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County Limerick

  • UF Limerick
  • UF Co. Limerick
  • UF Luimneach

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County Limerick

629 Name results for County Limerick

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Allenou, Sylvain, 1854-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/872
  • Person
  • 02 July 1854-28 July 1916

Born: 02 July 1854, Paimpol, Brittany, France
Entered: 03 March 1876, Angers France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1888
Final vows: 02 February 1892
Died 28 July 1916, Poitiers, Vienne, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

by 1885 came to Mungret (HIB) for Regency

Andrews, Edward Joseph, 1896-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/56
  • Person
  • 12 September 1896-13 July 1985

Born: 12 September 1896, Dublin
Entered: 29 September 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 July 1985, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1924 in Australia - Regency
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Andrews came to Australia at the end of his philosophy studies in 1922 and was sent to Riverview. From 1923-25 he was third division prefect, taught in the classroom and assisted with cadets, He seemed to be a born teacher and he enjoyed his time in Sydney.
His subsequent work in Ireland included being prefect of studies in The Crescent and Galway, as well as being rector at The Crescent, finally teaching for 42 years in schools. Andrews was an outstanding Irish scholar, and a fine musician.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr Edward Joseph Andrews (1896-1913-1985)

Born on 12th September 1896. 29th September 1913: entered SJ. 1913-35 Tullabeg. noviciate. 1915-19 Rathfarnham: 1915-16 home juniorate, 1916-19 studying at UCD. 1919-22 Milltown, philosophy. 1922-25 Australia, regency at Riverview, Sydney. 1925-29 Milltown, theology. 1929-31 Galway, teaching 1931-32 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1932-40 Crescent, prefect of studies. 1940-42 Rathfarnham, minister of juniors. 1942-56 Galway, prefect of studies. 1956-62 Crescent, rector. 1962-85 Galway: teaching till 1972 doc. an. 42); house confessor; 1963-98 spiritual father to community; 1971-85 church and parish confessor.

Edward Joseph Andrews was born in Dublin on 12th September 1896. He was educated at Belvedere and entered the noviciate at Tullabeg on 19th September 1913. During his juniorate in Rathfarnham he took his degree in modern languages, and then went on to philosophy in Milltown. His first experience of college work was in Australia, at Riverview college, where for three years he was Third Prefect. He also taught and was in charge of the junior cadets. He returned to Ireland for theology and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1927.
After tertianship at St Beuno's Fr Eddie went to the Crescent as prefect of studies. He is recalled as having been very active, dedicated and successful. The number of pupils in the school had gone down considerably in previous years: he was responsible for building it up noticeably, especially by giving great attention to the junior classes. He established friendly relations with the parents, and enlisted their aid in securing that sufficient time was given to homework.
In 1940 Fr Eddie was appointed Minister of Juniors, but after two years was transferred to Galway as prefect of studies, which position he was to hold for the next fourteen years. This was probably the happiest and most successful period of his life. His eight years at the Crescent had given him valuable experience, and he was still young enough to undertake his new assignment with enthusiasm. The level of the Irish language was at its highest during these years, largely due to his efforts, and, as previously in the Crescent, he was on intimate terms with both the boys and their parents.
In 1956 he was appointed Rector of the Crescent. He held this position for six years with considerable success, but one gathers that the expectations aroused by his previous success as prefect of studies were not completely fulfilled. It was thought that there were changes in the air which he did not understand, and that his mentality was too greatly influenced by his long sojourn in Galway. At this time also his health began to deteriorate, arthritis making itself clearly shown.
In 1962 Fr Eddie returned to Galway, and was destined to give service to school and church for over twenty more years. For the first few years he did some teaching, but later devoted himself to work in the church, which he was able to continue, though on an ever-diminishing scale, to the end of his life. He had in this period several heart attacks, and his arthritis become more and more crippling. During the last year or so he became almost a complete invalid, and at this time was the recipient of most kind care from Br William McGoldrick and Sr Mary of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.
Towards the end of this year there was a noted deterioration in his condition. On 1st July (a Friday) he had been feeling particularly unwell, and decided not to offer Mass. Later in the evening he felt better and offered Mass at 8 pm, after which Br McGoldrick assisted him to bed. About 1.30 am he rang the emergency bell for assistance, and it was seen that he was near the end. He received the sacrament of the sick, and the doctor was immediately summoned but came only in time to certify death.
Looking back over the long and full life of Fr Eddie Andrews, one sees three outstanding points. Firstly, there was his love of the Irish language. He devoted much time to its study, and made frequent visits to the Gaeltacht, often accompanied by groups of his pupils, to whom he communicated his own genuine enthusiasm. Then there was his great musical talent. He was a good pianist and cellist, had a fine tenor voice, and was the leader of the Milltown choir during philosophy and theology. He encouraged music amongst his pupils, and, during his long period as prefect of studies in Galway, staged, in collaboration with Fr Kieran Ward, a whole series of musical plays. Lastly, one recalls with affection his cheerful and courageous disposition, which remained unchanged during his later years when ill-health made life so difficult for him.
Suaimhneas Dé dá anam.

Archer, James, 1550-1620, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/877
  • Person
  • 1550-19 February 1620

Born: 1550, Kilkenny
Entered: 25 May 1581, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c. 1577 Louvain, Italy, - before Entry
Died: 19 February 1620, Irish College, Santiago de Compostela, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

2 yrs Theology in Rome, concentrating on Moral;
In the Roman College 1584; at Pont-à-Mousson as Minister and student confessor, Campaniae Province (CAMP) 1586-7- moved to Nancy 1587 due to danger of war;
First Rector of Salamanca;
famous Missioner in Ireland during “Tyrone war”;
Bruxelles et Castrensis Mission in 1590;
at Salamanca in 1603;
At Bilbao - Castellanae Province (CAST) - in 1614 - Prefect of Irish Mission;
Irish College Salamanca in 1619 and then died in Santiago 15 February 1620.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
First Rector of Salamanca ad great promoter of education; A Most celebrated man whose name was very dear to Irishmen, and with whom he possessed unbounded influence.
He was a famous Missioner in Ireland during the War of Tyrone
In 1617 he was in Castellanae Province (CAST).
Succeeded Fr Thomas White as rector of Salamanca 1592-1605
His name also appears incidentally in the State Papers, Public Record Office, London, 1592, 1594.
He is highly eulogised in a report of Irish Affairs addressed by Capt Hugh Mostian to Louis Mansoni, the Papal Nuncio for Ireland, towards the latter end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. (Oliver’s “Collectanea” from Stonyhurst MSS. Oliver also refers to several of Archer’s letters as still extant)
1606 Archer was constituted the first Prefect of the Irish Mission in the National College, Rome (Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1872, July 1874 and a biography September 1874)

Note from Bl Dominic Collins Entry
After First Vows he was sent to Ireland as a companion to James Archer, who was a Chaplain to the Spanish invading force sent by Philip III of Spain. He was taken prisoner and rejected the overtures to reject his faith he was hanged (at Cork or Youghal).

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had studied at Louvain and was Ordained some time before March 1577. Before he entered the Society he was already a Master of Arts. When he returned to Ireland in 1577, he remained for at least he next eighteen months. He was at Kilmallock, 21 August 1578, when he assisted the Franciscan, Father Conrad Rourke, the eve of his death “in odium fidei”
After First Vows, Archer was deputed to revise his studies at the Roman College and Pont-à-Mousson. At the latter place he served also as Minister of the community and the student-boarders. It would seem that his Superiors were grooming him for professorial duties - However...
1590 By May he was serving as a military chaplain at Brussels
1592 He was sent to Spain to take charge of the newly founded Irish College, Salamanaca.
1596 He returned to Ireland to raise funds there for Salamanca College but his contacts with the Irish chieftains won for him the repute of a political intriguer and the hatred of the administration at Dublin. There can be no doubt that his sympathies lay with the Old Irish whose cause he saw was bound up with the survival of the Catholic Church in the country. He seems to have met Hugh O'Neill about the time of the battle of the Yellow Ford and was later at the camp of the Earl of Desmond. The MacCarthy Mor stated that Archer, by letter, solicited him to rise in rebellion.
1600-1602 He left Ireland for Rome, 20 July, but returned with the fleet of Juan Del Aguila, 23 September 1601 and remained until July 1602. Before his return to Spain he reported to the General on the state of Ireland.
1602-1612 Returned to Spain he held various posts in the Irish College, Salamanca, but seems also to have spent much time questing for the support of the Irish students. For a time he was stationed at Bilbao to win the support of new benefactors of the Irish colleges of the Peninsula.
His later years were spent at Santiago where he died, 19 February 1620

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Archer, James
by C. J. Woods

Archer, James (1550–1620), Jesuit priest and administrator, was born at Kilkenny and belonged, it can be deduced, to a patrician family prominent in that city. To prepare for an ecclesiastical career he went (c.1564) to the Spanish Netherlands, to Louvain, a hotbed of the new militant catholic theology and a strong influence on attempts at extending the counter-reformation to England. On his return to Ireland (1577) he was considered by the English authorities there to be a danger to the Elizabethan church settlement. Undoubtedly he had some sympathy with principals of the Desmond rebellion.

In 1581 Archer entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, continuing his studies there before moving (1585) to Pont-à-Mousson in the duchy of Lorraine, where there was a small seminary for Irish and Scottish students. Showing talent mainly as a confessor and administrator, he was sent (1587) to minister to the 1,200 Irish, English, and Scottish soldiers in the so-called Irish regiment, whom their commander, Sir William Stanley (qv), had persuaded to forsake the English service for the Spanish. The activities of Stanley and his entourage were an aggravating circumstance in the Spanish threat to Elizabeth I's England. Archer was said to have been involved in an alleged plot to murder the queen.

At the close of 1592 he went to Spain. After visiting the royal court at Madrid, he settled in Salamanca, the seat of Spain's foremost university, and took over the administration of the Irish college being founded there. In 1596 he returned to Ireland to seek money for the college and to explore the possibility of re-establishing a Jesuit mission. He was obliged to lie low in the countryside and eventually to join Hugh O'Neill (qv), whose rebellion had been raging since 1593. On all sides he acquired a legendary reputation. Summoned to Rome (1600) to give an account of his mission, he acted also as an envoy of O'Neill. In 1601 he was back in Spain, involved in planning the Spanish military expedition to Ireland as well as settling differences among the Irish at Salamanca. Archer was a member of the force numbering 4,432 men that headed for Kinsale in September. For the defeat of the expedition he blamed the commander, Juan del Águila (qv). Archer left Ireland for Spain in July 1602; his views about the failure of the enterprise were heeded at first, but when Águila was exonerated and peace was made with England (1603) his career as a negotiator for Spanish aid for Irish rebels was over. Although his Jesuit superior would not allow him to return to Ireland, rumours abounded there of his presence.

The rest of his life was given, as ‘prefect of the mission’, to the Irish seminaries in the Iberian peninsula. Once again Archer had to deal with differences among the Irish catholics: the Old English were accused by the Old Irish of unfairness towards them, and the Jesuits were accused by other clerics of self-preferment. Archer's work in Spain bore fruit in 1610 when the Spanish authorities built a new college for the Irish in Salamanca, the Colegio de los Nobles Irlandeses, to which the king gave his support. Archer spent his last years at Santiago de Compostela. It was at the Irish college there that he died on 15 February 1620.

Although he was a man of no more than moderate ability and an indifferent scholar, Archer had qualities that served to make him an important figure in the Irish counter-reformation: he was phlegmatic and a good administrator; he had some influence at the Spanish court and, thanks to his experience in Ireland in the 1590s, the confidence of both of the rival groups of Irish Catholics – Old English and Old Irish. Only a few letters of James Archer survive, and there is no known portrait or even a verbal description.

Thomas J. Morrissey, James Archer of Kilkenny, an Elizabethan Jesuit (1979)

Note from Bl Dominic Collins Entry
In February 1601 he made his first religious profession and seven months later was appointed by his superiors to join the Irish mission, as Fr James Archer (qv) had specifically asked for him, perhaps due to his previous military experience and also his Spanish contacts. Archer had been described by Sir George Carew (qv), president of Munster, as ‘a chief stirrer of the coals of war’ (Morrissey, Studies, 318) and was being constantly sought out by government agents. Collins's association with him was to prove dangerous. He sailed with the Spanish expedition to Ireland on 3 September 1601, one of the commanders being Don Juan del Aguila, to whom Collins had surrendered Lapena in 1598. The flotilla with which he travelled arrived late at Castlehaven due to bad weather. After the defeat of the Irish and Spanish forces at Kinsale, Collins finally met Archer in February 1602 at the castle of Gortnacloghy, near Castlehaven

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-jumping-jesuits/

JESUITICA: Jumping Jesuits

Travellers in the Beara Peninsula will remember the Priest’s Leap, a mountain cliff in the townland of Cummeenshrule, where (around 1600 AD) a priest on horseback escaped from pursuing soldiers by a miraculous leap, which landed him on a rock near Bantry. Was the lepper a Jesuit? One tradition claims him as James Archer SJ; another as Blessed (Brother) Dominic Collins. In view of some dating difficulties, one can only say: pie creditur – a common phrase in Latin hagiographies, meaning “It is piously believed…”!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962

FATHER JAMES ARCHER SJ 1550-1625
Few men played a greater part than Father James Archer in the tremendous effort to smash the growing power of England in Ireland that marked the closing years. of the sixteenth century. Arriving in Ireland in 1596, he found the country already in the throes of war. The Tudors. had by this time realised that England could not be safe unless Ireland were subjugated. By the end of the sixteenth century, England had shaken off the last shackles of medieval restraints and had emerged as one or the strongest powers in Europe, The threats of Spain and the Pope had been warded off, and England was looked upon as the leader and head of Protestant Europe. It was at this time that she turned her face in real earnest towards Ireland.

The history of the Reformation in Ireland during the sixteenth century can be told briefly. The reform movements of Henry VIII and Edward, his son, were a complete failure. Neither of these kings had sufficient political control outside the Pale to enforce their authority, and even within the boundaries of the Pale the movement made little progress. During the reign of Mary the Catholic Church again flourished, though the confiscated monasteries were not restored. In 1558 Elizabeth succeeded to the throne of England,. Prior to her succession, she had never shown any remarkable zeal for religion. As queen, what she desired pre-eminently was peace and harmony. For the first years of her reign, her position in England was too insecure to permit her to embark on any intensive persecution of the Catholics, The clergy, however, were subject to a persecution that varied all through her reign; it was intensified or slackened according to the political circumstances of the moment. Up to 1578 religion did not play a vital part in opposing the anglicisation of Ireland. Gradually from that time on, it became more and more important, until finally in the reign of James I the Catholics, both Irish and Anglo-Irish, clung to their faith as the only part of the heritage that had been left. So too it was religion that at the beginning of the next century was to unite the two races, by inciting them both to oppose the alien creed. Later it was on the rock of her Faith, preserved and enlivened at this time, that the nationality of Ireland was founded.

Perhaps before we examine the work of Fr Archer, a word on the state of religion in Ireland during the sixteenth century may not be out of place. It is certain that it was not a very vital force in the lives of many of the people. They were Catholics More by custom than by conviction. Here is one account left by Dr Tanner, who had to leave the Society of Jesus owing to ill-health and who was later appointed Bishop of Cork: “He (Dr Tanner) is assured by grave men that during all this time not a hundred Irishmen in all Ireland have been infected with heresy, though not a few ... attend the profane rites of the heretics, and the demoralisation of the people is such that a pious Catholic is hardly to be found; and no wonder since the clergy are the most depraved or all. Moreover, there is so little instruction to be had in the Christian Faith that few can so much as repeat the Lord's Prayer, the Articles of the Faith, or the commandments, and still fewer understand them. Sermons are so uncommon that there are many that have never so much as heard one. The Sacraments are rarely administered. In fine so gross is the ignorance of the people that there are many who, passing all their lives in the grossest sin, have grown accustomed thereto”.

In general we may conclude that religion was dormant in Ireland at the end of the sixteenth century. The people indeed had the Faith and seemed eager for instructions and there is no evidence of anti clericalism as in England. On the contrary, the priests were generally loved and would always find a safe shelter among the people, who had seen so many of them give up their lives for the Faith. But unfortunately, many of the priests were not active. The morals of the people were often depraved. There was little scope for Catholic education. The monasteries for the most part had been dissolved. The external organisation of the Church was shattered, and the wars had increased the laxity and poverty of the people. But the light of Faith had been kept glowing by the zealous labours of the Friars and the heroic priests and bishops who had endured persecution and death to shield, their flocks. This then was the state of the country, political and religious, when in 1597 Fr James Archer landed in Waterford to inaugurate what was to become the first permanent mission of the Society of Jesus in Ireland.

James Archer was born in Kilkenny in 1550. He attended the school of the famous Dr Peter White or that town, where the young Archer seems to have been a distinguished scholar. Very little is known of his career for the next fifteen years. In 1577 he was at Louvain, but in the following year he was back again in Ireland. On the 25 May 1581 he entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, and the next we hear of him is that in 1592 he was at Pont-à-Mousson with Fathers Richard Fleming, Richard de la Field and Christopher Hollywood, all Irish Jesuits. In the same year he was sent to Spain to collaborate with other Irish Jesuits in the foundation of the famous Irish college at Salamanca, which was instituted for the training of secular priests for the home mission. He remained there until 1596, when he was sent back to Ireland with Fr Henry Fitzsimon to re-open the Jesuit mission there which had lapsed for ten years.

Almost immediately after his arrival in Ireland, Fr Archer went northward to meet Hugh O'Neill, who was already in rebellion against Elizabeth. Archer looked upon the '”Nine Years War” as a crusade against the heretic queen. Therefore, during the few years that he was in Ireland, he strove to the utmost of his powers to unite the Irish under the leadership of Tyrone and to induce the Spaniards to send aid, His influence with the Irish chief's during these years was of paramount importance. He was looked upon by the English as one of their most dangerous enemies, and they laid several traps to ensnare him. If we were to rely on official contemporary documents alone, we should imagine that Archer was a traitorous intriguer and an enemy to all stability and good government. From other sources we can see that he was, first and foremost, a zealous missionary for the Faith.

In his first letter to his General in Rome, written on 10 August 1598, he gives an account of the precarious life he was leading even at this early stage. “The Government”, he says “hates me very much, hunts me very often in frequent raids, and has set a price on my head. This forces me to live in the woods and in hiding-places. I cannot even return to Spain, as merchants are afraid to receive me into their vessels, for they know well that there are spies in every port on the look-out for me”. Then he goes on to describe his missionary work: “I have already heard many thousand confessions, and have instructed an uncultivated and rude people. I brought back some to the Church and reconciled a noble person and his wife, and thus put a stop to dangerous dissentions which existed among members of both families who were leading men in the land, I administered the Sacraments in the camp, and it is marvellous to see the crowds that cone from the surrounding districts to hear Mass and go to Confession”.

In the beginning of the year 1598, the informer William Paule notified Lord Justice Loftus of the activities of Archer. He said that Jesuit lurked sometimes in Munster with Lord Roche and sometimes in Tipperary with Lord Mountgarrett. Paule urged Loftus to induce these Lords to betray Archer. Alternatively he suggested that the Protestant Bishop of Kilkenny should be ordered to capture him when he visited his friends in that town. Warning Loftus that Archer was wary, Paule informed him that the priest knew that his enemies were searching for him. Paule further suggested that he should have no scruple in killing Archer if he resisted arrest. Even at this early date, Fr Archer had attained to a position of outstanding influence with the Irish chieftains. He had already been universally accepted by them and an able adviser and true friend and had won the esteem and affection of the Irish people. He was equally hated and feared by their enemies.

In October 1598, Archer was mentioned in a despatch as “the chief stirrer of these coals (i.e., conspiracies) and promises to many the coming of forces from Spain”. He certainly did not spare himself in his effort to unite the Irish chiefs in their struggle against England, the common foe. In November 1598, he succeeded in inducing the Baron of Cahir to join the rebellion against Elizabeth. He hoped that by Easter 1599 “we, and such as be of our Catholic confederacy, shall be masters of all the cities, towns and forts in Ireland”. His reasons for the war throw a flood of light on his attitude to politics, and afford a convincing refutation of those who doubted his motives. They were first to restore the Catholic Church to its former position in Ireland; second, to repair the injuries done by the English to the Catholic nobility and gentry of Ireland; and finally to place a Catholic Prince on the throne of Ireland. Did Archer hope to set up Hugh O'Neill as High King of all Ireland or did he intend to make Ireland a vassal state of Spain? We do not know. The concepts of nationality, and a national state were only being moulded in the minds of men at this very time. It is even doubtful whether men like James Fitzmaurice or even Hugh O'Neill himself conceived it. Nationality in Ireland takes its origin from the religious persecutions of the seventeenth century; yet undoubtedly there existed in the sixteenth century some tendency towards local patriotism, especially as opposed to English tyranny. It is difficult to state definitely the motives and desires that agitated the mind of Archer during these years. One thing is certain that he considered freedom from English rule as essential to the spiritual welfare of Ireland.

In December 1598, Archer and his constant companion Bishop Creagh were accused of inciting the whole province of Munster to rebel. So great was his influence that his name had already come to the notice of Elizabeth, who charged him with “raising her subjects to rebellion”. Soon afterwards Elizabeth was again informed that the Irish priests, especially Archer “the Pope's Legate”, had assured the lords and chieftains who supported the queen or who remained neutral that after the war they would receive no better treatment from the English than the rebels. In this way they hoped to alienate her subjects from their allegiance. Rewards were offered for the capture of Archer, dead or alive. O'Neill's crushing victory at the Yellow Ford on the 15 August 1598 had shaken the loyalty of many supporters of the English. Archer's influence was more pernicious than ever. He was constantly on the move, visiting now one chieftain, now another. Several attempts were made to capture him, but all miscarried. Soon after his arrival in Ireland he had been arrested. He had managed to escape however and had determined never again to fall into the hands of his enemies. He can easily imagine the precarious position in which he was placed by the constant watch of spies, especially in areas where the Irish chieftains were not openly hostile to the Crown. But, through the goodwill and ever-watchful care of the Irish people, he escaped unscathed - though often at the last moment. His capture was looked upon by the Government as vitally important, his life being deemed of greater value to the Irish than those of the chieftains themselves. In 1600, in a report of Captain Hugh Mostian who had been won over by Archer from the English side, we read that “Archer by his sole authority as a private religious brought more comfort to the Irish than a great force of soldiers could do, and that the voice of the people gave him the title of Legate, At his nod the hearts of men are united and held together not only in the territory of Berehaven and all Munster, but in the greater part of the Kingdom ...”

In 1600 occurred a famous incident - the capture of the Earl of Ormonde by Owny O'More. The circumstances connected with the plot are fully described in the Calendar of Carew MSS. and elsewhere. Fr Archer happened to be staying with O'More when the latter captured Ormonde. There is no evidence to prove the charge that he was the instigator of the act. Naturally enough he was blamed by the English for having contrived the treachery and for refusing to liberate the Earl; although, according to them, some other Jesuits desired his release. He was also described as Ormande's “bed-fellow” and was said to have tried to convert him, which seems to be true. Several years later Ormonde was converted by two Irish Jesuits, Frs O'Kearney and Wale.

Early in 1600 Archer was summoned to Rome to give an account of the Irish Jesuit mission. It is strange that he should have been called away at such a critical juncture in the history of Ireland. Possibly the General in Rome did not fully realise what was at stake at the moment, or perhaps he night have thought that the final victory had already been won by the Irish. In a letter to the General, written by the Superior of the Mission, Fr Richard de la Field, an extremely cautious and conservative man, we read of Archer: “He has been a source of light and help in our work here. He has always lived with these Irish lords who are endeavouring to promote the interests of religion, and in consequence he is the object of an intense hatred of the Queen's officials and of the army. His presence here at the same time is very necessary for the advancement of the Catholic Faith in these calamitous times. It is important for us that he should be sent back as soon as possible. This letter is very valuable as coming from one who, at this time, was himself hesitating as to what side he should support in the conflict. It rightly stresses the spiritual nature of Archer's work, for it was that which predominated in all his other activity.

Of Archer's visit to Rome we know nothing. He was back again in Ireland in a few months, as his spies obligingly informed us. It was falsely reported to Cecil that Archer was returning from Rome armed with a Bull of Excommunication against all those who supported Elizabeth in the war. A few months later Cecil was again informed that Archer had landed in Ireland and was inciting the people to revolt. On his return he was again almost captured; but, as often before, he managed to escape his pursuers, Sir George Carew reported that Archer's arrival foreshadowed the advent of a Spanish fleet and the renewal of the war in Ireland. From an account given by his confrère, Brother Dominic Collins SJ, we learn that Archer actually did return to Ireland with Spanish help. His influence with the Irish soldiers was again evinced when, on the 29 May 1602, Carew informed Cecil that but for Archer many of them would have returned to their homes after the defeat at Kinsale or would have gone over to the side of the English. “Every day”', says Carew, “he devises letters and intelligences out of Spain, assuring them of succour, and once a week confirms new leagues and seals them with the Sacrament”. In another letter written by Carew we find the following amusing passage: “If Archer have the art of conjuring, I think he hath not been idle; but ere long I hope to conjure him. The country of Beare is full of witches; between them and Archer I do believe the devil hath been raised to serve their turn”. Even in defeat the English feared him. They seemed to have believed that he possessed superhuman powers, that he could walk on the sea and fly through the air. His name should have been not Archer but “Archdevil!” One can readily imagine the fate that awaited Archer, had he been captured. Shortly before this time he “was very near taken by a draught laid by the Lord Lieutenant, but happily escaped”.

In a report of Robert Atkinson, an informer and pervert, we got another account of Archer's activities. He says that he met Archer in Ireland when the latter was “chief commander of the Irish troops, horse and foot”. He also states that Archer commanded for his own guard as many men as he pleased, especially for “any bloody actions to be done upon the English Nation”. There is no evidence to show that Archer ever took part with the Irish soldiers in the actual fighting. Atkinson further states that Archer was commonly called the Pope's Legate and was Archprelate over all the clergy of the provinces of Munster, Leinster and the territory of the O'Neills. By others, he says, he was called Tyrone's Confessor, just as formerly he had been Confessor to the Archduke of Austria. For the rest we shall let Atkinson speak for himself: “Of all the priests that ever were, he is held for the most bloody and treacherous traitor, sure unto none in friendship that will not put his decrees in action by warrant of his Apostolic authority, as he calleth it, from time to time renewed by Bulls from Rome. He is grown to be so absolute that he holds the greatest Lords in such awe that none dare gainsay him”.

Even at the eleventh hour Archer's hopes did not give way. On the 14 June 1602 he was again supplicating for Spanish aid. For the next few weeks he remained with the Irish soldiers at Dunboy. Finally, on July 6th he left Ireland to induce the Spanish King to send another fleet to help a broken cause. He was more fortunate than his companion, Br Dominic Collins SJ, who was captured by the English and hanged in Cork on the 31 October 1602, being the third Jesuit to die for the faith in Ireland.

Fr Archer never again returned to Ireland. His life on the Continent we shall only review briefly. On the 6 May 1504 the General of the Jesuits appointed him Prefect of the Irish Mission in Spain. This appointment is clear proof that his Superiors held him in the highest esteem. They paid little attention to the lying reports that had been spread over England and Ireland in an effort, to blacken the reputation of one who was both a zealous priest and a great Irishman. In 1608, six years after his departure from Ireland, his name was still feared by the English. At this time he was accused of making preparations for another rebellion in Ireland. Chichester issued an order that spies be placed in various parts of the country to inform him of the arrival of Archer.

During all this time, Fr Archer was actively engaged in Spain as Prefect of the Irish Colleges. These Colleges were founded by Irish Jesuits. at Salamanca, Lisbon, Santiago and Seville for the training of Irish secular priests. In 1617 he was the oldest Irish Jesuit alive, being seventy-two years of age. He was still Superior of the Mission in Spain. The date of his death is uncertain, but it occurred before 1626. Thus ended the career of one of the most remarkable Jesuits who laboured on the Irish Mission during these years.

If we are to assess the value of Archer's work in Ireland or the magnitude of the task he set before himself, we must not leave out of account the circumstances in which he lived. Although Archer's aim was first and foremost spiritual, he saw clearly that political independence of England was utterly essential to the religious welfare of Ireland. The idea of toleration was not yet born in Europe.
Neither Catholic nor Protestant was ready to brook the existence of the other. Even in Ireland the word “Counter-Reformation” connoted not only a spiritual movement within and without the Catholic Church, but also an effort to compel the return of erring souls by force of arms. Moreover the political and religious state of Ireland itself must also be taken into account. For almost a century the country has been a prey to disunion and internal strife. Religion too was not a vital force in the lives of the people, Had the persecution been as severe as it had been in England, or in other words, had political circumstances been favourable, Ireland might have succumbed to the new doctrines, All these facts were well known to Fr Archer when he arrived in Ireland in 1596. Thus we can understand why he strove to unite the country under O'Neill and to procure aid from Spain and the Pope.

Before concluding this article, it might not be out of place to discuss briefly how far Fr Archer influenced the wars of O'Neill, and, especially, the extent to which he influenced the Great Earl himself. One thing is certain, that Fr Archer was regarded by the English authorities as O'Neill's ambassador and representative not only at all the courts of the local Irish chieftains but in Spain and Rome. It is equally certain that he acted as intermediary between the Irish and Spanish several times, and even for years after the Irish collapse at Kinsale the English feared that he would again organise another Spanish expedition. Several years after that fatal day, the authorities had spies placed in all the Irish ports on the watch for Archer's return. Indeed many false alarms were given, and at one time the English actually believed that he had landed in Ireland. These precautions would not have been taken if the Government had not already experienced the powerful, stay that Fr Archer had over the people. How far were their fears justified? It is very probable that Hugh O'Neill did not realise what was at stake when he first launched his rebellion. In fact it seems that he would never have revolted and there been any alternative, What was he fighting for? An Irish Ireland, or a Catholic Ireland, or local independence? The problem has not yet been solved. But I think it is true to say that, whatever may have been his motive in starting the war, he never fully realised all that that war involved. Probably even he did not foresee that the struggle would take on a national aspect before its close; and it is far less likely that he realised that it would become part of a European campaign and would be looked upon by many nations on the Continent as just another element of the Catholic Counter Reformation. Moreover, if Hugh O'Neill did not realize all this, he would not have been able to combine all these forces in a vast movement against the common enemy. The problem could almost be stated thus: Was O'Neill the unconscious leader of a movement that was indeed begun by him, but whose consequences and ramifications he had not foreseen and perhaps did not even realise up to the last?

This question is difficult to answer. But I think some light is thrown on it by glancing at the part played by Fr Archer in these crucial years. Immediately after his arrival in Ireland, Fr Archer went direct to O'Neill, as we have seen. Coming from Spain, where he was well-known, he was suspected, probably rightly, of bringing a message from the Spanish Court. Soon after this he visited all the Irish chieftains, including O'Donnell, O'Sullivan Beare, Owny O'More, the Earl of Desmond, Florence MacCarthy, James Fitzthomas (who claimed to be the Earl of Desmond), Lords Barry, Roche and Mountgarrett, as well as the Mayors of the southern towns - including Cork, Waterford and Kinsale. The mention of these three towns is significant. They are on the coast nearest Spain. Why did Archer visit these chieftains? The answer is obvious. From the outset, he regarded the struggle as a Catholic crusade against England. Therefore his policy was to unite all the Irish under O’Neill and, if possible, secure help from Spain and Rome. His aim and purpose, as well as the means to achieve the end, were clear and decisive - unlike those of Hugh O'Neill. And it is well to remember here that O'Neill's environment, even if we allow for a period spent in England, was mainly the local life and tradition of a petty chieftain of Ireland with all the narrowness that it entailed. While Archer's background was not only Irish tradition modified by Anglo-Norman ancestry, but also an international education the best that Europe could offer, an almost first-hand realisation of what the Reformation meant to Europe, a partiality for things Spanish with a natural bias against England, and finally a full comprehension of the danger to the Catholic religion in Ireland in an English domination there. Unfortunately we have little reliable evidence to guide us. But from the information we have I think we can safely affirm that Fr Archer was responsible, at least partially, for the change of outlook that is so marked a feature in the development of O'Neill's character as the years went by. It is interesting to note that, in a report sent by the Bishops of Dublin and Meath to the King in June 1603, much of what I have said is corroborated. Having stated that O'Neill had revolted to defend his rights and privileges, they go on to assert that the Jesuits and other priests afterwards induced him to fight for the sake of the Catholic religion and to secure the aid of the Pope and King of Spain. In many other places in the official documents the Jesuits are blamed for spreading the revolt. We know now that, of the Jesuits of the time, only Fr Archer exerted any direct political influence on a wide scale. To him, therefore, we largely attribute the change that took place. Thus, as the English realised only too well, “to have Archer taken were a great service to both the realms (England and Ireland), he being a capital instrument for Spain and the poison of Ireland”.

Hated by the English, Fr Archer won the hearts of the Irish, both rich and poor. In all the references to him there is not one which in any way tarnishes his memory, except those that come from the hands of his political enemies. Had the Irish been victorious at Kinsale, James Archer would probably have been one of the most influential men in the country. But after the defeat of 1601, his position in Ireland was even more invidious than that of O'Neill's himself. The Great Earl could adapt himself to the new conditions and try to begin life all over again, but for Archer there were no alternatives but death or exile. He had been looked upon by the English as the symbol of the rebellion in Ireland, and in his person he crystallised the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the Irish people. He stands forth as one of the foremost champions of his time of the Catholic religion in Ireland. By the English he was believed to be the source of all the discontent in the country. He was the emissary of the King of Spain, the Pope's ambassador and a member of the Society of Jesus. For him there could be no forgiveness.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Archer SJ 1550-1626
Fr James Archer was known to the English as the Archdevil. So active was he o behalf of the Irish, and so adept at evading capture, that magical powers were attributed to him. He is the only Jesuit of those days of whom we have a personal description, due to the interest of his enemies in him. We read in the report of the spy that “Archer, the traitor, was small of stature and black of complexion, that his hair was spotted grey, that he had a white doublet, and that the rest of his apparels was of some colour suitable for disguise”. Indeed, we may say that we have a photograph of him for an engraving of him may be found in “The History of British Costume” : “He had black mantle, and the high-crowned hat of the times. He appeard in straight trouse”.

Born of one of the leading families of Kilkenny in 1550, Fr Archer was one of the most remarkable Jesuits who laboured on the Irish Mission. What Henry Fitzsimon was to the Pale, James Archer was to the native Irish. By his clear grasp of the political and religious situation, his tireless efforts to unite the country against the sworn enemy of her faith and culture and to enlist in her cause the support of Spain, Fr Archer deserves to be ranked with Hugh O’Neill and Red Hugh o’Donnell as one if the leading champions of national independence and of the Catholic religion in the Ireland of his day.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ARCHER, JAMES. In p. 301, History of British Costume (Library of Entertaining knowledge), is a delineation of O’More, an Irish Chieftain, and Archer, a Jesuit retained by him, both copied from a map of the taking of the Earl of Ormond in 1600. The Rev. Father is dressed in a black mantle, and wears the high crowned hat of the time. I read in a Report or Memorial of Irish Aflairs, addressed by Captain Hugh Mostian to Lewis Mansoni, the Papal Nuncio for Ireland, towards the latter end of Q Elizabeth s reign, “Unus Pater Archerus major fuit illis (Hibernis) consolatio, quam potuit esse magnet militum copia. Testis sum illius praesentiam tantum profuisse, ut vix aliud tantum : ad ipsius enim Nutum uniuntur et tenentur, corda hominum non solum in teritorio Beerhaven et Provincifc Australis : sed et in majori parte totius Regni.” “Father Archer alone was a greater comfort to his Irish countrymen than even a considerable reinforcement of troops. I am a witness, that his presence was almost more serviceable to the cause than anything else : for at his nod the hearts of men were united and bound together, not only in the district of Beerhaven and Munster, but in the greater part of the whole kingdom”
A few of F. Archer s letters have been fortunately preserved. The first is dated from the Camp, 10th of August, 1598. He states the difficulty of all Epistolary communication the intense anxiety and diligence of the Government to apprehend him; insomuch, that he was obliged to live generally in the woods and secret places, “ita ut in sylvis et latebris ut plurimum degam”. Still he never ceased from exercising the functions of his ministry - he had received two thousand general Confessions - he had instructed and confirmed many in the Faith, and reconciled several to the Catholic Church - that there was every prospect of an abundant harvest of souls, if he had some fellow-labourers; and that the gentry in the North and South parts of the island were most desirous of a supply. It seems that he had been ordered to Ireland to procure assistance for the Irish Seminary at Salamanca, “in subsidium Seminarii Hybernorum”, and that he had succeeded in sending over several youths with funds for their education. In conclusion he says that he was intending to proceed by the first opportunity to Spain from the North of Ireland. Iter in Hispaniam cogito prima occasione ex Septentrionali parte. NB : I find by a letter of F. Richard Field, dated Dublin, 20th of July, 1600, that he as Superior of the Irish Mission, had made F. J. Archer the actual bearer of that very letter to Rome. He recommends to him Mr. Robert Lalour, qui se socium itineris adjunxit Patri Jacobo (Archer.)
The second letter is dated, Compostella, 26th of February, 1606. It proves his active industry in procuring donations for the purpose of educating his countrymen, as also his zeal for the conversion of souls. He had just reconciled to God and his Church three English merchants.
The third letter to F. George Duras, the Assistant for Germany, is dated Madrid, 4th of August, 1607. He was then living at Court, “Ego in aula versor”, and had been successful in collecting Subscriptions.
The fourth letter is to F. Duras, from Madrid, 29th September, 1607. and is only subscribed by F. Archer, who, from illness, “prae dolore pectoris”, was obliged to employ a Secretary. He recommends the erection of an Irish Novitiate in Belgium. After treating of the business of the Irish Mission, he mentions “the conversion of three Scotchmen at Madrid : one was so desperate a Puritan, as often to declare that not all the Doctors of the World should ever withdraw him from his sect and opinion. Truth, however, had conquered : from a lion he became a lamb, and has chosen the life of a Capuchin Friars. I have others in hand in the suit of the English Ambassador, whom I will endeavour to reform”. Further particulars of this Rev. Father I have not been able to collect.

Aubier, Jean, 1826-1898, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/883
  • Person
  • 05 June 1826-28 June 1898

Born: 05 June 1826, Villemurlin, Centre-Val de Loire, France
Entered: 11 September 1850, Angers, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1855
Final vows: 15 August 1867
Died: 28 June 1898, St Mary's College, Canterbury, England - Franciae Province (FRA)

by 1887 came to Mungret (HIB) as Minister, Teacher and working in the Church 1886-1888

Bailey, Anthony, 1923-2007, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/586
  • Person
  • 17 October 1923-09 May 2007

Born: 17 October 1923, Lettermore, Rosmuck, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 02 February 1956, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 09 May 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Manresa, Dollymount, Dublin community at the time of death.

Originally Entered in 1942 but Left March 1942 due to leg injury, re-joined 1945

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Br Anthony (Tony) Bailey (1923-2007)

17th October 1923: Born in Lettermore, Rosmuck, Co. Galway.
Early education in local National School.
Left Lettermore in 1936 for Rathcarn, Athboy, Co. Meath.
15th September 1941: Entered Society at Emo as a Postulant, but had to leave in March 1942, suffering from a leg disease.
7th September 1945: Rejoined the Novitiate at Emo. After First Vows stayed on at Emo as Cook and Houseman.
He did a cookery course at Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin.
1968 - 1975: Mungret -
1968 - 1970: Cook, in charge of house staff and infirmarian
1970 - 1972: In charge of house staff and infirmarian
1972 - 1975: Cook, in charge of house staff and infirmarian
1975 - 1986: Tullabeg -
1975 - 1985: Assistant Maintenance man and gardener
1985 - 1986: Assistant Minister
1986 - 2007: Manresa - Painter / Decorator and houseman
9th May 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Dermot Mansfield writes:
Tony Bailey always remembered his birth date, 17th October 1923, because it was the feast of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, one of his favourite saints. Always, indeed, he looked to the guidance and protection of the saints, including Ignatius, the young “Star”, as well as Margaret Mary, the Little Flower, and his own Anthony of Padua. Quite a motley lot, the seven are, but good congenial company for Tony. And now he has gone to join them. Many of us, I think, will include Tony among our favourites. Our memories of him are so rich, whether his mischievous wit and sparkling conversation are recalled, his quick intelligence, or his essential shyness, and deep love of quiet and contemplation. We surely have a good friend who will steer us still and keep us on the right track from the heavenly realms beyond.

He was born into the family of Colman Bailey and Anne Coyne at Lettermore, Rosmuck, in Co Galway. The world of Connemara, therefore, was his as a growing boy, and he received his formal education at the local National School. Then came a big upheaval, when the family moved in 1936 right across the country, to the new Gaeltacht set-up at Rathcarn, near Athboy in Co Meath. However, the West was not forgotten, and indeed Tony's first contact with the Jesuits was through our house in Galway. This eventually led him to first join the Society at Emo in September 1941 as a postulant. But TB meant he had to leave in March 1942, and he would then spend quite a while as a young patient in Cappagh sanatorium. Tony often spoke of that experience, and no doubt during it his spirit of patient endurance especially developed, as well as his gift of prayer. A legacy of his illness was the unhealed leg he had for the rest of his life.

In 1943, his sister Barbara joined the Society of the Sacred Heart at Mount Anville. Perhaps it was Barbara's example that helped Tony in his determination about his own vocation, leading him on 7th September 1945 to rejoin the novitiate at Emo. Without question, he was finally where he wanted to be, and was happy in that setting. In particular, he had a great warm regard for Tommy Byrne, his novice master, who cared for him in a fatherly way.

After his First Vows, Tony did a cookery course at Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin. He stayed at Milltown Park during that time, and was one of those who experienced the trauma of the life there. Then it was back to Emo, where he was to spend so many years as gifted cook, and where his vital personality would exercise an immense influence on the great number of novices passing through there in the 1950s and 1960s. In the somewhat Upstairs-Downstairs world of that time, it could be a pleasant change for us scholastic novices to be on experiment with the brothers and our fellow brother novices. The encouragement and humour of "the Abbot Bailey" helped many a downcast young soul, as did the example of what seemed to be his effortless spirit of prayer. Then again, his spontaneity could manifest itself in surprising ways, as when he brought home a captive cock pheasant, christened it “Montini” (after the new Pope in 1963), and with it started up a spectacular pheasantry. And it goes without saying that he loved the grounds, the farm, the lake and woodlands all around.

In 1968 he moved from Emo to Mungret along with Paddy Cusack. He was cook there for a while on the community side, but he had grown weary of that work, and moved out of it into dealing with the house staff and acting as infirmarian. Once again, nature enthralled him, especially the winter wildlife on Loughmore nearby, and along the Shannon estuary. In this regard Peter Doyle was a kindred spirit, as was Eric Cantillon, and also the fondly remembered scholastic of that time, Pat O'Farrell. They all had many interesting times and exploits together. Tony, of course, was interested in the boys and their welfare, and often those with similar interests would seek him out for chats.

With Mungret's closure in 1974, Tony was back up in the Midlands again, this time at Tullabeg. Although in itself not a house to inspire one or raise the spirits, Tony found much there to his liking. He had good company in Pat Guidera, Andy Bannon, and especially Brogan Whittle, his friend from Emo days. In particular, Michael Gallagher's time as superior was much valued by him, as were the visits and ministry of John Hyde. He loved the Public Church, its atmosphere, and was interested in all the people from near and far who found their way there. He made great friends in the neighbourhood, with families, like the McLoughlins, the Corcorans and the Guinans, to name but a few. As well, he took an active interest in the comings and goings of retreatants, both lay and religious, and also in the Tertians during their years there. His one trip out of Ireland was during these years, when he went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes organised by Brian McNamara. He thought very highly of Brian, and his heart went out to him as Brian struggled often in vain with his serious alcoholism.

In 1980 Tony's sister Barbara died, after 38 years in religious life. Eight years older, she, too, was a remarkable person, and was remembered affectionately by her Sacred Heart sisters. The things said of her point to somewhat similar aspects in Tony's character. She had “a passionate sense of justice, which made her suffer all her life”. She was seen as a “fiercely independent spirit”, who was “generous and forthright”. But, above all, this most certainly applies to her brother: “She was always filled with wonder at the work of God in the world and in people”.

A few years later came the next change, and one that posed a real challenge for Tony. For it can be said that our spacious country houses had suited Tony best, and very understandably. So how was he going to adapt when, in 1985, he finally came to Dublin and had to settle down in Manresa? How would he manage in the relatively confined atmosphere there? Formerly, because of his retiring nature, Tony could easily have his meals at times other than the official community one, but now there was no option like that open to him. Everyone came at the set times to dinner and supper, including the Novices from down the grounds. In addition, we had sisters and lay people on the retreat staff, and other visiting directors much of the time. But, in fact, Tony blossomed in such company, entering into conversation with everyone, and displaying interest in all that was happening. Again, too, he was in a Novitiate situation, and so he wished once more to be an encouragement to the younger men coming our way. And, importantly, he became especially close to Pat McNamara, who only a year or two earlier had made his own big change from Belvedere.

For other reasons one ought to have had no worries about Tony coming to Manresa. For, straightaway, he grew to love every inch of the grounds around him, and the trees, the birds, and all the wildlife along the seashore. At one stage he managed to entice red squirrels into our property, a delight to behold. Early on too, in memory of the great avenue of Californian Redwoods (”Wellingtonias”) at Emo, he planted a young example not far from the house, and which now twenty years later is steadily reaching for the sky - a fitting memorial to his own adventurous outlook. And the sky itself overarching Manresa in all its moods, and the movement of the stars and planets on winter nights, were for him a ceaseless source of wonder.

In February 1989 the spectre of ill health came over him again, with the sudden stroke that severely limited his activity, Courageously, he fought his way back to a good degree of mobility. If anything, however, he now became even more a central part of the community scene, aided by the care and friendship of Pat McNamara and Michael Gallagher, and then, too, Mike Drennan, among others. You could say that in these later years Tony really became the heart of our life together. He lightened things for us; he was full of questions and comment, and always his own spirit was a constant reminder of what really matters. Often be was to be found in the chapel. I will always picture him among that faithful group at our community Mass, along with Tom Donnellan, Pat McNamara, and Paddy Meagher.

It was a great shock, however, when Pat died suddenly just before Christmas in 1997. Tony missed him sorely. Yet he adapted in time, and continued on as best he could. There were still treasured family visits, of course, from his brother Jimmy and sister-in-law Kathleen, and from his fond nephew Seán, his wife Jacinta, and their children. There were the contacts from old friends of Rahan days. Sometimes there was loud laughter and animated talk over tea and cakes on Sunday afternoons in the community room, when Joe Osborne came to visit, or Jim Sutton and Brendan Hyland, Gerry Marks, or Jim Barry. George Fallon, too, was often a welcome guest at lunch. Also his faithful friend Brogan Whittle, who had left the Society at this stage, was a regular caller. And later, there was the valued company once again of Peter Doyle, and then of Joe Ward. As I recall, his last holiday was when Michael Gallagher brought him for some days to Galway, back once more to the West.

Then little signs were indicative, at least in hindsight, of the forgetfulness that overtook him more recently. We were all affected by this loss, by this withdrawal in him. Yet despite such diminishment somehow Tony always remained himself. The glint remained in his eyes, the liveliness in his striking voice. He really did continue to be a part of the community, until he required the permanent care that only Cherryfield could give. And finally, in his 84th year, he slipped gently away from this world, in the forenoon of Wednesday, 9th of May, 2007.

How fitting it was to bring his mortal remains back to Manresa – first, overnight, to the new Tertians' chapel, and then the next morning to the Retreat House chapel for his funeral Mass. In his homily, Joe Dargan spoke of Tony's gratitude at the end, and it was in a spirit of great gratitude that so many friends gathered for that final farewell, with large numbers of his family.

But also, although it was time for him to go, he cannot but be sorely missed by such a variety of family and friends, and by his Jesuit companions. Knowing Tony, and sharing our lives with him, was for many of us one of the greatest gifts we have ever received, His was a unique spirit, always vital, alert, interested, humble, vulnerable, and true. He could bring out the best in people, the humanity that was there, the prayer, the laughter within. And now in the company of the blessed, without a doubt he is still prodding us, and egging us on, and making us keep our eyes fixed on the main purpose of it all.

Barden, Thomas, 1910-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/57
  • Person
  • 31 March 1910-03 June 1997

Born: 31 March 1910, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945
Died: 03 June 1997, McQuoin Park Infirmary, Hornsby, NSW, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
A twin - his sister Hyacinth was a Loreto Sister and worked in Africa. His brother William was a Dominican and Archbishop of Tehran until the overthrow of the Shah.

His early education was with the Presentation Sisters and the Christian Brothers. In 1922 he gained a scholarship to Mungret College SJ.

1929-1932 He did his Juniorate at Rathfarnham graduating BA from University College Dublin in Celtic studies.
1932-1935 He was at St Aloysius College, St Helier, Jersey for Philosophy, which gained him a lifelong interest in French language.
1935-1939 He made Regency at St Aloysius College, Sydney, and accepted Australian citizenship in 1936.
1939-1943 He studied Theology at Milltown Park Dublin
1943-1944 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1944-1945 He was at Liverpool, England doing parish work.
1945-1947 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius, Milsons Point.
1948-1952 He was appointed Rector at St Louis School, Perth. He became popular there with local families who helped develop the oval facilities for the school. His students there remember his wit, shrewdness and ability to inspire them.
1964-1961 He was appointed Headmaster at St Ignatius College, Norwood. His style and manner during these years did much to establish the tradition of rapport and affection between staff and students. He was a firm disciplinarian, and the tongue lashings he gave were formidable, as was his humour and the twinkle in his eye, which indicated a man who loved the school, the work he was doing and the boys he taught. He also employed the first lay teachers there.
1962-1964 He was dean of students at St Thomas More University College, Perth, but he did not enjoy working with tertiary students.
1965-1968 He returned to St Louis, Perth, as Vice-Rector and Prefect of Studies.
1969-1974 He was a respected French teacher and Form Master At St Aloysius College, Sydney.
1975-1984 He was French teacher and Form Master at St Ignatius College, Athelstone SA, and was also the community bursar there.
1985-1993 He was back at St Aloysius, Sydney. where he taught for a number of years.
1993 For the last seven years at St Aloysius his memory had become unreliable, and so he moved to the retirement home at McQuoin Park, where he was happy and well cared for. When his health failed finally, he was transferred to the Greenwich Convalescent Hospital.

He was very Irish, a great conversationalist and storyteller, entertaining and witty. He was a good companion and a joy at any party. As an administrator he was efficient and fair, and incisive in his decisions. He had a gift for preaching and was a good retreat giver, though not creative in thought. He was experiences as a wise counsellor and a fair judge of human nature. He made many friends among the parents in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney, some of whom kept lifelong contact.

Barragry, John, 1879-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/58
  • Person
  • 11 April 1879-27 January 1959

Born: 11 April 1879, Oola, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 27 January 1959, Crescent College, Limerick

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 34th Year No 2 1959
Sacred Heart Church and College, Limerick
With dramatic swiftness, Fr. Barragry passed away on Tuesday, 27th January. On the previous Saturday, he complained of a chill but continued throughout the day at his confessional. On Sunday, he was up and about but complained of loss of appetite. In getting into bed on Sunday night, he felt restless and depressed. Early on Monday morning, he was discovered lying on the floor of his room, by Fr. Rector. The doctor advised his removal to hospital, suspecting a recurrence of the diabetes. From the moment of his arrival in hospital in the late afternoon, his temperature began to rise steadily. He had another very restless night and on Tuesday morning, the community learned that there was no chance of his recovery. He remained perfectly lucid until about forty minutes before his death which occurred about 2.15 in the afternoon. On Wednesday, his remains arrived at the residence about noon and were laid out in the back parlour. Throughout the evening, crowds of his penitents and his friends came to say farewell to this very lovable priest. We all knew that Fr. Barragry was widely respected, but for many of us it was a revelation to discover the extent of his friendships. At the solemn obsequies on Thursday, His Lordship the Bishop attended with a large gathering of the secular and regular clergy. The boys of Sacred Heart College marched with the cortège to the city boundary and many of them finished the journey to Mungret by car or bicycle.

Obituary :
Fr John Barragry (1879-1958)
By the death of Fr. John Barragry on the 27th January the Province has lost, not only a colourful and interesting character, and one who provided a great deal of innocent pleasure for those who knew him or lived with him, but also an observant religious: remarkable for his devotion to poverty and for his exact obedience; a man of deep faith and simple piety, and a great lover of the Society. Many, both inside and outside the Society, feel they have lost a loyal and devoted friend.
Fr. Barragry was born at Oola, Co. Limerick in 1879, educated at the Crescent, and entered the Society at Tullabeg at the age of sixteen. Having completed his novitiate and juniorate, he was sent to Valkenburg in 1899 for his three years philosophy and, to the end of his life he retained an interest in the Niederdeutsche Provinz, and in the careers of those with whom he studied. On finishing seven years' teaching at Clongowes and three years theology at Milltown Park, he was ordained in 1912. Between 1914 and 1920 he was Prefect of Studies at Galway and at Mungret, and those who studied under him recall the firmness, enthusiasm and kindness, which characterised his work on their behalf.
For a short period he was Minister of Juniors and Professor of Mathematics at Tullabeg and then, from 1925 to 1931, he was again Prefect of Studies, but this time at the Crescent. Here, with the exception of seven years, when he taught at Clongowes and at Belvedere - where he was Procurator from 1934 to 1938, he was to spend the rest of his life. In the course of these years at Limerick he contributed in no small way to the success of the college as we know it today, and to the building up of the Ignatian Sodality. From 1944 till his death he was Procurator, and fulfilled this office with that exactitude and care which marked all his work.
Fr. Barragry was an efficient and understanding teacher, and he was remembered with affection by many of his past pupils years after they had left. Gratitude and warm appreciation are still expressed by those who knew him, even as far back as forty years ago. Last September, Monsignor Power of Saltley, Birmingham, recalling the old days in Limerick, asked :
“Is Fr. Barragry still alive? Good! How is he? The same as ever, I hope?”
All his life Fr. Barragly showed a great interest both in men and in affairs, and both his memory for the past and his knowledge of their careers were prodigious. Not a few of his pupils owe their start in life to the solicitous interest he took in placing them after school. Indeed many others also found in him a friend and a willing helper. His apostolate of "job-finding" and assisting the less fortunate, the poor and the unemployed, took up a great deal of any leisure he had.
As time went on he lost nothing of his interest in current affairs, specially in relation to Ireland. He had a deep love of his country, and watched daily, with a growing sense of pride, the material, economic and cultural achievements that had come about since the days of his boyhood. Though he felt that the study of the Irish language was beyond him, he championed its cause on more than one occasion, both , in private and in public.
His savoir vivre was tremendous, and up to the end he remained. keen in mind and active in body. A friend who spoke to him shortly before his death could not but admire the unimpaired, alert mind of a man in his eightieth year. He uttered no complaint on the score of health and was apparently the same as ever."
In 1955, four years before his death, he celebrated his Diamond Jubilee in the Society. His old friends - the Ignatians - gave him great joy by presenting a golden chalice to mark the occasion, and by arranging that an award—the Fr, Barragry medal— should be presented annually to the most outstanding pupil at the College.
During his years as operarius at the Crescent, Fr. Barragry was a kind and conscientious confessor, and as long as health allowed him to preach, his sermons were carefully prepared. Though in his eightieth year, he had no thought of going “on the shelf”, and was active and at his post practically to the end.
After confessions on Friday night, 23rd January, he complained of a bad shivering fit and was advised by the Rector to keep to his room. He said Mass on Sunday and seemed improved, but towards evening he took to his bed. At 4.30 on Monday morning the Rector thought he heard the sound of knocking and went in to see if anything was wrong. He found Fr. Barragry on the floor, where he had fallen during the night, and being unable to rise or attract attention, he had pulled a few blankets from the bed to keep himself warm. Later that day the doctor ordered him to hospital, and on Tuesday, when it was evident that he was dying, he was anointed and received Holy Viaticum about noon. Shortly before two o'clock, Fr. Rector and Fr. Naughton began the prayers for the dying, and at 2.10 he passed peacefully away.
It can be truthfully said that Fr. Barragry went through life joyously, maintaining always a bright and infectious cheerfulness. He dearly loved his little joke.
On one occasion, slipping quietly away for a villa in Donegal, he left strict injunctions that his life-long friend and colleague, Fr. Martin Corbett of Mungtet, was not to be told. As Fr. Martin and he were always keenly interested in the “latest”, he felt he had scored quite a victory in getting off “unbeknownst”, and was determined that when the time was opportune, he would make known his triumph.
Sitting by the side of the road, surrounded by the wild beauty of the Barnesmore Gap and the sunshine, and pulling a picture post card from his pocket, he scribbled with glee - taking pains to avoid any indication of his exact location : “Lovely views! Any news? J.B.”
Fr. Barragry traded his talents industriously, by patient, faithful service and by prayer. We may well hope that he now enjoys the reward of a well-spent life-a far more beautiful sight than he ever saw in Donegal.
Solus na Soillse agus radharc na Tríonóide d'á anam.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Barragry SJ 1879-1959
One could hardly live in a community with Fr John Barragry – or Barrags as he was affectionatle called – without feeling the impact of his energetic and vivid personality.
A Limerick man, born in Oola County Limerick in 1879, after a brilliant career as a boy in the Crescent, he became a Jesuit at Tullabeg at the age of 16.

His life in the Society was spent in the Colleges as Prefect of Studies in Mungret, Galway and the Crescent – 30 years in the classroom, as he himself used describe it. The latter part of his life was spent as procurator, first in Belvedere and then in the Crescent. This was his favourite house, and Limerick his natural habitat. “I know my Limerick” he was heard to retort to one he thought had pretensions to a greater knowledge.

He was intensely interested in people and affairs, especially in matters of the Society government and appointments. His curiosity was boundless and harmless, though to some it was irksome and annoying. To many it was a great source of recreation. His storied of how he dealt with difficult situations were famous. While stationed in Tullabeg teaching the Juniors, it was reported that Our Lady had appeared to a little girl on the avenue. There was great excitement, and the local IRA were on duty, armed, to regulate the people who came to see. “Down I went to see” would recount Fr Barragry. “A young fellow on guard stopped me”. “Halt” said he. “Shoot” said I, and that finished him”. To a Rector to whom he had suggested a way of saving money and who took the suggestion as a slur on his vow of poverty, he said “My Dear Father Rector, you mist never confound poverty with economy”.

He was a hard worker for souls, and energetic Director of the Ignatian Sodality, and tireless in his efforts to place old students in good situations in life.

He died on January 27th 1959 after a brief illness.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father John Barragry SJ (1879-1959)

Born at Oola, studied at this school from 1893 to 1895 when he entered the Society at Tullabeg. On the completion of his classical studies, he was sent for his course in philosophy to Valkenburg, Holland (1899-1902). His period of regency was spent at Clongowes, after which he entered on his theological studies at Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1912. For the next ten years after his tertianship, he was engaged in teaching at Galway (1914-1918); Mungret (1918-20); Tullabeg (1920-22), where he was prefect of studies for the scholastics; Belvedere (1922-24). He spent the next seven years at Sacred Heart College where, as prefect of studies, he did much to modernise teaching methods. After a year back in Clongowes (1931-1932) he spent the next six years as procurator in Belvedere College. His last and longest assignment was again at Sacred Heart College where, as procurator, he laboured until his death (1938-1959).
Father Barragry was a man of many gifts; he had a fluent command of German and French; he was an able classical scholar and a brilliant teacher of mathematics. His organising ability was proven in his work as prefect of studies and in the considerable help he gave to the formation of the Belvedere Old Boys' Union. Here, at the Crescent, he reorganised the Ignatian Sodality in the 1920's. He was a talented preacher and sodality director. For many years he was much sought after as a confessor. After an illness of only two days, he died on 27 January, 1959 and was laid to rest in the Jesuit plot at Mungret Abbey. RIP

Barrett, Charles Harold, 1903-1944, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/59
  • Person
  • 13 December 1903-07 March 1944

Born: 13 December 1903, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1938
Died: 07 March 1944, Dublin

Part of Clongowes Wood College SJ community at time of his death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 2 1944

Obituary :

Father Charles H Barrett SJ (1903-1944)

Fr. Charles H. Barrett (1903-1944). Fr. Barrett was born in Kilkenny, but spent most of his early life in Tralee where his father was Manager of the Provincial Bank. He came to Clongowes in 1916 and left in 1921. During that time be gave promise of a distinguished future; he was a prize-winner in the College Debating Society, he won the Palles Gold Medal for Mathematics, and he secured an exhibition in the Senior Grade Intermediate examination.
He entered the Society on August 31st, 1921, at Tullabeg, and after his noviceship he studied for the B.Sc. Degree at Rathfarnham, obtaining Honours at the Degree examination in 1926. He completed his Philosophy course with distinction at Milltown Park, and in 1928 returned to Clongowes as a Scholastic, teaching Mathematics in the honour's classes with conspicuous success. It was while he was at Clongowes that he revealed his great organising abilities which he was to devote so generously to God's service later on during the relatively short years of his priesthood. He went to Milltown for Theology in 1932 and was ordained in 1935. After the Tertianship in St. Beuno's, he was appointed Prefect of Studies in Mungret in 1937, and remained there until 1941 when he came to Clongowes again to hold the same position there.
In both Colleges he brought his systematic mind to bear on the special problems that confront every school, and the splendid examination results obtained in each under his direction are a proof of the success of his method. Masters and boys who worked under him will long remember his unflagging interest, his wise counsel, his industry and bis complete lack of consideration for himself. Those who knew him best will recall his solid piety and the edifying regularity of his religious life. Nor will they forget his readiness to help others in their difficulties and, one of his most characteristic traits, his continual good humour and cheerfulness.
For many years Fr. Barrett had not known a day's illness, and so the shock for those who knew him was all the greater when death, with tragic suddenness overtook him. On Tuesday, March 7th, he cycled quietly to Dublin to see the Senior Schools' Cup match against Blackrock College. Although the match was being closely contested, Fr. Charlie showed no signs of great excitement but was talking calmly to a friend who stood beside him. Suddenly he collapsed, unconscious, and was attended to immediately by two doctors, one of them a former pupil of his own. They quickly saw that he was dying, and Fr. Rector at once gave absolution. Fr. Barrett was carried into the pavilion and there anointed. He never regained consciousness, and died within five minutes of his falling down. His body was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital and on the next day brought to Clongowes. A very large number, including the Blackrock College team, were present at the removal of the remains.
The funeral at Clongowes was most impressive, and, in spite of transport difficulties, was attended by a representative gathering of the clergy, religious and secular. Fr. Provincial presided at the Office and officiated at the grave, while Fr. Rector sang the Requiem Mass. Several of the Theologians from Milltown Park were present in the choir. The boys, by their own wish, carried the coffin to the grave while the rosary was recited. The College L.D.F., in which Fr. Barrett had taken great interest, provided a Guard of Honour. Very many letters and telegrams of sympathy, and a large number of Mass Cards, testified to the widespread sorrow that was felt at the sad news of Fr. Barrett's death. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Charles Barrett SJ

Fr Charlie Batrrett was a Clongownian of the Clongownians. Yet not in any irritating or bigoted sense; for Mungret boys will long remember his love and service of their school; and he had a most genuine interest in the welfare of Irish Education, extending beyond the classrooms of Clongowes and showing itself in the careful, thorough work on draft-reports and schedules which he so often prepared for our educational authorities. But it remains that the old school had a very special place in his heart, and nothing that touched its interests escaped his attention or failed for lack of his assistance.

As a boy at school he had been an out standing figure in a very gifted group and gave promise of a distinguished future. He was a prize-winner in the Debating Society, he won the Palles Gold Medal for Mathematics, and he secured an exhibition in the Senior Grade examination. He was already universally respected, not only as a member of the Sodality, but as one whose avowed intention of becoming a Jesuit was something which boys felt did honour to him and to the Order.

On his return to Clongowes as a Scholastic, he at once undertook the teaching of the Senior Honours Mathematical classes, then, as now, a very difficult task as the high standards demanded by the programme were within the reach of only a comparatively small minority. He combined always an excellent judgment of the talent required and a clear, methodical exposition which enabled the maximum number to profit by the special training which advanced Mathematics affords. To this task, as to all other tasks, he brought a most conscientious industry that was an example to pupil and colleague alike. During this time the enforced absences of the Prefect of Studies because of ill-health gave Mr Barrett an opportunity to show, as an unofficial understudy, a marked capacity for organization and for loyal co-operation.

On the completion of his theological studies, Fr Charlie went to Mungret, and there for four years was a most successful Prefect of Studies, bringing his systematic mind to bear on the special problems which confront every school and exploiting to the full the special advantages Mungret offered. It was far more than a splendid examination record that the College owed to him, though that record was certainly a proof of the success of his method.

It was therefore not until the war-years were upon us, with their many trials and few advantages, that he came to Clongowes to take over the office previously held by Fr Rector. Though Fr Barrett himself was one who would have passionately repudiated the notion that any individual is necessary to God's plans for Clongowes, yet it must be owned that his early loss was and is a real blow to the school. For in a brief time he had made it quite clear that he possessed many, indeed, almost all the qualities needed for a great Prefect of Studies, and possessed them in remarkable abundance. Not a few foresaw for him a long life of ever-growing efficiency, authority and honour. God took the beginnings in token of the finished work.

The first and most obvious virtues which he brought to the position were the mathe matician's qualities of a clear head, a mind patient to drudgery, ordered thought and a capacity for long planning. No detail was too small for him, nothing was forgotten or mis placed. His tidy desk was the symbol of his orderly school. But he was much more than a routine administrator, If he possessed in a : remarkable degree the official mind, with its affection for the written memorandum, the schedule, the procedure, he had also an exceptional willingness to innovate after all the pros and cons of innovation had been con sidered. To take only a few examples, and those deliberately chosen outside his own proper sphere, it is right that Clongownians should know how enthusiastically he supported the inauguration of the LDF in the College; with what care and patience he arranged the method by which our boys might take a practical part in the country's agricultural revival. Indeed it is remarkable to look back and see how vivid was his interest in and support of every activity in the school life : his unfailing attendance at debates, his assistance in play productions, his now only too clearly tragically realized interest in the school games. To this was added a very strong will, so that he was unalterably fair, very rarely, if ever, over severe, while he had no temptation at all to gain an easy popularity by spoiling boys or by extravagant concessions or remis sions. Of a most happy and equable temper, he was entirely free from any form of personal dislike, appreciated “straight talk” and encouraged it from boys and masters, and was accessible to all and at all times.

A picture, therefore, emerges of a man giving himself wholly and entirely, without other interest or preoccupation, to the boys whom God had entrusted to his case. This they realized, if not always at once, at any rate in time, when his constant preoccupation had followed each one with an amazing and generous solicitude into the affairs of their after-lives. For no trouble was too great for him to take if he could help one of his old boys whether of Clongowes or Mungret. He was no orator and is better remembered, perhaps, reading those balanced and faintly ironical reports that he delivered on prize-giving occasions.

But many of us will remember the sincere and simple words in which he called us to a duty not romantic but noble, the example he gave us to that end in his too short but laborious life, and the promise of a better reward than prizes or medals--that reward which he was never slow to hold up equally before the schoolroom plodder and the schoolroom genius whose lives were motived by supernatural ideals. It is his glory to have been something of both, and his own life so inotived will surely have a great reward.

We tender our deepest sympathies to his mother in her tragic loss.

MB

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Charles H Barrett SJ

With sorrow we pay our tribute to the memory of Father Barrett. He was with us so recently and he was so very much a part of our lives here that his loss was in the deepest sense personal. He spent four years here and in that time, apart from his routine work which was unremitting and exact, he identified himself with Mungret. Every thing which concerned the boys and the school was of interest to him and became an object of his zeal. Every boy was a personal problem for him and his help followed them out of class into the world. The whole school felt the impact of his energy and all responded to that nice combination of drive and good humour which was his peculiar gift. It is scarcely necessary to say that the boys recognised his ability and his interest in them. They knew that he was working to make them not only successful men, if that were possible, but better still, good Christian men. His name is a household word in Mungret yet, and Mungret will not forget him in their prayers, Holy Mass was celebrated for the repose of his soul, the whole school attending. RIP

Barrett, Patrick, 1866-1942, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/897
  • Person
  • 15 January 1866-03 March 1942

Born: 15 January 1866, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim
Entered: 05 October 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin; Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1900
Died: 03 March 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Bettisfield Park Camp, Shropshire

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
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.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942
Obituary :

Rev Patrick Barrett SJ

The Rev. Patrick Barrett, SJ., whose death took place in Dublin, was the youngest son of the late Mr. Michael Barrett, of Finner, Carrick- on-Shannon, where he was born in 1866. Educated at the former College Tullabeg, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1883, and after a period of teaching at Clongowes pursued his higher studies at Milltown Park. Dublin, being ordained priest by the late Archbishop Walsh on August 1, 1897, at the Church of St. Francis Xavier. He completed his training at Tronchiennes. Belgium, and after spending a few years as master at Mungret College, joined the mission staff, and was engaged for twenty years in giving missions in various parts of the country. He served for two years as chaplain in the last war. Perhaps his best and most enduring work of his life he inaugurated in 1924. when he became Director of the working men's retreat house at Rathfarnham Castle, a post he held till failing health in 1940 forced him to relinquish this labour of love.
As a missioner he was very energetic and industrious and was most faithful in attending to the Confessional. His instructions were sound and practical but he was not a great preacher. The vast amount of good he must have done for souls will not be known on this earth.
Although the work of the Retreat House in Rathfarnham had begun before Fr. Barrett went there, it may be truly said that he, by his zeal, perseverance and instinct for order and discipline established the work upon the secure basis on which it, rests to-day. On coming to Rathfarnham he recognised at once that for the efficient working of the Retreats a new Chapel and Refectory were necessary. Hence with the sanction of his superior, he set about the work of collecting the necessary funds, and in a comparatively short time the Chapel
and Refectory were built and furnished.
Fr. Barrett had definite talent for organisation, and this he pressed into the service of the Retreats. For many years he was a, familiar figure in the streets of Dublin as, with rather stolid and measured gait he trudged from one business establishment to another, rounding up possible retreatants and selecting men of more than ordinary ability or standing in their employment whom he enrolled as Promoters of Retreats or, as he subsequently called them, Knights of Loyola. The fidelity of these men to Fr. Barrett's appeal and the zeal with which they threw themselves into the work of rounding up retreatants in the city are amply proved by the continuous procession of working men which, since the inception of Fr. Barrett's campaign, has went its way week-end after week-end, to Rathfarnham. and also by the numerous presentations made to Fr Barrett personally and to the Retreat House since 1924. Amongst these should be mentioned in particular the Grotto of Our Lady, erected in 1926 by the employees of the Dublin Transport Company, and the life-size Statue of the Sacred Heart which stands in the grounds by the lake, presented by the Coopers of Guinness Brewery. As a giver of the exercises Fr. Barrett does not seem to have shown outstanding merit. He could. however. on occasion when stirred by special circumstances, speak with great effect. The influence which Fr. Barrett exercised over those whom he met in Rathfarnham and the affection and veneration which he inspired were due rather to the deadly earnestness of the man, the personal interest he took in each of his retreatants and his gifts as an understanding and sympathetic private counselor. To perpetuate his memory and as a. tribute to the work done by Fr. Barrett in Rathfarnham, some of his old retreatants are having his portrait painted in oils with the object of presenting it to the Retreat House. Many moreover, have had Masses celebrated for the repose of his soul. R.LP.

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father Patrick Barrett SJ

Only a very short portion of Fr. Barrett's life as a Jesuit was spent in Clongowes. His chief work was giving missions throughout Ireland, in which he was very successful, especially as an organiser. He acted as Chaplain during the European War, 1914-18. For over 12 years he was Director of Retreats at Rathfarnham Castle, and during that time he did untold good. He took a deep personal interest in those making the retreats, and his words of practical advice and encouragement helped many a one to bear cheerfully and courageously the day's burden in imitation of “The Worker of Nazareth”. As a practical way of inculcating the principles of Catholic Action he organised the “Knights of Loyola” who live to carry on his work. During the last few years of his life he was a great sufferer, becoming totally blind about a year before his death, but he bore all his sufferings with the greatest patience and resignation.

Barrett, William, 1813-1872, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/898
  • Person
  • 05 March 1813-06 July 1872

Born: 05 March 1813, Galbally, County Limerick
Entered: 16 June 1840, Florissant MO, USA (MIS) - Missouriana Province
Final vows: 30 October 1853
Died: 06 July 1872, Florissant MO, USA (MIS) - Missouriana Province

Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/60
  • Person
  • 09 May 1920-30 January 1972

Born: 09 May 1920, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 30 January 1972, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 5 August 1965-24 July 1968.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

GENERAL
On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972
Obituary :
Fr Brendan Barry SJ (1920-1972)
Father Brendan Barry was born in St John's Parish, Limerick, on May 9th, 1920. He was an only child. His early schooling was at the Christian Brothers in Roxboro Road. At the age of twelve, he was sent to the Augustinian College, Dungarvan, as a boarder. However, after two years absence, he continued his secondary education with the Christian Brothers, Limerick. While there, he made a Retreat under the direction of Fr Ernest Mackey and one result of this was that he entered the novitiate at St. Mary's, Emo, on 7th September. There were in all nineteen novices in his year, of whom fourteen were subsequently ordained priests. He took his first vows on September 8th, 1939, a few days after World War II had erupted. For the next six years he lived in communities of scholastics who varied in number between forty-four and fifty-one. The years 1939-42 were spent at Rathfarnham where after three years study he took his BA degree with honours in English and and Latin. The next three years were spent at Tullabeg where he studied Philosophy.
Those who knew him in these early years remember him as a quiet, reserved, cheerful and occasionally gay young man who, like everyone else, accepted philosophically the small privations and restrictions which World War II made inevitable. During these years, his intellectual gifts were slowly revealed and his zeal was manifested in his work for the Men's Sodality, then attached to the People's Church. Two years of Regency, 1945-47, followed. These two years at Belvedere were years that lived in his memory. In later times, he often spoke of them with real affection. The value of Regency in bringing a scholastic to full maturity was manifest in his case. From now on it became increasingly difficult for him to hide his gifts. What was hitherto known to a few, now became common knowledge; he was a religious of regular observance, of unostentatious piety, of dedicated attention to the work he was given to do: teaching, prefecting or refereeing rugby football. He did all these things well, and, while he particularly enjoyed the company of his fellow scholastics, he became and always remained a good “community man”.
Such was the reputation he brought with him to Milltown Park in the Autumn of 1947; and meeting him there for the first time, I came to appreciate his quiet strength of character, his invariably cheerful disposition and his dedication to the work in hand. One of his Professors at that time described him as “a gifted student” and he passed his Ad Gradum examination in 1961 after 4 years of consistent application to his studies. As he had little interest in organised games, he found his relaxation in walking and swimming; and from this period dates his long association with the “Forty Foot” Swimming Club. His administrative gifts became apparent at this time and his appointment as Beadle of the Theologians caused no surprise. On July 31st, 1950, he was ordained priest by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid, of whose policies and plans Fr Brendan was, in future years, to be such a stout defender and champion. His relationship with the Archbishop, which was at first necessarily indefinite, became in time confidential and and intimate. It was founded on the same virtue of Faith which in later years made him, what he sometimes jokingly called, “a Pope's man”.
Now this aspect of Fr Brendan's outlook was derived from his understanding of the mind of St Ignatius in founding the Society and in placing it at the service of the Church and of the Pope. In a letter to the Province in 1967, he wrote: “It is obvious our ministries will not be renewed without internal renewal, without a deep knowledge of the Ignatian idea of our vocation ... To develop (this) in ourselves we need to study the person and writings of St. Ignatius - in his autobiography and his letters, in the Constitutions and in the Spiritual Exercises ... This will ensure great co-operation among ourselves, with the diocesan clergy and the hierarchy, with other religious and with the laity ...” This letter, so full of high ideals and sane ideas, mirrors, as do few other things he wrote, the spirit of faith in the Church and in the Society which was so characteristic of him. He never saw the Society, which he loved dearly, as an end in itself, only as a means; never as master, but always as a servant at the disposal of the Pope and the Bishops and of the People of God. His faith in the Pope and the Bishops as successors of Peter and his fellow Apostles and as divinely ordained teachers and rulers of the Church, never wavered. And he saw the role of the Society in the Church to-day as being loyally and fully supportive of papal teaching and policy, in every field and in every detail, in every place and at all times. Much prayer and study, much discernment and self-discipline led him to lay aside all private judgment and “to obey in all things the true spouse of Christ our Lord, the Hierarchical Church”.
During 1952-53, he made his Tertianship under his former Master of Novices, Fr John Neary. He welcomed this opportunity to deepen his understanding of the Institute of the Society and of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This understanding was to serve him well when he was elected as a delegate to the General Congregation in 1965. He attended both sessions of this Congregation, during the first of which, he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province, an appointment which was announced on August 5th, 1965. To this office he brought the fruits of thirteen years of varied administrative experience, a year as Minister in Galway, followed by four years as Minister in Milltown Park. In 1952, he was appointed Superior and Bursar of the Apostolic School at Mungret College. In the early summer of 1959, his appointment as Socius to : Fr Michael O'Grady was announced. He continued on as Socius to Fr Charles O'Conor on his becoming Provincial in July, 1959. Fr O'Conor recalls those days: “Although Fr Barry had already been a member of the Province for over twenty years, it was not until 1959 that our paths first crossed, One afternoon towards the end of May of that year, we found ourselves leaving Eglinton Road together armed with the knowledge that we were to be Provincial and Socius in the near future. We were both wondering, no doubt, how this hitherto unforeseen alliance would work out. In the sequel it fared very well. Once the initial stages had been passed, we found ourselves firm friends and remained so ever since”.
In ordinary circumstances, it could have been expected that he would remain as Socius for a longer term. Apart from this being a tradition in the Province, Fr Brendan brought to this Office a knowledge and love of the Institute and an administrative capacity and experience of a high order. But it was not to be. Indeed, as subsequent events will show, the fragmentary nature of his apostolate was to continue throughout his entire career. In the summer of 1962, he was appointed Rector of Milltown Park in succession to Fr James Corboy. Thus, after an absence of four years, he returned to a house where almost a third of his religious life in fact was spent, In August 1965, his “apprenticeship” being completed, he crossed over the Milltown Road to take up residence in 85 Eglinton Road as Provincial. During his three years in this office he was responsible for many initiatives. In his anxiety to get the best advice on many, difficult problems, he set up the following : the Commission for Studies and Training of Ours; the Commission on Ministries, the Social Survey; the Man-Power Planning Commission; the Commission on our Brothers; the Advisory Committee on Comprehensive Schools. He saw clearly that, in regard to our apostolic works and the manner in which we conducted them, it was vital that we recognise that we were living in a world of rapid and profound changes and that we be ready to adapt our ministries and methods to meet these changes. In this connection, too, he stressed the value of community discussions on all our problems, local and provincial, for he saw that it was necessary not only to arrive at the correct solutions, but also to enlighten one another about the reasons for consequent changes. He knew that such discussions involved “self-denial in working together at a common task” but he also knew that they were, today, recommended to us all both by the Church and by the Society. His, too, was the final decision to build a new Retreat House with a Circular Chapel at Manresa, Dollymount. During his years as Provincial, he visited our Mission in Zambia and concluded a friendly pact with the newly independent Vice-Province of Hong Kong. Among the many assessments of his work in the Province up to this point, the following by his former Provincial and life-long friend, Fr John R MacMahon, summarizes what many members of the Province should like to say: “In a way I knew him well. As my Minister in Milltown, as my Rector there and as Provincial, he impressed me as being a loyal and efficient assistant, a prudent and kindly Superior and as a courageous and faithful ruler. I refrain from using superlatives, though they are richly deserved. If I wanted an ‘Imago optimi Superioris’, I would find it in him”.
Now, looking back over his life, I am of the opinion that if he was drawn to one Jesuit ministry more than another, it was to the giving of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to priests, religious and to the People of God. As Minister and Rector of Milltown, he gave many a week-end Retreat. As Provincial he encouraged the holding of Seminars and other meetings for those engaged in this ministry. In his letter of September 1967, he urged Retreat-Directors not to spare themselves in trying to think themselves into the minds of retreatants, giving what is most suitable to young and old alike. It was fitting, then, when he was relieved of the responsibility for the whole Province, that he should, after a brief period as Minister and Bursar in the College of Industrial Relations, spend what were in fact to be his last years as a director of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In this miniştry, he excelled, and he ran by faith to this work of bringing Christian life and hope to dead and despairing men and women, Between July 1969, and January 1972, a period of two and a half years, he directed three Retreats of 30 days-two to students at Clonliffe and one to the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Gortnor Abbey..seventeen eight-day retreats, seven six-day retreats, twenty tridua, several days of recollection, and one Novena of Grace. Right up to the end his one anxiety was that he would not have enough to do. His programme for 1972 already included six retreats in succession, between June and July, followed by a 30 day retreat in August and another in September October. He was booked, also, to give a third 30 day retreat to Loreto Nuns in Johannesburg, South Africa in December next. In all this, he felt confidently prepared; and how well prepared he was, is attested by tributes from religious in all parts of the country and of England.
The following will suffice as being typical of all: “I know that many of our sisters valued his personal direction and advice. I have been very much struck by the fact that he is so much regretted by
people of such different age-groups and of widely different views. He, undoubtedly, understood the young and was greatly trusted by them. They valued his honesty and appreciated especially his wide knowledge of Council documents. But, I think that he will be best remembered in our Irish Province for his retreats. In particular, I have heard many sisters mention a Superior's retreat which he directed, based on the Gospel of St. John, and, as he changed his retreat so often, this may not be the one you know. Every Sister I met who made that retreat has spoken of it as an exceptional spiritual experience”.
Before concluding this notice, it will be of interest to have a record of some of the judgments passed on his life and work by ours and by others for whom he worked. The following are typical examples : “Brendan was by disposition undemonstrative and retiring but he was incisive in his assessments of people and situations. He was most conscientious in regard to his work and very loyal to his friends. He could be sensitive in some matters and wonderfully resilient in others”. “He was somewhat reserved and he did not wear his heart upon his sleeve. But, there was no doubt about the depth of his sincerity and I looked on him as a true friend on whose sympathy and solid help I could rely. This may seem too formal, even frigid. It may give a false impression. Perhaps, I, too, don't wear my heart on my sleeve”. “I was always impressed by his great sincerity, by his balanced judgment, by his generous and completely detached spirit of service, by his simplicity, his kindly tolerance and his sense of humour”. “His was a sane and balanced approach, in his own homely style, he flavoured his talks with his own dry humour, e.g. ‘the modem superior can't be remote. If he is remote, they write him off! If he is not remote, his personal faults stand out - the boys know!’” “We have lost in Fr Barry a dedicated friend, an enlightened spiritual guide, whose humility and limpid sincerity were notable characteristics of his personality”.
For myself, in the quarter of a century that I have known him, I had come to see his fine physical stature as a living symbol of the greatness of his mind and heart. He had a mind that could go to the heart of any question and his judgments of men and affairs were rarely wrong. While he did not suffer fools gladly, he did feel and sympathised with the failures and follies of his fellow men. He was less interested in condemning a man than in seeking a practical solution to his problems. He was loyal to commitments and to persons. He was not a respecter of persons and friendship for him never degenerated into favouritism. He was, in truth, detached even from his friends. Though like most men, he had need of friends, in whose company he could relax and come out of himself and relieve the inner loneliness that dwells in the heart of every man. This loneliness is said to be more keenly felt by those whose ministry separates them from community life. In the last few years, Fr Brendan was always happy to return from his frequent ‘missionary expeditions to the Community at “35”, where he found a homely welcome and congenial company. The knowledge of this was not the least of this Community's consolations at the time of his sudden death at the comparatively early age of 52. The Irish Province has lost one of its really great men; his spiritual children have lost a sympathetic guide and his friends everywhere a man whose judgment and companionship were a source of encouragement and strength. May he rest in peace.

