Metropolitan Manila

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Metropolitan Manila

  • UF Metro Manila
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Metropolitan Manila

14 Name results for Metropolitan Manila

8 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Achútegui, Pedro S, 1915-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/866
  • Person
  • 01 May 1915-28 December 1998

Born: 01 May 1915, Bilbao, Spain
Entered: 11 September 1931, Loyola, Spain - Castallanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 07 June 1944
Final vows: 02 February 1949
Died: 28 December 1998, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines - Philippine Province (PHI)

by 1951 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) working

Baptist, John Francis, 1581-1630, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/890
  • Person
  • 1581-28 October 1630

Born: 1581, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 08 September 1612, Manila, Philippines - Philippinae Province (PHI)
Final vows: 12 October 1625
Died: 28 October 1630, Japanese Residence, Marinduque Island, Santa Cruz, Philippines - - Philippinae Province (PHI)

H Francis Bautiste Hiberniae” 4.5 years Nüremberg

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Formerly a merchant in India
Called brother Francis Baptist the Irishman
A Brother of extraordinary holiness (cf his life in Patrignani and Cordara, 1630, who tell marvellous things about him)

◆ Fr John McErlean SJ
He was a merchant engaged in the East Indian trade. Meeting some Fathers of the Society who were travelling to the Philippines, he was so much impressed by their demeanour and conversation, that on his arrival at Manila he entered the novitiate there on 8th September, 1612.
From the beginning he was noted for his modesty, piety, and quiet disposition.
1615 At the Residence of Antipolo, where stories of his extraordinary virtue began to circulate.
He then went to the Seminary of St. Joseph at Manila, where he spent five years as Socius to the College Procurator. During his stay here he relieved the financial difficulties of the Seminary by assigning all his property to it, and is mentioned in a report sent to Rome in 1618 as one who had served well of the College.
He took his final vows as Formed Temporal Coadjutor on 12th October, 1625, and died at the Residence of the Japanese at Santa Cruz in the island of Marinduque on 30th October, 1630, leaving behind him a reputation for great holiness.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother John Baptist 1581-1630
Brother John Baptist, whose family name has not been recorded, was born at Clontarf Dublin in 1581. He was a nerchant, engaged in the East Indian trade. Falling in with some of our Fathers who were travelling to the Philippines, he was so impressed by them, that on his arrival in Manila he entered the noviceship there in 1612.

From the very beginning he was remarkable for his modesty, piety and quiet disposition. By 1615 he was in the Residence at Antipolo, where storied of his extraordinary virtue began to circulate. He then went to the Seminary of St Joseph at Manila, where he spent 5 years as Socius to the Orconomus. During his stay here he relieved the financial difficulties of the Seminary by assigning all his property to it, and his name is mentioned in a report sent to Rome as one who deserved well of the College.

He died in the Residence of the Japanese at Santa Cruz on the island of Martinique on October 30th 1630, leaving behind him a reputation of holiness of no mean order.

Cahill, Thomas, 1827-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/999
  • Person
  • 31 December 1827-19 April 1908

Born: 31 December 1827, County Carlow
Entered: 08 March 1855, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1857, Laval, France
Final vows: 01 November 1866
Died: 19 April 1908, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia

by 1864 in St Joseph’s Macau (CAST) teaching Superior of Seminary by 1868
Early Australian Missioner 1871

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission : 1872-1879

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His early studies were under a private tutor at home and he spent one year at Carlow College. he then went to Maynooth, and was one of the students examined in the Commission of Enquiry of 1853 (cf Report, Maynooth Commission, Part II pp 297-299). On the occasion of his Ordination to the Diaconate he Entered the Society.

He made his Noviceship and further Studies at Laval, and was Ordained there 1857.
1858-1863 He was sent to teach at Clongowes.
1863-1865 He was sent as Operarius to Galway.
1865-1872 He was sent as Superior to St Joseph’s Seminary Macau, in China.
1872 He was appointed Superior of the Australian Mission, and also Rector of St Patrick’s Melbourne. He was founder and first Rector of Xavier College, Kew, and later Superior of the Parishes of Hawthorn and Kew.
The last years of his life were at St Ignatius, Richmond, and he died there 19 April 1908 His funeral was attended by a large number of clergy and local people and Archbishop Thomas Carr presided and preached. During his career he preached many Missions and retreats for Priests and Nuns. He was a profound Theologian, and Archbishop Thomas Carr appointed him one of his examiners of young priests arriving from the College. It was said that the Archbishop frequently consulted him on ecclesiastical matters.
On the Feast of St Ignatius 1908 a touching tribute was paid to him in the form of a new pulpit at St Ignatius, Richmond.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 "
He had been studying at Maynooth in Ireland almost up to Ordination when he entered the Society in 1855.

As there was no Noviciate in Ireland, he entered in France, and was later Ordained at Laval in 1857.

