13 September 1880, Turnov Austria - Austriae Province (ASR)
Ordained; 1894
Final vows: 02 February 1896
Died: 17 November 1948, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed ASR-HUN to HIB : 01 January 1901

◆ Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn, Australia 150 Celebrations : https://www.immaculateconceptionaust.com/150anniversary https://f695c25f-f64b-42f7-be8b-f86c240a0861.filesusr.com/ugd/347de3_02c13bd9e734450881fa4ce539b50d78.pdf

Fr Johannes (John) Peifer, a very special priest
Over 150 years, 23 Jesuits have served as Parish Priests at Hawthorn, two of them twice. Nearly one hundred have served as assistant priest, some briefly, some for decades, nine served as migrant chaplains and about forty lived in the community and largely did other works.
Fr Peifer was born in Germany in 1860 and entered the Austrian Province of the Jesuits in 1880. Ordained in 1894, he came to Australia shortly afterwards. After various ministries around the country, he spent 20 years at St Aloysius College in Sydney, then the last 24 years of his life in Hawthorn, where he actively engaged in sodality work and in sick calls. In the confessional his advice was sought by many in difficulties, and he was a well-known figure throughout Hawthorn. By young and old he was held in affectionate regard, and his death in November 1948, aged 88, deprived the Order of one of its oldest and most beloved priests.
Preaching the panegyric at his funeral, Archbishop Mannix said that his life would scarcely ever be written.
‘He was reticent and self-effacing to an extraordinary degree. Nobody ever thought of celebrating his birthday, because nobody knew it, and he did not tell. Jubilees were celebrated
by members of his own Order and by others, but there was no jubilee for Fr. Peifer, who told nobody the date of his ordination. He lived a comparatively unknown and unostentatious, but very full life, content to do God's work as it fell to his lot. Amongst his colleagues he was always genial and alert, and bubbled over with humour. In Hawthorn, continued the Archbishop, many homes will be desolate and many hearts will grieve because Fr. Peifer will be no longer amongst them to advise and console and sympathize. He spent most of his time in Sydney and Hawthorn. But I think it was in Hawthorn he found his real home and his most congenial work. He came to be regarded as almost a legend in Hawthorn. Everybody knew, respected and loved him, and it was a great sorrow to all when recently he had to retire from active work, when he could do no more than continue to pray for the work that he himself had done so much to promote.
Fr. Peifer was a great believer in the power of the written word. In going about his Hawthorn district he was in the habit of distributing Catholic Truth pamphlets in an unostentatious way. I am sure that many people owed their conversion to this gentle, hidden apostolate of Fr. Peifer. In his last days at Caritas Christi Hospice he was able to get up occasionally and go round amongst the patients in that great institution. With each one who was capable of reading he left a Catholic pamphlet.’
By a remarkable coincidence, while the Jesuits and their friends were celebrating the centenary of the coming of Austrian Jesuits to Australia in 1848, the last link with those heroic Jesuit pioneers should go to his reward in Hawthorn. Although Fr Peifer’s life will never be written, it is timely to remember this humble priest who served our church and the wider Hawthorn community so faithfully, during our 150th year.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Peifer was a stout lithe man, very cheerful, and according to all who knew him, a holy priest He entered the Society, 13 September 1880, and did his regency at Kalocsa, Hungary, teaching French and being prefect of discipline. Theology studies were completed at Innsbruck, 1891-94 and tertianship at Lainzerstrasse, Vienna, 1894-95. He returned to Kalocsa, 1895-97, and then 1897-98, went to Szatmar, Hungary. He arrived in Adelaide. 5 December 1898 and worked the Norwood parish for some time.
With his transfer to the Irish province, he taught at Xavier College for a few years and then spent a long period, 1903-23, at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, teaching and working at the Star of the Sea Church. He was assigned to the parish of Hawthorn, 1923-48, where he was minister for ten years and directed various sodalities.
He was a well-liked member of the province His manner was charming, his demeanor always cheerful, his humility quite unassumed. Yet he was a man of sound learning, especially linguistically in the classical tongues, in French and in Hungarian, as well as in his native German He was much appreciated both at St Aloysius' College and at Hawthorn, and was the last survivor of the Austrian fathers.

◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1923

Obituary

Father John Peifer SJ

Early this year we lost an old and popu lar master in Father Peifer. He had beer connected with the College some twenty years.