An appreciation by Most Reverend Dr. Joseph A. Carroll, President of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe
It is no easy tasks nowadays to give the Thirty Days Retreat. The classic material has to be adapted to the new mentality and up dated in accordance with the new insights in Sacred Scripture and Theology. It is as true as ever that the success of the Retreat de pends to a large extent, under God, on the qualities of the Director. Young people to-day are not particularly impressed with a man's erudition nor even with his eloquence. What they look for and are quick to recognise is his sincerity. Father Brendan was both erudite and eloquent but his outstanding quality, as we saw him, was hs sincerity. It was patent to all. When one adds to this an immense patience and capacity for listening, a complete dedication to the task, a large fund of common sense and a keen sense of humour, one begins to understand how the Thirty Days Retreat that could so easily be a burden was not simply tolerable but decidedly acceptable to our Second Year students. I have a distinct recollection of meeting one of them during the Retreat last year and asking him how things were going. “Father Barry”, he said “is terrific”. The fact that they asked him to return on more than one occasion to give a Day of Recollection is a measure of their appreciation. He will be greatly missed in the College. With his unassuming manner and the twinkling bashful smile he had won the affection of the Staff. We always welcomed him as an amiable companion during the Thirty Days he spent with us each year. May he rest in peace.

NB - Members of the Province may not have known that Father Brendan was on the staff of the Mater Dei Institute of Education, He gave occasional lectures to the students there on the spiritual life. Right up to his death, he frequently offered Mass in the Oratory of the Institute and preached a homily. The Director of the Institute, Father Patrick Wallace in the course of a recent letter writes: “To the students of the Mater Dei Institute Father Brendan Barry, SJ, was a man of God. He spoke so convincingly of the need for prayer, he treated every problem so calmly, he showed such respect for everyone who met him that one had to conclude that here was a man who had a deep experience of God in his own prayer life, who had received God's guidance in tackling the problems life had posed for him, who had reached the heights of appreciating the dignity of every man as a brother in Christ. In the homily delivered at the Requiem Mass in the Institute the celebrant spoke for us all when he said 'while we mourn the loss of Father Barry we rejoice that through him the Spirit of Christ was visibly active among us for so long'. The above sentiments are genuinely the sentiments of the students and the staff”.

Barry, James, 1925-2002, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/555
  • Person
  • 23 July 1925-27 November 2002

Born: 23 July 1925, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 11 March 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 27 November 2002, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin community at the time of death

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Barry (1925-2002)

23rd July 1925: Born in Mallow, Co. Cork
Early education in St Peter's, Bray, and Presentation College, Bray
11 March 1944: Entered the Society at Emo
12th March 1946: First Vows at Emo
1946 - 1956: Emo- Gardening.
15h August 1955: Final Vows
1956 - 1958: Milltown Park - Gardening, Farming
1958 - 1964: Clongowes - Supervisor of Staff
1964 - 1965: St. Ignatius, Galway - Supervisor of Staff.
1965 - 1974: Catholic Workers College - Assisted in the Community
1974 - 1975: Crescent/Mungret - arranging for closing down of school buildings
1975 - 1991: Gonzaga College - Supervisor in College; Sacristan
1991 - 2002: Leeson Street -
1991 - 1997: Minister; Assistant Treasurer
1997 - 2002: Minister; Assistant Treasurer; Health Prefect

Following several months of concern about his health among members of his community, Jim was prevailed upon to go to Cherryfield for a rest on 25th October, 2002. He was transferred to St. Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 4th November, where he was diagnosed as having an advanced form of lung cancer. He was half-way through a course of radium treatment, when his condition deteriorated suddenly on the evening of Sunday, 24 November, and he was found to have contracted pneumonia. That night, and during the following day, he experienced periods of distress, but on Tuesday he became more comfortable, and slipped into a coma. He died peacefully on Wednesday, 27" November, at about 7.30 p.m.

Fergus O'Keefe writes:
Jim Barry may have been born in North Cork but his first years were spent in West Cork. His father lived and worked in Timoleague. Jim always identified with his native county's successes in hurling and gaelic football. The family moved to Bray, where he received his early education. He always remained close to his family and was a regular visitor to his brother's and sister's homes in Bray. One nephew, Oliver Barry, an Oblate, is a parish priest in England.

Jim spent thirteen years in Emo as postulant, novice, refectorian and gardener. He had a powerful physique, tall, spare and strong. A novice on experiment in those days tells of being put standing on the head of the refectory squeegee, already weighted with lumps of lead, while Jim hauled it to and fro to bring up the shine on the waxed floor. He had a droll sense of humour, asking another novice, “Do you know how to play darts?" "Then dart down there with some plates.” At harvest time when all hands used be called to the farmyard to help, Jim was to be seen heaving huge sacks of grain effortlessly from the threshing machine to the waiting trailer. When the novices, teenage townies most of them, would begin to wilt, Jim would spur them on with an encouraging word and that memorable basso-profundo chuckle that seemed to rumble up from his boots. He was a faithful supporter of the local Emo footballers and would often travel to matches or to Croke Park with them.

For ten years (1946-1956) Jim worked in the walled garden at Emo with John Treacy who had worked there in earlier times under the head-gardener, Dan Deegan. Dan could remember the Earl of Portarlington on horseback marking out with canes the spots where the Wellingtonia avenue saplings were to be planted. John used to speak, engagingly, of “the Lord's time”. Years later when Jim was in Dublin the papers carried a death notice for a John Treacy in Emo. Several members of the Province travelled to Emo for the funeral, only to discover that retired gardener John was in attendance, too. Next time the canny Jim was visiting Emo, John chided him, “You never came to my funeral!”

After two years spent in the garden and on the farm at Milltown Park, Jim was appointed to Clongowes. From 1958 to 1964 he had charge of the many staff there, skilled and unskilled. Most of the refectory and cleaning staff then were young lads who lived on the premises. Jim's room adjoined their dormitory (now the SRPA loft) and he would have had them into work by 6 a.m. In those days there were no summer projects, as now, when staff could be retained and gainfully employed while school was out. Instead Jim organised ambitious schemes, joining in the work - and the fun - himself. One year it was all hands on deck to rip up the worn-out wooden floorboards of the boys' refectory. Dry fill was wheel-barrowed in, concrete poured and skimmed, tiles laid and sealed – a perfect finish, still good to this day. In the course of another summer, indoor and outdoor staffs combined to surface the entire length of the side avenue, boiling the tar, spreading it, coating it with limestone chippings and rolling it, proud as punch and enjoying themselves in the summer sunshine under Jim's genial supervision.

A year in Galway was followed by nine assisting in the community at the Catholic Workers College. Changes of Jesuit personnel and policy in what became the College of Industrial Relations did not affect Jim greatly and he always seemed content there, getting on well with community, staff and students alike.

In 1974 he was chosen for a daunting task - to assist Fr Scan McCarron in closing down Mungret College, disposing of furniture, etc. One morning Sean failed to turn up for Mass. Jim went to his room and found him dead. Being on his own after that, he was anxious about security; so he spread the rumour among the locals that the college was haunted. If Jim was to be believed (frequently problematic – Jim was a past master at 'codding', the national pastime), the rumour was not unfounded. One night the remains of several Jesuits that had been exhumed from a small burial plot close to the school were being held on the premises in readiness for reinterment next day in the enlarged Jesuit plot in the old Mungret Abbey cemetery. As Jim told it, Sean and himself were wakened in the middle of that same night by persistent ringing on the door bell.

Except for that year in Mungret, from 1964 on Jim was to then spend thirty-six years in Dublin. In those days he was a familiar, if incongruous, sight setting off to visit family in Bray, this gentle giant on his wee Honda 50. There was a touch of bravado about his regular trips to the Forty Foot for the Christmas Day swim and many an afternoon in between, wrapped only in a faded gaberdene. No leathers for Jim! No persuading him to invest in a bigger bike. He had always tried to save money wherever he had worked; so he was never going to start spending on himself.

As part of the administrative team at Gonzaga (1975 1991), Jim was, as one colleague recalls, "very dependable, a great companion." He related well with staff, treating all with respect and good humour. Some became his friends for life. Standards of maintenance, decoration and cleanliness improved greatly under his leadership. With the proliferation of prefabs, so difficult to keep clean, Gonzaga, of all places, had become a bit of a slum. Jim and his staff were happy to see the end of them. He coped well with two successive sets of contractors, come on site to build, first, the eight-classroom block and, later, the science building. With his keen eye for good workers, he spotted a likely candidate for groundsman in the foreman on the latter building. Typical of Jim's tongue-in-cheek humour was his instruction, to the consternation of the same groundsman, that the great purple beech on the front lawn, the glory of the college grounds, would have to come down. Needless to say, it is still standing, as magnificent as ever.

Those were happy years for Jim. The boys used to crowd into his little office at breaks to join in the craic. He shared their enthusiasms, especially for sport. The boys were fond of him - he was a ready and sympathetic listener. In his own schooldays at Presentation College, Bray, he had been known to take a penalty at soccer with such force that it carried both ball and goalie to the back of the net. His rugby loyalties were divided between Gonzaga and Pres Bray, where a nephew was on the cup team. Jim supported winners and was annoyed when Gonzaga let the Senior Cup slip out of their grasp in the semi final. He switched allegiance to Liverpool at a time when they were on the up-and-up in the League.

It was the same when Jim went to the races. He always seemed to back winners; at least, the community never heard of him losing. He loved horses and claimed to be able to spot the winner by “the glint in the eye”. Even for years after Jim had left Gonzaga, appreciative parents would present him with an annual pass to the enclosure at Leopardstown Racecourse. At the races past students would gather round as soon as they saw him. At Jim's funeral the mother of a past Gonzagan spoke of him as “a dote”. She recalled that whenever the parents were organising a function he would welcome them with a warm smile and would have everything they needed set out for them.

Sadly, in latter years Jim seemed to lack the energy to attend race meetings. His years at Leeson St (1991-2002) were dogged by ill-health, yet he was determined to carry out to the full all his tasks as Minister, Assistant Treasurer and Health Prefect. His total dedication, even when his energies were fading, was remarkable. Rather than look for help, he would still try to do everything himself, even when he was no longer able. His feet gave him trouble; he couldn't walk or stand for any length of time. His prayer-life was undemonstrative. Every morning he would spend half-an-hour in the community oratory and again ten minutes at night.

Over his last few weeks at St. Vincent's Private Hospital his sheer goodness made a deep impression on the staff there. Despite his suffering and weakness he was totally undemanding, He never once rang the bell for assistance. Most of all, the nurses loved his smile, bashful maybe, but always warm. The only word his friend Fr Todd Morrissey heard him say was “Tough going”.

-oOo-

In the November issue of the Messenger, Paul Andrews writes of Jim: “Fifteen years ago he was operated on for cancer, something went wrong, and he was at the point of death. Later he told me about the day of extreme crisis. Though apparently unconscious, he was aware of a sense of foreboding around his hospital bed, and he felt his body in terrible shape while medics worked feverishly to keep him alive. Then Jim's mind withdrew from the body, and he remembers moving across a bridge towards a bright, beautiful place on the other side. He was happy, buoyed up by a feeling of joy and anticipation. Round the middle of the bridge the joy was interrupted. People were pulling him back, and when he came to himself he was, sadly, in the hospital bed, in a painfully sick body, disappointed and rather angry at being hauled back from happiness. For the next fourteen years he laboured in an increasingly sick body, and was noted for his tender care of sick people. Perhaps he could convey to those who were facing the end, that there was a lot to look forward to, and that the last act of life is beautiful. When his final sickness overtook him, he went in extraordinary peace”.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1991

Appreciation

Jim Barry SJ

Brother Barry, Jim to his friends, left Gonzaga this summer quietly and unexpectedly. He occupied the post of Administrator for seventeen years. Jim is a big man, strong and quietly courageous. Gonzaga's urban setting and attractive grounds have made it the target of occasional hostility. Jim's determination stood the test of many such an unpleasantness. The school's ivory redoubts had a powerful defender. His practical abilities were many and varied. He repaired broken windows, hacksawed sealed lockers, repaired over-head projectors with equal patience and thoroughness.

He was most frequently found, untipped cigarette in hand, seated in his narrow Spartan office. To offer him a 'safer' brand was to cause him quiet amusement. He welcomed callers, who frequently remained conversing until displaced by his next client. He became confidant to students whose status did not normally bring them into benign contact with adults. He had a remarkable understanding of and tough sympathy for the marginalised underdog. His influence in certain circles was as considerable as it was informal. He was unofficial Form-Tutor to the Gonzaga underworld.

Jim's comments were refreshingly free from the evasions and obfuscation of institutional man. His analysis of school current affairs had an uncompromising clarity, simple yet thought provoking.

His role involved a complex of major and minor responsibilities. They ranged in time from 8 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night. They varied, expanded or contracted entirely, frustratingly at the whim of others. He opened all doors, conferring all keys. To lose one was, in his eyes, the grossest of moral turpitudes. Staff members who erred in this regard skulked belatedly to his office to cringe and be shriven. They received a replacement key imploding painfully under his querulous gaze. One staff member was so fearful and guilt-ridden that he changed the lock on his classroom door, financing the deceit himself. Inevitably, Jim discovered this crime and sentenced him to years of internal exile. He had subtle ways of exercising sanctions against those who would not accept his standard of security or order.

His interests extended well beyond the perimeter of the College. He was a keen racing man and follower of Gaelic football. When his beloved Cork was playing, Jim had no time for objective comment. You were 'for him or agin him’ in most things. His willingness to be available each day to carry out often irritating tasks patiently and efficiently was at times truly heroic. I will remember his tall strong figure with waves of pupils washing around him as he dispensed Mars bars and packets of biscuits at lunch-time.

John Mulgrew

Barthélemy, Marc, 1857-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/907
  • Person
  • 16 January 1857-17 November 1913

Born: 16 January 1857, Rouen, Normany, France
Entered: 22 November 1874, Angers, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1888
Final vows: 08 September 1895
Died: 17 November 1913, Bulawayo, Northern Rhodesia - Franciae Province (FRA)

by 1886 came to Mungret (HIB) for Regency

Bartley, Patrick, 1879-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/61
  • Person
  • 05 December 1879-09 May1941

Born: 05 December 1879, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 30 July 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 09 May 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1903 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1906 in Saint Joseph’s College, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 3 1941

Obituary :
Father Patrick Bartley
Fr. Patrick Bartley was born near Boher (Grange), in Co. Limerick on December 5, 1879. He attended Crescent College, Limerick as a day pupil for some years, but at the early age of fifteen he entered the Noviceship (Tullabeg) in 1894. After the Noviciate he crossed over to the Juniorate in the same house, commencing his studies for the Royal University of Ireland examination which he passed with high distinction till he obtained his M.A. Degree (Classical) in 1901. He was then sent to St. Helier in Jersey, where he studied Philosophy for two years. In 1904 he was appointed to Belvedere College, Dublin, as teacher, Assistant-prefect of Studies. But in the following year he was one of a small group chosen to study Oriental Languages at the University St. Joseph, Beirut, Syria. In 1906 he returned to his native land - and county - acting again as teacher for two years in Mungret College, Limerick (1907-1909). In September, 1909, he began the study of Theology in Milltown Park, where he was destined to spend most of the rest of his life. He finished his Theological course there in 1912. Tertianship in Tullabeg followed immediately (1912-13), after which he was again sent to Mungret College to resume his teaching career and act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. In 1915 he was appointed professor of Church History and Hebrew in Milltown Park. In 1918 he became professor of Philosophy, helping to inaugurate our Irish Philosophate. When this was transferred to Tullabeg in 1922 he took over the chair of Scripture in Milltown Park, which with Hebrew remained his appointed task till the end. From 1923 onwards he also acted as Prefect of Studies. On May 9, 1941, he died. Such in outline was his career; and it shows that he was preeminently a student and scholar, leading what Cicero calls the vita umbratilis. It gives, however, but an inadequate idea of the depth of his erudition or the singular charm of his character. Only those who had the privilege of living in intimate daily intercourse with him could fully appreciate either his encyclopaedia knowledge, which a marked reserve together with a deep humility concealed from unobservant eyes, or that gentleness of disposition which made him one of the most loveable of men. It may be doubted if anyone ever detected the least manifestation of anger on his part by as much as a gesture. This did not spring from weakness of character or the lack of decisive views. On the contrary, for he had very strong convictions and a quiet obstinacy all his own. But he lacked inclination towards or aptitude for any kind of strife. It would have been difficult to pick a quarrel with him, if anyone ever had the desire, which was never the case. No doubt much of all this serenity was natural to him, the result of a wise sagaciousness which made him see the foolishness of all brawling. But there was obviously much more than that in the unwavering victory of good humour, kindliness and tolerance over all the instability, pettiness, jealousy and selfishness which seem to adhere to the very bones of fallen humanity. Father Bartley was as little given to parading piety as to parading learning. Yet one felt that it was there, deep, solid and efficacious, making one who was by nature a gentleman, by grace an every way admirable and wholly religious. The patience with which he bore the more than ordinary share of sickness that came his way was further proof of this. As a quite young man he appeared to 'enjoy perfect health. In his early years in Tullabeg he was both fond of, and skilled in, all out-door sports and recreations. Tall, lithe and very swift of foot. he excelled in football and tennis, while he was an excellent swimmer and one of the champion walkers of the community. But before he had finished his University studies - while preparing for his M.A. degree - he began to suffer from some internal trouble which necessitated at least one major operation and some lesser ones. To outward appearance he made a complete recovery. Yet it was soon apparent that the old physical energy and vitality were gone. He grew more and more sedentary in his habits as the years went by, until a short solitary walk was almost all the exercise he cared for. Falling a little into flesh in consequence, he had the air of one with whom all 'was not well in spite of his impressive size and fine appearance. Yet no word of complaint was ever heard from him, and until forced to take a change or a rest by the doctor, he kept so consistently to the even tenor of his days, and, above all, was so cheerful and good tempered, that few would suspect him of being ill at all. Only towards the end did his looks betray how rapidly he was ageing and failing. And even in his last sickness, when it was clear that he could not recover, he retained to the end the tranquil serenity which had always characterised him. His whole life was of a single pattern - but a rare and noble one. Few men of his calibre can have lived quite so unknown to the outside world. But few will be more regretted or missed in the circle where he moved.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Bartley 1879-1941
Fr Patrick Bartley was born near Boher County Limerick on December 5th 1879. He entered the Society at the age of fifteen in 1894. Having read a brilliant course in the Royal University Dublin, he studied Oriental languages for some years in the University of Beirut.

From 1915-1941 he spent his life in Milltown Park as Professor of Scripture and Prefect of Studies. A man of child-like simplicity, in spite of his great intellectual ability, he was ever regarded with affectionate respect by generations of theologians at Milltown Park.

He died on August 9th 1941, some years before his brother and fellow Fr Jesuit Stephen Bartley.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Patrick Bartley SJ

Past students who were in Mungret in the years 1907-09, and 1914-15 will learn with regret of the death of Father Patrick Bartley SJ. Father Bartley was educated at the Sacred Heart College, Crescent, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1894. He was a brilliant classical scholar, taking out his BA degree at the Royal University with first places in Greek and Latin, and subsequently his MA degree in the same subjects. After completing his course of Philosophy he then went to the East and spent two years at the University of Beirut, Syria, studying Oriental languages. On his return to Europe he joined the teaching staff at Mungret where he taught classics to the 1st and 2nd Arts classes. After his ordination he spent a year at Mungret.

In 1915 he was appointed to the staff of Milltown Park, where he filled the post of Professor of Hebrew and Sacred Scripture as well as lecturing on Philosophy and Theology. After an illness borne with exemplary patience and fortitude he died, on May 9th, 1941.

Bartley, Stephen, 1890-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/62
  • Person
  • 25 December 1890-17 May 1955

Born: 25 December 1890, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 17 May 1955, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

Part of St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois community at the time of his death.
by 1911 at Cividale del Friuli, Udine Italy (VEM) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 30th Year No 3 1955

Obituary :
Father Stephen Bartley 1890-1955
Born on Christmas Day, 1890, at Grange (Boher), Co. Limerick, Fr. Stephen Bartley was educated at the Crescent and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1906, where he also did his juniorate before going to Cividale in Italy for philosophy. His years of regency were spent in Clongowes and in 1922 he was ordained at Milltown Park. With the exception of one interval as Minister in Milltown his whole priestly life was to be spent in Tullabeg, where he was Minister, Procurator and Rector, and in Emo, where he was Procurator for the last eleven years of his life. He died in St. Vincent's Hospital on May 17th.
Many of the qualities that went to make the man as we knew him came with the boy Stephen Bartley from the Co. Limerick farm: a traditional Irish Catholic faith, simple and undemonstrative though rooted deep; a loyalty to men and causes that, once given, was unwavering; a reserve shy to the: verge of secretiveness; an asceticism which had much of stoicism; a memory retentive of facts and a keen mind to order them; an eye for the best in man and beast and soil and a shrewd sense of money which, while never mean, had the millionaire's conviction of the value of a farthing. Those were talents out of the ordinary and within the limits of chronic ill-health-and at times beyond Stephen Bartley traded with them to the full. As Minister, Rector and Procurator he served the Province and the three houses in which his life was lived with devoted loyalty; and few, if any, excelled him in the heroic art of reading the greater glory of God from the prosaic pages of journals and ledgers. His antique battered fountain-pen has the quality of a relic. Barred from the pulpit by ill-health he was to find in the Confessional the spiritual outlet for his zeal. For 17 years his “box” in the People's Church in Tullabeg was a place of pilgrimage; and it would be hard to overestimate the veneration and esteem in which people of every walk in life held him. In Emo he became the valued confessor and confidant of the local clergy and he directed and consoled by letter many of the clients of his Tullabeg days. Many too are those in his own communities who must bear him lasting gratitude for his prudent and kindly guidance. Heroic in the quality of his hidden service to the Society and to souls, he was no less heroic in his acceptance of almost constant discomfort and suffering, Only in the last years of his life was it possible to get round him to make any real concession to his needs. His fire was a community joke; the few medicines he bothered to take were asked for with the simplicity of a novice; he had to be forced to take a holiday. It is probably true to say that no one ever heard him complain - certainly not of anything that concerned his personal requirements.
His very deep love for the Society found a suitable expression in his devotion to community life. His pleasure in recreation was a pleasure to see and save, when overwhelmed by numbers, he took full part in it. Secretly addicted to the reading of P. G. Wodehouse and Curly Wee, he had an unexpected turn of humour that stood him in good stead when parrying the recreational thrusts of his brethren or avoiding coming to too close quarters with some importunate query or request. His answers in such dilemmas have become part of the Province folk-lore. To a Father commiserating with him on the poisoning of a cow he replied gravely: “As a matter of fact, Father, we had one too many”. And after 20 years, one must still chuckle at the discomfiture of the scholastic who asked leave to go to a hurling match : “It wouldn't be worth it, Mr. X. All the best hurlers have gone to America”.
His peaceful and undemonstrative death was utterly in keeping with his life. The humour perhaps was in grimmer key when he begged his Rector not to allow an operation: “I'm not an insurable life, Father”. But his life's dedication to obedience's appointed task was all of a piece. Almost the last words he spoke were: “Everything will be found in order. I have brought the books up to date”. We cannot help being convinced that they are echoed in eternity.

Bates, Stephen, 1906-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/485
  • Person
  • 26 December 1906-27 June 1990

Born: 26 December 1906, Rahan, County Offaly
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 June 1990, Dublin

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.

Full Name James Stephen Bates

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

Bellew, Christopher, 1818-1867, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/63
  • Person
  • 25 July 1818-18 March 1867

Born: 25 July 1818, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 11 February 1850, Issenheim, Alsace, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1856, Montaubon, France
Final vows: 03 December 1866
Died: 18 March 1867, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Older brother of Michael RIP 1868

by 1853 at Vals, France (TOLO)
by 1854 in Cologne, Germany (GER) studying Theology 1
by 1855 at Malta College (ANG) for Regency
by 1857 at Montauban, France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Older brother of Michael RIP 1868. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.
After his early education in Grammar and Humanities, he went to Trinity. As he was an eldest so, his family wanted to prepare him as the future representative of the family in an understanding of Society and Politics. So he also travelled much in Europe for that purpose.
In about 1840 a “fashionable marriage” was announced in the Press between the eldest son of and old Catholic Baronet, and the eldest daughter of an old Protestant Baronet, Sir John Burke of Marble Hall. All preparations were in place and the bridegroom went to Clongowes to make a Retreat before his marriage. His younger brother Michael, already being in the Society, meant that the interest of the Community is Christopher was higher than usual. he impressed all with his piety. Waiting for news of the marriage, it seemed to have been delayed, and after a while, there was a rumour that he was in a Novitiate on the Continent. Apparently an issue had arisen which had proven a stumbling block, namely Christopher’s insistence that any children should be raised Catholic. He communicated this to his bride whilst on retreat. A suggestion came back from her family that perhaps any girls would stay with the mother’s religion. Christopher responded by saying that he could not accept this arrangement. He wrote again indicating that the only solution was to relieve her of her promise, and to declare arrangements at an end. Her family wrote back acceding to his request that the children would all be Catholics, but this letter arrived too late - he had left Clongowes, and nobody knew where he was. For some years he did not return to Ireland, and when he did, he was Rev Christopher Bellew SJ. In the meantime, Miss Burke had herself become a Catholic, and lead a very holy life, remaining single, and devoting her life to charitable works.
Christopher joined the Society at Issenheim in France, and after First Vows, began studies in Philosophy at Vals, France. He was later sent to teach Grammar at a TOLO College. While there he became ill, and so was sent to Malta, where he remained as a Teacher for two years. He then returned to France and was Ordained there 1856 at Montaubon.
He then returned to Ireland and spent three years teaching at Colleges.
1859 He was sent to the Dublin Residence as Operarius, and remained there until his death 18 March 1867. He had been very zealous in the hard work of the Confessional.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christopher Bellew 1818-1867
The life of Christopher Bellew reads like some edifying romantic tale. He was born in Mount Bellew County Galway, the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Baronet. From his earliest years he had a great knowledge and love of the Society, for during his father’s lifetime “Ours” used frequently visit the family mansion, and stay a few days there.
Having completed his early studies, he was sent by his family to Trinity College Dublin, where he went through a distinguished course. He then travelled extensively on the continent to complete his education.
About the year 1840, his forthcoming marriage to the eldest daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, was announced in the Press. The bridegroom came to Clongowes to make a retreat prior to his marriage. Needless to say the Community at Clongowes were intensely interested in the matter, especially as Christopher’s younger brother Michael was already a Jesuit. Weeks passed, and still no account in the papers of this fashionable marriage. At length a rumour started which grew into a certainty, that the bridegroom was in a Jesuit noviceship somewhere on the continent.

What had happened was this : All the preliminaries to the marriage had been settled except one, the religion of the children, as the intended bride was a Protestant. According to a custom, which rightly or wrongly existed at the time, the bride’s family insisted that the girls of the marriage should follow the religion of their mother. To this condition the bridegroom would not agree, and he wrote to say that he released the young lade from her promise and that the negotiations were at an end.

The upshot of this was that the young lade became a Catholic and led a holy life in single blessedness, devoting her time to works of charity.

Christopher entered the noviceship at Issenheim in Alsace. He was ordained priest at Montaubon in 1856. Recalled to Ireland, he taught for three years in the Colleges, and then was stationed for the rest of his life at Gardiner Street. There he was an outstanding operarius, zealous and untiring in the confessional.

He died on March 18th 1867. He succeeded his father Sir Michael Bellew in 1855, and is listed in Burke’s Peerage as the Reverend Sir Christopher Bellew.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Christopher Bellew (1818-1867)

Was master at the Crescent from 1860 to 1861 and again from 1862- to 1864. He was the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Bart, of Mountbellew Bridge, Co Galway. After his studies at Clongowes, he entered Trinity College, Dublin and later got a commission in the army. He was heir to the title and family property but resigned his claims in 1850 to enter the Society. The story of his call to the religious life is curious, if not even romantic. From his family's viewpoint, he had made an excellent match in becoming engaged to the daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, Co Galway. Unfortunately, his bride-to-be was a Protestant, and her family insisted, according to the custom of the time, that any daughters born of the marriage should follow their mother's religious beliefs. Young Bellew, as the time for the marriage-ceremony approached, decided to return to Clongowes to make a retreat under one of his old masters. During his stay at Clongowes, he wrote to Sir John Burke, insisting that all children of the marriage must be Catholics. The Burkes replied that they could not accede to his demands. Bellew now intimated that he felt bound in conscience to terminate the engagement. This time, the Burkes, anxious that the marriage should be gone on with, waived their demands on the religion of their future grand-daughters. But the letter arrived too late to find him. Christopher Bellew had gone abroad. Later it was learned that he had entered the Society in Alsace. On the completion of his noviceship, he entered on his philosophy studies at Vals in the Lyons Province of the Society, and is next heard of as master in a Jesuit College of the Toulouse Province and later in Malta. He returned to France for the study of theology and was ordained at Montauban. Here, it can be recalled, that his former bride-to-be, Miss Burke of Marble Hall, on learning of Christopher's vocation, became a Catholic herself. She never married but spent her life in works of zeal and charity.

Father Bellew's priestly life was short. After his time in the Crescent, he was transferred to Gardiner St Church where he died three years later. Old newspapers of the time refer to him as “The Rev Sir Christopher Bellew, Bart, SJ”. He never used the title himself, although he could not legally renounce it. He was long remembered at Gardiner St Church as a zealous priest, especially in the laborious work of the confessional.

Benn, William J, 1882-1952, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/917
  • Person
  • 06 May 1882-21 February 1951

Born: 06 May 1882, Castleconnell, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 June 1915, Woodstock College MD, USA
Final vows: 02 February 1919
Died: 21 February 1951, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1903; TAUR to CAL : 1909; CAL to ORE

Benson, Patrick J, 1923-1970, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/735
  • Person
  • 19 December 1923-15 May 1970

Born: 19 December 1923, Kilkishen, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 15 May 1970, Fordham University, The Bronx, New York, USA - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The suddenness of Fr Paddy's death came as a great shock. He had left Chikuni for a well deserved leave in January 1970 and during the course of that leave went to the USA to do some career guidance. He had been doing this at Canisius Secondary School with great success and went overseas to acquire the latest techniques. He was staying at Fordham University when he died, and an extract from a letter from the Rector there, Fr James Hennessey S. J., gave the details of Fr Paddy's death:

"He had been here a month and we were delighted to have him. Rarely has anyone fitted into the community so well. He was always pleasant and his humour was delightful, he went about his business seriously and impressed all who came into contact with him. He was cheerful to the last; several who were with him at dinner last evening remembered that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br Bernard F.M.S., came to call for him. They had planned to spend the day together. It was about 10 a.m. and when Paddy did not answer, he went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary".

Paddy was born in Co. Clare, Ireland, on 19th December 1923, an only child. He went to St Flannan's College in Co. Clare and after his final year in school, entered the Society on 7 September 1942 much to the regret of the diocesan clergy who would have liked him for the diocese. He went through the usual training in the Society doing his regency at Belvedere and Mungret. While at these places he was known for his selflessness and the memory everyone had of Fr. Paddy was of his willingness to help others in any way he could. He was ordained at Milltown Park on the 31st July 1956, a happy event which was tempered by the fact that neither of his parents lived to see him ordained. After his tertianship he came to Zambia.

After spending some time learning the language, he became Manager of Schools for a year, then did two years at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College and finally came to Canisius in 1962, as Senior Prefect, a position he held until 1969 when he was acting principal for almost a year.

If one were to pick out two virtues in Fr Paddy, all would agree that his ever-cheerfulness and readiness to help others are the two outstanding ones. He was a man who rarely thought of himself or his own comfort and this combined with a simplicity of soul, endeared him to all who had dealings with him. In all the houses in which he had been, he left his mark, for he was gifted with his hands and electricity had always been his chief hobby. In Milltown Park, Dublin he did the wiring for the telephone system while he was studying there. In many houses in Zambia, both in the Society and elsewhere, there are "many things electrical" which are working due to Fr Paddy's dexterity.

He was never too busy to help others and was ready to drop everything in order to be of assistance to the many who called on him to do "little jobs", to fill in for a supply if someone was sick or unavailable, or just to be cheerful in conversation. This willingness to help others and his fondness for the steering wheel, gave him a certain mobility and it was not uncommon to see him disappearing in clouds of dust down the avenue.

He led a tiring life but even so, at the end of a hard week put in at the school work, he would go off on Mass supply to preach and baptise or help in the parish at Chikuni. To one who lived and worked with Fr Paddy for many years, the oft quoted Latin tag "consummatus in brevi, expleveit tempora multa" (he accomplished much in a short time) takes on a new meaning.

Though he died in New York his body was returned to Ireland to be buried at Mungret where he had taught and which was not too far from his old home.
Many letters of sympathy came to Fr O’Riordan, Education Secretary General, not least from the Minister of Education and his Permanent Secretary. Here are some extracts: "Fr Benson will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others." (Minister of Education); "Fr Benson's calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the cooperative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory." (Permanent Secretary, Min. Ed.).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

The news of Fr. Benson's death in New York on May 15th had a stunning effect on those, and they were many, who but a short time previously had welcomed him back for the holiday break from Zambia; he had spent some intervals in his native Clare and had visited a number of friends in the various houses and professed himself sufficiently fit to do an educational course at Fordham before returning to the missions proper.
After the first announcement of his death Fr. James Hennessy, Rector of Fordham, set himself immediately to give a more detailed account : “Several of those who were at dinner with him last evening remarked that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br. Bernard, F.H.S., came to call for him. They had planned a day together. It was about 10 am, and when Paddy did not answer Br. Bernard went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr. Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary”.
Fr. Provincial here was contacted and it was decided to have the burial at Mungret sixteen miles from Fr. Paddy's native place Kilkishen, across the Shannon.
In Fordham the obsequies were not neglected; over twenty Jesuits were present at the exequial Mass on May 18th; the lessons were read by Frs. Joseph Kelly, Brian Grogan and Hugh Duffy. Fr. Paddy Heelan gave an appreciation of his contemporary and friend at an evening Mass previously and Fr. George Driscoll, Superior of the Gonzaga Retreat House for boys, with whom Fr. Benson had already formed a firm friendship, gave the homily or funeral oration. The suffrages on Fr. Benson's behalf from the Fordham community amount to 150 Masses.
Fr. Paddy was a student at St. Flannan's College, Ennis, and had come to our novitiate in 1942 in company with his fellow collegian Michael O'Kelly whose lamentable early death occurred when later they were theologians together in Milltown. Paddy followed the conventional courses - juniorate and degrees from UCD at Rathfarnham; colleges at Belvedere and Mungret, and theology at Milltown, priesthood 1946.
He went to Zambia (North Rhodesia then) in 1948. An energetic teacher and missionary with considerable versatility and skill in practical matters - his flair with electric fittings saved the mission considerable incidental expenses, obliging and resultantly much in demand. He possessed a pleasant sober manner, not dominating but willing to take his share quietly in the conversation, a sense of humour and a droll remark where apposite. About five years since he was home for the normal break and on this present occasion no one from his appearance would have surmised that the end was approaching; since his death we have been informed that in Africa, he had recently experienced a bout of languor which made it advisable that he take a change which he did in Southern Rhodesia and he appeared to have been re-established on his return to Ireland; the sad and unexpected event of May 15th proved other wise. May he rest in peace.

Fr. C. O'Riordan has forwarded the following letters of sympathy from the Minister of Education and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education in Lusaka :

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I have learned, with a deep sense of shock, of the untimely death of Fr. Benson whilst in New York. To those of us who were privileged to have known and worked with Fr, Benson, this comes with a heartfelt sense of regret.
Fr. Benson, apart from his long and dedicated service both at Charles Lwanga Training College and Canisius Secondary School at which, towards the end of last year, he acted as principal, will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others.
I am writing to you because of Fr. Benson's involvement in education, but would be most grateful if you could convey my sincere condolences, coupled with those of the Minister of State, to Fr. Counihan and to His Lordship, Bishop Corboy, to each of whom Fr. Benson's death must be a grievous loss.
Yours sincerely,
W. P NYIRENDA (Minister of Education).

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I was deeply shocked to hear, from our telephone conversation this morning, of Fr. Benson's death.
One is conscious of the significant contribution he made, both at Canisius Secondary School and Charles Lwanga during the years he served in Zambia. His calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the co-operative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory.
Please accept not only my own heartfelt condolences, but those on behalf of all my officers within the Ministry, who I know will feel Fr. Benson's death keenly.
Yours sincerely,
D. BOWA (Permanent Secretary).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Patrick Benson SJ

Fr Benson taught in Belvedere as a scholastic during the years 1951 to 1953. He went to Zambia in 1959 and was engaged in teaching. This spring, he passed through Dublin on his way to the States for further study and paid two visits to Belvedere of which he cherished such happy memories. It was a great shock to all when he died suddenly in Fordham University early in May.

Bergin, Michael, 1879-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/140
  • Person
  • 18 August 1879-11 October 1917

Born: 18 August 1879, Fancroft, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1911, Hastings, England
Final vows: 17 November 1916
Died 11 October 1917, Passchendaele, Belgium (Australian 51st Battalion) - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Buried at the Reningelst Churchyard Cemetery, Belgium
First World War Chaplain.

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 01 January 1901

Fancroft is on border of Offaly/Tipperary. The border dissected Fancroft Mill, the family home on one side (Tipperary).
by 1901 in Saint Stanislaus, Ghazir, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) Teacher and studying Arabic
by 1904 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) teaching

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)
by J. Eddy
J. Eddy, 'Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bergin-michael-5217/text8783, published first in hardcopy 1979

Died : 11 October 1917 Passchendaele, Belgium

army chaplain; defence forces personnel (o/s officers attached to Australian forces)

Michael Bergin (1879-1917), Jesuit priest and military chaplain, was born in August 1879 at Fancroft, Tipperary, Ireland, son of Michael Bergin, mill-owner, and his wife Mary, née Hill. Educated at the local convent school and the Jesuit College at Mungret, Limerick, he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg in September 1897. Two years later he was sent to the Syrian mission where English-speakers were needed; he felt the break from home and country very keenly but became absorbed in his missionary work and the exotic customs of the local peoples. After learning Arabic and French he studied philosophy at Ghazir, and in October 1904 began teaching at the Jesuit College in Beirut.

In 1907 Bergin was sent to Hastings, England, to complete his theology studies and was ordained priest on 24 August 1910. After a short time at home he returned to Hastings for further study and then gave missions and retreats in the south of England. He returned to the Middle East in January 1914 and was in charge of Catholic schools near Damascus until the outbreak of World War I; along with other foreigners in Syria, he was then imprisoned and later expelled by the Turkish government. By the time he reached the French Jesuit College in Cairo in January 1915 the first Australian troops had arrived in Egypt, and Bergin offered to assist the Catholic military chaplains. Though still a civilian, he was dressed by the men in the uniform of a private in the Australian Imperial Force and when the 5th Light Horse Brigade left for Gallipoli he went with it. Sharing the hardships of the troops, he acted as priest and stretcher-bearer until his official appointment as chaplain came through on 13 May 1915. He remained at Anzac until September when he was evacuated to the United Kingdom with enteric fever.

Bergin's arrival home in khaki, complete with emu feather in his slouch-hat, caused a sensation among his family and friends. Though tired and weak after his illness, he was anxious to get back to his troops for Christmas. He returned to Lemnos but was pronounced unfit and confined to serving in hospitals and hospital-ships. Evacuated to Alexandria in January 1916, he worked in camps and hospitals in Egypt and in April joined the 51st Battalion, A.I.F., at Tel-el-Kebir. He accompanied it to France and served as a chaplain in all its actions in 1916-17; these included the battles of Pozières and Mouquet Farm, the advance on the Hindenburg Line and the battle of Messines. He was killed at Passchendaele on 11 October 1917 when a heavy shell burst near the aid-post where he was working. He was buried in the village churchyard at Renninghelst, Belgium.

Bergin was awarded the Military Cross posthumously. The citation praised his unostentatious but magnificent zeal and courage. Though he had never seen Australia he was deeply admired by thousands of Australian soldiers, one of whom referred to him as 'a man made great through the complete subordination of self'.

Select Bibliography
L. C. Wilson and H. Wetherell, History of the Fifth Light Horse Regiment (Syd, 1926)
Sister S., A Son of St. Patrick (Dublin, 1932)
51st Battalion Newsletter, July 1962
F. Gorman, ‘Father Michael Bergin, S. J.’, Jesuit Life, July 1976..

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-irish-jesuit-at-the-front-2/

JESUITICA: Irish Jesuit at the front
When they remember their war dead on Anzac Day, Australians include in that number Fr Michael Bergin SJ, an Irish Jesuit who signed up with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF)
in order to accompany them as chaplain to Gallipoli. Two facts give Fr Bergin particular distinction. Firstly, though he served with the AIF he never set foot on Australian soil. And secondly, he was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the AIF to die as a result of enemy action – not, however, in Gallipoli, which he survived, but in Passchendaele, Belgium, in 1917. According to the citation for the Military Cross, which he received posthumously, Fr Bergin was “always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-mungret-man-at-the-front/
Tomorrow, Remembrance Day, we might think of Michael Bergin, born in Roscrea, schooled in Mungret, a remarkable Irish Jesuit chaplain with the Anzac force, which he joined as a trooper in order to accompany the Australians to Gallipoli. He was the only Australian chaplain to have joined in the ranks, and the only one never to set foot in Australia. He always aimed to be where his men were in greatest danger, and having survived the Turkish campaign he was killed by a German shell on the Ypres salient in Flanders. The citation for the Military Cross, awarded posthumously, read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/featured-news/roscrea-remembers-heroic-jesuit/

Roscrea remembers a heroic Jesuit
An exhibition of the life of Jesuit war chaplain Fr Michael Bergin, who died on 12 October 1917 at Passchendaele on the Western Front, was launched on 4 October in Roscrea Library, Tipperary. Fr Bergin grew up in the millhouse of Fancroft, just a couple of miles north of Roscrea.
Though an Irishman, Fr Bergin joined the Australian forces during the war. He befriended some Australian soldiers during a stint in Egypt and then joined them, first as stretcher-bearer in Gallipoli and later as chaplain in Belgium. It was there he died from German shell-fire, one of the half-million casualties of the Third Battle of Ypres, at Passchendaele.
The exhibition was launched by Simon Mamouney, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy. The curator of the exhibition, Damien Burke, assistant archivist of the Irish Jesuit province (pictured here), also spoke at the event. In attendance too were Fr. Frank Sammon, a distant relative of the Bergins of Fancroft, and Marcus and Irene Sweeney, current owners of Fancroft Mill. Irene Sweeney, in fact, is a cousin of another Irish Jesuit, Fr Philip Fogarty. The exhibition remains open until 31 October.
Damien Burke also marked the anniversary of Fr Bergin’s death on Tuesday, 10 October, with a talk in Mungret Chapel, Mungret, Limerick – appropriately, as Fr Bergin attended the Jesuit school Mungret College. About thirty people attended the talk. It was 100 years to the day since Fr Bergin made his way to the Advanced Dressing Station of the 3rd Australian field ambulance near Zonnebeke Railway Station, Belgium. The following day he was badly wounded by German artillery fire, and a day later, 12 October, he died from his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Australian Military Cross of Honour. Damien mentioned that Michael Bergin was President of the Sodality of Our Lady while a boarder at Mungret College and “would have prayed and formed his vocation to the Jesuits here in this space”.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/newsletter/jesuits-at-the-front/

Jesuits at the front
This year of commemorating Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War will continue with an exhibition by Irish Jesuit Archives at Roscrea Library, Tipperary, from 2nd to 31st October. It will focus mainly on Fr Michael Bergin SJ (pictured here), a Roscrea-born Jesuit who was killed at the front in 1917, and five other Jesuits who served as chaplains with the Australian army in the First World War.
Fr Michael Bergin SJ holds the distinction of been the only member of the Australian forces in the First World War never to have set foot in Australia, and he was the only Catholic chaplain serving to have died as a result of enemy action.
Born in 1879 at Fancroft, Roscrea, Fr Bergin was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and joined the Society of Jesus in 1897. From 1899 until the outbreak of war in 1914, he worked on the Syrian mission, which entailed his transfer to the French Lyons Province. When war broke out he was interned and then expelled by the Turks from Syria. While in Egypt in 1915, he become friendly with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF), then training in Cairo.
In May of that year he went to Gallipoli with the Australian Forces, having enlisted as a Trooper. He carried out his pastoral duties as a priest, and worked as a stretcher-bearer and medical attendant. After his formal appointment as a chaplain in July 1915, Fr Bergin suffered influenza, chronic diarrhoea and enteric fever at Gallipoli, and was evacuated back to London to recover. Even though it was obvious that he was medically unfit to return to the front, he insisted on doing so and was back at Gallipoli in December 1915. Due to his ill health, however, he was transferred to hospital work.
In June 1916 Fr Bergin went to France with the 51st Battalion of the 13th Brigade. He lived in the front trenches, hearing confessions and celebrating Mass. He accompanied his men through such battles as Poziéres and Mouquet Farm, and was promoted from Captain to Major.
On 10 October 1917, his battalion moved up to the Front line Jesuitat Broodseinde Ridge. The next day he was with the Australian Field Ambulance when German shell-fire severely wounded him. He died the next day. There are a number of different accounts of his death but he died the following day. He is buried in Reninghelst Churchyard Extension, Belgium.
One colonel who knew the padre remarked, “Fr Bergin was loved by every man and officer in the Brigade... He was the only Saint I have met in my life.” The citation for the Military Cross awarded posthumously but based on a recommendation made prior to his death read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/anzac-archives-and-the-bullshit-detector/

On Saturday 25 April, the annual dawn Anzac commemoration will take place. It is the centenary of the failed Anzac engagement at Gallipoli. Six Jesuits, five of them Irish-born, served with the Australian Imperial Forces in the First World War. Frs Joseph Hearn and Michael Bergin both served at Gallipoli.
Fr Bergin describes Gallipoli in 1915: “There are times here when you would think this was the most peaceful corner of the earth – peaceful sea, peaceful men, peaceful place; then, any minute the scene may change – bullets whistling, shells bursting. One never knows. It is not always when fighting that the men are killed – some are caught in their dug-outs, some carrying water. We know not the day or the hour. One gets callous to the sight of death. You pass a dead man as you’d pass a piece of wood. And when a high explosive catches a man, you do see wounds”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-the-sesquicentenary-of-the-arrival-of-irish-jesuits-in-australia/

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After his education at Mungret, Michael Bergin entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1897, and two years later volunteered for the Syrian Mission and was sent to Lebanon to study Arabic and French before moving on to philosophy at Ghazir, and in 1904 to teach in the Jesuit College in Beirut.
Bergin did his theology in England at Hastings, and following ordination did retreat work in southern England until returning to Syria in January 1914. With the outbreak of World War I, he was interned by the Turks and then expelled from the region to arrive in Egypt in January 1915. Bergin offered to assist the Catholic chaplains of the newly arrived AIP, and, though still a civilian, was dressed in a privates uniform by the men of the 5th Light Horse, and left for Gallipoli with them.
He acted as priest arid stretcher-bearer until his formal appointment came through in May, and he remained on Gallipoli until invalided home in September with enteric fever. A photo taken of him in slouch hat and emu feathers created something of sensation at home, but he was not there long, returning to work on hospital ships until January 1916, when he went to Egypt with the 51st Battalion. He followed the battalion to France, serving as chaplain during some key battles leading up to the attack on the Hindenburg line. In 1917 a long-range shell burst near the aid station where he was working and killed him.
Bergin never came to Australia, but was awarded a posthumous Military Cross and in the late 1990s was awarded the Australian Gallipoli Medal. There is a memorial to him at the back of the Cairns Cathedral, as the soldiers he mainly worked with were from North Queensland. His life is included here because of his unique connection with Australia.
John Eddy has an entry on him in the Australian Dictionary of Biograpy, p. 274.

Note from Edward Sydes Entry
He and the Irish Jesuit Michael Bergin, who served with the AIP but never visited Australia, are the only two Australian Army chaplains who died as a result of casualties in action.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Bergin 1879-1917
Fr Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, about two miles from Roscrea, on August 16th 1879. His early education he got at the Sacred Heart Convent Roscrea, and then at Mungret. In 1897 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg.

Together with two other scholastics, Mr Hartigan and Mr Fitzgibbon, he was sent to Syria and the University of Beirut. Here under the French Fathers, he did his Philosophy and Regency. While in Beirut he volunteered for the Syrian Mission, and there he returned after his ordination in 1913.

On the outbreak of the First World Ward he, with all the other priests and religious, was expelled by the Turks, and he went to Cairo. There Fr Bergin became Chaplain to the Australian Expeditionary Force. He came to France with them, and he was killed by a shell at Zonnebeke, North East of Ypres on October 11th 1917. He was buried near Reningelst.

His life story was written by his sister, a nun, under the title “A Son of St Patrick”, and it gives an idea of the steadfast, simple yet heroic life of Michael Bergin.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1904

Letters from Our Past

Michael Bergin SJ

Ghazir, Syria

“Mr. Power and Mr. Hartigan arrived safe and sound at Beyrouth. They paid a visit to Ghazir shortly after their arrival. They were looking very well. They had no difficulty in recognising me in spite of my venerable beard. They stay at Beyrouth, where they study. Oriental languages.

We are only ten Philosophers, but there are also four teen Scholastics destined for the Mission, who are making a biennium of Arabic. There are also three Juniors, and fortunately for them, we are all in the same Community. It is not a bit like Christmas here, except for the rain, We are too near the sea at Ghazir to have frost, but the mountains quite close to us are covered with snow. We have a pretty little Crib in the chapel, but there are no other decorations. The Maronites have Midnight Mass in a great many churches, they have also a Novena with Benediction and Recitation or Office in preparation for Christmas. Their faith is, perhaps, more demonstra tive, but scarcely as solid, as that of the Irish. Sometimes they fall out with their bishop or priest, and threaten to be come Protestants or Schisinatics, if they don't get what they want, and sometimes too, unfortunately, they execute their threat. The English and American Protestants, as well as the Russian Schisinatics, do a great deal of harm. They have schools, and, as they are rich; they can hold out great inducements to the poor. Our Fathers, with very little money, have to fight against them. The Maronite clergy, although rich enough, do very little, and give nothing, and thus it is for us to do all. After all it is hard to find people as good as in the old country”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1905

Scenes and Manners in Syria - from the Letters of

Michael Bergin SJ and Austin Hartigan SJ

St Joseph’s University Beyrouth

I will tell you all about our vacation, perhaps it will interest you. We went to Tanail, where our fathers have a farm and an orphanage. Tanail is situated in the Bekka or plain that lies between the Lebanon and Anti Lebanon Mountains. This plain is eighty or ninety miles long and about fifteen broad. Tanail is just in the middle of this plain and half way between Beyrouth and Damascus. We went from Beyrouth by train. The journey is very interesting. On leaving Beyrouth you pass through a very fertile plain planted with olive trees. After about half an hour begins the ascent of the mountain. It is very steep in some places, so, to make it possible for the train to mount, there is a third rail with notches and the engine has a wheel with cogs which fit into these notches and thus prevent the train from slipping back. There are some very pretty little villages in the mountaiti. Most of the Beyrouth people pass the summer in one or other of these villages. Near the top of the mountain there are some villages inhabited by Druses. These are a people whose religion is a secret. They have some very curious customs one of them is that a Druse can never dispose of his property. He can spend his income as he wishes, but the real property always belongs to the family. The train goes very slow on ascending, so one has plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. The whole journey, which includes the descent as well as the ascent, is about forty miles, and we were over four hours in the train. When you are on the top of the mountain the plain opens out before you like a great lake shut in between the two mountains. Here and there are scattered little villages and spots of verdure these latter always marking the existence of water. The descent is quickly over, but the rocking of the train is so great that two or three were on the point of getting sea-sick, Our house is about half an hour's walk from the station. There are a good many trees, nearly all poplars, on the property, and so we enjoyed the luxury, so rare in this country, of walking in the shade. The sun is very warm here. You have no idea how hot it is from nine or ten in the morning to four or five in the evening; in the night and morning it is a little cooler, At Tanail the air is much drier than at Ghazir. At Ghazir one cannot walk for a quarter of an hour without being covered with perspiration; but in the plain, though one is scorched with the sun, one scarcely perspires at all. There are some interesting walks about. Amongst others is what is called:

The Tomb of Noah
Tradition says that he died and was buried near Zahleh, a village not far from Tanail. We went to-pay a visit then to this tomb of our common ancestor. We found the place a long, low, flat roofed, rectangular building, about forty yards long and three wide, which the Musulmans use as their mosque. The whole length of this house, and just in the middle, runs a piece of masonry about two feet high, and underneath this are said to rest the mortal remains of poor Noah. He must have been inconveniently tall.

The Excusrsion which lasted Four Days
One fine day, at half-past nine in the morning, seventeen of us started. The sun seemed to be specially hot that day, still we marched on bravely, after an hour and a half we came to a river - the biggest in Syria - which had to be crossed, and as there was no bridge we had to take off our boots and stockings, tighten up our soutanes and walk through. For the next two hours and a half we did not meet a single spring, and a two hours' tramp without water, where it is so warm, is no joke. However, four hours after our departure, we came to a long-wished-for well. We drank and washed, and started again for the village where we were to pass the night. After three hours we arrived there, and went to the priest's house. The only Catholics there are of the Syrian rite, and they are not very numerous. The rest of the inbabitants are either Druses or Greek Schismatics. The priest's house was a poor little cabin, consisting of two or three rooms. He received us very well - of course we had all our provisions with us, we had two mules to carry them on their backs, not in cars, because there are no roads only paths. We cooked our dinner and ate it in the Arabic fashion, ie, without plates, knives, spoons or forks. Soon after dinner, as everyone was a bit tired; we went to rest, We had brought a sack of blankets, one for each one. Five or six slept in the parlour which was at the same time bedroom, the rest slept on mats made of rushes, some in a little room beside the house, the rest outside the door. We used our shoes as pillows. The “beds” were rather hard and the night was very hot, so we did not sleep much. Next morning we had Mass in the little chapel close by, and after breakfast we started for Mount Hermon, which is the highest peak in the Anti-Lebanon Range. I forgot to describe the parlour of the priest. The chief “ornament” was his bed. The room was carpeted, but there were no chairs. You take off your boots on entering and leave them at the door, and you sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion. This room was about four yards square.

There is not a single spring between the village and the top of the mountain-and in the village itself the only water they have is what they collect in cisterns during the winter. So we had to bring some with us. The climb took about five or six hours, and had it not been that we had three or four horses, which each one mount ed from time to time, I doubt if many would have arrived to the top. After about five hours it became so very steep that the horses could go no farther so we halted and dined. Thus fortified we did the last hour's climb. In the shaded hollows there was still snow. We put snow into the water we brought, and it was not too bad. The Arabs call this mountain the Mountain of the Old Man, because the snow is supposed to represent the grey hair, From the top the view is magnificent. We saw the Holy Land, the Sea of Tiberias, the Jordan, Mount Thabor, Mount Carmel; also we could see Damascus, a white speck, hidden in its gardens of verdure, and the Hauran. On the very highest point of the summit are the ruins of an old temple. After enjoying the scenery and reposing ourselves we began the descent on the other side of the mountain towards Damascus. The path was very narrow and in places very steep, however, in the evening, after about four hours march, we arrived at another little village, Kalath-el gendel, one of the dirtiest and most miserable villages I have ever seen, even in the East. Here the majority of the inhabitants are Druses.

An Arab Meal
On our way we passed through another village and we went to a house to buy a drink of milk. The only thing they had was thick milk, the people are very fond of it like that, and we, for want of butter, took it The lady of the house would not be content if we did not sit down, so she spread a mat on the floor, and on this we had to squat like tailors. In the middle was a little table about a foot high, and on this she put a bowl of milk. Then came the Arabic bread, the “hubs”. This is made of flour and water, and is almost as thin as an altar bread and quite flexible. Each cake is round and has a diameter of about two feet. But the real difficulty was to take the milk with the bread. The people never use knives or spoons, the bread does all this. They tear off a little bit of bread and make a scoop of it, with this they take their milk or whatever it may be, and each time they eat their spoon as well as what is in it. It is convenient, for after dinner they have not much to wash up. Tumblers are as rare as knives. They have water in little earthenware jars like a teapot, with a little spout. This they do not put into their mouth, they keep it a distance of about a font away, and simply pour it down their throat. In the beginning this is not so easy. The first time I tried I got more down my neck and up my nose than I got into my mouth.

The Earthly Paradise
Leaving this early next morning we continued our journey to Damascus. The day was very hot and the country an arid waste. Still we toiled on and we were at last rewarded with a view of what Mahomed rightly called the earthly Paradise! To the way-worn traveller, dust stained and thirsty, whose eyes have been for hours blinded by the glare from the rocky soil, the city of Damascus, surrounded by its fresh green gardens, filed with every variety of fruit-trees, watered by the brimming stream, at whose source we stopped and washed, offers a vision of refreshing beauty that none can appreciate but those who, like us, have toiled through the heat of the day. Passing through the shady gardens, our ears filled with the murmuring of the clear, cool streams, refreshed by the delicious fruit that abounded on every side, we can easily understand why St Ignatius laid the scene of our First Parents' happiness in this, the East's most lovely city.

As it is the most beautiful so is it also the most characteristically Eastern. For here are gathered together all that is most un-European Here are centered all those streams of caravans that bring from far in the interior of Asia the rich products of those world-famed looms. Here is no sign of modern civilization to remind one of the distant West. To give an adequate idea of this other world, I can do no better than describe the Bazaar and some street scenes in this city of Fair Delight.

The Bazaar
It is in the bazaar that locomotion is most difficult. This gives one time to look about and admire the variety of nationalities that the traffic of the quarter has collected. Bedouins with huge high boots, a long stiff cloak of brown and white, often richly embroidered at shoulders (these cloaks “mashlah” are absolutely devoid of cut, except for short sleeves beginning at elbows and reaching to wrists), loose white drawers reaching to top of boots, embroidered vest. On the head, the “kofieyeh” or veil of brilliant colours. often of silk, ornamented with tassels. It is most graceful. This veil is secured on head by two circles of camel's hair, while the ends hang down on the back and breast or are brought up under chin, and attached to the coils above. They are finely built, these Bedouins, tall and spare, square-shouldered, active and strong, with dark piercing eyes, that seem to be everywhere at once. Druses, with snow-white turban and heavy scimitar; Turkish “effendis”, in badly made, and worse put on, European dress; Persians, in light brown hats, once and a-half as high as our tall hats, slightly conical in shape, tight-fitting dresses and flowing beards; Kurdish shepherds, dressed in skin and stiff black felt cape, reaching to knees; villainous looking Albanians, with voluminous kilts and belts bristling with weapons; add thievish-looking Circassians, effeminate Damascenes, gliding figures enveloped from head to foot in a light sheet like garment of white, or green and red shot silk, with veiled face, and called women, and you have a faint idea of the 'souqs' of Damascus. Yet I have said nothing about the seller of pasties, who balances on his head a small shopful of dainties; the sherbet-seller, with a huge bottle strung round his neck, and brass cups jingling in his hand. On more than one occasion I have seen a seller of drinks and a seller of creams stand as near each other as
their implements permit, the one slaking his thirst, the other gratifying his palate, by a mutual exchange.

The Houses of Damasucs
But the glory of Damascus consists above all in its private houses. The Arabic proverb has it: “The houses of Damascus from without, sooty; from within, marble”. Nothing could be more true. Outside one would take them for the stables of the mansion, with their plain, windowless walls, and massive, ungainly doors., Enteringly a narrow passage of varying length, a remnant of darker days, we find ourselves in a court with marble pavement, shaded by olive, orange, or lemon trees, and refreshed by a fountain or several of them, whose waters are contained in a deep basin of variegated marble. At one side is the “bewan”, or deep recess, strewn with rich carpets and soft cushions, and arched over in true Arabic style. Opposite is the salon, the masterpiece of the house, and where even struggling families manage to make a show at the cost of the rest of the house. Here, again, we meet the marble fountain on either side of what are the halves of the chamber, one half being raised about two feet. The walls are covered with the richest marbles, in endless variety of colour and form. Here and there are recesses backed by mirrors, while above are texts of the Koran in golden letters, entwined in the most puzzling combinations. Above these are scenes and landscapes painted in bright colours. The ceilings (which are always formed of round rafters laid so as to touch the flat cemented ceiling, leaving a space of some inches between each rafter) are painted in the most fantastic designs and often really beautiful. The effect of the whole is most striking. Now, I think, you have my impressions of what Damascus is like.

In the evening we left Damascus by rail and came back here, our minds stored with the many wonders we had seen. And now I think you know something of our life out here. I hope I have not been too tedious. If you wish I shall tell you more another time.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1918

Obituary

Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is with the greatest regret we have to report the death of Fater M Bergin SJ, which occurred in France late in October last. After working in Syria for some years he was in Egypt at the outbreak of the war and volunteered as a chaplain. He saw service in Gallipoli and on the French front. The officer commanding the battalion to which he was attached writes :

I am sure no man was, nor could be, more popular and loved, not only by members of his own flock; but by all others.

In a report made in July, 1916, by the then commanding officer of the battalion giving the names of those who had shown qualities of conspicuous merit, the following entry is made opposite the name of our late Padre :

“For ready attention to wounded, indomitable energy, and pervading all ranks with cheerfulness.”

The subsequent months proved that those words only modestly express what we all owe to him, and those of us who had the privilege of knowing him longest find it difficult to believe that he really has left us for good and will not some day appear again with his usual smile and cheery words. He was killed instantly, by a fragment of a large shell which fell close to a party of officers belonging to the Brigade headquarters.

Our deepest sympathy to his brother, Mr John Bergin of Fancroft, Roscrea, and to his other relatives. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Michael Bergin : A Mungret Jesuit at the Front

Father Michael Bergin SJ

Foreword to a memoir of Fr Bergin, shortly to be published under the title of “A Son of St. Patrick”.

To all who had the privilege of knowing Fr Bergin in life the following memoir will make instant appeal. How far it. will arrest the attention of others is more difficult to determine. It will hardly enter into rivalry with Prof O'Rahilly's “Life of Father Doyle” either as literary achievement or as a spiritual manifestation. It raises no problems, psychological or hagiographical. It is not likely to inaugurate any “cultus” of one, who, though undoubtedly holy and even heroic in his spirit of zeal and self sacrifice, was rather a finished specimen of what the institute he embraced aims at producing than an abnormal phenomenon. He is seen as an imitator, at a distance perhaps, of St John Berchmans rather than of St Aloysius Gonzaga. His sanctity though very real was not spectacular. He was just a zealous religious who practised in a very unobtrusive way the difficult art of self conquest, and thus prepared himself for facing the ordeal of the Great War with the certainty of playing a man's part in it, and, if needs be, of dying a brave man's death.

This he did, always without ostentation, always with that pleasant mask of a sunny smile, which veiled from the casual observer the depth and intensity of the spiritual fire burning in the soul of him all the time. His letters, utterly unstudied and unaffected, let us into the secret of his gaiety and make very beautiful the lifelong struggle against weak health which was his.

The present writer had the good fortune of knowing him in Tullabeg during two years and of meeting him once again just as he returned to the Front for the last time. And the impression left by that acquaintance tallies exactly with the picture those letters trace. Br Bergin was just one of some thirty young men being moulded in the Ignatian crucible, and taking shape gradually like the rest. He was fervent, no doubt, but in outward seeming indistinguishable from all others, except perhaps for a gaiety that, without being boisterous or even noisy, was infectious. I might sum him up by saying that you felt he was a good companion in recreation or on a walk, and a still better comrade in a tight corner. I have particularly in memory the sight of him holding on to an oar, on our rare boating excursions, until he was ordered by the person dressed in a little brief authority to relinquish it, and cheerful when other's nerves were getting a bit frayed and causing some outbursts of the old Adam in many, who, after all, were only ex-schoolboys labouring hard, but not always too successfully, to expel nature with a pitchfork. Though physically frail he not only never shirked his share of the common burden, he even clamoured for more, simulating immunity from fatigue. And it was curiously the same individual, only riper now and obviously more master of nature, whom I met for a few days at Ore Place, Hastings, in the winter 1915-16 - the precise date escapes my memory. He had been invalided home from the Front after a most trying time with the Anzacs in Gallipoli. He was obviously worn out and really unfit for further service. The thin form looked thinner than ever, the old stoop, indicative of the weak lungs that made Irish Superiors willing to part with this devoted worker in the hopes that the eastern sunshine might prolong a useful career, was more pronounced. He reluctantly admitted fatigue but insisted on reporting again for duty, when he need not have done so; and on going out once more to the Australian lads in danger, who had won his love and repaid it with a solid affection which does them honour. My counsel of prudence was wasted on one who never steered by that commonplace light when there was good work to be done. Yet, and here too he ran true to form, he tried to persuade me that it was just the fun of the thing that made him go forth again. In this, to tell the truth, he was not too successful, for I knew him of old. But of course I said nothing, and the last I saw of him was when he laid aside his vestments after his last Mass in his old scholasticate and hastened away, with a brave smile lighting up the tired face, to confront danger with the fearlessness he had already shown in action.

Apropos of danger I asked him once whether he had felt afraid under the rain of shells and bullets. His answer was characteristic: “At first the sensation is a bit curious. But you soon get used to it, and then do not mind it much”. Perhaps he had the gift of physical courage. But somehow the delicate frame and sensitive nature, responsive to all that was bright and joyous in life, did not indicate any natural indifference to death and its wartime horrors. Rather, I think, he found his strength in higher sources, even though his fine reserve recoiled from any parade of the deeper, supernatural impulses, which, for all that, very clearly guided his life.

War books are now a bit out of fashion - unless it be unsavoury, psychoanalytic pictures of men's bestiality in war. This may possibly militate against the success of this little volume where nothing is to be seen, but the white soul of one who walked this earth very innocently and quitted it very gallantly, displaying at all times a great unselfishness and an attractive piety. We may note that the piety is twofold. It is first of all and above all the Christian virtue of that name. But it answers also to the pietas of Virgil or the best pagans. His love of God and devotion to the greatest of all causes is found in perfect harmony with the human sentiments of family affection, love of country, sympathy with sorrow and affliction. Over all plays a sense of humour, genuine, natural, unfailing. If he had never died in action or left any line of self revelation, those who knew him would remember him as one who laughed easily (though not loudly), and made others laugh (without any pretentions to the reputation of a wit); who never seemed happier than when he could do a service to someone and would never admit that he was too tired or too busy to lend a helping hand; who was never censorious or critical of others; who fitted into various surroundings without friction of any kind; who glided serenely down the stream of life, making no noise and causing no commotion, well content to be unknown and accounted as nought - a beautifully placid nature to all appearance, yet not dull or apathetic, and always busy at some quiet task, tackling studies, for which he had no predilection, with conscientious ardour, aspiring unobtrusively to loftier heights of spiritual perfection than might have been suspected.

His biography may prove practically helpful to the general, fun of readers, whether in religion or in the lay pursuits, who feel no vocation to don the seven-league boots of the saints and stride from crest to crest of the Alpine heights, too far above the snow line for ordinary aspirations, but who never the less do desire to acquit themselves as men in the Great War always raging which is called Life. From him they can learn to hold their few yards of trench steadfastly and to the end, without flinching whether all be quiet on the front or the lines wake up to feverish and deadly activity, without “grousing” whether the petty hazards of the game or its major calamities try the temper. Here was one who to the outward eye gave no promise of special heroism, but when the call came said “Adsum” not only courageously but buoyantly, even boyishly, and above all without fuss or affectation, internally unconscious, I should think, that Gallipoli or Flanders were to be taken a whit more tragically than a long walk through the Bog of Allen or a long day at a creaking thole-pin. If any one had told Fr Bergin that a life of him would be written when he was gone it would have seemed to him the joke of the season. This will explain and excuse, if excuse be necessary, the homely style of his correspondence. He certainly never expected that any lines of his would have to face the scrutiny of critics on a printed page. If he had had the slightest suspicion of such a possibility, they could never have been written at all. He could not have penned a line with the spectre of publicity before his eyes, and he would laughingly have seized upon it as an excuse for saving precious time. He wrote as he lived, frankly and sincerely, without arrière pensée and he would only have shuddered at the very idea of posthumous fame. We have him thus in these pages as he was, without trappings of any kind, and I shall be surprised if the reader does not feel that his acquaintance was well. worth making

P J Gannon SJ

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

“A Son of St Patrick” by Sister S

Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is safe to say that most of our boys I will not even know the subject of this biography. Many will have seen his name in that list of our Sodality that hangs by the chapel door and may have wondered, half-idly, in the manner of the post-war generation, at the legend, “Killed in action, October, 1917”. To them and to many older boys we recommend this little book, unaffected in style, unadorned with wealth of words, but effective in its directness and simple truth. For we ought to know about this Mungret boy, who was President of Our Lady's Sodality, who went unselfishly to the East to work for Christ, and who, in the strange ways of God's providence, fell in Flanders at his post, for Christ. That he was one of ourselves should interest us. in his life. He answered the morning bell, he ran like us to morning chapel, he turned out to games with gusto, and he turned into study with the same cheerful grumble. He was a Mungret boy and he tried to be a saint. He tried in a way, that should encourage us all, not the way of frightening asceticism and mystic prayer, but the way, we all can try, of honest fervent piety and perfect obedience to God's Holy Will. How he succeeded in his effort, this life tells.

Simple, as we have said, and unaffected, this story of Father Bergin's life is attractive for its very simplicity. We have here no revelations of a soul's struggle, no attempt to read import into every slight action, no psychologizing of the saints. The story is told directly and with sympathy and by this is made human and appealing. The man himself speaks to us in his letters; frank, honest, brotherly letters, full of news and love and piety. He tells of himself as we feel we could do ourselves; but the plain tale he tells, we easily understand, to hide a life of daily heroism and striving after sanctity.

Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, a few miles from Roscrea, in August, 1879, and spent his early days there, in the ideal Surroundings of a truly Irish Catholic family. He came to Mungret when he was fourteen and impressed his masters and his fellows as a pious, unselfish, jolly boy. Here God called him to the religious life and he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg in 1897. He finished his novitiate there, and to his surprise found himself next dispatched to Syria, to study Eastern languages at the University of Beyrouth. For two years he worked at the college and then went to Ghazir to study philosophy. Again he returned to college work at Beyrouth until Theology took him to Hastings in England, where he was ordained in 1910. He was back again in his beloved mission in 1914 at Damascus, and while working there the war broke out. First a “private soldier” chaplain and then a full recognized army Padre, he served in Gallipoli from 1915 to 1916. Then after a short leave, France claimed him and in a front line trench in Flanders he fell on October Iith, 1917.

We have told his career briefly lest we should ornit to give its outline in our anxiety to stress the importance of his life. There, is the life of a Mungret boy, told in short, and indeed a short life it was, and, taken in its period, no more eventful than many another. But this Mungret boy lived his life heroically and prayerfully throughout, and he taught himself to make great sacrifices with a careless smile and a convincing laugh. As a boy we find him jolly and natural; but he was the boy who walked to let others cycle; he was the boy who made himself nurse to a poor cripple; and he was the boy who fought for the right to say long prayers. We are very sure that he did these things with easy grace and without notice then, it is the retrospective eye that sees that here was a boy trying to be holy.

We feel, however, that it required genuine bravery of soul, to leave gaily a loved family circle and native land, to go alone, a boy, into the East. The novice is only a boy, for all his real spirituality, and the boy must have felt that wrench, felt it all the more when the novelty of a strange land passed and life became routine. But these honest letters of his show no trace of this; he loves all at home too well to share his sorrow.

He tells them all his adventures; he tells them, with a natural eye for beauty, of the sights of the East and of the flowers of its fields. Yet, now and then, we see that he has made a sacrifice, for he longs for Ireland's green fields and simple flowers. He grows a little jaded with brilliance and longs for plain things much loved and he often looks over the Mediterranean, westward, towards home.

In 1916 he knew the question was being discussed, as to whether he should remain permanently on the mission in Syria or return to his own Province. The heart could answer that question in but one way. To be permanently there meant that he belonged not to his own Irish Province, but to the French Province; it meant, one might say, naturalizing himself as a foreigner. It meant exile for ever. “Storm heaven that I may be kept”, he writes to his sister ; “yet non sicut ego volo sed sicut Tu”. This is the noble spirit that offers what it holds dearest and makes sacrifice almost easy, by forestalling it. Here is that touchstone of sanctity, the agere contra of St Ignatius; but here the man conceals it all, under a laugh, and makes his suffering appear a favour. This, we think, is the attractive thing in Father Bergin's attempt on the battlements of holiness. He carried them with honest gaiety, concealing high purpose and great determination.

When the Great War came, Michael Bergin was a priest and a Christian missionary in Damascus. He was a foreigner in the territory of Turkey. It was with difficulty he escaped spending the period of the war chafing in some internment camp; but he did manage to reach Egypt, and immediately looked for work. He found work among the soldiers of the Australian Expeditionary Force. He had no official standing among them, but zeal was ingenious in overcoming army regulation. He enlisted as a stretcher-bearer in order to be with his newly found flock. With them he went through the horrors of Gallipoli and endeared himself by gallantry and unselfish devotion to those careless, cheery souls. For sixteen months he lived in France with his Australians and fell among them, working to the last.

In that strange army life we notice the same characteristics we have seen in the religious. There is no capacity shown for finding the limelight; he did not “star” in the trenches. All day he worked unobtrusively and tirelessly, caring for the souls of the living and burying the bodies of the dead. Then he sat down in his dug-out and wrote cheerful letters to dear ones, laughing at his own exhausted body, relating the minor adventures of the day and asking for prayers for himself and for his men. Those who knew him in those days, tell the kind of story we would expect. They saw that the Padre was always at his post and did not seem to mind innumerable calls on him. They noticed that he walked six miles in the desert to say Mass and made no fuss about it. They felt, as we feel, that this quiet constancy and cheerfulness in duty called for admiration.

And all through, we find him asking for prayers for himself that he may be holy. He did not forget the goal of life in the adventures of war. Simple, open comments on his own unworthiness fill his letters. He calls himself a slacker, his soul is like his torn clothes, he is a spiritual bankrupt, Thus he spoke of himself, humbly, because to the really holy soul, humility is natural and without suspicion of the hook. We easily come to have a fellow-feeling for him. He finds, like us, that it is hard to live up to high ideals, that our spiritual lives suffer badly in the preoccupations of daily work.

We feel, like him, that we want a Retreat to tone up our systems and to invigorate the life of our souls. But this fellow-feeling must not make us think that he was as we are. He kept his love for prayer and his desire to be alone with God, in all the weary disgusts of war. A young scholastic, a boy, he had learned to turn towards the higher things. A delicate man, he lived the roughest of lives, upheld by an indomitable spirit and the zeal of an apostle. He wore himself out working, but never. ceased from prayer, that he might be holy. . He had learned to make sacrifice early, and his death was almost chosen, for he gave up his leave, when he heard the whisper that his lads were to go over soon. No one would blame a tired soldier-priest for taking his furlough, even on the eve of a "big push"; but such is not the way of the saints. The boy who prayed to be kept in Syria, far from home, the theologian who left his dying father, because he had not leave to stay, the chaplain who gave up his leave to help others to meet death, in these we see the same man rising to the heights on the wings of simple love.

This is the story of Father Michael Bergin SJ, a true son of St Patrick, told with evident affection and attractive simplicity by Sister S. We hope that what we have written may stimulate Mungret boys and others to read this life of a schoolfellow. They will find there a personality easy to love and the romance of one like themselves, Encouraged by so natural an example they may themselves strive forward, in simple piety and frank devotion, to the heights, which are the goal of all of us, but which so few reach.

Armand

Bodkin, Matthias, 1896-1973, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/6
  • Person
  • 26 June 1896-2 November 1973

Born: 26 June 1896, Great Denmark Street, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 November 1973, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell
by Felix M. Larkin
found in Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell (1849–1933), journalist and lawyer, was born in October 1849 at Tuam, Co. Galway

Bodkin married (1885) Arabella Norman (c.1854–1931), daughter of Francis Norman, solicitor, of Dublin, and Margaret Norman (née Adrian; c.1820–1883). They had two sons and four daughters, of whom the eldest, Thomas Patrick Bodkin (qv), was director of the NGI 1927–35. Their youngest daughter, Emma Bodkin (1892–1973), was one of the first women chartered accountants in Ireland. Two other daughters became Carmelite nuns. The youngest of the family, also Matthias McDonnell Bodkin (1896–1973), was a Jesuit priest and author. Born 26 June 1896 in Dublin and educated at Belvedere College and Clongowes Wood College, he entered the Jesuit noviciate in 1914 and was ordained 1932. For many years a teacher in Clongowes, Mungret College, and Belvedere, he served as a Royal Navy chaplain during the second world war in Derry and for a brief period in the Pacific on board HMS Anson. Afterwards, his eyesight failing, he undertook mainly retreat work and counselling. He died 2 November 1973 at Milltown Park, Dublin. Like his father, he was a prolific writer – largely on religious themes, but also of adventure stories for boys. His most substantial book, a life of fellow-Jesuit Fr John Sullivan (qv) (The port of tears (1954)), did much to spread Fr Sullivan's reputation for sanctity. So as to differentiate his own from his father's work, Fr Bodkin never used his second Christian name.

NAI, private accession no. 1155; NLI, MS 10702 (F. S. Bourke collection: letters to M. McD. Bodkin and his wife, mainly 1880–1910), MSS 14252–64 (manuscript literary remains of M. McD. Bodkin); Freeman's Journal, 24, 25, 28–30 Jan. 1908; A considered judgment: report of Judge Bodkin forwarded to Sir Hamar Greenwood and read in open court at Ennis, Co. Clare, on Sat., 5 Feb. 1921 (1921); Another considered judgment: second report of Judge Bodkin (1921); Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, Ir. Times, 8 June 1933; Ir. Independent, 3 Nov. 1973; Lawrence W. McBride, The greening of Dublin Castle: the transformation of bureaucratic and judicial personnel in Ireland, 1892–1922 (1991); Frank Callanan, The Parnell split, 1890–91 (1992); Eamonn G. Hall, ‘Introduction’, M. McDonnell Bodkin, Famous Irish trials (1997 ed.); Anne Kelly, ‘Perfect ambition: Thomas Bodkin, a life (with particular reference to his influence on the early development of Irish cultural policy’ (Ph.D. thesis, TCD, 2001); Felix M. Larkin, ‘Judge Bodkin and the 1916 rising: a letter to his son’, N. M. Dawson (ed.), Reflections on law and history (2006)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Note from Daniel Fitzpatrick Entry
He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

  1. “Flood-tide” - A school story
  2. “Lost in the Arctic” - A translation from the German of Svenson's " Nonni and Manni”.
  3. “Studies in Sanctity” - Biographical essays
    Pamphlets
  4. “The Stop Gap” - School story
  5. “The Captain” - School story
  6. “Saint Robert Southwell” - Hagiography
  7. “Saint Bernadette” - Hagiography
  8. “Blessed Peter Faber” - Hagiography
  9. “Father Stanton” - Biography
  10. “Forest and Jungle” - Biography
  11. “Father De Smet” - Biography
  12. “The Black Robe” - Biography
  13. “Guy De Fontgalland” - Biography
  14. “The Soul of a Child” - Biography

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

Clongowes :
Fr. Bodkin is to be congratulated on the production of his latest book, “Halt, Invader.” Its publication caused great interest here. We hope that his present work of contemplation and stimulation of youth at study will keep the springs of inspiration bubbling.

Belvedere :
An enthusiastic welcome has been accorded Father Bodkin's novel. “Halt Invader” whose hero is a Belvederian. One member of the Community believes that the Government should
subsidise the book and give a copy of it to every Irish citizen seeing that the book is, in his opinion, an exposition of the ideology of Irish mentality in the present war.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

Obituary :

Fr Matthias Bodkin (1896-1973)

By way of preface to the appreciation proper we offer some salient dates and details of Fr. Bodkin's earlier years ;
He was born in Dublin - Great Denmark St - June 26th, 1896, the younger son of Judge Matthias McDonnell Bodkin. He was one of a family of six, one brother, Tom, a sister, Emma, of both of whom more anon, two sisters who became Carmelite nuns and a sister who became Mrs John Robinson. Fr Mattie was the last survivor of his generation.
He got his early schooling at Belvedere, practically adjoining his home and thence he later went to Clongowes and from there he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on August 31st 1914. He was one of the “Twelve Apostles” of whom he himself gave some account in the obituary of Fr Fred Paye, from his hand, which appeared in the July number of the Province News, 1972. (He was an excellent panegyrist, and was frequently applied to to formulate an appreciation and readily obliged, despite the incapacity in later years of poor eyesight.) From Tullabeg after a brief period in the - home Juniorate, then usual, he advanced to Rathfarnham where he got a distinguished degree at the University in History. Thence to Milltown for Philosophy and in 1924 back to Clongowes and later to Mungret, Doc. Among his pupils in Mungret was Tadhg Mannion, Archbishop and Cardinal to be, who on a recent occasion visiting his Alma Mater affectionately recalled Mr Bodkin, as he then was, and wished particularly to be remembered to him. Milltown again for Theology and ordination 1932. On returning to Clongowes after the Tertianship he acquitted himself with success as Prefect of Studies for four years and later at Belvedere as teacher. One of the chores which regular fell to his lot was the editorship of the College Annual and in his leisure time he produced several school stories of dimensions of novels, “Flood Tide” being the more popular. He likewise wrote a memoir of Fr John Sullivarı... “The Port of Tears'.

