Item 187 - Letter from Fr Timothy Kenny SJ concerning Fr James Colgan's operation

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IE IJA MSSN/AUST/187

Title

Letter from Fr Timothy Kenny SJ concerning Fr James Colgan's operation

Date(s)

  • 2 August 1915 (Creation)

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3pp

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Name of creator

(01 February 1843-04 August 1917)

Biographical history

Born: 01 February 1843, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 08 January 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Professed: 15 August 1883
Died: 04 August 1917, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia

Older Brother of Peter - RIP 1912; Uncle of Paddy Kenny - RIP 1973

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 3 February 1888-2 December 1894
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 1 February 1895-11 February 1901

by 1875 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was of a very old Catholic family in Tullamore. His older brother of Peter - RIP 1912

He spent some years studying at Louvain where he passed ad gradum.
When he came back to Ireland he was sent to Galway, and he worked hard in both the School and Church for many years.
1882 He was appointed Rector at Galway, a position he held until he was appointed Provincial by the then Visitor, Robert Fulton (MARNEB) in 1888.
1888 Provincial. He held this post for six years, and during that time he was sent as Visitor to Australia. He was a most successful administrator.
1894 He was sent to Australia. By 07 February 1895 he had been appointed Mission Superior there. He did this for six years as well.
1901 He was appointed Minister at the Sydney College.
1903 He was appointed Rector at St Patrick’s Melbourne, and he remained in this place until 1916.
His last two years were spent at Richmond, and he died there 04 August 1917. He had helped posts of one kind of Superior or another for almost 32 years.

Note from Morgan O’Brien Entry :
1889 In the Autumn of 1889 he accompanied Timothy Kenny and Thomas Browne and some others to Australia

Note from John Murphy Entry :
During his final illness he was well cared for in the community. His needs were attended to by Timothy J Kenny the Superior and George Kelly.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Timothy Kenny was educated by the Vincentian Fathers at Castleknock, Dublin, and studied for the priesthood at Clonliffe and at Maynooth. After ordination, he worked in the town of Maynooth, and then entered the Jesuit noviciate in Ireland, 8 January 1872, at the age of 29. He revised his theology at Louvain, 1874-75, and taught at Galway, 1875-88, becoming its rector in 1882; he was also prefect of studies. It was here that he became a friend with the bishop of Galway, Dr Carr, who was later archbishop of Melbourne.
His energy and administrative skills were recognised, and he was appointed Provincial of the Irish province until 1894. He visited both the Austrian and Irish missions in Australia in 1889, with a view to negotiate a union. Far from deserving credit for the amalgamation, he dithered over it until the Austrians were out of patience.
Sent to Australia in 1894, Kenny was mission superior until 1901. He resided at North Sydney. After a few years as minister at Riverview, he was appointed rector of St Patrick's College, 1903-16. During that time his letters expressed much concern about the future of the college. He was a tired man, and the many problems of the college added to his depression. During his term of office, compulsory military training was introduced. Former students believed that the discipline learnt during cadet training raised their morale and improved their attitude towards one another.
He spent his last few years doing parish work at St Ignatius', Richmond.
Kenny was a man of many gifts, pious, full of zeal, and prudent, even too prudent, but kind and generous to the individual. He seemed to be a man of nervous temperament and lacking in self-confidence - the kind of Superior who is kept in office because he can be relied on not to give trouble. He spent half his Jesuit life in Australia. He brought to the problems of his age a mind attuned to the previous century, fighting against the perceived evils of his day, especially the abuse of the virtue of purity.

Note from Patrick Keating Entry
The Irish provincial, Timothy Kenny, while visiting Australia in 1890 believed Keating to be “the most admirable man I ever met”. That being the opinion that counted, Keating became the next Irish provincial

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Letter from Timothy Kenny SJ, St Patrick's College, East Melbourne to Fr John Ryan SJ concerning Fr James Colgan's operation.

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

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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.

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2000

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