Joy, John C, 1884-1950, Jesuit priest

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Joy, John C, 1884-1950, Jesuit priest

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15 June 1884-23 November 1950


Born: 15 June 1884, Killorglin, County Kerry
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1917, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 23 November 1950, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Part of Clongowes Wood College SJ community at time of his death.

Older brother of Patrick - RIP 1970, Francis - RIP 1977

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1909 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 1 1951

Clongowes Wood College :
We deeply regret to record the death of Father John Joy, who died on the 2014 November in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin. His great sense of humour, his cheerfulness and kindness will long be remembered by his brethren, who were privileged to live with him. Probably the greatest tribute paid to Fr. Joy was the genuine sorrow expressed by the boys of the College when they learnt of his death.
The funeral took place in Clongowes on Saturday, 25th November. Among the very large group of mourners who came to pay their last tribute to a man who had won the affection and esteem of those who knew him, were : Very Rev. Father Provincial, eleven Rectors or Superiors of Houses, as well as a very large body of his fellow-Religious, Monsignor Kissane and a number of Priests of the neighbouring parishes, Mr. McGilligan, Minister for Finance, Commander Crosbie, President of the Clongowes Union, with numerous old Clongownians, and also representatives of numerous Kildare families, both rich and poor. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 26th Year No 2 1951

Obituary :

Father John C Joy

The account of his life that appeared in the papers :

Son of the late Mr. Maurice Joy, Killorglin, John C. Joy was born in 1884. Educated at Clongowes, he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, in 1902. He graduated in Classics in the Royal University, being one of the group of students who then resided at 86 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. He later received the degree of M.A. in Mental and Moral Science, which he studied at St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst. His life of the Philosopher Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, which he described as “A Study in Ideals”, was published about that time.
Father Joy was Classical Master at Clongowes for three years preceding his ordination at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained in 1917. On the completion of his religious training at Tullamore, he was appointed Prefect of Studies and, later, Rector of Mungret College, Limerick. He became Rector of Clongowes in 1922, a position which he held for five years, and was largely responsible for the planning of the new College building erected by his successor Father George Roche.
It was during that period that the present system of Irish Secondary Education replaced that of the old Intermediate Board ; as Chairman of the Catholic Headmasters' Association, Fr. Joy played a notable part in solving the many problems involved. He made a thorough study of the history of Irish education, and with his colleagues of the Association he spared no effort to formulate and carry through a policy in full harmony with Catholic and national ideals.
Later as editor of the “Irish Monthly”, as Vice-Rector of St. Ignatius' College, Galway, and as Rector of the House of Philosophical Studies, Tullamore, he continued to exert an important influence in the sphere of education.
Father Joy was Assistant Director of the Retreat House at Milltown Park 1985-40, and at Rathfarnham Castle 1940-46. In the last named year he was transferred to Clongowes where he laboured till his death as Master and Spiritual Father to the Community. He was a brother of Father Patrick Joy, S.J., former Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission in China, and of Father Francis Joy, S.J., the present Rector of Mungret College.

An Appreciation.
The outstanding recollection of Father John Joy that remains with me is that of his unfailing goodness of heart. He was one of those happy men who like to hear good about others and to say good about them. It was always a pleasure to meet him, for he was full of interest in what you were doing, or what was happening in your community, or how mutual friends were getting on. And this interest was not a mere idle one. He was ready to translate it into action whenever he could be helpful. He was one of those to whom the younger men in his community could always go for help and sympathy in their difficulties, and he was incessantly busy helping his former pupils to get on in life,
This goodheartedness was the source of another characteristic, his invincible optimism. Once he got interested in any scheme, he could never admit that it was going otherwise than well, or that the difficulties which presented themselves would not be happily solved in the end. He was intensely loyal to his friends and viewed all their achievements in the most favourable light. It may even be granted that his optimism was at times excessive, and led him to deny the existence of defects in institutions, schemes and persons, which were obvious to others. But in our day such an excess is so rare that it may fairly be accounted a virtue. Certainly, one never felt discouraged or depressed by Father Joy. As a superior he was always open to new suggestions, courageous in sanctioning new activities, generous in his recognition of hard work, and quick to recognise the element of success even where it was not
A mere casual acquaintance with Father Joy might give the impression that he was hasty and hence unreliable in judgement, but this was soon corrected by a closer knowledge of him, He had a quick mind, and was prone to express his opinions vigorously and with an apparent intolerance of discussion. But it was noteworthy that when it came to action on any point, be rarely put a foot wrong, and it became clear that he had taken much more account of the views of others than had appeared. The soundness of his judgement was very apparent when one consulted him privately on any point. In public discussion, opposition often tempted him to defend a weak position, but in private he could weigh up admirably both sides of a case. He had wide experience in various fields of work, knew human nature well, and had no small share of the traditional shrewdness of his native county, All these qualities made his opinion well worth listening to.
But for the handicap of ill-health, Father Joy would undoubtedly have played an even greater part in the life of the Province than he did. He was, indeed, a man of very great all-round ability. He was a first class classical scholar, he had a sound knowledge of theology and philosophy, especially of that part of ethics which deals with social questions, his published work on the life of Marcus Aurelius, his pamphlet on Syndicalism and the few articles which he contributed himself when editor of the “Irish Monthly” show that, had circum stances permitted, he might have done excellent work as a writer. He was an excellent teacher, a vigorous and progressive administrator, and had considerable personal influence over a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. The record of his actual achievement is an impressive one, and yet for the better part of his life he was a semi-invalid. He was attacked by neuritis in the arm after the 1918 influenza epidemic. It became more severe during his Rectorship of Clongowes, and from that on, he was rarely free from severe pain. During the last few years of his life he seems to have had some relief, and it was a completely new complaint, internal malignant trouble, that necessitated the severe operation from which he never rallied. It was characteristic of him that he faced the operation, and later death, with high-spirited courage and strong faith. On learning how grave the operation would be, he recalled for his brother, Father Frank, the courageous words of Father Wrafter when told that he was dying, and adapted them to himself, saying: “I have had sixty-seven years of good life, and I am ready if the Lord wants me”.
This brief tribute to the memory of Father Joy would be incomplete without some reference to one of his most lovable characteristics, his affection for his family. The early death of his mother when he was only a Junior, laid upon his shoulders a heavy load of responsibility for the upbringing of a large household of young brothers and sisters. It looked, indeed, as if he would be bound to relinquish his vocation for their sakes. He left himself, however, in the hands of his superiors, who decided against such a step, and his trust in God was rewarded. No man ever devoted himself more wholly to the interests of the Society and the Province, yet he was enabled also to guide and assist his brothers and sisters to the outstandingly successful careers which all of them achieved. To none was he more devoted than to his Jesuit brothers, Father Paddy, and Father Frank, and to them the deep sympathy of the whole Province goes out.


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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-


Joy, John C, 1884-1950, Jesuit priest

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