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Collection
Irish Jesuit Missions
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Irish Jesuit Missions

  • IE IJA MSSN
  • Fonds
  • 1812 - 2020

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

Australian Mission

The Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia was initiated due to the will of Fr John Joseph Therry (1790-1864), who named the Irish Jesuits as beneficiaries to his property in Australia, and by an invitation to the Irish Province by James Alipius Goold, Bishop of Melbourne (later Archbishop) (1812-1886) to set-up a mission in his diocese. The first two Irish Jesuits, Frs William Lentaigne (1805-1884) and William Kelly (1823-1909), arrived in Melbourne in September 1865. Previously, two Austrian Jesuits, Frs. Kranewitter (1817-1880) and Klinkowstroem (1819-1896) had arrived in 1848 after Jesuit expulsion from Austria. The Austrian Mission centred on South Australia and the Northern Territory. In 1901, the Austrian and Irish missions amalgamated. Australia was made a Vice-Province in 1931 and Fr Austin Kelly SJ (1891-1978) was named the first Provincial of the Australian Province in 1950.

The papers of the Australian Mission provide a comprehensive history of the Irish Jesuit Mission, concentrating on the years 1865-1931. The Irish Jesuits worked as missionaries, educators, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists, pastors and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia.

Subjects touched upon include: agreements with Archbishops in establishing Jesuit houses in a particular diocese; reflections on the journey to and from Australia; administration of schools, colleges, universities and Jesuit residences - (St Patrick’s, Melbourne; St Francis Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne; St Aloysius, Dunedin (NZ); St Aloysius College, Sydney ; St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney; St Louis, Claremont, Western Australia; Newman College, University of Melbourne); parishes - (Norwood and Sevenhills in South Australia; Invercargill (NZ); Melbourne; Sydney; Toowong and Indooroopilly in Queensland); financial documents; expansion of the Mission; and correspondence between Father Provincial in Ireland and Jesuits in Australia. By far the greatest number of letters sent to Father Provincial in Ireland was from Fr John Ryan SJ (1849-1922) (Superior of the Mission from 11 February 1901-14 June 1908; 9 April 1913-24 October 1917). Until the creation of the Australian Mission as a Vice-Province, the Irish Provincial was kept informed of every minor detail about the Mission and often decision making in Australia was delayed until approval from Dublin was given.

Although this collection provides a comprehensive history of the Australian Mission, there are some gaps. For example, the collection does not contain any deeds or other legal documents relating to property obtained by the Society of Jesus in Australia and it is presumed that these documents would have been kept by the Superior of the Mission and later the Vice-Provincial of the Vice-Province in Australia, where they remain today.

Superiors of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia (1865-1931)
Fr Joseph Lentaigne SJ 1865-1866
Fr Joseph Dalton SJ 1866-1872
Fr Thomas Cahill SJ 1872-1879
Fr Joseph Dalton SJ 1879-2 September 1883
Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ 2 September 1883-5 April 1890
Fr Patrick Keating SJ 5 April 1890-1 February 1895
Fr Timothy Kenny SJ 1 February 1895-11 February 1901
Fr John Ryan SJ 11 February 1901-14 June 1908
Fr Thomas Brown SJ 14 June 1908-9 April 1913
Fr John Ryan SJ 9 April 1913-24 October 1917
Fr William Lockington SJ 24 October 1917-20 June 1923
Fr Jeremiah Sullivan SJ 20 June 1923-19 March 1931

Vice-Provincials of the Vice-Province of Australian (1931-1950)
Fr John Fahy SJ 19 March 1931-25 August 1939
Fr John Meagher SJ 25 August 1939-1 October 1947
Fr Austin Kelly SJ 1 October 1947-1 November 1950

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

Will of Fr John Joseph Therry

A file relating to the will of Rev. John Joseph Therry. The Irish Jesuits are named as beneficiaries. He bequeathed the management of his entire property in Australia to the Irish Jesuits for religious, charitable and educational purposes.

Therry, John Joseph, 1790-1864, Roman Catholic priest

Account for the Melbourne Mission

Account for the Melbourne Mission, total receipts and expenses in Australia, '3 students and one teacher were fed daily'.

Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931

Bound volume of the accounts of the Australian Mission in account with the Irish Province

Bound volume of the accounts of the Australian Mission in account with the Irish Province. Includes Robert Little Estate (23 March 1922 - 25 February 1926, pp. 246 - 247), Fr Joseph Canavan's Estate (1 March 1924, p. 399), Half Year's Contribution (25 March 1884 - 29 September 1884 pp. 401 - 402).

Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931

Balance sheets for the Australian Mission

A file of balance sheets for the following:
Richmond Residence
Richmond Parish
Sevenhill Residence
Sevenhill Parish
Norwood Residence
Norwood Parish
St Patrick's College, Melbourne
Xavier College, Kew
Hawthorn Parish
Hawthorn Residence
Riverview College, Sydney
St Aloysius College, North Sydney
Loyola College, Sydney

Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931

Bequest of left to the Society of Jesus in Australia by Fr Mathew Ryan

A file relating to a bequest of £400 left to the Society of Jesus in Australia by Fr Matthew Ryan to be used for the foreign missions. Refers to Fr Frank Browne SJ and his health in Australia, and copy of a letter from the Irish Fr Provincial John Fahy SJ to Superior of the Mission, Fr Jeremiah Sullivan SJ (30 August 1924).

