File 309 - Letters from Fr Patrick Tighe SJ to Irish Fr Provincial concerning his work in Australia and as a chaplain in the First World War

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IE IJA MSSN/AUST/309

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Letters from Fr Patrick Tighe SJ to Irish Fr Provincial concerning his work in Australia and as a chaplain in the First World War

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  • 14 November 1913 - 25 June 1916 (Creation)

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9 items

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(02 August 1866-05 April 1920)

Biographical history

Born: 02 August 1866, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanisalus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 05 April 1920, St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia

First World War chaplain

by 1895 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1901 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1913
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 15th Battalion, France

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After Ordination he was appointed Master of Novices for a short period, then he was transferred to Gardiner St.
Later he was appointed Rector of Mungret, but only stayed in this job for a short while due to health reasons.
He was then sent to Australia where he worked in one of the North Sydney Parishes.
He volunteered to be a Chaplain and came to Europe with Australian troops.
When he returned to Australia his health broke down and he had an operation for a malignant tumour. He died shortly after the operation 05 April 1920. He was much loved.
(there is also a long homily preached by Father Tighe at St Mary’s, Sydney, on the topic of Revolution and War)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Tighe was educated at Belvedere College, and graduated with a BA from the Royal University, Dublin. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1891, was a junior
preparing for public examinations at Milltown Park, 1893-94, and studied philosophy at Enghien, Champagne. He taught for a few years, 1896-1900, at Mungret, studied theology at Posillipo, Naples, 1900-04, and did tertianship at Mold, Wales, the following year.
He was a rural missioner, and involved in parish work in Limerick, 1905-10, except for a time as socius to the master of novices at Tullabeg, 1906-07. He gave retreats, stationed at Gardiner Street, Dublin, 1910-12, and for a short time was rector of Mungret, 1912-13. Because of ill health was sent to Australia.
He worked first at Lavender Bay, 1913-15, and then, 1915-17, was military chaplain at the No. 1 General Hospital, Heliopolis, and latter served with the 15th Battalion AIP in France and Belgium. He returned to Australia and to the parish of North Sydney after the war.
Tighe was a remarkable speaker, preacher and retreat-giver, but had a weak chest. The latter raised speculation as to how he was accepted into the military He had been suggested as master of novices in Australia, and probably performed the duties for the first few months in 1914, but because of ill health another Jesuit was chosen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Tighe 1866-1920
Fr Patrick Tighe was born in Dublin of an old Catholic family. He received his early education at Belvedere and entered the Society in 1891.
His course complete, he was made Rector of Mungret, but he held this office only for a short period, owing to ill health. For the same reason he went to Australia where he worked in one of the Sydney parishes. On the outbreak of the First World War he came to Europe as a Chaplain to the Australian Forces. After his return to Australia, his health broke down completely, and he was operated on for a malignant tumour. `He died shortly after the operation on April 5th 1920. He had been Master of Novices in Australia for some time. He was a man who showed in all his exterior actions a spirit of deep recollection.

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A file of letters from Fr Patrick Tighe SJ to Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ concerning the voyage to Australia, his work in Australia and his work as a chaplain in the First World War. Includes a letter concerning his appointment to the new Novitiate and remarks that he is not pleased and that he feels himself unfit for the role (16 June 1914, 4pp). Includes a letter describing his work in Egypt. Remarks 'The war is truly terrible but it has opened the gates of Heaven to many of those killed in battle and it is drawing countless hearts to God - this is the universal experience of the chaplains.' Continues '...my health continues quite robust...I have got quite accustomed to the sleeping bag on the floor...' (2 March 1916, 2pp). Includes a letter referring to his departure from Egypt. Refers to the 1916 Rising in Ireland. Remarks '...what a terrible time you have had in Dublin recently...it seems inconceivable that there could have been such a widespread movement without the knowledge of the authorities.' Continues '...what a drain on the Province and Mission the war is proving and yet how necessary the chaplains are...' (25 May 1916, 2pp).

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2000

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