Fr Bodkin's death in the night between All Saints' Day and the Commemoration of All Souls, when by a special effort he had said the customary three Masses for the Dead, after midnight, was in many ways a fitting end to a long life during which he had always been notable for the energy with which he threw himself into whatever task assigned him,
Those who saw the memorial card which was made after his death were somewhat taken aback to realise how much Fr Mattie's face had changed in appearance during his long, strenuous and often hard life. No man was better able to enjoy fun or any form of relaxation that appealed to him but there was always a sense of duty to be done, and done generously, at whatever cost to himself. He had a real gift of friendship and he was never short of friends. Whether as a teacher or a preacher, naval chaplain or confessor, in his last years, to more than one community of young Irish Christian Brothers, he gave himself heartily to each. The free independent judgment which was always a marked characteristic of his advice made him in old age an admirable confessor, just as in his youth the same independent judgment made him, to use a phrase from one who knew him many years ago in Belvedere, a superb teacher of history and English literature. Clongowes and Belvedere were very much the centres of Mattie’s life down to the year 1940 when he volunteered as a naval chaplain in Derry and in the Far East.
The fact that he was one of a very well known and respected Dublin family and that he lived in or near Dublin for so many years gave him a great advantage in forming the friendships which meant so much to him personally and which were so marked a feature of his apostolic work. He lived more than seventy years of life in Dublin at a time when Dublin was very much the centre of modern Irish life and his memory (usually but not always accurate in detail) made his conversation a stream of reminiscences that were always vivid to himself and of interest to his hearers, Again and again it was remarked that what Mattie remembered was almost always some kind word spoken to him or some good deed which had made an impression on him, possibly long years ago. He was quick to complain of some passing episode that irritated him but his wide ocean of personal memories seemed full. to overflowing of kind and generous thoughts.
The failure of Fr Bodkin's eyesight which was so heavy a cross for him to bear in the years after his return from service in the English Royal Navy exacted more from him than from most other sufferers from this affliction for all through life he had been a great reader of books and a lover of fine pictures. As a boy, in his father's house he had the good fortune of knowing Sir Hugh Lane, then at the height of his influence in Irish artistic life and in later years, he had the constant stimulus of his brother Tom's example, first as Director of the National Gallery in Dublin, then of the Barber Institute in Birmingham
But there was another strand of the family tradition: if Tom Bodkin's name will always be remembered in connection with theNational Gallery and the controversy that arose over the final disposition of Hugh Lane's bequest to Dublin the name of his sister, Emma, was even more closely linked with Frank Duff’s apostolate and work for the Legion of Mary at home and abroad. It was probably Emma's influence which first turned Mattie's thoughts to the welfare, spiritual even more than temporal, of the young girls who for one reason or another had been left without family or friends to help and advise them. What Fr Mattie did for those girls and often for many years successively, when they turned to him as to a friend upon whom they could always count, is known only to God. Emma predeceased him by a few months here in Dublin. Both, we are confident, have received in Heaven the reward which the Lord promises to those who give and give generously to children and to those in need. Requiescant in Pace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ (1896-1973)

Fr Bodkin's death in the night between All Saints Day and the Commemoration of All Souls, when by a special effort he had said the customary three Masses for the Dead, after midnight, was in many ways a fitting end to a long life during which he had always been notable for the energy with which he threw himself into whatever task assigned him.

Those who saw the memorial card which was made after his death were somewhat taken aback to realise how much Fr Mattie's face had changed in appearance during his long, strenuous and often hard life. No man was better able to enjoy fun or any form of relaxation that appealed to him but there was always a sense of duty to be done, and done generously, at whatever cost to himself. He had a real gift of friendship and he was never short of friends. Whether as a teacher or a preacher, naval chaplain or confessor, in his last years, to more than one community of young Irish Christian Brothers, he gave himself heartily to each. The free independent judgement which was always a marked characteristic of his advice made him in old age an admirable confessor, just as in his youth the same independent judgement made him, to use a phrase from one who knew him many years ago in Belvedere, “a superb teacher” of history and English literature. Clongowes and Belvedere were very much the centres of Mattie's life down to the year 1940 when he volunteered as a naval chaplain in Derry and in the Far East.

The fact that he was one of a very well known and respected Dublin family and that he lived in or near Dublin for so many years gave him a great advantage in forming the friendships which meant so much to him personally and which were so marked a feature of his apostolic work, He lived more than seventy years of life in Dublin at a time when Dublin was very much the centre of modern Irish life and his memory (usually but not always accurate in detail) made his conversation a stream of reminiscences that were always vivid to himself and of interest to his hearers. Again and again it was remarked that what Mattie remembered was almost always some kind word spoken to him or some good deed which had made an impression on him, possibly long years ago. He was quick to complain of some passing episode that irritated him but his wide ocean of personal memories seemed full to overflowing of kind and generous thoughts.

The failure of Fr Bodkin's eyesight which was so heavy a cross for him to bear in the years after his return from service in the English Royal Navy exacted more from him than from most other sufferers from this affliction for all through life he had been a great reader of books and a lover of fine pictures. As a boy, in his father's house he had the good fortune of knowing Sir Hugh Lane, then at the height of his influence in Irish artistic life and in later years, he had the constant stimulus of his brother Tom's example, first as Director of the National Gallery in Dublin, then of the Barber Institute in Birmingham.

But there was another strand of the family tradition: if Tom Bodkin's name will always be remembered in connection with the National Gallery and the controversy that arose over the final disposition of Hugh Lane's bequest to Dublin the name of his sister, Emma, was even more closely linked with Frank Duff's apostolate and work for the Legion of Mary at home and abroad. It was probably Emma's influence which first turned Mattie's thoughts to the welfare, spiritual even more than temporal, of the young girls who for one reason or another had been left without family or friends to help and advise them. What Fr Mattie did for those girls and often for many years successively, when they turned to him as to a friend upon whom they could always count, is known only to God. Emma predeceased him by a few months here in Dublin. Both, we are confident, have received in Heaven the reward which the Lord promises to those who give and give generously to children and to those in need. Requiescant in Pace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ

Early on the morning of All Souls' Day, 1973, Fr Mattie Bodkin died at Milltown Park. He had arranged to say after midnight the customary three Masses for the dead, so as to leave himself free for some apostolic work in the morning. He had been in poor health for the past few years, and this final effort proved too great. It was a fitting end to a long life of devoted and strenuous work as a priest.

Mattie Bodkin was at Clongowes from 1910 to 1914. His father, Judge Matthias McDonnell Bodkin, was an old Tullabeg boy, and his brother Tom, later Professor of Fine Arts in the University of Birmingham and Director of the Barber Institute, had preceded him at Clongowes by some ten years. Mattie entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1914, took his MA in history in University College, Dublin, taught for some years in Clongowes and Mungret, and, after the usual theological studies was ordained in 1931.

The next ten years of Fr. Bodkin's life were spent teaching or directing studies in Clongowes and Belvedere. His work was characterised by energy and originality. To give an example of the latter characteristic, when prefect of studies in Clongowes, he was responsible for three institutions all of which were, for those days, distinctly forward-looking. These were the “Society of St Patrick” which put the senior boys into touch with charitable institutions in Dublin, in the hope of their being enlisted, a lending library of non-fictional books which the boys could carry about with them, and a special meeting room for the Irish Society in which all the furniture and decorations were examples of Irish craftmanship. He was a stimulating teacher, and was indefatigable in guiding boys to suitable careers, getting them openings and keeping in touch with them in after life. This personal relationship with his pupils and past pupils was perhaps the greatest apostolate of Fr Mattie's life.

In 1943 there was an urgent request from the head chaplain of the British forces for a naval chaplain. The post was offered to Fr Bodkin, who willingly accepted it. He acted at first as Port Chaplain in Derry, where he had a very friendly reception from the then bishop, Dr Farren. His work there was varied by a strenuous patrol journey to Iceland on a destroyer. He then joined HMS Anson, and did duty in many parts of the world, Malta, Australia, Hong Kong - where he arrived just as the last Japanese were leaving, and where he met the Irish Jesuit missionaries who had survived the ordeal of the occupation - Japan and Singapore. Though he never saw fighting, he had innumerable adventures and had constant opportunity for priestly work.

He was demobilized towards the end of 1946, and spent the next twenty years giving missions and retreats. To this work he applied himself with characteristic vigour, and became well known to the clergy throughout Ireland. During all this time he kept up his friendships with his former pupils, and contracted many more, among all walks of life, as a result of his unfailing readiness to help those who were in trouble. But as years went on, his eye sight gradually deteriorated, and finally he had to live a more or less retired life at Milltown Park. Fr Mattie, however, could never be idle, and to the last he endeavoured to carry on some literary work. He had, for instance, planned an article for 1974 to mark the centenary of the birth of Sir Hugh Lane, whom he had known when he was a boy. It also gave him great happiness to be able to carry on his priestly work to the end, acting as spiritual adviser to several communities of young Christian Brothers.

Fr Bodkin was a man of wide and varied interests and talents. His special subject was history and here his quite phenomenal memory stood him in good stead - but he had also an encyclopediac knowledge of English literature, and was himself a prolific and able writer. As a young man, he published three excellent stories for young people,” Floodtide”, “The Treasure of the Mountain” and “Halt Invader”, and in later life an historical novel, “Borrowed Days”, in the background of which figured houses he had lived in, Emo Park, Belvedere, Clongowes, Among his other works were a study of the life and spirituality of Fr John Sullivan, “The Port of Tears”, which recreated in a striking way the Victorian background of Fr Sullivan's early life, and a particularly attractive illustrated book, “A Christmas Novena”. He was also the author of many excellent painphlets on the lives of the saints, amongst them St Bernadette, St John Berchmans, St John de Brébeuf and Blessed Ralph Corby.

A minor work of his was a first-class piece of literary detection. This was a paper which he read to the Royal Irish Academy in 1924 on a memorandum preserved in the Clongowes library. It is obviously the work of a confidential agent, and expresses in very frank terms the writer's opinion of the members of the Irish House of Commons in 1773. Fr. Bodkin identified the author as Sir John Blaquire, secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Harcourt, and also gave an enlightening view of the contemporary political situation.

Fr Mattie had also a fine artistic taste. He had a wide knowledge of the great artists and paintings of every age, and in parti cular had made a special study of the art as well as the history of Egypt. Through his association with his brother Tom, he had come to know many contemporary Irish artists, in particular Jack B. Years, on whose work he was invited to lecture on several occasions at the Sligo Yeats Festival.

Bohan, Edmund, 1862-1883, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/928
  • Person
  • 13 November 1862-24 July 1883

Born: 13 November 1862, County Limerick
Entered 18 September 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 July 1883, St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, Australia

Early Irish Australian Mission 1882

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
1882 He was sent for Regency to Australia with John Flynn, both being delicate in health. He took his First Vows there in 1883, but died shortly afterwards at the Residence in Richmond, Melbourne 18 September 1880.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Having been educated at St Stanislaus College Tullamore and entering the Society at Milltown Park, Edmund became ill and was sent to Australia, where he took vows just before his death.

Note from John Flynn Entry
After a year it was discovered he had consumption and was sent to Australia with another novice sufferer, Edmund Bohan, and arrived in December 1882.

Booth, Edward, 1917-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/483
  • Person
  • 24 November 1917-12 April 1988

Born: 24 November 1917, Kells, County Kerry
Entered: 14 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1957, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 12 April 1988, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of the Belvedere College SJ community, Great Denmark Street, Dublin at the time of death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 3 1988
Obituary
Fr Edward Booth (1917-1938-1988)

24th November 1917: born in Kells, near Cahirsiveen, Co. Kerry. Schooled at local national school; Christian Brothers' school, Cahirsiveen; and Mungret College.
14th September 1938: entered SJ. 1938-40 Emo, noviciate. 1940-43 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1943-46 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1946-48 Mungret, Third-club prefect. 1948-52 Milltown Park, theology. 31st July 1951: ordained to priesthood by Archbishop John C McQuaid. 1952-53 Rathfarnham, tertianship, during which he received his assignment to Zambia (then called Northern Rhodesia). During the summer of 1953, along with his fellow-missionaries he received a course of vaccine injections against tropical diseases. (The other members of the group departed for Africa on 11th August, without Ted.)
On or about 6th August 1953: the stroke which changed his life. 1953-55 Milltown Park. 1955-70 Clongowes. 1970-85 Belvedere. 1985-88 Kilcroney nursing-home, Bray, Co Wicklow. 12th April 1988: died.

Fr Ted, or, as he was better known to his family and Jesuit colleagues, simply "Ted", was a true Kerryman, as he delighted in reminding us all. For his regency he was assigned to Mungret College, where he had been schooled and where he had full scope for his down-to earth practical ability.
It was two years after his ordination to the priesthood and five days before his expected departure for Zambia that Ted suffered a very sudden stroke and brain haemorrhage, which caused semi paralysis and effectively deprived him of speech for the remaining thirty-five years of his life. Suddenly and unexpectedly life had radically changed. The strange ways of Providence and the mystery of suffering in the world were exemplified in Ted's life during these thirty-five years. His frustration was intense, and he often expressed it in words soon to become very familiar to us: “Long time”. Heroically he carried his cross during all these years. The will power he manifested in his daily endeavours to overcome his disability was matched by the ingenious ways he devised of coping with it and preserving his limited independence.
The ultimate suffering for Ted came during the last three years of his life, as his condition in 1985 necessitated that he should be moved to the St John of God Brothers' nursing-home in Kilcroney. There he received the most dedicated care and attention of the community and staff. The limited communication which he had was now reduced to mere recognition. Life in a Jesuit house with a Jesuit community had been one of the supports of Ted's life, but now this strong support was removed, and he suffered the corresponding pain of such a loss. He died peacefully and suddenly in the late evening of 12th April. Ted's poignant “Why?” in relation to his suffering is now no longer dependent on our feeble attempts to answer or to clarify.
Ted was always practical and down-to earth, with a no-nonsense approach to all aspects of life. Those who were more at home in abstract speculation and decidedly ill-at-ease and lacking on the practical level could expect a knowing and sympathetic nod from Ted. Back in Milltown, in 1949, he was one of the first to alert the community on the fateful night of the fire. He it was who brought the aged Fr Bill Gwynn to safety on that night. Study was not an indulgence for Ted; it was a laborious and heavy burden, but one he shouldered with great determination and tenacity.
To us in the community, Ted was a very rich presence. He was our brother, who had come through the years of formation with several of us, and could share the jokes about our noviceship under Fr John Neary, Tommy Byrne's philosophy lectures (“stingo”), and all the rest. In his tragic incapacity, his few words and his extraordinary sense of fun, he was like a child in our midst, almost a son to us. But in the unspoken and inexpressible mystery of his vocation to share the Cross of Christ so intimately, he was our father, one who had gone far ahead of us on the path to Cal vary by which we must all walk.
In community, he was always at hand, and always ready to extend a welcome to visitors with his familiar salutation “Hello” or “You are well?”. He was a catalyst at recreation, and where the laughter was, there you might expect to find Ted. He had a great sense of humour, especially when subjected to leg-pulling. Of course you had to give him the opportunity of scoring off his teaser, and this gave him great delight. He thoroughly enjoyed the cut and thrust of an argument, and his “Good, good” left no doubt where his sympathies lay, while “Bad, bad” clearly indicated his strong denunciation.
There was a minimum of self-pity about Ted. He immediately related to anyone he met. His regular fortnightly visit to Mrs Carroll was an important event on his agenda. She gave him devoted medical attention, of which friendship, hospitality and support always formed part. A special gift to Ted was his family, especially his sisters Katty and Peggy, whose love and care for him were very special indeed. How Ted used to look forward to holidays with them in Kerry! In the mutual attention, concern and devotion Ted had for his nieces and they for him, the age gap was completely swept aside. The members of the Clongowes and Belvedere communities, among whom Ted spent almost the entire thirty-five years of his illness, showed him extraordinary consideration, understanding and consistent kindness. The constant caring attention of Fr Jim Lynch in Belvedere was a never-failing source of strength and support for Ted.
Ted was a man of prayer and a very holy man, with the Mass as the centre of his very life. His customary early-morning ritual was to trudge over to Gardiner Street or celebrating Mass in Belvedere. He lived the Cross in his daily life and so could appreciate in the Mass the Sacrifice of the Cross. The gospel read at his funeral Mass said of St Peter: “When you were young you , . . walked where you liked; but when you grow old . . . somebody else will ... lead you where you would rather not go”. St Peter would have grown old before he was led away, but Ted was still a young man, strong and ready for action, when he was led where he would rather not go.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988
Obituary

Father Edward Booth SJ
Fr Booth was not a past pupil of Belvedere but he lived in the Jesuit community here from 1970 until 1985 when he had to go into a nursing home. Ted, as we knew him, was not, either, strictly a member of the College staff, well known as he was to all of them, because he had been severely incapacitated by a stroke when he was 35, shortly after his ordination, and this effectively deprived him of speech for the remaining 35 years of his life, preventing him from carrying on any priestly ministry in the normal sense.

The boys saw little of him over the years he was here, although he did for a while appoint himself “Yard Supervisor” with responsibility for seeing that perfectly good lunches were not thrown away by the younger ones. Many an unthinking malefactor found himself being hauled unceremoniously back to the bin - Ted was very strong, despite paralysis on one side - to retrieve what he had discarded, the whole business being embarrassingly accompanied by stern cries from his captor, the intent of which was perfectly clear to all, even if the words were not!

But this conveys little of the richness of Ted's presence to us in the community. He was always at hand, always ready to extend a welcome to visitors, a catalyst at recreation, with a great sense of humour and a minimum of self-pity. He was a very important part of life in the house, laughing at our over busyness, mocking any hint of foolish self-importance in anyone, young or old, a living reminder of the things that really matter. These pages chronicle many wonderful achievements but few have fashioned any thing more wonderful out of their lives than Ted Booth did.

He died suddenly and peacefully in Kilcroney on April 12th. We miss him sorely and we remember him with affection, gratitude and reverence. We realise now what a mysterious privilege it was to have lived with him.

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/64
  • Person
  • 02 January 1895-29 April 1985

Born: 02 January 1895, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 December 1926, Convent of Mercy, Waterford City
Final vows: 22 April 1977, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 29 April 1985, Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
by 1932, fifth wave Hong Kong Missioners.
◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Edward Bourke, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Edward Bourke, SJ, formerly of Hong Kong, died in Kuala Lumpur on 29 April 1985, aged 90.

Father Bourke came to Hong Kong as a young Jesuit priest in 1930 and worked here for the following 25 years. He was one of the first Jesuits to teach in Wah Yan College and he became Rector shortly before the siege of Hong Kong. During the siege he showed outstanding courage in caring for the spiritual and bodily welfare of all in need. After the surrender he had the difficult task of keeping the school in being. As an Irish citizen he was not interned, but he had endless difficulties to meet. With equal fortitude and ingenuity, he overcame countless obstacles, and there was still a Wah Yan Chinese Middle - when liberation came.

After the war he taught in the two Wah Yans for about a decade - first in Hong Kong, later in Kowloon. At the end of that time he moved to Singapore, leaving behind memories, not only of his educational work, but also of much sympathetic and assiduous pastoral work. He was always a man of many friends.

In Singapore and Malaysia over the past thirty years, he devoted himself mainly to pastoral and apostolic work, even in advanced old age.

For his last few months he was feeble in body, but his mind retained all its clarity.

Mass of the “Month’s Mind” will be celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, at 6pm on Wednesday, 29 May.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 17 May 1985

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at the Presentation Convent National School and St Mary’s National School in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, and then he went to Mungret College SJ in Limerick.

He entered the Society in 1912, did Regency at Belvedere College SJ and made tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
He was a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and later at Kowloon. He made outstanding contributions in educational and pastoral apostolic works.
He was nicknamed “The Grand Old Man” of the Province.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Frs. Bourke and John O'Meara returned from Hong Kong on 25th November for a reşt. Fr. Joseph O'Mara, who had returned to the Mission some time ago after a stay in Ireland, was forced by ill-health to come back to the Province. He reached Dublin on 13th January, and is now teaching philosophy at Tullabeg.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

Fr Eddie Bourke (1895-1912-1985) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Born on 2nd January 1895 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. Baptismal name: Edwardus. Civic official name: Edmond. 1901-10: studied at local Presentation convent first, then at local Christian Brothers' school. 1910-12: studied at Mungret.
7th September 1912: entered S], 1912-14 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1914-18 Rathfarnham, juniorate, specializing in History and Irish. Gained a BA (Hons). As a precaution against being con- scripted, he received minor Orders. 1918-19 Belvedere, teaching. 1919-22 Milltown, philosophy. 1922-24 Mungret, prefecting and teaching, 1924-28 Milltown, theology. Ordained a priest by Bishop Hackett, CSSR, in Convent of Mercy, Waterford, on 8th December 1926. 1928-30 Mungret, prefecting and teaching. 1930-31 St Beuno's, tertianship.
To Far East: 1931-2 Shiuhing, learning Cantonese. 1932-39 Wah Yan Hong Kong, minister and teacher, 1939-'40 Loyola language school, Superior. 1940-48 Wah Yan Hong Kong, Rector. 1948-54 Wah Yan Kowloon, spiritual father, teacher, bursar and assistant to prefect of studies. 1954-57 Cheung Chau, superior, directing Spiritual Exercises. 1957-63 Singapore, directing Spiritual Exercises, spiritual father, Superior. 1963-65 Penang, operarius at Cathedral. 1965-72 Petaling Jaya, Superior, bursar; 1972-78 parish assistant; 1978-84 chaplain to Assunta hospital; 1984-85 praying for Church and SJ. Died on 29th April 1985.
For details of Fr Bourke's assignments and those of many other Hong Kong Jesuits who predeceased him, the present editor is deeply obliged to Fr Joseph Garland, Socius to the Provincial, Hong Kong.

During many of Fr Eddie Bourke's earlier years in the Society I was in community with him: in the noviciate, juniorate, Belvedere, philosophy and the four years of theology. We were very good friends, and were drawn together by certain common interests. We were both vigorous walkers and enjoyed together long tramps over the then unspoiled Dublin mountains. Together with the late Fr Michael Kelly, we formed a preaching club which met on Sunday mornings in the old kitchen of Rathfarnham Castle, and Fr Eddie was my patient tutor in my earliest efforts to master the Irish language.
I therefore knew Fr Eddie very well, and yet I find a certain difficulty in the task of setting down my memories of him and thus leaving for future generations a picture of his early life in the Society, There were no outstanding events in that life. It was just a succession of years spent most perfectly in religion. I can sum it up briefly by saying that Fr Eddie Bourke was one of the holiest and most lovable men whom I have been privileged to know.
When I endeavour to go a little into detail, the first characteristic that recurs to me is his extraordinary charity. He was the kindest of souls: I could not imagine a harsh word coming from his lips. He was always ready to help others in unattractive jobs, I recall in particular with what infinite patience he coached a fellow-theologian who without his help would never have reached ordination. He was what we called "a great community man": a delightful companion on our excursions to the mountains; taking a prominent part in the plays which we produced at Christmas; one of our star players at football and handball; a good pianist, and able to act when needed as substitute organist.
Amidst all these virtues and gifts perhaps the most characteristic was a great simplicity - one might almost say a childlike simplicity. His heart was, in the best sense, always on his sleeve. In conversation with him one always felt at ease. He had no reticences, no strong prejudices. His views were always expressed openly, but with good humour and tolerance. I have no doubt but that this admirable openness and candour contributed largely to that wonderful success as a missionary which
is chronicled below. May God rest his gentle soul.
Fergal McGrath

My earliest recollection of Eddie Bourke is seeing him as a young priest during the Easter vacation marking the tennis courts in Mungret for the summer term. He was First Club Prefect for a year in 1928 or 1929. We were inclined to help him, but found the task of getting four right angles in unison beyond our ability, so we left Fr Bourke to his mathematical calculations but were impressed by his devotion to duty. Though being in the Apostolic School I had no direct contact with Eddie Bourke, I sensed his personal interest in boys and never looked upon him as a disciplinarian.
When I arrived at the language school in Tai Lam Chung in 39, Fr Bourke was our superior. This time our engagements were again on the tennis-court, but in lawn bowls. Eddie was always a very keen competitor in all games, and even in old age was a reckless swimmer. Often we pleaded with him to swim parallel to the coastline, but he preferred to go straight out until he was a speck in the distance. Of his driving it was said that he had caused many of his guardian angels to be sent for psychiatric treatment.
By now Eddie had acquired a reputation as a manipulator of names. Ordinary mortals are stumped when they cannot recall names from the past, Eddie Bourke was never at a loss even when the names of those present escaped him. Influenced by the war bulletins of those days, when he referred to Mr Mannerheim we knew he was talking about Joe McAsey. If he said he was going to Belvedere for lunch we guessed that the distance between Clongowes and Belvedere was about the same as Wah Yan from the language school. For the first of his many jubilees, 50 years in the Society, which he celebrated in Singapore, I wrote a short appreciation which the late Terry Sheridan read at the jubilee dinner. In praise of Eddie I contrasted the skill of Fr Dan Donnelly who claimed that as prefect of studies in Wah Yan he knew every boy in the school by name within three weeks of the beginning of the school year. Within a shorter time, Eddie's charism enabled him to know every boy in the school by another name than the one by which his mother knew him. Yet his influence with boys has been attested by many generations of teachers and pupils of Wah Yan.
During his year in the language school Eddie began his magnum opus, which brought tears to the eyes of its censors and yet went through many editions. He was not gifted with the accuracy of exposition or theological acumen to be the author of a catechism. The result could be said to be a combined effort. The message was Eddie's but the expression of it was produced by those who sweated to revise and clarify. Eddie never lacked courage to undertake a task which he thought could produce fruit for the kingdom of Christ. Years later in Malaysia he was still receiving royalties from new printings of his catechism in Hong Kong. To the great relief of his brethren the plans he entertained to write shorter works on various theological subjects never saw the light. In his later years he was very impressed by a series of tapes by Archbishop Fulton Sheen and made use of them in instructing catechumens.
During the siege of Hong Kong and the looting to which it gave occasion, Eddie like another of the “old guard” Fr George Byrne showed great courage in dangerous situations. Of his moral courage in dealing with the Japanese authorities I leave others to testify. It is worth noting that he was headmaster of Wah Yan before, during and after the occupation, and yet his name was never tainted with any suspicion of “collaboration”. It is a tribute to his sincerity as much as to his ingenuity.
Eddie Bourke had a penchant for dealing with 'free thinkers' in high position and writers who had lapsed from the fold, Such people represented a challenge to him, since he was sure he could convince them of the error of their ways. It did not worry him that some of his brethren thought he was guilty of semi-pelagianism in his approach to possible converts. He was acting according to one arm of St Ignatius' famous dictum, “Work as if everything depends on you”. In the event it was Eddie's goodness that impressed people much more than his syllogisms. Eddie Bourke had a heart of gold but his training was in the era of apologetics and rational arguments, and he never resolved the tension. It may be that he never formulated such a conflict as existing in himself.
My longest association with Eddie Bourke was for a period of 13 years in the parish of St Francis Xavier in Petaling Jaya. When we arrived there in 1965 he was already 70 years of age. Though I was more than 18 years his junior in age I could not keep up with him either at the pace he walked or the amount of work he got through. He had a special interest in the sick and every week brought communion to the elderly and the infirm in their homes. This round took nearly two hours by car and at one point meant climbing to the sixth floor of a block of flats that had no lift, in order to visit a blind lady. Until he was 83 Eddie continued this apostolate and was never questioned about his driving licence which seemed to be able to renew itself like the eagle. His preaching was of the vigorous kind and was more appreciated by the parents and grand parents than by the youth of the parish. Like many of his generation, and indeed those of many generations after him, he lacked familiarity with the bible and there tended to be ignore evidence of Genicot than of the Gospels in his sermons. He recognised the need of family virtues and had a strong devotion to the Holy Family which he frequently referred to as the “University of Nazareth”. In his seventies he had to resurrect the musical talent he had 60 years earlier, when he played the piano. On many occasions he had to play the organ at church weddings. To the satisfaction of all, he gave a competent rendering of "Here comes the bride and the wedding march.
The Spiritual Exercises had a strong appeal for Eddie. He looked back on his early years in Malaysia as the best of his life, as he travelled up and down the country giving retreats, mostly to the Infant Jesus communities. It was a grievous blow to him when a new book, “A modern Scriptural approach to the Spiritual Exercises, proved to be altogether different to what he expected.
He ordered a dozen copies of the book on the recommendation of a review he had seen. When he opened the book he decided he had been cheated. Apparently he had hoped that every meditation of Ignatius would be supported by scripture passages. He wasn't appeased when we told him that the title of the book mentioned an 'approach' to the Exercises. In frustration and disappointment he insisted on writing to Dave Stanley accusing him of giving a title which was not only misleading but deceitful. The brethren, in the meantime, both in P.J. and Singapore, were able to possess a personal copy of the work, owing to Eddie's prodigality and high hopes.
In his last few years Eddie was very proud of the fact that, in terms of years in the Society, he was the senior Irish Jesuit. There were a few Jesuits in Ireland who were older in years but had entered the noviciate later than he. About a year ago he wrote to Zambia to a boyhood friend from Carrick-on-Suir. He received a reply from the superior in Chikuni to say that Fr Tom Cooney was unable to write and that his mind was failing. Tom Cooney's health had never been good, so it was a surprise to Eddie they were in the home stretch together: Eddie was still confident that he would survive his friend from Carrick, but it was not to be.
Up to the end, Eddie was occupied in finding solutions to the problems of salvation. When Fr General visited Petaling Jaya in February, Eddie attended the open session where questions were asked and information exchanged. Knowing that Fr General had spent much of his life in the Middle East, Eddie was keen to explain his conviction in a private interview about the salvation of Muslims. According to Eddie they would all get to Limbo.
When Eddie meets Pat Grogan in the life where time is no longer of any importance, and tales are told about the thousands of pupils they knew in Robinson Road, Eddie will have all the names at his finger-tips. But now Eddie will be just as accurate as Pat. Each boy will have his proper name.
J B Wood

Bourke, Thomas, 1588-1651, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/932
  • Person
  • 24 June 1588-12 December 1651

Born: 24 June 1588, Limerick City
Entered: 06 October 1607, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1615
Died: 12 December 1651, Limerick Residence

Alias de Burgo

Parents Thomas de Burgo and Jane Arthur were a distinguished family
Studied at Limerick and Douai - became an MA 19 August 1607 : a good classical scholar, reconciling many to the Church, Professor of Theology (Verdier)
1617 Is in France studying Theology at Bordeaux
1621 Catalogue : On the Irish Mission 9 years, has talent and judgement but lacks prudence and experience. Is a valetudinarian and slow. Confessor.
1622 Catalogue In Western Munster
1626 Catalogue : “Thomas Burkeus” in Ireland
1636 has talent but cannot progress due to ill health
1649 Is in Limerick

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries : de Burgo (1) and Burke (2)
(1) de Burgo
DOB 01 July 1580 or 24 June 1588 Limerick; Ent 21st or 06 October 1607 Tournai; RIP Limerick (?) after 1650
Son of Thomas de Burgo and Mary née Arthur
Studied at Limerick and Douai, graduating MA 19 August 1607 -
“A good classical scholar; Professor of Theology; Noted Preacher; Has reconciled many to the Church” - Mercure Verdier, Visitor to Irish Mission
(2) Burke
DOB 1586 Limerick; Ent 1608 Tournai;
Son of Thomas de Burgo and Mary née Arthur
“A good classical scholar; Professor of Theology; Noted Preacher; Has reconciled many to the Church” - Mercure Verdier, Visitor to Irish Mission
Reconciled : Burke is probably de Burgo named in the Diary of Tourney, December 21, 1607 as DOB 24 June 1588; Admitted 19 August 1607 and Ent 21 December 1607 Tournai;
1617 In France
Letter of 04 November 1611 from Thomas Lawndry (Christopher Holiwood) to Mission Superior Richard Conway he is mentioned as assisting Nicholas Leynach in the west part of the Southern Province (Irish Ecclesiastical Record, April 1874)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Joanna née Arthur
Studied Humanities in Ireland graduating MA before Ent 06 October 1607
Early years after First Vows not easily traced.
1615 Returned to Ireland as priest but yet to complete his studies.
1616 Sent to Bordeaux to complete his studies.
On his return to Ireland he was assigned to the Residence in Limerick where he spent the rest of his life. For many years he taught Humanities at the Jesuit school there. He died 12 December, 1651

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BURKE, THOMAS, was of a good family, and entered the Society in 1606. F. Verdier reports of him that he was an excellent Classic Scholar - that he had been Professor of Polemic Divinity, and was famed at Limerick, where he was settled, as a Preacher and that he had reconciled many to the Catholic Church. After the summer of 1649, I can trace him no longer.

Boyd Barrett, Edward J, 1883-1966, former Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA N5
  • Person
  • 1883-1966

Edward John Boyd-Barrett

Entered: 7 September 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1917, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Left: 23 September 1925
Died: 14 August 1966, Infirmary of the Jesuit Community at the University of Santa Clara, California, U.S.A.

Bracken, Kevin, 1904-1931, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/699
  • Person
  • 12 February 1904-29 April 1931

Born: 12 February 1904, Limerick
Entered: 23 November 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Professed: 02 February 1913
Died: 29 April 1931, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ. He then studied Pharmacy and worked as a qualified Chemist in Dundalk.

1926-1930 After First Vows at St Stanislaus Tullabeg, he went to Rathfarnham as Infirmarian and in charge of the servants
1930 He became ill and was sent to Australia, stationed first at Riverview, then at Sevenhill and finally at Norwood, Adelaide, where he died.

Brother of Brendan Bracken (1901–58), politician.

◆ Irish Province News :

Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931

Obituary :

Br Kevin Bracken

Br. Bracken died at Norwood, Australia, on Wednesday 29 April 1931. His unexpected death, at the early age of 27, was a shock to all his friends in Ireland. Since the sad news arrived one of our Scholastics received a letter written by Br. Bracken 29 March. It is showed him to be in excellent health and as energetic as ever. Unfortunately, no details of the sad event have yet come to hand.

Br. Kevin Bracken was born 12 Feb. 1904. educated at Belvedere, and on leaving school, spent some time in the world as a chemist. For good reasons he preferred to join the Society as a Lay Brother, and began his noviceship 23 Nov. 1923 at Tullabeg. The noviceship over he get a hospital training in England that made him - when he returned to Ireland - a very efficient infirmarian at Rathfarnham. In addition to his work as infirmarian he had charge of the general up-keep of the house, and it was often remarked that under his care Rathfarnham was second to no house in the Province in neatness, and general material order. It came as a surprise to many that Br. Bracken sailed for Australia with the party that left Ireland in 1930.
Having spent a short time at Riverview he was sent to Sevenhill to nurse Fr. Fleury, and, when the patient died, was changed to Norwood to look after the material up-keep of the house. Here he died 29 April.
Br. Bracken was indeed a conscientious religious and attended as carefully to the interests of his own soul as he did to the various household duties that he discharged so thoroughly and so well. RIP

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Kevin Bracken SJ 1904-1931
Br Kevin Bracken was born in 1904. His family resided first at Kilmallock and then at Templemore. He was a brother of the famous Brendan Bracken, who was Minister of Information in Churchill’s Cabinet in World War II.

Kevin was educated at Belvedere College and spent some years after school training to be a chemist. He entered the Society in 1923 as a temporal coadjutor, declining the priesthood., He was of large stature, powerfully built with a luxuriant shock of red hair, cheerful nay even gay in manner, following that dictum of WB Yeats “For the good are always the merry save by eciul chance…”

He was very popular with generations of Juniors in Rathfarnham, where he acted as Infirmarian. In September 1930 Br Kevin went to Australia where, to the surprise of al, he died the following year on April 29th 1931, young in years, but rich in merit.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1931

Obituary

Brother Kevin Bracken SJ

It was only last August that Brother Bracken, full of buoyancy and health, left us for Australia. He was then in his twenty-seventh year. Bidding him farewell his many friends wished him every blessing during the long years of service that seemed in store for him under the southern skics. How great then was the shock with: which, at the end of April last, we received the sad announcement of his death. Few could have dreamt that God had destined to call him so soon from our midst. As we write, details of his death are not yet to hand. Having left Belvedere, in 1919, Kevin Bracken, the son of the late J K, and Mrs Bracken of Ardvullen, Kilmallock, and of Templemore, for some time studied pharmacy and worked as a qualified chemist in Dundalk. In 1923, however, he abandoned his position and at his own special request was admitted as a lay-brother postulant into the Society of Jesus. He did his noviceship in Tullabeg College, Offaly, and went afterwards as infirmarian to Rathfarnham Castle where he remained until his departure for Australia last August. In Australia he spent some time at St. Ignatius' College, Riverview, at St Aloysius', Sevenhills, and went finally, to Norwood in Adelaide, where he was stationed at the time of his death. He was the first Jesuit lay-brother ever attached to the house of the Society there and, as he said himself in a letter, tragically received some days after the announcement of his death, was the . cause of “a lot of curiosity”, at the time of his arrival. In his care of the sick none could be more devoted, while his previous training and experience as a chemist made him most efficient in every way. Deeply do we regret his early death; and to the sorrowing members of his family most truly offer our sincere sympathy. RIP

Brady, John M, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/849
  • Person
  • 03 September 1935-15 April 2014

Born: 03 September 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1973, College of Industrial Relations, Dublin
Died: 15 April 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1970 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-economist-honoured/

John Brady SJ was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland on Friday 20 Nov,’09. Many former colleagues, Jesuits and friends were there to celebrate his achievement. John Brady SJ spent thirty years of his life at the NCI which was formerly known as the National College of Industrial Relations, based in Ranelagh. According to Dr Tony White of the Milltown Institute, who gave the citation, John Brady was a moderniser. He said it was mainly during his time that the college moved from being a college of adult education to a mainline third-level institution. He also oversaw the employment of lay staff along with Jesuits.”That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist!” Click here to read the full text of Tony White’s speech.
Citation for Reverend John Brady SJ on the occasion of the conferring of an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland , 20 November 2009
It is very appropriate that we should today be conferring an honorary fellowship on Father John Brady. John Brady is somebody who has made an immense contribution to developing this college and bringing the National College of Ireland to its present position, and it is right that we should acknowledge this contribution in a tangible way.
John Brady is a northside Dubliner. He was educated at Kostka College in Clontarf. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1953. Following two years of novitiate at Emo he continued his studies of economics and history at University College Dublin where he graduated in 1958. Three years of the study of philosophy followed at Tullabeg, after which he spent four years teaching at Crescent College in Limerick and Belvedere College. He then went to Milltown Park to study theology and was ordained there in 1968.
He came to this college in 1970; at that time it was known as the National College of industrial Relations and was located in Ranelagh. He would remain a member of the college staff for thirty years. During his first two years he completed a master’s in economics at University College Dublin. In 1972 he was appointed Director of the College and he held that position for ten years.
John Brady was a moderniser. During his time as Director NCIR made the transition from being primarily a college of adult education to becoming a mainline third-level college. The College had opened as the Catholic Workers College in 1951, and it developed from the skills and contacts of a small and remarkable group of Jesuits in the 1950s and 1960s.
Most of them were still at the College when John joined the staff. He built on the tradition they had established. He consolidated relations with the social partners, and the National College of Industrial Relations became a meeting point for unions and management. John Brady helped to make it very much a crossroads and a good place for what we now call networking.
The College built up a unique niche for itself in industrial relations nationally. John had the diplomatic skills to enable the College to maintain good relations and respect with both sides of industry, no mean achievement in the Ireland of that time. The traditional links with the trade union movement which had been there from the beginning were built on further , and in addition the College became a nationally recognised centre of excellence for teaching what was then referred to as personnel management, and what is today called human resource management.
That was the point at which the College made the transition to becoming a third level institution. John Brady saw the need for external accreditation and recognition of the College’s awards and under him NCIR had its first experience of state recognition with the National Council for Educational Awards, the forerunner of what is now HETAC The National Diploma in Industrial Relations Studies achieved recognition in 1976. This was a major breakthrough because there were at that time many, including a number of influential public servants, who were reluctant to see private colleges like this college achieving state recognition. Under John planning also began on the next phase, which was the move upwards to degree work which took place in the 1980s. These steps constituted the largest and most important transformation in the College’s history and they happened under John’s leadership.
While John was the driver in transforming the College into a third level institution and meeting all the quality inputs, demands and targets that this required, it was also a priority for him that the College would not neglect its roots and that its newly acquired status would not choke the important role which it had always given to access, to looking after those who were often overlooked by the rest of the higher education system. For him the commitment to access, to ensuring that people could have a second chance at achieving their potential, was something of a mission. He ensured that this would remain a college where so far as possible every individual, regardless of what their previous educational history had been, would be afforded an opportunity to develop their full potential. More than anyone else he helped maintain that balance which saw this college achieve genuine third level status, while at the same time maintaining that commitment to offering a very wide level of access to higher education that has put NCI into the unique position nationally which was recognised by the OECD report in 2004.
By the same token John was good at spotting talent, and good also at letting people have their head. In his time as Director the staff grew significantly and he was the one who introduced the first cohort of lay staff. Previously the staff had been almost exclusively Jesuit. That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist.
John Brady has also during his career been a regular contributor to newspapers and journals on economic and social matters. His primary interest was economics, but he was one of those economists whose scope was wide and who wrote on political economy and the social impact of economic decisions and trends. He was also one of those people who reflected and wrote about how the problems of Northern Ireland might eventually be brought to resolution. He was not just a highly practical and effective administrator but by his writing and his activity in the public arena he helped to create the acceptance of this college as one where serious scholarship and intellectual reflection took place.
Asked what characterised John Brady, one of those who worked with him in the early years of the College suggested that he was somebody who offered calm leadership to very strong individuals. He is indeed a calm, gentle and courteous man, a widely – read man and someone with a great interest in music. You are liable to bump into him regularly at the National Concert Hall. Nevertheless behind that gentle exterior there was the passion, the determination, the steel and the vision that tend to be marks of successful leaders of complex institutions like this College.
It is fitting then that this serious scholar and far-seeing manager should be numbered among the honorary fellows of this College, and it is my privilege and pleasure to commend Father John Brady SJ for this distinction.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

3 September 1935 : Born in Dublin
Early education at Holy Faith Convent and Kostka College
7 September 1953: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1955: First Vows at Emo
1955 - 1957: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1957 - 1961: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1961 - 1963: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1963 - 1965: Belvedere College - Teacher
1965 - 1969: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
10 July 1968: Ordained at Milltown Park
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1970 - 1984: College of Industrial Relations
1970 - 1972: Lecturer; Post-grad. Studies in Economics (MA from UCD)
1973 - 1982: Director of CIR; Lecturer
15 August 1973: Final Vows
1982 - 1983: Sabbatical year
1983 - 1984: Lecturer in Economics at C.I.R.
1984 - 2014: Gonzaga College - Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer
1987 - 1994: Lecturer in Economics at NCR; Writer; Research Lecturer
1994 - 2000: Chaplain and Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer; Research
2000 - 2001: Writer; Research Lecturer
2001 - 2004: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Sacred Space contributor
2004 - 2010: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Prefect of Health; Writer
2010: Prefect of Health. Assistant Chaplain Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus
2010 - 2011: Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus Lecturer at NCI
2011 - 2012: Emeritus Lecturer at National College of Ireland.
2012 - 2014: Resident, Cherryfield Lodge. Prayed for the Church and the Society

Fr. Brady was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 26th October 2012 when he needed nursing care. His condition deteriorated over time, more so over the last couple of months. He died peacefully before 6:00 am on l5th April 2014. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Fr John Brady died in Cherryfield Lodge on 15 April, at the age of 78. The big crowds at his Removal and Funeral Mass were a reminder of his range of interests, and of the affection with which so many regarded him. He was educated at an interesting school with Jesuit roots, Kostka College in Clontarf, founded and managed by Louis Roden who had been a Jesuit novice. John entered the Jesuits at 18. Son of a civil servant, with roots in Cavan and Meath, his Jesuit life was mainly centred round the College of Industrial Relations, where he was first a lecturer in Economics, then director of the college from 1973-1982, then, for a further 17 years, lecturer and chaplain. His publications, in clear and dispassionate prose, centred mainly on questions of economic and social policy, in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

He had joys and interests outside his work, notably in art, tennis, music and sailing (he was active in the Glénans organisation, first as an apprentice sailor, later as an instructor). John was open-minded, supportive of younger colleagues, and with a keen curiosity about the world he lived in. As a scholastic in Crescent College in 1962, he had shown a capacity for strategic thinking and action. Brendan Staunton, then a Fifth Year pupil, remembers how John was introduced to the tennis team as their new coach. “He looked the part, with his dazzling head of blond hair. His speaking style however was new to us, and his knowledge of tennis sounded esoteric, most un-Limerick-like. The team progressed to the final, in which they beat Glenstal. At a school assembly John Brady was acclaimed for his shrewd knowledge of the game and his team. What we didn't realise until well after our win was something John Brady did behind the scenes. Glenstal had played their previous rounds on hard courts. John quietly managed to have the final played on grass, in the Club where four of the team were members. And that made all the difference!”

In his homily at John's Requiem Mass, Bill Toner noted the same capacity for strategic thinking:

I was only head-hunted once in my life, and that was by John, who had just been appointed Director of the College of Industrial Relations. He was very strategic in his approach to the job. One aspect of that was that he kept an eye out for young Jesuits who might be persuaded to work in the College. I had studied accountancy in my younger days, and John had just finished designing a National Diploma course in industrial relations which included a subject called 'Financial Control Systems'. So I was quickly in his sights. Anyway the result was that I spent 17 happy years in the CIR, and for the first seven John was my boss.

John was great to work with. When I look back at it now I imagine he must have found me insufferable at times, but he never showed it. He was very humble, and that is why the Beatitudes came to me when I was suggesting a Gospel for the Mass. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. I was full of new ideas when I arrived and I must have frequently strayed onto his patch, but he never pulled rank or said I am the boss here. He seemed to enjoy the contribution made by the various young Turks, Jesuit and lay, who came to work in the College. He was not himself a revolutionary by temperament, but he was greatly fascinated by people who wanted to shake things up and rock the boat and was always ready to give them their head. The result was that there was a great atmosphere of freedom and bold ideas in the College. Lecturers were, to my knowledge, never reined in. If a lecturer was reported to have said something outrageous, rallying people to the cause of the class war or something like that, John would find it amusing rather than shocking. He presided every week at extraordinary faculty meetings - I mean extraordinary in the sense of bizarre rather than unscheduled - which Fr. Bill McKenna used to call the weekly blood letting. These were an occasion for outrageous statements and the taking of indefensible positions. I don't think John could always have found these amusing, but he presided over them with great calm and dignity. I think he regarded them as part of the cut and thrust of academic life. It is said that Henry Kissinger was once given a choice between being president of an American university or working to solve Vietnam conflict and he chose Vietnam as the less stressful of the two. In the end indeed the pressures of being Director of the College for nine years began to tell on John and he gave up the job in 1981, confining himself after that to lecturing in economics.

As Director, John had a great relationship with the students. He took very seriously the characteristics of Jesuit education which have been developed over centuries. In the current Jesuit document on education we can read: The human person, understood in the context of his or her eternal destiny, is the central focus of the Jesuit college. Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person. It invites each student onto their unique journey of personal, moral and spiritual development. Our Mission is to help the students grow holistically. John really believed in that. He encouraged us on the staff to get to know all the students personally, never regarding meetings with individual students as a waste of time. In the early days many of the trade union students had left school at 14 but John was always quick to spot potential and he would talk to them and encourage them to go as far as they could and as far as they wanted to. Many people owe the flowering of their personal academic development to the College and to John. John brought the same concern for the personal care of students to his work as a member of the board of Greendale Community School in Kilbarrack.

John was every inch a Jesuit. He loved the Society. I could say that he was very faithful in going to functions in various Houses, but it was much more than that – he really enjoyed meeting the brethren. In fact he was exceptionally good at meeting people from all walks of life and maintaining firm friendships. He had great friends in the trade union movement, and also in management. John was not naïve. He knew that there were many people in the trade union movement who didn't trust the College and what it was doing, seeing it as an effort to de-radicalise the trade union movement. On the other hand he knew that there were employers and managers who didn't like us because we were giving their workers strange ideas and teaching them to speak up for themselves. The college brought many of these people, managers and union officials, together under the one roof. I can remember one occasion when the lights were on all night in the college. It marked a pause for breath during an E.S.B. strike. The College was chosen as a neutral venue where the E.S.B. unions and management could hammer out an agreement, which they did at 7 a.m. A number of commentators, some critical and some not, have suggested that the College played an important role in developing the concept of partnership in the conduct of industrial relations in Ireland. Although national wage agreements may now be a thing of the past, they probably played a crucial role in the steadying of the ship after some of the disastrous and destructive labour and management disputes of the 60s.
It is interesting to note that seven national wage agreements were negotiated during the period that John Brady was Director of the College. Although John was not directly involved in these, he and the College were definitely making a contribution, big or small, to the creation of a climate where people in industry could talk to one another. John had so many interests outside the College that it would be impossible to list them all. He was a man of deep culture. He had Norah McGuiness paintings hanging in the College tea room before most people had even heard of Norah McGuiness. He loved the theatre and good books. He was passionately interested in politics. He came to the College just as the conflict in Northern Ireland broke out, and he was a leading member of the Jesuit network, Jesuits in Northern Ireland, where he made very thoughtful contributions, with interesting angles on difficult questions. Blessed are the peacemakers - John tried his best to be a peacemaker whether in the field of industrial relations or in the Northern Ireland conflict.

John's basic discipline was economics, and he did his master's degree in the economics of transport in Ireland, a subject which fascinated him. He was an academic in the best sense of the world, not because he liked arguing about arcane concepts, but because he could see the power of ideas-and-solid-arguments to bring about change. He was a very popular lecturer in the college. Remarkably, considering his success as a Director, he suffered from a very bad stammer, and nothing showed the determination in his character more than his refusal to let that prevent him from doing anything he wanted to do, whether it was saying a public Mass, or giving a public lecture, or addressing the students at conferring. It was in itself a lesson to all of us not to let some real or imagined problem pull us down. Again, only a very humble person could deal with something like that – he was not too proud to let his fragility show.

John was a very generous person, and could rarely resist helping a poor person who asked him for help. Some would say that he was generous to a fault, but perhaps that accusation would also be laid at the feet of Jesus Christ. St Paul said of Jesus: "Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us”. I don't think John's generosity was a fault that he needed to worry about when he went to meet his maker.

It was sad that John's last years were blighted so much by illness and by memory failure. A time like this is a good time to remember him at his very best, as a good and talented and prayerful Jesuit, to thank God for the contribution he made to the economic and cultural life of his country. We pray for the consolation of his relatives and friends, especially Luke, his brother, his sister in law Catherine, his niece Lisanne, and his nephew Colin. And we pray for John himself that he is now at eternal peace with God.

Bill Toner

Brady, Patrick, 1922-1994, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/482
  • Person
  • 17 March 1922-23 August 1994

Born: 17 March 1922, Dublin
Entered: 02 July 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1953, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 23 August 1994, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 79 : Christmas 1994 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary
Patrick (Paddy) Brady (1922-1994)

17th Mar, 1922: Born in Dublin
Education: Model School, Marlborough St.
2nd July 1943: Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1945: First Vows at Emo
1945 - 1950: Rathfarnham, Refectorian
1950 - 1958: Mungret College, Limerick, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
15th Aug. 1953: Final Vows at Mungret College
1958 - 1959: Tullabeg, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1959 - 1968: Mungret College, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1968 - 1971: Milltown Park, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1971 - 1994: Sacred Heart Church, Sacristan, St. John Berchman's Sodality, Assistant Promoter of Missions
1994: Treated for heart failure in St. Vincents and the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook. Discharged to Cherryfield
23rd Aug. 1994: Died at Cherryfield Lodge

Coming away from a funeral, a woman was heard to say to a friend: “Sure, he had a great way with him”. It would be difficult to come up with a better description of Paddy Brady in so few words.

Born in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day, 1922, Paddy Brady attended the Model Schools in Marlborough Street. He worked in Woolworth's for two years and went to Emo at the age of twenty one. For five years, 1945-50, he was stationed in Rathfarnham as refectorian, and from there he went to Mungret for eight years. The year 1968-71, when he joined the community of the Crescent Church. Thus of his fifty one years in the Society he spent forty in Limerick. Despite his long years there and his great love for the city, he remained very much a “Dub” all his life.

One of Paddy's characteristics was his remarkable capacity for making friends and keeping them. He had so many - who included Mungret boys who kept in touch with him for many years, Mungret staff members - several of whom he helped by finding positions for them, people who came to this church, and altar servers here, past and present. Indeed we all felt that none of us had the good rapport with so many people around that Paddy had. An unusually large number attended his funeral Mass, and for days afterwards tributes of appreciation poured in. One man, an old Mungret boy, told us that he had planned to fly to England on the day after Paddy's death, but put off his flight in order to be present at the funeral. Some time afterwards a man who had worked in Rathfarnham Castle in the 1940's called us to offer sympathies and gave us a copy (only a copy, for he still treasured the original) of a letter Paddy had written to him in 1946!

His cheery greeting and friendly manner were often commented on. He brought much encouragement to people and many came to him with their worries, sensing he was their friend and certain he would give them a listening ear. He liked a laugh and was not above playing practical jokes. During his Mungret years he took much pleasure in trying to best Paddy Coffey, a man who did not always appreciate having his leg (even his good one!) pulled,

In community he was very pleasant and congenial, and most obliging, gladly lending a hand here, there and everywhere. He was most reliable, and if he told you he would do something for you, you just knew that it would be done and you did not have to think about it twice. As sacristan he used to open the church door every morning at 7.00am and in his twenty three years here he was known to have missed out on that chore only once. He was an efficient sacristan and never failed to have everything ready for whatever the occasion.

He was a good entertainer, and on the night of his Golden Jubilee he and his brother Chris gave an amusing performance which had us all rocking with laughter. He was very close to the members of his family and liked to remind us that it was his father who had printed the 1916 Proclamation. This fact had given Paddy an entrée into political circles.

He was very much into sports, being an avid soccer fan with a strong allegiance to Liverpool. He was fond too of the horses, and indeed liked to follow on the TV screen football matches of every code.

For years he suffered from heart trouble and diabetes, but he soldiered on actively. Last April, feeling very depressed - which was so unlike his usual form - he went up to Dublin to see his family. Hardly had he arrived than he collapsed. His family brought him to Cherryfield, from where Ned Keelaghan had him transferred to St. Vincent's. His life was in the balance for some days and then he rallied somewhat. But if he did, he had another relapse a few days later, and this remained the pattern of his condition for the next four and a half months. He grew restless in hospital and was transferred to the Therapy Unit in the Royal Hospital. After a short stay, he went to Cherryfield but despite the wonderful care he received, he never really made headway. The awful depression continued and he did not have the will to win through. He died peacefully on the 23rd August.

Daniel Dargan

Brady, Philip, 1846-1917, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/945
  • Person
  • 08 July 1846-05 January 1917

Born: 08 July 1846, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1868, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880, St Beuno's, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1889, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 05 January 1917, St Vincent's Hospital, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Part of the Tullabeg, Co Offaly community at the time of death

Older Brother of Thomas - LEFT 1872

Ent Milltown; Ord 1880;
by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1873 At Vals France (TOLO) studying
by 1874 at Brussels College Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1875 at Mount St Mary’s (ANG) Regency
by 1877 at St Francis Xavier Liverpool (ANG) Regency
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1886 at Roehampton London (ANG) Making tertianship
by 1904 at St Mary’s Rhyl (ANG) working
by 1905 at St Wilfred’s Preston (ANG) working
by 1907 at Lowe House, St Helen’s (ANG) working

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had a younger brother Thomas who also Entered, but left for the Dublin Diocese and was Ordained, but unfortunately at his parish in Dundrum he was thrown from his horse and killed instantly. He also had a half-brother John Brady CM, a Vincentian based at Phibsborough.

Early Education was at Castleknock College.

After his Noviceship he studied Rhetoric at Roehampton, and Philosophy at Vals, France.
He did his Regency at Mount St Mary’s (ANG)
1879 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology and was Ordained there.
After Ordination he was sent to Belvedere and Clongowes teaching for some years. He also taught for many years at Mungret and Galway.
He then joined the Mission Staff, and then went to work in the ANG Parish at Preston.
His last year was spent at Tullabeg. he had a serious deafness problem and an operation was advised. he died at the Leeson Street Hospital 05 January 1917, and buried from Gardiner St. A large number of Vincentians attended his funeral out of respect for his half-brother John Brady CM of Phibsborough.

Brenan, Richard Henry, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/495
  • Person
  • 07 April 1918-31 December 1995

Born: 07 April 1918, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 31 December 1995, Gonzaga College, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1975 at Franklin Paris (GAL) teaching

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary
Father Richard Brenan SJ

Fr Richard Brenan SJ was born at Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny and came to Clongowes from CBC, Kilkenny. His course of Jesuit studies followed what was then the standard pattern: novitiate at St Mary's, Emo; an Arts degree at UCD, while residing in Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy at Tullabeg and theology at Milltown Park, after three years' teaching, in his case at Crescent College, Limerick, Dick was ordained on 31 July 1949. When he finished his theological studies the year after, he went to Paray-le-Monial in France to do his tertianship, the year of spiritual renewal which is the last stage of formal Jesuit training.

On his return from France he went to Mungret as prefect, teacher and gamesmaster for four years (1951-55) and then spent a further two years in Gonzaga fulfilling similar functions. After that he moved to the work of giving missions and retreats which occupied much of the rest of his life. He spent a decade in Tullabeg on the staff there and then two years at Milltown Park as assistant director of the retreat house. From 1969-74 he was assistant to the Novice Master at Manresa (for two years), vocations promotor and assistant director of the retreat house.

He spent 1974-75 on sabbatical in Paris and then resumed his work as a retreat-giver, first at John Austin House on North Circular Road in Dublin and finally at Rathfarnham Castle, where he was superior and director of the retreat house in the last three years of its existence as a Jesuit house (1982-85). When Rathfarnham closed he went to Leeson St as minister and assistant to the editor of The Messenger. Finally, in 1991, he went back to Gonzaga, where he continued to do some work for The Messenger and gave some pastoral assistance in the school.

Since the move to Gonzaga, there were periodic spells in the nearby Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, although he always managed to return to Gonzaga. It was there that he died on the last day of 1995, having managed to say Mass daily to the very end.

As the career outlined above suggests, Dick Brenan was a good and loyal servant of the Jesuit province, using his gifts in a variety of functions. He was a friendly, approachable man, with a gift for working with young people, despite a capacity to take himself some what seriously (”Brenan with one ‘n’” was a refrain familiar to his fellow-Jesuits!) While actively involved in the ministry, he found time to write a book on the Jesuit scholastic St John Berchmans, which sought with some success to make the image of the young Belgian more vivid and accessible. He also pursued his interest in photography.

He bore his infirmity at the end of his life with good humour and little fuss and died peacefully, although unexpectedly. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

Richard Brenan SJ
by Alex Brennan (5a)

I regret that I only came to know Fr Dick Brenan in the later years of his life at Gonzaga. At the time he was suffering from Friedrich's Ataxia, which caused a slow deterioration of his muscles. It was very distressing to see a man with such clarity of vision and dexterity of mind, crippled by such a de bilitating physical ailment. For the final two years of his life, Fr Brenan had become almost completely immobile. I know that he was greatly distressed when he became unable to enjoy fully the grounds of his beloved Gonzaga.

Richard Brenan was born in 1918 in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he joined the Jesu its at the age of 18 and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1949. His first encounter with Gonzaga College was as a teacher in 1955. He remained for two years, before postings to Tullabeg, Milltown and Manresa. In 1974 he spent a year in Paris at L'Ecole St. Louis de Gonzaga.

In 1985 he was made Assistant Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger, and was based at the Jesuit House in Leeson Street, before returning to Gonzaga in 1991, where he re mained until his death.

In the company of his other great Jesuit colleague Fr. Frank Browne, Fr. Brenan had an abiding passion for photography, which remained with him well into his later years.
As a person, Richard Brenan was blunt and to the point. In contrast, his spirit and compassion commanded the respect of all who met him. I first encountered him as my religion teacher in Prep. 4. I was somewhat awe struck at the time by his control in class; while he had some difficulty in walking, his strength of personality shone through.

A class in First year cemented our friend ship of six years, disproving his modest suggestion that classes would "outgrow his company. Our friendship proved something of an enigma to many staff members who heard him joke that we were somehow related. It was not the case.

As our friendship developed I found in Fr. Brenan a confidant, someone to ask for advice, or simply an interesting companion with whom to pass an hour or two. He was always interested in anything I was involved in and his extensive learning made talking with him an enjoyable and educational experience.

I will always remember Fr. Brenan in a very special way. I know he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and kindness to all. He had always promised to help me with my French as I approached the Leaving Cert.; I hope I can do justice to his faith in me.

Alex Brennan (5A)

Brennan, Brendan, 1910-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/68
  • Person
  • 01 September 1910-12 December 1968

Born: 01 September 1910, Eyrecourt, County Galway
Entered: 22 October 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 12 December 1968, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois

Cornelius changed to Brendan in HIB 1956

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 44th Year No 2 1969
Obituary :
Fr Brendan Brennan SJ (1910-1968)
On the night of Thursday, December 12th, at about 11.00 o'clock, Fr, Brendan Brennan passed to his eternal reward at St. Mary's, Emo. He was aged 58. He had returned to Emo only about a fortnight before his death, so, in a sense, he had come home to die, for he had spent most of his priestly life at Emo, 16 years in all, as Socius to the Master of Novices, and Minister. Brendan was born on May 22nd, 1910 at Eyrecourt, Co. Galway. He was the only son of Dr. John and Mrs. Brennan. He grew up with his two sisters in a deeply religious family in the quiet and peaceful setting of Eyrecourt. All these factors had an influence on the moulding and shaping of his character. He was deeply religious himself, though his religion was of the unobtrusive kind. He was quiet and unassuming and loved peace and quiet. This was why he loved Emo; life there was prayerful, regular, quiet and peaceful. He received his early education at the local school in Eyrecourt and in September, 1923 he entered Mungret College, with his cousin, Dominick Kearns of Portumna. He was quite clever and talented but, because of his shyness, he was inclined to hide his talents. He was an accomplished pianist as a boy, but very few realised this in after life. He took part in the school plays at Mungret, but who afterwards would have thought he had a talent for acting? At Mungret he made very satisfactory progress at studies and matriculated in June 1927. On September 1st of that year at the age of 17 he entered the Novitiate at Tullabeg with four of his Mungret classmates. Being an only son his parents found his decision to enter Religion a heavy cross, but they cheerfully made the sacrifice. During the Novitiate, his father died making Brendan's decision to proceed to his vows a difficult one. On September 2nd 1929 he took his first vows and went to Rathfarnham Castle. At first he was assigned to the University, but, shortly afterwards, he was permitted to join the home Juniorate Class, as he felt very diffident about taking a University Course. Thus he spent only two years in Rathfarnham. Many of his contemporaries, knowing his abilities, considered it was a mistake to have permitted him to give up the University, as this only increased his lack of confidence in himself in after years, especially as regards studies. From this time on his diffidence seemed to increase, though he was always quite competent in his studies and in any task assigned to him.
In 1931 he moved to Tullabeg, which in the meantime had become the Philosophate of the Irish Province, to begin his study of Philosophy and, when this was completed, he was sent to Belvedere to do his regency, Here he took his full share in teaching, in running games and clubs and other school activities. His great personal charm and winning smile proved irresistible to the Rector, Fr. Patrick Morris, with the result, he set an all-time high record in the number of Coffee days and Wine days he got for the Community, during the year he was Beadle. On the completion of his Regency, Brendan began his study of Theology at Milltown in 1937. He was ordained there in 1940 and did his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1941-1942. After his Tertianship he began his long association with Emo for in 1942 he was appointed Socius to the Master of Novices, Fr. John Neary. Two years later he became Minister as well as Socius. These offices he held uninterruptedly until the Summer of 1951, when he was assigned to Mungret as Minister and teacher. He remained in Mungret for three years until the Summer of 1954, That summer he was changed to Clongowes as teacher and Prefect of the Study Hall. His stay in Clongowes was short, for in the following Summer he returned to Emo to resume his former duties of Socius and Minister. His second period in Emo was to last for seven years. Thus he had some part in the formation of close on one third of the Irish Province.
As most of his priestly life was spent in Emo, perhaps it would be well to pause here and try to discover what type of man he was. This is not an easy task; because of shyness and reserve he did not manifest himself to others easily. Yet one did not live with him for very long before one sensed the strength of his character and the many admirable traits of that character. As Socius his commonsense and shrewd judgment of men must have been of considerable assistance to successive Novice Masters in assessing the worth of their charges. His sense of basic priorities was evident in his insistence that readers in the Refectory should be heard and heard clearly. He was unsparing in his efforts to train the novices in public speaking and to be punctilious about pronunciation. But all correction was done in the preparation of the reading and in fact he was quite sparing in “Repeat, Brother” during the actual reading in the refectory. It was no small tribute to his efforts that so many of his graduates were audible from the old Rathfarnham rostrum before the days of amplification. The pleasure grounds were kept in excellent trim, thanks to his care for the essential tasks and his impatience with the privileges of beemen, flowermen, rockerymen and suchlike eccentrics! All the novices were expected to work hard and he set the example by his own hard work, until an attack of diphtheria affected his heart. Idiosyncrasy, bumptiousness, fastidiousness and hypochondria could not long survive his no-non sense approach. His mock incomprehension of modern art en gendered a sense of proportion in matters aesthetic. If he was, as now appears in retrospect, over insistent on uniformity and dogged conformity to routine that was what was expected in those days of a good Socius. There was little scope there for initiative in the system of training. While he was somewhat sparing with compliments he rarely missed an opening for admonition. The very frequency and impartiality, however, together with the air of feigned shock or the whimsical look in his eye, took the sting out of it and feelings were rarely hurt. During out door works the laggard was galvanised into activity by a touch of light-hearted scorn and Old Belvederians had always to be kept apart! There were many other things one could recall about him, the firm, determined stride that seemed to express the firmness and determination of his character, the deep laugh, the closely cropped hair, the personal poverty, the spartan regimen of his life,
As Minister, he was extremely reliable and efficient, yet he was efficient in a kindly way and was approachable at all times. Missioners and Retreat givers returning to base after their work could feel assured that the car would be at the station to meet them and that they would be warmly welcomed when they got home. Because of his diffidence and shyness he found it difficult to undertake Retreats or Lectures himself, but he liked the quiet Apostolate and frequently helped out in Emo Parish Church with Confessions and Masses. He kept the house in excellent condition and succeeded in maintaining a precarious water supply in spite of drought and other difficulties such as an inadequate source of water and a primitive pumping system. During the rebuilding operations and the re-wiring of the house for E.S.B. current, he was most competent in overseeing the work being done. He could be quite impatient with and sharply critical of inefficiency in Consultants or workmen. His care of and attention to the sick, infirm or aged members of the Community was noteworthy, whilst he did not waste much sympathy on any Novice who seemed to be over-solicitous about himself or his health.
Early in his time in Emo he learned to drive the car and soon became a most proficient driver, though he could put the heart across the more nervous passengers by his finger tip control of the wheel. When going on journeys he was always prepared and pleased to take members of the Senior Community along with him for the outing, and, if time permitted, did not hesitate to make detours so as to bring them along some scenic route, so that they could enjoy the views. Whilst he lived a spartan life himself and was very abstemious, he never wished to impose that form of life on others. In fact he liked to see others enjoy themselves and relax and would contribute whatever he could to help them to do so. Nevertheless, having said all this, there still remains the fact that he found it hard to form close, personal relationships and friendships with people. But there were the few, who were received into, what one might call, the inner circle. He seemed to prefer to live his life aloof and alone, but there were the few Fathers on whom he would call to have a smoke and a chat when he needed relaxation. The same was true of Externs. There were just a very select few, who were admitted to close friendship and it was noted that they were all persons who put him at his ease, who were at ease with him and who dealt with him without formality and fuss. With all others he was courteous and kind, but brief and to the point. The only people he had no time for were the sightseers or people who just wanted to waste time.
His long association with Emo came to an end, when Fr. Visitor appointed him Minister in Tullabeg in 1952. He spent two years there and in the more relaxed atmosphere of that house, he seemed to have come out of himself more. Towards the end of his period there he became Oeconomus as well as Minister. As in all other jobs he had, he proved himself very competent and did a very thorough job on his accounts.
In 1964 he interchanged places with Fr. Seán Ó Duibhir. Fr. Ó Duibhir went to Tullabeg to take over as Minister and Organiser of Retreats and Fr. Brendan moved to Galway to become Operarius in the Church, Director of the Women's Sodality and of the Girls' Club and Director of the College Development Fund. Perhaps fate was hard on him, when it cast him in the role of Spiritual Director of Women and Girls. His temperament and character made it difficult for him to understand them. Their illogical approach to a subject, their petty rivalries and jealousies were just things he could not understand or fathom. Yet his own aloofness and shy reserve was his best weapon in dealing with them. It saved him from becoming involved on the side of any party or section and, when he decided and spoke his mind, his decisions and words were all the more effective. The way he could appear to be helpless and distressed ensured their compliance. So in this strange way he was quite an effective Director. He held these offices until 1967. That year on the Feast of Corpus Christi he suffered his first heart attack, a coronary thrombosis, a light one. He was removed to the Regional Hospital immediately and there he made a speedy and, what then appeared, successful recovery. On recovering he went to his beloved Emo for convalescence. Because of his attack he was relieved of the Directorship of the Sodality on the 1967 Status. But on his return from convalescence he was appointed assistant Oeconomus and took charge of the collection of School Fees. Throughout the next twelve months he remained in good health and the danger of further heart attacks seemed to recede. When Fr. Joseph O'Connor took seriously ill in March 1968, Fr, Brendan took on the full job of Oeconomus. His previous experience in Tullabeg helped him, but new features of the Accounts, Incremental Salaries, Lay Masters Insurance and P.A.Y.E. did put a strain on him, until he mastered their intricacies; then he seemed to take the job and its responsibilities in his stride. Perhaps it put more strain on him than people realised; anyway, on July 30 he suffered another thrombosis and once more had to be rushed to the Regional. It was proof of his thoroughness, that, though struck down suddenly, his accounts were found to be up to the minute. Expenditure and Receipts for July were analysed and a balance struck and moneys prepared for lodgement.
This time prospects of recovery were not so bright and in fact during the first week or ten days in hospital he suffered two more attacks. This was not a good omen. Besides, probably be cause of his heart condition, he was restless, tense and unsettled in the Regional, so it was decided to transfer him by ambulance to the Pembroke Hospital in Dublin, towards the end of August. There he was more relaxed and he seemed to do much better and made steady progress towards recovery. In the second half of September he was sufficiently recovered to stay for a period of convalescence with his sister, Dr. Kearns, in Portumna. During his stay there, however, he suffered still another thrombosis and had to be rushed to the Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. Once more he rallied and recovered sufficiently to spend the greater part of November convalescing in Portumna. By now it was clear that he needed a long period of quiet and rest, so it was decided to send him to Emo Park for the rest of the year. He moved to Emo at the end of November. All hoped that, in the quiet and peace of the Novitiate, many years of life remained to him, but it was not to be so. On the 12th of December, he retired to his room before 10 o'clock and shortly afterwards Fr. Gerry O'Beirne, when passing, heard moaning from his room. Fr. Gerry entered to find him in the throes of another attack. Fr. Rector was summoned and anointed him. The doctor was called and was in attendance in a very short time, but in spite of his best attention Fr. Brendan passed peacefully away, surrounded by the prayers and attention of Fr. Rector and of members of the Emo Community. Thus ended a life of quiet unobtrusive and faithful service in Christ's harvest field. For the most part it was a hidden life, yet, when one looks at the record of it, it was a very full life. During the last four months of life he lived in the shadow of death, but he faced death with perfect equanimity and peace of soul. This was the best proof of the sterling quality of his character and of the depth of his spiritual life.
After Office and Requiem Mass in the Novitiate Chapel, which was attended by a very representative gathering from all the houses in the Province, he was laid to rest in the Community cemetery at Tullabeg. There, in the very place, where he began his life of dedicated service of God he rests awaiting the resurrection.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1969

Obituary

Father Brendan Brennan SJ

Fr Brennan's connection with Belvedere was confined to the three years 1935 to 1938 which he spent as a scholastic teacher in Belvedere. He was in charge of the Bike Club and enjoyed communicating to its members his own love of the country-side. After his tertianship, he was Assistant Novicemaster for many years. On retiring from this important position, he went to work in St Ignatius Church, Galway, but returned to the Novitiate when his health begun to fail: He died suddenly on December 13th, 1968.

Brennan, John F, 1920-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/587
  • Person
  • 23 September 1920-03 July 2002

Born: 23 September 1920, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Frankfurter Dom), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Final Vows: 15 August 1964, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 03 July 2002, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1955 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1978 at Toroto ONT, Canada (CAN S) sabbatical

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Obituary

Father Jack Brennan SJ (OB 1937)

My brother, Jack, was born on 23rd September, 1920, at 7 North Frederick Street, Dublin, our mother's home town. He was christened John Francis Joseph Brennan - sometimes, particularly with and to me, he was Seán Ó Braonáin. At that time, the family, of which he was the fourth child, was living in Caherciveen, Co. Kerry, our father's home town. He was about six months old in May 1921 when our father's house and others in Caherciveen were blown up by the English Army towards the end of the War of Independence in what were called “official reprisals”. The family then moved to Dublin, which is how Jack came to be educated at Belvedere College. He also spent a brief period at St Vincent's College, Castleknock.

Following school, Jack worked for a time with the Hibernian Insurance Company. After the outbreak of the Second World War, during the Emergency as it was called here, Jack joined the Irish Army, rising to the rank of Captain. The family lore tells, somewhat humorously, that initially when he was a Private, the Hibernian paid him the difference between his army pay and what he had been paid by the company. This did not happen in the case of our eldest brother, Charlie, our first Belvederian, who also joined the army, having been working in our father's insurance brokerage! Jack joined the latter in 1945 after leaving the army.

On 7th September 1946, about a fortnight before his 26th birthday, Jack entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Emo where he took his first vows two years later. He then spent a year in the Jesuit Juniorate, College St Michel, in Laval, France, after which he went to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Co Offaly, to study philosophy. He was a scholastic in Belvedere College from 1952-'54, following which he went to the Jesuit college, Sankt Georgen, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to study theology and was ordained there on 31st July 1957. He returned in 1958 to Dublin, for his year's Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, then went to Mungret College, Limerick (1959-'64) where he took his final vows on 2nd February 1964. I believe, and heard from some of his fellow Jesuits, that, in his period as Minister there and subsequently as Principal in University Hall, Hatch Street, Dublin (1964-68 and 1978-'95); as Rector in Milltown Park (1968-'71); and as Rector in Clongowes Wood College (1972-'77), his talents for organisation, administration, and dealing with others were helped by his experience in the Irish Army. With regard to the latter, he celebrated the annual Mass for many years in commemoration of the tragic accident in the Glen of Imaal which happened at the time he was in the army.

Jack had a very fruitful and varied life. It was a life of true spirituality, generous helpfulness and unfailing good humour, a life which touched the lives of so many others. He was involved in the Samaritans, of which he was Director in Ireland (1970-'72). He had a particular interest in the second Vatican Council and was noted for his sympathy and understanding on the one hand and his encouragement on the other, in relation to those considering or dealing with its varied aspects. He was also noted for his commitment to ecumenism. He spent a sabbatical studying at Regis College, Toronto (1977-'78) where he obtained an MA in Theology. He enjoyed his spells of summer parish work in the state of New York, where he brought the word of God to many in his quiet, humorous and spiritually effective way. Messages of sympathy and great affection came to us from the friends he made there.

Jack is remembered with affection by our family and by his Jesuit family, to whom we are so closely tied; by those who looked after him so well and so lovingly during his year of reasonably good health at first and eventual last illness in the Jesuits' nursing home, Cherryfield Lodge; and by all who knew him at home and abroad. I was privileged to be among those of the family and of the Jesuit community who were with him when he died peacefully on 3rd July 2002. My other Jesuit brother, Joe, now of Gonzaga College, asked me to compose the prayers of the faithful to be recited by three of Jack's nieces and by one of his nephews (my son Cormac) at the funeral Mass. Cormac, who had frequently visited Jack with me, added his own composition which I include here as it reminded us of that good humour which Jack showed so often:

“Some of you may know that in his room, Jack had a plaque which said, ‘Working for the Lord doesn't pay much, but the retirement benefits are out of this world’! Let us pray that he is now enjoying those benefits”.

l and many fellow-Belvederians and others join in that prayer with certain hope and in gratitude to God for bringing Jack among us. Guim Solas na bhFlaitheas ar a anam uasal, dilis.

Anraí Ó Braonáin (O.B. 1949)

Brennan, John, 1872-1949, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/951
  • Person
  • 19 December 1872-24 February 1949

Born: 19 December 1872, Drumcolliher, County Limerick
Entered: 30 March 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Professed: 15 August 1905
Died: 24 February 1949, Meath Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas County Kildare community at the time of death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949
Clongowes :
We regret to announce the death of Br. John Brennan in his fifty-third year in Clongowes. He had been failing during the past year but continued to do duty as infirmarian to the College until he was attacked by violent pains on the night of 12th February. He was taken to hospital in Dublin next morning and was operated upon two days later but he never really rallied and he died in the early morning of the 24th February, having received the Sacrament of Extreme Unction some days previously,
Br. Brennan's remains were brought to Clongowes on the evening of the 24th and were received by the Rector and Community in the presence of the boys. Fr. Rector celebrated the Requiem Mass next morning, and after the Absolutions bad been performed by Fr. Provincial, the funeral procession, headed by a guard of honour from the College F.C.A., proceeded down the front avenue to the College cemetery. Here Br. Brennan was finally laid to rest in the presence of all the boys of the College, many of the Past and a big gathering of Jesuits from Tullabeg, Emo and all the Dublin houses. May he rest in peace.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949
Obituary
Br. John Brennan (1872-1894-1949)
Br. Brennan was born in County Limerick in 1872. In early life he was in business in Limerick City, and was at this time a keen oarsman. Entering the Society in 1894 he did his noviceship in Tullabeg, and in 1896 was sent to Clongowes as Infirmarian and Sacristan. In the early years he used to go each summer vacation to St. Vincent's Hospital for training and experience in the work to which he devoted his life, and which he was carrying on, despite declining strength, up to a fortnight before his death.

An Appreciation :
“Br. Brennan's services to Clongowes were so great and so constant that it is difficult for any individual to summarise them. When I first went to the school he was already a legend to me, for he had won the life-long affection and gratitude of my brother, while nursing him through a rheumatic fever which should have killed him. To me in those still pre-First-World-War years he seemed already a veteran, one of the ‘Big Three’ into which he fitted so smoothly that there seemed a natural link between Dr. O'Connor, Miss Elison and ‘The Brother’. We are often reminded of the feeling of security that buttressed our dated childhood, but, looking back in nothing does it seem more remarkable than in the confidence these three good people inspired. School life might be disturbing or anxious, exams, places on teams, ‘Reports’, all loomed up with the exaggerated importance youth can give trifles, but illness, and particularly serious illness gave one no worry, you just surrendered, responsibility ceased, they did the Test, and you knew they would do it perfectly. I really think they did.
Of course there was another side of Br. Brennan's activities. In healthy life you knew him not only as a member of the Big Three, but as an outstanding figure of the big Five or Six of which Br. O'Grady was the mystery man, and Br. Brady the most familiar, and of which most happily for Clongowes Brs. Corcoran and Fennell survive. With them you saw him in the distance sharing walks and duties, or just occasionally on the touch-line at an outmatch. He carved, he was sacristan of both chapels - clean linen and lace became him and floors as shinning as a good hospital, and a freshness and flowers and light, and a most unobtrusive figure with deft, swift movements of Monstrance, vase or cruets. He had that very rare gift in an Irishman, wonderful taste in the arrangement of flowers.
And of course in the surgery he presided twice daily over the oddest kind of club. While he worked away with pill, mixture and tonic, while the bandage unrolled and the scissors snipped and the sticking plaster was sparingly used and denied to urgent beggars, ‘The Brother’ was surrounded by a score of boys, all talking, squabbling, idle, but by some miracle, well-behaved and fairly happy. He never raised his voice, he never threatened, no never punished or invoked authority, he used no sanctions, either of privilege or affection, he was kind to all and the universal friend, but no boy could boast of intimacy or favours, yet he was everyone's favourite. He did not strike one as remote or aloof, but rather as armed with the invulnerable dignity of a soul completely self-possessed, dedicated and in harmony with his own way of life. It was a lesson and example invaluable to boys tacking and veering and jockeying for position, restless as yachts or race-horses before the face of life. So marked was this unruffled calm in Br. Brennan that it could be on odd occasions intensely irritating to an impatient nan at what be believed a crisis calling for action. But, looking back, it must be granted that ‘hasten slowly’ got Br. Brennan there every time.
The passing years of course affected this picture. He lost Miss Elison and The Doctor, but he found new and happy partnerships with Dr. Fay, whom he had treated in the Lower Line, and with every one of the succession of young and active Matrons with whom in recent times Clongowes has been so singularly blessed. A succession of Ministers valued him at his worth, and that meant highly. For the rest, years added to his status. He never laid down his arms, like Mr. Chips, but he became a tradition. It was not just the hospitality which in an unrationed age he dispensed on Union Days that made a little chat with him one of the first requests of all returning O.C.s. It is no disparagement of any man or his work to say that among the Old Boys of the dispersion there were more inquiries for Br. Brennan than for any of the masters or prefects whose role might once have seemed more conspicuous. More than one wrote annually or bi-annually for a score or more of years during which the friends had scarcely ever met.
So the years went by, more than fifty of them, in Clongowes, with perhaps diminishing external activity but quietly increasing affection, esteem, and even pride. And always that constancy of service to boy and man and God. Was Br. Brennan ever late of a morning ? Did he ever miss spiritual reading or Litanies? Well, certainly not to the observation of anyone. That we could all see. God alone, I think, saw the inner life of one, who was in such intimate touch with Fr. Fegan and Fr. Sullivan and a score of ‘saints’, who helped each one, and went his own sure way to God. Now he has, with characteristic lack of fuss and delay, gone home at last. He leaves us, poor and mourning his absence but rich in memory and proud to have known and admired him”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1949

Obituary

Brother John Brennan SJ

Brother Brennan was born in Drumcollogher in December, 1872, so that according to the Calendar he was an old man when death visited him last February in the Meath Hospital. But he was not really old; his slim, figure, his youthful alertness of mind and speech and manner and movement, his readiness to do a good turn for anyone at a moment's notice, his spontaneous enjoyment of any bit of fun, all forbade the suggestion of age.

He had been destined for a business. career, and one cannot doubt that he would have made a success of it, had he not abandoned it after a few years, to offer himself to the Society. He came to Tullabeg in the autumn of 1893, and began his formal novitiate in the following March. I was a novice there then, and among my fellow-novices were Brothers Corcoran and Fennell; so that I can claim. to have been, from those early days, the associate and friend of the Triumvirate which was, one may say, to rule Clongowes for half a century.

It was, I think, in 1896, at the end of his noviceship, that Br Brennan came to Clongowes to be infirmarian, and infirmarian at Clongowes he remained to the end. He was very keen on his work, and during the vacations attended courses at Vincent's Hospital. A venerable Father, who was a young Scholastic at Clongowes in 1896, has told me of the delight of Br Brennan at getting a shin battered on the football field, to be disinfected and bandaged.

During those fifty-three years, 1896-1949, innumerable Clongownians have known and loved him. Indeed, to know him was to love him. I have never heard him spoken of but in terms of affection and praise, and I have never heard him utter an unkind or even depreciatory word of anyone else. A conversation with him seemed to promote in one a certain kindly hopefulness; not on account precisely of anything he said, but of the kind of atmosphere that was about him.

During the last few years he had much to suffer physically and he endured it. with unfailing cheerfulness and courage, and welcomed a joke or a funny story as if there was nothing in the world to trouble him. Just before the last operation, when he knew that he might probably be facing death (as in effect it turned out that he was), I had an intimate conversation with him, and I treasure the memory of it. Here, I felt, is a soul very clear to God.