Sullivan, Jeremiah, 1877-1960, Jesuit priest

Letter from the Superior of the Australian Mission, Fr Joseph Dalton SJ to Fr Joseph Lentaigne SJ

Letter from the Superior of the Australian Mission, Fr Joseph Dalton SJ, Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, Sydney to Fr Joseph Lentaigne SJ concerning the Australian Mission. Refers to a number of topics he wishes to be passed on to Irish Fr Provincial Edmund O'Reilly SJ when Fr Lentaigne returns to Ireland.

Dalton, Joseph, 1817-1905, Jesuit priest

Letter from John Fitzpatrick, Melbourne, on the annual collection for the Ecclesiastical Seminary, Melbourne

Letter from John Fitzpatrick, Vicar General, Melbourne to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ, Superior of the Mission, requesting him, on behalf of the Bishop, to make the annual collection for the Ecclesiastical Seminary, Melbourne. Includes a copy reply from Fr Dalton. Remarks 'Don't you think it places us in a... false position before the diocese? It makes the "Jesuit Fathers" the applicants for the money whereas the collection is in reality not for us but for his Lordship...'

Fitzpatrick, John, 1810-1890, priest and Vicar General

Letters from Fr Patrick Keating SJ, expressing his frustration at the lack of good men being sent out to Australia

A file of letters from Fr Patrick Keating SJ, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney to Fr Peter [Beckx] SJ. Expresses his frustration at the lack of good men being sent out to Australia. Remarks 'I wish you could be spared to us. This place would suit you in many ways admirably... But that of course is out of the question. It is only the invalids the good for littles and the troublesome who are transported.' (1 May 1885, 8pp). Includes a letter relating to the delay in granting permission for a new building at Riverview. Remarks 'If the people at home saw the grand college the Marist Brothers have built they might think it necessary to do something...I hope that now the Provincial is well again things may go on a little faster. It is an awful thing to be so far away from headquarters and to have to write for permission for everything' (12 May 1885, 2pp).

Keating, Patrick, 1846-1913, Jesuit priest

Letter from the Bishop of Geraldton to Fr John F O'Brien SJ releasing him from his duties in the Northern Territory

Letter from the Bishop of Geraldton, William Bernard Kelly, Geraldton, Western Australia to Fr John F O'Brien SJ releasing him from his duties in the Northern Territory. Remarks 'I...have no desire whatever to detain you any longer...To my mind your stay there has already been an extremely long and trying one and apart from all considerations of your order, I could not bring myself to ask you to prolong it.'

Kelly, William Bernard, 1855-1921, Roman Catholic Bishop of Geraldton

Letter from Fr H Walmesley SJ to Irish Fr Provincial concerning a representative from the Australian Mission to the Provincial Congregation.

Letter from Fr H Walmesley SJ, Via S. Nicola da Tolentino, Roma to Irish Fr Provincial William Delaney SJ concerning a representative from the Australian Mission to the Provincial Congregation. Includes a copy of a reply on the same issue from the XXV General Congregation (1906).

Walmesley, Herman, 1850-1927, Jesuit priest

Letter from [ ], Apostolic Delegation to Fr Cornelius Hartnett SJ, concerning the establishing of a Guild

Letter from [ ], Apostolic Delegation, 40 Edward Street, North Sydney to Fr Cornelius Hartnett SJ, "Manresa", Norwood concerning the establishing of a Guild and the obtaining of Indulgences. Includes a letter from Fr Hartnett describing the work and progress of the Holy Communion Guilds for young men and boys who have left school.

Hartnett, Cornelius, 1873-1948, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr John Forrest to the Superior of the Mission concerning the will of Archdeacon McEncroe

Letter from Fr John Forrest, Rector, St John's College, University of Sydney to Fr James Dalton SJ (Superior of the Mission), Melbourne concerning the will of Archdeacon McEncroe in which he made provisions for a Jesuit to be appointed to the Chair of Logic and Theology in St John's College, University of Sydney. Includes a copy of a letter sent by Fr Dalton SJ to Irish Fr Provincial Edmund O'Reilly SJ concerning the matter.

Forrest, John 1820–1883, Catholic priest and college rector

Letter from Archbishop Patrick Moran to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ concerning a crisis at St John's College

Letter from Archbishop Patrick Moran, St Mary's Cathedral to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ concerning a crisis at St John's College and a proposal to put Fr Clancy SJ or Fr Kelly SJ forward as Rector of the college and a letter (written on the back) from Fr Dalton to Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ, Superior of the Mission, concerning the letter. Includes a copy reply from Fr Dalton to the Archbishop.

Moran, Patrick Francis, 1830-1911, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney

Copy letter from Peter J. Murphy to Fr John Ryan SJ concerning the appointment of a Rector to St John's College

Copy letter from Peter J. Murphy, Secretary to the Archbishop, St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney to Fr John Ryan SJ, Superior of the Mission, St Mary's, North Sydney concerning the appointment of a Rector to St John's College, University of Sydney. Includes a copy reply.