Showing talent for languages in his early student days, he made philology his forte. It was really this branch of study that in fuenced his coming to Australia. At that period the Northern Territory Aboriginals' Mission was at its best. Father Peifer was to work and write on their language.

He arrived in South Australia about 1898. After a few years he came on to Sydney, and was stationed at Bourke St., and later on at S.A.C.

While he was on the College staff here, Chris Brennan, of literary and University fame, deemed it a privilege and a pleasure to confer with Father Peifer on literary matters.

On Father Kirwan's transfer to Seven Hills, Father Peifer was given charge of the Kirribilli portion of the Lavender Bay parish. From that period, though not actually on the College staff, he did not lose all connection with the Past and Present. It was always their delight to have a little, word with the genial father.

In July last Father Claffey came to Kirribilli, and Father Peifer was appointed to and left for Glenferrie with that simplicity and absence of formal leave-taking that his reserve dictated,

Scharmer, Vincenz, 1858-1923, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/397
  • Person
  • 19 July 1858-23 January 1923

Born: 19 July 1858, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
Entered: 14 August 1879, Sevenhill, Australia - Austriaco-Hungaricae Province (ASR-HUN)
Final vows: 08 September 1890
Died: 23 January 1923, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

Transcribed : ASR-HUN to HIB 01 January 1901

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was an Austrian Province Brother whom elected to stay with the Irish Fathers when they took responsibility for the Australian Mission in 1901.
1910 He was at Sevenhill
1912 He was at Xavier College, Kew, and he died in Melbourne 23 January 1923

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Vincent Scharmer entered the Society at St Andra, 14 August 1879, and after vows worked as a carpenter at Kalocsa, Hungary He arrived in Adelaide, 13 December 1883, and, with Josef Conrath, went to the Northern Territory Mission, 24 January 1884. He worked as a builder and carpenter during his time in Australia, first at Rapid Creek, 188489, and then at the Daly River, 1890-99. He also performed whatever domestic duties were required, which included caring for the Aborigines and sacristan. He went to Sevenhill, 1899-10, and finally to Xavier College, Kew, 1910-23.
He was a man of powerful physique, and an excellent carpenter. He was most valuable building structures on the Northern Territory Mission and had a reputation among the Aborigines for proficiency in the use of firearms. He saved the mission station on one occasion from the attack of some Aborigines by firing over their heads.
He had a most picturesque and unusual personality. At Xavier College he was so good with finances that he saved the college large sums of money. He carried out every duty entrusted to him with great thoroughness and even combativeness, for which he was known as “the Old Watch Dog”. He had a rugged appearance and an iron will. in performing functions he cared not for anyone except superiors. Directions were carried out to the letter. He even refused entrance at the Xavier gates to the current mission superior, until his identity was made clear.
There was something of the Prussian drill-sergeant in him. He kept four cats for his cellars, and they were all drilled like dragoons. He did much business over the telephone, and hearing him issuing orders gave one an admiration for the interpretative powers of Australian tradesmen. He was not easy to understand, yet the goods always appeared at the college.
He was also a skilled mechanic, a strenuous worker, and orderly to the last degree. His somewhat dour character was enlivened by a grim kind of humour. He loved a joke. Despite increasing sickness, he continued working for as long as he could stand on his feet. He was, indeed, a true and faithful soldier. with genuine kind-heartedness and much generosity.

Note from Friedrich Schwarz Entry
Frederick Schwarz entered the Society 29 July 1874, and arrived in Adelaide with Josef Conrath and Vinzenz Scharmer, 13 December 1883.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1923

Obituary

Brother Vincent Scharmer SJ

(Born in the Tyrol, July, 1858;. entered the Austrian Province of the Society, August 14, 1879; came to Australia and spent some years on the Austrian Mission to the blacks in the Northern Territory; came to Xavier in 1910 and died there on the 23rd of January, 1923.)

In Brother Vincent Scharmer the College lost a most useful and devoted servant and a picturesque, if somewhat unusual, personality. In charge of the commissariat department, he saved the College large sums of money by his excellent management and avoidance of all waste. He carried out every duty entrusted to him with such thoroughness and, at times, combativeness, that he was popularly known as “the Old Watch Dog”. He liked that title, and it truly described him. He was somewhat rugged, both in appearance and in character, and had a will - or an obstinacy - of the wrought iron quality.