The operation was quite successful, but unfortunately, pneumonia set in and exhausted his last resources of strength. The chaplain, who was called in, in haste, to administer the Last Sacraments, told me of the intense joy with which he received them, and told me also how much he was loved by everyone who had to do with him in the hospital. God be with his soul!

MFE

-oOo-

May one whose good fortune it was to have known and worked with Brother Brennan for half a century pay a sincere tribute to a man who by his kindness, skill and loyalty has endeared himself to countless generations of Clongownians. No one who has ever come under his care will forget his genuine sympathy for suffering, or his humourous method of treating “foxes”, and he had an uncanny knack of distinguishing the “real” from the “Malade Imaginaire”' as the writer has cause to know. Still one forgets the “Black Jack” and remembers only the subsequent doses dispensed so graciously in the Castle at close of Union Day. His interest in, and knowledge of, Clongowes Past and Present was amazing, and he remembered only their successes. His death has left a gap that it will be difficult to fill. His name and fame will endure as long as there is a Clongowes. May he rest in peace.

T B

Brennan, Joseph A, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/809
  • Person
  • 13 November 1929-08 January 2018

Born: 13 November 1929, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 15 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1981, Gozaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 08 January 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1966 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/he-was-a-good-man/

‘He was a good man’
Jesuits, family, friends and colleagues of Joe Brennan SJ, packed the Church of the Holy Name in Beechwood Avenue to bid him a fond farewell at his funeral Mass, on Friday 12 January, 11am. They were joined by the staff and students of Gonzaga College. John O’Keeffe SJ presided at the Mass, and Myles O’Reilly SJ, a former superior of the Gonzaga Community that Joe was a member of for 43 years, gave the homily. Joe had taken ill in late December and was moved to St Vincent’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with a respiratory illness. He died peacefully on the morning of January 8th 2018, aged 88.
Fr Joe was born and raised in Dublin, and he joined the Jesuits in 1948 at the age of 18. He was a keen sportsman, playing inter-provincial rugby for Leinster. He was also an accomplished musician, particularly on the piano, so he would have appreciated the singing of the Gonzaga student choir at his funeral Mass.
Most of his Jesuit life was spent as a teacher of religion and philosophy. He taught in Mungret, Clongowes, Belvedere, and finally Gonzaga. Brian Flannery, Education Delegate, said Joe had been fully engaged with Gonzaga in one way or another right up to the time of his illness in late December. “He was known for always encouraging students to think for themselves,” said Brian; “Also for instilling values. ‘If you don’t stand for something,’ he loved to say, ‘you will fall for anything.'”
Fr Joe had a few such sayings that he was famous for repeating, and the school had them printed on the back of his funeral Mass booklet. “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved”, he would say. Or, “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.” And he would remind the students, “Faith is not against reason, it’s beyond it.”
In his homily, Fr Myles O’Reilly referred to the first reading from Isaiah and the banquet the Lord prepares for His trusted servants. He spoke of the many years of faithful service Joe had given as a follower of Jesus. He had served his fellow Jesuits, his students and his family, all with great generosity and wisdom. It was his turn now to be served and take part in the banquet prepared for him, as promised by the prophet Isaiah, said Myles.
Joe’s many nieces and nephews also attended the Mass. One of them, Ross Brennan, paid a warm tribute to their uncle at the end of the service. He spoke of how loved Joe was by his extended family, of the kindness he always showed, and of the help he always gave to them.
The funeral Mass preceded that of his fellow-Jesuit Kennedy O’Brien, also a teacher in Gonzaga, who had died suddenly, earlier that week. The principal of Gonzaga, Damon McCaul said that it had been a very difficult week for the staff and students in the school. He said that Fr Joe had made such an impact on his students that older past pupils still remembered him with deep regard and gratitude. “And it’s the same with Kennedy for a new generation of pupils and past pupils. Both men were outstanding teachers and educators.”
The final word on Fr Joe was a simple line in the funeral Mass booklet, underneath a photo of him saying Mass in Gonzaga: ‘He was a good man’.

Early Education at Sacred Heart, Leeson St, Dublin, Ring College, Waterford & Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
1950-1953 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1953-1956 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1956-1959 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1959-1963 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1963-1964 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1964-1965 Trier, Germany - Liturgy Studies at Benediktiner Abtei St Mathias
1965-1966 Brussels, Belgium - Catechetics Studies at Lumen Vitae
1966-1968 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Prefect; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1968-1969 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Musical Director; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1969-1974 Mungret College SJ - Teacher; Gamesmaster
1974-2018 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1983 Rector; Director of Pastoral Care
2010 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Dublin; Assistant Treasurer; Teacher of Religion
2014 Ceased Teaching

Brereton, Joseph P, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/767
  • Person
  • 05 December 1920-07 May 2012

Born: 05 December 1920, Liverpool, Lancashire, England / Lifford Avenue, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College SJ community, Naas, County Kildare at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2012

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Brereton (1920-2012)

5 December 1920: Born in Liverpool;
Early education in St. Mary's Primary, Liverpool, and Crescent College, Limerick
7 September 1938: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1946 - 1948: Crescent College - Teacher
1948 - 1949: Belvedere College – Teacher
1949 - 1953: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1960: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
2 February 1955: Final Vows
1960 - 1963: Gonzaga
1960 - 1962: Teacher
1962 - 1963: Minister, teacher
1963 - 1968: Manresa - Minister, Assisted Director of the Retreat House
1968 - 2012: Clongowes
1968 - 1990: Teacher of Religion, French and English
1990 - 1997: Teacher of English; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Chaplain to Hazel Hall (1992)
1997 - 2012: Teacher; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Tutor to foreign exchange students; Chaplain to Hazel Hall
7 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr Brereton was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 7th January 2012 suffering from recurrent respiratory problems. His treatment necessitated occasional visits to hospital. He remained in good spirits and mentally alert. His condition deteriorated since mid-April. Fr Brereton passed away peacefully in the company of his sister, Josephine, and Fr Michael Sheil in the early morning of May the 7th 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Michael Sheil
The Fiant solita suffragia for the average Jesuit extends to a full page - and sometimes beyond, Fr Joe's CV does not fill even one. But then, Joe was not an “average" Jesuit – he was not an “average" person. The fact that he spent all of 44 years in the same job in Clongowes suggests proof of this !

Joseph Brereton was born in Liverpool and was always loyal to his origins - as the many red soccer jerseys given to him by successive Rhetoric Years in Clongowes will atest. When his father died young, Joe's mother moved her family of three boys and two girls back to her native Limerick, where the sons attended Crescent College. From there Joe entered the Jesuits in 1938 – and the subsequent story of his life is simply told.

He followed the traditional Jesuit training course - BA in UCD [40-43] - Philosophy in Tullabeg [43-46] - Regency in Crescent and Belvedere [46-49]. After three years of theology in Milltown Park, he was ordained there in 1952. Tertianship followed in Rathfarnham (53-54] and Joe returned to his Alma Mater in Limerick as a Teacher for 6 years before moving to Gonzaga College (60-63] and was Minister in Manresa Retreat House from 1963 to 1968. In August 1968 he came to CWC. Fr Tom Layden - our present Provincial - who gave the final Absolution - had not even arrived to start school there at that time!

That made up a grand total of 44 years - give or take a few weeks - for there he stayed ever since. He would probably have occupied the same room for all that time, if a new Rhetoric Wing had not been built in 1999 - but he simply moved about 20 metres west and two floors down to his new quarters.

Joe was a very private sort of person himself – but was deeply interested in other people. In his long life of teaching - all of 56 years in total - and looking after his young charges – he fully justified God's faith in his ability to make his five talents bear fruit. It is calculated that he influenced the lives of over 3,000 students in Clongowes alone -- and the many tributes and messages of sympathy to the Community bore rich testimony to their gratitude to him:

The present writer had the joy and privilege of working with him for 18 years as Higher Line Prefect. Joe always referred to the members of his area as Officers – and dismissed all others as Baggage-Handlers until - when I arrived – I insisted on calling my charges Gentlemen ! He was always there in support - to praise - to encourage – to lower the rising temperature (when needed!] - to offer advice - and, on occasion, to chide ! To be called Villain by him was not a compliment. --- and no one, high or low, Officer or Gentleman - Student or Teacher - was spared! On his encouraging side, his trademark phrase was: That's OK ! That's OK ! A few days after he died this email arrived from Hanoi, Vietnam, from a former pupil: Officers and Gentlemen alike (and also some Villains) will be united in sadness at the news of Fr Joe's death -- and equally warmed by the myriad of happy memories of a great Teacher and a remarkable man.

Very often I used to meet past pupils who would enquire after some of their former Jesuit Teachers – and, after giving them the sad news of the death of A + B +C, I might be asked: And when did Fr Brereton die ? I used to reply, to their surprise: Well I saw him this morning and he was OK !

Sadly for them and for us - as we heard in the second reading at his funeral Mass - this will be no longer so. Joe's tent has been folded up - as he moved – for the last time – to an everlasting home in the heavens. In our first reading – the Prophet Isaiah presents the image of God's Kingdom as a banquet of rich food prepared for all peoples. Joe would surely approve of my choice – for, while Joe was a very private person - in his own quiet way, he was quite a party-man ! While he eschewed the grand manner – he loved the occasional (and increasingly frequent] occasions of sharing some sweets - fruit - biscuits - and a variety of other edibles - from the depths of a seemingly bottomless pocket - with unsuspecting beneficiaries who happened on his path.

In the context of the greater world out there Joe's life was unheralded and unsung - but not so in the daily living of a grace-filled and remarkable life - remarkable in its simplicity and commitment. For his was a life full of love – care - kindness – concern -- thoughtfulness for others – phone-calls - cards – notes – all came to surprise and delight the recipients. His was a life animated by prayer - especially by his devotion to Our Lady, which was well-known - the Breviary and his daily Mass [with his own unique liturgy complete with interjections and dialogue questions!] Joe's proverbial kindness - his five talents (it was the Gospel chosen for his farewell Mass] - was an investment which bore rich dividends for the recipients. Many are the memories – personal and precious - which everyone had of his kindness - each person with his/her own story to tell. He had a particular soft spot for the House Staff - and undertook an unashamed defence of the Eves among them – often reminding the Adams of anniversaries/birthdays, which might otherwise have been forgotten! Exchange students were also among his favourites. At the end of one year – during the Leaving Certificate exams in June - Rhetoric Year gave Joe a present of an electric blanket - for he always seemed to feel the cold very keenly – and was often wrapped in layers of pullovers and his famous coat - beneath which (at least it was rumoured] were several hot-water bottles! He put up a notice to thank the Students for their “very thoughtful gift – which will be so useful now that winter is drawing on” .............. and this was in the first week in June !

At an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired or invalid - Joe continued to patrol the corridors of the Higher Line's “R Block” in Clongowes – encouraging the lame ducks – searching for the lost souls – sharing his wisdom with all and sundry. He had such a canny knack of foretelling what might "come up" in the Leaving that there many of his charges could not be persuaded that he did not have “insider information” in the Department !

In the evening of his life Joe became more frail in body - but with his spirit's sparkle never dimmed. The Nurses in Clongowes looked after him with a tender devotion far beyond the call of duty (as did the Staff in the village pharmacies). During his last few months, it was the turn of the Nurses and Staff of Cherryfield to fall under his charm and to care for him with their renowned love and attention. This task carried its own challenge - and many of them found themselves on the receiving end as they enquired after his health -- only to find themselves responding to Joe's interrogation as to how they were getting on ! Joe had never wanted to go there - and it is their great triumph that they succeeded in making it a real home-from home for him. Once a Prefect - always a Prefect - or so it is said! In Cherryfield Joe remained always “on duty”. On one occasion he entered someone else's room late at night and told him to Turn off that TV - and do it now! I have people studying for the Leaving Cert. along this corridor – and you are distracting them! His startled companion duly complied!

Late on the evening of Sunday 6th May the Night Nurse in Cherryfield alerted the Rector and Joe's Sister that he had taken a turn for the worse. I have a very moving cameo-memory of seeing Josephine sitting by Joe's bed, reciting prayers from an old Child of Mary prayerbook - occasionally glancing round at her Brother as he listened to her prayers for and with him - as we shared his last moments on earth. Night Staff in a hospital or nursing home live a sort of owl-like existence - rarely heard or seen ............ Joe introduced us to three wonderful people on that Sunday evening - aş, at the moment of his final departure, they cared for both of us trying to cope with the finality of it all. Three minutes into a new day -- on Monday 7th May - Joe celebrated what the ancient Roman martyrology called our dies natalis - his Heavenly Birthday. He had reached God's holy mountain -- to share in the New Life promised by Jesus to those who eat the Bread of Life and drink from the wells of Salvation.

At the Community Mass in Cherryfield on the day Joe died, Fr Paul Andrews quoted a celebrated phrase of Prof. Winnicott, a distinguished psychiatrist who once said: I pray that I will be alive when I die ........ I pray that I will be alive when I die! This was so true of Fr Brereton - and his spirit will live on - both in CWC and throughout the world – where so many of his former pupils mourned his passing – fully alive, aged ninety-one-and-a-half years old.

◆ The Clongownian, 2012

The passing of Fr Joe Brereton SJ saw Clongowes lose one of its most faithful servants. The many tributes and messages of sympathy referred to by Fr Michael Sheil SJ included the following, one from a present pupil, Tom Goodman, and one from an Old Clongownian...

The Captains Last Voyage

by Tom Goodman (Poetry)

The sky was a ceiling of deep blues and greys when we arrived at the dock. Clouds hid the moon, but from some lighted windows we were able to make out the shape of some of the structures along the seafront. Nature's silence lay our with us, which, combined with the wind and water in their whirling, created a sublime calm. So much so, that we were afraid to speak above a whisper, content to be keepers of serenity. At last we reached the ship, a looming yer majestic vessel bobbing slowly on the chop, and stepping up to the gangplank, we boarded. The ship itself creaked gently as we almost tiptoed across the rain-slick deck. Then, coming to a pair of large wooden doors, banded with riveted iron strips, we stepped in to meet The Captain.

Leaving the rain on the other side of the door, we took off our coats and, in our surroundings, not for the first or last time. The room was quite compact and plain. On one side there stood elegantly a shrine to Our Lady, and on the opposite side to this the room was walled with wooden-slatted shutters that were pulled right down to the ground. Faintly from behind these, the murmur of hymns floated, changing the silence into a soft praising song. Heels clacking on the planks beneath our feet, we approached the shutters and knocked firmly; after a few moments they opened.

The Captain stood there, measuring us intently He was an elderly man, with a kindly face and silky snow-white hair. With a slight hunch he stood shorter than he should and he held his gnarled hands down in front of him. Smiling, he invited us to sit; and we did, the reverent music resounding out behind us from the horn of the gramophone, and waited as The Captain sat silently at his desk, working his way through his rosary beads with quavering lips. Looking past The Captain out the porthole, we caught a glimpse in the newly emergent moonlight of the glorious bone-white castle standing vigilant to the night with its golden doors. The gramophone dinked as the clay disc finished its circuit and The Captain's beads pattered as he laid them on the table and sat back in his padded pinewood chair. Behind us the heavy wooden door groaned to admit a woman with a small frame, long straight brown hair and specracles. Neither we, nor The Captain said a word as she sat herself down on one of the benches at the wall. But after a few moments we realised that she was praying for The Captain, and by this time she had already risen, blessed herself and was making for the door, while The Captain quirked a little smile in thanks. After glancing to each other and then to The Captain, we resumed our quietude.

Sitting for so long in that room with the silent Captain, we began to notice all its little details, as one could not help but do in such a situation. Twelve candles stood in gilded sticks, ten of which were alight, casting a mellow and soft radiance across The Captain's quarters. Out another of the porcholes, which was fitted with red glass, a shining shaft of light shooting from the lighthouse could be seen. It added to the strange atmosphere in the room that persuaded silence. The Captain's kindly smile still lingered from the woman's visit, and rekindled as two more figures stepped through the large wooden doors.

The two men were quite different yer similar in appearance. Both held some weight on their paunches, both looked a considerable age (one more so than the other.) and both looked strangely as if they had just recently emerged into joy from grief. They were speaking quietly to one another as they stepped across the threshold and brushed off their coats, their firm shoes tapping on the floor. After they had said their prayers in a similar fashion to the woman previously, the two men paused to look at The Captain, who was sitting back, straight in the eye. Resuming their conversation (which seemed to revolve around The Captain himself) they quietly departed, leaving The Captain smiling,

The time to speak
Now the time came when we finally began to speak to The Captain and one another; quietly at first but gradually as we breached the swallowing silence of the cabin, the level of our voices began to rise. The Captain sat like a stone through it all, smiling in a calm thoughtful bliss.

It was past midnight when we finally left The Captain. We were admittedly reluctant to leave; but we needed our sleep for the following morning, for The Captain's final journey on the sea. Walking in the crisp, cold night, we left the harbour already dreaming of bed beneath the moonshine in the ever-creeping weariness.

The morning rose bright and blue, but soon the sea-breeze swept clouds in over our heads, and with the clouds came rain, light at first. As we walked down to the docks feeling the first spots of rain on our faces, gulls reeled and screeched along the wind, and from afar we could see the crowd that had formed around The Captain's vessel. Even from that distance we could pick out some officers, though the general rabble of other crewmembers melded into one uniformed crowd. At the fringes could be seen both men and women, dressed in many different fashions. Here some ex-officers in formal. raiment, and there women, both old and young, in their own finery.

Coming closer along the water a wave plashed against the harbour wall, spraying us lightly with an early blessing. The cobbles beneath our feet mimicked tiles in their various colours and shapes and wall murals stuck up at regular intervals. Fourteen we counted by the time we joined the crowd that stood warching the captain on the deck.

The great splayed mix of voices quietened as priests in their white robes stepped up to bless The Captain and his voyage. Silence, as well governed as on the previous night, blanketed the crowd as The Captain was blessed, for it was well known that The Captain himself was a man of God, and as the ceremony progressed, The Captain visibly stepped out of his hunch, standing tall to the wind and vast ocean ahead of him. At The Captain's side stood his sister, regal in her equanimity; for it was no easy thing to do, leaving a brother to the voyage alone. At the will of the priests, we began to sing. Deep sonorous bass notes were complemented by the higher ones, swirling together into a great farewell, filled with the respect and praise The Captain was due. While we slid from song to prayer and back again those men on-deck lined the way to the helm; a guard of honour for The Captain, despite the raindrops, which fell down with abandon. When the songs were over and The Captain stood nobly gripping at the pinewood wheel with his hands, the rest of us that could fit climbed up upon the ship, ready to sail The Captain to the places where map and sight failed to guide. Without order we hitched the booms, hoisted the sails and cast off, the bow cutting into the water, cleaving our way forward with the aid of the sails. With the bowsprit pointing our way we departed, The Caprain leading with an open grin on his face, which had youthened, his hair now turning a tawny colour, and his eyes holding the light of excitement.

After quite some time in the pouring rain, whipping wind and amidst the tang of salt in one's nostril, a small elbow of land sitting green on the horizon came into view, it was on no sea-chart, no map or in no book that the men could find, The Captain had taken us, and he had led with the surety of somebody heading home along an old road from their childhood, but we all knew that he had never visited this place; none of us had. When we made closer to the islands, mists rose out of the sea to shroud them. The Captain bade us stop, so we weighed anchor. The Captain now holding the youthful look of a man of thirty, with all the wisdom of an eighty year old behind the eyes, leapt down onto the deck past us, utterly astonished, to the rowing boats which were cied off at the side of the ships hull and hopped into the sleek, varnished pine boat. We all stood around agape at first as he began to lower himself down, but at the signal of one of the priests who ventured along with us, we began a final lamenting praise for The Captain. Weak and sad to begin, the melody took us to a time when The Captain began to prepare for this voyage, to the care he showed to us, each of his crew-members, his love and concern, his imagination and his ability to see that it was okay when chaos and ruin seemed to loom; to now, as the sky opened up to the warm embrace of the sun we realised that this journey is made by all good men and women, those who are in their nature - for others. The Captain was leaving now, his boat had silently dipped into the water and had begun gliding along, tending towards the shore, but we would see him again. Smiles broke out among the crew as we watched him shrink. When he was still clearly visible he turned his young face that was filled with life ship-ward and smiled one last time for us, as the golden mists enveloped him, hiding him from our view. And so we sat and thought of the time when we ourselves would have to make a similar journey, through this life into another. Still smiling.

And into the misty isles of time,
We all shall sail ourselves.
Whether in morning, day or dusk,
We drink now from the well
That quenches all; the fair of heart
Villains, liars, fiends
And leaves behind no thirst for men
Or thought of mortal dreams.
Failing body, prevailing soul
Through all that ever is.
Someday hope you'll take your boat
On through the golden mists.

-oOo-

Officers, Gentlemen and Villains

by Rossa McDermott (OC ‘78)

It was a far from soft day when the casket of Fr Joe Brereton SJ was lowered into the grave by a new generation of Clongownians in the community graveyard, just off the main avenue. Alongside the recently departed Fr Paddy Lavery SJ, the man more affectionately known ‘Bertie” Brereton was laid to his final place of rest in front of many Clongownians, past and present. It was somehow unfair that this most gentle of men did not get more deserving weather - some bright Spring sunshine - in order to record the sad moment when he left the Clongowes Community for good. But then again, Bertie was never one for the limelight.

In recalling the long shadow he cast over the Clongowes Community, Fr Michael 'Mocky' Sheil fondly remembered that the Bertie era started even before the current Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden, had arrived in Clongowes many years ago. Mocky estimated that his influence had been cast over 3,000 pupils during his tenure, and a testament to that influence was the cross-section of ages in the Boys Chapel for his funeral service, all reflecting a man who, in a very quiet, yet determined way, had managed to impact on many, many generations during his teaching years.

For those who wondered in the early days why soccer played such a role in the teaching of English, it was due to his roots in Liverpool, where he lived until the premature death of his father, after which the family moved back to Limerick. In looking back over old copy books in clear outs and house moves, it is now clearer to me why so many essays, projects and drawings of the 1974 World Cup were acceptable English copy for Fr Brereton. Unbeknownst to many of us he loved football, but he also took an interest in all sporting achievements of his charges, especially his “Officers”. In a moving, honest and potent homily Fr Sheil recalled a particular rivalry between prefects in the old Rhetoric Building, Since forever, it seemed, Bertie called his fellow dwellers on the top floor of the old 1966 building “Officers”, all seemingly a reflection of a higher quality of Rhetorician in the scheme of things - in his mind. This was carried further in the cup teams and other sports, as no winning team went without a competitive count from Joe Brereton as to his Officer numbers in the wining side.

But it was perhaps the term “Villain” that evoked the most recognition from the packed church during Mocky's fond recollections on Thursday morning. It was the fiercest term that Bertie ever mustered when talking about the most mean of people. In an era when the hard edge of The Raz - aka Fr Gerry O'Beirne - was not slow about calling things as they were (and often in the most non-Jesuitical language) Fr Joe Brereton never moved beyond the term “villains”. This, perhaps, most accurately reflected the soft and caring nature of the man, characterising everything he stood for during his four plus decades in Clongowes. Whatever about being an Officer or a Gentleman, one thing you never wanted to be was a Villain. There was possibly nothing more troublesome.

In the closing prayers at the graveside on Thursday Fr Sheil and Fr Moloney ended concelebrating the life of a great man in the company of Fr John Looby, Fr Phil Fogarty, and Fr Colin Warrack. They did so with a befitting sense of ceremony perhaps so typical of the Jesuit Community over the generations. Sadly though the Clongowes Jesuit community graveyard is filled with too many stalwarts now long since at peace, yet evoking memories for each and everyone of us: Fr Cyril Power, Fr James “Pop” Casey, Fr Charlie O'Connor, Fr Ray Lawler, Fr Percy Winder, Fr Gerry O'Beirne, Fr Frank Frewen, Brother Willie Fitzgerald, Brother William Glanville and the one and only Jim Treacy - to mention just a few. On May 10th 2012 Fr Joe Brereton, SJ sadly joined them. May he rest in peace.

Browne, Henry Martyn, 1853-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/72
  • Person
  • 07 August 1853-14 March 1941

Born: 07 August 1853, Birkenhead, Liverpool, Cheshire, England
Entered: 31 October 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 22 September 1889, St Beuno's, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 14 March 1941, St Beuno's, Wales

Part of the Heythrop, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England community at the time of death

by 1888 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1923 at Campion House, Osterley, London (ANG) teaching
by 1927 at Mount St London (ANG) writing
by 1938 at Roehampton, London (ANG) writing
by 1941 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire, England (ANG) writing

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Henry Martyn
by Christina Souyoudzoglou-Haywood

Browne, Henry Martyn (1853–1941), classicist and Jesuit priest, was born 7 August 1853 in Claughton, Woodchurch, Cheshire, England, the second of four sons and one daughter of John Wilson Browne, hardware merchant, born in Portugal (1824), and Jane Susan Browne (née McKnight), one of eight children of Robert McKnight, farmer, and Jane McKnight (née McLean) from Kelton, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire. Henry grew up in Birmingham, where his father set up in business. He lost his mother (d. 14 May 1859) when he was almost six; in 1862 his father married Agnes Bowstead and had another two children.

Brown was educated at King Edward's school, Birmingham, and in 1872 entered New College, Oxford, as a commoner. He took moderations in 1873, obtaining second-class honours in Greek and Latin literature, but left the university the following year, without taking his second public examination – he was granted a BA in 1891 (MA 1895) upon embarking on his academic career – having converted to the catholic faith and joined the Society of Jesus. He later gave an account of his conversion in The city of peace (1903). In 1877 he joined the Irish province and entered the novitiate at Milltown Park. He took his vows in 1879, remained for a year at Milltown Park as a junior, and taught at Tullabeg, Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1880–84). He was ordained in 1889 at St Beuno's, north Wales. Five years earlier he had begun a degree in theology at Milltown Park, which he completed in 1890. He was then appointed to teach classics at UCD, then run by the Jesuits, filling the post formerly held by Gerard Manley Hopkins (qv). During this period he published the Handbook of Greek composition (1885; 8th ed. 1921) and Handbook of Latin composition (1901; 2nd ed. 1907). At the founding of the NUI in 1908 he was appointed professor of Greek at UCD, a position he held until his retirement in 1922.

What characterised Browne's approach to classical scholarship was his interest in the ‘reality’ of the ancient world, which he tried to convey to students through visual and tactile materials (maps, lantern slides, photographs, artefacts, and replicas). He became an enthusiastic advocate of archaeology, and particularly of prehistoric archaeology. He gave public lectures on Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology and – a first for Ireland – he introduced these subjects into the university's syllabus. In his popular Handbook of Homeric study (1905; 2nd ed., 1908) he debated extensively the implications for Homeric studies of the recent archaeological discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean. His greatest legacy to UCD was the Museum of Ancient History (afterwards renamed the Classical Museum), inaugurated at Earlsfort Terrace in 1910. Browne built up his teaching collection of more than 5,000 Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities, replicas, and coins through his personal contacts with archaeologists and museums in England, through purchases on the antiquities market – an important purchase being that of Greek vases at the Christie's sale of the Thomas Hope collection in 1917 – and through loans from the National Museum of Ireland. He became a member of the committee of the British Association for Museums, and chairman of the archaeological aids committee of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching. In this capacity he visited the USA in 1916 to inquire into the educational role of American museums, and included his observations in Our renaissance: essays on the reform and revival of classical studies (1917). His practical approach to the classics led him to experiment with Greek choral rhythms; he gave demonstrations at American universities, and regularly chanted Greek choral odes to his students. He had many extra-curricular interests. For several years he was in charge of the University Sodality. He played a major role in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland (he was its chairman in 1913) and served on the Council of Hellenic Studies. He was involved with the St Joseph's Young Priests Society and supported the work of the Mungret Apostolic School.

After his retirement from UCD Browne left Ireland, where he had resided at the Jesuit residence, 35 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, and was transferred to London, first to Osterley, then Farm Street in Mayfair, and in 1939 to Manresa House, Roehampton. During this period of his life he channelled his energy to the study of the English martyrs, and to catechism and conversion. He wrote The catholic evidence movement (1924) and Darkness or light? An essay in the theory of divine contemplation (1925), and tried to improve the fate of the under-privileged youth of Hoxton by organising and running a boys’ club there. He returned to Dublin a few times, and he wrote with Father Lambert McKenna (qv) a history of UCD, A page of Irish history (1930). His last publication was A tragedy of Queen Elizabeth (1937).

Browne died 14 March 1941 at Heythrop College, near Oxford, where he was evacuated because of the air raids on London. His brothers, all heirless, continued the merchant tradition of the family. His sister, Lucy Jane, died in a Birmingham asylum in 1917. His half-brother Arthur Edward Wilson died in South Africa in 1941 where he lived with his wife and five children. Browne's correspondence relating to the UCD museum is in the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Winchester College, and the NMI. Some papers are in the archives of the British Province, Mount Street, London. The whereabouts of a known portrait are uncertain; it was reproduced in his obituary in the magazine of the British Province with the caption ‘from a Dublin portrait’.

Browne family wills, inc. John Wilson Browne (1886) and Charles Knightly Browne (1926); census returns, United Kingdom, 1851 (Woodchurch, Birkkenhead), 1881 and 1891 (Solihull, Birmingham); ‘Browne, Henry Martyn’, New College, Oxford, Register for 1872; Oxford University Calendar, 1873, 1892, 1893; ‘The Cretan discoveries’, Freeman's Journal, 11 Feb., 17 Feb. 1905; National Museum of Ireland: letter books, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1921; University College Dublin: Calendar for . . . 1911–1912, 457–8; H. Browne, Museum of Ancient History: report, 1913 (1913); H. Browne, Museum of Ancient History: Report, 1914 (1915); H. Browne, Introduction to numismatics (1915); University College Dublin: Report of the President, 1922–1923, 3–4; Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930); ‘Obituary’, University College Dublin: Report of the President, 1940–1941, 16–17; ‘Obituary’, Irish Province News, iv (1941), 566–9; WWW; M. Tierney, Struggle with fortune: a miscellany for the centenary of the Catholic University of Ireland, 1854–1954 (1954), 37–8, 90; W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the classical tradition (1976), 65–6, 68–9, 168–9, 240; C. Haywood, The making of the classical museum: antiquarians, collectors and archaeologists. An exhibition of the Classical museum, 2003 [exhibition catalogue]

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927
Jubilee : Fr Henry Browne
Fr Henry Browne was fêted at Leeson Street on November 1st. He had his share of College work in Tullabeg. But as far back as 1891 he was sent to University College, Dublin, where he played a full man's part in making that Jesuit establishment the first College in Ireland of the old “Royal”. Even “Queen’s” Belfast notwithstanding its enormous advantages, had eventually to acknowledge the superiority of the Dublin College, and the men who worked it.
Fr. Browne's Oxford training was a valuable asset in bringing University College so well to the front. He remained Professor in the Royal, and then in the National University to the year 1922, and is now engaged, amongst other things, in doing a work dear to the heart of men like Francis Regis, looking after the poor, especially children, in the worst slums of London.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland.
A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia.
Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of
admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :
Father Henry Browne
Father Henry Browne died at Heythrop College on March 14 1941. He had been in failing health for the past two or three years, and had recently been evacuated from Roehampton to Heythrop owing to the air-raids over London. To quote the words of an English Father who knew him well in these last years “here he occupied himself mostly in prayer, and on March 14th brought to a serene close eighty-eight years of arduous, enthusiastic, joyful, supernatural work for the Master”.

Father Henry Browne was born at Birkenhead on August 7, 1853 but his father, Mr. J. Wilson Browne, was a Birmingham man, his mother was Joan McKnight. Who's Who contains a notice of his grandfather, Captain J. Murray Browne, who “fought at Albuera and throughout the Peninsular War, and joined the Portuguese army where he became Assistant Quartennaster-General under Marshal Beresford.” Father Browne was educated at King Edward's High School, Birmingham, and went to New College, Oxford. He was received into the Church in 1874, when his undergraduate course was not yet completed, and was advised by Cardinal Manning to interrupt his studies. Je joined the Irish Province in 1877, and entered the novitiate at Milltown Park on October 31st. After his first vows he spent a year as a Junior at Milltown Park. In 1880 he went to Tullabeg, where he spent four years as master under two Rectors, Fr Sturzo and Fr. George Kelly. The Intermediate System was then in its early stages, and Mr. Browne taught Rhetoric and Mathematics (1880-81),
Humanities (1881-2) , 1 Grammar (1882-3), Syntax, Classics and English (1883-4).
From 1884-6 Father Browne studied Philosophy at Milltown Park, where he had Fathers Peter Finlay and William Hayden as his Professors. In 1886 he went to St. Beuno's, where he was ordained in the summer of 1889. He returned to Milltown for his fourth year of theology. and was then sent to University College to teach Latin and Greek, replacing Father Richard Clarke of the English Province.
From 1890 to 1909 (with the exception of one year, 1894-95, which he spent as a Tertian Father at Roehampton), Father Browne was kept busy in Dublin as Professor of Classics and Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland. His energy was simply amazing. Two early Handbooks of Latin and Greek Composition went through various editions, though they have since lost their vogue. His Handbook of Homeric Study was for many years counted the best popular introduction in English to the famous controversy, on which Father Browne
was never weary of lecturing his own students at U.C.D. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland and was elected President of this body in 1913. He was also a member of the Council of the Society for Hellenic Studies, Chairman (for a time) of the Archaeologica Aids Committee of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching, and member of the Committee of the British Association for Museums. In this connection he visited the U.S.A. in 1916 as a member of a special Committee to report on the American museum system, and his volume of essays (Our Renaissance : Essays on the Reform and Revival of Classical Studies), published in 1917 reflects his interests in these strenuous years. Father Browne's old students will not need to be reminded of his immense zest for all forms of archaeological research. He counted several of the leading English
archaeologists as among his personal friends. There had been an earlier stage when Greek music had attracted his attention - though it must be confessed that Father Browne's aptitude for musical theory was disputed by some of his colleagues. But who could resist so great a vital force? Father Browne would strum a piano for hours on end, convincing himself (and some others) that Greek music was most closely connected (through Gregorian music) with ancient Irish music as represented in Moore's Melodies. Who's Who contains the following condensed statement of this phase of Father Browne's activities “He has experimented in the melodic rendering of Greek choral rhythms giving demonstrations before the British Association at the Dublin meeting (1908) and at Columbia and Chicago Universities.
It seems a far cry from these external activities to the inner motive which explains the dual character of Father Henry Browne's life. But those who lived with him knew that he had other interests. For many years he was' exceptionally successful as Director of the Students Sodality in the old University College, giving monthly talks to large numbers. As early as 1896 he had been drawn into the work of Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society by his lifelong friend and fellow-convert, Father Joseph Darlington. Father Darlington had to leave Ireland for a year to make his tertianship, and he succeeded (with some difficulty) in persuading Father Browne to take his place for one year. Those first hesitations were soon forgotten, and Father Browne continued to edit Saint Joseph’s Sheaf, and to be the life and soul of the Society for the next twenty-five years. He was particularly keen on the work of the Mungret Apostolic School, and deserves to be reckoned as one of the chief benefactors of that important work for the missionary priesthood. He was also a pioneer propagandist for the Chinese Mission here in Ireland. In 1915 he helped to re-organise Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society as a national work, approved and commended by the Irish Hierarchy.
The last twenty years of Father Browne's life were spent outside of Ireland. Although he came back to Dublin more than once, and was always eager to keep in touch with the Leeson Street community.
A brief record of his activities during these years will help to complete the picture of this strenuous worker for Christ’s Kingdom. For the first two years Father Browne was stationed at Osterley, where he helped Father Lester up his work for late vocations (Our Lady's Young Priests), and taught Latin to some of the students. In a recent issue of Stella Maris Father Clement Tigar, who has succeeded Father Lester at Osterley, pays warm tribute to Father Browne's work for this good cause. He also wrote a pamphlet on the K.B.S. movement, and a very pleasant book on the recent work of the Catholic Evidence Guild (1924). This latter work made a special appeal to Father Browne - zeal for the conversion of Protestant England - and he soon threw himself heart and soul into the work of open-air lecturing and catechising. His older friends in Dublin, who knew him for the most part as the very type of an academic Professor of Greek were first startled, then amused to hear that Father Browne was exceptionally successful in this new role. He had a knack of answering casual hecklers in their own style - his answer was often so completely unexpected (and occasionally so irrelevant) that the heckler was left speechless with surprise, and unable to cause any further trouble. From Osterley, Father Browne was soon transferred to Farm Street, where he added a new field to his labours. This was a Newsboys' Club which he himself organised and directed at Horton one of the most difficult of London's slum areas. It was open to boys of every religious denomination. The mere labour of going down to Horton from Farm Street on several nights a week would have been sufficient to flaunt a younger and more vigorous man. But Father Browne now well on in his seventies, was indomitable.
In 1927 Father Browne came back for a visit to Dublin, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee with the Fathers of the Lesson Street community. In 1930 and 1931 he was here again, and was busily engaged on compiling a short history of the old University College, with the collaboration of Father Lambert McKenna. The book appeared in 1930 under the title “A Page of Irish History”. In the next year Father Browne took part in the Congress of the Irish Province which was held in University Hall, Hatch Street. for the purpose of studying the Exercises. He chose for his share in the discussion the subject of Ignatian Prayer - always a favourite topic with him in private conversation - and his comments will be found in “Our Colloquium”, pp. 129-131. He had already published a book on the theory of mystical contemplation under the title “Darkness or Light? : An Essay in the Theory of Divine Contemplation” (Herder, 1925). Many years earlier (1903) he had edited a volume entitled “The City of Peace”, in which he gathered together various autobiographical accounts of recent conversions to the Catholic Church. His own account of his conversion to the true Faith at Oxford is well worth reading for the light it throws on his own strong direct and outspoken character.
Hoxton Club and these many other activities filled Father Browne's life until 1984, when he was in his eighty-second year. He had already made plans for the transference of the Club to other hands, and it was finally passed over to the management of a joint committee of past students of Stonyhurst and the Sacred Heart Convent Roehampton. He himself felt that the end was near, but his energy was not yet spent. For the next few years he threw himself with all his old fire and enthusiasm into one last campaign for the conversion of England
through the intercession of Teresa. Higginson, in whom he had implicit faith. An adverse decision came from Rome some three years ago and Father Browne found this set-bask one of the severest trials in his long life. But he never hesitated in his obedience and submission to authority, and his faith in the ultimate conversion of his fellow countrymen never wavered for an instant. The present writer visited him frequently in the last years of his life, and it was impossible to resist the impression of a life that was more and more absorbed in the work of prayer for his fellow-Christians. Old memories of Dublin days would come back to him, but the conversion of England was his main preoccupation. He had asked to be moved from Farm Street to Roehampton, so that he might prepare himself for death in the company of the novices. But it was not to be. The air-raids on Roehampton made evacuation a duty, and Father Browne was transferred some months before his death to Heythrop near Oxford. Old memories of Oxford days. and of his own conversion, must have come back to him with double force. Those who knew him say that his last months were spent mainly in prayer. He was in his eighty-eighth year, but still unwearied in his zeal, when the end came at last, and he has been laid to rest at Heythrop College, which is now one of the most active centres of that campaign for the conversion of England which lay nearer to his heart than any other human cause. May he rest in peace. (A.G.)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Browne SJ 1853-1941
Fr Henry Browne was born of Anglican parents at Birkenhead, England, on August 7th 1853. He was educated at King Edward’s High School, Birmingham and New College Oxford, and entered the Catholic Church in 1874. Three years later he joined the Irish Province of the Society at Milltown Park. He pursued his higher studies at Milltown Park and at St Beuno’s, North Wales, and was ordained priest in 1889.

In the following year he began his long association with University College Dublin as Professor of Ancient Classics and Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland. During these fruitful years, 1890-1922, Fr Browne’s talent as lecturer, writer, organiser found its full scope. In addition to a very useful volume dealing with Greek and Latin composition, he was the author of “A Handbook of Homeric Studies”, which held its own as the best secular introduction to a famous controversy. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland, and was a member of the Council of the Society for Hellenic Studies and of the Committee of the Irish Association of Museums.

Another side of Fr Browne’s activities in Dublin during these years was the zeal he displayed in promoting vocations to the missionary priesthood. As early as 1896 he had been drawn into the work of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society, which he served for a quarter of a century.

The last twenty years of Fr Browne's life were spent outside Ireland, and marked what we might call its Second Spring. He helped Fr Lester in his work for late vocations at Osterley, London, and in open-air lecturing and catechising. In these years date his very pleasant book on the work of the Catholic Evidence Guild. On his transfer to Farm Street, he added a new field to his labours, a newsboys club in Hoxton in the East End of London.

He remained in touch with the Irish province during this period of his life, and wrote an account of the old University College in “A Page of Irish History”. The story about his own conversion to the faith is told in “The City of Peace” (1903), and also in a chapter of a book “Roads to Rome” by Rev John O’Brien. Deserving also of special mention is Fr Browne’s work on the theory of mystical contemplation entitled “Darkness or Light” (1925).

Fr Browne closed his strenuous apostolic life on March 14th 1941 at St Beuno’s, North Wales, where he had been evacuated during the air-raids of World War II, interested to the end in the work for the conversion of Protestant England.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Henry Browne SJ

The death of Father Browne on the 14th March, 1941– St. Joseph's month - at the Jesuit House of Studies, Heythrop, Oxford, brought to a close a long and fruitful life.

Born in Birkenhead in 1853 and educated at New College, Oxford, he was received into the Church in 1874. Three years later he entered the Novitiate of the Irish Province and from that date till his retirement in 1922 he was engaged in educational work in Ireland. As a scholastic he taught in Belvedere and Tullabeg. He was ordained in 1890 at St Beuno's, Wales, and when his studies were completed we find him back once more in Ireland.

There is no need to chronicle here the scholastic attainments of Father Browne or his part in the great work for university education in Ireland. These are matters of history. But it is well to recall his close association with the early days of the Apostolic School. Brought into contact with Mrs Taaffe and her great work, Father Browne, at first very doubtful about the success of the venture, became one of the pillars of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. Realising the need of missionary priests and the possibilities of the work, he threw himself into the enterprise with all his characteristic thoroughness. His lantern lectures were utilised to make the work known and by these he was instrumental in having the Moloney Burse completed and handed over to the Apostolic School.

Shortly after his retirement in 1922 from the University, he returned to England and worked mainly in London.

The later years of his life were spent in the peace and quiet of Manreso and Heythrop College.

Browne, Michael, 1853-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/74
  • Person
  • 22 April 1853-20 November 1933

Born: 22 April 1853, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 27 July 1891
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 November 1933, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1896 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Br Thomas Johnson Entry :
He was assisted in his last moments by his Spiritual Father, Michael Browne, and died 27 May 1900.
Note from James Dempsey Entry :
He finally retired to Tullabeg and he died there 03 October 1904. he was assisted there in his last moments by the saintly Michael Browne, Rector and Master of Novices.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

Jubilee : Fr Michael Browne
The official celebration in Fr Michael Browne's honour took place in Rathfarnham on the 29th September. After a good deal of College work, Rector of the Crescent, Clongowes and Tullabeg he was Master of Novices at three different periods and is now Spiritual Father to the fifty-seven Juniors at Rathfarnham and, whenever he gets a chance, spends, at least, seven days a week giving retreats,

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934
Obituary :
Father Michael Browne
Father S. Brown has kindly sent us the following appreciation :
On the morning of November the 28th died Father Michael Browne in his eighty first year.

He was born in Limerick in 1853 and was educated partly at Crescent College in that city and partly at Clongowes. On leaving the latter college he applied to enter the Society. Superiors thought him too delicate and rejected the application. He accordingly went to Carlow College to study for the priesthood. But the call was insistent. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes he tried again and this time was successful. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown
Park on the 7th of September 1877. The fifty-six years of his life in the Society were outwardly uneventful. He had relatively little contact with the outer world and shunned all
appearances in public. But within the Province he held nearly every office of trust and responsibility with the exception of that of Provincial. He was Master in the colleges (Tullabeg
1883-85, Clongowes '86 and Mungret 1891-94). During this last period he was Prefect of Studies. He was Spiritual Father in Clongowes ('96- '99) and later in Rathfarnham (1924-51). He was Rector of Tullabeg from 1920 to 1924, again 1918 to 1910. During these two periods of office he was Master of Novices. He was Rector of the Crescent (I905-7). Finally he was for eleven years Socius to the Provincial. That is surely a remarkable record.
But he will perhaps be remembered not so much for his eminent services to the Society as for his personality. For throughout his life he was known to be a man of deep and genuine holiness and there were many who did not hesitate to speak of him as a saint. Despite all his efforts to conceal it his austerity was well known. Especially in his Tullabeg days he was merciless to himself, Without being a very close observer one could know that he was all tied up with hair-shirts and chains. Indeed this was the origin of some of his characteristic gestures. Superiors had to exercise constant vigilance to see that he took sufficient food. He was more lenient in his later years, but even in his last year he sometimes made his meal of dry bread. He never smoked nor drank wine or spirits. He had schooled himself in the most rigid observance of “custody of the eyes.” He seldom, in fact looked at the person to whom he was speaking and he not infrequently made upon outsiders an impression of aloofness and indifference. There was indeed no little aloofness in his way of life. He made few friends and acquaintances. But his manner was by no means cold and repelling. He had a temper but it was under such stern control that few suspected its existence.
He was the most unworldly of men. He never read newspapers and took little or no interest in the little events of the day. He preached a lofty spirituality that soared high above the earth. One felt oneself among naked mountain peaks and breathed a somewhat rarefied atmosphere. Still humor, of a simple and homely kind, was by no means banished from
his Retreats and exhortations. He even courted a hearty laugh from his audience. He himself could laugh heartily in his deep bass voice and often when telling some amusing anecdote
the tears would run down his cheeks and his mirth would so choke his utterance that listeners sometimes failed to catch the climax or the point of the story. His memory held a great
store of such anecdotes centering very largely in Limerick, which always held a warm place in his heart.
He was always an intense student and a lover of books. He wrote, so far as I know, nothing for publication, but he accumulated copious notes, largely written in shorthand. Many
years ago he discarded large quantities of MS. material relating to his work as a master. He loved to pick up for a few pence in second hand bookshops books that appealed to him. His friends knew that books were the only gifts that would be acceptable. He belonged, one might say, to the Victorian epoch. In literature as in other things, modernity had no appeal for him. His taste was for history and biography and he seems never to have read fiction.
He went to God as straight as he knew how, without hesitations or compromises and regardless of the cost. He thought, as he lived, in straight lines, looking neither to right nor left. His character was strong and simple without subtlety and without crookedness of any kind. On subjects about which he cared at all his principles were fixed, his mind was made up. And as with principles of thought so with principles of conduct. Early in life he had laid down such principles for himself and to these he adhered undeviatingly to the end.
His spiritual life was hidden with Christ in God. One could only guess at its characteristics. It included certainly a great love for Our Lady and he never began an exhortation in the
chapel without reciting in full an Act of Consecration to her. Much of his time, especially towards the end, was spent in the chapel. All who really knew him were convinced of his great holiness.
As long as strength remained to him he worked unsparingly. I have known him to give as many as seven Retreats on end. During these Retreats he was the despair of the Sister who
waited on him at meals. In the last year of his life he was still giving domestic exhortations and lectures in various convents. He held the honorable post of confessor to the Archbishop of Dublin.
In his last illness, as long as his mind held good, he was his old self, concerned only about the trouble he was giving, and praying almost without interruption.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Brown 1853-1933
Fr Michael was preeminently the Ascetic of the Province. His austerity was well known, in spite of all his efforts to conceal it. Especially in his Tullabeg days as Master of Novices, he was merciless on himself. He was a great believer in hairshirts and chains, and Superiors had to exercise vigilance to make sure he took sufficient food. Yet he was not a solitary, given over to lone contemplation. In his time, he held every administrative post in the Province, save that of Provincial, though he acted as Vice-Provincial on one occasion. He was untiring in giving retreats, even up to his last years, and was known to have given 7 retreats on end, without interval.

At the same time he was not a repelling character, rather he engendered great respect and affection. He had his sense of humour, and his deep laugh was familiar to all his listeners.

He went straight to God as he knew how, without compromised. His use of creatures was mainly by abstention. When he died on November 22nd 1933, after 56 years in the Society, one eminent fellow Jesuit remarked that Fr Michael Brown’s holiness was reminiscent of the old Irish monks, to which an equally eminent Jesuit replied “Nay more, his eminence was pre-Christian”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

Father Michael Browne, whose death took place at Rathfarnham Castle, on Monday, November 20th, 1933, in his eighty-first year, was one of the links that bound together Tullabeg and Clongowes. He was an Old Clongownian, had been a master and Prefect of Studies in both Colleges, was Spiritual Father and Rector of Clongowes and had been twice Rector of Tullabeg when it was no longer a secondary school. For over thirty years before his death, he had no direct connection with Clongowes. His name was hardly known to the later generations of boys here, but those who were at Clongowes in the late nineties realise that a great Clongownian has died.

Michael Browne was born in Limerick on April 22nd,. 1853. His early school years were spent in that city at the Sacred Heart College, then known as St Munchin's College. Having already a wish to become a Jesuit, he came to Clongowes in 1872, and, after two years here, he applied to enter the noviceship. Owing to his delicate state of health the application was refused It was a sore trial; but Michael Browne did not lightly abandon anything on which he had set his heart. He wanted to become a priest and succeeded in gaining admission to St Patrick's College, Carlow. His lungs were weak and his health did not improve, while the call to the Jesuit noviceship became more insistent. Heaven was stormed with prayers by himself and by his friends. It used to be told how his sister, who was a nun and who died at an early age, offered her life that Michael might be able to become a Jesuit. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes, undertaken to obtain his desire, he asked again to be received into the Society of Jesus. This time he was accepted, and he entered the novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, on September 7th, 1877, three years after he had left Clongowes.

Before we write of the man, let us recall dates and occupations, for they are instructive. At the end of his noviceship. at Milltown Park, Michael Browne took his yows on September 8th, 1879. Then followed four further years at Milltown, one as a Junior, the remaining three studying philosophy. From 1883 to 1886 he was Prefect of Studies and Master of English and Mathematics at Tullabeg. He came to Clongowes in the Amalgamation Year, as Assistant Prefect of Studies and Mathematical Master of the Royal University students. From 1887 to 1891, he studied theology, for the first two years at Louvain and later at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1890. During his last year at Milltown as a priest he was a constant visitor to the Incurables Hospital, Donny brook, where the memory of his kindness and of his holiness was still fresh among the patients twenty years afterwards. In 1891, he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Mungret, a position which he held for four years, when he also taught the Royal University students at a time when they were bringing fame to Mungret. On leaving Mungret in 1895, he went to Chieri, Italy, for his tertianship. The next year found him Spiritual Father and a master at Clongowes. When Father Devitt left Clongowes in the summer of 1900, Father Michael Browne succeeded him as Rector, but it was only for a few months, as he was nominated Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg towards the end of November of the same year. During this period the late Father John Sullivan was a novice under Father Brownie's direction. They were kindred souls, and ever after novice and Novice Master had a lifelong veneration for one another. In the August of 1905, Father Browne was made Rector of the Sacred Heart College and Church at Limerick, This was, perhaps, the most active period of his very busy life, as, while Rector, he taught in the College, worked in the Church, and had charge of the three branches of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin the Children of Mary whom he addressed once a week, the Ignatian Sodality for young men and the boys' Sodality of Our Lady. In August, 1908, we find him again Master of Novices and Rector of Tullabeg. Three years later he was named Socius to the Provincial, a position which he held for eleven years, during which time also, he was an indefatigable worker in the Church at Gardiner Street, In 1922 he went to Tullabeg as Master of Novices for the third time, and in 1924 he was transferred to Rathfarnham where he was Spiritual Father and occupied in giving Retreats to within a few months of his death. It is a summary of over half-a-century which Father Browne spent slaving in the service of God.

Though holding most important positions within the Society of Jesus, where he earned universal respect and reverence, Father Michael Browne's life was to a great extent hidden from the outside world. But within and without the Society, the striking holiness of his life impressed everybody with whom he came in contact. One could not help noticing his complete other-worldliness. “God everywhere and in everything; a constant endeavour to be pleasing in His eyes, and to require nothing of Him except the means so to be” : such was the motive force behind the life of Father Michael Browne. Despite his efforts to escape notice he could not conceal his austerities. Hair shirts, chains and disciplines were part of his everyday life. His only rest during many years was a few hours on a plank bed. When Father Browne was a priest at Clongowes there was a tradition among the boys that their spiritual father slept on “boards and pebbles”, and the schoolboy phrase was not far removed from the truth. Indeed, Superiors, knowing that he worked very hard, had to be constantly vigilant to see that he took enough food. During Retreats, when urging his hearers to practise what they preached, he frequently mentioned the phrase said to have been used by a member of his congregation to a preacher who had taught stern self-denial : “When I heard you in the pulpit I despaired of salvation, but when I saw you at your meals I took courage again”. When one saw him take his food, the courage was all on Father Browne's side, for dry bread was the chief item of his unchanging menu, While this was his daily routine he astonished all by his capability for constant and trying work. He was known to have given as many as seven Retreats on end. More than once, when others engaged in the same work fell ill, he conducted two Retreats simultaneously.

Yet though he taught self-denial, he would not allow others to do anything rash in this respect : “Take your food”, he would say, “we must keep the engine going, if it is to do its work”. His war on self was relentless. It extended to everything in his life. Passing through Switzerland on his way to Italy, it was known that he did not raise his eyes to look upon the beautiful scenery, upon which he did not expect to have the opportunity of gazing again. It was not, indeed, that he did not like pleasing sights, for while at Mungret as a young priest he used to go to the upper storey of the College to admire the charming sunsets, and then would kneel down and recite the Te Deum. When at Lourdes he prayed that he might not witness a miracle, for he did not want to lessen the full merit of his faith. .

But this war on self was only one means which Father Browne employed to bring him nearer to God. In his eyes, prayer was much more important than exterior mortification. His constant union with God was remarkable. He spent a large portion of the day and many hours of the night in formal prayer. To the ordinary spiritual duties of a Jesuit he added many more to which he was ever faithful. He passed hours each day before the Blessed Sacrament, There, in meditation, he prepared the subject matter of his sermons and Retreat lectures, It was in the Chapel he recited the Divine Office, where in a quiet corner he usually knelt without resting on any support. He had a strong and tender devotion to our Blessed Lady, and from his early years he said the full fifteen decades of her Rosary daily. He once told a friend that the biggest thing in his early life had been his being made a Child of Mary. How really he took this was shown by his unbroken habit of reciting the short act of consecration used in the reception into the Sodality before every spiritual address which he gave. Never was anything allowed to interfere with his spirit of prayer and of recollection. Rarely, if ever, did he read newspapers or novels, unless when such reading was part of his work. This practice he recommended to others. To their questioning, about reading a book or a novel, nearly always came the same disconcertingly logical answer, by way of another question: “Does it help you to say your prayers?” Devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Passion he held very dear. Among the saints he seemed to be especially devoted to St Teresa and St Francis de Sales, to St Aloysius and St John Berchmans. This last saint had a big place in his life. “What would St. John Berchmans do?” was a frequent question to guide those under his direction.

It was as a Spiritual Director that Father Michael Browne was chiefly known. For those who met him for the first time, and who had never come to him with a serious trouble, there was much in the strict custody of his eyes and a certain aloofness in his manner, which made them think that Father Browne was too cold and too much removed from them to be really helpful. Yet it certainly was not so. When he came in contact with a weak or troubled soul, Father Browne was kindness itself. He was fond of repeating the saying of St Francis de Sales : “You will catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of vinegar”. And again he would say: “I have not found any instance in the New Testament where Our Lord dealt harshly with the penitent sinner”. He dealt with those in trouble as did the Master. The poor around Gardiner Street knew that he was not cold, and felt that “Saint Browne”, as they used to call him among themselves, was their friend.

He would encourage those who had to struggle against temptation by telling them that he had a lifelong fight against a violent temper, and then he would urge the recital of Blessed Claude de la Colombière's Act of Confidence in God. Some of his sayings already mentioned show how Father Browne constantly employed the best method of the Spiritual Director, which consists in making the soul help itself. For him, Spiritual Exercises were always to be under stood in the Ignatian and literal meaning, a real striving after higher things. During Retreats and at other times, he expected a strong effort in response to his advice, yet he was ready to pardon failure which comes from weakness and not from lack of good will.

His marvellous memory held a seemingly inexhaustible store of anecdotes from history and biography, sacred and profane, of which he was a deep student. He was Victorian in his reading and conversation, and most of his stories were of people and of events of the last century. Archbishop Healy and Bishop O'Dwyer of Limerick, whose cousin he was, were the subjects of many a reminiscence. He had a great fund of anecdotes about Limerick, which ever had a warm place in his heart. His sense of humour, another help to holiness, often so overcame him when telling a story that the end was lost in the loud and hearty laugh so characteristic of him, while tears of mirth rolled down his cheeks. His wide reading served him well when preaching and giving Retreats. He prepared his matter most diligently, wrote out his sermons carefully, in which one saw the influence of Newman, with whose writings he was very familiar, but he never used a note nor a book in the pulpit or when giving a Retreat lecture. Yet he would recite a dozen verses of the Scriptures, or a large part of a chapter of the Imitation of Christ, or the full text of one of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius with faithful accuracy.

Father Michael Browne is dead. But he has left behind him among his fellow-Jesuits a lasting memory of great kindness, of severe asceticism, of very hard work, of a prayerful life and of remarkable holiness. To have known him is regarded as a privilege by those who were brought into familiar contact with him during life. To have been asked to pen these lines by the Editor of “The Clongownian” has been looked upon as a very great privilege by the present writer, who gladly pays this tribute to his old Master of Novices and to a loved and revered friend through many years.

May God give His richest rewards to Father Michael Browne who spent his life so generously in working for Him.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

It is our sad duty to have to record the 1 death of one, whose connection with Mungret goes back to the nineties of last century - Father Michael Browne. But, though it is many years since he was working amongst us, still the memory of him and of his saintliness has remained ever fresh and lasting among those who had the good fortune to live with him.

Father Michael was a Limerick man, born in that city in 1853, the son of the late County Court Judge, Daniel Browne. His early years were spent at the Crescent, Limerick, and then at Clongowes Wood College. On leaving the latter college, he applied to be admitted into the Society of Jesus, but, to his great disappointment, was rejected on the score of ill-health. Being determined to be a priest, he entered Carlow College. Here his vocation for the Society persisted. In response to its dictates, he applied again to be admitted into the Society, and, to his great joy, was accepted. He always attributed the success of this second application to the intercession of the Virgin Mother, and here we have the first evidence of that sweet devotion which was the predominating and all-pervading one of his life.

In 1877 he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Milltown Park. His ideals, like those of all novices, were very high, St Stanislaus was to be outdone, but, there was this difference with Father Michael, as his brethren can attest - he arrived where they. aspired and his striving after sublime perfection never lost the fervour of the noviceship days.

His noviceship finished, Father Browne continued on at Milltown Park, studying Philosophy for three years, and then departed for St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, at that time one of the leading lay colleges in the country. Here he acted as Prefect of Studies in 1883. In the year of “the amalgamation with Clongowes”, 1886, he proceeded there, to act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. Theology absorbed his energies for the next four years, partly at Louvain, partly at Milltown Park, culminating in the long-awaited glory of the priesthood in 1891.

Mungret claimed him for the next three to four years, as Prefect of Studies. During these years, he had charge of the Sodality of Our Lady, an office that was especially dear to him on account of his tender devotion to the Virgin Mother. The following extract from the history of the Sodality is not without interest :

“Father D Gallery (the first Director) was succeeded by Father M Browne. By him the Sodality was directed for four years, and it owes to his assiduous care, the deep root it has taken in the College”. -(”Mungret Annual”, 1897).

From Mungret, he next set off for Chieri, Turin, there to go through his tertianship, the final moulding process of the Jesuit. He returned from Chieri to take up the Office of Spiritual Father to the boys and of Assistant in the People's Church. The kindness and saintliness displayed by him in these functions, won for him the “one post of distinction in the Society-Master of Novices”. This he held for ten years, at different intervals.

For three years he acted as Rector of the Crescent, Limerick, then was Novice-Master again, then Assistant to the Provincial. After eleven years in these duties, for the latter few of which he also exercised the ministry at Gardiner Street with great fruit and renown, he set out for Tullabeg once more, to fill the office of Novice-Master. After two years interval, he became Spiritual Father to the Scholastics in Rathfarnham Castle, which post he filled till his death. Though he had never been a man of robust health, owing to his natural delicacy and to his austerities, nevertheless he had successfully come through many a severe bout of sickness and had often been anointed. So his last illness was not looked upon with any great alarm at the beginning. But after a few days' illness, very little hope of his recovery was entertained, and he passed away, after a comparatively short illness, in his 81st year, on November 20th, 1933.

It would be an impertinence on our part to attempt to give an adequate estimation of Father Browne's lofty character within the narrow limits at our disposal. Suffice it to say, that, within the Order, he was held to be a man of great sanctity and of model observance, without, he was eagerly sought after, as a spiritual guide and Retreat giver by religious and clergy, and as a father confessor by the laity. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Michael Browne (1853-1933)

A native of Limerick city and a pupil of this college, entered the Society in 1877. Until the close of the last century, he was master, or prefect of studies or spiritual father to the boys in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret. From 1900 onwards he was given one post of responsibility after another and gave distinguished service to the Society: Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg (1900-1905); Rector of Sacred Heart College, Limerick (1905-1908); Rector again at Tullabeg (1908-1911); secretary to the Provincial (1911-1922); Master of Novices (1922-1924). The remaining ten years of his life were spent as spiritual father to the community at Rathfarnham Castle.

For many years, Father Browne's duties brought him into little contact with the outside world. Apart from his rectorship at the Crescent, his work was within the Society. Yet, without realising it, Father Browne, in his lifetime, was known to many outside the Society as a man of singular holiness. It was he who formed the servant of God, Father John Sullivan in his noviceship days. Until death called both these priests away in the same year, 1933, the former novice-master and the former novice regarded one another with humble veneration. A biography of Father Michael Browne from the able pen of Father Thomas Hurley (master at the Crescent (1928-33 and 1940-52]) was published in 1949.

Burke, Patrick Francis, 1882-1941, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/969
  • Person
  • 05 March 1882-07 September 1941

Born: 05 March 1882, Cork City
Entered: 01 March 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 07 September 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942
Obituary :
Brother Patrick Burke

Brother Burke was known to have expressed more than once the desire to die in harness, yet not even he can have imagined that the end would come so suddenly. He complained for the first time on Monday 1st of September, but it was not until Saturday that his illness took a serious turn and he was removed to hospital. His condition grew rapidly worse and be died the following day.

Born in Cork city in the year 1882, he was from an early age attached to Messrs. Egan, jewellers, and remained with them for twenty two years. From there he went to Stokes in Westmoreland Street Dublin, where he worked from 1918 to 1921. Then. to use his own words, there came to him the call to leave the world and he decided to enter the Society as a, Lay-Brother. His Noviceship days were spent in Tullabeg. In 1925 we find him in Belvedere, in 1929 he went to the Crescent, whence, after a year, he was transferred to Milltown Park. where he remained until his death.

Perhaps it is as sacristan that Br. Burke will be always best remembered. In all that had to do with that office he showed an enthusiasm and devotedness quite remarkable. “The happiest moments of my life were spent in work for Our Lord on the Altar” he was heard to say, and there can be no more eloquent testimony of his devotion to his hidden Master than the care and pains he took with all the Altar arrangements. He rose magnificently to all great occasions, such as major feasts, and, most of all, ordinations, when his altars won many a word of admiration.But his daily care of the altar and of the chapel was a finer proof of the reality of his devotion. Many of us can be painstaking on occasion, but Br. Burke was painstaking in the chapel always. No effort that this work demanded of him was too great for his diminutive. but indomitable frame, no detail too small for his care and attention. Day after day and year after year this unwearying care went on, and Br. Burke continued to be to all who knew him an example of one who waited for his Lord, and kept his lamp trimmed, and all in readiness. With true zeal Br Burke wished to share with others his devotion to the altar. He trained boys to serve Mass and was ever at pains to imbue them with his own reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. He intensified and extended this work in the last year of his life, and the bearing of those he has trained is living testimony to his success. His contact with those who brought flowers for the altar gave him another outlet for his zeal. Those who thus came in contact with him loved him for a may humour he had and for his very real. sympathy with them, but it was his simple and sincere piety that most of all affected them.
Br. Burke's life in the Society was a little life, the thoughtless will say, taken up with simple hidden things. It may seem little in the eyes of the thoughtless, but it was the work his Master had given him to do, and it was splendidly done. That, for all its apparent littleness that his life shone before men is evidenced by the surprising number of people who attended the Requiem Mass for Bro Burke in the chapel of Milltown Park, and followed the coffin afterwards to Glasnevin. Br Burke left many friends to mourn him, not least among them, his little Mass-servers, and many who have learnt from him the beautiful lesson of devoted. reverent service of the Blessed Sacrament. and left behind the record of a life that was this lesson lived. Such a life may be little by the standards of the world, but it must be very great by the only standard that counts when life is over. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Patrick Burke 1882-1941
Br Patrick Burke was referred to by externs as “The Saint”.

Born in Cork in 1882, he was attached to Egan’s the jewellers in that city, and then with Stokes of Westmoreland Street Dublin. It was here that he heard the call in 1921, and answewred it to become a lay-brother in the Society.

Always extremely neat in his person, he was precise in his manner and exact in his duties. All his religious life he devoted to the altar as Sacristan, and there he displayed exquisite taste in adorning the altar and looking after the vestments.

He had a wide circle of friends and admirers, who revered him as a holy man, many of whom had known him “in the world”, under the soubriquet of “The Major”.

He was most closely associated with Milltown Park, where he died an edifying death on 7th September 1941.

Butler, John, 1727-1786, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/978
  • Person
  • 08 August 1727-23 June 1786

Born: 08 August 1727, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1745, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 16 June 1753, Liège, Belgium
Final Vows: 1763
Died: 23 June 1786, Hereford, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Thompson

Younger Brother of Thomas RIP 1778 (ANG)

Taught at St Omer for 2 years
Missionary

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1778 Three Archbishops and twelve Bishops, the first President of the Parlement de Paris, and the French Foreign Minister, urged his promotion to the See of Limerick. The Propaganda objected to an ex-Jesuit, but the Pope named him. He wrote to his kinsman, the Archbishop of Cashel “I am determined to oppose such a design by every respectable means in my power” To the bishop of his “native diocese” he writes : “Cruel dilemma! All left me to do is to submit to the will of others. But please take particular notice that my submission and resignation are on this condition, that whenever the Society of Jesus be restored, I shall be at full and perfect liberty to enter the same, and retire again to my College, the seat of virtue and real happiness”.
When the Bull came he was at Cahir Castle, and was so distressed that he wrote to Archbishop Butler (of Cashel) : “I decline the preferred honour, because I really think myself incapable of fulfilling the duties of such a station in the Church”. (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas, 8th Lord Cahir and Frances, daughter of Sir Theobald Butler
After First Vows he followed the usual formation and was Ordained at Liège 16 June 1753
1775 Went on Missionary work as a member of the ANG Province in England at Hereford
1778 Nominated to the vacant chair as Bishop of Limerick but declined, and he died at Hereford 20 June 1786

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Butler 1727-1786
John Butler, ninth Lord Cahir was born in 1727. Having completed his studies at St Omers, he renounced his title and possessions, and entered the English Province of the Society in 1745. He took charge of the little chapel at Hereford.

In 1778, his relative, Dr James Butler, Archbishop of Cashel, informed him that as the Society had been suppressed, three Archbishops and twelve Bishops of Ireland had sent a postulation to Rome, asking that he be promoted to the vacant See of Limerick. In total confusion, he refused the offer as being unworthy. However, the appointment was made, and at the instance of Dr Egan, Bishop of Waterford, Fr John consented, on the condition that if the Society was restored, he should be free to become a Jesuit once more. He travelled to Ireland and got as far as Cahir, and there, overcome once more by reluctance to take office, he resigned the bishopric, and retired to Hereford, where he died in 1786.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BUTLER, JOHN, son of Thomas,8th Lord Cahir,* by Frances, daughter of Sir Theobald Butler, was born on the 8th of August, 1727 : embraced the pious Institute of St. Ignatius in 1745 ; and was ordained Priest at Liege in 1753. This Rev Father lived to inherit the title of Lord Cahir, and died at Hereford on 20th of June, 1786. It is little known that this humble Jesuit was postulated for Episcopacy. The facts are as follow :
His kinsman, Dr. James Butler, Archbishop of Cashel, by letter dated Thurles, 7th of March, 1778, signified to him, that all the Prelates of Minister, except one, and many other Prelates of the kingdom had cast their eyes upon him, as the most worthy person to fill the See of Limerick, vacant by the death of Dr. (Daniel) Kearney - that he hoped his humility would not be alarmed : and that reading in their joint postulation the will of Almighty God, he would submit to the order of Providence, and resign himself to a burthen which the divine grace would render light to him and advantageous to the Diocese he was invited to govern. To this communication F. Butler returned the annexed answer :

Hereford, March 23, 1778.
Honoured Sir,
I received by the last Post your very friendly letter of the 7th inst. You will not easily conceive my confusion and uneasiness on reading its contents. How flattering soever the prospect of such an honourable Elevation may be, I should act a very bad part indeed, if I did not decline the proffer of such an important station, thoroughly conscious of my incapability, and want of every requisite quality to execute the duties of such an office. I therefore most earnestly beg, and by every sacred motive entreat you, and the other respectable Prelates, will entirely drop all application to his Holiness in behalf of my succeeding to the See of Limerick, as I am determined, by most cogent reasons, to oppose such a design by every respectful means in my power. I request the favor of you to convey in the most grateful and respectful manner, my sincerest thanks to all who have been pleased to entertain so favourable an opinion of me, and hope you will believe me to be, Hond. Sir,
Your most ---
John Butler.

The good Archbishop, in his reply, bearing the Cashell Post mark of April 4th, 1778, informs him that the Postulation had been sent to Rome that it was “backed by the signatures of three Archbishops and twelve Bishops of Ireland, by the Roman Catholic Peerage of Ireland, by the united letters of the Nuncios of Paris and Brussels, of the Archbishop of Paris, of the First President of the Parliament of Paris, and of Monsieur de Vergennes, Ministre des affaires etrangères, to Mousieur de Bernis; and to crown all, by the letters of your most worthy Prelate, Dr. Walraesley, in your favor”. His Grace conjures him “not to hesitate to make a sacrifice of his own private ease and tranquillity to promote more advantageously in a more exalted state, the glory of God, and the welfare of this poor and afflicted Church, and expresses a belief that, when the necessity of acquiesence is so manifest, the Rev. Father would never forgive himself for the fatal consequences that would ensue to Religion from his refusal. The whole of his Grace’s letter, is most earnest and moving; and to conquer the Father’s repugnance, he engaged Dr. Wm Egan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, to expostulate with him. He did so in the following beautiful letter :

Honoured Sir,
I have shared with my much esteemed friend, and respected Metropolitan, his Grace of Cashel, in the uneasiness which your letter gave him; and I must beg leave, both from my own inclination, and at his earnest request, to expostulate with you upon the subject of it. By letters which I have just received from Rome, there is no doubt left me of your being appointed to succeed in the See of Limerick, and that in a manner very honourable to you, and to us, notwithstanding a violent opposition as well in behalf of other Candidates, as on account of your particular circumstances. The Propaganda rejected you as an Ex-Jesuit, but his Holiness in attention to the earnest application, which the Prelates of this Province in particular, as well as others, thought it for the interest of Religion, to make in your favor, over-ruled the determination of the Propaganda, and named you. - All this seems to bespeak, that what we so anxiously engaged in, was conformable to the Will of God; He has been graciously pleased to bless with success our endeavours; we were influenced to employ them, from no other motive, than our persuasion, that your being of our Prelacy, would promote his holy service amongst us; the measure had the ardent wishes of all the respectable Catholicks of this kingdom for its success; I know from my Lord Cahir, that this was particularly wished for by him, and that it was equally wished for by the rest of your family. I hope therefore, that you will not attempt to give the least opposition, to what appears, from all these concurrent circumstances, to have been the disposition of heaven; no timidity from your supposed personal disability, no private attachment to a less publick station, no friendly connexions formed elsewhere, but should give way to the call of the Almighty, so manifestly made known to you on this occasion. To judge otherwise would be only the illusion of self-love, and I am so convinced of this, that I pronounce without hesitation to you, that you cannot with a safe conscience decline, however reluctant you may feel yourself, to submit to the charge which you are called upon to undertake. Had the Society to which you once belonged still subsisted, though you could not have sought for an Ecclesiastical Dignity, yet you must have considered yourself conscientiously oblidged to accept of one even at the extremities of the earth, if you had been duly commanded; you would in that case have justly considered the command, as the voice of God, which you ought not to resist : - The voice of God seems to be equally forcible upon you now; you have not sought after the dignity which you are invited to, and if you had sought after it, it might be reasonably suspected that your vocation to it was not from God, but can you, Sir, doubt a moment, but that your vocation to the Episcopacy, which you never thought of aspiring to, is from God, when you are appointed to it by the Vicar of Christ; when you have been postulated for it, by the united unbiassed voices of so many Prelates? I think you cannot reasonably, and I think you would judge with regard to another, as I do with regard to you, were you consulted in similar circumstances. I will own to you, that whilst I rejoice, and you I think ought to acquiesce in our success, from the advantage, which at this most critical moment for religion amongst us, your nomination will be of to it, from your family, and your connexions, to say nothing of your personal qualifications, which I with pleasure hear well spoken of, by those who know you; at the same time 1 say, that I rejoice in our success, from these motives, there is another motive, which ought to make it particularly acceptable to you : it is, that in you, the difficulty which it might be feared, would have continued to prevail against those who had been members of the Society, hath been happily, and for the first time, I believe, in an occasion of this sort, gotten over. Do not then, my dear Sir, disappoint my hopes : lend yourself resignedly and cheerfully to the designs of the Almighty upon you! With the same earnestness with which we have struggled for your promotion, we will give you all the assistance in our power, all the assistance that you can expect from our knowledge and experience of things here, to render your new dignity easy and comfortable to you. You may depend upon every friendship from our good Archbishop, from Dr. Butler, of Cork, from me, from us all. In a word ! The Diocese to which you are appointed, is one of the most respectable in the kingdom, particularly from the consequence, opulence, and number of edifying Catholicks in the City of Limerick, which may be reckoned among the foremost in the British Dominions, for its elegance, riches, trade, and situation; it is but a short, and most charming ride of five and twenty miles from Cahir : but these last are but secondary and human motives; I lay my main stress with you on the glory of God, on the salvation of souls, on the ends of your Ministry, on the good of Religion; and to these motives, surely, every advantage of birth, influence, and talents, with which it hath pleased God to bless you, should be made subservient! You will excuse my writing thus freely to you; besides that my station entitles me to interfere in a matter, wherein the cause of religion appears to me to be so essentially concerned in a matter wherein I took so active a part, I claim a sort of a right with regard to you, to do it, as Bishop of your native Diocese, and from the sincere respect I have for my Lord Cahir, and all his noble family. His Lordship is shortly expected here, at farthest, some time in the next month, and as he will make England, where I suppose him to be actually on his way home, I hope that you will accompany him hither. I flatter myself, that I shall have the pleasure of welcoming you amongst us, at the same time that I will pay my respects to his lordship, I pray in the mean time to be remembered to him, and to the Honorable Mr. Butler with the most respectful attention, I shall say no more to you, I need say no more to you : the Grace and inspiratien of that good God, who gave you to our wishes will, I trust, do the rest with you.
I am with all affection and respect,
Honoured Sir,
Your most obedt. and most hmble. Servt.
WM. EGAN.
My address, if you will honor me with a letter, is
To Dr. Egan, Clonmel, Ireland.

To these appeals the Rev. Father begged leave to express his surprise that such a transaction had been carried on without the least previous intimation to him, adding, “As matters stand, I must sacrifice my tranquillity and happiness in a private station, or subject myself by an opposition to perhaps the severest reflections. Cruel dilemma! Let those then take the blame, who have any ways concurred in such a choice. All left me to do, is to submit to the will of others. I resign myself therefore into your friendly hands, on whom I depend for every assistance. But please to take particular notice, that my submission and resignation are on this condition, that whenever the Society of Jesus be restored, I shall be at full and perfect liberty to re- enter the same, and retire again to my College, the seat of virtue and real happiness”.
On the 25th of April, the Archbishop informed him, that the Sac. Cong, had confirmed on the 29th ult. the choice of the Prelates “and all that is wanting to complete our happiness, is to see you safely arrived in this kingdom to take possession of the See you are named to. I hope you will not delay on the receipt of this. Let nothing alarm you ‘A Domino factum est istud’. Your submission to the Orders of Providence will assure to you every assistance from heaven”.
In May the Rev. Father left England for Ireland in company with his brother Lord Cahir. The Archbishop on the 31st of May, addressed him a note at Cahir Castle of congratulation, promised to wait upon him as soon as possible, and announced the receipt of a letter from Mr. Conwey, Vicar Capitular of Limerick, assuring him that he would meet with the most pleasing reception there both from the Clergy and Laity and that all ranks of People were most impatient for his arrival amongst them. On the 10th July, 1778, the Archbishop, announced that the Bulls so long expected were arrived, and had been forwarded to him from Paris the preceding week; but that an indispensible journey on his part, had prevented him from attending to them before. “I need not tell you the pleasure it gave me to receive them, and how earnestly I wish and hope, that the use which is to be made of them may tend to advance the glory of God and the good of the Diocess of Limerick”. But the arrival of the Bulls served only to distress the humble Priest, and to decide him on declining the proffered dignity, in a mild, most courteous and respectful letter, he cordially thanked the Archbishop for the distinguished zeal and interest he had taken for his promotion; but that he could not make up his mind to accept the heavy responsibility. “I decline the proffered honor, because I really think myself incapable of fulfilling the duties of such a station in the Church”. In the following month, F. Butler returned to Hereford, to the great exultation of his numerous and very attached acquaintance.

  • On the 22nd of January, 1816, Richard Baron Cahir was promoted to the dignity and title of Viscount Cahir and Earl Glengal in the County of Tipperary.

Butler, Richard P, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/588
  • Person
  • 27 November 1915-21 April 1999

Born: 27 November 1915, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 21 April 1999, Galway University Hospital, Galway City, County Galway

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dickie) Butler (1915-1999)

27th Nov. 1915: Born in Waterford
Educated at Waterpark College, Waterford
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham, study Arts at UCD
1938 - 1941; Tullabeg, study Philosophy
1941 - 1942: Mungret College, teaching
1942 - 1944: St. Ignatius College, Galway, teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park, study theology
30th July 1947; Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949; Rathfarnham, tertianship
1949 - 1951: Hong Kong, at language school
1951 - 1952: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching
1952 - 1954: Wah Yan College, Kowloon, teaching
1954 - 1999 St. Ignatius College, Galway:
1954 - 1956: Teaching
1956 - 1961: Prefect of Studies
1961 - 1990: Teaching

When he retired from teaching in 1990, Richard continued in College administration, and as health prefect. He was admitted to University Hospital, Galway, almost two weeks before Easter. He was operated on for a perforated ulcer. Though initially he appeared to make good progress, he subsequently suffered a stroke, rallied somewhat again, but then suffered kidney failure. He died very peacefully at 6.45 a.m. on Wednesday 21st April 1999.

I first met Father Dickie Butler, as we affectionately knew him, on the doorsteps of Coláiste lognáid in Galway, 31 years ago, when I arrived there to begin my regency. I had spent the whole summer in the Gaeltacht building up my Irish but I knew about the place I was going to teach, and was somewhat fearful. I was greeted at the front door of the residence by a tall, mandarin-like figure with small round glasses and winged gown. On learning that I had just arrived to embark upon my teaching life, he informed me that he was the acting-minister and that before I went any further I was to put down my case and follow him. He ushered me into the kitchen and within five minutes produced a full glass of red wine, and giving it to me said “Drink that boy, you'll need it”.

Dickie Butler was a man who always made people feel welcome. He had a great eye for the details of life. I could say that Christianity is all about caring, - caring for one another, “whatever you do to one of these”, - because Christ first cares about us. Dickie was a man who always cared and made room for others. I'm sure that he has now found the room in his Father's house prepared for him from the beginning. (Though I should say “the mansion” in his Father's house, for Dickie did not update biblical translations lightly).

Richard Butler was born in Waterford in 1915 and entered the society at Emo. He studied at UCD, Tullabeg and Milltown Park and spent his regency teaching at Mungret and Coláiste lognáid in Galway. He was ordained priest at Milltown Park and after his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, went to teach at Wah Yan College in Hong Kong, with a view to moving further inland on the mission. He used to say that Celtic Scholars were particularly marked out by the Provincials for work on the missions, especially in China, presumably because somebody thought that if you could make headway in the Irish language you could certainly master Chinese. Whether it is true or not, what is definitely true is that Dickie Butler was a brilliant Irish scholar, a wonderful speaker of Irish and an excellent teacher of the language to generations of schoolboys (and latterly, girls).

He became the great Irish teacher he was because his health broke down in China in 1954 and he was sent to the school down in Galway where he taught for 45 years. Dickie was a man of great discipline, a man with an incisive mind. He served as a headmaster in the school before he returned to the classroom to teach for 37 years, at a time of rapid change in Ireland and in education. I lived in his community for 12 of those years and met with him regularly afterwards. Dickie was an engaging and imaginative conversationalist; he had a marvelous command of both the English and Irish language, and he used both daily in his daily all his adult life. Sitting at a table with him in the refectory was informative and entertaining as well as refreshing. Much of his colourful imagery will remain with those of us fortunate enough to have been in his community. Whether he was sharing his insights into information in the Province or on some aspect of contemporary Irish culture, he was always well worth listening to.

Dickie was a theologian and theology was never far from his thoughts. He was an avid reader, especially of the latest publications in theology. Often in the refectory we would watch with interest as visiting theologians, in Galway for a few days rest, sat down at table with Dickie and how he would ask them some seemingly innocent question about theology which would lead to a whole conversation that would keep them on their toes, so to speak, defending whatever their side of the argument was through the whole meal, answering the questions he put so casually. His favourite phrase throughout these encounters was “de vera religione”. I think Dickie would have made many a theological board proud with his questioning. I always felt he would have made a fine professor of theology but he only wanted to do what was asked of him, whether it was going on mission to China at the beginning of his priestly life, or working in College administration towards the end. He had what we used to call in the Province 'a fine mind' but he was a humble man too and one who never put himself forward. He was both modest and devout.

Dickie Butler was a very personal man, who always gave you the impression that he was speaking directly to you. He was interested in everybody in the community and the work they were at. Some might have seen him as old-fashioned but that might be because he had very definite ideas on things and would let you have the benefit of them whether you wanted them or not. Everyone I knew who met with him acknowledged that he was a wise man, and that brings me again to this mandarin-like figure. In his later years Dickie rode a motorbike and dressed in his special biker's gear, with the wire glasses and the all-seeing eyes, he cut a dashing figure as he rode up Sea Road, off into the dust.