Murphy, Peter J, Catholic priest

Letter from Sr Mary [ ] Williams to Fr James Dalton SJ concerning the transfer of the Sisters of Charity to Richmond

Letter from Sr Mary [ ] Williams, Convent Sisters of Charity, Hobartown (Hobart, Tasmania) to Fr James Dalton SJ concerning the transfer of the Sisters of Charity to Richmond. Includes a note on the back of the letter from Fr Dalton to Irish Fr Provincial N. Walshe SJ remarking, 'They are not prospering there, because the Presentation Nuns...have the support of the Bishop and Clergy. They must leave or die out...'

Williams, Mary, Sister of Charity

Letters from Fr James Huggard SJ to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ concerning his life at Sevenhill and how he is getting on

A file of letters from Fr James Huggard SJ (Austro-Hungarian Province), St Aloysius College, Sevenhill, South Australia to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ concerning his life at Sevenhill and how he is getting on. Remarks that he has grown tired of living at Sevenhill, 'I am in truth sick and tired of this place more than I thought I could be of any place in this world.' (2 June 1881, 4pp). Note: it would appear that Fr Huggard left the Society.

Huggard, James, b 1843, former Jesuit priest

Letters from Fr Edward Nolan SJ to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ describing New Zealand

A file of letters from Fr Edward Nolan SJ to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ. Includes letters concerning matters in the college at Kew (9 November 1881 - 29 April 1882, 3 items). Includes a letter describing his visit to New Zealand and the journey from Hokitika to Greymouth. Remarks: 'Those who have seen the European Alps say that the Southern Alps of N. Zealand are quite equal to them for grandeur. The scenery too is most varied...The roads over the mountains are cut out of the rock and the precipices hundreds of feet deep along which they run make many a stout heart quail.' (1May [ ], 4pp). Includes a letter concerning his visit to Greymouth, New Zealand. Remarks '...(it) is the most stirring town on the west coast and I believe the most so in N.Z. for its size. A new rush broke out about two months ago...There are 'tis said a thousand Irish there.' (6 May [ ], 4pp).

Nolan, Edward, 1826-1893, Jesuit priest

Copy of a letter from Irish Fr Provincial James Tuite SJ to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ concerning a novice he is sending out to Australia.

Copy of a letter from Irish Fr Provincial James Tuite SJ to Fr Joseph Dalton SJ concerning a brother novice (John Flynn SJ) he is sending out to Australia. Remarks that Br Flynn has been in delicate health and is hoping that Australia may suit him better.

Tuite, James, 1831-1891, Jesuit priest

Letters from Fr Patrick Keating SJ, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney concerning his appointment as Rector of the College

Letters from Fr Patrick Keating SJ, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney to Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ concerning his appointment as Rector of the College. Remarks 'I think that my appointment to the Rectorship in the present state of the College would be very detrimental to its interests. There is no one here to take my place as master...' (2 May 1885, 6pp).

Keating, Patrick, 1846-1913, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr William Kelly SJ, concerning suitable candidates for [Rector] of St Aloysius College

Letter from Fr William Kelly SJ, St Aloysius College, Bourke Street, Sydney to Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ [Superior of the Mission] concerning suitable candidates for [Rector] of St Aloysius College. On the reverse of this letter is a letter from Fr Sturzo SJ to Irish Fr Provincial Thomas Brown SJ on the same subject.

Kelly, William E, 1823-1909, Jesuit priest

Letter from Irish Fr Provincial Thomas Brown SJ concerning a dispute between Richmond Parish and the Melbourne Colleges

Copy letter from Irish Fr Provincial Thomas Brown SJ to Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ concerning a dispute between Richmond Parish and the Melbourne Colleges. Sets out his instructions as to how the dispute should be settled based on the wishes of the late Archbishop.

Brown, Thomas P, 1845-1915, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Oliver Daly SJ to Fr John Ryan SJ concerning his voyage accompanying Fr John O'Neill back to Ireland

Letter from Fr Oliver Daly SJ to Fr John Ryan SJ concerning his voyage accompanying Fr John O'Neill back to Ireland. Refers to an incident that took place after Mass on board the ship. Remarks 'I went into the cabin to make my acts of thanks just as I had finished I heard screams of "passenger overboard". The brave captain stopped the steamer at once lowered a boat he (Fr O'Neill) was picked up in 20 minutes. Had he not swam so vigorously...the [ ] hawks who gathered in numbers around him would have picked out his eyes.' Refers to other attempts to commit suicide and remarks: 'There is no doubt that had I known him as well before starting as I do now I should have been afraid to volunteer my services.'

Daly, Oliver, 1845-1916, Jesuit priest

Letters from Fr Henry E. Cock SJ to Fr John Ryan SJ

Letter from Fr Henry E. Cock SJ to Fr John Ryan SJ concerning the death of Fr Dan O'Brien SJ, and asking to be relieved of the position of Superior of Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide due to ill health.

Cock, Henry E, 1859-1931, Jesuit priest

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