1857-1859 He came to Clongowes and taught Classics and Mathematics to the junior classes.
1859-1863 He was sent to Galway and divided these four years between the Parish and the School
1863-1872 He had always wanted to go on the Missions, and when the Portuguese Jesuits in Macau needed a man to teach English in the Seminary there he volunteered, arriving in 1863. There he found himself in a somewhat bizarre situation. The Seminary, with 100 boarders and 116 day boys had as it’s head a Portuguese prelate, Mgr Gouvea, who apparently had little capacity for his position. He and the three other Jesuits on the staff were supposed to be responsible for teaching and discipline, but in fact Gouvea confined them to teaching. The other Jesuits were Italian.
The community’s Superior was a Father Rondina, an enthusiast, his mind full of ambitious projects, but as Gouvea mentioned to his Mission Superior, he was so scatty that he would forget by midday what he had done in the morning and undo it. Rondina wanted to take over the administration of the Seminary, in spite of the fact that the two new men, Cahill and Virgili were sent in response to complaints of his chronic overwork. The other Jesuit - Mattos - was causing trouble by denouncing with some violence, what was practically the slave status of Chinese labourers in Macau - the colonial government was furious.
The two additions were most welcome and the Superior of the Mission wrote that he was delighted to get Cahill. The Feast of St Francis Xavier in 1864 brought letters from Father General Beckx to the priests in Macau. To Cahill, he wrote warmly that he had heard only good of him and hoped this would always be so - he should go on living by the Institute and doing God’s work.
He was not altogether won by the Mission. he wrote at the end of 1864 to the Irish Provincial, who had asked for news of the situation in Japan, and he recommended that the Irish Province should get in there quickly. Other Orders were taking over the cities in Japan, so why should the Irish Province not have a Mission there.
In the meantime, the situation in Macau became more troublesome. Gouvea refused to expel some boys for immorality - the Governor of the colony had interceded for them. Rondina, reporting this, added that Cahill was having stomach trouble, and that his gentleness, admired in an earlier letter, prevented him from maintaining discipline and made some of the boys avoid his subjects. This was a pity. Cahill was so devoted and good, and Gouvea and the assistant masters were rough and harsh with the boys. He was their Spiritual Director, but his work prevented him from being always accessible to them.
By the middle of 1866 Rome had decided that the Macau community needed a new Superior. It would have to be someone already there as no one else could be sent to Macau. The Superior of the Mission and his Consultors proposed Cahill - he was prudent and kind, perhaps not forceful enough - and the community, given to mutual complaints, needed someone strong. If the General, in appointing him, wrote him an encouraging letter, this might help him overcome his timidity. Beckx at first jobbed at appointing Cahill because of his experience, but later agreed that there was no one else, and he was a good man and peaceable. So, in August 1866 he appointed Cahill as Superior of the Seminary community.
Cahill met new problems and was not finding the mission satisfactory to his own missionary zeal - it was a settlement of hardly devout European Catholics. He raised again the question of the Jesuits returning to Japan when he heard of the canonisation of the Japanese martyrs, and asked General Beckx to remember him if the Society decided to found a Mission there.
Meanwhile, Cahill was finding the new Rector of the Seminary Antonio Carvalho - who had been friendly to the Society - becoming more difficult, and again confined the Jesuits to teaching only. Discipline was so bad that the Jesuits withdrew from their rooms in the Seminary and went to live in a house put at their disposal nearby.
Sometime later Cahill was reporting maniacal behaviour on Catvalho’s part - he forbade the Jesuits to hear the boys confessions and complained that to warn the boys against the Freemasons was to engage in politics. The Spanish and Portuguese in Macau were making outrageous accusations against Rondina because he encouraged girls to refuse their advances. The community wanted to withdraw altogether from working in the Seminary. Further dissensions developed with the Society on the outside watching and waiting. But the situation did not improve and Cahill wanted to leave the Mission. The situation became so impossible that the Jesuit presence there became impossible.
At one time during his stay Cahill was awarded a knighthood by the Emperor of Annam, for work he did for some Annamese fishermen unjustly imprisoned in Macau. He became so proficient in Chinese that he wrote a Chinese catechism for his people.
Cahill left for Manila, hoping to be sent from there to China, and indeed the Provincial in Portugal suggested using him in one of the off coast islands from which some missionaries had just been expelled. But the Irish Provincial wanted him to go to the new Irish Mission in Australia. Father General wrote to him in January 1872, praising his missionary zeal and thanking him for all he had done in Macau. he wrote that Melbourne’s needs were imperative and Cahill should get down there as soon as possible.
1872 In April of that year General Beckx asked the Irish provincial for three names of men suitable for appointment as Superior of the Australian Mission, Cahill’s name led all the rest, and in July he became Superior of the Mission. Two years later he was also Rector of St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and exchanged this post for the Rectorship of the newly formed Xavier College, remaining Superior of the Mission. At this time his students remembered him as a very earnest and able man, constantly called upon by the diocese to give occasional addresses. He was a methodical teacher of Classics and Mathematics.
He may have found Melbourne dull after Macau, or suffered a reaction after all the excitements there. In September 1875 Father general wrote complaining that he had not heard from him in two years, and six months later complained tat it was not two years and six months since he’d had a letter. Perhaps Macau had nothing to do with it, for the General also complained of one of the Mission Consultors - he had written only once in the past three years, and that was to say that there was nothing to write about.
Cahill remained Superior of the Mission until 1879, and Rector of Xavier until December of that year. During his time as Superior, in February 1875 he had preached at the opening of St Aloysius Church , Sevenhill, and in 1877 gave a two hour funeral oration on the first Australian Bishop, Dr Polding at a “Month’s Mind”.
1880-883 he did Parish work at Richmond
1883-1887 he taught for the university exams at St Patrick’s College Melbourne.
1887-1890 He worked at the Hawthorn Parish
1890-1894 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Richmond.
18694-1896 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn
1896-1908 he was back at Richmond as Spiritual Father and a house Consultor.