Dickie was a man of routine who did not move much out of Galway. But in the early 1980's he decided, and we helped him, to go to America for a summer supply. He had not been out of the country for nearly 30 years when he boarded the plane for California. Despite his initial trepidation, he loved California once he became accustomed to it. But even in this he was different because Dickie took a supply in an island parish at the edge of a hot desert. And he continued this supply until he retired from teaching, and then he moved into school administration in Coláiste lognáid where his genius at Irish was much appreciated and must have caused many an envious eye in the Department of Education when school reports were processed. When Dickie was taken to hospital just before Easter this year he was very concerned to let the school authorities know that his work for the school right to the end of the summer term was all prepared and sitting on his desk.

He was a man of great discipline. The last time I spoke with him, he was sitting in his room with the door open, seemingly doing nothing. We had a few words and I asked him if he was waiting for something. He replied in his lovely Irish, “When you get to my age, you'll know what I'm waiting for”.

We say good-bye to an excellent teacher held in high esteem by his colleagues, a marvelous companion in community, a scholar and a storyteller, but most of all, a good Jesuit and a holy man. An tAthair Risteard de Buitléar will be missed by many.

In lothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.

Liam Greene

-oOo-

Funeral Mass of Fr. Richard Butler, SJ
A Jesuits room reveals a great deal about its occupant. The most striking feature about Fr. Dickie's room was how spartan it was. All that was superfluous had been removed by Dickie in the last few years. It was as if he had folded up his tent some time ago and had already moved most of his belongings to a more everlasting home. But not everything was superfluous - some things had to be kept - just in case!

What remained tells you a great deal about this kind and gentle man. Only seven books are to be found on his bookshelf. These books are the New Testament; The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma; The Code of Canon Law; The Catechism of the Catholic Church; The Concise Oxford Dictionary; Dineen's Irish-English Dictionary and The Oxford Book of Irish Verse. Fr. Dickie was a man who thirsted for God, for Truth, for Certitude, for Precision and if the mysteries of faith were sometimes shrouded in darkness, Dickie would struggle for light. If the intricacies of Irish grammar left other mere mortals somewhat disillusioned, Dickie would delight in shedding much needed light.

St. Ignatius warns anyone who might want to be a Jesuit, “Let any such person take care, as long as he lives, first of all to keep before his eyes God and then the nature of this Institute which is, so to speak, a pathway to God; and then let him strive with all his effort to achieve this end set before him by God.” Dickie always strove to remain faithful to his vocation as a Jesuit priest. His personal, unobtrusive fidelity to prayer and the daily celebration of the Eucharist in what became affectionately known in the house as “Dickie's Chapel”, spoke more loudly than long lectures in theology.

Not that Dickie was adverse to theological discussion and argument. He was never too certain about all this new-fangled theology since Vatican II. Sometimes he would put the younger Jesuits through their paces just to check out their theological orthodoxy. I remember one Easter Sunday evening being the victim of one of Dickie's theological inquisitions. In his estimation I probably came out with today's equivalent of a “D3” on the Foundation level paper!

The Ardmháistir of Scoil Iognáid, Niall Ó Murchadha, said to me only last Tuesday, “Bhí an t-Athair de Buitléar go hiontach ag múineadh Teagasc Chríostaí". One of Dickie's past students, now a Jesuit priest himself, remarked how Dickie would insist with the boys (for there were only boys in Coláiste Iognáid then) that they must always remain faithful to the basic truths of Christianity and to the teaching of the Church. However, Dickie confessed to the same class of boys, “Boys, when I was in Honk Kong in the early Fifties, if those Communists had invaded from China brandishing red hot pokers, I'd have said anything they wanted me to - I'd even have sworn that there were twelve persons in the Blessed Trinity!” Here indeed was a good man who though he struggled for Truth, acknowledge his own limitations and kept a gentle sense of humour.

Obviously I chose today's readings with this good man in mind. The first reading spoke of the necessity always to pursue and to respect Wisdom. It said, “Is le hintinn ghlan a d'fhoghlaim me agus tugaim uaim gan doicheall; ni choinnim a saibhreas i bhfolach”, or translated, “What I learned without self interest, I pass on without reserve, I do not intend to hide her riches”. Over the past few days, many of Dickie's past students have spoken to me of their fondness for him as a teacher. They spoke of how organised he was, how every class was planned, how clear he was in explaining the subject matter. But more than that, they spoke of how gentle he was, as the Beatitudes would have us be. A card arrived for Dickie a few days ago, it reads:

“I heard that you were poorly. I am sorry to hear this and so I just wanted to say hello. I'm not sure if you remember me; I finished the Jez in 1981 and you taught me Gaeilge for about five years. If you recall, I was a bit of a chatterbox and, to dissuade me from talking, you used to place me right in front of you. I didn't mind it and it did me no harm. Thank you. I have very fond memories of you teaching us.”

Fr. Dan Dargan, a former parish priest of St. Ignatius' here and a contemporary of Fr. Dickie's in the order said to me the other morning that there was always a “a certain giddy quality” about Dickie, a sense of fun, that twinkle in the eye. Past students of Dickies from the fifties and sixties speak of how he used to delight the young first years by shouting at them (gently, of course) in Cantonese. He objected strongly to the use of bad language in English and so taught his classes how to curse really and truly “as Gaeilge” much to their delight and to the advancement of the Irish language. Even in the last year when Dickie was much more confined to the house, he would often watch the students “ag pleidhcíocht” in the yard and would give a guffaw of laughter. Little did the students know that they were being watched in more ways than one for it was Dickie who right up to the end almost wrote out the term reports for each student in Coláiste Iognáid. He loved to help Joan with this seemingly tedious work, but this was important for Dickie because it meant that this former headmaster was still part of the school administration and Jesuits, as you know, never retire!

My lasting memory of Dickie will be that he was forever whistling Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago. I sometimes wondered did he know any other song. Even in the last months, Dickie would walk along the corridor whistling, and so I found it particularly poignant one day when he stopped me and said in Irish for he always spoke to me in Irish, “Ta a fhios agat, a Bhreandáin, go mbímse i gcónaí ag feadail - níl ansin ach cur i gcêill - taimse ag fulaingt go mór”. Before he went into hospital, this essentially discrete and private man, spoke very movingly of his own physical weakness and sense of anxiety, I thought at that time of the first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in other words, blessed are those who know their own fragility and their need of God. The same beatitude continues with consoling words “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

Dickie, guímid uile ar maidin nach bhfuil tuileadh de dhíth ort, go bhfuil tú i gcomhlúadar Dé agus naomh uile - bain sult as an bhfírinne go síoraí, a chara shéimh, uasail.

Brendan Comerford

Butler, William, 1848-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/814
  • Person
  • 04 September 1848-03 February 1907

Born: 04 September 1848, County Galway
Entered: 07 November 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Professed: 02 February 1888
Died: 03 February 1907, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1868 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Spring Hill College AL, USA (LUGD) Teaching
by 1874 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1879 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Educated at Coláiste Iognáid.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Laval and Theology at Louvian.
He was then lent to NOR as a scholastic for three years.
When he returned from New Orleans he was sent to Clongowes for some years. He spent some time as a Priest at Tullabeg, and when the College closed there he went for Tertianship to Drongen. He then joined the Missionary Band and was an excellent and very vigorous speaker.
He spent the remaining years of his life at Gardiner St where he died 03 February 1907

Excerpts (paraphrased in part) from An Appreciation by One Who Knew Him (EM SJ)
He was a native of Galway. That he was endowed with natural talents of no mean order is quite true, talents for a somewhat extended range in Mathematical and Philosophical speculation. It is true that during his lifetime he improved and developed these natural gifts by assiduous toil. Truer still that he possessed a rare sensibility for the fine arts, especially for the art of Music. Those who are capable of forming a just judgement bear witness to the elegance and perfection of execution which he reached on more than one instrument, but especially on his favourite instrument, the violin..........he was far from looking on Music as the serious occupation of his life........He looked on it more as a legitimate means of relaxation after a hard day’s work, or still more, as a legitimate means of ministering to the recreation and enjoyment of others.
........After First Vows he went to St Acheul near Amiens for Rhetoric, and then to Louvain for three years Philosophy. He was then sent for Regency to Clongowes, and Spring Hill College Alabama on the New Orleans Mission. He was then sent to Louvain again for Theology, and was Ordained 1880. His Priestly life was spent at Tullabeg, Crescent and Gardiner St until his death there.
....Father Butler’s nature was highly sensitive and refined will, I suppose, may readily be taken for granted by those who understand what are the qualities which combine to make a talent for music approaches to genius. Whatever Father Butler may have appeared to strangers, this writer can amply testify that he was to those who lived with him, and knew him intimately, the simplest, most genial, and the most kind-hearted of men. To the end of his life he was as light-hearted, I had almost said frolicsome, as a boy. Few men could rival the gusto with which he told or listened to a merry tale. Few equalled the heartiness of his laugh.
....But though taking a measured delight in the innocent joys of this life, it was very evident that his serious purpose was often “to muse on joy that will not cease”. Underneath all his outward gaiety there was the abiding consciousness of weighty responsibility.......laboriously taming and bringing to subjection a somewhat naturally hot and impulsive nature. Certainly he did not wear his religion on his sleeve........but....he possessed in no stinted measure a deep faith, informed by a piety at once simple and tender.......

Note from John Naughton Entry :
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father William Butler (1848-1907)

Born in Galway, educated at St Ignatius College, and received into the Society in 1865, was at the Crescent for two short periods, 1888-1889 and 1901-1902. He was a talented preacher and most of his active religious life was spent as missioner or at work in Gardiner St Church. Father Butler, in his day, was known to many as a musician of outstanding ability. He was a violinist of sensitive technique and his services as leader for orchestral accompaniment to the choir at Sacred Heart Church were frequently availed of.

Byrne, Charles J, 1886-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/985
  • Person
  • 28 February 1886-22 February 1967

Born: 28 February 1886, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 16 May 1918, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 22 February 1967, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1907 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Charles Byrne SJ (1886-1967)

Fr. Charles Byrne was born in Dublin on 28th February 1886. He received his primary education at Synge Street and his secondary education in Belvedere, where he went in 1897. James Joyce was one of his companions but Fr. Charles did not find him a congenial soul. He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1902 and remained there as a junior to study for his B.A. “Work was real, work was earnest”, in those days and he felt grateful to have survived the ordeal unscathed and with a B.A. to boot.
The three years of philosophy were spent at Stonyhurst and on his return to Ireland he was sent for a year to the Crescent where he taught the First Arts class and then for four years, as a teacher, to Clongowes where he had His Grace, Archbishop McQuaid as a pupil. In 1915 he began his theology in Milltown Park and was ordained in May 1918, the early date being due to the conscription scare of that year. At the end of theology he was sent to the Crescent for a year before tertianship and returned there in 1921. For ten years he was operarius, teacher and Minister at the Crescent. Then in 1931 he was transferred to Belvedere where he taught for 29 years without a break. When he retired from teaching he was appointed Superior of Loyola House and then last summer (1966) he returned to Belvedere where he died on 23rd February after the briefest of illnesses.
Of his 65 years in the Society, Fr. Byrne spent 46 in the colleges, doing that work which the General Congregation has again asserted to be one of our most important ministries. He was the kind of totally dedicated teacher that every college wants - for all his activities were centred around the work of the house whether it was teaching or theatricals or games. He had far more of the graces than the average Jesuit and he made use of them in a way that impressed the boys. Thus, he had a fine voice which was heard to advantage at a High Mass; he was a most graceful skater on ice, an elusive half at soccer and so good a hockey player that he was capped for Munster, which must be a Jesuit record.
As a teacher of Latin he used many industriae, mnemonics, rhymes, anecdotes and competitions, so that he rarely had need to order punishment. Then the lazy boy was shamed into working by noticing how hard his master worked for him and he could not help noticing it. Every mark for a theme was duly noted down and every mark in an examination was duly entered so that there was available a complete record of the work of each pupil during his progress through the school. For most of his time at Belvedere Fr. Byrne taught the first divisions in the top years. There was a very close bond between him and his class, so close indeed that when he was replaced by a younger Jesuit they resented losing him and the Prefect of Studies had his work cut out trying to smooth things over.
When Minister at the Crescent Fr. Byrne entered wholeheartedly into the activities of the Cecilian Society and tales of those days are still current in Limerick where he was remembered with affection, as his Christmas post from Limerick testified. On his transfer to Belvedere he put his skill at the disposal of Fr. M. Glynn who had just launched out on his long programme of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. During opera week Fr. Byrne was a familiar sight in the green room in a khaki dust coat and with neat boxes of grease paint laid out like a surgeon's instruments.
On Fr. Glynn's breakdown Fr. Byrne at a moment's notice stepped into his shoes and with admirable skill and still more admirable patience produced year after year the college opera from 1939 to 1960. He appreciated good singing, good speaking and graceful movement. Year after year to make some forty boys good singers, good speakers and graceful movers called for heroic devotion. Fortunately, like Fr. Glynn, he possessed the secret of attaching the cast to himself so that all were anxious to do their best.
As has been said already any school was glad to have him and the same may be said about any community. The reason was obvious; he was unassuming, considerate and prompt to offer assistance. He was the Prefect of Studies answer to prayer for he considered the work assigned to him on the status had first claims on his time and energy. Only when he had conscientiously done his work did he consider himself free to do work of his own choice.
From our mode of life most of us are inclined to develop marked bachelor characteristics, carelessness of dress, untidy habits and general disregard for what we despise as “the frills”. Others of us react strongly against such ways and Fr. Charles was one of these. He is said to have asked a friend whose dishevelled breviary he viewed with disapproval : “Do you wash your hands after using that book?”
Without being foppish he was always carefully dressed. He took great care of his clothes and made them last a long time. A visit to his room was quite an experience; it was so unlike the typical lair of a Jesuit. Nothing was out of place. Everything was brushed and polished and the humblest furniture decorated.
When he returned to Belvedere last September he endeavoured to follow the order of time as far as possible. And he remained like this to the end. Indeed he was at recreation the evening before he died. Then on the day of his death he celebrated Mass and in the afternoon before dinner walked up and down the corridor saying his beads. Shortly afterwards he was found in his room suffering obviously from a stroke. He was anointed by Fr. B. Murray. A doctor was summoned (Dr. E. Guiney, one of his former pupils) and he advised transfer to hospital. He was brought by ambulance to the Mater, but before he could get treatment he passed quietly away.
He was considerate to the end, dying in the manner that would inconvenience the community as little as possible. May his quiet and gentle soul rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father Charles J Byrne SJ (Pupil 1897-1902; Teacher 1931-1960)

Fr Charles Byrne died most unexpectedly : on the evening of 22nd February 1967. He had returned to Belvedere the previous summer having spent six years as Superior of Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin. On the day of his death he said Mass, in the afternoon recited his Breviary and before dinner walked up and down the corridor saying his Rosary. Shortly afterwards he was found in his room apparently dozing in his chair but really in a semi-coma. He was conscious of what was going on around him but was unable to communicate with those present though he made efforts to do so. The Last Sacraments were administered to him and then it was decided to transfer him to hospital. He was brought to the Mater Hospital but before he could get treatment he passed quietly away. This gentle and unobtrusive going was in complete keeping with his whole life, considerate for others at all times and dying in the manner that would cause as little inconvenience as possible.

After five years as a pupil in Belvedere Fr Byrne entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg in 1902 and after his profession remained there as a junior to study for his BA degree. The three years of philosophy were spent at Stonyhurst College, England, and his teaching as a scholastic extended over six years, one at the Crescent and five at Clongowes where he taught science. In 1915 he began his theology at Milltown Park and was ordained there in May 1918. After tertianship he returned to the Crescent College, Limerick, where he combined the duties of Minister and teacher and was also in charge of the public church. During this period he entered wholeheartedly into the spirit of the Cecilian Society and even to this day he is remembered with affection in Limerick.

In 1931 he was transferred to Belvedere where he resumed a long unbroken association with his Alma Mater for almost thirty years. He taught mostly Latin to the Senior Honours classes in which he had remarkable success. He had a close bond with all his pupils and never had to resort to sanctions as an incentive to work. He had a fund of mnemonics, rhymes, anecdotes which made life for the boy that little more interesting and somewhat easier when it came to imbibing knowledge. He was a very dedicated and industrious teacher, noting down most meticulously every mark for a theme and every mark for an examination, so that there was available a complete record of the work of each pupil during his progress through the college.

Fr Byrne had a lively interest in sport and maintained this interest right to the end. He supported all the college matches and was keenly interested in the welfare of the old boys rugby and cricket clubs. He was no mean athlete himself giving a good account on the soccer field, golf course and tennis court. He had the unusual distinction of being capped for Munster in hockey.

The work for which he is best remembered was the annual staging of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. For twenty-two years he produced almost single-handed a very polished and finished work. He attended to every aspect of the opera - production, music, dialogue, stage grouping and make-up. No detail escaped his eye whether it was a note of music, a small point of pronunciation, gesture, deportment - all was brought to a fine art making each play more impressive than the previous one. It cannot be said too often that it is to his credit that he secured his achievement from a cast which were in the most literal sense school boys. Year after year to make forty boys into good singers, good speakers and graceful movers called for heroic devotion. Fortunately he seemed to have the gift of attaching the cast to himself so much so that the boys vied with each other in attempting to put his directives into practice.

In the 1948 “Belvederian” we read: “Fr. Byrne labours for some four months and each year he must, if he is human, wonder if this straw will yield brick. Each year as the fruit of his work appears he must have a qualm. Each year we leave saying with awe - he has done it again. There are bold statisticians who tell us this present production is the best ever”. And indeed so it was with all operas - each one seemed to be better than the previous one. The community, the boys, the parents, and the old boys often reminisce on those wonderful and enjoyable nights with his memorable productions. It was his fervent wish that the college operas would be resumed in the not too far distant future. For many years he was the mentor and support of the Old Belvedere Musical and Dramatic Society, guiding it through its hazards in its early years.

In his dealings with others he exercised a gentle but very marked influence. He was unassuming, considerate and ever prompt to offer assistance. He was courteous to the extreme and even the slightest favour rendered would never go unrewarded. He had a wonderful equanimity of temperament and whether approached first thing in the morning or last thing at night he always gave the impression of being ever ready and pleased to deal with the particular situation in hand. With his many loyal helpers during opera week, and there were many, and with others with whom he came into contact during the course of every day life, he left the impression that it was a privilege to be associated with him or having to do business with him.

Ungentlemanliness was foreign to his character and the boys realised this, respected him for it and did their best at all times to behave as gentlemen in his presence. More than once he has been described as one of nature's gentlemen - a truer estimation would be a gentleman of God.

He was happy to return to Belvedere last summer. He entered into the spirit of the college activities, picking up the broken threads after a lapse of six years. He died as was his wish, almost in harness, slipping away in his own quiet and unobtrusive way.

May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace.

Byrne, Daniel, 1920-1964, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/731
  • Person
  • 20 June 1920-05 May 1964

Born: 20 June 1920, Knockaney, Hospital, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambua
Died: 05 May 1964, St Mary’s Hospital, Choma, Zambia

Part of the Sacred Heart, Monze community at the time of death.

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
It was about 11.30 that morning of 5 May 1964 that the hospital in Choma was asked by the police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realized that one of them was wearing a roman collar. On looking closer, she recognised Fr. Dan (who had a sister in Ireland who was a Sister of Charity). In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the church and Fr Luke Mwanza was on the scene within minutes and gave him Extreme Unction. The bishop had just arrived back in Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.

No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone and Choma it is mostly tarred road but at that time there was a stretch of about 25 miles remaining untarred. It was on this "dirt" road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The coroner at the inquest remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr Dan were Mr Mungala, his manager of schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of Ours, as well as the manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the inquest that, when he returned with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.

The burial of the three who died took place at Chikuni on Tuesday 6th May. At the end of the Mass, the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.

Fr Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He completed his secondary school at Mount Melleray (Cistercians). He admitted later in life that it was a retreat given at Mount Melleray by a Jesuit that set him on his way to Emo which he entered in 1938. During his formation years, his gifts were more practical than speculative: he liked working with wood and there is hardly a house in the Irish Province which has not got some evidence of his handiwork. He noticed things that needed to be done. There was a quality and finish about everything he set his hands to; he did indeed 'do all things well'.

It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the missions. He had not been many months in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) when he was hard at it, building schools and teachers' houses. From then until his death it is true to say that he had more than a 'finger' in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the churches he designed and built, for example Fumbo and Kasiya. Later, as education secretary, he really found himself and had much more scope for his talents. His mind was very orderly and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects’ drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left everything as if he were about to hand over to his successor.

Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him; at times they thought him off-hand, casual and blasé. He had little time for non- essentials, came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.

The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no 'spiritual frills' in Dan's life. Even in the novitiate there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much a "faithful and prudent servant" intent on service, indifferent to what people thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived with him in Monze for several years said that he never knew him to miss a spiritual duty, a remarkable thing in a man so busy.

Bishop Corboy said of him: "He was a truly saintly man – in the chapel every morning at five o’clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed his holiness and the love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in the office at 7.30 a.m. a day began that could have fully occupied two men, and that was true of six days in the week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch. On Sunday afternoon when he was free, he would visit some schools to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss, but may God's will be done’.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 3 1964

Obituary :

Fr Daniel Byrne SJ (1920-1964)

The Rhodesian Mission has had its calamities over the years but none as sudden and unexpected as the tragic death of Fr. Dan Byrne on May 5th last. Little did His Lordship Bishop Corboy think, as he bade farewell to Father Dan that very morning at Chikuni, that on the following day he would be officiating at Fr. Dan's burial in the cemetery at Chikuni.
A week before the accident Fr. Byrne had been in hospital at Mazabuka. He was treated for malaria and after a few days rest was back at work. On Saturday, May 2nd he attended a Conference on educational matters. The Monday following he took part in a meeting between a Delegation of Teachers and the Bishop, together with a group of the priests. This meeting, for which he had done a good deal of the preparatory work, lasted until afternoon. He was due in Livingstone on the Wednesday for yet another educational meeting. As his own car was in Monze garage for repairs, the Bishop offered him the use of his. On Tuesday 5th there was to be a Priests' Meeting at Chikuni, called by the Bishop; but Dan had been exempted from attending this. However, he did take His Lordship to Chikuni. On arriving at Chikuni, Dan said to the Bishop “Are you sure you wouldn't like me to stay for this meeting?” The Bishop assured him that it wasn't necessary and Dan left with his African passengers for Livingstone (180 miles).
It was at about 11.30 that morning that the Hospital in Choma was asked by the Police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realised that one of them was wearing a Roman collar. On looking closer she recognised Fr. Dan. In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the Church, and Fr. Luke Mwansa was on the scene within minutes and gave Extreme Unction. The Bishop had just arrived back at Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.
No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone there is mostly tarred road, but one untarred stretch of about 25 miles remains. It was on this dirt road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The Coroner at the Inquest, remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr. Dan were Mr. Mungala, his Manager of Schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of ours, also the Manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr. Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr. Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the Inquest that when he returned to the scene with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.
The burial of the three who died in the Bishop's car took place at Chikuni on Tuesday, 6th May. The Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. O'Loghlen. Crowds came for the Mass; there were as many outside the Church as inside and for them Fr. Conway conducted a separate service. Many cars came from as far as Broken Hill and Livingstone, bringing representatives of Government and Education bodies. The Churches were also represented -even to Dan's opposite number in the Salvation Army! At the end of Mass the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.
Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He was at school with the de la Salle Brothers at first; then he went to Mount Melleray, where he completed his Secondary schooling. He admitted later in life that it was a Retreat given at Mount Melleray by one of Ours that set him on his way to Emo, which he entered in 1938. In the noviceship he was reserved, and shy. In Rathfarnham he had a broken head for some time, which perhaps forced him to turn his attention to mundane and practical things in the house and grounds. His gifts were more practical than speculative; he liked working with wood and there is hardly a House in the Province which hasn't got some evidence of his handiwork. Even when Dan was on a rest, it was more than likely that he would notice something that needed repairing. He noticed things that needed to be done. one remembers him looking in a calculating way one day at the old pavilion of the tennis courts at Milltown Park. Within a few days thie pavilion had been 'stripped down and in a matter of weeks it had been replaced by a bigger and (of course) better structure. There was a quality and a finish about everything he set his hands to; “he did, indeed, do all things well”. He was the perfect Sub-beadle, an office which he was burdened with from noviceship to tertianship. When Dan took office, there was a big reorganisation, unwonted order was introduced, everything was given its place and it was a delight to use the Sub-beadle's Press.
Dan taught at the Crescent and Belvedere. He was a good teacher, exacting, who was respected by his pupils. It was always hard to know what he thought about things; but one who knew him and worked with him said that he couldn't imagine Dan volunteering to teach for the rest of his life. In Theology, he was always abreast of the work and was better than average at Moral. He had begun in Milltown, to suffer from the anaemia which dogged his days to the end but of which he spoke little.
It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the Mission. He hadn't been many months in Rhodesia when he was hard at it building schools and teachers' houses. From then till his death it is true to say that he had more than a “finger” in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the Churches he designed and built for example those at Fumbo and Kasiya. Later as Education Secretary he really “found” himself and had much scope for his talents. His mind was a very orderly one and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. It was the Bishop who said of him that he never knew a man who kept better files, for he could find any document in a matter of seconds. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left every thing as if he were about to hand-over to his successor.
Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him : at times they thought him off-hand, casual, blasé. He had little time for unessentials; came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. Often he had little small talk and could be preoccupied by his work. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.
The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no “spiritual frills” in Dan's life; even in the noviceship there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much “servus prudens ac fidelis”, intent on service, in different to what men thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived for several years with him in Monze said that he never knew him to miss a Spiritual duty - a remarkable thing in a man so busy. And so he had lived since 1938. In the attache case which was retrieved from the wreckage of the car was found, as well as his few toilet things, a book for Spiritual Reading . . . Can we doubt but that he has already received that “unfading crown of glory” of which he read in the last Mass he said, a few hours before he died?
In a letter Fr. O'Loghlen said of Fr. Byrne : “From every point of view it is a terrible blow. He was a first class religious, and there is the consolation of knowing that if anybody was prepared to meet his death he was. The first thing I found in his bag was a book on the Mass which he used. In his work he was equable and capable. He will be very hard to replace”.
Bishop Corboy said of him : “He was a truly saintly man-in the chapel every morning at five o'clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed the holiness and love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in his office at 7.30 a.m, a day that could have fully occupied two men began, and that was true of six days a week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch, On Sunday afternoon, when he was free, he would visit some school to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss but May God's will be done”.

Very Rev. Fr. Provincial received the following letter :
Parochial House,
Fethard,
Co. Tipperary,
May 13th 1964.
Very Rev. and dear Fr. Provincial,
I would like to offer my sympathy to you and to the Fathers of the Irish Province on the sad death of Fr. Daniel Byrne S.J. in Northern Rhodesia.
It is a matter of regret for me that I cannot attend the Mass for him in Gardiner Street tomorrow. I have already offered Mass for him.
He was the first boy in whose vocation I had a hand as a young curate and he was one of the best. One could not fail to be impressed by his sincere piety, kindly disposition and twinkling humour.
I wish too to sympathise on the loss to the Mission of so competent a priest in educational matters. May he rest in peace.
With kind personal regards,
Sincerely yours in Christ, Christopher Lee P.P.

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/708
  • Person
  • 07 February 1879-03 January 1962

Born: 07 February 1879, Blackrock, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Came to Australia for Regency 1902
by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 02 December 1926
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with John Neary
by 1931 Hong Kong Mission Superior 02 December 1926

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1898 After his First Vows at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, he remained there for two further years of Juniorate
1898-1901 He was sent to Valkenburk Netherlands for Philosophy.
1901-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency, where he taught and was Third Division Prefect. He was also in charge charge of Senior Debating (1905-1908) and in 1904 was elected to the Council of the Teachers Association of New South Wales.
1908-1912 he returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1912-1914 He made Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and the following year appointed Socius to the Novice Master.
1914-1919 He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.
1919-1923 On his return to Ireland he became Novice Master again.
1930 He went to the Irish Mission in Hong Kong and worked there for many years, before returning to Ireland and Milltown Park, where he died.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father George Byrne
R.I.P.

Father George Byrne, S.J., the first Regional Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and for many years one of the best Known priests in Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Thursday, 4 January 1962, aged 83.

Father Byrne arrived in Hong Kong from Ireland, with one other Jesuit Father, on 2 December 1926, and at once started to look for work, both for himself and for the Jesuits who would soon follow him to Hong Kong. He found abundant work for both. Within a decade, though always very short of men, he had staffed the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, built and opened Ricci hall, a Catholic hostel for students in the University of Hong Kong, taken over Wah Yan College from its founders, restarted as a monthly the Hong Kong Catholic review, The Rock, which had ceased publication shortly before his arrival, and provided for a time Jesuit teachers for Sacred Heart College, Canton.

These were the works he did through others. His own personal work was infinitely varied, as might have been expected from one of his many-sided character - at once scholarly and practical. At the time of his ordination he had been informed that he was destined a specialist’s life as a professor of theology. This plan was later changed and for the rest of his life he was to be, not a specialist, but one ready for anything. Nevertheless he retained some of the marks of the savant.

He was always a voracious reader, able to pour out an astonishing variety of information on almost any subject at a moment’s notice in English, French, or Latin. This gift, joined to a strong personality, a commanding appearance, and a powerful and very flexible voice, made him an admirable public speaker, whether in the pulpit, at retreats and conferences, at meetings of societies and associations, or in the lecturer’s chair in the University of Hong Kong. Where he readily deputised during the furloughs of the professors of education and of history. As a broadcaster, he had the rare gift of being able to project his personality across the ether and so hold the attention of his unseen audience.

As a writer, and he wrote much, he was primarily a discursive essayist, a member of a literary tribe that seems to have disappeared during World War II. His monthly articles in The Rock and the weekly column that he contributed for years to the South China Morning Post under the title ‘The Student’s Window’ might be in turn grimly earnest, genially informative, and gaily trivial, but they were always written in urbane and rhythmic English that carried the reader unprotestingly to the last full stop.

Despite these numerous public activities, he was probably best known as an adviser. During the many years he spent in Ricci Hall, he was always at home to the great numbers of people of all kinds - lay and cleric, Catholic and non-Catholic, men and women, young and old - who came seeking the solution of intellectual, religious, or personal problems from one who they knew would be both wise and kind.

Father Byrne was in Hong Kong in the early days of the war and displayed remarkable courage and physical energy in defending Ricci Hall against a band of marauders. By this time he was no longer superior, and he was already over 60. He went, therefore, to Dalat, Vietnam, where he spent the rest of the war years, Soon after the war, he went to Ireland for medical treatment and, though still capable of a hard day’s work, was advised on medical grounds that he must not return to the Far East.

This was a blow, but he did not repine. He retained his interest in and affection for Hong Kong, but he quickly set about finding an abundance of work in Ireland. Once again he found it. Not long after his arrival the director of retreats in Ireland was heard to say that if he could cut Father George Byrne in four and sent each part to give a retreat, he would still be unable to satisfy all the convents that were clamouring for him.

He still wrote and he still lectured and he still gave advice. Only very gradually did he allow advancing old age to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January. In the congregation that filled the chapel, in addition to his fellow Jesuits, there were many who still remember Father Byrne even in the city of short memories. Those present included Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., P.P., representing His Lordship the Bishop; Bishop Donahy, M.M., Father McKiernan M.M, Father B. Tohill, S.D.B., Provincial, Father Vircondalet, M.E.M., Brother Felix, F.S.C., Father P. O’Connor, S.S.C., representative groups of Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres of the Maryknoll Sisters, of the Colomban Sisters, and many others. The Mass was served by Dr. George Choa.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 12 January 1962

RICCI Souvenir Record of the Silver Jubilee of Ricci Hall Hong Kong University 1929-1954

Note from John Neary Entry
He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He could be called the founder of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong, as most of the older institutions in Hong Kong were started under him at Ricci (1929), Aberdeen (1931 and Wah Yan Hong Kong (1933).
After his term as Mission Superior (1926-1935) he lectured, preached and wrote. He had a weekly column in the “South China Morning Post” called “The Philosophers Chair”. During the Japanese occupation he went to a French Convent School to teach Philosophy. After 1946 he returned to Ireland and taught Ascetical and Mystical Theology yo Jesuits in Dublin.
Imaginative and versatile, pastoral and intellectual, he gave 20 of his peak years to Hong Kong (1926-1946) after which he returned to Ireland to give another 20 years service.

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong Mission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

Few men in the history of the Irish Province for the last sixty years have seen so many aspects of the life and development of the Province as did Fr. George Byrne, who died in Dublin on 4th January at the ripe age of 83, of which 67 were spent in the Society. Born in Cork in 1879, he received his early education first at Clongowes (where he was in the Third Line with a boy three years younger than him called James Joyce!) and later at Mungret. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894; made his philosophy at Vals, in France, taught for seven years as a scholastic in Riverview College, Australia; then back to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology where he was ordained in 1911. His tertianship was made in Tullabeg, and he remained on there in the following year as Socius to the Master of Novices, but after a few months Australia claimed him again.
Early in 1914 he was named Master of Novices of the resuscitated Australian novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, combining this with the office of Superior of the House until 1918. A year later, in 1919, he is on the high seas again, this time returning to be Master of Novices at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922,
In 1922 he became an operarius at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and during the next four years, among his other ministeria, was the first chaplain to the first Governor-General of the newly-established Irish Free State, Mr. Timothy Healy, K.C.
With 1926 came the decision that the Irish Province establish a Jesuit mission in Hong Kong at the invitation of the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Henry Valtorta. Fr. Byrne, with Fr. John Neary, arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd December of the same year. Shortly afterwards Fr. Byrne became the Superior of the young mission. The years that followed, until his retirement to Ireland for health reasons in 1946, will undoubtedly be the period of Fr. Byrne's life that will establish his important standing in the recent history of the Irish Province. It is therefore fitting that we should allow them to be dealt with from Hong Kong sources. We take the following from The South China Morning Post for 5th January, 1962:
“News has just been received from Dublin, Ireland, of the death there of Fr. George Byrne, S.J., who was well known in Hong Kong for many years. He was the first Superior here of the Irish Jesuits. He was 83.
Fr, Byrne, with one other Jesuit priest, came to Hong Kong in Dec ember 1926. It was under his direction that arrangements were made for the various forms of work undertaken by the Jesuits in the Colony. The first of these was the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, which was under the direction of the bishops of South China, and was intended for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood in their dioceses. The staffing of it was entrusted to the Jesuits.
Fr. Byrne also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a Catholic hostel of the University of Hong Kong. He lived there for many years and always maintained a close contact with the university. He was a member of the Court and deputised, during periods of leave, for the Professor of Education and the Professor of History,
He was prominent in the years before the war as a lecturer and broadcaster and writer. He re-started the publication of the Catholic monthly magazine, The Rock, to which he was a regular contributor. He also for a long time contributed a weekly article, "The Student's Window", to The South China Morning Post.
He took an active part also in cducational matters. He was a member of the Board of Education, and he arranged for the taking over of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from its original founders. He had many associations with the religious institutions, where he was much in demand for conferences and retreats, He spoke with equal fluency in English, French and Latin.
During the war he was in Dalat, Indo-China, and soon after his return to Hong Kong got into bad health and returned to Europe for medical treatment. His recovery was more complete than was expected, but medical advice was against his return to the East.
During recent years, though old and in failing health, he was still very active as a writer in Catholic periodicals, and he always maintained his interest in Hong Kong. He left here many friends who remember him as a man of great kindness and universal sympathy, who carried lightly his wide scholarship, and who was always unchanged in his urbanity and good humour. Many professional men remember him too for his wise guidance in their student days and they, with a host of others, will always recall him with respect and affection”.
It only remains to say that though medical authorities refused to allow his return to Hong Kong, the years from 1946 until his death were as full of activities as ever. He continued to write and to lecture and to direct souls as of old. He filled the important post of Instructor of Tertians for years at Rathfarnham and from than until his death he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and spiritual director to the theologians at Milltown Park. Only very gradually did he allow advancing years to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

16 Caine Road,
Hong Kong
10th January, 1962.

Dear Fr. O'Conor,
The news of the death of Rev. Fr. George Byrne, S.J., caused deep regret among all the many friends he left in Hong Kong, among whom I am proud to count myself.
His pioneer work here was that of a great missionary and of a far sighted organiser. His memory and the example of his zeal will be cherished in Hong Kong.
While expressing to you, Very Reverend Father, my sympathy for the great loss of your Province and your Society, I wish to take the opportunity of assuring you of tne grateful appreciation by the clergy and laity of Hong Kong for the generous collaboration your Fathers are offering to us in carrying the burden of this diocese.
Asking for the blessing of Our Lord on your apostolic work,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
+Lawrence Bianchi,
Bishop of Hong Kong.

The Very Rev. Charles O'Conor, S.J.,
Loyola,
87 Eglinton Road,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin,
Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Byrne SJ 1879-1962
Few men in the history of the Province for the last 60 years have seen and contributed to so many aspects of the life and development of our Province than Fr George Byrne, who died in Dublin on January 4th 1962.

He was born in Cork in 1879, educated at Mungret at Clongowes, and he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894.

In 1914 he was named Master of Novices to the resusicitated Novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, Australia, returning from that post to take up a similar one at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922.

On the foundation of the Irish Free State he became chaplain to the first Governor-General, Mr Tim Healy.

When we started our Mission in Hong Kong, Fr Byrne went out as founder and first Superior. These were creative days,. He built Ricci Hall, negotiated the taking over of the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he took over Wah Yan College from its original owners. At the same time he was prominent as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer, as well as part-time Professor in the University. He started the Catholic magazine “The Rock”, and for a long time contributed to the “South China Morning Post”

For health reasons he returned to Ireland in 1946. During the remaining years of his life he was Tertian-Instructor at Rathfarnham and Spiritual Father at Milltown. He continued to write, give retreats, thus keeping in harness till the end, as he himself wished.

Truly a rich life in achievement and of untold spiritual good to many souls. As a religious, he enjoyed gifts of higher prayer and was endowed with the gift of tears.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

Fr George Byrne SJ, who was in Mungret for some years in the nineties, is bringing glory to the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Under him as Superior the little band of pioneer missionaries of the Irish Jesuits at Hong Kong, Canton, and Shiuhing are doing wonderful work for the Church. In addition to his business of organisation, Fr George frequently contributes to “The Rock” and to a new Chinese monthly, the “Kung Kao Po”. His articles are usually reprinted in many of the local papers, with the result that Fr Byrne has gained a great reputation in Hong Kong. He is constantly giving retreats and missions. Two retreats were given by him in Latin to groups of Chinese priests, Fr Byrne is at present attending to the building of Ricci Hall, the new Hostel for Chinese University students. At the laying of the foundation stone by the Governor General, Fr George made a brilliant speech. Plans are being drawn up for the building of a new Regional Seminary. This building will be completed in 1930, and Fr Byrne will have an additional burden thrust upon him. May God give him strength to continue his wonderful work.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

The Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to China, Very Rev George Byrne SJ, visited us in March, and gave us a very interesting lecture. We expected great things from Father George, and were not disappointed. He gave a very clear account of the present position in China, of the Customs and mentality of its people, and of the working of grace amongst them. The many anecdotes told by Father Byrne and the beautiful illustrations he showed us kept our interest alive. Throughout the lecture We heard the call of China - the call of Christ the Redeemer of the world, appealing for helpers to bring those who are in the valley of the shadow of death to the Life that comes by knowledge and love of the Son of God.

We experienced no little joy when we heard of the work that has already been accomplished by the thirteen missionaries who have gone to China during the past three years. Their first task was, of course, study of the Chinese language, and in this they have already made progress sufficient to enable them to under take some missionary work through the medium of that language. The work of editing a Catholic monthly magazine called”The Rock” was entrusted to them by His Lordship the Bishop of Hong Kong; but their biggest undertaking has been the erection of Ricci Hall, a hostel for students attending the University of Hong Kong. When their numbers and resources increase, they hope to undertake a still more important work, namely, the management of the new Regional Seminary which is at present in course of erection, and in which the native clergy of Southern China will be educated and prepared for the priesthood. God's grace is manifestly assisting them in their labours.

Mungret rejoices in these achievements, especially as three of her old pupils and one old master are amongst the thirteen. Father G Byrne SJ, the Superior, was here in the nineties. Father J McCullough SJ, a boy of 1912-14 and a master here a few years ago, is working in Canton. Rev R Harris SJ, who left us in 1922, is teaching in Shiu Hing. Father R Gallagher SJ, who is remembered by many Old Boys, is the zealous Editor of “The Rock”. Anyone who knew Father Dick will not be surprised to hear that in addition to the burden of editorship, he cheerfully shoulders many other burdens.

The interest of Mungret boys in the Mission can be very practical. Help is needed. Perhaps those who read may help in one or many of the following ways: (1) By prayer ; (2) by sending books to stock the libraries of the Hostel or Seminary (Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, China); (3) by collecting old stamps and tin-foil, and forwarding them to Treasurer, Ricci Mission, Milltown Park, Dublin ; (4) by subscribing to The Rock (Editor, PO Box 28, Hong Kong); (5) by contributing to the Ricci Mission Fund (The Treasurer, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin). Those who cannot be with their friends in the front trench, as it were, where Paganism meets Christianity, can help them greatly. Spiritual and material help are necessary. By helping them, you give them strength and courage, and will have the privilege of consoling your Greatest Friend.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

It is with great regret we chronicle the death of Father George Byrne, which took place in Dublin on January 4, at the 1 age of 83.

Father Byrne was born in Cork. After leaving Mungret he entered the Society of Jesus. He taught in Australia for seven years as a scholastic, and then returned to Milltown Park for his theological studies.

After ordination, he was recalled to Austrialia, where he became Master of Novices and Superior of the House. After a few years he was back in Ire land again, this time to Gardiner St, While in Gardiner St he became first Chaplain to the first Governor-General of the Free State, Mr Tim Healy, KC.

In 1926 came the decision to establish a Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, Father Byrne was appointed Superior of the newly-formed Mission. On him fell the burden of much of the organisation. He arranged for the staffing of the Regional Seminary. He also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a University Hostel. He was also instrumental in taking over Wah Yan College from its original founders.

In Hong Kong he was a well-known broadcaster, writer and lecturer. He was always prominently associated with education.

In 1946 he returned to Ireland for health reasons. He continued active work. He was Instructor of Tertians for a number of years and after that, until his death, he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Director of the Theologians at Milltown Park, He worked until the end. RIP

Byrne, John Baptist, 1898-1978, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/80
  • Person
  • 22 August 1898-15 December 1978

Born: 22 August 1898, Coolbeg, Rathnew, County Wicklow
Entered: 09 October 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1930, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
Died: 15 December 1978, St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Denbigh, Wales

by 1927 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire (ANG) working
by 1938 at Roehampton, London (ANG) working
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) working
by 1943 at St John’s Beaumont, Berkshire (ANG) working
by 1946 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire (ANG) working
by 1972 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) working

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Became a Brother because of difficulties in studies. Lent to ANG Province

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 2 1979

Obituary :

Br John Baptist Byrne (1898-1978)

Brother John Baptist Byrne, SJ, who died at St Beuno’s on December 15th 1978, was born in Wicklow, Ireland, on August 22nd 1898.
He entered the Irish Noviceship in Tullabeg, as a scholastic novice on October 9th, 1917. He did not go to the University but went through the “Home” Juniorate in Tullabeg: 1919-1921. He completed the three year Philosophy Course at Milltown Park, in the years 1921-24. He spent two years in Mungret College (1924-1926), but his work was that of a Prefect, - he did not teach. By now it had become clear that whether from lack of ability or lack of interest in concentrated study, he was unsuited for further scholastic studies. In 1926 the Provincial gave him the option of leaving the Society or of remaining on as a Brother. He decided to become a Brother, but asked to be ascribed to the English Province. Although there is no certain reason why he made this request, perhaps the most probable one is that it relieved himself and his relatives) of some embarrassment at changing his status to that of a Brother after about nine years as a scholastic on the way to the Priesthood. The English Province agreed to accept Brother John Byrne, SJ.

I give here a contribution of Father John Duggan, SJ, of St Beuno’s: his letter includes that of Father P McIlhenry, SJ, of St Beuno’s, a letter of great interest, and supporting strongly the opening sentence: “Br Byrne was something of an enigma ..”
John Baptist Byrne was brought up in the town of Wicklow, and attended the day school in that town going along with his sister Sr Colette, Irish Sister of Charity, (who tells us of his early life). She writes: “John was a good student, very fond of reading in his spare time. He was very gentle and quiet in his behaviour. He entered the noviceship of the Society (at 19) then at Tullabeg. Seemingly, all went well until he had to face exams (pre-Ordination)”. Meanwhile he had followed the usual course, being a Junior at Tullabeg 1919-21, and doing the course in Philosophy at Milltown Park 1921-24, There followed two years teaching at Mungret College, near Limerick, then a most flourishing Jesuit apostolic school for boys mostly aspiring to the priesthood in foreign parts (an American cardinalis an alumnus).” (This school has been given up and regrettably closed in the 1970's).
His sister's reference to facing exams for Ordination would seem to refer to the prospect of such an ordeal (very likely Ad Auds, etc.), rather than to the imminence of the real thing. His sister continues: “It was after this time it was decided he would not be for Ordination, and got the option of remaining in the Society as a Brother, or being placed in a bank. My father naturally was disappointed, but the rest of the family felt relieved he did not choose the bank! John wrote a letter home which was indicative of his spirituality: one sentence in it I remember even now, 50 years later: “I have only to know God’s Will - and then love it!” I do not know if he chose the English Province - I understood it was settled for him”. We have begun with his sister’s account, so we will finish that forthwith. “He kept up with the family by regular letters, came over for the funerals of my two brothers, and when holidays at home were permitted he came as lately as two years ago. But by this time his deafness was an obstacle to his safety, as well as a general restlessness and failing sight. He became a bit of a recluse, but always interested in current affairs. He could make some shrewd remarks such as one to me: ‘I always admire you because you keep your religious habit’. Evidently some of the Sisters attending St Beuno’s had become ultra-mod! ... He led a holy life as a religious, very unworldly in dress and manners, and kept his sufferings to himself”.
When John Byrne came across the sea to England, we are assured in the deadpan tone of officialdom that, after nine years in the Society, he was excused a further novitiate. On this change in Br Byrne’s status and habitat, and his life for the next fifty years or so, Fr McIlhenny (well versed in the workings of top management in the Society) has these penetrating, if somewhat caustic, comments: “Br. Byrne was something of an enigma. It was always something of a puzzle to understand why he was accepted for transfer from the status of scholastic to that of coadjutor - and then sent out of his own Province. Also, why were Superiors so reluctant about insisting on the use of proper instruments to remedy what seemed to be defects in both hearing and eyesight from a very early period of his religious life. Was it the ‘English love of odd people - of characters?’ This seems to reflect badly on both general care of members of the Society and particular consideration for personal relationships, Br Byrne, both in the early days at Heythrop and in his final years at St Beuno’s left a feeling of frustration in most of his contacts. The devout Brother praying in the chapel was somewhat difficult to reconcile with the evasive Brother in the matter of a definite job; the apparent inability to give attention to any topic seemed to contradict assiduous reading of such periodicals as The Times and The Tablet; the normal attitude of not hearing a remark from one of the regular community made surprising an easy readiness to greet an occasional visitor. How can a proper judgment be made?

Fr J McSweeney, Editor of the Irish Province Newsletter offers this useful comment: “Although there is no certain reason why John made the request (to change his Province), perhaps the most probable one is that it relieved him and his relatives, of some embarrassment at changing his status to that of a Brother after about 9 years as a scholastic on the way to the Priesthood”.

Fr McIlhenny's puzzlement remained, as it did with many of us, in particular at Heythrop in the early years. Could it be, pace Fr Ledochowski, that the Collegium Maximum formula was a grievous mistake, so that the officials concerned knew far too little of the life of their community and were prepared to let them sink or swim? Br John had ten years of this and the die was cast.
Speaking on the strength of two years with him at Heythrop (1931 33) and then four years at Beaumont in the war (1941-45), one can record a few reflections. Admittedly, Br John did not butter many parsnips, and maybe his work-rate was not high. But just as it would be a poor sort of monastery that did not welcome an obviously spiritual monk though he could not be of great economic benefit, so the Society would be the poorer if it had not welcomed such an ‘anima naturaliter christiana’. There was the curiously intriguing smile, as though there were a leprechaun inside trying to get out. Then the placid out-of-this-world outlook on life, ever unruffled and patiently putting up with others who were busy with many things. Of course there is a danger in this that ‘tout comprendre, c'est tout condamner’. But his fellow Brothers do bear witness that John was interested in everybody and made a point of knowing all about them. Perhaps this ties in with his enjoyment of his job as postman to the community: at Heythrop this could mean up to 200 people's mail, which he delivered daily andante, but conamore, to everyone in God’s good time.
He was withal something of an ascetic: he was observed regularly kneeling bolt upright in the most draughty spot in Heythrop chapel (the choir-loft) indifferent to the cold. Either he was an extremely early riser, or sometimes in later life) never went to bed at all, but he was often about by 4 o'clock in the morning, I am told. On sleepless nights he would wander through the marble halls of Heythrop and sometimes drop into an empty mansion room to wander therein for a change. Once the empty room happened to be occupied by the Provincial, who is said to have been ‘not amused’. If Heythrop Hall (new style) proves to be haunted in time to come, John Byrne will be the most likely revenant. It was only when we left Heythrop in 1970 that John moved to St Beuno's where he was to spend the last eight years of his untroubled existence ‘amid the alien corn’ on the wrong side of the Irish Sea.
Though not having first-hand acquaintance with Br Byrne in the latter half of his life in the Society, the editor can willingly claim responsibility for most of the above (and endorses Fr McIlhenny's strictures on management), but he hopes it has not been too explosive and that no one will be blown up for it, or by it.
John Duggan SJ

The following postcrript in the author's inimitable idiom helps us to realise how his fellow Brothers appreciated Br John :
“I attended Brother John Byrne's Requiem at St Beuno’s; Father Gerard Hughes, the Tertian master and Rector, said a few words to those assembled. The Irish Jesuit Provincial was there, for Brother Byrne belonged to the Irish Province. Who decided that he should change Provinces I don’t know, maybe it was by mutual consent. It seems he must have had a breakdown and further study was out of the question. As time went by he became a little eccentric, and more so as the years rolled on; but we must remember at the outset, Brother was accepted as a Jesuit Religious and fulfilled all the religious duties expected of a Brother to the very end. I think Father made this clear to us in the Chapel at St Beuno’s, but it would not surprise his Sister a nun, who was there, who knew John. I knew his other Sister also a nun who on visiting John at Heythrop, whispered to me, you know our John is a bit odd. They had learnt to come to terms with John and let him get away with his little oddities.
I lived with Brother for nine years at Heythrop College. He was the Postman. In the early days there was a very big community at Heythrop so that the job of Postman kept Brother busy, also going round with notes from one Professor to another. He hardly ever left the house save to make his annual Retreat. On returning, more often than not he took a bus from Banbury, to what we old Heythropians know as the Banbury lodge at the Banbury gate, the lodge built by the Brassey family, which meant a two mile walk down the old Shrewsbury drive. So the Brother would walk down the drive, enter unnoticed and so commence his job as the College Postman. He must have re-addressed many thousands of letters and when Jesuits moved on, they would be amused to see a little aside on their letters. Please notify your change of address?
One very amusing episode which I think has gone all round the Province is this. Each year at Christmas, each member of the Community was allowed so many Christmas cards each, a ration so to speak. Now one well known Professor, who had a huge correspondence, had sent off well over the allocated ration, I dare say to the tune of 200 (as had many others though not quite so many), so after the allocated ration had been duly despatched by Brother, he put the rest under his bed. His strict understanding of the Law made no allowances for the individual. By chance some one had to go into Brother’s room and was amazed to see all these letters under his bed. A gentle reproof from the then Rector, sent the Brother in all obedience licking four or five hundred stamps and sending them on their way. The Professor was fuming. I think the Rector must have been inwardly amused, while the good Brother was unperturbed. He certainly kept the Rule to the letter. He was a very well read man, when every one was asleep in the early hours of the morning he read all the periodicals in the Father's library. He knew all that was going on, but I think he turned himself off outwardly, but inwardly he was very sharp. He had come to terms with himself, perhaps his early breakdown had left its mark, he had to live with it for the rest of his life. But as a good, kind, simple in the right sense of the word) Jesuit Brother.
Richard Hackett SJ

Writing of Br Byrne's final years in St Beuno’s (1970-1978) Father Gerard W Hughes SJ, says: “Johnny, as we called him, was always full of charm and courtesy, but he became increasingly withdrawn and lived the life of a recluse and appeared to become increasingly deaf. I say ‘appeared to become’ because a few months before his death, I took him out in the car and he carried on a conversation without very much sign of deafness! Among other topics he was eloquent in his disapproval of some changes in the Liturgy, and of nuns who did not wear the veil; but when he spoke of individuals it was always with kindness. I chatted with him almost every day until his death, but his mind was usually very confused. In all the confusion there was a source of great peace and gentleness in Johnnie and his eyes were very kindly. In the hospital the nurses nicknamed him “The Cherub”. He spent hours in the Chapel, by day and night, and he had an uncanny ability for knowing where Mass was being said. Small groups would arrange a Mass among themselves, and Johnnie would appear ... I saw him a few hours before he died. He was only half awake, but he smiled and gripped my hand firmly. He is buried in the St. Beuno's Cemetery’.

Byrne, John Gabriel, 1873-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/81
  • Person
  • 26 March 1873-07 November 1943

Born: 26 March 1873, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 November 1943, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

by 1895 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1908 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 : Left on account of sight. Studied for priesthood in Rome and went on South African Mission!

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944
Obituary :
Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr. John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school, He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.
The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche which he himself translated and produced.
He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.
He was the Father of the House. He had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr, Byrne began to fail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked “Why get me these things, they must cost a lot at the present time.” On one occasion he asked Fr. Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him - the price, etc., - and was told they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”
He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was; “but Father, he has his own work to do.” It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br. Colgan to remain with him for the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. Fr. Rector, Fr. Socius, Fr. Minister, and other members of the Community witnessed his happy death. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.
On Monday morning Fr. Rector said a Requiem Mass in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, a number came to pray there during the day.
The President and Officials of the Past Pupils Union, Officials of various Committees, the Lay-Masters and a large number of Priests attended the funeral. The Lay-Masters, the boys of II Syntax I, and some past pupils sent Mass cards. R.I.P.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school. He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.

The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of maty generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped to popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatišts, such as Labiche, which he himself translated and produced.

He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.

He was the Father of the House; he had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr Byrne began to ail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked: “Why get me these things; they must cost a lot at the present time?” On one occasion he asked Fr Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him : the price, etc., and was told that they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”

He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was “But Father, he has his own work to do”. It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br Colgan to remain with him during the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.

On Monday morning Fr Rector said a Requiem Mass. in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, and a number came to pray there during the day, RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Father John G Byrne was a most efficient and popular teacher in Clongowes for seven years (1898-1905) when he was a Scholastic. He was later Minister for two years, 1908–1910. From that date until his death last November, he was on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, but he always took a deep interest in the welfare of those Clongowes boys whom he had known during his nine years here. Those who benefited by his labours and his kindness may now repay him by a prayer for his eternal welfare and niay be sure that they in their turn will not be forgotten. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father John Gabriel Byrne SJ

Rev John Gabriel Byrne who died at Belvedere College, Dublin, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, Limerick, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school and his name appears second in the list of the Sodality of Our Lady after the name of Mons Joyce of Portumna.

He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, in 1891, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes Wood College his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote forty years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.

The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he con tributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche, which he himself translated and produced.

He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days. RIP

Byrne, Patrick J, 1908-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/738
  • Person
  • 26 January 1908-13 March 1968

Born: 26 January 1908, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1938, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg aan de Geul, Holland
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 13 March 1968, Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Younger brother of Tommy Byrne - RIP 1978

by 1936 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 43rd Year No 3 1968

Gardiner Street
The even tenor of our ways was rudely disrupted by the 'tragic death of Fr. Paddy Byrne in a road accident on the night of 12th March. A note on the circumstances of the occurrence, based on the horarium made out by Fr. B. O'Neill, a witness and almost a fellow-victim, is appended to the obituary account.
The remains were removed from Jervis Street Hospital on Thursday evening at 5.15. It was a moving and unique tribute to him from his old friends the Civic Guards of whose sodality he had been director. All the traffic lights in O'Connell Street were turned off (at the peak hour), the Guards on duty stood to attention as the cortege passed and saluted, all along the route to Gardiner Street. As someone remarked, it was a pity Fr. Paddy was not alive to see it.
The funeral took place on Friday morning after Office and Mass at eleven o'clock, to Glasnevin Cemetery. His brother Fr. Tom sang the Mass, with Fr. Superior as deacon and Fr. O'Neill as sub-deacon. Very Rev. Fr. Provincial presided. The Bishop of Nara, an old friend of the family, attended. The church was packed to overflowing. There was a very good representation of his old friends from Clongowes, from the Army, the Guards and, of course, all his clientele from his well-known box in the corridor. His death leaves a big gap in our midst in Gardiner Street for he was a great community man. A more detailed appreciation on him will be found in the Obituary notices.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Byrne SJ (1908-1968)

Fr. Patrick Byrne was born in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) on 26th January 1908. He was educated at O'Connell School, North Richmond Street, Dublin, and always maintained an affectionate loyalty to the Irish Christian Brothers. Paddy, along with his elder brother, Tommy, was an altar-server at Gardiner Street : thus his acquaintance with old vintage of Jesuit preachers eloquent orators who captivated the Dubliners of earlier generations went back very far and he could list their names for the edification of his own contemporaries. When Tommy had just completed his noviceship, Paddy entered the Society at Tullabeg.
After three years of juniorate in Rathfarnham and two years of philosophy at Tullabeg, he went to Mungret as a teacher for three years. He taught mathematics mainly, but also took some classes for Geography, Latin and other subjects. In 1935 he began Theology at the German house of studies, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg, Holland, where he was ordained. He was one of the first group of tertians at Rathfarnham, the outbreak of war had occasioned the policy of having tertianship in Ireland instead of at St. Beuno's, Wales.
In 1940 Fr. Byrne returned to the colleges and served as an unremitting teacher of Mathematics at Mungret for two years and at Clongowes for twenty. In 1962 he was transferred to Gardiner Street, where he remained until he was accidentally killed at the end of the Novena of Grace this year.

• The following paragraphs give a memoir-sketch from the pen of a colleague.
Was it Chesterton who remarked that we, rational animals, make a fetish of consistency, whereas of all the animals we are inconsis tently the most inconsistent? That was true of Fr. Paddy Byrne known affectionately as “Patch” among his closer friends in the Society. He was a strong personality, a character, but a personality revealing on closer examination traits running counter to each other in a very human inconsistency.
Outwardly he was a rugged individualist, cynical, tough, hard boiled. Inwardly, deep down, he was of softer fibre, one might even say, over emotional. He had an intense love of the Society, especially Gardiner Street, and all that appertained to it, where in his early days he was an altar server. He had his heroes from those days, Fr. Bury, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Kirwan. No one could now come up to their standards nor equal their achievements. Clongowes also had a niche in his heart; Clongowes where he spent upwards of twenty years teaching and looking after the grounds. Yet he could be fiercely critical of individual Jesuits, if in his opinion, they had let down the Society. Careerists and exhibitionists were anathema to him. His criterion of a good Jesuit was one who did a good day's work and work for him meant primarily work in the classroom. At the same time, he, himself, in the opinion of many was no great advertisement for the same Society, mainly owing to his manner of speech and carelessness about his personal appearance. This latter external fault sprang from his excessive love of poverty which often degenerated into love of economy. He could not stand anything that smacked of waste or extravagance among Ours : “Pouring the people's money down the drain” was his way of describing this. He took pride in the fact that the ordinary coat he wore in the house was over twenty year's old, a cast-off of Br. Corcoran's rescued at Clongowes. At the same time no priest could look more impressive than himself with his height and commanding presence when dressed and smartened up for an occasion, and his speech was always impeccable in his public utterances.
Though outwardly rugged in manner and facetiously cynical in his conversation - that exterior was his defence mechanism. It concealed a heart, tender (I do not exaggerate) to the point of pain. For his mother, whose photograph always held a place of honour in his room, he had a love and reverence that amounted almost to adoration. Her opinions and sayings he often quoted as oracular. For Mary, the Mother of God, he had such a tender devotion that he found it difficult to recite her litany in public without being moved and his voice breaking. This same emotional susceptibility appeared in his confessional work and in the parlour when on “domi”. The sad cases, the tragic stories all took their toll of him. He identified himself with his client, was never niggard of his time or sympathy. He had a special grá for defenceless widows and lonely spinsters, living on meagre pensions and apt victims of red tape and tricksters. During the few years he spent in Gardiner Street he endeared himself to the old women of the neighbourhood. Some saw in him a great resemblance to Spencer Tracy, the actor, others were reminded of the good Pope John. An old bicycle was his means of propulsion up to hospitals and off to remote side streets on errands of mercy and friendly interest. “I was rebuilding my house, Father”, one of his friends reminisced, “he'd often drop by and examine progress and make sure the contractors weren't cheating me”. Talking of his bicycle, an institution in Gardiner Street, his favourite pastime, apart from golf, was to go down to the docks on his warhorse and sit on the wharfs reading his office and chatting to the dockers. He had the human touch in excelsis : nil humanum illi alienum.
He used to say that his long years of teaching in Clongowes had unfitted him for church work. The fact of the matter is, the comparatively few years he spent in Gardiner Street brought out the basic pastoral traits in him. He was diffident of himself in his public appearances, yet his sermons and addresses to the various sodalities he directed in his time, were always meaty and genuinely appreciated by his audiences. His big appearance and naturally slow delivery lent weight and authority to his utterances. This was only to be expected, for he was of very high intellectual ability.
His years in the juniorate and University College, Dublin, were devoted to science and mathematics, during which period he had charge of the now-defunct seismograph. His regency was spent in Mungret. He was more at home in theology than in philosophy, both moral and dogma, in which disciplines he was at once clear, accurate and reliable. At the same time he took pride in his knowledge of farming. I suspect his secret ambition as a Jesuit was to be put in charge of a farm. His criticism of procurators of our farms was scathing, with perhaps one exception. He was adept with his hands with mechanical devices and electrical gadgets : his elaborate electrical invention for lighting cigarettes was a great source of amusement to his friends. His room was full of clocks he was mending for his clientele in the church. He was a fund of esoteric information on all subjects ranging from good recipes for the kitchen to cures for varicose veins.
His intellectual powers, however, were marred by two faults. Firstly he was never able to convey his ideas clearly to an audience. This was sometimes manifest in his teaching, in his relations with superiors, in social intercourse. He was inarticulate, spoke in unfinished sentences and gestures, with resultant impatience when the listener failed to understand. So he gave the impression of being supremely intolerant of fools. Paradoxically enough, he was master of the telling phrase, the quip, some of which will go down in history. Secondly, his intellect was impeded by deep prejudices. His years in Valkenburg imbued him with a horror of Nazism which coloured a great deal of his political thought. He blamed all the world's troubles on clumsy American diplomacy. It was futile to argue with him on matters Irish. As for innovations in the liturgy, he had no time for them. He had witnessed the beginning of this movement in Germany long before Vatican II and was not impressed. Indeed he never tired of hearing the story repeated of the old woman who asked her confessor, “Father, is it a mortal sin not to join in the shoutin' at Mass?” To many generations of Clongownians he was known as “The Genius”. Perhaps with the schoolboys unerring instinct to pinpoint a basic trait, they were right. He was a genius but cursed by an inability to express himself clearly, because from his early days he never disciplined that genius by writing. Whenever he did so (and it was torture) as in his sermons and addresses, he was precise and telling. He was a man of strong opinions with a weltanschauung, as he used to call it, which often enough gave rise to weltschmerz.
Yes, he was a character and his tragic passing creates a gap in Gardiner Street not easily filled. He will be missed too, by many young Jesuit priests of the Province to whom he was guide, friend and counsellor during their college days, Ours don't usually cry over the death of Ours but there were many who were not ashamed to drop a tear over “Patch”. Of the contradictory traits which went to make him what he was, his qualities of heart, sympathy and understanding, were basic and permeating. A man who succeeded in his time in winning the affection of his fellow Jesuits, in worming himself into the hearts of the people of Gardiner Street, was certainly of solid worth in that which is, after all is said and done, the essential, love of one's fellow men and he went before his master full of good works and fortified with the rites of the Church he loved and served so well. He loved a joke and I'm sure he'll give a wry smile as I suggest this epitaph-a parody of a phrase famous in rugby circles : “He went over the line, festooned with souls”. May he rest in peace.

12th March 1968 : Fr. Patrick Byrne, being on “domi” duty, was constantly called to the parlour during the afternoon and evening, He helped Fr. O'Neill in sorting out the Mass stipends and Br. Davis in counting the Novena of Grace offerings. He assisted in giving Holy Communion at the evening Mass. He presided over his St. Vincent de Paul Confreence meeting. Coming from a final parlour interview and confession at 11 p.m., he had a late supper in the refectory and went out with Fr. O'Neill for a breath of fresh air at the end of a tiring day. As they were crossing an apparently deserted street at the corner of Mountjoy Square, a van suddenly swept towards them at high speed. Fr. O'Neill saw the van, uttered a warning and jumped forward to the kerb, thinking that they were evading the danger together, but - “I heard a tremendous thud or impact and saw Fr. Paddy tossed into the air, turning over and landing on the pavement with a horrifying bump. I ran to him, called him by name, got some reaction and immediately absolved”. He had been struck on the head and must be on the verge of death. Fr. MacAmhlaoibh brought the oils from nearby Gardiner Street and gave the last anointing on the way by ambulance to Jervis Street Hospital. The medical and nursing staff made a supreme effort to save Fr, Byrne's life, until soon after midnight he was pronounced dead.

Byrne, Vincent, 1848-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/5
  • Person
  • 5 May 1848-21 October 1943

Born: 05 May 1848, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 March 1880, Munich, Germany
Died: 21 October 1943, Dublin, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Henry Byrne LEFT as Novice 1875 due to ill health resulting in death

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from James Redmond Entry :
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.
Note from Thomas P Brown Entry :
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne
Note from Br Philip McCormack Entry :
Father Vincent Byrne said his funeral Mass which was attended by many of the Brothers from the city houses.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Fr. Byrne died on 20th October at Milltown Park at the age of 95. He was a brother of the late Mr. George Byrne, of the firm of Messrs. Byrne, Mahony and Co., flour and grain merchants, wbo was for a number of years chairman of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. His nephew, Mr. George Byrne, is a member of the present Port and Docks Board.
Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1866, studied rhetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work, as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector, from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forcefui personality.
The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, were all due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State - like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev. Dr. Curley - the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev. Dr. Killian, Mr. Frank Fahy, T.D - he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.
An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.
Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoilation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.
He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. R.I.P.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 38 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

FR VINCENT BYRNE : 1848-1943

Seán Hughes

  1. Memories:
    As a young lad: of a quiet gentle confessor in Gardiner Street - though he had a disconcerting habit of dozing in the Box, with the additional alarm caused by the peak of his biretta, on the nodding head, descending like a blackbird. At a later time: or the elderly silk-hatted, frock-coated priest with his umbrella, setting out from Gardiner Street. I never, though, saw him in a tram - like some others of his distinguished-looking, silk-hatted community. As a scholastic: particularly at funerals, when he hatted, gazing down into the open grove of soneome junior to hio. Lastly, in Milltown, pathetically helping or being helped up the two steps to the chapel corridor - Fr. Vincent Byrne, in his nineties, and Fr. Nicholas Tomkins, in his eighties, linking one another from the refectory....

  2. The Official Record:
    Fr. Vincent Byrne was born in Dublin, 5th May 1848. He went to school to Belvedere, and entered the Society in Milltown Park on 7th September 1866. He went to St. Acheul, Belgium, for his juniorate, and was sent to Rome, to the Roman College, for phisolophy. After the fall of Rome, 1870, he moved to Germany to Maria Laach for his second year of philosophy. Then came a five-year regency - a year each in Tullabeg (still a college) and Crescent, and three years in Clongowes where he was Third Line Prefect. To Innsbruck then for theology - and he was ordained on St. Patrick's Day, 1880, in the private Chapel of the Archbishop of Munich: his health having broken down during his second year of theology. A leisurely return home, recuperating his health, became a Grand Tour.

As a young priest, before his tertianship, he spent seven years teaching in different colleges - three years in Tullabeg, two in Galway, one each in Clongowes and Crescent. Apparently a good teacher of languages (he has four to offer) and drama. Fr, Byrne was “in demand”...

In 1889, he was posted to Mungret - first as Minister, for two years; then as rector for nine years. For four of these, 90 - 94, he was in addition Moderator of the Apostolic School. Those years were the apex of his career - the man who Made Mungret - the tangible evidence being the embellishment of the College Chapel. But there was more: those years of Mungret's history were marked by its remarkable successes in the University Examinations of the old Royal University of Ireland. Fr. Byrne claimed that of his pupils in the Apostolic School, nine became Bishops, Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, USA, being the most notable. Ichabod!

After Mungret, Fr.Byrne went to Gardiner Street, where he was to spend all but four years of the rest of his long life. The first four years in Gardiner Street were spent as a member of the retreat and mission staff. There followed, 1904 - 07, three years as rector of Clongowes, then a return to Gardiner Street - as an operarius until 1934; as Conf. Dom., until 1942 - when he retired to Milltown, where it all began seventy-six years previously. He died on 20th October 1943. I don't remember his funeral - but being choir-master, I must have been there.

  1. The Legend:
    Arriving in Mungret, thirty-seven years after Fr. Byrne had left it, I found a green memory of great days and deeds of derring-do. To sift out the facts from the folklore would take a gift of discernment of very high order: so let us be content with the legend w some of the tales may well be apocryphal - but what matter? As Chesterton said about the legends of St. Nicholaus - “He was the kind of man about whom that kind of story was told”. So too “the Pie” - as he was nicknamed, because, it is said, he had a somewhat un-Ignatian “affection” for the dish.

I suppose the legend begins in Rome in 1870 - when he saw “service” with the Papal Army making its token stand at the Port Pia against the invading arny of Victor Emmanuel. The service was, no doubt, as a medical orderly - but, no matter; it was a signal beginning. When we were in Milltown, 1942-43, we understood that Fr Byrne was writing his Memoirs - I wonder where that piece of archives is? The stay in Maria Laach coincided with the beginning of Bismark's Kultur Kampf - and the saving of the library from confiscation by the process of pasting in the book-plate of a friendly Baron in each of the books was another tale.

Although Vincent's health did break down in Innsbruck, he must have been a man of extraordinary stamina and strength. He related, himself, how, when Third Line Prefect in C.W.C., he walked to Dublin (and back) to beg £5.00 from the Provincial to buy a small billiard table for his Line. He rode a bicycle - on what we would seem cart-tracks of roads (and not even a three-speed gear on the machine): he swam - whenever he could, until he was literally rescued from the stormy waters of the Forty-foot in his eighties/nineties and forbidden to swim again. And he died, the oldest member (then) of the Province - but was often heard to say: “That man” (the late E. de Valera) “has taken ten years off my life”. Did he die disappointed?

But the Mungret Legends: Fr Byrne's term as rector of Mungret saw stormy days - on two fronts. The then Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Edward Thomas Dwyer, a man of strong, positive views and irascible temperanent, apparently decided that the Jesuit occupation of Mungret was irregular. His predecessor had invited Ours to run the Diocesan Seminary which he had opened at Mungret. Bishop Dwyer withdrew the seminarians - and left us in occupation. He pursued his case in Rome - and lost it. But Fr Byrne had to face up to the tensions of such a situation. One story may indicate how he coped. He met the Bishop at a funeral. Said the Bishop: “Did you get the letter I sent you?”. Replied the Rector: “Your letter arrived but I did not receive it”. It was related that on another occasion, the Rector was cycling down the Mungret avenue. The Bishop in his coach was driving up to the College. Noticing his visitor, Fr. Byrne continued on his way. The Rector was not at home when the Bishop arrived. The failure of the Bishop's case in Rome did nothing to improve relations.

There was a further assault on his beloved College from quite another quarter. This arose from the complex history of the Mungret establishment. In the 50's the British government decided to do something for the agricultural community. It set up two (I think) agricultural colleges - one of them on land taken from (”ceded by”) the Church of Ireland diocese of Limerick, namely, the Mungret property. The college had a short and unsuccessful life. In or about 1870, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick secured a lease of and premises of the agricultural college, for the purposes of having his diocesan Seminary established there. There was, I believe, some kind of commitment to maintain instruction in agriculture in the new enterprise.

As already related, we remained in occupation of the former agricultural college - now Mungret College and the Mungret Apostolic School. The Protestant Dean of Limerick now challenged our right to be there: the land had been ceded for a specific purpose - which was not being carried out: the agricultural instruction had become a mere token. So, nothing less than a Royal Commission was set up to determine the matter. With the good help of Lord Emly a friend and neighbour, the Commission found a solution - and the Technical School in O'Connell Avenue, Limerick was the British Government's restitution to the people of Limerick.

But more intimate and family adventures: Community relations between Crescent and Mungret were normally very amicable. Whenever one Community was rejoicing, the other was invited to join in the celebration. Indeed it is related that the citizens of Limerick (who always knew, somehow or other, what was going on in either community!) used assemble at Ballinacurra Pike to enjoy the spectacle of the Mungret Long Car bringing one or other community home - rejoicing. Well, on one occasion the Minister of Crescent forgot to invite the Mungret Community to the party. Result: a breach in diplomatic relations - which went unhealed until the said Minister came out to Mungret and read an apology to the Mungret Community - Rector and all present in the Library. (A Community Meeting of a different kind). I mentioned the Long Car which transported the Community of Mungret: all, Rector down, had apparently bicycles: but there was some kind of coach too - for the Rector would be driven to Limerick (or Tervoe, Emly's place). Any respectable coachman would wear a tall-hat: but the Mungret coachman had no such thing. So a tin, black japaned headgear was provided for occasions when the Rector went driving. All was well - until in a bad hail storn descended. The hailstones on the tin hat made such a racket that the horse bolted... History doesn't recount the sequel.

There were tales of cycling expeditions. “Be booted and spurred at such a time” was the Rector's goodnight summons to his men. And off they would go - on their gearless, fixed-wheel bicycles, on the Limerick roads - trying to keep up with the Rector - and trying not to outstrip him when going downhill - a lesson that had to be learnt the hard way! The quality of the lunch depended on the Rector (a) not being overtaken coming down hill and (b) arriving first at their destination. Not all the picnics were cycle runs: there is a tale of an expedition to Killarney (cycling to Limerick Station, of course) with a return in the company of one of the Circuit Court Judges (Adams was his name, I think) who spoke highly of the gaiety of the journey - the bottle had the colour of lemonade (and maybe the label!). One of the party assured me that he found himself in bed the following morning with no recollection of getting there - nor any idea of how he cycled out from Limerick on a bicycle with a buckled front wheel.

There were tales, too, of adventures on villas - the Rector's requirement of his swim before lunch often the nub of the tale - as, for instance, once the party went to the Scelligs (by row boat, of course). Lunch was to be on the rock: but the Rector had to have his swim. The brethren sought to persuade him otherwise - no doubt, it was a hungry and thirsty journey. So they alleged that the waters were shark-infested. Nothing daunted, Fr Byrne had his oarsmen beat the waters - to scare off any intruding shark, while he had his daily plunge...

At home, of course, life was apparently of the “semper aliquid novi” ex Mungret type. Once, the orchard was raided - and the very angry Rector threatened the assembled boys with cancellation of the next free day - unless the culprit owned up. There was silence - and then, Pat Connolly one of the Rector's favourite pupils stood up and confessed. By no means nonplussed, the Rector's anger melted away and in volte face, he cried out: “May God forgive the boy who led this poor child into error. The poor child entered the Society and in the course became the devoted editor of “Studies” for many a long year. It is said that an application from Bruree for a boy with the unusual name of Valera did not meet with the Rector's sympathy - and went to WPB unacknowledged: so the boy went to Rockwell - and, maybe, history was made... With all, the Rector was a forceful personality where the religious, literary and artistic life of the College was concerned. He took his share of teaching and was Proc. Dom. in addition.

His triennium at Clongowes left no such harvest of Folklore. There, he had an outstanding Minister (Fr. Wrafter) and a dymanic Prefect of Studies (Fr. James Daly, in his prime): so Fr Byrne let then run the School while he went to Dublin regularly - coming back every few days to collect his post. It is related that the return was often by the “Opera Train” - the last train from Kingsbridge bringing county theatre goers home - and then by coach from Sallins - the coachman, no doubt, properly attired...

To the end of his active days, he attended both the Spring Show and the Horse Show on each of the four days. Every International Rugby Match and/or Cup Final saw him ensconced on the East Stand at Lansdowne Road, The umbrella element of his tenue on these social occasions, was wielded with vigour on those enthusiasts who stood up at thrilling moves on the pitch and blocked his reverence's view. He was a keen bridge player and commanded his friends to provide “a good four”. However, he developed a habit of pausing during play to recite his favourite poetry - with feeling. The provision of “a good four” became increasingly difficult.

But despite all these eccentricities, Fr, Byrne was one of the devoted and faithful members of the Church staff at Gardiner Street. In a time when the Province rejoiced in having a number of eloquent and sought after preachers - Fr. Robert Kane, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Michael Phelan - Fr Vincent Byrne was 'an eloquent and graceful speaker. A panegyric of St. Aloysius is noted in the Clongownian obituary as outstanding. Some ten years before his death he published a volume of his sermons - and the edition was sold out, which, in 1933 must say something about them.

We shall not see his like again.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, studied. rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama; and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the chapel at Mungret with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, all were due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev Dr Curley; the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev Dr Killian ; Mr. Frank Fahy, TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving' alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Rector (1904-1907)

Although Fr Vincent Byrne was for over seventy years a member of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, his connection with Clongowes was very short, being practically confined to the three years of his Rectorate. He had indeed been Third Line Prefect and had taught here for a short time, but it was so long ago that it is almost beyond the memory of even the oldest Clongownian. He was, however, known to many of more recent years who remember his eloquent occasional sermons, particularly his panegyric of St Aloysius, which is included in the volume of his published sermons which was published a few years ago and was so well received by the public. His venerable figure was well known to those who live in Dublin where he will be greatly missed by his numerous friends.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Vincent Byrne, veteran of the Irish Province and “clarum et venerabile nomen” to Mungret men of his day here, passed away last October, To the last, in spite of his venerable age, he was interested in life and up to a short time before his death, he was one of the best known men in the city of Dublin. Police, newsboys, tram-men, everyone whose business it is to be abroad knew him and recognised him familiarly. His old pupils never forget him and he is a very vivid memory to them indeed. He came to Mungret full of vigour and he was not niggardly of his energy in her service. He built here, decorated, furnished and encouraged every side of college life whether it was sport of music or debates. His own humorous comment in old age when he revisited us “I made Mungret” has its quantum of truth.

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park in 1866, studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens; philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Authority on Shakespeare
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and, through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare.

Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil-paintings, were all due to his initiative.

With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Dr Curley the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Dr Killian; Mr Frank Fahy TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship.

Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Dean of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over thirty years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with per severing fidelity, and preserved his keer interest in all that touched human life.

Mungret boys of every vintage will not forget to pray for the soul of this great old campaigner. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Vincent Byrne (1848-1943)

A native of Dublin, at the time of his death was one of the oldest priests in Ireland. He was in the Crescent as a scholastic, 1873-1874 and again as priest, 1883-1884. Father Byrne was later Rector of Mungret College (1890-1900) and for a brief period Rector of Clongowes. He was for nearly four decades a member of the Gardiner St. community and was in his day a distinguished preacher. A volume of his occasional sermons was published some twenty years ago.

Byrne, William, 1868-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/83
  • Person
  • 04 October 1868-01 December 1943

Born: 04 October 1868, Cork City
Entered: 12 November 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 02 August 1903
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 01 December 1943, Dublin

Part of St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at time of his death.

Older brother of George Byrne - RIP 1962

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1903 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1905 at Linz, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father William Byrne SJ

Fr. William Byrne. Fr. Byrne was born in Cork in 1868, was educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society in 1886. He pursued his studies at Valkenberg, Holland, Milltown Park, Dublin, Innsbruck, and Linz, Austria. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1903, and subsequently taught in various colleges from 1906 to 1931. Since 1931 he had been Professor of Science and Astronomy at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore. He was a brother of Fr. George Byrne, formerly Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong and now at Mission Catholique, Dalat, Indo-China, and of the late Mr. Matthew Byrne, Listowel.
When Fr. Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894 he began a life long career devoted to teaching. He had a genuine love for Mathematics and Physical Science, and this love he sought to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his pupils was vigorous, patient, attractive, and above all clear. The word “clear” seemed to have a special association with him, it was the keynote of all his demonstrations. Judged by the standard of examination results, Fr. Byrne was not an outstanding success as a teacher, though some of his more talented pupils did brilliantly. His own great knowledge and familiarity with the matter he taught made it not too easy for him to understand the difficulties of beginners. But he was a reilly great educator in the more liberal and higher sense of the word, aid his methods provided a fine mental training with broadness of outlook and accuracy of thought as chief characteristics. He never lost sight of the ultimate aim of all true Catholic Education, the religious formation of youth. His own personal example and tact won high respect.
His public speaking, in preaching and retreat giving, was marked by very evident sincerity and conviction, together with a simple tranquility and sympathy that appealed to his audience. He was a very good preacher and retreat giver.
As a conversationalist he was fascinating and at times very brilliant. He had a fund of interesting knowledge on a great variety of subjects. He had great appreciation of humour and told an amusing story with inimitable grace. He was uniformly genial and good humoured. Though a good speaker himself he was also an excellent listener. His manner and speech were full of great charm.
As Minister in Mungret for five or six years, and again in Galway for two or three years, he was most faithful, though the duties of that office did not have any great natural appeal to him. He was ever most kind to the sick whether boys or members of the Community or poor in the neighbourhood of our Colleges.
For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy in the Philosophate, first at Milltown Park for three years and then at Tullabeg for twelve years. This work was worthy of his attainments and most congenial to him and he accomplished it with great success. By constant study he kept well abreast of modern advances in Science. His experiments were prepared and carried out with utmost care and he had a true scientist's gentleness with his scientific apparatus. He was also a good linguist, speaking German and Irish fluently, and a great lover of Ireland's culture.
Fr. Byrne was truly a man of principle, and his ideals were lofty and truly Jesuit. He was steeped in knowledge of St. Ignatius, and the Early Society and the Institute. His fidelity to the Institute was inflexible. He was hardworking, conscientious, earnest, zealous, generous and most amiably kind. He was certainly a very true Jesuit whose example was a shining light. He was a man of great regularity and punctuality at all Community duties, no superfluity found place in his room. The virtue of Charity was particularly dear to him, his great physical strength, his intellectual gifts and his counsel were at the disposal of any who sought them.
His last illness was short, as he had desired. On Saturday he gave his lecture as usual, on Monday evening he was brought to hospital in Dublin and received the last Sacraments, and died peacefully on Wednesday morning. He was very patient and kindly in his illness. A valiant soldier of Christ be is much missed by all who knew him. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

In Fr William Byrne Clongowes lost a, son remarkable for holiness, intelligence, and quaint charm, of character, though one who disliked nothing so much as to be remarked. He care of a distinguished family, being a brother of Mr Matt Byrne, the brilliant Cork solicitor, and of Fr George Byrne SJ. Holiness was the first characteristic remarked in him in Clongowes, where he won the admiration of his companions, who readily distinguish between the boy who is merely unaccustomed to wrongdoing and the one who resolutely avoids it on principle. On leaving school he entered the Society and pursued his studies for the most part in German houses. During the nineties he returned to Clongowes for some years as a scholastic, the last period of his connection with his old school. He is remembered at this time for his prowess on the ice. Full of useful work, the rest of his life was yet uneventful. He was Prefect of Studies and afterwards Minister at Galway. He was Minister and teacher at Mungret, and taught also at the Crescent. For some years he prepared the Juniors of the Society for entering the University, teaching them Irish, mathematics, physics, and imperturbability. His last years were spent as Professor of various scientific subjects in the Philosophate at Tullabeg.