In carrying out instructions he cared not a jot for anyone except his superiors, and it was felt by all that to make him swerve from his instructions it would be necessary to pass over his dead body. If he was told to allow no one through a certain gate on a certain occasion, the Prime Minister or the Governor-General himself would have sought admittance in vain. In carrying out even such a task on one occasion he “put his foot in it” very badly. During the College Sports he was sent to the Minister to hold the gate on the back avenue and to allow no one through without a ticket. This was a precaution against the admission of undesirables. Brother Vincent made no invidious distinctions: he carried out his instructions to the letter, Several meritorious visitors without tickets had to look for admission elsewhere. Whether they were doctors or lawyers or members of Parliament mattered not in the least to Brother Scharmer. Then came along a tall and stately reverend gentleman, no less a personage than his own highest superior, Father T Brown, the head of all the Jesuit houses in Australia, but whom Brother Vincent had never seen before. “Tickets; please!” said he, blocking the way. Father Brown was highly amused, and not yet revealing his identity, maintained that he had no need of a ticket, “Your Reverence can't pass!” he said. And the sentry barred the way to his general! Father Brown tried every argument to effect an entry, but in vain. Only when he revealed his identity were the gates thrown open.

Brother Scharmer was a Tyrolese, but he had something in him of the Prussian drill-serjeant. He kept four cats for his cellars, and they were all drilled like dragoons. Every evening he whistled for them at a certain hour, and they came tumbling over one another to be at their posts on time. Not exactly that they loved him, but because they were trained on the strict military plan and dared not violate the regulations. Then they followed him down to the cellars, and each was locked into its respective dungeon. He gave away nothing to the mice.

He did a lot of business on the telephone. To hear him issuing orders gave you a high idea of the interpretative powers of our Australian tradesmen. It was little short of the miraculous that any of them ever understood a single word of his mumblings through the phone. Yet the goods came in all right - as a rule; but not always. One day le ordered as follows: “Ten backs off flour fifty pounds eack-ke”. This meant, “Ten bags of four of fifty pounds weight each”. He repeated the order five times, and the Kew grocer, despite his remarkable powers of interpretation, despatched 10 bags of four and 50 pounds of treacle!

He was a skilled mechanic, a strenuous worker, orderly to the last degree in all his business arrangements, and, as we have seen, faithful to a fault in all his appointed tasks. His somewhat dour character was enlivened by a grim kind, of humour; he loved a joke. His manful and religious disposition shone out conspicuously in the closing year of his life. He suffered much, but never repined. While clearly a dying man and unable to retain solid food in his stomach, and later on unable to swallow anything but liquid nourishment - and that with the greatest difficulty, he continued to work as long as he could stand on his feet. Undismayed by the approach of death, he treated in his grim way the break down of his physical forces almost as a joke.

He was a true and a strong man, a faithful soldier who never faltered at the word of command, and his genuine kind heartedness endeared him to everyone who knew him long enough to get a glimpse of the sterling qualities that lay beneath his rugged and unbending exterior. May the Lord rest his soul!

E Boylan SJ

Waldmann, Franz X, 1839-1922, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/433
  • Person
  • 25 November 1839-06 November 1922

Born: 25 November 1839, Pécs, Baranya, Hungary
Entered: 22 May 1864, Turnov, Austria (ASR)
Final vows: 08 December 1874
Died: 06 November 1922, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia

Transcribed : ASR-HUN to HIB 01/01/1901

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was an Austrian Province Brother who elected to stay with the Irish Fathers when they took responsibility for the Australian Mission in 1901.
He spent almost all of his life in Australia at Sevenhill and died there 06 November 1922.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Francis Xavier Waldrnann entered the Society at Tyrnau, Austria, 22 May 1864, but finished the noviciate at Szathmar, where he worked as cook, sacristan and gardener. He left Vienna for Australia with Leo Rogalski, 3 December 1869, and arrived at Sevenhill on 5 April 1870, where he was cook, storekeeper, baker, and stonemason, for most of his life. His only time away from Sevenhill was 1884-89, at Georgetown, and 1897-98 at Norwood.
Waldmann was a fine craftsman, and a loving one, devoting what time he could find to his craft. His chief monument is the stone carving on the church at Sevenhill. He continued his work when he was very old, feeble and practically blind, working by the feel of the stone. His life was a long, holy and useful one.