Item 323 - Letter from Fr Dominic Kelly SJ, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne to Irish Fr Provincial concerning his arrival in Australia

Identity area

Reference code



Letter from Fr Dominic Kelly SJ, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne to Irish Fr Provincial concerning his arrival in Australia


  • 21 August 1916 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium


Context area

Name of creator

(04 August 1873-07 September 1952)

Biographical history

Born: 04 August 1873, Co Wexford
Entered: 06 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1910, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 September 1952, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1909 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Dominic Kelly was educated at Clongowes, 1886-90, and entered the Society at Tullabeg, 6 September 1890. After studying the classics at the National University Dublin, 1892-95,
where he gained an MA, he taught rhetoric and prepared students for the public examinations at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1895-99. Then he studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1899-01, returning to Clongowes to teach Latin, Greek and German, 1901-03. A further few years were spent teaching at the Crescent, Limerick, before theology at Milltown Park, 1904-08. Tertianship was at Tronchiennes 1911.
After a few years teaching Greek and Latin at Clongowes, he was sent to Australia, teaching mathematics and physics at Xavier College, Kew, 1916-18.
He then went to Newman College, 1919-47, tutoring university students in Latin, Greek, French and German. He had a college choir for a few years, and was spiritual father to the
community. He enjoyed his time there, and the students enjoyed his company In his own quiet way, he joined the students in their activities. He attended all the sporting matches on the oval, and was seen on a bicycle watching the boat races. He entered into their poker games by working out the probability of a royal flush to be one in 649,739!
His final years, 1948-52, were spent teaching petrology and modern languages to the scholastics at Canisius College, Pymble. He also taught liturgy and biblical Greek.
Kelly was a very quiet little man, very erudite and modest with a wide variety of interests. He gave a good, but emotional retreat, and translated the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola into Gaelic. He interested himself in astronomy and discovered a new star. As 1. hobby, he studied botany, especially seaweed. He could quote Horace without reference to the books. He was fascinated with cameras and took aerial photographs of Clongowes by means of a camera attached to a box kite. As a young man he played football and cricket and always remained a keen and capable tennis player. All in all, he was an accomplished person who was highly respected as a man who combined great learning with unaffected modesty.

Note from Wilfred Ryan Entry
He, with Jeremiah Murphy and Dominic Kelly, set the tone for Newman College of the future.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 27th Year No 4 1952
Obituary :
Father Dominick Kelly (Australian Province)

Fr. Dom Kelly's death in Australia was announced on September 7th. Born in Waterford on August 4th, 1873, he appeared to have been the last surviving old boy of Tullabeg, where he spent six months before the amalgamation of that College with Clongowes in 1880. He was four years at Clongowes where he had a distinguished Intermediate course. His subjects included ancient classics, modern languages, mathematics, music, physics and drawing, in the latter subject he won medals in the Junior and Senior Grades. He entered the Society on September 6th, 1890 at Tullabeg, where he made his Juniorate studies, after which he remained on to teach the Juniors for some years, preparing at the same time for his own University examinations. He secured a high M.A. degree in classics at the old Royal University. He studied philosophy for three years at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he was classical master at Clongowes. He was ordained priest in 1907 at Milltown Park where he read a distinguished course in Theology. His third year probation he made at Tronchiennes. After this he resumed work in the classroom at Clongowes where he taught Greek, Latin and Irish until his transfer to Australia in 1917. He was master in Xavier College, Kew, until the opening of Newman College, Melbourne in 1919 when he began his long and fruitful association with University students as tutor in Greek, Latin, French and German.
This association was to last till the year 1948. In that year he became professor of patrology and modern languages at our Scholasticate in Pymble, N.S.W.
Fr. Dom was a man of brilliant intellectual parts and a delightful community man. Those of our Province who were privileged to have him as master can attest his talent for imparting knowledge and securing the pupil's delighted interest. No mean musician himself, he was charged, in addition to his other duties, with the office of choir master for nearly all his life. An amateur photographer of skill, he made local history in Clongowes once by securing aerial photos of the Castle and Grounds from a camera with a time-fuse which he floated by means of a kite. Fr. Kelly remained the doyen of the class room till his death at Pymble. In this year's Catalogue of the Australian Province he appears as “Lect. ling. mod. an. 51”, a record rarely, if ever beaten. May he rest in peace.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Letter from Fr Dominic Kelly SJ, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne to Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ concerning his arrival in Australia and his work at the college.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The Irish Jesuit Archives are open only to bona fide researchers. Access by advance appointment. Further details: [email protected]

Conditions governing reproduction

No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is at the discretion of the Archivist.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion





Accession area