It was probably his central independence and love of the hidden life that attracted him to the unspoiled poor of the Gaedhealtacht, and gave him his ardent nationalism. It was rather a cultural than a political nationalism, pacific though uncompromising, and naturally inclined him to a hero-worship of Dr Douglas Hyde and early Gaelic League ideals. He was never more at home than when chatting in his slow, beautiful Irish in some fisherman's cabin. His mind was full of schemes for helping the country folk. One remembers his invention of an instrument for cutting turf and a deeply suggestive but almost un noticed article in Fáinne an Lae on the irrigation of the West. But he was content with knowing that these schemes would work without attempting to push their adoption. One of his greatest cronies around Tullabeg was an elderly lady, an Irish speaker, who lived by hawking debris around in an almost extinct perambulator.

His last illness was over in three days. We should have known that the end was at hand for on his last journey he expressed no curiosity whatever about the machinery and equipment of the motor ambulance that carried him to Dublin. Even then, however, he chafed gently at his illness, for it interrupted his study of a work he had recently acquired on Crystallography. Now his study of crystals is resumed in his contemplation of the jasper and sardonyx of the Apocalyptic City. But one sees him still as he was on his daily walks with his old friend, Fr John Casey, his rosy face lit with its habitual welcoming smile, talking, delightedly and delightfully, stickless, yet looking oddly incomplete without a stick, wearing a hat so small that it seemed to have drifted down autumnally from a restless bough and, all unobserved by him, to have settled furtively on his head. His life at bottom was a quest for beauty or, to be more precise, a quest for the Grail. For there was more knightliness in his character than was superficially apparent.

AL

-oOo-

The following appreciation is from one who lived and worked with Fr William Byrne for many years, Fr John Casey SJ :

We are grateful to Fr. John Casey, S.J., for the following appreciation of Fr. Byrne as a teacher :

“Fr Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894, and a life-time devoted to teaching then began. He came to his work fresh, eager, young, enthusiastic. He had a genuine love of Mathematics and Physical Science. I once heard him, alluding to the Integral Calculus, call those, strange integ ration signs his “dear, dear friends”. This he said half-jokingly, of course, but very much half in earnest too. This love he longed to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his classes was vigorous, patient, attractive and strikingly clear. His past pupils will remember the oft repeated question : “Is it clear?” and the prolonged emphatic intonation of that word “clear”. It was the keynote of his demonstrations.

In the broad, high, and liberal sense of the word, he was a really great educator. Many of his pupils now look back with pleasure and gratitude to the fine mental training, the accuracy of thought, the broad outlook, given them by his pedagogic methods.

In his years of teaching, he never lost sight of the ulterior aim of all Catholic and Jesuit education, the religious training and formation of youth. His splendid example won respect; and the tactful word in season from one so revered had lasting good results.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

Mungret boys of the years 1910 to 1916 will surely be sorry to hear of the death of their Minister, He seemed to be the fixed star in the comnunity of that period and, though men might come and go, he went on for ever. They will not, we know, forget to pray for the soul of Father Byrne. His death took everyone by surprise, for, though he was not a young man, he did seem to go on for ever. He was teaching the Jesuit students of philosophy for the last twenty years of his life, ever since he left Mungret for the last time in 1922. Mungret he loved and loved in his own way, so much so that he regretted any change in it. He had liked it as it was and he was conservative. Father Byrne was a man of brilliant gifts, an able scientist, whose practical gift was wedded to intellectual grasp. It was a joy to hear him expose scientific theory, but who will forget his naive pride in a nice instrument. He cherished it and woe betide the crude hand that was laid on it. He loved his violin too and charmed dull care away with it every single day. His pupils here will recognise that trait. Simple in all things he was simple with God. No one less like the fictional Jesuit ever perhaps wore the Jesuit gown. Mungret owes him a debt for the years of labour, kindly companionship and good example. She will repay it where remembrance is best. To his brother Father George and to his relatives we offer our sympathy. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father William Byrne (1868-1943)

A native of Cork, entered the Society in 1886. He studied at Valkenburg, Milltown Park and Innsbruck and was ordained in 1903. Father Byrne taught at the Crescent from 1906 to 1908 and again from 1926 to 1929. He was a brilliant mathematician and scientist and gave splendid service for many years in the Jesuit colleges. For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of science at the Jesuit House of Philosophy, Tullabeg. Father Byrne had considerable gifts as a linguist and was a pioneer Gaelic enthusiast.

Cahill, Edward, 1868-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/55
  • Person
  • 19 February 1868-16 July 1941

Born: 19 February 1868, Callow, Ballingrane, Askeaton, County Limerick
Entered: 08 June 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1905
Died: 16 July 1941, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Cahill, Edward
by C. J. Woods

Cahill, Edward (1868–1941), Jesuit, was born at Callow, Ballingrane, Co. Limerick, on 19 February 1868, son of Patrick Cahill, a farmer, and his wife, Lucy (née Culhane). One of a family of eight (he had three half-brothers, a half-sister, two full brothers, and a full sister), he was educated locally at the Jesuit-run Mungret College and then at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, from where, on completing three years of theological studies, he joined the Society of Jesus (10 November 1890). He was ordained priest in 1897 at the Jesuit church in Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. From then until 1923 he was back at Mungret as master, prefect of studies, and rector, and finally as superior of the apostolic school attached to the secondary school. As rector he ‘had the opportunity to implement his ideas for the cultural and intellectual development of Irish youth along national lines’ (obituary, Ir. Independent). While at Mungret he wrote his first pamphlet, Rural secondary schools (1919).

In 1924 Cahill moved to the Jesuit house of studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, to become professor of church history and lecturer in sociology, and eventually (1935) spiritual director. There his influence grew as he contributed articles to the Irish Ecclesiastical Record (the catholic bishops’ monthly), the Jesuit-published Irish Monthly, and the popular Irish Messenger. He wrote a five-act play, The abbot of Mungret (1925), and two full-length books, Freemasonry and the anti-Christian movement (1929; 2nd ed., 1930) and The framework of a Christian state: an introduction to social science (1932). Several articles were republished as pamphlets: Ireland's peril (1930), The catholic social movement (1931), Capitalism and its alternatives (1936), Ireland as a catholic nation (1938), and Freemasonry (1944). The titles of these works are highly indicative of Cahill's interests and opinions. In October 1926 he and other Jesuits formed, for the purpose of establishing ‘the social reign of Christ in modern society’, a body they called the League of the Kingship of Christ (also known by the Irish form of its name, An Rioghacht). Cahill's pamphlet Ireland and the kingship of Christ (1928) is an apologia for that body.

In 1936, with Bulmer Hobson (qv) and Mrs Berthon Waters, Cahill formed a group to create public interest in banking, currency, and credit in accordance with his own views at a time when a government commission was inquiring into that subject. The group influenced a rural member of the commission, Peter O'Loghlen, whose minority report (which accused civil servants at the Department of Finance of being ‘hypnotised by British prestige and precedent’) it practically drafted. In September of the same year Cahill sent Éamon de Valera (qv), with whom he was very friendly, a submission outlining catholic principles on which he believed the new constitution being drawn up by the head of government ought to be based. Although a committee of five Jesuits (Cahill included) was set up by the Jesuit provincial to consider the constitution, Cahill presented a memorandum of his own to de Valera and wrote him three letters advocating a much stronger catholic ethos. It is argued that Cahill ‘may have been indirectly influential’ in the wording of article 44 referring to religion (Keogh). His initiatives were regarded with disquiet by his confrères.

A firm believer in farming as a vocation, Edward Cahill was associated with Muintir na Tíre, seeing it as the practice of the ‘corporatism’ recommended in the papal encyclical Quadragesimo anno (1931). He was also an enthusiast for the Irish language. He died 16 July 1941 at Milltown and was buried, with de Valera among his mourners, at Glasnevin cemetery.

Ir. Independent, 17 July 1941; bibliography, Irish Province News (Oct. 1941); Bulmer Hobson, Ireland yesterday and tomorrow (1968), 171; Ronan Fanning, The Irish Department of Finance (1978); Dermot Keogh, The Vatican, the bishops and Irish politics, 1919–39 (1986), 208–9, 275–6; Seán Faughnan, ‘The Jesuits and the drafting of the Irish constitution of 1937’, IHS, xxvi (1988–9), 79–102; Dermot Keogh, ‘The Jesuits and the 1937 constitution’, Studies, lxxviii (1989), 82–95; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991), 282–4; information from the Rev. Stephen Redmond; Dermot Keogh & Andrew J. McCarthy, The making of the Irish Constitution 1937 (2006)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr. Cahill is spiritual director of the An Rioghacht, a Catholic Citizens' League. lt was inaugurated on October 31st, 1926, Feast of Christ the King. This League, which owes its foundation to the devoted interest in social work of Fr. Cahill, will, it is hoped, do for Ireland what the Volksverein has done for Catholic Germany.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :

Father Edward Cahill

Fr. Edward Cahill died on July 16th, 1941, after a long and trying illness borne with exemplary patience. He was 73 years of age and had just completed fifty years in the Society.
He was born at Callow, Ballincrane, Co Limerick, In February 1868. He received his secondary education at Mungret, and three years of theological training at Maynooth. Like Fr Matthew Russell, he was in Major Orders though not yet a, priest, when he entered the Society on June 8th, 1891. His Ordination to the priesthood took place six years letter at Gardiner Street. The years of his priestly life were spent mainly a Mungret and Milltown Park. with brief periods at Galway and Clongowes. At Mungret, his “alma mater”, he was in succession, Master, Rector and Superior of the Apostolic School. After one year, as Spiritual Father in Clongowes. he went to Milltown Park in 1924. as Professor of Church History, Lecturer in Sociology, and, later, Spiritual Father. He was stationed at Milltown Park up to the time of his last illness.
One of Fr. Cahill's older pupils at Mungret has borne enthusiastic testimony to his skill as a teacher and to the esteem in which he was held by the boys. As Rector he had the opportunity to implement his ideas for the cultural and intellectual development of Irish youth along national lines. To promote amongst the boys a realisation of their social duties and responsibilities, he founded an Academy in the School for the study of social problems. This Academy foreshadowed the study-circles of “An Rioghacht”. As Superior of the Apostolic School, Fr. Cahill devoted himself wholeheartedly to the intellectual and religious training of large numbers of young men who were later to do credit to Mungret as missionary priests in America, South Africa and Australasia. Mungret had no more loyal son than Fr Cahill - the College and its pupils, past and present were ever the objects of his affectionate interest.
From 1924 onwards Fr. Cahill lectured at Milltown Park, Church History to the Theologians and Sociology to the Philosophers. In the latter subject he was most at home. His enthusiastic interest in social problems communicated itself to his students, though they might on occasion, smile at his homely illustrations or novel remedies for very complex economic ills. After Fr. Fegan's death Fr. Cahill became Spiritual Father at Milltown. His domestic exhortations were remarkable for their solid piety and constant emphasis on the essentials of Jesuit spirituality, rather than for eloquence or entertainment value. But it is as a, wise, kindly and sympathetic friend and father to whom the members of his community could turn in trouble or perplexity, sure of the needed encouragement or advice, that he will be remembered by many generations of Miltown scholastics.
Fr Cahill's chief work amongst externs was that of a teacher of Catholic social principles by voice, pen and personal contact. In October, 1926, on the occasion of the first celebration of the Feast of Christ the King, he founded : “An Rioghacht”, the League of the Kingship of Christ. He was acutely conscious of the need for combatting the modern anti-Christian movement which seeks by all means to discredit Christianity and to substitute a. purely secular ideal of life for the Christian ideal. He held that Ireland was by no means immune
from the influence of this movement, nay rather that the Irish Catholic Nation, for historical reasons was in some ways more exposed to un-Catholic and un-Christian influences than any other Catholic people in Christiandom. He sought a remedy in the teaching of recent Popes Leo XIII and his successors, especially Pius XI had repeatedly insisted on a sound and widespread knowledge of Catholic social principles, and on lay organisation as the pressing needs of the hour. Hence the objects which “An Rioghacht”, under the aegis of Fr Cahill, has pursued quietly but with considerable success for the past fifteen years. Serious social study, freely undertaken is something which appeals to a very limited number of lay people. Still the study-circles of “An Rioghacht” have been well attended, and several of those who learned Social Science under its auspices, now occupy public positions in the State. The study-circles of the C.Y.M.S. in some cases carry on the good work commenced by “An Rioghacht.” Besides these study-circles, “An Rioghacht”, under Fr.CahilI's guidance, organised public meetings three or four times a year, published pamphlets on current topics and even attemtbed to produce a weekly paper to further its ideals.
Fr. Cahill's output of written work is a monument to his unobtrusive. but tireless, labour during the years when he was professor and Spiritual Father at Milltown Park. When we glance over the Table of Contents of the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” from 1923-1930, and again from 1925 to 1940, and remember his “Notes on Sociology” which appeared constantly in the “Irish Monthly” from 1923 to 1929, and add to these the number of his books and pamphlets (a list of which we append) we are amazed at the amount of quiet work which must have been on behind his closed door on the Retreat House corridor.
His achievements show Fr Cahill to have been a man of more than ordinary mental ability, but, perhaps it was his qualities of character which most influenced people, rather than his intellectual gifts. To great gentleness, sympathy and kindness, he joined an amazing fund of quiet courage and determination. If he thought that any enterprise were for the glory of God and honour of Ireland, and that he had the slightest chance of carrying it out, he would undertake it with a light heart despite all difficulties. He was exceedingly loyal to his friends and his principles. He had a charming affability, even towards strangers which won him many friends, and his utter sincerity was enhanced by that touch of simplicity, which sometimes characterises very earnest people.
Father Cahill’s social ideals were those of the Papal Encyclicals which he had studied thoroughly. They may be summed up in the quotation from Pius XI, which appears on the title page of “Framework of the Christian State” : “When once men recognise, both in private and public life, tat Christ is King, , society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.” May he rest in peace.

The following is a list of Fr Cahill’s writings (besides magazine articles) :

Books :
The Abbot of Mungret - a play in 4 acts (1925)
Free-masonry and the Anti-Christian Movement - 1929 )1930 second edition)
The Framework of the Christian State (1932) - reprinted Pamphlets
The Truth about Freemasonry (Australian C.T.S.)
The Catholic Social Movement (Irish Messenger Office)
Rural Secondary Schools (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland and the Kingship of Christ (Irish Messenger Office)
The Oldest Nation in Europe (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland as a Catholic Nation (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland’s Peril (Messers. Gill)
Capitalism and its Alternatives I.C.T.S.)

There is a note in the Province News of December, 1929, which apropos of Fr. Cahill's book on Freemasonry recently published, quotes from a review in the “Irish Catholic” as follows :
“We consider this book indispensable to every Irish Catholic who would claim an intelligent acquaintance with the bearing of the principles of his religion upon Irish public life. It should be found in every library, public and private. The wide dissemination of the knowledge it contains must needs have a salutary effect on the whole public life of the country.”
This book gave rise to controversy in the public press, but Fr. Cahill maintained his position successfully and his book had a wide circulation. His other book, '”The Framework
of a Christian State”, in which he established in orderly form the principles of Catholic Social Science has proved to be of the highest utility and has supplied later Catholic writers with the fundamental arguments of this science.
It is as Superior of the Apostolic School that the name of Fr Cahill will be best remembered and most revered. For twelve years he devoted himself whole-heartedly to the mental and moral formation of the young levites entrusted to his care. No detail was too insignificant, no task too onerous when it was a question of a better formation or a closer approach to the Ideal. He kept ever before the students' minds the lesson of Our Lord’s life and his constant exhortation was “to spend themselves and be spent in His service”. The many priests that he formed will remember with gratitude the sound training in prayer and perseverance and in self-denial - all of which he exemplified in his own laborious and prayerful life. In later years Fr. Cahill was wont to reproach himself for expecting too much from boys and setting too high a standard. This is not without a certain element of truth but the same boys will remember that Fr Cahill himself led the way in all that he asked of others. News of his death will be heard with sorrow in America, South Africa and Australia and many a priest will breathe a fervent Requiescat in Pace for his kind and generous soul.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Cahill 1868-1942
The outstanding work of Fr Edward Cahill was his foundation of the Catholic Social Study Circle called “An Ríocht”. All his life he was intensely interested in this apostolic endeavour. He was the author of numerous works on Social questions and on Irish National movements. His best known works are “Freemasonry” and “The Framework of the Christian State”.

He was closely associated with Mungret, first as an ecclesiastical student of the Diocesan Seminary, when that institution was under the care of Ours in Mungret. Having entered the Society from Maynooth in 1891, he returned to Mungret to become Director of the Apostolic School for twelve years and Rector of the College for three.

During the last years of his life he was stationed at Milltown Park, as professor of Church History and Spiritual Father. He was most deeply religious. Kind in word, deed and aspect, he never judged even the worst harshly. “Substantially” was his saving word. Of the greatest villain in history, he would say that he was “substantially” good.

He was a true patriot. He loved everything Irish, the people, the language, the very land itself. He had high hopes for the future of Ireland, and helped by his advice the framing of her Constitution. But his great kindness and humility prevented him from hardness or bitterness towards those who did not share his convictions.

He died on July 16th 1941, being aged 73 and 50 years a Jesuit.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1942

Obituary

Father Edward Cahill SJ

The death of Father Edward Cahill SJ, which occurred in the summer of last year, was a source of heartfelt grief to the wide circle of his friends both at home and abroad, and brought to a close a life dedicated to the service of God and the well-being of Ireland. As a tribute to the memory of one of Mungret's illustrious sons, who, besides the services rendered to his country, devoted well-nigh a quarter of a century to the education of youth in his Alma Mater, we offer the following short account of Father Cahill's life and achievements.

Early Years
The son of a well-to-do Munster farmer, Edward Cahill was born at Callow, Ballingrane, Co Limerick, on October 19th, 1868. In order to prepare for the secular priesthood he came, in 1883, to Mungret, which, besides Father Ronan's Apostolic School, contained the seminary for the diocese of Limerick. Mungret students in those days were prepared for the examinations of the Royal University of Ireland, In 1887 Edward Cahill, at the comparatively early age of nineteen, took out his BA Degree with Honours, securing Second Place in Mental and Moral Sciences, as well as an Exhibition. In the same year he went to Maynooth College, where he completed his course of Theology and was ordained Deacon; and in 1891 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus. In 1894 he re turned to Mungret, where, with the exception of two short intervals each of but one year's duration, he was stationed until 1916.

He was ordained priest in 1897; and in 1904 he was appointed Superior of the Apostolic School, an office which he held until 1918, and again from 1921-1923.

Superior of the Apostolic School, Mungret
It is as Superior of the Apostolic School that Father Cahill will be chiefly remembered and revered by past students of Mungret. During the eleven years in which he held this important and responsible office, Father Cahill devoted himself whole-heart edly to the intellectual and spiritual forma tion of the young aspirants to the priest hood entrusted to his care. He zealously availed himself of the different opportunities afforded him to speak to the boys of God and the things of God. On such oc casions he emphasised in particular those aspects of the spiritual life that had direct reference to the priesthood. But it was in those intimate personal conversations with each individual boy that Father Cahill ful filled in an especial manner, the rôle of Spiritual Director, emphasising those high ideals which were the guiding principles of his own interior life.

While thus training to holiness Mungret's future priests, Father Cabill constantly kept before their minds the great mission fields in which they were one day to labour. Every week he read to the boys extracts of letters which he received from past Mungret students, giving an account of their missionary work; and priests returned from the Missions were invited to lecture on their apostolic labours in distant lands. By such means, as well as by his own lectures and exhortations, he created and maintained in the hearts of his youthful disciples the spirit of missionary zeal.

“To spend oneself and be spent in the service of Jesus Christ” - these words were constantly on the lips of Father Cahill and aptly summarise the high principles by which be was guided in the training of Mungret students for the priesthood. In after years he was wont to reproach him self for his excessive strictness in dealing with boys, and for not making sufficient allowance for the failings of the young. On one occasion, at a dinner for the Past in Cruise's Hotel, Limerick, he made public confession of what he considered his short comings in this regard. Replying to Father Cahill's speech Mr Eamonn O'Neill TD, said that he and his school-companions were impressed not so much by Father Cahill's words, as by the example of his life. Mr O'Neill's appreciation of Father Cahill will, we feel assured, find an echo in the hearts of many a Mungret priest in distant lands, who will make kindly allowance for what ever must be admitted in Father Cahill's humble self-accusation. They will remem ber the sound training which he gave them in prayer and self-denial, and the shining example of his holy and self-sacrificing life.

Rector of Mungret

Education and Patriotism
Father Cahill was appointed Rector of Mungret in 1913, an office which afforded him ample scope for putting in practice his schemes for a sound system of Irish education. Besides religious and intellectual training, Father Cahill considered that the cultivation of patriotism, so much neglected in Irish schools in those days, should occupy a leading place in the College curriculum. Father Cahill's own mind was steeped in the history and traditions of his country. All who had the privilege of a personal ac quaintance with him will recall the thrill which swept his spirit at the sight of some noble Irish landscape, or by a visit to some historic locality such as the Rock of Cashel or the Glen of Aherlow, or St Kevin's sanctuary in Glendalough. Father Cahill was born when Irish had all but ceased to bę a spoken language, and he went to school before the revival of the national tongue had been undertaken. Not the least strik ing proof of the intensity of his patriotism was the zeal with which he applied himself amidst all his varied occupations, to the study of Irish.

With a mind and heart thus “pledged to Ireland”, Father Cahill made it his aim to revive in Mungret the knowledge and love of the Irish past, and to fire the hearts of the young with the patriotic ideals which were a part of his own life. Prominent leaders in Irish national life were invited to lecture to the boys. Amongst the most distinguished of these lecturers were An t-Uachtaran (Dr Douglas Hyde) at that time Pres of the Gaelic League; Rev Dr Henebry, the great authority on Irish music; Mr Francis J Bigger, MRIA, and Rev Thomas Finlay SJ. To encourage the study of Irish history and anti quities, Father Cahill offered an annual prize for the best Essay on some aspect of Irish life. By such means he strove to create & truly national spirit, and to counteract the policy of anglicisation that had made such deep inroads into Irish life.

Education for the Land
As an educator, Father Cahill was deeply concerned with the sociological aspects of Irish country life. While fully alive to the importance of business and the professions, he never lost sight of the fact that the land was the great source of Ireland's wealth, and that for the great majority of our young people Irish education should have a strong agricultural bias. From this point of view he judged that the programme of the then existing Intermediate Education Board was quite unsuited to the needs of the country. During the years spent at a secondary school the boy from the rural district lost contact with the land, and ac quired an unhealthy taste for urban life. At the same time Father Cahill was a strenuous opponent of the current idea that second ary education was not necessary for a far mer, or that if a boy received a secondary education and returned to the farm, his education was thrown away. In a pamphlet, published in 1919, and entitled “Rural Secondary Education”, he outlined a system of Education for the Land in which a boy, while receiving a good course of general culture, was at the same time given practical instruction in farming, and thus kept in constant touch with agricultural life. The problem of rural Ireland has to-day be come little short of a grave national crisis; and it may well be that the solution of this problem is to be found in Father Cahill's scheme of agricultural education.

The Mungret Social Study Club
The great Dublin Strike of 1912 took place the year before Father Cahill's appointment as Rector of Mungret; and for a long time after the public mind was preoccupied with the deep-seated social grievances which the Strike had revealed. It was in these circumstances that the Social Study Club was founded in Mungret in the Rectorship of Father Cabill. Besides the study and discussion of social questions, the boys engaged in active social work, collect ing money and clothes for the poor, and or ganising sports for the children of the locality. By means of the Social Study Club the senior boys were made familiar with the great problems of modern industrial life, and were instructed in the principal duties of citizenship. Is it fanciful to see in the Mungret Social Study Club the germ of “An Ríoghacht”?

Father Cahill Catholic Sociologist

Catholic Social Education
To the great majority of his fellow countrymen it was as a Catholic Sociologist that Father Cahill was a well-known, indeed, almost a national figure. It is no small indication of Father Cahill's intelligence and discernment that he should have perceived so keenly the widespread need in Ireland of thorough education in Catholic social principles. His sound diagnosis of the chief social ills from which our country suffers is an additional proof of that intelligence and discernment. For a time he looked around and waited, hoping that someone would appear who would launch a movement for the Catholic social education of Irish lay-people outside the Universities, where the “Leo Guild” had been doing good work amongst the students of University College. No one appeared, and so with that simple courage which was characteristic of him, he determined to be the pioneer himself. Though no longer young, he took up seriously the work of studying, teaching and writing on Catholic sociology. He was aware of his deficiencies in knowledge and training, and worked hard to remedy them. But if his learning had lacunae, Father Cahill had that shrewd penetration of intellect, that intuition of social needs and remedies, those qualities of character--sincerity, zeal for justice, courage, patriotism-which are more im portant for the sociologist than mere book lore.

An Ríogacht
Through Father Cahill's enterprise, the League of the Kingship of Christ (An Ríoghacht) was founded on the occasion of the first celebration of the least of Christ the King, October, 1926, Father Cahill was acutely conscious of the Deed of com-. bating the modern anti-Christian movement which seeks by all means, overt and hidden, to discredit Christianity and to substitute a purely secular ideal of life for the Christian ideal, He held that Ireland was by no means immune from the influence of this movement; rather, that the Irish Catholic Nation, for historical reasons, was in some ways more exposed to un-Catholic and un-Christian influences than any other Catholic people in Christendom. He sought a remedy in the teaching of recent Popes Leo XIII and his successors, especially Pius XI, had repeatedly insisted on a sound knowledge of Catholic social principles and on lay organisation as the pressing needs of the hour. Hence the objects which Father Cahill set before his newly-founded organisation. These objects are, briefly :

(a) To propagate among Irish Catholics a better knowledge of Catholic social principles.
(b) To strive for the effective recognition of these principles in Irish public life.
(c) To promote Catholic social action.

And the means used to achieve these objects are:

(1) Study-centres where members can work through a systematic course of Social Science.
(2) Public Lectures.
(3) The or ganisation of Summer Schools.
(4) The publication of pamphlets, as well as articles in current reviews and magazines.
(5) Independent research work on social matters by members.

For sixteen years An Ríoghacht has been pursuing these objects quietly but with considerable success. The study-circles are Well attended, Several of those who learned Catholic Social Science under its auspices, now occupy public positions in the State, and have an opportunity of putting their knowledge to good use. Three or four times a year An Ríoghacht organises public meet ings at which papers bearing on Irish social problems are read and discussed. These meetings are a means of propagating Cath olic social principles. An Ríoghacht has published several useful pamphlets on social questions. It has also attempted, though unsuccessfully, to publish a weekly review.

Irish Rural Problems
Next to his Faith, Father Cahill loved his native land, and promoted by his work and writing its material and cultural well-being. He was specially interested in the welfare of the country-people, believing with Gold smith, that a bold peasantry is its country's pride. In his opinion, the land of Ireland could easily support four times its present population. He was an advocate of small farms and plenty of tillage. As already mentioned, he deplored the urban bias of much of our education, and called for the establishment of rural secondary schools for the education of a race of enterprising, scientific farmers. For a period of his life he was in favour of organising cottiers on large estates directed by religious, as was customary on the medieval Irish monastic estates. He had in mind a similar scheme for the development of our sea-fisheries.

Principles of Social Reform
The ends which Father Cahill's social policy aimed at achieving were such as must recommend themselves to right-thinking Catholics. Regarding the means by which he proposed to attain those objectives - especially the economie means - not all Catholic sociologists would be disposed to agree with him. Thus towards the close of his life, Father Cahill was profoundly influenced by : the economic teachings of Major Douglas on the control of credit. He endorsed, on the whole, the Douglas criticism of the existing system, but rejected the positive proposals of the Douglas system, preferring the plan outlined in the Third Minority Report of the Banking Commission of 1988.

Last Years and Death
During the latter years of his life Father Cahill suffered from chronic ill-health, and after a lingering illness, borne with Christian fortitude and resignation, he died in Dublin on July 16th, 1941.

His funeral was attended by a distinguished gathering of the clergy and the laity. The Rt Rev Mgr James D'Alton, DD, President of May nooth College, presided at the Requiem Mass. Amongst the large number of clergy present were Very Rev P Canon Dargan, President, Clonliffe College; Very Rev T W O'Ryan, PP, St Audeon's; Very Rev M F Boylan, Adm, Pro-Cathedral; Very Rev J A Kelly, O.Carm, Prior, Orwell Road; Very Rev S P Kieran, SM, Provincial; Very Rev Laurence J Kieran SJ, Provincial, as well as many other Superiors and members of the Society of Jesus. The general attendance included An Taoiseach and Mrs. de Valera; Very Rev Bro J P Noonan, Sup-Gen., Christian Brothers; Mr P J Little, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs; Mr Frank Fahy, Ceann Comhairle; Mr Sean Brady, TD; Senator Liam Ó Buachalla, Senator Seán Goulding, Mr Kevin Haugh, SC, Attorney-General; Mr Justice Gavan Duffy, Mr P J Kenny, Acting Honorary Consul for Chile; the Supreme Knight and Council of Directors, Knights of Columbanus. An Ríoghacht was represented by Mr J Waldron, President; Mr B J McCaffrey, Secretary, and other members. The Catholic Truth Society was represented by Dr F O'Reilly, KCSG, Organising Secretary; and Mr Peadar O'Curry, Editor, represented Mr T P Dowdall, TD, the Chairman, and the Directors of “The Standard”.

For God and Ireland
In reviewing the manifold activities of Father Cahill's long and useful life, there springs instinctively to the lips, in all its depth of meaning, the time-honoured phrase: “For God and Ireland”.

Father Cahill appears, first and foremost, as the saintly priest and religious, living for Jesus Christ, and zealous for the spread of His Kingdom; then as a patriot with soul aflame with a passionate love of Ireland and the Gaelic heritage, and as à Catholic social reformer, toiling to mould the young life of a free and indepen-- dent Ireland in accordance with the great Christian social principles outlined by Pope Leo XIII and Pius XI, and in harmony with the cultural and economic life of the Irish people. While admittedly inexpert on many technical points of political and social economy, and advocating plans of reform that were open to question, it cannot be denied that Father Cahill's broad and general principles of social reconstruction were thoroughly sound.

Father Cahill did not live to see the fulfilment of his cherished hopes. Indeed, the closing years of his life were clouded with doubts and fears of Ireland's future, which found expression in his pamphlet entitled : “Ireland's Peril”, a work which strikes a very serious note of alarm for the Irish race both at home and abroad. As Father Cahill lay slowly dying in a nursing home in Leeson St, Dublin, Ireland was celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Easter Week, 1916. Twenty-five years is a short stage in the life of a nation, Progress journeys slowly by zig-zag paths of trial and error; and many problems in Ireland's cul tural, social and economic life are still out standing. If our country is to remain true to her religious and national ideals, she must in many things follow the path pointed out to her by Fr. Cahill. When the goal is at last attained, it may well be that a nation's voice may acclaim Father Cahill as one of the truest and noblest of Irish patriots, and rank him with the makers of twentieth century Ireland.

Calter, John A, 1885-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/84
  • Person
  • 06 May 1885-10 November 1946

Born: 06 May 1885, Newry, County Down
Entered: 20 June 1916, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 10 November 1946, Ms Shuley's Home, Dublin

Part of St Mary’s community, Emo, County Laois at the time of his death.

by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Obituary :
Fr. John Calter (1885-1916-1946)

Fr. Calter died at Miss Shuley's Home, Mount St. Crescent, Dublin, on Sunday, 10th November, at 8 a.m. Some four weeks previously he had been motored up from St. Mary's, Emo, suífering from serious asthma trouble. He appeared to be improving despite recurrent attacks, when he died very peacefully and somewhat unexpectedly. The funeral took place to Glasnevin after Office and Solemn Requiem Mass, at which Fr. Mahony, his Rector, was celebrant, on 12th November. R.I.P.
Fr. Calter was born at Newry on 6th May, 1885, and educated at the school of the Christian Brothers in the same place. Before his entrance into the Society on 20th June, 1916, he was for some fourteen years working as an accountant, first at The Newry Mineral Water Co., and later on the staff of Messrs. Knox, Cropper and Co., Chartered Accountants, Spencer House, London, E.C. After his two years' noviceship at Tullabeg he studied philosophy and theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 31st July, 1924. From 1926 to 1931 he was master and prefect at Mungret College and in the following year did his tertianship at St. Beuno's, North Wales. He was on the teaching staff at Clongowes during the years 1933-1938, when he was transferred to Belvedere College, where he remained, as procurator, till 1944, when failing health rendered a change advisable. He was at Milltown Park for a year, and then last July was given a rest at St. Mary's, Emo.
A former fellow-novice of Fr. Calter sends us the following appreciation :
“Father John Calter was what our telescopic vocabulary calls ‘a late vocation’. I well remember the evening - it was a lovely June day's close - when he first arrived in Tullabeg. Outwardly, he was certainly the average man's idea of the religious novice, but it did not take any of us long to discover that our new Brother (the very name would have jarred upon him) was going to be ‘up against it’. He was neat, fastidious, sensitive, frail and already in his thirties, and he had set young in his ways. We were for the most part breezy, care free, jovial and hefty young men. I shall always remember his noviceship as something akin to heroism. One visualises J.A.C. in a once smart and fashionable suit of light grey cloth, now the colour of Joseph's coat and the consistency of plate-mail from many layers of paint. It was his somewhat startling manual works outfit. In it he toiled leaf-collecting on the avenue and weed hacking on the long vanished Spiritual Meadow or performed the Weekly Offices and cleaned the fowl-run with nose physical and moral slightly averted, but hands and heart steady enough. One recalls, too, a memorable July day, his first in the noviceship and one which he loved to recall to the very end, when he carried - he alleged - an endless chain of buckets filled with scalding water from Coffee-scullery to the Old Dormitory, relaxing only for one minute to sit on the bottom step of the stairs and draw breath for the climb, but to be implored by the master of the company to rouse himself, praise God and pass the ammunition. Of course it was not all toil. He spent happy hours in the Sacristy, where his great taste in decoration and an enduring capacity for putting on a good show staged floral festivals that would have delighted the kind lady who sent the December roses and early lilies he enjoyed so much.
Perhaps it is true that Superiors tested this unusual late-starter more than most. He would have been the first to admit the justification for it. But he came through, not so much with flying colours as with colours nailed to the mast, surviving gallantly a last trial, the postponement of his vows until a ruling could be obtained that the ‘New’ Code of Canon Law did not abrogate the Jesuit privileges of making swiftly a perpetual self-dedication.
Noviceship over, he did not go to the University, but embarked at once, on his priestly studies, carrying them through without the usual break in Colleges. It was again a formidable task, for he had no special scholarly taste, and though his mind was orderly and his judgement good, he was well aware, as he told me during our student days, that he could aspire to nothing more than a good standard of priestly efficiency. It requires little effort to imagine the strain nine years of unbroken student routine meant to a man who was over forty when he was ordained.
On the conclusion of his studies, he was sent before and after his tertianship to the Colleges, first to Mungret and then to Clongowes, finally to Belvedere, each time as a bursar, a post which his pre-Jesuit activities as an accountant in his native town of Newry and in London made rather obvious. In addition he taught Religious Knowledge clearly and painstakingly, and business methods with uniform and rather marked success. At Mungret, now many stages behind him, I overtook him again and found him good to live with. He was loyal to a friend, up to and perhaps beyond partisanship. I remember an occasion on which a cherished scheme seemed about to fail, and J.A.C. came to the rescue, holding, on the last night of term, an impromptu concert at which he accompanied every item on the piano and provided the hit of the night by an undignified contest in mere speed with the boy who manufactured the violin music for the Irish dancing. At this time he had a strong hold on boys, not as much perhaps through their affection, for his character made little natural appeal to them, but rather by his determination to make them do their best for their own sake. Some years ago one of his pupils described to me ruefully, but gratefully, the appalling ordeal of being coached for an ‘interview’ for a position by this master of business-methods. It included a close examination of seventeen-year-old's ill-kept nails. But he got him the job.
At Clongowes he had less to do with boys, and in Belvedere scarcely anything. It was perhaps a pity, for the conventional clerk, which was certainly part of his make-up, became more apparent. But it was a scarcely avoidable pity, for with advancing years his health failed notably. He was forced to abandon the care of the little study which he had ruled with a rod of iron (but a minimum of strap) and in which office, as I can testify, no Prefect of Studies could have had a more faithful or reliable coadjutor. Year after year he would have one, two or three bouts of bad flu, and those who for the first time saw him down with one could easily believe his half-joking and often reiterated statement that he was dying. But he kept on. Gone in the end was much of his gaiety. He had a keen sense of humour and could give the most redoubted wit a Roland for an Oliver, but he used it chiefly in defence. In the end, too, he tended to be at times and in ways more difficult to work with, a little exacting and not always consistent. He himself was naturally so orderly and accurate in figures and papers and details that he perhaps exaggerated their importance or overlooked the difficulty they present to many not trained as he was. He had a great admiration for the Brothers' vocation, which he often expressed to me, and I think the late Br. James O'Grady had more of his affection and respect than any other friend. But he easily over looked the difficulties which lack of experience in a Brother or his lay staff.could create, and like many an admirer, tended to set quite impossible standards. With all this he did loyal service, and his twenty years of hard toil and uphill fight against ill health almost continuous and finally crushing, deserve recognition.
His more intimate life as a Jesuit was not so easy to fathom. Exact, he was, devout, conventional, a zealous retreat-giver, a steady upholder of law and rule, whether it pinched or not, and there was behind all a strength of will approaching passion and a simple devotion to Our Lord and His Mother which made him, at a word from Fr. Willie Doyle, leave his worldly prospects to go to the Irish bog and take up an uncongenial life and pursue it with dogged persistence in ever deepening pain and weariness till God crowned his efforts with a swift and peaceful death. I saw little of him in his last years, for I was much away, but am glad to remember that our last contacts were two trifling points of business, in one of which he served me and in the other of which I served a friend at his request. The request reached me in a letter, written a matter of days before his death. In it he characteristically said nothing of his illness, but made a wry half jest at his retirement to country life. That was the J.A.C. with whom those who really knew him were proud to share their vocation. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1947

Obituary

Father John Calter SJ

Fr Calter died in Dublin on November 10th. Although he was six years at Belvedere, 1938-44, the boys who had him in class could scarcely have appreciated the many lovable qualities which lay hidden beneath his reserved exterior. Owing to his delicate health he was unable to undertake much work in the classroom, and even the few boys who had him for Religious Knowledge or Economics probably only regarded him as a good and painstaking but rather exacting teacher. Earnestress of purpose was indeed one of the salient features of his character, but those who knew Fr Calter well found other qualities besides - a great loyalty to a friend, a quiet gaiety and keen sense of humour, which not even his continual ill health could crush. Few would think that one who had so little contact with the boys would show any interest in their games, yet the Fr Calter Cup, which he presented to the College for swimming, bears witness to the very real interest he took in this side of the boys lives. We are glad to think that this cup will help to keep his memory alive in Belvedere for many years. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1947

Obituary

Father John Calter SJ

Father John Calter died on November 10th, 1946, having patiently endured for many years bronchial trouble. He was born in 1885 at Newry and entered the Society of Jesus in 1916, having spent fourteen years in business as an accountant. He pursued his philosophical and theological studies at Miltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained in 1924. He was master and prefect from 1926-31 at Mungret. He was strict and very precise in class but withal had a great and kindly interest in the students who were under his care. Many times, the Editor of the Mungret Annual, was corrected and correctly informed of the news of the Past by Father John.

He was attached to the teaching staff of Clongowes 1933-38 and at Belvedere 1938-44. He was then appointed Procurator at Milltown Park where he stayed until 1946. He then moved to St. Mary's, Emo Park, where he lived only for a few months. To his sister and relatives we send our deepest sympathy.

Campbell, Richard, 1854-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/86
  • Person
  • 24 January 1854-01 April 1945

Born: 24 January 1854, Sackville Street, Dublin
Entered: 16 September 1873, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 25 September 1887
Final Vows: 02 February 1892, Dublin
Died: 01 April 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1876 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Baptised 02 February 1854; Conformed 30 May 1865; First Vows 19 September 1875

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. Richard Campbell (1754-1873-1945)

On Easter Sunday, 1st April, 1945, at Milltown Park, where he had spent the last few years of his life, Fr. Campbell died very peace. fully in his 92nd year. He had been anointed again on the day of his death, after he had contracted congestion of the lungs.
Born in Dublin, Sackville Street (as it was then called) on 24th January, 1946, son of Mr. John Campbell, who was twice Lord Mayor of the city, he was educated at Belvedere and Downside. He entered the Society at Milltown Park on 16th September, 1873, and had Fr. Aloysius Sturzo as Master of Novices. He spent one year of Humanities at Roehampton, London, and studied philosophy at Laval in France and then taught at Clongowes from 1879 till 1885. He did his theological studies at St. Beuno's, North Wales, and was ordained priest by Bishop Edmund Knight on 25th September, 1887. On his return to Ireland he taught at Belvedere College til 1890, when he made his third year's probation in Tullabeg, being at the same time Socius to Fr. William Sutton, Master of Novices.
During the following two years he was Minister at Milltown Park, and from 1893 to 1897 was on the teaching staff of the Junior House, Belvedere College. In the latter year he went to Tullabeg as Minister and Socius, posts which he held till the summer of 1906. After spending a year at Crescent College, Limerick, as Minister, he again taught at Belvedere (1907-1918) and at Mungret, where he was Spiritual Father as well. After a two years period at Rathfarnham Castle as Minister, under Fr. John Sullivan as Rector, he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, in 1926, and remained there till 1943.
Two of Fr. Campbell's brothers were Benedictine priests, both of whom predeceased him. One of these, Dom Ildephonsus Campbell. O.S.B., was lost on the 'Leinster' in 1918 on his way back to Coventry from Mungret College, where he had been making his retreat.
An old Belvederian, who knew Fr. Campbell well, the Most Rev. Francis Wall, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, in a letter of sympathy on his death, written the Superior of Gardiner Street on 2nd April, sums up very appositely, we think, the story of the seventy three years he spent in the Society:
“He was a grand soul, always at work for his Master, but moving so unobtrusively at it, in our midst”.
Outwardly those year's were not spectacular. They marked the even succession of ordinary tasks faithfully and even meticulously performed, as is the case in so many Jesuit lives. Fr. Campbell was a religious of remarkable devotion to duty, of a regularity out of the common, faithful and punctilious to a fault, sincere in his friendships, which were deep and lasting. Behind a brusqueness of speech and manner, which to casual acquaintances seemed gruffness, was an eager and almost hypersensitive soul, around which his iron will, bent on self conquest, had erected a rampart of fictitious asperity. All through his life, this sensitiveness, securely screened from casual observation by his manner, was his greatest cross. Far from rendering him self centred or selfish, this characteristic of his bred in him an almost intuitive sympathy with others, especially those who suffered from loneliness and misunderstanding”.
Fr. Campbell had a very special talent for dealing with young schoolboys. He could inspire them with a lofty idealism in all that pertained to truth, duty and loyalty, and employed many ingenious ways of stirring them to class-rivalry. Without any conscious effort he won their abiding affection, while instilling in their young hearts a solidly Catholic outlook which rendered them proof against the storms of later life. On several occasions his pupils of the Junior House, Belvedere College, have left on record the feelings of regard and affection which they had for him. For example - in January, 1889 - in an ‘Address’ of thanks, which bears among other signatures that of E. Byrne, later Most Rev. Edward Byrne, Archbishop of Dublin, or in that quaint little sheet, decorated with shamrocks “Presented to Fr. Campbell on your retiring from teaching this 6th February, 1897, as a small token of gratitude for your entiring efforts to get us on in our studies”. From a few of his pupils of '96.' This was on the occasion of his going to Tullabeg as Socius. Another, undated. 'Address' to him from his boys in Belvedere runs as follows: “Fr. Campbell, the very kind attention shown by you to us during the past two years was so considerate that the boys cannot refrain from offering you this small token of affectionate gratitude. Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a long one”.
The same zeal and devotion which characterised his dealings in the class-room were maintained in all spheres of Fr. Campbell's labours, most especially during the long period in the priestly ministry which he spent at Gardiner Street. Despite his growing infirmities he was ever at his post of duty, whether in the pulpit or confessional, at the sick bed or in the parlour, at his own prie-dieu in his room or the little table in the Domestic Chapel giving the Community his Exhortation as Spiritual Father.
The Long Vacation the boys spoke of has come for him at last, and his mortal remains lie in the exact spot he had hoped would be free for him, just inside the railing of the Society Burial Plot, only a few feet from the grave in which his father and mother lie. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Campbell SJ 1854-1945
Fr Richard Campbell was one of those men, who by force of character make an indelible impression on his generation. He was the most quoted man of the Province on account of his pithy remarks, whilst at the same time, most revered for his austerity of life and fidelity to duty.

Born in Sackville Street Dublin, as it was then, on January 24th 1854, he received his early education at Belvedere and Downside, entering the Society in 1873.

It was as Socius to the Master of Novices that he left his imprint on generations of future Jesuits. One of these novices at least, testified to the austerity of his own life afterwards, and that was Fr Willie Doyle.

As Minister of one of our houses Fr Campbell coined the immortal expression “The first year I tried to please everybody and failed, the sencod year I tried to please nobody and succeeded”.

His manner outwardly seemed brusque, but this was really a defence mechanism to cover a sensitive nature, which made him keenly sympathetic with those souls who were lonely and misunderstood.

He live to the age of 92 and died at Milltown Park on April 1st 1945.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Obituary

Father Richard Campbell SJ
Belvedere, 1864-67 - died on Easter Sunday, April ist, in his 91st year,

After leaving Belvedere, he went to Downside with two younger brothers, both of whom became Benedictines.. The elder, Fr Ildephonsus Campbell OSB, was drowned when the Mail Boat, Leinster was torpedoed off the Kish Lightship in 1918. The younger, Fr Martin Campbell OSB, who died in 1938, had been for many years Parish Priest of Beccles, Suffolk.

Fr. Richard was for many years connected with Belvedere. Shortly after his ordination in 1887, he began a connection with his old College, which was to last with some intervals for nearly thirty years. Through all those years he won not only the respect but also the genuine affection of the boys he taught. Those who knew him but slightly sometimes wondered at this, for to casual acquain tances Fr Campbell's manner seemed gruff and brusque. Those, however, who knew him best - most of all, the boys for whom he worked - soon realised that this external manner was but a cloak for an extremely sensitive and affectionate heart. Shy by nature, he found it hard to make advances, but once contact had been established there was no limit to his response. How fully his boys understood him - and he them - is wittiessed by the little addresses which they presented to him, not once only, but many times during his years in Belvedere :

“We the Junior pupils of Belvedere College on resuming our Studies beg most earnestly to testify our respectful and at the same time grateful appreciation of your qualities ... as the guide and master in whom we trust as conscientiously endeavouring to shape our futures both spiritual and temporal. We return dear father (sic) after Christmastide to College with the firm resolution of pursuing our Studies with renewed vigour, and, as far as it is possible for us, to your satisfaction”.

The date is January, 1889, and among the signatories is E. Byrne, who was thirty years later to become Archbishop of Dublin, J A Coyle, Lucien Bull and many other names which are familiar to us.

Seven years later, the boys protest at his being removed from Belvedere to be Assistant Master of Novices in Tullabeg, is quaintly worded :

“ Presented to the Rev Father Campbell as a small token of gratitude for your untiring efforts to get us on in our studies, and as a protest for your retiring from teaching on this 6th February 1897.
From a few of his pupils of 96: Érin go Brágh”. Among the names appended are A McDonald, W Fallon, H Redmond, W Doheny, E O'Farreli and P O'Farrell

There are many other testimonials, and, per haps we may cite the words of just one more. It was presented by the Boys of II Grammar and bears no date, but the concluding words are -

“Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness, and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a Long one:.

The long vacation has come for Fr Campbell, and looking back on the years of faithful work we may surely say that it is an eternally happy one. May he rest in Peace

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Richard Campbell (1854-1945)

Born in Dublin, educated at Belvedere and Downside, and admitted to the Society in 1873, was at the Crescent as a scholastic in 1878-1879 and again as minister of the house, 1906-1907. He was many years on the teaching staff of Belvedere College and in Gardiner St Church.

Cantillon, Eric, 1924-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/769
  • Person
  • 24 September 1924-02 April 2011

Born: 24 September 1924, Cork City
Entered: 28 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 April 2011, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/eric-cantillon-r-i-p/

Eric Cantillon R.I.P.
Eric Cantillon SJ was 86 when he died on 2 April. He was a quiet Corkonian with the air of a countryman, loved by his parishioners in Staplestown where he has been a
curate for 32 years, happiest when he had a dog to walk with him, remembered warmly by Mungret alumni, especially the swimmers and athletes – he had trained them in Mungret and Belvedere with startling and untrumpeted success. The memory that unfailingly brought the light to his eyes was of a morning on Lough Currane when he fished the Comeragh river, swollen with fresh rain, where it enters the lake. He was held skillfully in position by boatman Jack O’Sullivan. They packed it in at lunch time with sixteen salmon in the boat – all taken on the one fly, tied by Eric. He landed every fish that rose to the fly, then gave them all away.

◆ Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2011

Obituary

Fr Eric Cantillon (1924-2011)

24th September 1924: Born in Cork
Early education in Lauragh Christian Brothers College, Cork
28th September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
29th September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1953: Clongowes – Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1964: Mungret College - Teacher and Prefect
2nd February 1959: Final Vows
1964 - 1965: Gardiner Street - Bursar
1965 - 1973: Mungret College - Teacher
1973 - 1979: Belvedere College - Teacher; Swimming Coach; Pool Supervisor
1979 - 2011: Clongowes: Parish Curate, Staplestown
1979 - 1993: Rector's Admonitor
1998 - 2011: House Consultor
2000 - 2011: Rector's Admonitor
2nd April 2011: Died at Clongowes

Eric had been showing signs of failing health for some months before being admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 8th March. These revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, with secondaries. His own wish, as he put it, was for 'comfort, not intervention, and he was very anxious to come home to Clongowes, where the people among whom he had ministered for more than 30 years have some opportunity of coming to see him. Relatives, local clergy, Bishop Jim Moriarty (who had also visited him in Dublin), and his friends from the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh came to visit him here, after his return on 19" March. Over the following fortnight his condition gradually deteriorated and he died at 9.25 on Saturday morning, 2nd April. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Bruce Bradley
Eric went to hospital in Dublin for tests exactly four weeks before his funeral. I met him on the stairs in Clongowes as he was preparing to travel. “I'm off on my vacation”, he said, with the hint of a twinkle in his eye, though he knew he was unwell and must have been anxious about what lay ahead. After he had returned to Clongowes on 19th March, feast of St Joseph, patron of a happy death, knowing that he had, at the very most, only months to live, he spoke of going on another journey'. On the 2nd of April, much sooner than any of us foresaw, that journey was accomplished.

His reference to another journey puts us in mind of his first journey, the journey that began 86% years ago and took him from his childhood and schooldays in Cork to the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Co. Laois, then to studies in UCD and Tullabeg and Milltown Park, with an interval of some years spent as a teacher and prefect in Clongowes, culminating in his ordination to the priesthood on 31st July 1956, a few months short of his 32nd birthday. For some twenty years after that he worked in schools – in Mungret until shortly before its closure, then for six years in Belvedere in the middle of Dublin. It was only in 1979 that, in a certain sense, he found his true vocation by coming to the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh. There he was able to give himself to the pastoral ministry for which he was so supremely fitted and which, as his parishioners and his fellow-priests know so well, was to prove such a wonderful success.

Eric was raised and formed in the pre-Vatican II Church. His faith was planted and nurtured in those more tranquil but also more narrow times. As a young Jesuit, he experienced a formation process in ways out of touch with real life and divorced from people's needs, something for which he had little tolerance and wasn't slow to remark on in later years. Its authoritarianism, in particular, irked him, and authority in any form never got an easy ride from Eric.

Priests formed at that time, including not a few of his fellow Jesuits, were apt to find themselves a little like beached whales when the changes of the 2nd Vatican Council burst upon a largely unsuspecting Irish Church in the 1960s, their theology and spirituality largely irrelevant, leaving them struggling to adapt or function effectively in the new and evolving environment. But not Eric. One of his most obvious characteristics was his independence and his strength of mind. He thought for himself, he was full of common sense, and he kept himself in tune and up-to-date by whatever means it took. He knew who he was and what he wanted and he was unwilling to make himself the slave of any system.

This had some inconveniences at times, if you happened to be his religious superior, but it had huge benefits – for him and for the people to whose care he gave himself so completely. The professionalism with which he equipped himself to be a pastoral priest in a country parish was a quality he had already shown in previous assignments, some of them much less congenial from his point of view. He had a natural interest in and aptitude for sport of all kinds. In Mungret, Fr Jack Kerr had built a swimming pool during Eric's time there, which Eric had helped to run. When Jack Kerr was transferred as rector to Belvedere, a swimming pool, and then Eric, soon followed.

Eric was a countryman to the core, who never lost touch with his roots. He read the Irish Field every week, keen follower of horses that he was, and the Irish Examiner, as we now call it, every day. I cannot imagine that he found living in the cramped conditions of the inner city was remotely to his taste. But he set himself to become a hugely professional and meticulous supervisor of the pool in Belvedere, which not only served a large school but also public clients to whom it was hired out. He gave the long hours and immense care this charge involved, while also engaging with and befriending the boys and their families and coaching many a successful swimming team. Subsequently, through his work with St Kevin's Athletic Club in Cooleragh, he emerged as a hugely committed and highly skilled athletics coach.

Whatever he did, he made himself master of, always quietly and without any fanfare. And he met and mastered the requirements of his pastoral care in the parish in the same way. He absorbed and applied the person-centred theology of Vatican Two in his ministry and preaching and, at an age in life when many of his contemporaries preferred to have nothing to do with such modern gadgets as a mobile phone, Eric - never off duty, even at meal-times - was inseparable from his. The only difficulty that posed was that, in his last years, his deafness meant that we all heard his phone ringing in his pocket long before he did. Then he'd be up with his big diary, entering a new appointment, always available, even in the final months of his life.

Another hallmark of Eric's approach and personality was his love of, even insistence on, privacy. He was a very private man. We in the community heard little enough about his family or his pastoral duties, although we could see his relentless devotion. We almost never heard him preach, unless he happened to be celebrating the funeral of someone connected with the college. Of his success as an athletics coach we heard nothing, and only the chance of Fr Leonard Moloney, headmaster of Belvedere in the 1990s, bumping into him at the All-Ireland Schools Athletics Championships in Tullamore alerted us to the fact that Eric was bringing his young trainees from the parish to the highest levels of competitive achievement.

One of his favourite recreations was fishing - usually indulged just once a year in the west of Ireland, in the company of his Layden cousins and other friends. As a fisherman, he was as professional as he was at everything else to which he tumed his finely tuned practical intelligence. Once again, this was something about which we rarely heard much, not even about his record-breaking catch in the mouth of the Comeragh more than 30 years ago - the astonishing grand total of 16 salmon and a sea trout on a size 7 fly, with the assistance of Jack O'Sullivan. I know even this much because Anita Layden kindly drew my attention to an entry on the internet she happened to stumble on. Exceptionally, in this instance, Eric had actually shared the story with us about a year ago. Someone had written a ballad about the exploit of the Jesuit priest', as he was called, and it was broadcast on the radio. All those years later, quite untypically, Eric actually let us hear the tape. Otherwise - and I think this applied even within his own family – he kept the different compartments of his life almost completely separate.

Eric was a wonderful priest and his great friend, who was his second parish priest in Staplestown, Fr Pat Ramsbotham, spoke eloquently about that on the occasion of his funeral. He was a priest through and through, but he never, mercifully, acquired a clerical personality. In the same way, although he was nearly 87 when he died, he never really became old. It wasn't just the colour of his hair, which doggedly refused to turn properly grey, putting some of the rest of us to shame. It was his whole attitude and demeanour. He remained interested in what was going on and interested, above all, in the lives of people. His great humanity, his shrewd wisdom, and his unselfishness drew people to him. As Frank Sammon accurately remarked, he had a tremendous feel for the life and faith of local people and local priests. His days were shaped by the day-to-day lives of the people. He shared their lives and served them in so many ways. His conversation was not about himself and he was intolerant of pomposity or self-importance in others. He was extremely disciplined.

Following his car accident a number of years ago, he was utterly faithful to the daily walk which was part of his rehabilitation. One of my favourite memories of him now is of seeing him from my window in Clongowes heading off round the track behind the castle one morning, puffing his pipe as he still did at the time, with his little black cat trotting along at a respectful distance behind him.

I should say a word about the cat. He loved wild-life and was immensely knowledgeable about it, although, needless to say, he never flaunted his knowledge. Here, and earlier in Mungret, I think, he had kept a dog. The cat in question was dumped at our door, half domesticated, about six or seven years ago. As soon as he became aware of the cat, he began to feed her. From that time forward, he almost never missed a day and, if he did, Brother Charlie Connor filled in. With his usual professionalism, he provided a judicious mixture of milk, community left-overs and carefully selected cat-food. Inevitably, the cat became Eric's cat. For a long time, she had no name but eventually Eric decided she should be called Reilly because, as he said, she had the life of Reilly. One of our colleagues on the staff, Geraldine Dillon, told me of how she had been rushing from the staff-room one day and was stopped in her tracks by seeing, through the window, Eric sitting on the bench by the castle door, quite still and looking down the avenue. “His cat”, as she said, “was on the bench too, sitting up straight and facing the same direction”. “Apart and close”, as she said.

“Apart and close”. Perhaps that gets something profoundly true about Eric. He was a man apart in ways, partly reflecting the instinct for privacy I mentioned, partly reflecting how unusual and un-stereotyped he was, partly reflecting his priesthood itself. But he was also close to people, as the grief and bewilderment his death, even in his ninth decade, has caused among so many clearly shows. His humanity flowed out in his relationship with people. He had a particular gift for relating to the young, because of his interest in them, the range of his own interests, and the absence of all pomp and ceremony. He didn't waste words. As the old dictum says, he didn't speak if he couldn't improve the silence.

In his room after his death was a small pile of Mother's Day cards, bought for him at his request by Charlie Connor, which he was still hoping to send in the final days of his life. Perhaps the mothers for whom they were intended know who they are and will take them as sent.

They have better than Mother's Day wishes from Eric now.

I think everyone knew he wanted to die in his community in Clongowes and not in “that Cherryfield”, as he was once heard to say, fearing that he would have been too far away from his own people. Just a month before he died, showing clear signs of illness and finally acknowledging them himself, he went to St Vincent's Hospital for tests, which quickly showed that he had advanced cancer. He returned home ten days later and it became increasingly obvious that he had weeks rather than months to live. He said quite clearly on more than one occasion that he had had a good life and believed in the life to come. And so he prepared to embark on that 'other journey' to which I referred at the start.

In his last days, he was unfailingly gentle and grateful to the nurses and members of the Clongowes house-staff who cared for him with so much love and tenderness. He was especially grateful to his great friend in the community, Charlie Connor, who lived in the room beside him and took increasing care of him as the end grew near. The end came quickly. Only hours earlier, he had been looking forward to the Munster Leinster match, for which we had installed a television set in his room. He didn't get to watch television but, as Fr Dermot Murray suggested, he had by then acquired a better seat, May he rest in peace.

Canty, William, 1869-1944, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1007
  • Person
  • 16 July 1869-08 March 1944

Born: 16 July 1869, Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 29 October 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 15 August 1901
Died: 08 March 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 2 1944
Obituary :
Brother William Canty SJ (1858-1943)

Brother Canty died a happy, peaceful death at Milltown Park, on March 8th. He was born at Charleville, on July 16th, 1869, and entered the Society on 29th October, 1890. He came into touch with the Society through the instrumentality of Mrs. O'Mahony, two of whose sons, after having studied in Clongowes, became Jesuits.
Nearly all Brother Canty's work for God was confined to the tailor's shop, where he was not only a model of tireless work, but also very expert. He valued highly the quiet of such a scene of activity : “It's so much easier” he would say, “to get in a fair amount of prayer when you have no one disturbing you”. He was for a time Sacristan in Galway, looking after the altar boys as well as the Church. The best comment on his good influence on these lads was the visit that two of them, now living in Dublin, paid to Milltown to visit the remains.
His was a quiet, unobtrusive figure. He was the servus bonus et fidelis to whom the rich reward is promised. One felt in him, as the years went by, the growth of the spiritual deeper and simpler. It was another example of what Fr. Martindale has so truly said of St. Alphonşus, the type. “It may be that old men of this type I will not say the complete expression of the type, like Alonso are not so seldom to be met with in the ranks of lay-brothers of religious Orders. Perhaps anyone who has lived in a larger house of some such Order a house of Studies, for instance, will remember more than one of these gentle old men, full of profound spiritual insight expressing itself often in acts of the most pathetic childlikeness or downright childishness”. Again he says, and we should like to make his words our own, “Let so much, then, be said in homage of Alonso, and in affectionate recollection of not a few of his brothers, still, or not long since, among us”.
Some of this simplicity in Br. Canty's character appeared in his love of the birds. Twice or oftener in the day one might see him come with a few crusts from the Refectory, which he crumbled for the sparrows, finches and even blackbirds. They had got so used to his kindly ministrations and quiet ways that he could walk among them without disturbing them unduly.
One of the gifts he had received from God was that of unfailing good health. He said he had not ailed for 17 or 18 years. On this account he may have been a trifle rash in ignoring the bronchitis that attacked him and which developed into pneumonia, and carried him off after a few days illness. He said, just after the anointing, that he was glad to die in Milltown above any other house in the Province, his reason being that in no other house would he find so many Priests who would speed him on his way with the gift of the three Holy Masses. There were over 50 Priests in the house at the time,
He has left a kindly, holy memory behind him. May God give him the eternal reward of his temporal labours in His House,
He worked in many Houses of the Province : Tullabeg, Clongowes, Galway, Mungret and Milltown Park. He had celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit. The details of his years of service being : Tullabeg 10, Clongowes 12, Galway 9, Mungret 6, and Milltown 16, R.I.P.

Carey, Timothy, 1878-1919, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1014
  • Person
  • 20 February 1878-27 February 1919

Born: 20 February 1878, Kilbeheny, County Cork
Entered: 09 September 1896, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914
Died: 27 February 1919, Calais, France - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1910 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1909-1912
First World War chaplain

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. The Spanish flu was a contributor factor in the death of Fr Timothy Carey SJ (1877-1919) on 27 February 1919, at Calais, France. Hailing from Kilbehenny, on the Cork-Limerick border, Carey joined the English Jesuit Province and served as chaplain from 1916, until his death.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/
The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Timothy Carey SJ, of the British Province, would die from the effects of influenza in February 1919, at Calais, France

Carlin, Joseph M, 1915-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/480
  • Person
  • 11 December 1915-13 July 1988

Born: 11 December 1915, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 13 July 1988, St Francis, Cape Girardeau MO, USA - St John’s Parish, Leopold MO, USA

by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1965 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1968 at Our Lady of Guadaloupe, San Antonio TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1971 at Catholic Charities, Fort Worth TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1974 at New Orleans LA, USA (NEB) working
by 1975 at Tulsa OK (MIS) hospital chaplain
by 1977 at Aguilar CO, USA (MIS) working
by 1982 at Mountain Grove MO (MIS) working
by 1985 at Verona MS, USA (MIS) working
by 1987 at Leopold MO, USA (MIS) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)
Obituary
Fr Joseph Mario Carlin (1915-1933-1988)
11th December 1915: born in Dún Laoghaire (then called Kingstown). 7th September 1933: entered SJ. 1933-35 Emo, noviciate. 1935-38 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1938: BA). 1938-41 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1941-44 regency (teaching, direction of choir): 1941-42 Belvedere, 1942-43 Mungret. 1943-44 Clongowes. 1944-48 Milltown, theology (30th June 1947: ordained a priest). 1948-49 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1949-59 Belvedere: 1949-52 teaching, direction of the choir (1957-59; also teach ing). 1952-59 editing and writing: 1952-53 assistant editor of Madonna and Messenger (then published from Belvedere). 1953-59 editor of Jesuit Year Book, which name he substituted for the older one used till 1954, Irish Jesuit Directory. 1956-59 he also edited The Sheaf, the organ of St. Joseph's Young Priests Society. (In a later summary of his career during the period 1953-59 he characterised himself as “editor, writer, newspaper columnist”.)
On 24th November 1959 Fr Carlin left Ireland to take up parish work in the Californian Province (IPN, January 1960), So began a career which was to span three American Jesuit provinces.
1959-67 California: St Francis Xavier parish, Phoenix, Arizona, assistant pastor. 1959-62 also athletic director and counsellor at the parochial grammar school. 1962-66 director of Youth office of Catholic Charities of Arizona and chaplain to the Maricopa county juvenile detention home, Phoenix.
1967-74 New Orleans: 1966-67 Our Lady of Guadalupe church, San Antonio, Texas, assistant pastor. 1967-69 Graduate studies, School of Social Work, University of Texas, Austin, Texas (1970: MSc in social work) and chaplain to Brown school for emotionally-disturbed children. 1969-73 Fort Worth: 1969 (half-year) social worker in Family Services; 1969-71 director of youth department at Catholic Charities; 1971-73 director of Catholic Social Service. 1973-74 (on a semi-sabbatical) assistant to Catholic Charities, Austin.
1974-88 Missouri: 1974-6 St Francis hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma, chaplain. 1976-81 St Anthony Church, Aguilar, Colorado, pastor. 1981-82 Sacred Heart church, Mountain Grove, Missouri, pastor. (His few remaining assignments were also in Missouri state.) 1982-83 Mercy Villa, East Montclair, Springfield, chaplain, 1983-84 St John Vianney parish, Mountain View, associate pastor. 1984-86 Sacred Heart, Verona, administrator. 1986-88 St John's, Leopold, pastor.
13th July 1988; died in St Francis Medical Centre, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Fr Luke J. Byrne SJ, pastoral assistant to the Missouri Provincial, in summer 1980 received from Joe a résumé of his curriculum vitae. To this Joe had appended a short self-assessment, the only one available to the present writer:
Present (1980) skills, capacity, and preferences :
1) Hospital chaplaincy in busy live-in hospital. Social Work degree and experience might be acceptable in lieu of chaplaincy certification.
2) Pastoral work, preferably in a one priest parish. Location is not important but distance from Aguilar, Colorado, might be, to avoid any kind of continuing “entanglement”.
In the next year Fr Byrne forwarded the résumé to the bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau, M R Bernard Law (who since became archbishop of Boston and a cardinal), with the qualification that Joe “presently” (1981) wanted the one-priest parish and not the hospital. “His doctor thinks the lower altitude of the Middle West will be favourable toward his high blood pressure problem which he treats with medication”.

At the hospital where Fr Carlin died, the chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care was Mr Arthur Kelley, a Catholic layman. In a long letter addressed to one of Joe's three sisters last August, he wrote:
It was as chaplain here at the hospital that I first met my dear friend Fr Joseph Carlin, SJ, Needless to say, with a name like Kelley we got along famously. He was always a refreshing interlude in my day. I treasured the sweetness of his wit and his genuine sense of spirituality.
Whenever he was hospitalised I saw to it that he received the Sacrament of the sick and daily Eucharist. Though his hospitalisations were usually minor problems they seemed to be spaced at steady, predictable intervals, and may have been indicators that his general health was declining. However, he was not one to complain. Since we are the only Catholic hospital in the area, we were assured of a steady customer in Joseph, who except for his last admission always felt satisfied.
Forgive me if I seem frivolous, but I can almost sense him peering over my shoulder, chiding me about being too somber and urging me to treat his obituary with levity. Joseph loved to laugh - and we had many together,
Fr Carlin's death may have seemed sudden, but I can't say it was totally unexpected either by him or by me. As I said, I felt his health had been declining for some time. Still he clung tenaciously to his parish ministry. Truly, he was a priest forever ......'
After describing the progressive deterioration of Fr Carlin's condition, Chaplain Kelley wrote that in all probability his death resulted from a clot, with other conditions as complicating factors. His death was pain-free: for his last two or three days he was not conscious or responsive, therefore could communicate nothing. From the time that his condition began to deteriorate, the bishop kept in touch by phone, as did Joe's Jesuit confrères in St Louis. Since I (Chaplain Kelley) was the only one who was here consistently, I kept them informed of everything.
Fr Carlin's funeral Mass was absolutely beautiful. The bishop's homily was superb and the church was packed. The choir was truly heavenly. He would have loved it. They laid him to rest under the trees in a quiet country cemetery near the church with some thirty priests in attendance. It was a fine send-off.

Dorothy Holzum Arnzen, PhD, composed a poem in Fr Carlin's memory and offered it to the Missouri Provincial. In her accompanying letter she wrote: ‘I was privileged to know him as our pastor at Leopold, Missouri. A few days before he left for the hospital, Fr Carlin spoke to me of the deep affection that he had for the Jesuit community. If you wish to publish the poem in your Jesuit bulletin, I would consider it an honor: but whether you wish to publish it or not, I wanted to share with you in a small way the respect and regard that we had for Fr Carlin :

In memory of Father Carlin, SJ
by Dorothy Holzum Arnzen
Some said we needed a younger man
Not such an aging one:
A priest that wouldn't move so slow
And be able to get things done.

But in the midst of all of us
He moved with tranquil grace,
With kindly ways and manners
And a smiling Irish face.

He touched the sick and dying
In a very special way,
And to the soul that longed for peace
He knew just what to say.

He could speak an innate gentleness
That was for him a part
He reached out with loving kindness
And touched our parish heart.

He came to be our Pastor
When his race was almost won,
But before he reached eternity
The important things were done.

For the above poem and most of the above information, thanks are due to Mrs Nancy Merz, Associate Archivist at the Jesuit Missouri Province Archives, St Louis, USA

Carré, Eugene, 1846-1909, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1026
  • Person
  • 01 August 1849-16 November 1909

Born: 01 August 1849, Belz, Morbihan, Brittany, France
Entered: 15 October 1869, Angers, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1883
Professed: 15 August 1903
Died: 16 November 1909, Guelph, Ontario, Canada - Canadensis Province (CAN)

Part of the College of the Immaculate Conception, De Larimer, Montreal, Québec, Canada community at the time of death

Transcribed FRA to Camp : 1887; CAMP to CAN 1891

by 1885 came to Mungret (HIB) teaching 1884-1885

Carroll, Denis, 1920-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/644
  • Person
  • 18 January 1920-29 October 1992

Born: 18 January 1920, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 22 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, St Ignatiuis, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 29 October 1992, Kizito Pastoral Centry, Monze, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Part of the Mukasa Secondary School, Choma, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1953 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners

Younger brother of John Carroll - RIP 1957

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Denis Carroll, known to his colleagues as "Dinny", was born in Offaly, Ireland in 1920, into a large family of farming stock, with strong religious traditions. These traditions were far more prominent during his life than his agricultural background, though at one stage he took charge of the school garden in Mukasa. Five of his sisters entered religious life and his brother, John, was a Jesuit on the Hong Kong Mission.

After his schooling at Mungret College, he entered the novitiate at Emo in 1937 and went through the normal training, being ordained a priest in 1950. Two years later he came to Zambia and went almost immediately to the eastern province to learn ciNyanja at which he became quite proficient.

Dinny's life can be divided into two distinct ministries: the apostolate of the school and the apostolate of the parish, the latter being determined to a large extent by his proficiency in ciNyanja. He served in many parishes along the line of rail in the Monze diocese. He started his parish work, however, in Regiment parish in Lusaka around 1953. He came to Chikuni in 1956 as Rector of the community, teaching and supplying at Mazabuka, Choma and Kalomo. A bout of sickness took him to Ireland for two years and when he returned he was posted to Choma parish in 1962. Mazabuka and the Sugar Estate saw him from 1968 to 1975.

One would never have classed Dinny as a well organised person whose program of work was drawn up with meticulous care. Yet despite his fluid approach, one thing was uppermost in his mind while he worked in the parishes: the administration of the sacraments. He made them available to his parishioners and was always willing to administer them. He was conservative in his theology and never liked the phrase "the people of God". His vision of God's people was as a Sacramental People, a Eucharistic People. He saw the Eucharist as the centre of Catholic parish life. He himself had a very deep faith and reverence for the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

He tried to serve the people as he found them, offering liturgies in different languages. He preached strongly and upheld the sanctity and sacramentality of Catholic marriage. In his parish work he believed in family-by-family visitation. In that way he got to know his parishioners, both adults and youth. At a later stage, many would consult him on their marriages and the advice he freely gave was, solely and loyally, from the Catholic point of view. He worked with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and engaged the services of some of his adult parishioners in the teaching of catechism to the youth.

While his move from parish work to school work in the mid seventies was partly necessitated by considerations of health, (his arthritis was making constant physical movement around the parish more and more difficult for him) nevertheless he had a firm conviction of the value of Catholic education. He decried the closure of Jesuit schools here and there, and he saw the practice of superiors of allowing young Jesuits to choose apostolates other than teaching as abdicating responsibility for the Catholic educational apostolate. For 17 years he liked teaching and was not happy at the thought of possibly having to give it up because of failing health. The Lord read his mind and Dinny taught right up to three days before his death. He was a fine teacher, attaining excellent results in all his subjects, English and English Literature, History and even ciNyanja. He understood the youth and had good rapport with them. From time to time the unwise and misguided behavioru of boys would depress him, but by and large he had the understanding and patience to accept such conduct in its own context. He took it for granted and did not judge them harshly. He often acted as mediator between them and the administration, thus earning for himself the title of "Peacemaker" while, at the same time, he would never compromise the Headmaster, his fellow members of staff nor the aims of Mukasa Seminary. At his funeral Mass, at least five of the concelebrants were Zambian priests who had been past pupils of his.

As a religious and Jesuit, Denis Carroll was a man of prayer and deep faith with a personal closeness to Christ in the Eucharist. He was loyal to the Society and interested in its growth and its apostolates. He was worried about how devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus seemed to have taken a less prominent place in the life of the Society. He felt that it should be more actively promoted and practiced by all.

Though failing in strength little by little, his death was sudden and very simple. He had gone to St. Kizito's Pastoral Centre for ten days rest as ordered by the doctor. While waiting for supper on the second day there, the Lord called him home to his reward on 29th November 1992.

"Criost an Siol" was an Irish religious phrase frequently on his lips. It means "Christ of the Sowing" and they are the first words of a beautiful poem and Eucharistic hymn which talks about Christ sowing and reaping and bringing us from death to new life. In a way, it sums up Dinny's life of faith and the work Christ did through him even though at times he might have uttered them in order to express mild exasperation.

Carroll, James, 1934-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/645
  • Person
  • 12 February 1934-02 May 2006

Born: 12 February 1934, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 02 May 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Big Jim, as he was often referred to, grew up in Limerick Ireland and was of farming stock. He attended the Jesuit Crescent College in Limerick and entered the Society at the end of his secondary school. At school, he was a fine rugby player and would have gone far in that field if he had not entered the Society. After novitiate, he attended the university for his B.A. and went to Tullabeg outside Tullamore for philosophy.

Then he headed for the then Northern Rhodesia to Chikuni where he remained from 1960 to 1963. Here he learned ciTonga, the local language, taught in Canisius Secondary School along with performing the other duties which a scholastic in regency normally does. He returned to Ireland to Milltown Park for theology where he was ordained on 28th July

  1. On completion of tertianship, he returned to Zambia.

Jim was both able and adaptable. When he returned to Chikuni, he became Minister of the house and assistant parish priest. In 1969, he became rector and taught in Canisius again for six years. He then moved to the parish for five years as parish priest. He went to Monze as secretary to the Bishop, Rt Rev James Corboy S.J. in 1981. This he did for seven years and then became director of building for the diocese. This entailed buying supplies, supervising building, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. He added wings to Monze hospital and built a chapel there. Outstations benefited from his ability with the building of schools and churches. A special building dear to his heart was the school for the handicapped, St Mulumba, in Choma. His interest in these handicapped children never waned and varied from helping to send a few of them to the USA for the Special Olympics (where some medals were won) to sending money on the 21st birthday of the school so that the children could have a treat.

Heart trouble brought him back to Ireland for two years from 1991 to 1993, where he did some pastoral work in his beloved Limerick. With improved health, he returned to Zambia, this time to a rural area, Chilalantambo, a one-man station on the road from Choma to Namwala.

Jim loved the place and the people. He extended an awning from the veranda of the house and here he met, talked to, chatted with, debated local affairs with the people from all walks of life, including Chief Mapanza himself who lived quite near. Coming from a farming family, he gardened and planted trees in all the places he lived. He helped the farmers around Chilalantambo, buying their maize and selling it in Choma to the Indian traders, bringing back seed and fertiliser for them. He organised schemes for the women for food production. His advice, usually good, was sought for and listened to.

On weekends, Jim would head out to an outstation to celebrate Mass for the people. Confessions, baptisms, church council meetings were all part of the Sunday supply work.

Being of a practical turn of mind, he had a no-nonsense approach to life and its problems and could be quite critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church. This, combined with his placid and unruffled disposition, did not endear him to everyone. In fact, some found him difficult to understand. He was a good cook and when you went to visit him at Chilalantambo, you were sure of a tasty meal.

After five years in Chilalantambo, he went to Ireland on leave but his health prevented him from returning. That was a sad day for him, for his heart was in Zambia. That was in 1998. He was posted to Gardiner Street, Dublin, where he joined the church team. He never complained about his ill health but would say with a grin, "Looking after your health is a full time job"!

His end was a no-fuss one. He was in bed in hospital and was talking to his sister, a nun, about the possibility of moving out of the hospital when he turned over in the bed and died. He loved Scripture and spent some time in Jerusalem during a mini-sabbatical which consolidated that love.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Note from Bill Lane Entry
On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
Jim Carroll was with him for his last four hours of life. When taking his leave of Jim in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: ‘I think you should leave me here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on’! Within minutes Joe had died

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
Br Sherry's passing was sudden. On Friday ‘Sher’ (as he was known to his friends) stayed in bed for the greater part of the day. He came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 1300 hours on Saturday he phoned the Sisters in the hospital. The Sisters and doctor came over. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Sher struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll’s room to say that he could not breathe. Sr Grainne arrived and started cardiac massage. But the Lord had called Sher to himself.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Carroll (1909-2005) : Zambia-Malawi Province

12th February, 1934: Born in Limerick, Ireland
6th September, 1952: Entered in Emo Park, Co. Leix, Ireland
1960 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching, regency
28th July, 1966: Ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Chikuni, Canisius, minister, asst. parish priest
1969 - 1975: Chikuni, Canisius, rector
15th August, 1971: Final Vows in Chikuni
1976 - 1981: Chikuni, Chikuni parish, parish priest
1981 - 1988: Monze, secretary to the Bishop of Monze
1988 - 1991: Monze director of building for the diocese
1991 - 1993: Limerick, pastoral work
1993 - 1998: Chilalantambo, parish priest
1998 - 2000: Ireland, recovering health
2000 - 2006: Dublin, Gardiner Street, assisting in Church
2nd May, 2006: Died in Dublin

Paul Brassil writes:
The death of Fr. James Carroll has come as a shock to all who knew him. The major part of his life was lived out in Zambia where he served from 1960 until 1998. During that time he held inany posts of responsibility in various fields, as well as being a Consultor for both the Province and for the Diocese, a tribute to his ability and adaptability.

There is no doubt that his farming background played a big part in shaping his outlook and apostolate. He was always observant of the natural order, and had a sympathy for those who worked the land. In his pastoral ministry he set an example by planting trees and orchards and getting vegetable gardens under way as soon as he moved into a new parish. For the local farmers he helped organise the provision of ploughs, seeds and fertifiser and assisted them in the marketing of their crops. In this he was very much a faithful follower of Fr. Joseph Moreau the founder of Chikuni Mission back in 1905. Inevitably Fr. Carroll was involved in fighting drought and famine which recurred with dreadful frequency.

Towards the end of his studies in Milltown, consideration was given to sending him on for further studies in Moral/Canon Law. But the need for men back on the mission in Zambia prevailed. With hindsight this was a pity because his practical and down to earth approach to life could have tempered the academic approach more usual in those areas of specialisation.

His talents as organiser were called on to guide the building programme of the Diocese of Monze. In the course of his time in charge of that programme he was responsible for building hospital wards, churches, schools, houses and third level institutions. This meant having three separate teams of builders, carpenters, electricians and drivers. It meant buying, transporting, storing and distributing all necessary supplies. At certain times there were severe shortages due to political instability caused by the war in neighbouring Zimbabwe and the cutting of economic ties with South Africa. In overcoming these difficulties Jim showed great ingenuity.

Among his special interests was St. Mulumba's School for the Handicapped, where he collaborated with Sr. Phillippe in building and supporting various initiatives. It was in connection with St.Mulumba's that he was involved in the Special Olympics. This work was dear to his heart. He was also concerned with the Aids epidemic.

In his pastoral work, especially during his time at Chilala Ntambo, he had warm relations with the local Anglican community, both clergy and laity. At his house the Chief, Chief Mapanza, and other Government officials, could be found enjoying his hospitality and discussing local matters. His voice on these matters was listened to because of his obvious concern for the people. Despite his own poor health, endured for many years, he travelled extensively and regularly on bad roads to bring Mass and services to the far flung out stations of the parish. Jim mixed easily with the people; his fluency in the language greatly helped, as well as his empathy for their rural way of life.

In the course of his missionary life Jim was very interested in the promotion and formation of both diocesan clergy and religious life candidates. Many young seminarians spent extended time with him, getting to know pastoral methods, and learning at first hand parish work. He was very encouraging to the religious Sisters with whom he worked, sympathetic to their efforts and supporting them as best he could

As a young man, Jim was an outstanding rugby player and was considered a loss to Irish Rugby on his entry to the Society of Jesus. He was very athletic, and had a great interest in all kinds of sport. He certainly was a skilled hurler and rode the few horses that came our way bareback. He played many a round of golf and enjoyed the game. He walked the Dublin and Wicklow Hills with verve and energy throughout his time as a student in Rathfarnham and Milltown. He always retained an interest in the horses, and had the occasional flutter. On more than one occasion he mentioned that as a boy he had exercised the greyhounds for his father, In truth he was a real Limerick man in his interests and his skills.

Jim loved a good meal and was no mean cook himself. But for the most part he lived a life of frugality and simplicity especially during the years he spent alone in Chilala Ntambo. This was certainly true during times of famine, when all his available resources were employed for the alleviation of hunger in the area. It speaks volumes for Jim that he found willing allies among the Indian traders in his relief efforts, just another example of his ability to relate well with so many different people.

