- 7 August 1915 (Creation)
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Born: 25 March 1853, County Meath
Entered: 06 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1902
Died: 15 September 1931, St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia - Australia Vice Province (ASL)
Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931
Came to Australia 1895
◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Charles O’Connell Sr Entry :
William E Kelly, Superior at Hawthorn, says in a letter 09 April 1912 to Thomas Wheeler “Poor Father Charlie was on his way from his room to say the 8 o’clock Mass, when a few yards from his room he felt faint and had a chair brought to him. Thomas Claffey, who had just returned from saying Mass at the Convent gave him Extreme Unction. Thomas Gartlan and I arrived, and within twenty minutes he had died without a struggle.
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He entered the Society as a secular Priest at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.
After First Vows, he studied some Theology at Milltown Park
1895-1897 He was sent to Australia and to St Aloysius College Sydney
1897-1904 He changed to Xavier College Kew
1904-1908 and 1910-1923 he was sent to do Parish Ministry at Hawthorn
1908-1910 and 1923-1931 He was doing Parish work at St Mary’s Sydney
During his last illness he lived at Loyola Greenwich.
He was a big cheerful and breezy man.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 1 1932
Fr Thomas Claffey
Fr. Claffey entered the Society as a secular priest of the Meath diocese, where for several years he had been doing excellent work. He was born 25 March 1853, educated at Maynooth, and began his noviceship in Tullabeg 6 Oct. 1891. In one year he repeated his theology with success at Milltown, spent another teaching at Belvedere, then sailed for Australia in 1895.
He did two years teaching at Bourke St. (Sydney) and seven at Xavier. This was the end of his teaching career, for he was transferred to Hawthorn (Melbourne) as “Miss Excur.”, spent four years at the work before going to Miller St. (Sydney), where he lived for two years as “Oper”. then back to Hawthorn as Minister. He remained at Hawthorn for thirteen years, four as Minister and nine as Superior, The year 1923 saw him again at Miller St, as Spiritual Father, and there he lived until some months before his death when he was changed to Loyola where he died suddenly on 15 Sept. 1931.
During 27 years he took a strenuous part in all the activities of an Australian Residence, had charge of ever so many Sodalities, and was Moderator of the Apost. of Prayer. From his arrival in Australia he was Superior for nine years, Minister for six, Cons, Dom. (including his time as Minister) sixteen years, Spiritual Father for seven. For a very long time he was “Exam. candid. NN” and “Exam. neo~sacerd”. He frequently had charge of the “Cases”, and helped to bring out the Jesuit Directory.
All this shows that Fr. Claffey was a man of trust and ability. It is not too much to hope that some of his friends in Australia will send the Editor an appreciation of his character and work in that country to which he devoted so many and the best years of his life.
During the short period of his Jesuit life in Ireland those who had the privilege of knowing him found him to be a fervent, observant religious a steady, hard worker, full to overflowing with the best of good humour and the spirit of genuine charity.
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Letter from Fr Thomas Claffey SJ, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne to Fr John Ryan SJ (Superior of the Mission) concerning Fr James Colgan's illness and death.
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