File 205 - Letters written by Fr John McInerney SJ, Chaplain to the Australian Forces describing his work his experiences of the war

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IE IJA MSSN/AUST/205

Title

Letters written by Fr John McInerney SJ, Chaplain to the Australian Forces describing his work his experiences of the war

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  • 10 March - 28 May 1902 (Creation)

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6 items

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(1850-1913)

Biographical history

Born: 24 May 1850, Kilrush, County Clare
Entered: 28 July 1871, Sevenhill, Australia (AUT-HUN)
Ordained: 1883
Final vows: 15 August 1889
Died: 22 March 1913, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia

Early Australian Missioner 1873 - first HIB Scholastic
by 1877 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1881 at Oniens Spain (ARA) studying
by 1885 at Mariendaal Netherlands (NER) making Tertianship
Went back to Australia after Tertianship with Thomas McGrath 1885

◆ HIB Menologies :
DOB 24 May 1850 Kilrush; Ent 28 July 1871 Adelaide; FV 15 August 1889; RIP 22 March 1913 Sydney

The Report below is taken from that which appeared in the “Catholic Press” of Sydney
“There was widespread regret when it became known that Rev Father John McInerney, a distinguished member of the Jesuit Order in Australia, a great missioner, and a patriotic Irishman, had passed away at Loyola, Greenwich ... on Easter Saturday after a lingering illness. He had been born in Kilrush, Co Clare, and came to Australia with his parents while still very young. The family settled at the Bendigo diggings, and for a short time he attended the High School at Bendigo. He went afterwards to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, and there he had amongst his teachers Fathers William Kelly, Frank Murphy and William Hughes. he was ‘dux’ of the school in 1869, and one of four who that year matriculated at Melbourne University ‘with credit’.
He entered the Society in 1871, and made his Novitiate at Adelaide. On 02/03/1877 he was sent to Europe for his studies, and he studied first in France, and afterwards in Spain and Holland. Indeed, he was studying in France when the first expulsion of Jesuits took place, and he was himself forcibly ejected from the College at Laval. He returned to Australia in 1885, and began his teaching career at his old St Patrick’s College. He was later sent to Xavier College at Kew, which had been established since his Entry. Later on he was transferred to Sydney and worked at both Riverview and St Aloysius. He then went back to St Patrick’s, but not for long as his life as a Missioner soon followed.
In 1901 Father McInerney went with the second Australian Light Horse Regiment as Chaplain, and worked for a year and a half with the forces in South Africa, greatly endearing himself to the men by his fine courage and unvarying devotion to duty.
Six years ago he was attacked by his first stroke of paralysis. He recovered from this and was able to work again at Richmond, which was ever his favourite field of labour. The less than four years ago his second stroke came. He was transferred to ’Loyola’, where he ended his days March, 22, 1913.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Mclnerney was brought to Australia as an infant, as his parents immigrated to the Bendigo goldfields, He was educated at Bendigo High School and St Patrick's College, East Melbourne. He was the first to enter the Irish province of the Society from Australia, 28 July 1871, and completed his noviceship at Sevenhill. After vows he taught rhetoric at St Patrick's College, 1874-76, and in 1877 left for Europe, first, to Laval, France, for philosophy, 1879-80, and then Oña, Spain, for theology, 1880-84. Tertianship completed his studies at Mariendaal, Holland, 1884-85.
Mclnerney arrived back in Australia, 1885 , teaching for public examinations at Xavier College, 1886-89; St Patrick's College, 1889-91; and St Aloysius' College, 1891-95, where he taught the senior classes. In 1894 he was prefect of studies. From 1895-98 he taught at Riverview, but in 1898 he was involved in rural missions. He continued this work until 1901 when he went to the Norwood parish, 1901-03; and to the Richmond parish, 1903-10. In 1902 Mclnerney went as chaplain to South Africa with the 2nd Australian Commonwealth Horse (2ACH). Failing health in 1910, including paralysis, required him to go to Loyola College, Greenwich, where he remained until his death.
Although he spent much time teaching senior students in the schools. Mclnerney was chiefly renowned in the province as a preacher and missioner in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand. He was remembered for his devotion to his work and the interest he showed in his students. He was very thorough and did not spare himself as prefect of studies .

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A file of letters written by Fr John McInerney SJ, Chaplain to the Australian Forces fighting in the Boer War, South Africa describing his work with the troops and his experiences of the war. Includes a letter describing the peace conference. Remarks that a telegram from Lord Kitchener announcing the peace deal was read to the troops '...many of our Australians regret the war is over. Their recent drive and its spoils have only whetted their appetite for the fray - They have smelt and tasted blood and they long for at least "another good cut in" - to use their own term. Our recent "drive" turns out to be the last of this long, costly and bloody war.'

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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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