One special interest that grew with the years was his interest in Scripture. He had the opportunity during his brief stay in Ireland to give a number of retreats to laity and found this work very much to his taste. The role of the laity, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council, was vital for the future of the Church in his opinion. In fact, he was very critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church.

During a mini-sabbatical he spent some three months in Jerusalem at the Biblicum. This was very special for him; it gave him an abiding interest in the Scriptures and in the Holy Land, which he used with good effect in the various retreats he directed.

It has been a privilege and a blessing for me to have known Jim and experienced his support and kindness. I can only guess at the loss that his family are enduring. For Jim, his family meant so much. He followed their careers with intense interest, especially those of the next generation, and was proud of their achievements. He found in them a source of pride, support and love. May he rest in peace.

Carroll, John, 1911-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/87
  • Person
  • 02 April 1911-20 January 1957

Born: 02 April 1911, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 06 January 1945, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 20 January 1957, Mater Hospital, Vulture Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia and Wah Yan, Hong Kong communities at the time of death

Older brother of Denis Carroll - RIP 1992

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered Religion, and a brother of his Denis also became a Jesuit and worked in Zambia (RIP 1992).
His early education was at Mungret College, and he was one of 32 Novices who entered St Mary’s, Emo in 1930.
1932-1935 After First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin, and studied at University College Dublin, where he graduated BA in English and History.
1935-1938 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for Philosophy
1938-1941 He was went for Regency to Hong Kong, including language school at Cheung Chau and teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. he found the Cantonese dialect very difficult, and yet while there he also edited the Wah Yan College Annual “The Star”.
1941-1945 As it was impossible to return to Europe for Theology, he and three other Scholastics were sent to Australia for these studies. he enjoyed his time there and the Australian Jesuits found him pleasant company. While waiting for Theology to began he taught for a bit at St Ignatius College Riverview.
1946-1947 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1947-1956 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan, where he was assistant Prefect of Studies, and went back to editing “The Star”. he was appointed Vice-Rector in 1951, and Rector a year later in 1952, and was also prefect of Studies. He managed all these tasks very efficiently, even though he was never of robust health. One of his achievements also was the planning of the new Wah Yan College, on Queen’s Road East. By 1955 he was no longer capable of heavy work, and in 1956 underwent a serious operation for intestinal cancer, he suffered many months of pain after this, and he bore it with great fortitude.
1956 By June of this year he had recovered sufficiently to fly to Brisbane for a period of convalescence. By November his condition had worsened, and he required another operation, but died in January 1957

His death at the Mater Hospital Brisbane at an early age, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of a most esteemed and valuable member. He had a deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system had established him as a very well informed representative and spokesman of Catholic Schools in Hong Long and their dealings with the government there.

He was a tall man, with a stately and almost stiff bearing and a habitual serious expression. He was a spiritual man and an observant religious, good at English literature and the craft of elaborate lettering of manuscripts, and the poignant epigram. He was meticulous, some would say excessive in the preparation of his classes. he was a hard worker and efficient administrator, strict on himself and a stern judge of those who did not measure up to his own high standards. At time he could appear to be stiff and unbending, but he had a good sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself. Towards his students he was uniformly kind though reserved, and this, combined with his unceasing devotion to duty, made them esteem him highly.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Fr. John Carroll, S.J.
Former Rector of Wah Yan College

News has been received of the death of Rev. John Carroll, S.J., who was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951-1956. It took place in Brisbane, Australia, where he had gone for convalescence after a serious operation at the beginning of last year.

Fr. Carroll, who was forty-six years of age, was born in Leix, in Ireland. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. he continued his studies in the National University of Ireland, where he took the B.A. degree and Higher Diploma of Education.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938, and after two years of Chinese studies was assigned to Wah Yan College, where he taught literature and history and was editor of the college magazine “The Star.” He then went to Australia to study theology, and was ordained by Archbishop (now Cardinal) Gilroy in 1945. At the close of the war he went to Europe and then returned to Hong Kong in 1947.

All the succeeding years were spent in Wah Yan College. After a period of teaching he was appointed Prefect of Studies in 1949, and then Rector. He supervised the building of the new college in Queen’s Road, East, and presided at its inauguration in September, 1955. A few months later his health broke down and he bore a long illness with great fortitude.

Fr. Carroll’s death is a considerable loss to education in Hong Kong. He had conspicuous literary and artistic ability, but the interests of his later years were wholly directed to education. He kept himself well informed on educational developments in many countries and his only regret at his loss of health was that he was unable to put into practice the many plans that he had in mind for the development of the school. He was a member of the Grant Schools Council and of the Board of Control of the Hong Kong School Certificate Examination Syndicate. He was also a member of the Court of the Hong Kong University.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 25 January 1957

Requiem Mass for Former Wah Yan College Rector

Large Numbers of priests, religious and lay people including some eight hundred pupils and Old Boys of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, attended the Solemn Requiem Mass last Wednesday at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, for the repose of the soul of Father John Carroll, S.J., former Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

His Lordship Bishop Lawrence Bianchi presided at the Mass and gave the Absolution. The present rector of Wah Yan College, Father Cyril Barrett, S.J., was the celebrant. He was assisted by Father Charles Daly, S.J., and Father Kevin O’Dwyer, S.J.

Father Carroll who died on January 20 in Brisbane, Australia, was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951 to 1956 when he went to Brisbane for convalescence after a serious operation earlier that year. He was 46 years of age and was born in Leix, Ireland, Educated at Mungret College, Limerick, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 1 February 1957

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a large family in Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly, 8 of whom entered religious life.
His early education was at Mungret Cllege SJ before he joined the Society of Jesus in 1930.

1938 He was sent to Hong Kong
1941 he was sent to Canisius College Pymble Australia during the war for Theology, and was Ordained there in 1945.
1946 He returned to Ireland to make Tertianship

By September 1955 his dream of the construction of the new Wah Yan College was completed. His health was poor and so he died in 1957.
He was the “architect” on the Wah Yan College, Queen’s Road East campus, Prefect of Studies and then Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong. Schoolwork was his life, and he gave his classes not mere instruction, but affection and respect. he prepared his classes with as much care as if he had to face a group of post-graduate university students. Although ruthless on himself, it pained him to be hard on students.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. John Carroll, Kevin O'Dwyer and Cyril Peyton, of the Hong Kong Mission, who completed their theology at Pymble recently, left, Sydney on December 9th on the Aquitania for England via the Cape. They hope to be home by the end of January. They are accompanied by Fr. Vincent Conway, an old Mungret boy, member of the Vice Province. All four will make their tertianship in Rathfarnham next autumn.

Fr. John Carroll, on the Aquitania, 13-12-45 :
“We left Sydney on time, at 8 am, on Monday 10th, and expect to be in England by the middle of January. Rumour says Southampton about January 12th. We are travelling as a military transport with some 200 civilian passengers. The total number of persons is said to be 4,700. It is therefore far from being a pleasure cruise, but the food is good and the ship so far is riding beautifully. There is a nice altar specially reserved for Catholics in a curtained recess in the library, and we have the place to ourselves from 6.45 to 7.45. The official chaplain, Church of England, claims the half hour from 8 to 8.30. There are two other priests on board, one of them Fr. Frank Bouchier who was at Mungret with me”.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957
Obituary :
Fr John Carroll (1911-1957)
The death of Fr, John Carroll in the Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia on the 20th. January last, at the early age of 46, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of one of its most esteemed and valuable members. For Fr. Carroll by his deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system, had established himself as the best informed representative and spokesman of the Catholic schools in Hong Kong in all their dealings with the Government. The numerous messages of sympathy which the Superior of Missions (Fr. Harris) received after his death from the principals of the Catholic schools bore eloquent testimony to how deeply they appreciated his advice and assistance, and regretted his untimely death.
Fr. John Carroll was born on the 2nd April, 1911 in Walsh Island, Geashill, Offaly. He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, from which he entered the Society on the 3rd September, 1930, being one of the thirty-two first-year novices who began their life in the Society in Emo Park the year that house was established as the Novitiate. In September, 1932, Fr. Carroll went to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate studies, and in 1935 obtained his B.A. degree in English and History. During the following three years, he studied Philosophy in Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission, where he arrived in the autumn of that year, and proceeded to the Language school, Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, For two years he applied himself most diligently and conscientiously to the study of the language, but in his case, it was very much like watering the dry stick. He had no special gift for languages, especially for Cantonese, and it was with no little relief that in 1940 he passed on to Wah Yan College, then situated in Robinson Road. It was soon clear that teaching and college work generally, were his true vocation in the Society, and though he spent only one year as a scholastic at this work, he proved an excellent teacher from the very beginning. Another task with which he was entrusted that year, and which he found most congenial as it gave scope for his artistic gifts was the production of the College annual, The Star. As it was impossible in July, 1941 to return to Ireland for Theology owing to the war, Fr. Carroll went with three other scholastics to the theologate of the Australian Vice-Province (as it was then) at Pymble, Sydney. His four years there were very happy ones. In later years, he often spoke of them with lively pleasure. His stay in Australia left him with pleasant memories not only of the great kindness which he received from his Australian brethren of the Society, but also of the reunion with many of his brothers and sisters who were already living there. As the scholastic year in Australia does not begin until February, Fr. Carroll spent several months before he began Theology teaching in St. Ignatius College, Riverview. He was ordained priest on 6th January, 1945, an appropriate date for a member of such a large missionary family.
In 1946 he went to Ireland for Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle, and the following year, 1947, he returned by plane to Hong Kong and by September, he was back at his teaching post in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. In rapid succession, he was appointed Assistant Prefect of Studies, Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector of the school in 1952. All these tasks he carried out capably and efficiently, in spite of health which was never very robust. His great achievement during his term as Rector, was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College on Queen's Road East. When that great task was completed, in September, 1955, and Fr. Carroll had the happiness of seeing his dream become a reality, his term of life was drawing to a close, though it was not fully realised then, In the final months of 1955, he was not capable of any heavy work, and in January, 1956 underwent a grave operation for cancer of the intestines. Many months of pain, discomfort, and suffering followed, which he bore with great serenity and fortitude. By June, 1956, he had recovered sufficiently to be able to travel by plane to Brisbane, Australia for convalescence. He was most hospitably welcomed there by the Jesuit community, and it was hoped that during his stay with them, he could help in the parish work. However he grew worse in November, and had to enter the Mater Hospital, where his sister is a nun. Another operation in December brought no relief and after several weeks of intense suffering, he died on 20th January, 1957, a fortnight after the twelfth anniversary of his ordination.
Fr. Carroll was a deeply spiritual man, and a most observant religious, His onerous duties as Prefect of Studies, or Rector of Wah Yan College were never permitted to make any inroads on the time assigned to spiritual duties which he performed most faithfully. He had a very deep love of the Society, and consequently was visibly hurt whenever a word or action on the part of another fell short of the ideals which he felt every Jesuit should live up to. As a Rector he insisted on a high standard of observance, and this taken together with his natural shyness, made him appear stiff and unbending. He had, however, a highly developed sense of humour, and was always ready to laugh at himself. Towards the boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities, coupled with his unceasing devotion to duty which made them esteem him so highly. It was when he became seriously ill, that the extent of that esteem appeared most, and his death was mourned by both past and present students as that of a true friend. In St. Margaret's Church, within sight of the beautiful school for which he laboured so much and in the presence of the Bishop and a large number of the clergy of the city, and nearly a thousand of our boys, Catholic and pagan, a Solemn Requiem Mass was offered for his soul.
To his brother, Fr. Denis Carroll, Rector of Chikuni College, we offer deepest sympathy. May Fr. John rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Carroll SJ 1911-1957
Fr John Carroll was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. Born at Geashill in 1911, he was educated at Mungret whence he entered the Society in 1930.

To his great delight, he was assigned to our Chinese Mission in 1938. Owing to the outbreak of the World War, he did his Theology in Australia, and often referred to these years as the happiest of his life. After his tertianship he was appointed Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in 1852. During his term of office the new Wah Yan on Queen’s Road was built.

In January 1956 he was operated on for cancer, and he went back to Australia to recuperate. However, his health further deteriorated and he died on January 20th 1957.

Fr John was a deeply religious man, one of those Jesuits of whom you could say that he never lost the fervour of the noviceship. He never allowed pressure of business or occupation to interfere with his observance of his religious duties. To the casual observer he would have appeared somewhat rigid and austere, but that was because being of a very high ideal himself, he expected th same of others. Nevertheless, like a true religious man, he could, when necessary, make allowances, and his sense of humour and his contribution to community recreation betrayed and understanding as well as an exacting spirit.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John Carroll SJ

THE death took place in Brisbane Australia on January 20th last of Fr John Carroll. He was born on April 2nd 1911 at Walsh Island Geashill, Offaly, and came to Mungret in 1927. From here he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. He did his studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong mission where he arrived the folowing Autumn. He studied the language for two years and then went on to Wah Yan College where he found the work more congenial. Here he was editor of the College Annual “The Star”. In 1941 as it was impossible to return to Ireland he went to Australia for Theology where he was ordained in 1945. In 1946 he came to Ireland for Tertianship, and the following year returned to Wah Yan College.

Here in rapid succession he became Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector in 1952. His great achievement during his rectorship was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College at Queens Rd East. Fr John was, however, now a very sick man, and in 1956 underwent an operation for cancer of the intestines. By June 1956 he had recovered sufficiently to go to Australia to recuperate, Here however, he grew progressively worse. Another operation brought no relief, and after weeks of intense suffering died on January 20th.

Fr Carroll was a deeply spiritual man and a most observant religious. He had however, a highly developed sense of humour. Towards boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities together with a great devotion to duty which made them esteem him so much. His death was mourned by both present and past students as that of a true friend. To his family and to his brother Fr. Denis we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Carroll, Joseph F, 1892-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1021
  • Person
  • 31 July 1892-12 December 1955

Born: 31 July 1892, Baltinglass, County Wicklow
Entered: 20 October 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly/St Andrew-on-Hudson, NY, USA
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1928
Died: 12 December 1955, Milwaukee, WI, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Transcribed HIB to MARNEB : 1911; MARNEB to MIS

◆ Mungret Annual, 1956

Obituary

Father Joseph Carroll SJ

Fr. Joseph Carroll was born in Baltinglass in 1892. He was in Mungret in the years 1907-10. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of eighteen. Shortly afterwards he went to America to continue his studies. He studied at St Andrew's on the Hudson, Woodstock and Georgetown. As a scholastic he taught for two years at Regis College, Denver and two years at Marquette University where he taught physics. This was when he first became acquainted with the Marquette seismograph. After that he went abroad to complete his theological studies in Holland and to study physics, mathematics and chemistry at the University of Munich, and the University of Bonn. There he received the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. After ordination at Milltown Park in 1928, he returned to Marquette University as head of the physics department. He taught physical optics and spectroscopy to advanced students. His main interest however was in the seismograph. With the wit that was characteristic of him, he used to recall the first seismograph he saw at Mungret. “It stood in a little shed in the middle of a pasture. But it was never of mạch use. The cows would come up to the shed and scratch their backs against it. Every time they did County Limerick had a major earthquake”.

In his classroom work Father Carroll was respected by both students and faculty members for the seriousness and thoroughness of his teaching. Besides this he took an active interest in the spiritual welfare of the students. When ever he heard that anyone was ill he went to see him. Besides these visits to the sick his duties included leadership of the Jesuit Mother's club an organization of mothers whose sons were Jesuits. To his two surviving brothers we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Carroll, Thomas, 1848-1938, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1025
  • Person
  • 28 April 1848-17 August 1938

Born: 28 April 1848, County Limerick
Entered: 05 March 1868, Sevenhill, Australia (ASR-HUN)
Ordained: 1880
Professed: 10 October 1883
Died: 17 August 1938, Calvary North Adelaide Hospital, Strangways Terrace, North Adelaide SA - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed ASR-HUN to HIB ; 01 January 1901; HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Older Brother of Francis - RIP 1929; Edmund Maloney - RIP 1925 - a half brother of Thomas & Francis Carroll

appears in 1890 Cat as JOHN

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from John F O’Brien Entry :
1878 He and Thomas Carroll came to Europe for studies. They had been fellow Novices at Sevenhill. He returned to Adelaide in June 1882.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of Francis - RIP 1929

1870-1871 After First Vows he studied Humanities
1873-1878 He was at St Francis Xavier Seminary in Adelaide
1878 He was sent to Europe for studies, and he was Ordained in 1882
1888 He was sent to Xavier College Melbourne as Socius to the Novice Master and he taught Rhetoric to the Juniors.
1898 He went to St Ignatius Parish, Norwood caring especially for the parochial schools
1903 he was sent to Loyola Greenwich as Minister and also engaged in pastoral work there.
1912-1914 He was sent to St Mary’s in North Sydney, followed by two years at Lavender Bay
1914-1920 He was back at St Mary’s, Miller Street
1920-1921 He was at Sevenhill
1921-1938 He was at St Ignatius College Parish at Norwood - in charge of the Holy Name Church, St Peter’s, a catechist at Holy Names, Loreto, Maryville, and Norwood schools.

He died at Calvary North Adelaide Hospital, Strangways Terrace, North Adelaide SA

Note from Edmund Moloney Entry
Edmund Maloney, a half brother of Thomas Carroll

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 4 1930

St Ignatius Norwood -
The following interesting extract is taken from “The Irish Catholic” a Dublin paper :
“Parishioners at Norwood, South Australia, and surrounding suburbs eagerly await the visits of Fr. Thomas Carroll S J, who, at the age of 82 rides a bicycle from house to house, and who celebrated on 9 July the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He was born in Co. Limerick, Ireland, but was taken very young to Australia.
His best Work is “hidden from human eyes”, was one tribute paid to the veteran priest. “It is as a director of souls in the problems of spiritual life, that he excels with his wise head and keen insight”.
Hills do not daunt Fr. Carroll while on his rounds. Nor does he believe in a late start, “Heaviest rains would not keep him in”, remarked a colleague.
Fr. Carroll has had a brilliant career, and former pupils now scattered throughout Australia testify to his teaching powers and influence for good over humanity.”

Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
Norwood :
The Golden Jubilee of Fr. Carroll. We take the following from “The Southern Cross” :
“The Rev. T. Carroll S. J., who is now in his 83rd year, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination 16 July. On Sunday evening at St. Ignatius Church, Norwood he was the centre of a remarkable demonstration of love and esteem by the parishioners and was presented with a golden ciborium and other tokens of affection. The Church was crowded, and many were unable to obtain admission.”
Then Fr. Carroll, the Attorney-General the priests and representatives of the parishes took their seats in the Sanctuary. The Attorney-General, who presided, first read a cable message from Ireland from His Grace the Archbishop. It ran. “Warmest congratulations blessings on Golden Jubilee of your priesthood”. He also read a letter from V. Rev. Fr. General, sending his blessing and a promise of 50 Masses to be offered for Fr. Carroll's intentions, and then presented a huge spiritual bouquet from the Norwood Children of Mary. In the course of an eloquent speech the Attorney-General mentioned that Fr. Carroll was the master of two Superiors of the Society in Australia - Frs.Sullivan and Lockington, of Fr, Bourke, Rector of St, Patrick's, and of Frs. McCarthy and Wilfrid Ryan. Mr Henzenroeder, who had been a pupil of Fr. Carroll 50 years previously and several others also spoke.
Fr. Carroll replied in a very touching speech that, unconsciously, revealed the depths of his holiness, and showed him to be, what his friends claimed for him, a real, real man of God.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 4 1938

Father Thomas Carroll died last August at Adelaide
He was born 28th April 1848
Entered the Society 5th March 1868
Took last Vows 10th October 1883
Died Thursday 18th August, 1938

Carroll, William, 1939-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/88
  • Person
  • 11 January 1939-24 January 1976

Born: 11 January 1939, Avondale, Corbally, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 January 1976, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1963 at Chantilly, France (GAL S) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Crescent
Fr Billy Carroll (at school here 1946-257): After a short period in St. John's hospital, Limerick, Billy died in Dublin on 24th January. As a past pupil and member of the Society, he was much loved and respected by his schoolmates and all his friends in Limerick. The concelebrated Mass (29th January) was attended by a great number of past pupils, relatives and friends.

Obituary :

Fr Billy Carroll (1939-1976)

It is difficult to get used to the idea that Billy Carroll, who would have been thirty-seven in June this year, is no longer with us. I spent about thirteen years with Billy in Emo, Rathfarnham, Chantilly, Clongowes and Milltown. He was always quiet, with a wry sense of humour, always able to pick out and imitate the various accents and idiosyncrasies of sports commentator, superior or lecturer. An excellent athlete from his schooldays, he arrived late in Emo because he was playing rugby for Munster in the summer of '57. He was on the Irish school boys international athletic team, and as a novice, junior, philosopher or theologian he seemed at his happiest on the football field.
Billy was never an academic. He found the years of training tough, but quietly and uncomplainingly steered his way through the various intellectual forests. He was at his happiest with youngsters, and the number of them at his funeral witnesses to the fact that they were impressed with his instinctive goodness, ready wit and genuine concern.
Billy did his philosophy in France where if, like the rest of us, he did not learn too much philosophy, he certainly learnt French and was a very popular figure in that large community of Chantilly. His soccer abilities were invaluable to the Chantilly team and his wit enlivened many a gloomy hour in exile. His ability to imitate was used on occasion to brighten up philosophy lectures and when, at the end of a course, it was the custom to do a “take off” of a particular professor, Billy would use his talent to the delight of professor and students alike.
On returning to Ireland, Billy was sent to Clongowes as Third Line prefect. Here he showed great rapport with the boys, but a mysterious Providence had him moved to Limerick the following year. He was happy to be back in his home town.
He ploughed his way through theology with difficulty and was ordained in 1971. The next year found him back in Limerick, and it was here that his illnesses began. His most bitter disappointment was when he was moved from the Crescent to the Milltown Retreat House and he found it difficult to settle into his new job, particularly as his health was poor. But he gave himself to his job with dedication.
It was always difficult to read Billy’s heart, for he seldom spoke of his inner self, but his quiet ways and gentle smile will always be a happy reminder of how good it was to have him around and to have known and worked and played with him. I hear that on the day he died he enjoyed watching the Australia/ Ireland rugby match. It fits. We look forward to joining him in times to come.
PF

◆ The Clongownian, 1976

Obituary

Father Billy Carroll SJ

Those who were in the Third Line in 1965-66 were suddened to hear that their prefect of that year, Mr Billy Carroll, died in January at the early age of thirty-six, just five years after ordination. Although he had never enjoyed robust health, Billy's death came as a shock to his many friends, who will not easily forget his unusual goodness and his quiet, gentle ways.

Carter, Thomas, 1837-1909, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1028
  • Person
  • 24 November 1837-07 November 1909

Born: 24 November 1837, Ballinasloe, County Galway
Entered: 09 September 1860, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Professed: 02 February 1876
Died: 07 November 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had been in business in Dublin before Entry where he had Dan Jones as Novice Master.

He was a very smart businesslike man, masterful and very capable in managing servants and refectories in Colleges. he spent most of his life in this role at Clongowes and Mungret.
1900 He was transferred to Clongowes and was House Steward, and later Cur Val (1904). They boys there used call him “Napoleon Carter” as he was supposed to be so like the famous General.
One of the medallions over the Altar at the Old Chapel in Milltown (later O’Brien Library) is a picture of him. Tradition says Dan Jones got him to sit for it.

Casey, Dermot M, 1911-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/22
  • Person
  • 02 June 1911-16 February 1997

Born: 02 June 1911, Phibsborough, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died 16 February 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin community at time of death.

Early education at O’Connell’s Schools

by 1935 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
1936-1939 at Paris France (FRA) studying psychology

Casey, James Thomas, 1907-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/90
  • Person
  • 18 February 1907-26 April 1985

Born: 18 February 1907, Cappaugh Cottage, Union Hall, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 26 April 1985, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of Clongowes Wood College SJ community, County Kildare at time of his death.

Early education at Mungret College SJ

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1985

Obituary

Fr James Casey (1907-1924-1985)

Born on 18th February 1907. 1922-24 schoolboy at Mungret. Ist September 1924: entered SJ. 1924-26 Tullabeg, noviciate, 1926-30 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1930-33 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1933-36 Belvedere, regency. 1936-40 Milltown, theology. 1940-41 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1941-44 Mungret, prefect of studies. 1944-85 Clongowes, teaching. Died on 26th April 1985.

Our Clongowes community suffered one more grievous loss within the last year when Fr James Casey died suddenly in Dublin's Mater hospital, to which he had been brought on the previous even ing. He had been unwell for several months last summer, but made what we thought was a complete recovery. That illness did not seem to recur till shortly before the end, when it showed to some extent in depression. His sudden and of course utterly unexpected death was indeed a painful shock to us all, the more keenly felt as he was very much a
community man.
For the past forty-one years that Fr James spent in Clongowes, he was truly remarkable for his fidelity to his work of teaching. Every morning one could see him five minutes before the bell for class (he was punctuality itself) carrying down his heavy load of themes, all meticulously - one might be inclined to say too meticulously - marked for his pupils to correct. His class work was equally well prepared.
The truth is that James was a model religious, fulfilling all his religious duties with a regularity and modesty - in the old sense of the word - that was really astonishing. His faithfulness in all this was a compelling example to the whole community, and so a great help to each and all of us to maintain a high spiritual quality in our lives. As one might expect from a man of these virtues, he was a lover of community life and seldom left it. He took part in all community activities of work and play. He had a quiet sense of humour, and a liking for humorous yarns, not a few of which were his own.
If one of our younger and less experienced men should object: “What did Jim achieve? After all, your description fits a rather stiff, unenterprising schoolmaster”, I should reply that while scrupulously teaching his subject, he also deeply impressed the boys as a holy and lovable priest: he never lost his temper nor his sense of humour. In a word, he had all the qualities of a Jesuit teacher who is a master of his subject, sticks to the lesson, likes and is liked by his boys, yet never forgets that in their regard he is an apostle of Christ. He always remembered that those boys of his would be in professions such as medicine, law, engineering and so on throughout Ireland and England, influential Catholics mostly, who in their turn would exemplify the solid virtues they absorbed while at school from men like Jim. This was Jim's achievement, and tell me of better in the Society today! great pride in their success both in class
By Fr Jim Casey's death Clongowes has lost one who loved it and its environs and its boys, and who took and in the playing-field. (Incidentally, he always attended the Cup-matches with intense interest.) In the end, though, we, his fellow-Jesuits here, are the real losers. Vivat in Christo.

Casey, John, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/91
  • Person
  • 20 November 1873-5 June 1954

Born: 20 November 1873, London, England / Labasheeda, County Clare
Entered: 6 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1905, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 2 February 1910, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 5 June 1954, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

by 1900 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1901 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 29th Year No 4 1954

Obituary :
Father John Casey
Father John Casey was born in London in 1873, son of the late Patrick Casey, merchant, formerly of Labasheeda, Co. Clare. He was educated in Mungret College and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1890. After two years' Juniorate in Milltown Park, he studied philosophy at Louvain and Stonyhurst. A gifted mathematician, he taught for six years at the Crescent, Limerick, and at Clongowes before going to Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1905.
The following year he began his long association with Mungret College, where, from 1906 to 1919, and again from 1927 to 1933, he held appointments as prefect of studies and professor of mathematics and physics. He performed the same duties during the years 1921 to 1926 at St. Ignatius' College, Galway.
In 1933, Father Casey was transferred to Tullabeg, where he taught the philosophers mathematics and teaching methods to within a few years of his death, and was besides Spiritual Father to the Community.
To write an adequate obituary notice of a man who spent over 60. years in the Society, seems at first sight a well nigh impossible task, for almost inevitably the writer belongs to the older generation that knew him best in his prime or to the younger generation that knew him only in his later and declining years.
As one belonging to the former category, I shall try to give an appreciation of Father Casey's earlier years in the Society and supplement it by an account written for his Golden Jubilee by one who knew him, after his ordination, during his long teaching career in the colleges, and conclude with some extracts from the younger generation who knew him well past middle age or, perhaps, only in the sere and yellow leaf.
Those who were boys at Clongowes during the closing years of the last century or the opening years of the present one can call to mind a very unique set of scholastics who helped to mould their spiritual, intellectual and physical outlook on life. But among them all there was none for whom they entertained such a combined hero-worship and holy fear as Mister Casey, the powerful Clareman from Labasheeda.
Spiritually, they knew him or rather took him for granted for what he was : a holy man without any of the external trappings that are so frequently associated with the pedestal. Prayers before and after class, the Angelus at 12, but no “holy talk” in between.
Intellectually, he was par excellence the teacher of Euclid (as it was called in those days) which one was expected to demonstrate intelligibly on the blackboard or be sent for “twice nine” in default. Nor would it suffice to repeat a proposition “by heart”, as one unhappy victim tried to do until he was bidden to change the letters ABC to XYZ, with the result that he was reduced to impotent silence and found himself sentenced forthwith to the inevitable penalty.
Physically, he was the hero of playday walks, who always took a bee-line course, no matter what obstacles were in the way, and expected every boy to follow the leader at the risk of perishing in the attempt, 'or else be left shame-facedly behind nursing his wounds.
Not much of the “delicate” man was apparent in those days, and yet some years after his ordination he had to undergo an emergency operation, his life for a time had been in grave danger, and he survived only to become a comparative valetudinarian. But his spirit was not broken, nor his power of hard work, and he continued for over thirty years teaching mathematics, perhaps the first “Magister Perpetuus” in the Colleges.
Let another old pupil of Father Casey's give his impressions of him when, after his ordination, he fulfilled the dual function of Prefect of Studies and Professor of Mathematics for so many years :
“Looking back over a lapse of more than thirty years, one can see as clearly now as then how he dominated (it is the only word) the scene of activity in class or study hall. Other memories there are, indeed, of masters and boys and affairs, but it.can be safely said that of all who passed through Mungret at that time, there is no one who cannot conjure up at a moment's notice the vision of Father Casey striding swiftly along the stone corridor or appearing as Prefect of Studies at the head of a classroom without seeming, somehow, to, have come in by the door. And what a change was there when he did come! In the most restless gathering ensued a silence which could be heard, the hardiest spirit was reduced to his lowest dimension, and any vulgar fraction of humanity who might have incontinently strayed into a Mungret classroom instantly became a minus quantity.
Many of Father Casey's pupils who have since been called upon themselves to exercise authority of one kind or another, must have wondered enviously how he did it. For he used the physical and adventitious aids to pedagogy rather less than most Prefects of his time. Yet somehow he conveyed by a manner which, if we had had the wit to realise it, must have been sustained by a continuous effort, that if affairs did not progress with the speed and exactitude of a proposition in Euclid, and in the manner he indicated with precision, that then the sky would fall or the end of the world would come, or some dreadful Nemesis of the kind would await the unfortunate who lagged upon the road. ....
I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will ever have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Father John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher of mathematics; the combination of the two, as in Father Casey's case, must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elementary students. He knows so much that it is difficult for him to realise how little his pupils know, and it must be heart-breaking to find that there are some to whom the very rudiments of his science are inexplicable. At all events, Father Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical ; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities; it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done ; the question of trying to dodge it simply never entered our heads ; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams. One could almost hear Father Casey saying Q.E.D. when we got the results.
The greatest achievement of a master, however, is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations ; it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Father Casey carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man. For if boys recognise weakness and trade upon it, they also know strength and understand the proper and unerring use of it. We know that here was a man who had been given certain work to do and intended to do it for that reason alone....”

To conclude this brief obituary, over to you, Younger Generation :
“Father John Casey died peacefully on June 5th, at the age of 80. During most of his life he had to struggle against ill health. In his last years he was completely blind and so feeble that he had to be assisted to stand. But these infirmities of the body did not subdue his great and courageous spirit. He remained until the end as clear and fresh in mind as those thirty years his junior. His interest in and grasp of events both in the Province and the world in general remained undiminished. Always affable and gay, he was ready at recreation to join in any topic of conversation and the width of his interests was remarkable. Only three days before his death he was expounding the merits of Milton's ‘Samson Agonistes’. It is not surprising that this poem on blindness by a blind man should have made a special impression on him. When, however, Father Casey referred to his own affliction, there was never a trace of self pity. When he did mention it, which was rarely, it was always to note its humorous side.
Three years before his death he asked the Community of Tullabeg to join with him in a Novena that God might spare his eyesight sufficiently to continue to say Mass. But God required what must have been for him the supreme sacrifice. Father Casey quietly accepted. The memory of the calm face of the blind man assisting at Mass each morning will remain always with those who witnessed it.
Father Casey was too reserved and unassuming to wish us to catalogue his virtues. His spiritual children will always cherish his unfailing sympathy and sage and balanced counsel. In fourteen years of closest companionship the writer of these lines never heard him speak an unkind word. May his meek and gentle soul find rest and light at last in the Vision of God”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Casey 1873-1954
The name of Fr John Casey is remembered well and with affection and respect by many generations of pupils in our Colleges, especially Mungret, where he spent many years of his life. Born in London in 1873, and raised in County Clare, his life was no bed of silk.

He underwent a severe operation shortly after ordination which rendered him a veritable invalid all his life. In spite of his bad health, he gave a long life of valuable service to the Society, as teacher, Prefect of Studies, and Spiritual Father. For this last office he had a special aptitude – a clear judgement, an insight into character and a high standard of religious observance. A rector of Tullabeg once said, that as long as Fr Casey was Spiritual Father, he himself had no anxiety about the spiritual condition of the Philosophers.

For the last three years of his life he was totally blind and could not say Mass. This cross, as well as his long life of ill health he accepted cheerfully, as from the Hand of God. Fidelity to duty, thoroughness in work, courtesy to others, these qualities sum up the man.

He died on June 5th 1954 a model in many ways to succeeding generations of Jesuits.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Jubilee

Father John Casey SJ

Its is now just thirty-three years as time has flown - the month of September of the year 1908 to be precise - since the writer entered Mungret for a term of five years. During a great part of these years Father John Casey was at Mungret - either in the capacity of Mathematics Master or as Prefect of Studies. Looking back now over that gap of time, one can see as clearly now as then, how he dominated - it is the only word - the scene of activity in class or study hall, Other memories there are in deed - of masters and boys and affairs - but it can be safely said that of all who passed through Mungret at that time, there is no one who cannot conjure up at a moment's notice the vision of Father Casey striding swiftly along the stone corridor or appearing as Prefect of Studies at the head of a classroom without seeming somehow to have come in by the door. And what a change was there when he did come! In the most restless gathering ensued a silence which could be heard, the hardiest spirit was reduced to his lowest dimension and any vulgar fraction of humanity who might have incontinently strayed in to a Mungret classroom instantly became a minus quantity. Looking back on one's own limitations of these days, one is almost tempted to call it the triumph of mind over matter; but it was not merely a victory in the age-long psychological struggle between master and pupil - it was a rout, utter and absolute.

Many of Father Casey's pupils, who have since been called upon themselves to exercise authority of one kind or another, must have wondered enviously how he did it. For he used the physical and adventitious aids to pedagogy rather less than most Prefects of his time. Yet somehow he conveyed by a manner which; if we had had the wit to realise it, must have been sustained by a continuous effort, that if affairs did not progress with the speed and exactitude of a proposition in Euclid, and in the manner he indicated with precision, that then the sky would fall, or the end of the world would come, or some dreadful Nemesis of the kind would await the unfortunate who lagged upon the road. And of course some inevitably lagged and of course the Nemesis did not come to them even in the measure they deserved, but the illusion persevered and the triumph persisted. It is only with the passing of the years that the realisation comes that here was genius in one of its most unusual and most remark able manifestations.

Once only in my time at Mungret did I see the alter ego breaking through the ego while he was at his own particular work. Be it said parenthetically that when we were out of class or study it broke through continually in the little we then saw of him. But this was a special occasion-he had had to go away for an emergency operation, his life for a time had been in grave danger, and we had not seen him for many weeks and did not know when he would come back. Then one night when, with an indulgent apostolic prefect in the chair, we were in study and studying many books not to be found in the curriculum, my next door neighbour breathlessly whispered the time-honoured formula of the approach of authority. It seemed incredible but I saw a dark shadow appear from the back of the study, stop at every line of desks, collecting various periodicals, while those in front of the line were quite oblivious of anything unusual. It was a scene of the utmost drama while it lasted and ended when, laden with books and papers collected en route, Father Casey turned round at the top to a thoroughly demoralised study hall, smiled broadly and announced “Cæsar has returned to his armies”.

I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Father John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher--the combination of the two as in Father Casey's case, must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elementary students. He knows so much that it is difficult for him to realise how little his pupils know and it must be heart-breaking to find that there are some to whom the very rudiments of his science are inexplic able. Probably that is where method comes in. At all events Father John Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. I write as one to whom the subject was always a great trouble and who would never have passed through the Intermediate without the assistance I got in Father Casey's class. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical ; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities, it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done; the question of trying to dodge it simply never entered our heads; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams, perhaps not at the top, but certainly not at the bottom. One could almost hear Father Casey saying “QED” when he got the results.

The greatest achievement of a master however is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations - it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Boys are unerring in sizing up values in those who are placed over them - no psychoanalyst ever found the weak spots with greater certitude or more uncanny comprehension. What in another may be merely an amiable foible is turned to ill account so that it becomes overnight a serious difficulty to a teacher's success. The old Nannies belief that boys of a certain age are “limbs” of diabolical origin, is made manifest to the poor man's serious discomfort. We tried all these arts on Father John Casey but we never found the weak spot. He carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man. For if boys recognise weakness and trade upon it, they also know strength and understand the proper and unerting use of it. We knew as well as if it had been put into words for us that here was a man who had been given certain work to do and intended to do it if for that reason alone; we knew that outside that work no one in Mungret wished us more fun or amusement ; indeed we sus pected that if we scored one up on the Prefect of Discipline outside class and study hours there was a dignified and gentle chuckle from the Prefect of Studies. Father Eddie Bourke SJ, may remember a day when as a boy in 2nd Club he threw a laundry bag through the dormitory window so that it landed in front of Father Casey in the chapel quadrangle. When faces, poked out of the window, were horrified at this catastrophe, Father John gaily and accurately threw the bag up again remarking: “A bolt from the blue” - and went on reading his office. Various illnesses and short-sightedness prevented him from taking much part in our games. Yet whenever nowadays one meets a Mungret boy of the 1908 vintage the first question is “Where is Father Casey now?”

The last place I saw him was sitting on a bench at Lisdoonvarna enjoying a short holiday. He still teaches mathematics he told me - but nowadays to Jesuit scholastics and not to “the likes of us”. Anyway he has passed through all the burden of the day and the heats, and finds himself in the quiet of the evening time. That its peace may long endure as it does when the sun sets on the Shannon over his native Labasheeda, and that his prayer may help them on the more difficult tasks that now engage them as his instruction and example did long ago, will be the wish of all who passed through Mungret in his time, wherever these lines may find them.

DFG

-oOo-

We offer our heartiest congratulations to Father John Casey SJ (1888-'90) on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee as a member of the Society of Jesus, which fell due last September. Father Casey's name is a household word amongst many generations of past Mungret boys, who, we are certain, will revive their impressions of their school-days, when they read on another page the appreciation of their former Prefect of Studies by a distinguished past pupil of Father Casey, District Justice Gleeson (1908-13). Mungret sends her sincere good wishes ad multos annos to Father Casey, whose name is written in indelible characters in the annals of the college.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father John Casey SJ

The death of Fr Casey on June 5th meant the breaking of a link with the past for many old Mungret men. What memories his death evoked, the vision of a figure striding along the corridor or appearing in a classroom to be followed by a hushed silence. Strict yet kind, he had many friends among the Past who will mourn his passing.

He was born in London the son of a Clareman, in 1873. He was educated in Mungret College, and entered the Society in Tullabeg in 1890. After two years juniorate in Milltown Park, he studied Philosophy at Louvain and Stonyhurst.

He taught for six years at the Crescent and Clongowes before going to Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1905. The following year he began his long association with Mungret College where from 1906 to 1919, and again from 1927 to 1933 he held appointments as prefect of studies and professor of mathematics and physics. The following is a testimony of one who was taught by him

“I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will ever have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Fr John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher of mathematics : the combination of the two as in Fr Casey's case must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elemertary students. At all events Fr Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities; it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done ; the question of trying to dodge it never entered our heads; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams.

The greatest achievement of a master, however, is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations; it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Fr Casey carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man”.

In 1933 Fr. Casey was transferred to Tullabeg where he taught the philosophers mathematics and teaching methods to within a few years of his death, and was besides, Spiritual Father to the community. In his last years he was completely blind and so feeble that he had to be assisted to stand. But these infirmities of body did not subdue his great and courageous spirit. One who lived with him for fourteen years re marked that he never heard him speak an unkind word. May his meek and gentle soul find rest and light at last in the vision of God.

Casey, Seán J, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/492
  • Person
  • 01 August 1921-21 February 1995

Born: 01 August 1921, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 February 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at St Ignatius Chicago IL, USA (CHG) studying

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 86 : July 1996
Obituary
Fr Seán Casey (1921-1995)

1st Aug. 1921: Born in Glin, Co. Limerick
Education: Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1939; Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1942 - 1943: Supplying at Clongowes, Belvedere, Mungret
1943 - 1946: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1946 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1948 - 1950: Regency at Crescent College, Limerick
1950 - 1954: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1953: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1958: Teacher - Crescent College, Limerick
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1962: Teacher, Spiritual Father - Crescent College, Limerick
1962 - 1963; Studied Counselling in Chicago, USA
1963 - 1965: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Teacher of Philosophy - Rome, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1966 - 1967: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Spiritual Father and Adult Education - Crescent College, Limerick
1969 - 1972: Ministered in Sacred Heart Church, Limerick and Adult Education
1972 - 1973: Lecturer in Philosophy - Milltown Institute
1973 - 1975: Director of Adult Education - Limerick
1977 - 1980: CLC.
1980 - 1985: Chaplain - "Eye & Ear" Hospital, Dublin
1985 - 1990: Cherryfield Lodge
1990 - 1995: Kilcroney Nursing Home and St. Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co. Dublin
21st Feb. 1995: Died

The words of our Gospel just read really startle us. They contradict our worldly experience and scale of judgements. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted”. This does not make sense to us when we feel a great loss and are confronted by the awe and mystery of death. Yet, I think, that it is only in the experience of bereavement that we can come to understand the meaning and truth of these words. For there is a blessedness in mourning that can bring us comfort.

We mourn because we have loved and lose and are loved. And St. John has told us that those who love, live in the light.

When we mourn, we support each other, often in silent, unobtrusive ways. That love between us is a truly blessed thing, for it tells us that God is really present among us and walks with us in our grief.

When we mourn, we often think and talk about the one who is no longer with us. Incidents in his life are recalled, words he spoke, humourous sayings, mannerisms or incidents. This fills out the picture of a person's character and life. But such memories are private recollections, intimate and personal, not shared in public - because they are sacred. But they nourish love. They are a comfort.

When we mourn, we learn what the really important things in life are and accept that suffering and the cross touches every life. We come to understand that a person's worth is not measured by success in life or achievements. It rests on their relationship with God and others, by their sincerity, goodness and generosity.

These were qualities Sean possessed in a remarkable degree. He was blessed with a keen, subtle mind. He loved study and was considered to be a person who would achieve great things in the academic world of philosophy. But ill health constantly interfered with his studies. He had to turn to less burdensome, apostolic work which he pursued with all his kindness and skill.

Then he had the terrible accident that rendered him incapacitated for the remainder of his life.

But I never heard him complain. When I visited him in hospital, I saw many of the beatitudes reflected in his demeanour, gentleness, a poverty of spirit that prevented him from criticizing anybody, Jesuit or non-Jesuit. But frequently I heard him expressing gratitude, especially for the care and kindness he received from the Staff and Community in Kilcroney and St. Joseph's. The patients, too, felt at ease with him, "I like Fr. Casey," a patient said to me the last time I was with him, only two days before he died. "I'd like to meet him and talk with him." This was Sean's apostolate over the last few years as he offered himself daily to be one with the Lord. It is in qualities such as these that true greatness is achieved.

The last great comfort that mourning brings us is that it widens our horizons. Our Lord seems to take us away from the narrow confines of a hospital bed and takes us, as it were, to a cliff-top and directs us to look out at a vast expanse of ocean where death and life intermingle, where love in time flows into love in eternity. Those we love never die. “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall live for ever” Christ said. This, surely, is the greatest comfort for all who mourn.

Paul Leonard SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1995
Obituary
Father Seán Casey SJ

Seán Casey was born on the first day of August in 1921 in Glin, Co. Limerick. After school he joined the Jesuits in Emo and took his First Vows there two years later on 8 Sep tember 1941. He broke off his Arts studies, pursued at UCD while living at Rathfarnham Castle; to help out in his old school and, also spent spells in Belvedere and Mungret. From there, he proceeded to Philosophy at Tullabeg and only when he had completed this part of his course in 1946 did he return to Rathfarnham and UCD and complete his Arts degree.

With one year's “regency”, as a Jesuit's years as a teaching scholastic are known, already behind him, Seán spent only two more at the “chalk-face”, this time back in his native Limerick, at the Crescent. He then went on to Milltown Park for the regulation four years of Theology and was ordained after three, on 31 July 1953, by the late Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.

He went back to the Crescent to teach in 1954 and remained at this work and that of Spiritual Father until 1962, with just one intermission, in 1958, when he made his Tertianship at Rathfarnham.

As the Second Vatican Council was ushering in a new era for the Church in the autumn of 1962, Seán headed west to study counselling in Chicago. Immediately afterwards, he went to Mungret to teach Philosophy in the Apostolic School and begin his own doctoral studies in Philosophy, which he later pursued in Rome. After a final year in Mungret, he moved once more to the Crescent, when the work of the Apostolic School ended.

For the next five years, he engaged in Adult Education, acted as Spiritual Father in the school (1967-69) and ministered in the Sacred Heart Church (1969-72). A further five years were devoted to teaching Philosophy in the Milltown Institute (1972-3 and 1975-77) and filling the role of Director of Adult Educaiton in Limerick (1973-75). After that Seán worked for the Christian Life Communities movement (formerly the Sodality of Our Lady) for three years and then, in 1980, took up chaplaincy at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

Seán's own health, never robust, failed in the last period of his life. He spent five years at the Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, and then, in 1990, when the need for more intensive care arose, he went to Kilcroney Nursing Home. He died peacefully at St Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co, Dublin, where Kilcroney had been transferred, on 21 February 1995.

Seán Casey was a humble, even diffident man, whose considerable intellectual gifts were often concealed by his diffidence. His various postings in Dublin and Limerick gave him opportunities to deploy his gifts for study and teaching and the gentle listening which was one of his marked characteristics. May he rest in peace.

Casey, Thomas, 1816-1879, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1031
  • Person
  • 25 December 1816-10 February 1879

Born: 25 December 1816, County Limerick
Entered: 16 August 1854, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Professed: 02 February 1865
Died: 10 February 1879, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

Casey, Thomas, 1865-1934, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1032
  • Person
  • 10 September 1865-16 September 1934

Born: 10 September 1865, Dublin
Entered: 05 April 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 16 September 1934, Mungret College, County Limerick

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1935

Obituary

Brother Tom Casey SJ

Beloved by the boys, and a great favourite in the Community, Brother Tom Casey passed quietly away from us on September 16th, in his 70th. year, and the 30th of his religious life. He looked much younger : his abundant hair, his fresh, even ruddy, complexion, and his humourous eyes seemed to be those of a man in the early forties.

For the last 12 or 15 years of his life, however, Brother Casey was, more or less an invalid with heart trouble and other complications. He bore his sufferings, weakness, and the occasional attacks of acute pain with the most edifying patience and resignation, indeed with joy ; it seems to the present writer, that like the great St. Paul, he “gloried in the Cross of Our Lord, Jesus Christ”.

His ideal seemed to be to hide his sufferings as much as possible, and to give as little trouble as he could to others. Let two instances of this suffice, I visited him when he was in St John's Hospital, Limerick; during my stay in his room I once touched the electric bell which hung near his bed. When the Sister in charge appeared she said at once that she knew Brother Casey had a visitor, for not once during his illness had he availed himself of that bell. Those who have spent a long time on a bed of sickness will appreciate the spirit of self-denial and the delicate consideration for others to which this bears testimony. On another occasion when detained in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin for a serious and painful operation, he won golden opinions from those who were attending him, so that he was described by the sisters in charge as “the life and soul of the whole hospital”.

Brother Casey suffered acutely in inind as a result of his physical weekness. Superiors had to relieve him gradually of his work, and he was most sensitive on the point. Always anxious to “do his bit”, the relinquishing of each of the offices he held was a fresh pang to his sincere desire to be liseful. At last he was allowed to do nothing but serve Mass, and this with the proviso that he should sit on a bench near the altar and merely answer the responses. He heard or served in this way, four or five Masses each morning - a great consolation to him, for he had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and speat many hours each day before the Tabernacle.

His genuine kindness, constant good humour, and ready wit, (like St Robert Bellarmine, he was an inveterate punster), endeared him to the boys by whom he is deeply regretted, and will be long remembered with affection. For the deep voice, the droll humour, the merry twinkle of the eyes when he told his little jokes canot be easily forgotten by the generations of Mungret boys who knew Brother Casey. Right up to the very end he retained his facility to quip and jest. His last illness was short. He met death with a smile.

And so well he might, for he was a trully holy soul, and I am sure that many of the blessings showered on1 the College were due to his pious prayers. Now that he has gone to his eternal reward, we may feel sure that he will not forget those amongst whom and for whom he spent such a considerable portion of his life as a Jesuit.
JC

Cassidy, Derek O, 1943-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/811
  • Person
  • 10 April 1943-30 March 2017

Born: 10 April 1943, Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1965, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 04 March 1985, Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
Died: 30 March 2017, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

Grew up in Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin.
by 1977 at Regis Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013 https://www.jesuit.ie/news/derek-cassidy-sj-man-soulful-presence/

Derek Cassidy SJ – a soulful presence
Fr Derek Cassidy SJ died peacefully on Thursday morning, 30 March, in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. He had been a dialysis patient for many years. In recent months, his health began to deteriorate very rapidly. The staff of Beaumont Hospital knew him well and gave him great care. He lay in rest at Belvedere College SJ on 2 April and his funeral mass took place on 3 April in Gardiner Street Church, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery. Leonard Moloney SJ, the Irish Provincial who worked with Fr Derek in Belvedere College, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the mass.
Fr Derek served as Rector of Belvedere College since 2002 and was a much-loved member of the College community. He was also a member of the Jesuit community in Gardiner St, Dublin and will be sadly missed by them. He is deeply regretted by his brother Damien and wife Anne, sisters Thelma, Sandra and Denise, nephew Joe, nieces Frances, Susan and Jennifer, grandnieces Chloe, Lucy, Katie and Baby Anne, Jesuit brothers, extended family and his many friends.
Tributes were paid to Fr Derek through the Irish Jesuits page on Facebook. Bláth McDonnell commented, “Rest in Peace Fr. Derek. He had always been such a calm, kind and gentle presence around the College and will be sadly missed”. Thomas Giblin said, “What I remember of Derek was his complete presence in a conversation. It is in his eyes in the photo above. When you needed him, he was with you. There was no doubt. That made him a great chaplain and a wonderful friend”. And Clar Mag Uidhrin said, “So sorry to hear this. I’m blessed I had the opportunity to work alongside him. Rest in peace Fr Derek”. And Niall Markey noted, “Rest in peace, Derek. Thank you for the kindness you showed to me throughout my Jesuit journey. God bless”.
Fr Derek worked in school chaplaincy for a large part of his Jesuit life. He also taught as a Religious Education/Religious Studies teacher at Belvedere for several years. His ratings were above the average at 4.35/5 stars as recorded on ratemyteachers.com. Students comments included: “Biggest baller going, inspiration and a half, aspire to be like this man”; “legend of the school”; “great guy”; and “a class act, very quiet but when he preaches it all makes sense, especially with the Simpsons references”. The school’s pastoral blog noted his Golden Jubilee in 2015 and remarked, “Fr Derek is a wonderful example of what Jesuit life represents”.
Fr Derek made deep impressions on the Belvedere community during the last 16 years of his life. Headmaster Gerry Foley was particularly close to him, as evident from this personal tribute:

Remembering Derek
When we gathered in St. Francis Xavier Church, in Gardner Street, we gathered in sadness, but we wanted to celebrate and give thanks for Fr. Derek’s life with his family and with the Jesuit province. Each of us knew Derek in a different way and we all have memories of a man who could laugh at himself, the world and laugh and talk with people of very different ages and backgrounds. In mourning him we remember fondly stories that highlight his wit, his willingness to confront what he perceived was wrong, even if that led to a difficult experience for both himself and whoever thought he was going to hold back, simply because of his vocation. You did not have to guess Derek’s opinions and views. He could be subtle or when required, bold and forthright when subtlety failed.
Derek’s response to illness made you realise that we should never take being alive and having health, for granted. The theology of salvation was not theoretical for him, it was a lived example.
Images of him laughing, chatting driving in the car or the cheerleaders in the minibus, mix with images of him being silent and attentive. I was lucky enough to bring him the Leinster Senior Cup on the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day. He was delighted and it was uplifting to see the chief cheerleader who loved rugby so much. He received that cup three times previously on the Front door of Belvedere House, so it represented commitment and dedication for him.
There are many things in his office, which point to who Derek is and what he brought to the college. There is a small-framed reproduction of the painting, Light of the world, Holman Hunt, Jesus carrying a lantern knocking on the door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, open the door, I will come to him, and I will sup with him and he with me”. On the left side is the human soul, locked away behind an overgrown doorway. Derek invited people to listen more carefully for that knock and when it came, wrench open the door, which could be difficult, and invite Jesus in.
On the table in Derek’s office is “The Simpsons and Philosophy, The D’oh of Homer.” It’s noteworthy that Richard Dawkins, Brief Candle in the Dark” is on the shelf, so Derek was catholic in his sources of inspiration. The connection may not seem obvious, but one of Derek’s favourite episodes of the Simpsons, which he used in his homilies, is the one where Bart, declaring he does not believe in having a soul, sells it, only to regret it when he discovers that life with soul is a life deprived.
If you re- watch the episode of the Simpsons he oft quoted, where Bart sells his soul, you will get a better understanding of Derek’s ability to pick something simple and use it to point to what is profound. He used it in his homily to remind all of us that soul is important, the essence of who we are and not to sell out for something else. For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what should a man give in exchange for his soul?
By using the Simpsons, Derek highlighted the challenge of Jesuit Education, to place the person of Jesus at the heart of what we do.
So, amid all Derek’s jocularity, there lay a sincerity, a belief that life was so much better lived if the gentleness of humility and care of Jesus was our inspiration.
Looking around his office, the photograph of one of the first Kairos, a card depicting Fr. John Sullivan, the photo of Fr. Reidy, photos of his family, the mass booklet from one of the Past Pupil Reunions, the framed newspaper article on the Jes winning the cup, The Belvo black and white, the Poster of the Holy Land, the model of the BMW 3 series reveal that Derek treasured many people and held them close to his heart, and indicated why he was held in their heart.
One of Derek’s many achievements in Belvedere was to develop the role of Rector, which was a challenge given we are not residents in the school but we are a community almost without boundaries. His presence as a man who was reflective and invited reflection has had an impact on so many people and on so many different levels.
His dry wit often brightened the moment and his genuine question asking “How are you?...” was never followed by a hurried moment, he gave generously of his time and gave people space so they could take time out of their hurried day, to stop, think and enter that space where prayer leads us. That appreciation of the moment lay at the heart of so many memories of him either sharing a glass, or at a meal or on a journey in somewhere like Greece, Rome, with students, or for me, very fond memories of when we were setting up the Chinese Exchange or the Boston exchanges. In Hong Kong, climbing a steep hill, the hand drawn rickshaw pullers approached Derek and avoided both the late Barry O’ Leary and I. We joked that it was the result of old age being respected in China, he quipped that their reluctance to approach us was a justified concern for their back, given our weight!
These exchanges expanded the Jesuit network and helped develop the sense of being a community sharing our faith journey. As with his untiring work in Fundraising and on the Buildings Committee, and Jesuit Identity Committee, he was passionate in providing the right environment to nurture community, friendship and learning.
Derek’s publican background gave him the skills to be fully present to people, to hear their story and enter into it with them. That is why so many students hold his memory dearly and fondly. He was there, fully present, not just physically, but in his un-divided attention to them.
If you asked Derek how he was, he never complained, instead he would reply with something like, “looking down on the daisies, which is better than looking up at them!” Even when he lost his toe he made a joke of it, saying the coffin was getting lighter by the day, and that was another aspect of Derek that made him attractive, particularly to students, he was a bit of a rebel, could be anti-establishment, feared not death because he believed and yet remained true to all that was good.
When we went to Hong Kong, Derek met Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (102), the last surviving child of Michael Mallin, executed leader of the Easter Rising in 1916. Derek and he shared a Republican background and he was immensely proud to be Irish. The Coleman’s mustard, sitting on the shelf in his office, is probably the only British thing he would admit tasted good.
On the little table is the statue of the Holy Family, Joseph and Mary looking at Jesus as he learns the trade of carpentry. Joseph’s hand is raised, obviously in instruction, while Mary looks on with great pride in her son. Derek had that care and pride for the students as they grew in their apprenticeship of what would be their adult personality. He loved young people and loved the privilege of being involved in their life. Lastly there was the prayer on the wall, and I think it captures a lot of his humour and honesty.
“Dear God, so far today I’ve done alright, I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help...”
Derek was that help for a lot of us and while extending our sympathy and condolences to his community and his family, I want to extend, on behalf of the Belvedere family, a sincere Thank You. For 16 years, we enjoyed Derek as chaplain, teacher, Form Tutor, Rector and Board member. You shared him with us and we are forever grateful for that. His soul will continue his work with the students and families and we gain strength from his example as a Jesuit, a priest, a friend and a companion.
May he rest in the peace of Christ. Gerry Foley

Early Education at St Mary’s Convent Arklow; SS Michael & John, Smock Alley, Dublin; De La Salle, Ballyfermot, Dublin; Mungret College SJ; Apprentice Solicitor & Barman

1967-1970 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1970-1971 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at UCD
1971-1976 Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy & Theology (integrated)
1974 Milltown Park - Administration at Irish School of Ecumenics
1976-1977 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Studying Theology at Regis College
1977-1978 Tabor House - Vice-Superior; Minister; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1978-1980 Leave of Absence
1980-1982 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Chaplain; Teacher
1982-1983 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1983-1989 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Director of Pastoral Care; Teacher
1989-1990 Tabor - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assistant in Retreat House
1990-1999 Campion House - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assists Tabor House & JVC; Young Adult Ministry
1993 Superior at Campion
1995 Principal & Treasurer at University Hall
1996 Formation Delegate
1999-2001 Leeson St - Principal & Treasurer at University Hall; Young Adults & Formation Delegate
2000 Sabbatical
2001-2004 Belvedere College SJ - College Chaplain; Teacher
2002 Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2003 Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2004-2017 Gardiner St - Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2011 College Chaplain & Teacher at Belvedere College SJ
2012 Rector of Belvedere College SJ

Cassidy, Dermot, 1933-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/828
  • Person
  • 01 June 1933-24 April 2017

Born: 01 June 1933, Ballyfoyle, County Laois
Entered: 17 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 June 1981, Sacred Heart Church Crescent, Limerick
Died: 24 April 2017, Mater Hospital, Dublin (Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin)

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.

by 1970 at Mount St London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-dermot-cassidy-sj-reflective-voice/

Fr Dermot Cassidy SJ – a reflective voice
Fr Dermot Cassidy SJ passed away peacefully on the night of 24 April at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. Fr Cassidy was 83 years old. Born and raised in County Laois, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1951. During his regency training, he worked as a teacher in Crescent College SJ in Limerick. Upon ordination in 1966, he returned to Limerick where he assisted in the Church of the Sacred Heart and promoted the missions for over thirty years (1975-2006). He spent his last few years between Cherryfield Lodge and Highfield Healthcare in Dublin where he prayed continuously for the Church and the Society.

An interview with Fr Dermot
In an interview with Pat Coyle from Irish Jesuit Communications, Fr Dermot spoke about his Jesuit life. He had a very active pastoral ministry for many years where he loved to talk to ordinary people on the streets, in shops and in pubs. Speaking about meeting people in Limerick, he said, “I was always gentle on them. It wouldn’t mean that you could never have an argument. An argument is often a way of contact too and the next time you would meet then you might discuss things at a more human level.”
Since a child, he had a gift of reflection and could perceive things differently, “That’s my nature you know, and what comes by nature can’t be defeated by artifice and artificiality”.
Fr Dermot saw the spiritual hunger of people as a very positive force. As he saw it, this hunger was a mainstay of Irish life. It showed in the determination of people to learn from the past, to build Irish society with a sense of purpose, and to find new and better ways to do things.
The Jesuit had a special connection with Northern Ireland. “I always had a love for the North and still have. They have changed the world perspective on things. People used to say, ‘You’d never think that Christians could fight’ and the same people have now said, ‘You’d never think that Christians could unite and find a way forward’”. He was a committed nationalist and admired Sinn Féin and the way the party worked to try and bring about a united Ireland by engaging in the peace process. And former Sinn Féin Director of publicity and author Danny Morisson expressed his appreciation to Fr Dermot after the ceasefire with a signed and dedicated book. He always kept that book in his room.
Fr Dermot remembered a spontaneous meeting at a pub in Limerick with a Muslim television journalist who was preparing a production on ‘What is Ireland?’. The Jesuit spoke to him about conflict and peace in Ireland and abroad. He also spoke about the spiritual needs of the world. At the end of the talk, the journalist said: ‘I came in here rather upset, and after our conversation I am at peace’.
Asked if he had any regrets, he said: “Only that I haven’t had more opportunity to say what I want to say and that other people who have nothing to say have every opportunity”. His words were certainly not wasted on the queues of people who often came to see him.

A special friendship
Nissanka (Nicky) Gooneratne was a long-time friend of the late Jesuit. Here, the Sri Lankan pays tribute to and regularly kept in touch through visits to Ireland and via telephone calls across continents. Nicky sought spiritual accompaniment from the late Jesuit right up until the time of his death.
Nicky was a young agnostic engineer when he first met Fr Dermot in London. The Jesuit told him, “London is not a Christian country unlike the USA, Canada and Australia”. After a while, they went for walks in Hyde Park where Dermot spoke about the history of the British empire. Eventually, Dermot returned to Ireland and Nicky visited him on holidays and called him regularly. The Sri Lankan was especially grateful to the Jesuit for helping him to discern his career. For example, his resignation from an engineering job in Scotland brought him great peace.
Nicky returned to Sri Lanka where he got married in the Catholic Church and had five children. From across continents, he often heard of his friend’s love for the sick and poor of Limerick. When Dermot moved to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, they promised to look out for each other to the end. “I used to call almost daily without exaggeration,” says Nicky, “recently, he used to be asleep quite a bit but he was always sharp. He was always gentle and kind. He used to end our conversations with a long Irish blessing. And I was filled with shock and sorrow when I heard he died.”
The Sri Lankan remembers one of his friend’s favourite sayings: “An answer will be given beyond our thinking”. And he recorded one of Fr Dermot’s poems from 1975, written after a young relation died. :

Door a-jar
Come, guide the stars Little one
God has held for you heaven’s door a-jar. Ah, boy that died Young man profitable Young man, young You started the origins of life to flow.
The high corn
is green grown now The child is borne
The blessing of summer is heaven in the sky
Ah, heaven high
on earth does grow.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at CBS Athy, Co Kildare

1953-1956 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1956-1959 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1960 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1960-1962 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1962-1963 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1963-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1967 Assistant Editor of “Messenger”
1969-1974 Mount St, London, UK - Assists in Mount St Church
1974-1975 Tullabeg - Assists in Community work
1975-2006 Crescent Sacred Heart, Limerick- Assisting in Church; Promoting Missions
2006-2017 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Assisting in Church
2009 Praying for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge
2013 Praying for the Church and the Society at Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin

Clarke, Arthur J, 1916-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/646
  • Person
  • 11 April 1916-08 March 1995

Born: 11 April 1916, Dublin
Entered: 12 November 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 08 March 1995, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After leaving school at Clongowes Wood College in 1933, Arthur worked for about five years in the Hibernian Bank. Later he enjoyed recalling his days as an oarsman in a crew of eight, racing on the river Liffey in Dublin.

Arthur took as his model and ideal his Master of Juniors, Fr Charles O'Conor Don, whose motto, ‘faithful always and everywhere’, Arthur took as his own. He was noticeable for his observance of rules, regularity at prayer, simple faith, thoroughness in his work – even polishing the floor of his room. He was outstanding for his charity especially towards those in trouble or unwell. These traits remained with him all his life. One who lived with Arthur said that he had a characteristic blend of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty.

When he finished tertianship, Arthur became socius to the Master of Novices for about two years and then became Minister at Clongowes Wood College for two years. The job of Minister seemed to have followed him in all the houses he was posted to.

1958 saw him in Zambia, in Chivuna where he studied ciTonga and acted as Minister. He was transferred to Chikuni, again as Minister, but after two years became Rector there, In the role of rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism. During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s. Then came the expansion of Canisius with better quality classrooms and dormitories, a fitting dining room and kitchen. Arthur was deeply involved too in the design of the college chapel.

From 1967 to 1973 he was at Namwala Government Secondary School as teacher and later as Deputy Head. Arthur revelled in giving himself to the demands made on him: teaching, conscientious correction of assignments, availability to students, and counsellor to his fellow teachers. Becoming Deputy gave him the extra load of maintaining discipline and setting high standards of behaviour and work among the students. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity. He actually wore himself out and was then transferred to the smaller Mukasa minor seminary in Choma in 1974.

However, in 1974, he went on long leave to Ireland where he was exposed to new styles of living the religious life and nuanced modifications of traditional ways of expressing Catholic doctrine. Arthur became confused and deeply upset, as his simple faith had always delighted in accepting the traditional textbook expression of the Catholic faith which he had learnt in theology. So he held on grimly to his convictions for the rest of his life, as he continued to think and preach in scholastic categories. He found Mukasa too small for him after the vastness of Namwala and was moved after two years. His eight years (1976–1984) at Charles Lwanga T.T.C. gave him fresh scope for his zeal and energies. He enjoyed being in a large community house which he kept spotlessly clean during his years as Minister. His lecturers were meticulously prepared and all assignments corrected. He was tireless in supervising teaching practice. He worked hard to build up the morale of a small group of Catholic pupils at Rusangu Secondary School.

In the end he wore himself out again and was transferred to St Ignatius in Lusaka as assistant in the parish (1984-1990). He was especially devoted to hearing confessions and generous in answering calls on his time. When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent towards the various strays and ‘inadequates’ who quickly detected in him and easy touch and flocked around St Ignatius.

He was moved to the infirmary at John Chula House as his mind began to fail even though his body was strong and healthy. It was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer’s took its inevitable toll. At the end, Arthur died quite suddenly. It was discovered that he had widespread cancer of which he never complained. He was never one to vacillate or waffle and when the time came he took his leave of life as he had lived it, with dispatch and no nonsense.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Arthur Clarke (1916-1995)

Arthur Clarke was born on April 11th 1916 in Dublin and went to school in Clongowes, After he left school he entered the Bank of Ireland, but was not fully satisfied. A close friend told me that both he and Arthur considered going to Kenya under a British Government scheme to grow coffee. On a solitary walking holiday in the South of Ireland Arthur stayed in a Trappist monastery and decided that this was what he wanted. A short stay with the monks led to their advising Arthur that “he was too introspective” for their way of life and directed him to the Society of Jesus. There he stayed until he died in the retirement home in Lusaka Zambia on 8th March 1995.

He entered the novitiate in Emo on November 5th 1938 and followed the usual course of formation, doing his regency in the Crescent College Limerick. After Tertianship he was Socius to the Novice Master and then Minister in Clongowes, where he learnt of his appointment to Northern Rhodesia in the normal way, by someone telling him casually on the way into the refectory.

Five of us travelled out by Union Castle to Cape Town. At the Rhodesian border in Bulawayo, Arthur, always a man of integrity, insisted on paying duty on all his new clothes, despite the efforts of the Customs to assure him that as all our goods and chattels were going to Chikuni Mission there was nothing to pay.

This illustrates Arthur's characteristic blend of a keen sense of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty. When these two clashed, Arthur would resolutely do what he considered was his duty, while muttering the while that it was all a lot of nonsense, but we had to do it. This he applied to his stints as Minister in our communities. He made no secret of his dislike of the job, but laboured might and main to keep the house spotless, and turn out magnificent meals on big occasions, even though he was not at ease in celebrations. From time to time Arthur would recount hilarious incidents of his formation years, normally involving the deflation of some pomposity or affectation. The following morning there would be an attack of conscience resulting in a stern admonition to us scholastics to show more respect in speaking of the very people Arthur had been taking off the previous evening.

Arthur had a difficult time adapting to life in Africa at first, though not through lack of trying. He was of that generation which had done no studies outside Ireland and this must have been his first experience of another culture. He took a long time to shake free of the conventions of the Irish Province, many of which were ill suited to life in the bush.

Arthur became Rector of Chikuni where he ruled with an utterly unbiased if somewhat stern hand. Sean McCarron, in Zambia to build the Teacher Training College, would point out that even he had been taken to task by Arthur for some misdemeanour, leaving us mystified as to why he should consider himself immune to Arthur's sense of what was appropriate behaviour. In the role of Rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism.

After his stint as Rector, Arthur went to teach in Namwala Government Secondary School. The Zambian Principal, no doubt in recognition of Arthur's commitment to order and discipline, appointed him Vice-Principal and then allowed him to get on with running the entire school, while he pursued a more leisurely way of life. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity.

While stationed at St. Ignatius parish in Lusaka Arthur showed his compassionate side in his care for Fr. Max Prokoph who was deteriorating in health and required constant care around the house, which Arthur showed him to a remarkable degree of patience. Fr. Dominic Nchete, a Zambian priest, said that if for nothing else, this would assure Arthur's going straight to heaven. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent to the various strays and inadequates who quickly detected in him an easy touch and flocked around St. Ignatius.

For someone who led such an organised and full life, it was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer's took its inevitable toll. Increasingly it was clear that he did not recognise those who had lived with him over the years. At the very end Arthur died quite suddenly. He was never one to vacillate or waffle, and when the time came he took his leave of this life as he had lived it, with despatch and no nonsense.

Frank Keenan

◆ The Clongownian, 1995

Obituary

Father Arthur Clarke SJ

After leaving school in 1933, Arthur worked for about five years in an Irish bank. Later he enjoyed recalling his days as an oarsman in a crew of eight, racing on the River Liffey in Dublin.

After his noviceship at Emo Park, he spent four years at Rathfarnham Castle and took a degree in English and other languages. Arthur's model and ideal was his Master of Juniors, Fr Charles O'Conor Don, whose motto, “faithful always and everywhere”, Arthur took as his own.

He enjoyed three quiet years (1944-47) studying Philosophy at Tullabeg, in the heart of rural Ireland. His prowess as an oarsman made him in demand for working the heavy boats on the nearby canal, which was popular on the weekly villa day. His physical strength qualified him for rowing as far as Shannon harbour, 30 kilometres away and back, a feat reserved for the strong.

He was noticeable for his observance of rule, regularity at prayer, simple faith, thoroughness in his work - even in polishing the floor of his room. He was outstanding for his charity, especially towards those in trouble or unwell. These traits remained with him all his life.

After a year's teaching as a regent at Crescent College, Limerick (1947-48), Arthur studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1951.

After Tertiariship at Rathfarnham Castle (1952-53), he became Socius to the Master of Novices, Fr Donal O'Sullivan, again at Emo Park. Fr O'Sullivan spoke most highly of his abilities. He then spent two years as Minister at Clongowes (1955-57), before coming to Zambia in 1957

Arthur lived for a year or more at Civuna where he studied Chitonga and worked as Minister. In 1959 he was transferred to Chikuni as Minister, where he soon felt the need to build up Canisius Secondary School, now that Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College had given an example of a higher standard of building. He was appointed Rector of Chikuni in July 1960. During his six years as Rector, he was blessed with such outstanding Heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly.

Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur's. Then came the expansion of Canisius, with better quality classrooms and dormitories, a fitting diniingroom and kitchen etc. Arthur was deeply involved too in the design of the College Chapel.

1967 saw him back in Civuna for a year or two, until he was appointed to teaching in the newly opened rapidly expanding Namwala Secondary School, where he lived in one of the staff houses. Arthur revelled in giving himself to the demands made on him - class teaching, conscientious correction of assignments, availability to students, coun sellor to his fellow teachers. When he was appointed Deputy Head of Namwala, he took on the extra load of maintaining discipline in this co-educational school and of set ting high standards of behaviour and work among the students. This involved working late into the night, so that frequently he was unable to get more than four or five hours sleep. It became too much for him, so that he became utterly worn out, and so was transferred to the smaller Mukasa in 1974.

The isolation of Namwala and his commitment to his work there largely protected Arthur from the aggiornamento of Vatican II which was then filtering into Zambia. However, in 1974, he went on long leave to Ireland where he was exposed to new styles of living religious life, and nuanced modifications of traditional ways of expressing Catholic doctrine. Arthur became confused and deeply upset, as his simple faith had ever delighted in accepting the traditional textbook expression of the Catholic Faith which he had learnt in theology. So he held on grimly to his convictions for the rest of his life, as he continued to think and preach in scholastic categories.

On his return to Zambia, he spent about two years at Mukasa as Minister and teacher. He found the place too sinall for him, after the vastness of Namwala.

His eight years as lecturer (1976-84) at Charles Lwanga TTC gave him fresh scope for his zeal and energies. He enjoyed being in a large community house, which he kept spotlessly clean during his years as Minister. His lectures were meticulously prepared and all assignments corrected. He was tireless in supervising teaching practice. He also worked hard to build up the morale of the small group of Catholic students at Rusangu Secondary School.

In the end, he again wore himself out, and so was transferred to St Ignatius as assistant in the parish (1984-90). He was especially devoted to hearing confessions and generous in answering calls on his time. When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him. .

Though Arthur's body was strong and healthy, his mind began to fail. So in 1990, he was posted to Cherryfield Lodge in Dublin, where he could receive extensive health care. He was deeply unhappy there, and begged to be allowed to return to Zambia, nominally as guest master at Chikuni. Soon he found himself in the newly opened John Chula House. Even there he found scope for his charity in helping Eddy O'Connor.

Given his strong constitution, Arthur found his enforced inactivity hard. Early in 1995, his increasing physical pain, of which he never complained, led to the discovery of widespread cancer. The Lord was calling his faithful servant to himself, through a final sharing of His Cross and he died on 8 March 1995. May he rest in peace.

John Counihan SJ

Clear, John B, 1922-2009, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/768
  • Person
  • 13 September 1922-21 September 2009

Born: 13 September 1922, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 21 September 2009, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1974 at Oxford, England (ANG) working
by 1986 at Reading, England (BRI) working
by 1989 at North Hinksey, Oxfordshire (BRI) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 142 : Winter 2009

Obituary

Fr John Clear (1922-2009)

13th September 1922: Born in Dublin
Early education Stanhope St. Convent and CBS Richmond St.
6th September 1941: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1943: First Vows at Emo
1943 - 1946: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Crescent College - Teacher
1951 - 1952: Clongowes - Prefect
1952 - 1956: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained at Milltown Park
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Loyola House - Minister
3rd February 1958: Final Vows at Loyola House
1958 - 1961: Gardiner Street - Church work; Sodality
1961 - 1968: Emo - Mission staff
1968 - 1969: Rathfarnham - Mission staff
1969 - 1971: Tullabeg - Mission staff
1971 - 1973: Rathfarnham - Mission and Retreat staff
1973 - 1978: Holyrood Church, Oxford, England - Parish work
1978 - 1985: Rathfarnham -
1978 - 1981: Mission and Retreat staff
1981 - 1983: Mission and Retreat staff; Asst. Director Pioneers
1983 - 1985: Asst. Director Retreat House; Asst. Director Pion.
1985 - 1986: Reading - Parish Ministry; Asst. Editor Messenger
1986 - 1990: Oxford -
1986 - 1988: Parish Ministry
1988 - 1990: Parish Priest
1990 - 1991: St. Ignatius, Galway - Parish Curate; Spiritual Director, Our Lady's Boys' Club
1991 - 1998: Dooradoyle -
1991 - 1996: Subminister; Asst. Treasurer; Asst. for John Paul II Oratory; Asst. in Sacred Heart Church
1996 - 1997: Minister; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian
1997 - 1998: Treasurer; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian; Asst. Minister
1998 - 2002: John Austin House - Pastoral work; Vice Superior; Assistant Hospital Chaplain
2002 - 2009: Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
4th August 2009: Fr. Clear was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home on from the Mater Hospital following a short illness. His condition deteriorated very quickly.
21st September 2009: Died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge

Brian Lennon writes:
John died early on Monday 21st September 2009 at the age of 87. His health had gradually declined over the past few years. He was beginning to lose his memory, Over the summer he had a few bouts of confusion and pain. He spent some time in hospital in the Mater and Vincent's in Dublin. Eventually inoperable cancer was diagnosed and he arrived in Cherryfield on 4 August, where, like so many, he got great care.

He was born in Dublin on 13th September 1922 and educated by the Christian Brothers at O'Connell's School, North Richmond Street, Dublin. He went to Emo in 1941, so was a Jesuit for 68 years. He went through the normal course of studies and then spent 21 years working in parishes and 19 on the Mission staff. Hearing confessions was very important to him, especially in the years he spent in Gardiner St. since 2002 right up to the year of his death. It was a natural apostolate for him because he had great kindness. He told me once that in his parish work he always involved lay people, and - extraordinarily - he never had a row with any of them.

At different times he was based in Emo, Rathfarnham, Tullabeg, Oxford, Reading, Galway, Limerick, Loyola and John Austin House, as well as Gardiner St, from 1958 to 1961 and then again since 2002.

He wrote a lot: pamphlets on “Mary My Mother”, “Elizabeth of Hungary: Princess, Mother and Saint”, the “Japanese martyrs”, and “Lily of the Mohawks - Kateri Tekawitha”, the first North American saint. He also wrote many articles for the Pioneer and other journals.

My memory of him is of someone with a great sense of humour. I sometimes teased him about not attending events like Province Days and also polluting his room and the whole corridor with his infernal pipe smoke, to all of which he would respond with a deeply satisfied belly laugh. He had no airs or graces and he had a natural way of relating to people. He had a very simple view of life with a great devotion to Our Lady. He was deeply grateful for even the smallest things one did for him.

When his remains were brought to Gardiner Street there were several Sisters of Charity present. Two of them knew at least seven other sisters who traced their vocation to meeting John. One of them said: 'He showed me my way to God', a pretty good obituary for anyone. There must have been a lot of others in those 21 years in parishes and 19 years on the Missions who would say the same thing, but these are the stories that we other Jesuits may be the last to hear about.

He took an interest in what was happening around him. He was a great reader. One of the topics that fascinated him in recent years was research on DNA pools, showing where we have all come from, and that all of us all over the world are much more closely related to each other than many might like. He would always check out new publications by Jesuits.

He had a great friendship with some families, and loved to go back to Oxford to visit them. One of them told the story of John giving out to a young three year old, Daniel, by telling him that he was “too bold”, to which the young man responded that he was not “two bold”, but “three bold”.

He was a great swimmer in his young days. His brothers say that they coped with his leaving home for Emo with a certain amount of delight because they had more room in the house, and they suggested also that John, the eldest, was a bit correct and rule bound at that stage. They danced on his bed when he left, something they would not have had the nerve to do while he was still there. By the time he had grown old gracefully he had certainly lost any stiffness.

He died on the feast of St Matthew. The tax collectors were bad apples: not only did they rob people with little money, they also collaborated with the foreign occupiers who polluted the holy places. The fact that Jesus had fellowship with them by eating and drinking with them was deeply scandalous to the Jews, and understandably so. The meal in Matthew's house may have taken place after Matthew's conversion, but others there were surely not converted. But that did not stop Jesus eating with them. Calling Matthew to follow him was worse.

It's a feast that is appropriate for John's own day of entry into eternal life. He too reached out to people in trouble, and the cause of the trouble was never a block for him. He has now gone to join Matthew and the other tax collectors, and many of those with whom he walked during his ministry. He will also join the Pharisees, whom he knew are in each one of us. May he rest in peace.

Cleary, James, 1841-1921, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/93
  • Person
  • 10 May 1841-22 August 1921

Born: 10 May 1841, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1870
Final vows: 02 February 1878
Died: 22 August 1921, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia

by 1869 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1872 at Glasgow, Scotland (ANG) working
by 1877 at Castres, France (TOLO) making Tertianship
Early Irish Mission to Australia 1884

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He entered from Maynooth where he had already been ordained Deacon.

After Ordination he spent some time at an Operarius, was briefly at Crescent, and for over six years a Catechist on the Missionary Staff.
1883 he was sent to Australia and there he spent some years in Melbourne and Sydney. He was also an Operarius at Hawthorn.
1895 He was at St Patrick’s Melbourne
1901 He was sent to St Aloysius, Sydney.
1902 He was sent to Norwood
1903 He was sent to Adelaide
1905 He was sent to Riverview.
1907 He was sent to Sevenhill
1908-1914 He was sent to Norwood again.
1914 He returned to Sevenhill and he died there 22 August 1921.

◆ 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 Diocesan Priest having previously studied at Maynooth.

1868-1869 He was sent to St Acheul, Amiens, France for Rhetoric studies
1869-1870 He was sent to Leuven for theology
1870-1871 He was sent teaching to Clongowes Wood College
1871-1876 He went to Glasgow to work in a Parish there.
1876-1877 He made tertianship at Castres, France
1878-1882 He was a Missioner giving Retreats all over the country
1882-1885 He was sent teaching to Crescent College Limerick.
1885-1886 He was sent to Australia and Xavier College Kew
1886-1890 and 1900-1902 He was at St Aloysius Bourke Street teaching
1890-1891 He was sent for Parish work to Hawthorn
1891-1894 He was sent for Parish work to St Mary’s
1894-1895 He was sent for Parish work to Richmond
1895-1900 He was sent teaching to St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1904-1906 He was sent teaching to St Ignatius College Riverview
1903-1904 and 1907-1916 he was at St Ignatius Parish Norwood.
1913-1921 He was sent to do Parish work at Sevenhill

He seems to have been a little unsettled. moving frequently, and in later life was much troubled by scruples.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father James Cleary (1841-1921)

A native of Waterford, entered the Society in 1866. He was a member of the church staff at the Crescent from 1882 to 1885. This latter year he joined the mission in Australia where he was engaged first as master but later and for many years in church work until the time of his death at Sevenhills.

