File 291 - Letters from Fr Francis B. Keogh SJ to Irish Fr Provincial

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Letters from Fr Francis B. Keogh SJ to Irish Fr Provincial


  • [1901]-[1911]; 19 January 1910; 14 February 1916 (Creation)

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3 items

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(20 May 1854-09 December 1929)

Biographical history

Born: 20 May 1854, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 05 February 1880, Sevenhill, Australia - Austriaco-Hungaricae Province (ASR-HUN)
Ordained: 1892
Professed: 15 August 1898
Died: 09 December 1929, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia

Transcribed ASR-HUN to HIB : 1882

by 1894 at Castres France (TOLO) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He made his Novitiate at the Austrian Novitiate, Sevenhill, but he Entered the Irish Mission.
After First Vows he was sent to Riverview Teaching, Prefecting and completing private study.
1887 He was sent to Ireland to study Philosophy at Milltown., and then to finish his Philosophy at Mungret with four others. Then he returned to Milltown for four years Theology, and finished his formation with Tertianship at Castres under the celebrated Père Ginhac.
1894 He was back in Australia doing more Regeny at St Patrick’s Melbourne, by 1896 he was Minister there, and the following year Vice-Rector.
1901 He was appointed Rector at Sevenhill - now of HIB - and remained in that position until 1911.
1911 He spent a year at Riverview and was then sent to Hawthorn, where he spent four years, two as Minister.
1918 He was sent to Loyola, Greenwich as Vice-Rector, and remained in that post until his death there 09 December 1929

He was a man of sound practical common sense. he never allowed imagination lure him along a path he though led to disaster. He was very kindly and holy, and this made him an excellent and safe Superior.
From the time of his return to Australia as a Priest, he had held positions of authority. His death was keenly felt by those who served under him, especially at Sevenhill. Mr Lachal there wrote “He was the kindest of Superiors, a real father to the Novices, keeping a particularly keen eye on their health. I wish I had Father Rector’s ticket to heaven, Father Master once said to his Novices.’ Noviceship Concerts could always rely on an item or two from their Rector. His comic songs added much to these bright evenings. His charity also promoted to write regularly to his ‘young friends’ in Europe, keeping them in touch with events on the Australian Mission.
For many years he said Mass every morning at an orphanage several miles away until his health confined him to the house. He was much in demand as a Confessor. Religious and lay people will remember him with gratitude as a kind, gentle, able guide they had to direct them on the road to heaven.

Note from Francis X O’Brien Entry :
He studied Philosophy at Milltown and then Mungret for with three other Philosophers , Edward Masterson, Franics Keogh and Patrick Barrett.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Francis Keogh was one of the first pupils at St Patrick's College, East Melbourne, when the Jesuits took over in 1865 . He worked as a pharmacist before entering the Society at Sevenhill, 5 February 1880. He taught the lower classes at Riverview, bookkeeping, writing, arithmetic and Latin, 1882-87, before going to philosophy and theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1887-93. Tertianship followed at Castres with Paul Ginhac, 1893-94, and then he returned to Australia and St Patrick's College, 1894-04, being rector from July 1897.
He spent a few years as minister at Hawthorn, 1903-06, and was then appointed superior at Sevenhill, 1906-12. He returned to Riverview teaching for two years, and then went to the parish of Hawthorn, 1913-18. He was appointed rector of Loyola College, Greenwich, in 1918, and he remained there for the rest of his life, examining candidates and assisting the editor of the Jesuit Directory.
Keogh had a good sense of humor and even as an old man would join in singing at novices' concerts with much mirth. He was quite without affectation, and valued by the novice master for his work and counsel.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930
Obituary :
Fr Francis Keogh
The holy death of Fr. Francis Keogh took place in Sydney, on the 9th December 1929.
Fr. Keogh was born in Melbourne on the 20th May 1854 and entered the Irish Province on the 5th Feb.1880. He made his noviceship at the Austrian novitiate, Sevenhill, and when it was over was sent to Riverview. There he remained as prefect and master, as well as doing some private study, until 1887 when he travelled to Milltown Park and joined the 2nd year philosophers. Next year the 3rd year philosophers went to Mungret (there were four of them) and there Fr. Keogh finished his philosophy.
In 1889 he returned to, Milltown for theology, and when the four years finished he went to Castres in France for his tertianship. He had the advantage of having the celebrated and holy Pére Ginhac for tertian master.
1894 saw him back in Australia doing duty in St Patrick's, Melbourne. In 1896, he became Minister, and in the following year Vice-Rector of St Patrick's. He held this position until 1903 when he was transferred to Hawthorn as Minister. Three years later he was appointed Superior of Sevenhill, (now belonging to the Irish province), and held the position until 1911. A year at Riverview, then back to Hawthorn where he spent four years, two of them as Minister. In 1918 he was appointed Vice-Rector of Loyola, Sydney, and remained in charge until his holy death in 1929. Fr. Keogh was a man of sound, practical common sense. He never allowed imagination to lure him along paths that often lead to disaster. This, added to his kindliness of character and to his holiness, fitted him to be an excellent and safe superior. From his return to Australia in 1894 to his death in 1929 he held positions of authority for 28 years, either as Minister, Superior or Vice-Rector. His loss is particularly felt by those who had the good fortune to live under him during any part of the eleven years he was Vice-Rector of the novitiate. One of them (Mr. Lachal) writes : “He was the kindest of superiors, a real father to the novices, keeping a particularly keen eye on their health”. “I wish l had Fr. Rector's ticket to heaven” the Father Master once said to his novices. His life was indeed edifying, simple, humble, kind, an exact yet gentle observer of his rule. For many years he said Mass every morning at an orphanage several miles away until failing health confined him to the house. He was much in demand as a confessor. Not religious alone but crowds of seculars will remember with gratitude what a kind, gentle, able guide they had to direct them on the road to heaven. Noviceship concerts could always count on an item or two from their Rector. His comic songs added much to these bright evenings. His charity too, constantly prompted him to write regularly to his to young friends in Europe, keeping them in touch with events on the Australian mission. Early this year he would have celebrated his golden jubilee in the Society. May he rest in peace.

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A file of letters from Fr Francis B. Keogh SJ to Irish Fr Provincial. Includes a letter referring to the promise of a good vintage at Sevenhills ([1901]-[1911], 3pp). Includes a letter referring to his share in the estate of his late father. Asks that the money be used for the benefit of the Novitiate at Loyola, NSW. Annotated by Fr John Ryan SJ (Superior of the Mission) (14 February 1916, 1p).

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