Clinch, James, 1668-1757, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1059
  • Person
  • 30 April 1668-06 August 1757

Born: 30 April 1668, Dublin
Entered: 11 April 1696, Lyons, France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 1703/04, Avignon, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1713
Died: 06 August 1757, County Kildare

Alias Wilis

Studied 3 years Philosophy and 4 years Theology in Society
Taught Grammar for 4 years
“Pious and gentle, though bred to arms. Loves obedience and poverty and favourite of everyone. Hard worker”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
A former Captain in Sir Maurice Eustance’s Foot (cf D’Alton’s King James Amy List - Is very pious, and though a Captain, (Dux), and in warfare from his youth, is very gentle. He works hard, and does not much fear dangers. )
1708 Came to Ireland (HIB Catalogues)
In 1752 he is said to have been thirty years in Kildare, in the house of some gentleman (nobilis) to the great edification of all the household and neighbours ( cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had a military career before Ent 12 April 1696 at Lyons
After First Vows he studied at Lyons and Avignon and was Ordained at Avignon 1704
When he had finished studies and formation he engaged in Missionary work in France.
1708/09 Sent to Ireland and was to the Dublin Residence. He worked mostly in Kill, Co Kildare where he lived at the house of a nobleman, teaching, Catechising and Preaching in the local area.
He was a consultor of the Mission and was himself often proposed for the post of Mission Superior or as Rector of Irish College Poitiers, but always pleaded poor health in excuse for declining the office. He lived, however, to an advanced age
He died 6 August, 1757 in Kildare (though the sources also mention Dublin as the place of his death)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father James Church (Clinch) 1664-1757
Fr James Church or Clinch was born according to some in Limerick, to others in Meath, in 1664. He became a Jesuit in 1695, returning to Ireland in 1703. He was solemly professed in 1713.

The last thirty years of his life he spent as a Domestic Chaplain to a family in County Kildare. He died on August 6th 1757, aged 93 years, of which 61 were spent in the Society.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CLINCH, JAMES. This Patriarch of his Brethren was born in Leinster, and embraced the rule of St. Ignatius at Lyons, on the 12th of April, 1696. He came to the Irish Mission in 1708, and made his solemn Vows, on the 15th of August, 1713. The last thirty years of his life he spent as domestic Chaplain to a family in Co. Kildare. His death took place on the 6th of August, 1757, aet. 92. Soc. 61.

Coffey, Christopher, 1830-1911, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1062
  • Person
  • 12 July 1830-29 March 1911

Born: 12 July 1830, Trim County Meath/Loughanure, Clane, Co Kildare
Entered: 23 May 1858, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare
Professed: 15 August 1868
Died: 29 March 1911, Mungret College, County Limerick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was born at Trim but brought up at Loughanure, on the Meath and Kildare border.

At the time of Entry he had good knowledge of carpentry and building. In the 50 years he spent in the Province, he is in nearly all the houses, wherever a trusty man was needed to oversee and tale charge of a building project, or some important structural change safely through. So, he was at Crescent for the building of the Church there. He was also in Galway during the building of the Church there. Later he went to St Beuno’s in Wales during the construction of the new library there.
1887 By this time he began a special relationship with Mungret. He taught carpentry to a number of young men who came to the house to be trained as Brothers for the Missions. Later he went to Milltown as clerk of works for the building of the chapel there, and then back to Mungret to supervise the building of a new storey on the old buildings of the former Agricultural College.
Even though age had begun to undermine his strength he was still able to do a fair share of work by overseeing the work of others. He was a man of reflective and contemplative style, and his conversation often gave evidence of true insight and good judgement. Among the football and cricket students he was their oracle for the weather!
He was an observant religious, peaceful in his dealings with all, never querulous, and he bore the increasing infirmities of age with great patience. Winters became more taxing, but he always seemed to emerge from this season hale and hearty. Even toward his end, there had been hopes by all that he would be seen strolling thought the grounds and corridors. He said “If the east wind holds it will carry me off, if it changes I shall pull round again for a bit, please God”.
He died peacefully 29/03/1911, and after the Requiem Mass he was brought to the small cemetery and buried between William Frayne and David MacEvoy, and close to the grave of William Ronan.

Note from Francis Hegarty Entry :
He did return after some months, and there he found in Father Bracken, a Postulant Master and Novice Master, and this was a man he cherished all his life with reverence and affection. His second Postulancy was very long and hard - four years. he took the strain and was admitted as a Novice with seven others who had not had so trying a time as himself. He liked to say that all seven along with him remained true to their vocation until death, and he was the last survivor. They were Christopher Coffey, John Freeman, David McEvoy, James Maguire, John Hanly, James Rorke and Patrick Temple.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Christopher Coffey 1830-1911
Christopher Coffey was born in 1830 at Loughanure, on the borders of Meath and Kildare. In 1858 he entered the Society as a coadjutor Brother. He had a good knowledge of building and carpentry, so during the half century he spent in the Society, he resided in those houses where building or structural works were necessary.

This he was at Crescent for the building of the Sacred Heart Church. Similarly he was in Galway for the building of the Church of St Ignatius. He was actually sent across the water to St Beuno’s for the erection of the library there. In 1887 his special connection with Mungret began.

In Mungret he taught a class of young men who had come to be trained as coadjutor brothers for the foreign missions. He interrupted this task to go to Milltown Park for the building of the chapel, but was soon back in Mungret to assist at the building of the new storey to the original house.

He was an observant religious “just before God, walking in all the Commandments of the Lord without blame”. In his old age he was remarkably edifying and cheerful under his disabilities.When hopes were expressed by his friends of seeing his familiar figure round the grounds and corridors for many more years, he used say “If the east wind holds it will carry me off; if it changes I shall pull around again for a bit, please God”.

He retained his faculties to the last, and fortified by the Rites of the Holy Church, he passed away peacefully on March 29th 1911, and he was buried in the cemetery at Mungret, close to the grave of Fr Ronan.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1911

Obituary

Brother Christopher Coffey SJ

Another of the old familiar faces has vanished from our midst. Few of our past students but will remember Br Coffey. On and off he had lived some twenty years in the college. During that time he had ever the cheery “good-day” for all, the big and the little, the young and the old.

Born at Trim in 1830, and brought up at Loughanure, on the borders of Meath and Kildare, Christopher Coffey entered the Society in 1858 as a Lay Brother. He had at the time a good knowledge of building and carpentry, During the half century he spent in the Society he resided in nearly all the houses of the Irish Province, wherever a trusty man was needed to take charge of a rising edifice or to see some important structural change safely through. Thus he was at the Crescent House, Limerick, for the building of the Church of the Sacred Heart some 46 years ago. Similarly he was at Galway, when the Church of St Ignatius was built, and he went later on to the College of St Beuno's, N Wales, for the erection of the new library there.

His special connection with Mungret began about 1887, when he taught carpentry to a number of young men who had come to this house to be trained as Lay Brothers for the foreign Missions, under a plan which was in trial for a couple of years. Later on he was at Milltown Park, as clerk of the works for the building of the chapel, and back here again when the new storey was being added to the old buildings or former Agricultural College.

As age undermined his strength he could still do his share for the general good by overseeing the labours of others. He was of a reflective and even a contemplative turn of mind, and his conversation often gave much evi dence of true insight and sound judginent. Among the football and cricket enthusiasts of the school he was looked up to as their trusted oracle of the weather.

He was an observant religious, and we may say of him that he was “just before God, walking in all the Commandments of the Lord without blame”. Peaceful in his dealings with all, he was in no wise querulous, bearing, the increasing infirmlties of old age with admirable patience: Last winter had tried him severely; but in spite of the ups und downs he would re-appear seemingly hale and hearty as ever. Even to nearly the end, hopes were entertained of again seeing his familiar figure stroll about the corridors and grounds. . But In his own philosophic way; he said - “If the east wind holds it will carry me off, if it changes I shall pull round again for a bit, please God”. He retained his faculties to the last, and fortified with the rites of Holy Church he passed away peacefully on Wednesday, the 29th of March. . On the following Friday, after Requiem Mass and Office, his re mains were borne to the little' cemetery, and were there laid to rest between those of Brs Frayne and MacEvoy, and close to the grave of Fr Ronan, where with them and some other fellow-workers he awaits the final trumpet-call. RIP

Coffey, Patrick, 1909-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/94
  • Person
  • 10 June 1909-19 August 1983

Born: 10 June 1909, Cork City
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Mungret College Sj, Limerick
Died: 19 August 1983, Kilcroney, County Wickow

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street community at time of death.

Early Education at Presentation Brothers College, Cork City

1933-1934 Caring for Health
by 1967 at West Heath Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Southwark Diocese (ANG) working
by 1971 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) working
by 1972 at Deptford London (ANG) working

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 58th Year No 4 1983

Gardiner Street
The summer months saw the passing of two members of our community. Fr Johnny McAvoy († 26th July), who had given us an outstanding example of cheerful endurance during his long struggle with ill health, was the first to go. As noted in our last report, he had had to return to Cherryfield Lodge some months ago, to receive special care. At the very end, however, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died after a brain haemorrhage which mercifully saved him from prolonged suffering.
Fr Paddy Coffey, who died almost a month later († 19th August), was also attached to our community, though he had been living at St Joseph's, Kilcroney, or many years. It is no exaggeration to say that he was a legend in the Province for his amazing will-power and persistence. It would have been fascinating to listen in to his last battle of with the Lord! His ever-widening circle of friends will miss his gentle but determined winning ways.
May he and Johnny rest in the the serenity of eternal peace.

Obituary

Obituary

Fr Patrick Coffey (1909-1926-1983)

Paddy Coffey arrived in Tullabeg on 1st September 1926: a sporty little Corkonian ready for anything, a bony little flier at football who would go through you with delight, kicking the shins off you in his passage. He seemed to lose a lot of this zest in the he had a period of pious “broken head” - a term which older Jesuits may have to explain to younger, less pious ones.
As far as I recall he was well while in Rathfarnham, where he got an Honours BA, but after that he was seldom free from illness and disability. In philosophy at Tullabeg he had a long and serious illness, during which he was reduced almost to the state of a vegetable. It is said that the authorities thought he should leave the Society, but Paddy dug his heels in. That dogged and even obstinate determination became a well-known characteristic of his. He began philosophy in 1931, but his was so interrupted that it did not end until 1936.
After Tullabeg he spent two years in Mungret, where he was prefect of Third Club and teacher. After theology in Milltown, where he was ordained in 1941, in 1943 he returned
to Mungret, where by far the greater part of his life was to be spent: indeed, he became identified with Mungret. For two years he was prefect of First Club. The boys used to mimic a saying from a pep-talk of his: Rugby is a game of blood and mud! When there was a difference of opinion about policy or a fixture, he would fight quite fiercely to the last and when he yielded, it was from his religious spirit.
Besides teaching, he also edited the Mungret Annual. This was his greatest work in and for Mungret. He had a great feeling for the boys - I never heard him running them down - and an exceptional involvement with the Past: probably the reason he was made editor of the Annual. Indeed, he founded and produced the Mungret Eagle for the Past. This was a brochure of about 8 to 12 pages,containing photographs and all the bits of news that could be gathered about their whereabouts and activities, with a section about the Present. It was sent out free several times a year, and was eagerly read.
I don't think any function of the Mungret Union took place without him. Later on, in Gardiner street, he asked Fr Kieran Hanley if he might go to the Mungret Union dinner. When that benign and not easily outwitted superior, said, “Certainly,Paddy, in fact you ought to go”'. Paddy added, with his little grin, “It's in London, you know”.
Paddy's life-story is less than half told without mention of his serious accident. He was on a supply in the Dartford area of Kent in August 1953: the date was the 16th. His motor-bike stalled as he was crossing the highway, and a speeding car crashed into him. He was unconscious for at least a week and a leg had to be amputated. The hospital staff said that in his situation any ordinary person would have died, and they were astonished at his exceptional determination, which gradually carried him through. He never learned to use the artificial leg as it could be used, but when he returned to Mungret, he had obviously resolved to carry on as if nothing had happened. He got a bicycle made with one loose pedal crank, and on it he propelled himself shakily with one leg into town almost every day. He also insisted on keeping his room at the very top of the house, until the community could no longer bear the nerve-racking sound of him stumping up the stairs at midnight or later. It was during these years that his notable work with the Union and the Annual was done. He also taught (at least until 1964), but was quite likely to fall asleep in class.
He was well-known to be quite shameless and even peremptory in 'exploiting' his friends of the Past with regard to motor transport by day or by night. When he had left Mungret (which he did in 1966), I happened to be with a group who were jokingly recalling the occasions when they were commandeered, and it made me wonder when they ended up saying unanimously “All the same, he was a saint”. I have always suspected that he gave a good deal of his presence to less well-off people in Limerick, but Paddy played his cards so close to his chest that one never
knew the half of his activities,
Mention of cards reminds me that he loved card games, “hooleys”, sing songs, hotels, and visiting his friends. Yet I always felt that though he was ready for any escapade that didn't involve excommunication, with himself he was a very strict religious, unswervingly faithful to the way he was brought up.
I don't think anyone expected that he would ever leave Mungret as well again, but in 1966 he launched out, “wooden leg” and all, to Birmingham, where he did parish work for three years, then for six more years did the same in Deptford (Southwark diocese). In 1975 he joined the Gardiner street community, but lived in some kind of accommodation in North Summer street and worked in Seán McDermott street parish.
He was about a year in Dublin when he suffered a stroke which left: one arm useless and affected his leg. With his unconquerable determination he soldiered on in St Joseph's, Kilcroney, for seven long and trying years, keeping in touch with his friends by continual letters, getting taken out at every opportunity, even when he was reduced to using a wheelchair. He was always glad to see members of the Society. The last, almost inaudible, words I heard from him, a few hours before he died (19th August 1983), were “Coffee, piles of it, but don't tell the nurse!”
May he rest in peace at last, and may his long sufferings and indomitable spirit merit for him 'above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.

Coghlan, Bartholomew, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/95
  • Person
  • 28 December 1873-10 October 1954

Born: 28 December 1873, Clogheen, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 10 October 1954, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1896 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1910 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
The Irish Sodality : This Sodality is directed by Fr Michael McGrath. It grew out of the first week-end retreat in Irish at Milltown Park in 1916. After the retreat, steps were taken with a view to the formation of an Irish-speaking Sodality for men. Success attended the effort, and the first meeting was held in Gardiner Street on Friday in Passion Week. The Sodality soon numbered 400 members. In 1917 a second Irish-speaking Sodality, exclusively for women, was established. In a short time it was found advisable to amalgamate the two branches. The Sodality is now in a flourishing condition, and has every prospect of a bright future before it. In addition to the Sodality, there is an annual “open” retreat given in Gardiner Street to Irish speakers. The first of these retreats was given in 1923 by Fr Coghlan, he also gave the second the following year. The third was given by Father Saul.

Irish Province News 30th Year No 1 1955
Obituary :
Father Bartholomew Coghlan

Fr. Bartholomew Coughlan Fr. Coghlan was born on December 28th, 1873 at Clogheen, Co. Tipperary. After attending Mungret College he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg on September 7th, 1893. He went to Roehampton for his classical studies in 1895, and did Philosophy in Valkenburg from 1896-1899. He came to Crescent College, Limerick in the summer of 1899, and taught there until he went to Belvedere in 1901. In 1903 he went to teach in Clongowes, and in 1905 began Theology in Milltown. He was ordained there in 1908 and after Theology taught for a year in the Crescent, then going to Linz, in Austria, for his Tertianship.
After Tertianship, Fr. Coghlan spent a year in Belvedere, teaching, and assisting Fr. Joseph MacDonnell, in the work of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart. Then he spent three years teaching in the Crescent, followed by four in Mungret. In 1918 he came to Galway to work both in church and school. He taught in the college until it was suspended in 1926, when he continued on with his work in the church. For a number of years he was Director of the Irish Sodality attached to St. Ignatius.
After long years of unswerving devotion to all aspects of church work, but especially to the arduous toil of the confessional, advancing age began to make its demands on his splendid constitution. For a time he fought off these attacks and continued to live by the regime he made peculiarly his own, but in the end he could no longer rally spent forces, and died peacefully, fortified by the rites of the Church, on October 10th. He was laid to rest mourned alike by the community, to which his very presence gave a special, highly-prized character, and his passing a sense of irreparable loss; and by the people of the city whom he had served so long and so unselfishly.
We give below two appreciations of Fr. Coghlan which have reached us. That the writers are separated by almost a generation suggests the universality of the appeal of Fr. Coghlan's personality,
“A man of giant frame, and of giant intellect and amazing memory; a reader and speaker of the chief European languages, Irish, German, French, English, Italian, Russian and Swedish and a lover of the classics; a historian consulted by many on the bye-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions; a confessor, who was a real anam-chara, a soul friend, to prelates and priests and people, high and low, from all over Connacht; a true patriot, in the Fenian tradition, one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, and always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom - Fr. Batt was all that. But it was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self-sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour, springing from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From that root, too, came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose or affectation and was the chief characteristic of his death-bed, when as men view all life from ‘that horizontal’, all pose or affectation falls away.
“We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man.
“Go ndéantar toil Dé. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam umhal uasal”.
“When I thought of writing something by way of appreciation of Fr. Coghlan, a remark of Fr. Peter Dwyer, who died some years since, occurred to my mind : '’ am a good friend of Fr. Coghlan's’ - and then, ruefully, ‘But Fr. Coghlan is very hard on his friends’. He was alluding, of course, to Fr. Coghlan's obliviousness of time, once he had induced you to sit down in the big chair - which he himself rarely or never used, ‘for a few words’. Fr. Coghlan loved a chat - it was his only relaxation in these later years when he became unable to move about freely; the wonder is that he survived, and with relatively good health, without some modicum of physical exercise.
And then while you were thus ensconsed you had the benefit of his varied knowledge the method was informal - the transitions, simplicity itself; but when you surveyed this mass, you found included - Russia and Sweden, and Germany and Italy, an episode from Michelet, a remark from Pastor. But these were only a fraction of his acquisitions; then Silva Gadelica and Séadhna and the Homes of Tipperary brought him home and it was home moulded his outlook, however extensive his other learning. With all that he was not merely bookish; his wide experience as a confessor had broadened the humanity in him which won him so much esteem and so many friends at home and without. Some of these friends were won many years previously, and correspondence continued when direct contact had long become impossible; his Christmas letters were well nigh as far-flowing as his reading - to religious whose vocations he had fostered, to scholastics or young priests who had won his intimacy while attached to the staff here. In his friendship for the latter particularly, I think, he preserved his youth.
His character and whole temperament was simple and straight forward; nothing studied or calculated attracted him; he was impatient of affectation or what appeared affectation to him and he reacted accordingly; if he had a ‘wart’ it was this - that he was possibly over-sensitive on this point.
The sincerity, which was instructive, was readily recognised; the sympathy and consolation he could provide in his equable fatherly way made him the confessor par excellence and priests and laity, having once discovered this treasure, returned continuously over long years for his guidance. These demands were no small burden, but he was devoted to this work and even towards the end - when his strength was evidently overtaxed - he replied to expostulations ‘some people will probably be waiting below who would find themselves less at home with another’ and he trudged to the box.
These appear to be the salient points in this review from one who only knew him late; if Fr. Dwyer's remark was true we only now appreciate ‘when the well is dry’ that the balance of payments for time expended was all in our favour his value was of things from afar. R.I.P.”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Bartholomew Coughlan 1873-1954
Fr Batt Coughlan, as he was affectionately called, was a man of giant frame, giant intellect and amazing memory, a reader and speaker of the eight chief European languages, including Russian and Swedish.

He was a lover of the classics, an historian, consulted by many on the by-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions. He was a confessor who was a real “anam-cara”, a soul friend to prelates, priests and people, high and low from all over Connaught.

He was a true patriot in the Fenian tradition, and one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom.

But is was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour springing up from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all. From that root too came a strange childlike simplicity, that made him above all pose of affectation, and was the chief characteristic of his death bed, when as men view all life from that horizontal, all poise of affectation falls away.

He was born in Clogheen Tipperary inn 1873, educated at Mungret and entered at Tullabeg in 1893.

His life in the Society was spent mainly in the classroom and Church. From 1918 he was stationed at Galway, till the breath left him peacefully and effortlessly on October 10th 1954.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father Bartholomew Coghlan SJ

Fr Batt Coughlan was born on December 28th 1873, at Clogheen, Co Tipperary. After leaving Mungret College he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1893. After doing some of his studies abroad he was ordained in 1908 at Milltown Park. After completing his studies, Fr Coughlan spent a year in Belvedere assisting Fr Joseph McDonnell in the work of the Irish Messenger. There followed three years teaching in the Crescent College, with four in Murgret. In 1918 he went to Galway to work in both school and Church, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Fr Coughlan was a man of great intellect, and amazing memory. He spoke the chief European languages, Irish, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish, and loved the classics. He was a historian consulted by many on the byeways of history, a theologian whose advice was often sought on moral questions, a confessor who was a real soul friend to prelates, priests and people of all classes from all over the West. It was, however, his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and sick and his rich fund of humours spring from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From thắt root too came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose and affectation, and was characteristic of his deathbed when all pose and affectation fall away. As some one remarked “We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man”. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Bartholomew Coghlan (1873-1954)

Was born in Clogheen, Co. Tipperary and at the end of his school days at Mungret College, entered the Society in 1893. He studied at Rhoehampton, Valkenburg, Milltown Park, and in Austria. He was ordained priest in Dublin in 1908. Father Coghlan's first association with the Crescent was during his scholastic days from 1899-1901. He returned as a priest in 1908 but spent only a year. He was again at the Crescent from 1911 to 1914. He continued as master at Mungret College (1914-18) when he left for St Ignatius College, Galway, where he remained until his death. By modern standards, Father Coghlan was not a great teacher. He was, perhaps, too learned to be a successful master. His repertoire of languages included Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish. But he carried his gifts modestly. He was universally loved and respected by his pupils. During his long association with Galway city, Father “Bart”, as he was affectionately known, was the anam-chara of the town and county. His spiritual direction was highly valued by the clergy, religious and laity alike.

Coghlan, John I, 1829-1897, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1064
  • Person
  • 21 April 1829-07 August 1897

Born: 21 April 1829, Templebraden, County Limerick
Entered: 23 July 1852, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Ordained: 20 September 1862, St Francis Xavier Church, St Louis University, St Louis MO, USA
Professed: 02 February 1866, Leavenworth KS, USA
Died: 07 August 1897, St Louis University St Louis, MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Coghlan, Seán, 1933-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2354
  • Person
  • 29 October 1933-02 September 2021

Born: 29 October 1933, Farranshone, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1970, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 September 2021, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - China Province (CHN)

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

1951-1953 St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1953-1956 Rathfarnham Castle - Studying
1956-1959 St Stanislaus College Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1961 Xavier, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency, studying language
1961-1962 Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency, teaching
1962-1966 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle - Tertianship
1967-1978 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong - teaching; Rector (1972)
1978-1981 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
1981-1983 Casa Ricci, Largo de Sto Agostinho, Macau, Hong Kong
1983-1988 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong
1988-1996 Wah Yan Hong Kong
1996-2021 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/sean-coughlan-rip/

Remembering Sean Coghlan, SJ (1933-2021)

Sean was born in Limerick in 1833 and was educated at Sacred Heart College, the Crescent. A good student, with a quiet sense of humour and easy manner, he had a keen interest in sport, especially rugby and hurling, though his own slight frame militated against prowess in such games.

Beneath an unassuming exterior, he had a strong will and a deep spiritual sense. He joined the Jesuits on leaving school and followed the usual programme of formation until 1959 when he was appointed to Hong Kong. Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained priest in 1965. He returned to Hong Kong two years later and in 1972 was appointed rector of the Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Aged 40 years, he was the youngest of the 46 Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

Many years on, marking his golden jubilee in 2001, the General of the Society wrote praising him for his leadership as rector of Wah Yan, Kowloon, 1972-’79, and as principal of Wah Yan, Hong Kong, 1986-1997. There was also a mention of his efforts in support of the rights of seamen (a life-long interest), and his initiatives in the work of street sleepers. The General might have added his service of refugees, and his abiding interest in and care of students, past and present.

In this last area, he and Fr Deignan, as principals of the two Wah Yans, went to Canada in August 1990 as guests of the Past Students Association in Toronto and Vancouver. They received a most warm welcome. Seven years later, during a furlough, Sean had a memorable visit to past students in the United States and Canada. He recalled: ‘Ex-HK people were in tears when they saw me’. He was ‘bewildered and humbled by the gratitude and respect expressed by the alumni’.

One past student put into writing a tribute to Jesuit education which Sean cherished – “Jesuit education … probes the meaning of human life… Its objective is to assist in the fullest possible development of the God-given talents of each individual person as a member of the human community … Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person.” It reflected Sean’s own care and concern.

Despite the responsibilities of position and office, Sean, though he could be quite assertive when the occasion required it, remained affable, approachable, and kept his sense of fun and humour. This characteristic could lead to unusual situations at times. Notably in 1989 when Father General, Pedro Arrupe, visited Hong Kong.

Sean, as rector, and Paddy McGovern, as his minister, waited at the lift one night for the return of the General from a late dinner. From time to time they used to put in time clowning at bull fighting. On this occasion, after a long wait, they indulged in the pursuit. To the extent, indeed, that they did not hear the lift starting up. Consequently, when the General emerged from the lift he found the Father Minister crouched down with his fingers to his head representing horns and fiercely charging the Rector in trousers and singlet, waving his shirt as a cape and executing a dangerous pass. Fortunately, Fr Arrupe, a Basque gentleman, found the spectacle amusing.

Ten years later, in 1999, there was much concern over an operation for cancer on Fr Freddie Deignan. After the operation, Sean sent a relieved fax message to the Provincial that Fr Deignan had come through the operation very well – ‘Shortly after the operation he asked me if Manchester United had won their match last night’.

In 2005, on the occasion of a visit from the Irish taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Fr Deignan, in his address, mentioned that the Irish province had sent a total of 105 Jesuits to Hong Kong and that now there were just ten left. The decline in numbers led to a decision to produce a history of the Hong Kong Mission. This was commissioned in 2005 and was published in 2008 as Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond (1926-2006), a volume of more than 800 pages and 236 photographs.

In the subsequent years the work of the mission proceeded at a somewhat lesser pace, with Fr Deignan receiving honorary doctorates in recognition of his work for education in Hong Kong, while his friend Sean Coghlan remained a welcoming presence at Ricci Hall and went on with his quiet work for students as warden.

For recreation, he continued his practice of long walks, often accompanied by his friend, a Protestant minister. As the years passed, his health deteriorated gradually, but he still kept an active interest in the fortunes in rugby of his home province and rejoiced at the all-Ireland success of his home county in hurling. He died loved and respected at the age of eighty-eight years. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Thomas Morrissey,

Collins, Desmond, 1920-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/493
  • Person
  • 04 July 1920-02 February 1996

Born: 04 July 1920, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 February 1996, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

Youngest brother of John (RIP 1997) and Ted RIP (2003)

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 86 : July 1996
Obituary
Fr Desmond (Des) Collins (1920-1996)

4th July 1920: Born in Dublin
7th Sept. 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham Castle, BA at UCD
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg, Philosophy Limerick,
1947 - 1949: Crescent College, Regency
1949 - 1950: Belvedere College, Regency
1950 - 1954; Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1953: Ordination at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham Castle, Tertianship
1955 - 1959; Clongowes Wood College, Teacher and Study Prefect
2nd Feb. 1956: Final Vows
1959 - 1973: Belvedere College, Teacher
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham Castle, Minister
1976 - 1996; St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
1976 - 1980: Assistant Prefect of the Church
1980 - 1981: Minister, Church Ministry
1981 - 1990: Chaplain to St Monica's, Director Jesuit Seminary Association (TSA), Church Ministry
1990 - 1994: Assistant Chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital, Director JSA, Church Ministry
1994 - 96: Director JSA, Church Ministry, Assistant to Cherryfield Lodge.
Fr. Collins continued his Chaplaincy work at St. Vincent's Private Hospital until very recently, although in failing health. At the end of January, he got a severe pain and was operated on the same day for a ruptured aneurism. He suffered a heart attack during the operation, followed by renal failure. He never came off the life-support.
2nd Feb. 1996: Died at the Mater Hospital.

“I believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting”.

This belief in the communion of saints is the reason for us all being here today for the funeral Mass of Fr. Des Collins who died last Friday. We are here either because we are his relatives or his companions as Jesuits or parishoners and friends who experienced his love and affection. The communion of saints is a bond which is not broken even by death.

In this funeral Mass we come together to ask God to have mercy on Des and to forgive him any sins which he may have committed in this life and to beg God to admit Des into the company of His saints in heaven.

Our Mass is also our Eucharist. We come together to thank the Lord for all the gifts he has given to this companion of Jesus and for all the good done by the Lord through Des during his life on this earth.

Des gave himself to the Society of Jesus when he was 19. After 14 years in formation, he was ordained a priest of the Society in 1953 and lived the priestly life to the full for 43 years - until he died last Friday, on the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Des could say as Simeon said so long ago: “At last, all powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise”.

I have lived as a priest in Hong Kong for the past 46 years and so many of you had more contact with Des over the years here in Ireland. For the first 18 years of his priestly life he was teaching, first in Clongowes and then for about 14 years in Belvedere. For this period of his life I had little contact with him, as we did not come home so often from the missions. What I remember about him at that time was that he was a dedicated tennis coach in Belvedere, as well as being a dedicated teacher. But for the rest of his priestly life he was involved in more direct pastoral work and for over twenty years lived in this community of St. Francis Xavier's Gardiner Street, assisting in the Church but involved in many other pastoral activities as well.

To find out what people thought of Des, I asked several persons here with whom he lived or who knew him well. Many said he was a quiet, unassuming person. A person of great faith, he had a great love of persons. He had a good whimsical sense of humour. He was a very dedicated person both to his work and to his friends, many of whom were poor or sick. One colleague said to me at breakfast this morning “I wonder what will he say to Martin Luther when he sees him in heaven”, I myself thought afterwards, “And what will Paul the 6th say to him when Des meets him in heaven?” I met Des on the stairs one night at about 12.30, just after he had let a man out of the house. When I asked Des how come, he told me that this person had AIDS and that he was trying to find a place for him to live. Des had his limitations, as all of us have. But he was a kind, dedicated person who stood up for two fundamental values which he considered paramount: in the wider society he was pro-life and in his life in the Society he was pro-Pope. He concentrated so much on these two issues that I myself for a long time thought he over-emphasised them: the dignity of the human person, big or small and loyalty to the Pope as the mark of a Jesuit. But now he knows the truth and I wonder if he will feel vindicated. These two human and Christian values have many ramifications which we are now only beginning to realize.

Christ was a man for others and Des was a follower of his in this respect. When I was asked to say something about Des, a saying from Vatican II came to mind: “God has willed to make persons holy and save them, not as individuals but as members of a people” or of a family. I said that Des was involved in many other pastoral activities besides St. Francis Xavier's Church. For over twenty years he lived here and served in different capacities and was well loved by people in the parish. He was interested in the history of Gardiner Street Church and on the occasion of its 150th anniversary wrote a pamphlet on its history. What, then, were these other pastoral activities? I will mention only two here because I feel those were ones in which he had a special involvement. The first was being assistant chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital. He was chaplain there for only five years but was sad and a bit indignant when his religious Superiors withdrew him for reasons of health. “I consulted several doctors”, he said to me, “and they told me my heart was alright”. But events showed that his superiors were right. The people in St. Vincents, whether patients or staff, had a deep affection for him.

The second pastoral activity was his summer holiday in California. Every year for more than twenty years he took a month or six weeks holiday in Susanville, north California, taking the place of the Irish pastor there who took his holidays in Ireland. Des would protest when we asked him: When are you going on holidays this year? I'm not going on holidays, he would say, I'm going to work in a parish. The parishioners there loved him and I found many letters to him in his room. Des could never take a holiday just for the sake of a holiday. When in Susanville he liked to golf on his free day. But this was an occasion for a group of Irish pastors in the diocese of Sacramento to meet him on the golf course, some travelling quite a distance. I believe he was to many of them an “anam chara” to whom they could bring their troubles, even on the golf course. They will miss him. So too his relatives, many of whom are here today.

One last remark. Since coming back, I have been living in Des's room and only here have I realized how much he himself has suffered from ill-health. I think it was a secret he kept to himself for he never complained until the pain was acute and he had to go to hospital. I chose the reading from St. Matthew's gospel today because I thought it appropriate to Des. Des had a love for persons, especially the sick and the marginalized. It was an Ignatian type of love, shown more by deeds than by words, for Des was not a demonstrative type of person. I can hear Christ saying to him: “Come you blessed of my Father and enter the kingdom, prepared for you since the coming of the world. As often as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me!” May we too hear these words from Christ's lips when we too come to the end of our journey in this life!

Ted Collins SJ, Tuesday, 6th Feb 1996 Feast of SS Paul Miki and Companions.

◆ The Clongownian, 1996
Obituary

Father Desmond Collins SJ

Those who were in Clongowes in the late 1950's may remember Fr Des Collins, who was teacher and study prefect here from 1955-59. A Dubliner, he spent the bulk of his working life as a Jesuit in the centre of the city - seventeen years in Belvedere College and the last twenty years of his life in Gardiner St. He died on the 40th anniversary of his Final Vows, 2 February 1996, aged 75. May he rest in peace.

Condon, John D, 1836-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1083
  • Person
  • 14 November 1836-26 March 1908

Born: 14 November 1836, Kilfinnane, County Limerick
Entered: 12 September 1870, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Professed: 15 August 1883
Died 26 March 1908, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Transcribed HIB to MIS : 1872

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - DOB 14 November 1837; Involved with Father De Smet from 1872

Connell, Francis, 1864-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1088
  • Person
  • 31 March 1864-12 July 1951

Born: 31 March 1864, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 12 November 1886, Xavier Melbourne, Australia
Ordained: 1900
Professed: 15 August 1902
Died: 12 July 1951, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1895 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1896 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1901 at Sartirana, Merate, Como, Italy (VEM) making Tertianship
by 1902 returned to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Older brother of Dominic - RIP 1933

His early education was at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and then he Entered the Society at Xavier College Kew

1888-1889 After First Vows he did his Juniorate at Xavier College
1889--1890 He was sent for a Regency to St Aloysius College Sydney
1890-1892 He continued his regency at St Ignatius College Riverview. Here his singing at the boy’s concerts was popular. He was also Director of Rowing, and in 1891 he welcomed the Governor and his wife Lord and Lady Jersey to a rowing regatta.
1892-1894 He finished his Regency at Xavier College Kew
1894-1897 He was sent to Leuven Belgium and Stonyhurst England for Philosophy.
1897-1900 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1900-1901 He made Tertianship at Merate Italy
1901-1904 He was sent teaching at Mungret College Limerick.
1904-1905 He was sent to St Aloysius College Sydney as First Prefect.
1906-1914 He was then sent for a long experience of teaching at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, where he was also President of the Men’s Sodality (1906-1912)
1917-1921 He was sent to work at the Norwood Parish, where he was involved with the choir and taught catechism at local schools.
1921-1947 He then began a long association with St Ignatius College Riverview.
1947-1951 He spent his last years praying for the Church and Society at Canisius College Pymble

His reputation among his students was that of a very kind and thoughtful man. He was a gifted linguist in French, German, Spanish and Italian, and a respected teacher in his earlier years. He wrote many poems that appeared in the Riverview “Alma Mater”.

The above said he was also cursed with a strong temper which he never really conquered. The turning point in his life came at the Norwood Parish in 1920. There was a problem which resulted in his being moved to Riverview, where the Rector was instructed to keep a close eye on his correspondence and movements. He took this very badly himself and allowed himself to become embittered against all Superiors, and even against the Society itself. He did not conceal this bitterness, even from the boys at Riverview. This, of course, only strengthened the Superiors in their resolve to monitor him. He remained an unhappy man and was never reconciled with his Superiors.

His final move to Pymble was a happier one and he ended his life in greater peace.

At the time of his death he was the oldest man in the Province.

Connell, Thomas, 1874-1942, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/99
  • Person
  • 03 January 1874-01 July 1942

Born: 03 January 1874, Moylagh, Oldcastle, County Meath
Entered: 09 October 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 08 September 1919, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 01 July 1942, Dublin

Part of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly at time of his death.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 4 1942
Obituary :
Brother Thomas Connell SJ

Brother Connell was born in 1874, near Oldcastle, Co. Meath. He spent several years in he service of the D.U.T.C., and was 31 years of age when he entered the noviceship in 1905. He spent 1907-1912 “ad dom” in Belvedere. and 1913-1914 as cook, infirmarian, and “ad dom” in the Crescent. In 1915 he went to Galway and there began his career as a most diligent and successful gardener. In 1928 he went to Tullabeg where he remained as gardener to his death. He was a very conscientious and genuine religious. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Thomas Connell 1874-1942
Br Thomas Connell was born at Oldcastle County Meath in 1874. Having spent some years as an employee of the Dublin United Tramway Company, he became a Jesuit in 1905 at the age of 31.

His life in the Society was spent as a gardener, first in Galway and then till his death in Tullabeg. A man of few words, he was always absorbed in prayer with God and was considered by many generations of Philosophers as a mystic. He was an example to all in his fidelity to duty and observance of the Rule.

He died in Tullabeg on July 1st 1942.

Connolly, Patrick J, 1875-1951 Jesuit priest and editor

  • IE IJA J/31
  • Person
  • 14 December 1875-07 March 1951

Born: 14 December 1875, Killomoran, Gort, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 March 1951, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson St, Dublin

by 1896 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1898 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1912 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Connolly, Patrick J.
by C. J. Woods

Connolly, Patrick J. (1875–1951), Jesuit priest and journal editor, was born 23 November 1875 at Killomoran, near Gort, Co. Galway, a son of Patrick Connolly, an illiterate farmer, and his wife, Mary (née Connors). He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick. After entering the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1893, he studied in England, at Roehampton, and France, at Vals. He then taught at Mungret, Belvedere and Clongowes, and was ordained priest in 1910.

From July 1914 until September 1950 he was editor of the new Irish Jesuit quarterly, Studies, which he made the most important catholic periodical read by Irish intellectuals. It contained articles on social issues, philosophy, history, economics (all pertaining directly or indirectly to Ireland), and on the state of continental Europe. An example from 1933 is a perceptive assessment of Hitler by D. A. Binchy (qv). Connolly's only original contribution was a two-part article, ‘Karl Lueger’, on the militantly catholic mayor of Vienna (Studies, iii, 1914, 280–91, iv, 1915, 226–49). Having spent a year in Austria after ordination, he greatly admired Lueger, a man of humble origins supported by the petty bourgeoisie and industrial workers, as a daring social reformer and as an opponent of ‘the Liberals and the Jews’. From 1924 until 1949 Connolly was spiritual director of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. On 7 December 1939 he was awarded an honorary D.Litt. by the NUI. Attached, for almost all his career, to the Jesuit house at 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin, he died 7 March 1951 in Dublin.

GRO; Ir. Times, 8 Dec. 1939, 8 Mar. 1951; Irish Independent, 8 Mar. 1951; Irish Provincial News, vii, no. 3 (July 1951), 76–9; Michael Tierney, ‘Looking back’, Studies, xxxix (1950), 369–72; Michael Tierney, ‘Studies, 1912–1962’, Studies, li (1962), 1–8 (with portrait); J. A. Gaughan, Olivia Mary Taaffe, 1832–1918, foundress of St Joseph's Young Priests Society (1995) (with portrait)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Father PJ Connolly

Father Patrick Connolly died on Wednesday morning, March 7th, just four weeks after an operation which had seemed to promise complete recovery. His sudden death came as a shock to many of his friends who had been expecting to see him back again in his familiar haunts. To the members of his own community it was the breaking of a very much cherished link with the past. For Father Connolly had come to Leeson Street in the summer of 1914, and had been Editor of Studies for the long and unbroken period of thirty-six years. Though his name no longer appeared as Editor in the status of 1950, he was asked to see the September issue through the press since he had in fact planned it. That was the last issue which came out under his supervişion. In December the new Editor very suitably produced an issue which opened with a most generous and sympathetic notice of Father Connolly's achievement from Dr. Michael Tierney, now President of University College, Dublin and for many years his most faithful and valued contributor. The issue for March had not yet appeared when the final call came. Fittingly enough, life ended within a few months of the end of an unusually long and fruitful editorship.
Father Connolly was a Galwayman, a native of Gort. On the day that he died Sir Joseph Glynn, another native of Gort, died after a long illness in Dublin. The two men, priest and layman, had been associated for many years in the work of Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society, and their common interest in their native county may well have held them together in this good work for the education of young boys who wished to study for the priesthood. But Father Connolly had another motive for his life-long interest in this work. He himself had been educated in Mungret College, in the great days of Father Vincent Byrne's rectorship, and he never lost an opportunity of helping his Alma Mater when there was question of finding a suitable school for the education of some young aspirant to the priesthood. In later years it was a standing joke in the community to reproach him with having been the Rector's favourite boy during his years at school. He left Mungret in the summer of 1893, and entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in the following September. As a Junior he was sent for two years to the English Juniorate at Manresa, Roehampton, even then it was thought probable that his work would lie in literary activity. From Manresa he went to Vals as a philosopher, then to Mungret, Belvedere and Clongowes for the years of his regency. He was in Milltown Park from 1907 to 1911, being ordained in the summer of 1910. After a year in a Tertian in Austria, he came back to Clongowes as Master of English as 1912.
The Fathers of the Leeson Street community had begun to publish Studies in the Spring of 1912, with Father Corcoran as Editor. It was a false start - so false that it came near to being fatal. At the visitation of 1914 the abandonment of the whole enterprise was seriously considered, and one of the debts which the Irish Province owes to Father T. V. Nolan is that he decided to continue publication, bringing Father Connolly from Clongowes to Dublin for that purpose. Hitherto the Leeson Street community had been responsible for the finances of the new Quarterly. Henceforward the Province made itself responsible for any possible loss. But the appointment of the new Editor soon turned loss into gain.
The first ten or twelve years were the most successful of Father Connolly's long tenure of office as Editor of Studies. They were the years when the first World War was opening new horizons in social and international questions abroad. At home Sinn Fein was sweeping the country, and the Anglo-Irish literary movement of the first two decades of the century was giving place to a more actively political and national campaign. It was an opportunity for any Editor with vision, and Father Connolly's fellow-workers were never slow to remind him that vision was his special gift. Beyond all doubt the quarterly issues of Studies from 1914 to the early 'thirties were a fine achievement, of which lay Editor might be proud. Hardly a name that was known in .the country as writer or thinker is missing from the title-pages of those years. The Civil War took the heart out of the national movement from 1922 onwards, but there was still enough mental energy in the country to make men eager to plan, and put their thoughts on paper. Eoin MacNeill and his pupils had set men studying the history of Ireland from a new angle, and Father Connolly was always willing to print any article that could fairly be described as a serious contribution to the study of Irish history.
As the years went on, the split between the two sections of what had once been the Sinn Fein party tended to harden on party lines, and an Editor was less free in his choice of contributors. During the 'thirties the European scene was intensely dramatic in its swift movements, with the clash of strong personalities and the ever-growing challenge to Catholic principles. Some of the best articles printed in these years dealt rather with European than Irish politics, though there was always a steady stream of articles on Irish social and economic problems as well as on various aspects of Irish history. Then came the second World War, with the declaration of Irish neutrality. No Irish Editor found those years easy to negotiate, and Father Connolly's own mental and physical energies were beginning to fail. The astonishing thing is that he continued for so long to produce, four times a year, new issues of Studies which - though some of them lacked the old brilliance and effervescence - had still a wide range of interest for many readers. The end of the War brought the problems of the post-war world in which we are still struggling to live. It did nothing to lessen the economic difficulties which face all editors and publishers today. Father Connolly struggled manfully against failing health and ever increasing external handicaps. His successor inherits a fine tradition, and may be sure that he inherits also the good-will of many readers and contributors to what has become a national institution.
Father Connolly had been a member of the Leeson Street community for almost forty years at the time of his death, and his well-marked habits and mannerisms had come to be accepted as part of the permanent background of the community's life. In the city his friends were numerous, and they were most loyal to him as he was always loyal to them. It was at the suggestion of a group of these friends that the National University of Ireland conferred the degree of Doctor of Literature Honoris causa on Father Connolly in recognition of his services to Irish letters in the past thirty years. The ceremony took place on December 7th, 1939. In the December issue of Studies Dr. Tierney gave a rapid sketch of the various journalistic ventures that have been associated, at one time or another, with the long history of University College, Dublin. He ended as follows : “Though there has recently been a welcome revival in the kind of serious journalism of which Father Connolly is such a master, the last thirty years has been a hard period for quarterlies. Our present world is far less favourable to their survival than the very different one into which Studies was born. ... The continued existence of Studies at the level at once of scholarly inquiry and of appeal to an educated intelligence to which Father Connolly brought it under unceasing difficulties is a necessity both for the College and the nation it serves. He will, I am sure, ask for no better acknowledgement of the value of his work than the determination to continue it in the spirit he inherited from predecessors stretching back to Newman, and has handed on invigorated and enriched by his own long years of unselfish devotion”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Connolly SJ 1875-1951
Fr Patrick Connolly was born in Gort, County Galway on December 14th 1875. He received his early education at Mungret College and after he entered the Society.

As a scholastic and as a priest he taught English at Clongowes, where he showed his fine literary taste, and high standard of writing. “Studies, the contemporary Review of the National University had been founded in 1912, and for some years run an editorial board with no great success. Indeed, things had come to such an impasse, that there was question of ceasing publication. To the credit of the Provincial FR TV Nolan was the decision to carry on, and to his greater credit and discernment was his appointment of Fr Connolly as Editor in chief. Almost immediately it began its course as a high class review, which was to have a great place, not only in the cultural life of Ireland, but also to be accepted by the leading Universities of the world.

Fr Connolly was a born Editor. He made the maintenance and advance of Studies is life-work. Questions of Irish interest, political, historical, economic predominated, but it remained a Catholic review and had articles of Church interest. This good wrk that Fr Connolly kept going through the gravest of crises – two world ward, the struggle for independence at home, the economic war and various smaller domestic storms. He did all of this for well nigh 40 years.

But Studies did not absorb all his energies. For many years he had a deep and practical interest in St Joseph’s Young Priests Society. He was the Spiritual Father and examined candidates and was accustomed to visit students in their various colleges. Personally he was a bit odd, but a great favourite, especially in Leeson Street, where he was somewhat of an institution. When he explained that the old “characters” of the Province had disappeared, his hearers would smile and remark to one another, that while he lived, the race of “characters”would not be extinct. He had a genuine affective love for the Society. As an appreciation of his distinguished services he received an honorary degree of Litt from the National University.

He died on March 7th 1951, after an operation which seemed to promise complete recovery.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1951

Obituary

Father PJ Connolly SJ

On March 7th we learned with regret of the death, in a Dublin Nursing Home, of Rev P J Connolly SJ. Born in Gort, Co. Galway, he was educated in Mungret, leaving here for the Noviciate of the Society of Jesus in the autumn of 1893. After he had completed his noviceship, he was sent to Manresa House, Roehampton, to pursue his studies in humanities, and upon leaving there, he continued his studies on the Continent, more particularly in France and Austria.

Upon his return to Ireland, he taught for some years at Clongowes, and in Mungret, leaving to begin his Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin in 1907. He was ordained at Milltown in 1910.
Two years after the foundation by the Jesuit Fathers of the quarterly review, “Studies”, Father Connolly was entrusted with its editorship in 1914. From the very first he brought new life to the pages of “Studies”, changing its rather severe academic tone to make it at once scholarly and topical. Almost every well-known writer and thinker in the Ireland of 1914 to 1950 contributed to it at one time or another, as well as a surprising number of writers famous all over the world. One cannot but admire the powers of persuasion he displayed suc cessfully for so long, as well as the tact and skill required from him in his exact ing task.

Like many great editors, he wrote little himself, but no one could excel the exactness with which he judged just what treatment a subject required, or the skill with he guided the first faltering steps in authorship of younger writers and castigated their literary efforts with a zeal no less kindly for its apparent sterness.

On 7th December 1939, the National University conferred on Father Connolly to the degree of Doctor of Literature, Honoris Causa.

After thirty-six years of devoted, un remitting, and immeasurably skilful labour, Father Connolly relinquished the editorship of “Studies” in August 1950, and his death only a few months later was a loss, not only to “Studies”, but to the service of Irish literature, not easily repaired. RIP

Conway, Joseph B, 1925-1981, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/100
  • Person
  • 07 March 1925-17 May 1981

Born: 07 March 1925, Leitrim, Kilmihil, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died:17 May 1981, Cahercalla Hospital, Ennis, County Clare - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Joseph Conway was born in Co. Clare, Ireland on 7 March 1925. After the normal period of primary and secondary education, which latter he did at Mungret College, he entered the noviceship on 7 September 1943. He followed the usual university and philosophical studies and arrived in Chikuni in August 1951 with Fr Robert Kelly, the first two Irish scholastics to be sent to the Zambian mission. He spent three years at Chikuni teaching but at the same time made himself thoroughly fluent in Tonga. In 1954 he returned to Ireland to study theology and was ordained in July 1957. By August 1959, he was ready to return to Zambia to begin his real life's work, beginning as parish priest in Chikuni for 13 years. He had no difficulty in learning the ciTonga language and was the picture of a man who had the ability, determination and dedication to carry out his life's work. For the next 13 years he labored single-handed in Chikuni parish, which for part of that time included areas covered by the present Monze town and St. Mary's parishes.

As parish priest Joe was meticulously dedicated to his work. Not only did he take great care of the parish records but by degrees he equipped himself with pocket records of all the parishioners, village by village, which he brought up to date on his annual visitations. The people knew their parish priest and Joe was known and is remembered as a pastor who "spoke about God", as one .who “told us the ways of God", as one who "told us how God wants us to live". At times people referred to him in the same context as Fr Moreau. He was also manager of schools. In this capacity he once again had direct contact with his teachers now in their more professional and temporal needs. He built outstations at Chipembele, Choompa and Gwembe. Just before he left Chikuni, he supervised the building of the new parish church which was designed by his architect brother, Senan Conway and built by Br Martin Murphy.

Appreciating the value of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Movement in the promotion of strong Christian family life, Joe was the diocesan director of the Movement for most of his time at Chikuni. To promote recreation among the young men of the parish, he started a football league between the different districts. This league was most successful, culminating each year in the big event of the Bishop's Cup.

After 13 years as parish priest at Chikuni, he became secretary to the Bishop of Monze which post he held until he was forced to go to Ireland because of failing health in December 1980. On top of all this responsibility, his work also included being bursar of the diocese and coordinator of the diocesan building team.

Joe's greatest contribution was his service to the personnel in the diocese. Being at the same time superior of the Bishop's house, he kept an open door. Everyone experienced his hospitality and helpfulness, especially the sisters of the diocese.

Joe did not lose his pastoral interests during this long period of administration. Each weekend he did his "supplies", preferring the small and isolated communities to the centers of large congregations. Fundamentally, he was a community man, loved the Christmas get-together and other similar occasions. He never wore his spirituality on his sleeve. One of the dominant features of Joe's spiritual life seems to have been the sacramental life offered to us by the Church and about which he frequently preached.

In 1977 he went to Ireland on long leave. He had a complete medical check-up together with operations for gall stones and hernia. When he returned to Zambia, he was the picture of health.

For more than a year and a half, he remained in good form. Then his health began to decline and he was flown to Ireland in December 1980. Almost immediately on arrival, a tumor on the brain was diagnosed. His family took him home to Co. Clare and agreed to his own request to keep him there as long as possible. He became totally blind. Two days before his death, Joe became semi-comatose and was moved to a nearby hospital run by the Sisters of St. John of God. While in this state, he spoke Tonga and also answered Fr O’Driscoll in Tonga who was with him the day before he died. His two sisters, both of whom are nuns, were with him when he died on Sunday evening, 17 May 1981.

The Lord took Joe peacefully home though not at the time of life Joe would have planned for himself. One of Joe's last prayers was to the Lord of the Harvest to send more shepherds, especially Zambian shepherds, to the Church in Zambia.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia.

Note from Bob Kelly Entry
He followed the normal course of studies in the Society but for regency he went to Northern Rhodesia in 1951 with Fr Joe Conway.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
He inherited the Credit Union from Fr Joe Conway and was able to live with all the hassle involved.

Irish Province News 56th Year No 4 1981

Obituary

Fr Joesph Benignus Conway (1925-1932-1981)

Joseph Conway was born in Co Clare, and after secondary education at Mungret College entered the noviceship. After the usual university and philosophical studies he arrived in Chikuni in August 1951, being one of the first two scholastics of the Irish Province to be sent to the Zambian Mission. He spent three years in Chikuni and made himself thoroughly fluent in Tonga, did some teaching and helped in the building of some of the out-stations and schools. In 1954 he returned to Ireland, and after theology, ordination and tertianship, returned to Zambia in August 1959.
I remember well the arrival in Chikuni of himself and Fr Robert Kelly - the first scholastics to return as priests. Both Joe and Bob were full of enthusiasm for the building of God’s Kingdom among the Tonga people. In his first Sunday sermon, in the old parish church, Joe told his people of all the questions the people of Ireland had asked him about Zambia and Chikuni in particular. He exhorted all present to live up to the answers which he gave to their questions. He was buoyant after Mass and was warmly greeted by the Bapati, the Kachosas, the Nkandus, the Choobes, by teachers and past students who had known him previously. As he met group after group under the shade of the great fig-tree (which alas was soon to disappear!) he had no language difficulty. He could even joke and enjoy jokes in Tonga. For the next thirteen years he laboured singlehanded as priest of Chikuni parish, then including areas covered by the present Monze town and St Mary's parishes.
He was meticulously dedicated to his work. Not only did he take great care of the parish records, but by degrees equipped himself with pocket records, village by village, which he brought up to date on his annual visitations. He aimed at visiting all areas in his far-flung parish at least once a year. He carried out this heavy programme during the dry season, staying out from Tuesdays to Fridays, sleeping in classrooms and cooking for himself; later he acquired a caravan. His people knew their parish priest. He met them at home in their villages. He had first-hand contact with the teachers. He expected a lot from his Catholic teachers - perhaps too much at times - but he saw that they were key figures in the planting of the faith in the hearts of the youth. He did all he could to help them keep their families together and to be faithful to their marriage. His flock saw him baptising, offering the Eucharist, blessing marriages, preaching, looking after and visiting the sick and the dying, conducting funerals. Before the day of the catechetical training centre at St Kizito’s, Joe took care of his own catechists. Every First Friday they were brought into Chikuni for instruction, Mass and an opportunity of the sacrament of Penance from some priest other than himself.
For a period he was also Manager of Schools; he ferried supplies of textbooks and school materials to his near and distant schools, and planned the siting and the building of new schools or extensions to existing ones. Later he had to take responsibility for the diocesan building programme: the building of out-churches at Chipembele, Choompa and Gwembe; and just before he left Chikuni, he was able to supervise the building of the new parish church designed by his architect brother Mr Senan Conway,
Joe was diocesan director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence movement for most of his time in Chikuni. Because of their growth, the annual Pioneer rallies had to move out from the original small classroom to larger and larger halls. Joe saw the great need for the Pioneer movement if family life was to be rescued from near destruction.
The temporal side of his parishioners’ life also interested him. He started a football league between the different districts of his parish. In this also he was a pioneer! - seeing the need of wholesome social activity. The league was most successful, culminating each year in the big event of the Bishop’s Cup. So successful was the league that later on, local football organisers copied the idea, and in the end robbed the Chikuni league of many of its best players! Joe felt this deeply, but did not become embittered.
To improve his parishioners’ standard of living, he started a parish credit union - a most successful and lasting venture. He preached the need of Zambian vocations among both boys and girls.
Following the call of obedience (September 1971) Joe took up the post of secretary to the Bishop of Monze, which post he held until forced to return to Ireland because of failing health (December 1980). As well, he was a diocesan consultor, consultor of the Vice Province, and bursar of the diocese. When Br James Dunne returned to Ireland for medical reasons, Joe had to assume the extra responsibility of the full diocesan building programme. As Superior of the Bishop’s house he kept an open door. All diocesan personnel and visitors alike experienced his hospitality and helpfulness. Fundamentally, at heart, Joe Conway was a community man. He loved the homely game of cards. He greatly enjoyed week-ends with the community and Christmas get togethers.
Sickness was something almost foreign to him, but from 1976 onwards he began to experience ill-health; sudden attacks of numbness in jaw and arm. In 1977 he went to Ireland and had a complete medical check-up together with operations for gallstones and hernia. The doctors failed to get to the root cause of the numbness: a brain scan revealed nothing. Back in Zambia, seemingly the picture of health, occasional attacks of the numbness recurred, this time with vomiting and severe headaches, from which he had never before suffered, and depression. On medical advice he was flown home to Ireland, where almost immediately a brain tumour was diagnosed, unknown to Joe himself. From Belvedere he was taken home to his family in Co Clare. Despite nursing, day and night, his health steadily declined. Total blindness set in. After Easter he was visited by Frs J Dargan (Irish Provincial), V Murphy and his brother Msgr Kevin Conway, who anointed him. After that he became increasingly resigned and peaceful. Two days before his death Joe was moved to a hospital at Cahercalla, Ennis, run by the Sisters of St John of God. His two sisters, both of whom are nuns, were with him when he died late on Sunday evening, 17th May, 1981. .
Even though in nursing Joe at home his family carried a great burden of love, yet I am convinced that nobody was more relieved at his passing than Joe himself. Some weeks before his death he had admitted that it had been “a long haul”. May the presence and peace of the risen Lord be felt by his sorrowing family. To his aged father, his brothers, sisters, relatives and friends let us offer the consolation and certainty of our faith in the Resurrection.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1966

Mungret Jesuits in Zambia

Fr Joe Conway SJ (1938/43) played wing forward on the JCT that won the Cup in 1941 and on the SCT in '42 and '43. He is now back in Ireland on holidays after spending six years on parish work in Chikuni Mission in Zambia, Zambia is about 15% Catholic. Chikuni parish has a population of 10,000 and dis 75% Catholic. It has 16 out schools, each of which represents an area the size of a small Irish country parish. The average number of pupils in these out schools is about 150. The rate of baptisms in the parish is at present 1,000 per year. Fellow Jesuits on the staff of Canisius College help out with Sunday supplies so that each area gets Mass once a month. The rest of the week Fr Conway is the only priest at the service of this vast parish.

Lay catechists are employed to help pre pare children for First Communion.

Chikuni parish has its own Soccer League and Cup Competition. The ground is too hard for rugby. There are 12 teams in the parish and between them they make up a team called “Chikuni United” which turns out in the green and white (the same colours as Shamrock Rovers).

Conway, Vincent, 1909-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/101
  • Person
  • 24 May 1909-11 May 1985

Born: 24 May 1909, County Meath
Entered: 10 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final vows: 15 August 1948
Died: 11 May 1985, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
One of eight children, his early education was at the Salesian Agricultural College (Warrenstown), Drumree, County Meath, as it was thought that he would follow his father into farming. However, he changed to the De La Salle School, Navan, County Meath for the last two years of his education, and from there entered the Diocesan Seminary (St Finian’s) in Westmeath, and two years later Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1931-1934 He went to Rathfarnham Castle and studied for three years at University College Dublin, but without taking a degree.
1934-1936 He returned to St Stanislaus College for Philosophy
1936-1937 He spent six months at Mungret College Limerick for Regency
1937-1940 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point
1940-1943 He went to Canisius College Pymbe for Theology
1943-1944 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1944-1968 and 1973-1985 He spent 36 years at St Aloysius College
1968-1973 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview teaching.

In the thirty six years he spent at St Aloysius, generations of Old Aloysians, especially those involved with sport, appreciated the interest he showed in them, the Sports Master of the 1950s, who constantly encouraged the boys to fair-play and sportsmanship, despite regular lack of success. His own patience and persevering optimism were an inspiration. He also taught Latin to young boys.
He was a fair man and boys knew where they stood with him. He was admired for his hard work preparing all the sporting fixtures and equipment, driving to and from Willoughby for cricket and football practices, and calling out the names for a decade of the rosary in the Chapel, setting up table-tennis tables at lunchtime, attending sportsmasters’ meetings, controlling tuckshop queues, rolling the College Oval cricket with the aid of the College horse when the groundsman was unwell, and as an editor of the “Aloysian” for many years.
In 1962 he became a reluctant Rector of St Aloysius, and performed his duties with the utmost dedication. He was praised for his occasional addressed, and for the way he successfully supervised the redevelopment of the College. He also taught Senior Religion. In later years he administered the Sacraments, looked after the maintenance of the buildings, coached boys, worked on the archives, managed the boys transport passes, collected the daily school mail, visited the sick and tended the garden.

He was a quiet, private, even shy man, but eminently reliable and thorough. His death marked the passing of an era for the College, as he was so well known and knew so many people. His compilation of lists of all students from 1879 to 1979 was a most valued record.

He was an indefatigable worker and especially good at carpentry. His colleagues remember his selflessness, his balanced self-control, his Irish humour, his faith and confidence i God, his complete loyalty to the Society and his prayerfulness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Fr. Peyton left for Australia on the “Mauretania” on 31st October in company with Fr. Conway, a member of the Viceprovince. Fr. Kevin Carroll, also a member of the Viceprovince, left Shannon Airport on 3rd November for New York, bound for San Francisco and Sydney. Mr. Monahan left Southampton on the “Queen Mary” on 20th November for New York; he took boat at San Francisco on 12th December for Sydney which he reached on 4th January. He will be doing his first year's philosophy at Loyola, Watsonia in the coming year.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

Fr Vincent Conway (1909-1929-1985) (Australia)

Born on 24th May 1909. 10th September 1929: entered SJ. 1929-31 Tullabeg, Emo, noviciate. 1931-34 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1934-37 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1937-46
Australia. 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1947-85 Australia. Died on 11th May 1985.

Fr Vincent Murphy, Mission Procurator, and Fr Senan Timoney, Executive Socius, organised a requiem for Vin Conway in the domestic chapel in Gardiner street. Vin’s last surviving sister
was present, also nieces and nephews with their families: 35 relatives in all. Nine Jesuits concelebrated the Mass: Frs Seán Hughes (of Vin’s year), Séamus Mac Amhlaoibh, Frank Hennelly, Matty Meade, Martin Brennan, Jim Moloney; Senan Timoney, Vincent that Murphy and John O'Keeffe (Superior, SFX). Brs Keogh and Colgan were present. Afterwards we met the relatives and friends over a cup of coffee.
Vin was that little bit older than most of us when he entered Tullabeg in 1929. He had spent some years in an agricultural college before he opted for the Society. He was quiet, retiring and shy, but not bashful. He would never push himself to the front, would stay with the foot-sloggers, and was happy to be one of the crowd. Only with company, where he felt fully at home, would Vin relax and reveal his sound judgments on all sorts of subjects and his lovely contagious sense of humour, He had a wonderful laugh full of sniggers, snorts and incipient convulsions, so that it was well worth one's while to keep a good story for him.
Vin had a good head, but not the kind that would make a professor of literature or philosophy. His was more the head of a practical man and an administrator. His shyness was an asset, because when circumstances forced him to take responsibility he won respect and affection. He won respect because he was not a self-seeker, and affection because of his genuine loyalty and social graces. Australia brought him to the fore. Why Australia?..
Vin was one of ten Irish Juniors who discovered by accident that they were not members of the Irish province: I remember well the day a group of us came from the ball-alley, to be met by Michael McGrath. Michael always had the gift of finding news in the small print. He had browsed through the catalogue, and under the heading Ex aliis provinciis in hac degentes he found listed ten of our community of Juniors. Jokingly he congratulated the visiting Irish members of the Australian vice- province. It was considered a good joke and an obvious slip made by the editor of the catalogue. But no, it was not a slip. It would seem that for years Australia had been financing these and other) Juniors, but by an oversight - and what an oversight! – they had never been told that they were to belong to Australia.
Be that as it may, Vin was one of those transferred, and his was certainly a case of digitus Dei. Had Vin remained in Ireland, I doubt if his talents would have been uncovered. Anyway, he had a lovely way with people, and got on well with the Australians.
The boatman of Glendaloch used to tell of the daring of young Australian Juniors who dived into the upper lake from St Kevin's Bed. What they did not know, apparently, was that three other Juniors, not to be outdone, dived from a ledge some fifteen feet above St Kevin's Bed. Vin Conway was one of those three.
Vin's early years of study in the Society were hard. While in Rathfarnham he had a bout of sleeplessness, one which came to a climax in November 1933 when Fr Michael Browne was dying. At the time, Fr Browne was occupying the room later given to the Tertian Instructor. Vin was quartered in the little room (nearly all window) next door. His dying neighbour moaned and groaned for several nights and unnerved the sleepless Vin.
He carried his tensed nerves to Tullabeg, where he studied philosophy. There he was fortunate to have as Minister (1935-'7) Fr Jim Scally, who had a kind and understanding heart. He told Vin to forget classes, repetitions and circles, and sent him to the carpenter's shop to make shelves for the philosophers' library – big high shelves, standing ceiling-high. They are still to the good.
Outside the big window of Tullabeg community refectory there is a big long seat. It is in a sheltered nook outside what used to be called the philosophers' door. The angle-space is a sun-trap in the morning and was a gathering-place for philosophers at all times. It was in 1937 that Vin got the idea of putting that seat there. It was like Vin himself, sturdy and strong, without pretensions, and genuinely serviceable and useful.
Vin however really served his time in the building trade when he was given charge of the boats. There was a boat house on the canal and six clinker-type boats, the novices' bequest to the philosophers. Thursday after Thursday (villa-day) from October 10 April, Vin spent his day not just repairing but rebuilding boats. He went to Norton, the boatbuilder in Athlone, who generously shared all his professional skills with him. Some boats he stripped almost to the gunwale and rebuilt.
Vin studied theology in Australia, where he was ordained to the priesthood, After the war, however, it was in Rathfarnham that he did his tertianship. He had a special interest in preaching, and was keen to hear Fr Patrick O Mara, whose fame as a conductor of the First Friday Holy hour had travelled as far as Australia. After a very few minutes in the church he left. “Oh, I couldn't stick that! When he started with “Up there amongst the candles and the flowers” I felt I'd had enough.” He was honestly unimpressed with Fr O’Mara's style.
Fr Garahy's toast to the priests of Killaloe could very aptly be applied to Vin:
They have no time for honeyed words or sentimental gush;
they do not lightly make a foe, or into friendships rush,
Would you be numbered 'mongst their friends? Be straight, as steel be true.
They ask no more, they take no less, the priests of Killaloe.
On the day following the news of his death, Vin's sister received a letter from him, saying that he was in the best of form. He died peacefully in his sleep. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal agus go méadaí Dia a ghlóir.

The Australian province's Fortnightly Report had this to say (no. 377, 1st June 1985):
“The sudden and most unexpected death of Fr Vin Conway was a great shock to us all and a profound loss to the College St Aloysius', Milson's Point, Sydney]. Virtually all his priestly life was spent here, where he laboured with prodigious industry and constantly, in humble obscurity, never seeking recognition. With Fr John Casey, he was co-founder of the redeveloped college. Against seemingly insuperable odds he forged ahead in most difficult times, sustained and fortified by his deep faith. I cannot begin to describe how deeply the College is indebted to him. The large congregation at his funeral was ample witness to his wide esteem among the Old Boys whom he helped so much.”

Obituary

Fr Vincent Conway (1909-1929-1985) (Australia) : continued
(† 11th May 1985)

Giovanni Papini, in one of his several books of appreciation of the lives of great men, included an essay on 'Nobody' who, quite rightly, proved to be the most outstanding subject of all. He was the great unknown who invented the wheel, built the pyramids, designed and built the great mediaeval cathedrals of Europe: great achievers, like the “Unknown Solider”, “known only to God”. Every society has had them and the Least Society no less than any other,
Vincent Conway's achievements are not entirely unknown, and he was certainly one of those Jesuits of whom we may say his life was more subdued and hidden and its splendid achievement less advertised on earth, but certainly known to God as that of a “good and faithful servant”.
It has been said that Vin was born a simple farmer's son: he lived a simple farmer's son, and he died a simple farmer's son. That may be true enough so long as we recognise that the “simple Irish farmer” is mostly a man endowed with a very high degree of shrewdness. He was born one of eight children in County Meath between Navan and Kells, and he died just two weeks short of his 76th birthday.
As he began his secondary studies in the Salesian Agricultural College in his native county it may be assumed that it was first thought that he would follow in his father's footsteps as a farmer. The change for his last two years to the De La Salle School in Meath might suggest that a priestly vocation was looming on his horizon. This is confirmed by the fact that from there he entered the Diocesan Seminary in Westmeath.
After two years in the seminary he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1929. He studied for three years at the National University of Ireland, but without taking out a degree. He returned to Tullabeg for four years philosophy and after six months regency at Mungret he was assigned to the Australian Vice-Province. He taught for four years at St Aloysius College, Milson's Point. Except for his four years theology at Pymble and Tertianship in Ireland, and five years teaching at Riverview, St Aloysius College was to be his home for nearly forty years.
It was there that he died on the night of May 11th. He was found in the morning slumped on the floor as if having fallen from his chair. The large attendance of Old Boys at his requiem was a tribute to their respect, admiration and affection for one who had served them so faithfully while they were students, and no less as members of the Old Aloysians. In Ireland, too, he was remembered at a requiem Mass at Gardiner street, at which a good number of his contemporaries concelebrated with other priests and at which there were thirty-five of his relatives.
Vin was a great man and indefatigable worker. His years at the Salesian Agricultural College had given him some training in carpentry, which he put to good use during his theology at Canisius College as “College Carpenter”. When, after the first “boom” year of ordinations, there were twenty-six priests in the house, and before the days of concelebration, many altars were required for daily masses, all more or less at the same time in the morning. Vin made the missal stands and all sorts of altar furnishings in wood. The designs were County Meath but everything was like himself, plain, strong and serviceable. He was never a man for frills, any more than he was a man to cut corners on the essentials.
When the College had been built, a short time before, the builders had provided mirrors above the wash basins in each room, but no shaving cabinets. It was Vin who undertook to make a cabinet to fit each mirror and he trained a few other scholastics to help in this work. There were over forty to be made and some modest celebration marked the completion of this very welcome service.
These were only some of his tasks. He was always ready to lend a hand at any job with perseverance and a ready smile, whether it was hard digging in the garden or field, or to learn an instrument to play in the orchestra. He would give a groan, more of modesty that he should be asked than of complaint, and take up the task with a will, Like all the men who came to us from Ireland, he was a dedicated apostle.
As Fr Cecil Smith points out, much of the the burden of carrying out John Casey's plan for the completion of St Aloysius College fell on Vin's shoulders. Cecil was closely associated with him in these years of his rectorship of the College, 1961-67. It is his tribute that follows:

Vin Conway's name was seldom seen in the Fortnightly Report. He was the original "quiet achiever". Because he avoided the limelight and his voice never rose above a conversational level and was more often below it, few knew him outside his much loved St Aloysius College.
Apart from a brief spell as Headmaster Riverview Junior School, most of his working life was spent at SAC. As Sportsmaster he delighted in coaching Rugby, especially the skills and schemes of the forward pack. Later, when he was appointed Rector to succeed Jack Casey, surprised and bewildered that Provincials could be so lacking in judgment. Coming into dinner that night he gave a very good impression of a stunned mullet. He knew what had been dumped in his lap: a programme to rebuild St Aloysius, initiated by Jack Casey, but far from activated.
An expensive excavation had been cut by Civil & Civic and there was no money available to pay for it. Jack, despite application to numerous financial institutions, had been unable to raise a loan. Provincial consultors were asking basic questions like, 'How do you expect to build a school costing millions when you have no money?', and such like.
Because he was convinced it was 'God's work', Vin bounded over all the fences using his almost ruthless determination and his skill at making people see his way, as his springs.
He had a remarkable memory for the names and faces of people he had met . Old Boys - hundreds of them - he greeted by name and could reel off the dates they were at school, and all gory details, No wonder they all loved him! He had a reputation for being tight-fisted with tight-fisted with money and with good reason - he was! He had to be in those early days at SAC where the pound had to be stretched; and stretch it he did. He just could not comprehend the affluence of today as anything but sinful.
Vin was a remarkable man, much underestimated by many. His selfless ness, his balanced self-control, his Irish humour, his faith and confidence in God, his complete loyalty to the Society,
his prayerfulness – so many qualities to make the man Peter Steele described as a good servant and a good Jesuit'.
May he enjoy his new job of oiling and painting the gates of heaven of
Cecil Smith, SJ

According to Irish province catalogues, Fr Conway's philosophy course lasted he was the usual three years, not four, Thanks to Jesuit life for mentioning his six month regency in Mungret, which because of its shortness escaped notice our 1938 catalogue. in More importantly, though: his assignment to Australia took place, not after that regency (c. Christmas 1937), but during (or before) the first year of his juniorate (c. 1931). The story of the accidental discovery by ten Irish juniors, including Vincent, of their assignment to Australia was recounted in IPN, July 1985, p. 181.

Cooney, Albert, 1905-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/649
  • Person
  • 31 August 1905-06 December 1997

Born: 31 August 1905, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 06 December 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1927 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1960 at St Aloysius College Birkirkara, Malta (MEL) teaching

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Albert Cooney, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Albert Cooney died in Dublin on 6 December 1997. He was 92 years old and had been a Jesuit priest for 62 years.

Albert Cooney was born in Ireland on 31 August 1905 and as a young man became very interested in the performing arts.

Before entering the Society of Jesus on 31 August 1923 he toured Ireland with a drama group. He was ordained on 31 July 1935.

On completing his formal training in the Society he was sent, in 1937, to the Hong Kong Mission where he immediately went to Tai Laam Chung, a language school in the New Territories, to study Cantonese.

At the end of two years of language study he was sent to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he was in charge of providing for the material needs of the community when the Pacific War began on 8 December 1941.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Wah Yan became a Chinese middle school and Father Cooney joined his confreres who set out for free China in April 1942. First they went to Macau and from there on to fort Bayard (Kwangchowan). Towards the end of May he set out from Fort Bayard on the carrier of a bicycle for Pak Hoi in Southern china where he worked in a parish before moving on to Hanoi for a spell. Eventually he came back again to Pak Hoi but in less than a year he was recalled from there to join a new Jesuit venture in Macau.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, about 4000 Portuguese families returned to Macau. To look after the youth, the Macau governor asked the Hong Kong Jesuits to set up a school with all expense paid. The school, St. Luiz Gonzaga, began in January 1943 and Father Albert Cooney was called back from Pak Hoi when the school was well under way. He always looked back to the time that he spent in Macau and happily remembered the boys he taught there.

The war over, St. Luiz Gonzage College closed its doors in December 1945 and Father Albert returned to Hong Kong Wah Yan College. He worked on several committee dealing with social work, helping the Boys and Girls Clubs Association, saying Mass for the US naval forces, and helping students to get into US universities.

In 1947 while on home leave in Ireland, he was informed of his appointment as Rector of Wah Yan. Before returning to Hong Kong he went to the US to collect information about school buildings and equipment for possible Jesuit schools both in Hong Kong and Canton and made arrangements with universities to take students on graduating from Wah Yan College.

Although administration was not his forte, he was well-beloved by the community and was noted for his kindness and thoughtfulness.

On 31 July 1951 he was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon. In October of that year he suddenly suffered a stroke. Although he survived the crisis, a long convalescence kept him in Ireland for the next 10 years.

In November 1962 he arrived back in the Orient, this time to Singapore to take up parish work. The following year he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Petaling Java, Malaysia to work in the church giving retreats and conferences. He was also warden of Xavier Hall. But in 1969, the “right of abode” issue for foreign missionaries in Malaysia forced him to move on.

Early in 1970, he arrived back in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was to spend the next 22 years of his life here doing light work and keeping in contact with his former students of St. Luiz Gonzaga College.

In September 1992 he finally said good-bye to the Orient when he returned home to Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 January 1998

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a wealthy family and a brother of his became a Carmelite priest. He had a keen interest in the performing arts and toured with a group in Ireland.

When he came to Hong Kong after Ordination in 1937, he went to Tai Lam Chung to study Cantonese. He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and became involved in various social work committees. He also worked with the Girls and Boys Clubs and said Mass for the US Naval forces.

In August 1942 he moved to Luis Gonzaga College in Macau. He also went to Singapore for parish work, and he spent time at St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, working in the church and giving retreats and conferences.He enjoyed producing English plays acted by students, and had a great love of drama and poetry..

He left Hong Kong in 1951 and returned again in 1969 until 1996. At one time he was Principal at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

On 22nd October were announced the appointments of Frs. Albert Cooney and Harris as Rectors of Wah Yan College and the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong respectively. The former who is still in Ireland will be returning soon to the Mission via the United States.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Albert Cooney (1905-1997)

31st Aug. 1905: Born in Dublin
Education: Belvedere and Mungret
31st Aug. 1923: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
1925 - 1926: Rathfarnham: Juniorate
1926 - 1929: Vals: Philosophy
1929 - 1932: Belvedere College: Regency
1932 - 1936: Milltown Park: Theology
31st July 1935: Ordination
1936 - 1937: Tertianship St. Beuno's:
1937 - 1939: Hong Kong studying Cantonese
2nd Feb. 1938: Final Vows
1939 - 1941: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Minister and Teacher
1941 - 1943: Pak Hoi, China: Church work
1943 - 1945: Macau: Minister and Teacher
1947 - 1951: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Rector and Teacher
1951 - 1953: Recuperation from illness
1953 - 1957: Mungret: Teacher
1957 - 1958: Belvedere College: Teacher
1958 - 1959: Gardiner Street: Convalescence
1959 - 1960: Malta: Teacher at St. Aloysius College
1960 - 1962; Loyola Dublin: Librarian
1962 - 1963: Singapore: St. Ignatius Church, Pastoral work
1963 - 1969: Malaysia, Petaling Jaya: Warden of Xavier Hall
1969 - 1992: Wah Yan College Kowloon: Pastoral work, Tutor
1992 - 1997: Cherryfield Lodge.
6th Dec. 1997: Died aged 92.

Fr. Cooney maintained a consistent state of health during his time at Cherryfield. At the end of October concern was expressed at his condition, but he recovered. He made his farewells and left instructions that he was to be laid out in his Hong Kong gown. On December 5th he said he would go to the next life on the following day. He died shortly after prayers for the dead were recited in the early hours of December 6th. May he rest in peace. Albert enjoyed every moment of his five years in Cherryfield Lodge. He appreciated the comfortable lifestyle and especially the great care and attention he received from his Jesuit colleagues and the staff. He could not speak highly enough of the great kindness he received in the declining years of his long life. When one realizes that Albert was quite a demanding patient, the loving care and attention he received was all the more praiseworthy.

I suppose it was only natural that Albert should fully appreciate and thoroughly enjoy the kindness he experienced during those five years in Cherryfield, because he was such an extremely kind person himself so he could graciously accept the care and attention he received. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed; he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland. I accompanied him when he left Hong Kong in 1992 and I feared that after a little while in Cherryfield he would grow restless and pine for a return to the Orient, but I need not have worried. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them. One of my first memories of him goes back to Holy Week of 1948. Four of us, scholastics, were studying Chinese in Canton at the time and Albert, as Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong invited us to join his community during the Easter holidays. I can well remember his sending us out to Repulse Bay - one of Hong Kong's most popular beaches - to enjoy a swim and sunshine on Holy Thursday. Can you imagine, long before the more relaxed days that followed Vatican II, there we were, on Holy Thursday, relaxing in the glorious sunshine. If some of us had qualms about such frivolity during Holy Week, Albert felt that was what we needed and he saw to it that was what we got. That was just one of the many kindnesses Albert showed us as we struggled with the intricacies of the Chinese language. We were always welcome to join his community during our vacations and he frequently sent us cakes, chocolates and other goodies while we were in Canton.

In those days clerics were permitted to go to the cinema in Hong Kong only if they had the express permission of the Bishop granted on each occasion. Albert must have thought this was an unfair position. He used to borrow 16mm films and invite all the Jesuits in Hong Kong to showings in Wah Yan College. Another of his initiatives was to prevail on one of his friends who owned a cinema to have private previews for the convenience of all the clergy in Hong Kong. This was a facility that was much appreciated and well attended. It was just another example of Albert's desire to help all he could.

When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong in 1941 plans that had already been prepared by the government were put into operation. Albert, along with several other Jesuits, was assigned to “billeting” duties. The job consisted mainly in finding quarters for those who were displaced by the fighting, Little more than a year after the occupation, Albert, like many other Hong Kong residents, left the colony. Many Chinese returned to their native villages and many of Portuguese extraction set out for Macau - a Portuguese overseas territory, not far from Hong Kong. After some time Albert made his way first into South China, then Vietnam and then back again to South China, where he worked in a parish.

Then began for him what was probably one of the most interesting periods of his life. The government of Macau invited the Jesuits to open a college for young Portuguese boys who had come to Macau from Hong Kong. Albert seems to have loved the two years he spent there, and up to the end of his life he took an intense interest in the young men he had been teaching. He continued to keep in touch with some of them over the years - one of them even visited him while he was in Cherryfield.

After the end of the war in Asia Albert returned to Ireland on home leave and in 1947 he was informed that he would be the new Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. School administration was not one of Albert's strong points but he was extremely fortunate that during his term of office he had two excellent Prefects of Study - Fr. Harry O'Brien and Fr. John Carroll - who ran the College very efficiently. More or less relieved of the responsibility of running the College, Albert was able to devote much of his time to other activities. He took a special interest in the “Shoeshine Boys Club” - a club started by Fr, Joe Howatson for “Shoeshine Boys” - young lads who earned a meager living by shining shoes in the Central district of Hong Kong. In the Club they were given some basic education, they could play games in the College and they were given a hot, nourishing meal three evenings each week.

In July, 1951 Albert was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon and in less than three months he was taken suddenly ill, due to a blood clot near his brain. For some time he was in a critical condition and eventually had to return to Ireland for a very long period of convalescence. He did not return to the Orient until 1962, this time to Singapore where he did parish work for one year and then was transferred to Petaling Jaya, in Malaysia, where, in addition to parish work he was Warden of a hostel for University students. Immigration restrictions limited his time in Malaysia and he returned to Wah Yan College, Kowloon in 1970. There he helped out in the church engaged in a good deal of tutoring, and kept in touch with past pupils of Wah Yan College and St. Luis Gonzaga College - the College in which he had taught in Macau.

With his health declining, Albert expressed a wish to return to Ireland; thus in September, 1992 he took up residence in Cherryfield. As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward on 6th December, 1997. May he rest in peace.

Joe Foley, SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1998

Obituary

Father Albert Cooney SJ (OB 1938)

Fr Albert Cooney died on 6th December 1997 in Cherryfield Lodge. He was educated at Belvedere and taught there in the late 50's. Albert was an extremely kind person. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed. He had lived so much of his life in Hong Kong but he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland for health reasons. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them.

As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring in Cherryfield; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in the foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward. May he rest in peace.

Corbett, Martin Burke, 1876-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/103
  • Person
  • 27 December 1876-05 January 1957

Born: 27 December 1876, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 December 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 05 January 1957, Mungret College, County Limerick

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :
Fr Martin Corbett (1876-1957)
On the morning of Sth January, Fr. Corbett was unexpectedly taken from us in the 81st year of his age and the 62nd of his religious life, Only a few days before, during the Christmas festivities, we had been celebrating a well-known domestic event, his birthday. This year there seemed to be special cause for jubilation. Fr. Corbett had just made a very good recovery from a cycling accident which had kept him in St. John's Hospital for many weeks, he was now almost back to normal activity, and we looked forward with confidence to see him add quite a few more years to the goodly four score completed, On Friday, the day before his death, he had an X-Ray examination in St. John's which it was hoped might throw light on a certain stomach trouble that had been causing anxiety over Christmas. He returned to us at midday, a little tired after