Thomas Cahill was one of the “founding fathers” of the Australian Province, He was a fine preacher, a classicist, a linguist and a zealous pastor. He was also a respected theologian, called on to preach at Synods both in Sydney and Melbourne. He was one of the Diocesan examiners of the clergy and a Consultor of the Archbishop.

He was a man with a fine constitution, and did the work of a young man until within a few months of his death. However, suffering from heart trouble, there were long periods in his life when he was unable to leave his room. His life was given to his work, devoted to the confessional and the sick and those in trouble. he had a good memory for his former students and parishioners and was a good friend to many.

Note from Walmsley Smith Entry
Smith was baptised, 10 April 1904, by Thomas Cahill, the first rector of Xavier College.

Chan, Albert, 1915-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/701
  • Person
  • 25 January 1915-10 March 2005

Born: 25 January 1915, Pacasmayo, Peru / Kunming, Yunnan, China
Entered: 30 July 1934, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 10 March 2005, Los Gatos, California, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; HK to CHN: 1992

by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father brought him back from Peru at the age of 7 and he went to the Sacred Heart School in Canton. He joined the Society for Hong Kong because of his admiration for the Irish Jesuits he had met at Sacred Heart (1928-1934). Fr Dan Finn was the focus of his admiration.
He began his novitiate in Manila, and then he studied Latin and Greek.
1939 He came to Hong Kong and spent a year studying Calligraphy and Chinese Literature.
1940-1942 He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1942-1947 He was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and he was Ordained there with Dominic Tang Yi-Ming (later Archbishop).
He was then sent to Harvard University in Cambridge MA for a PhD in the History of Ming China, which he finished c 1954/5
1955-1985 He returned to live at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1985-2005 He went to the USA

He was essentially a Historian of Chinese History. He was the author of many books, articles, writings and collections including :
“The Glory and the Fall of the Ming Dynasty” (1982); “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”; “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome - a Descriptive Catalogue.

Fr Freddie Deignan says : “He contributed many articles to the “New Catholic Encyclopaedia” (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644). He left behind an unpublished book “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”. He was well respected for his historical and academic contributions. He had built up a library of more than 70,000 books in his field (some very rare which he bought from used bookstores).

In his later days he concentrated on the Archives of the Jesuits in Rome. Then in 1985 he finally moved to the Ricci Institute for Chinese History and Culture at the University of San Francisco as a researcher, poet, calligrapher and writer.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 132 : Summer 2007

FIRST CHINESE TO JOIN THE IRISH PROVINCE : FR ALBERT CHAN (1915-2005)

Alfred J Deignan

I was in Emo Park as a novice in July 1947 when the newly ordained Father Albert Chan came from Milltown Park to celebrate his first Mass with us novices. We thought that he was crying with joy right through the Mass until we discovered afterwards that his normal voice was very high pitched, like a wailing sound. This was my first encounter with Fr. Albert. I was to meet him many times afterwards in Hong Kong and in San Francisco.

He was born in Peru in 1915. His father was Chinese and his mother a Peruvian. They came to live in Canton and he studied in the Sacred Heart High School where he came into contact with a few Jesuits who were teaching in the school at that time. The Jesuit who impressed him most and who influenced him was the famous Fr. Dan Finn. Fr. Finn became the Professor of Geography in Hong Kong University and as an archaeologist found some important historical sites in Hong Kong. He was also a wonderful linguist. Albert often accompanied him in his diggings and like him, became an extraordinary linguist as he could read Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and some Russian. He could speak fluently in six languages.

Fr. Dan Finn guided him in his process of discernment and in his application to the Society of Jesus when he graduated from High School in 1932. He always remembered with great affection Father Finn and carried with him until the end, his photo and some photos taken at the excavation sites. When he heard of the sudden death of Fr. Finn on 15 November 1936 while he was in London, aged 50, he was moved to write his first extant Chinese poem in his honour. He was then 20 years old. He composed many beautiful poems in Chinese later in life.

Albert entered the novitiate in Manila in July 1934 and took his first vows two years later. It is interesting that Fr. John Fahy, former Provincial of the Irish Province, and then Provincial of Australia, took his vows. After studying for his B.A. and a Master's degrees in the Sacred Heart College, Manila, he graduated and came back to Hong Kong for his regency in 1941. He was assigned to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, until 1945. Then he left for Shanghai to study theology, but this was disrupted because of the communist revolution in the north and all the scholastics had to move from Shanghai. He was sent to Milltown Park in Ireland and was ordained there in 1947.

Fr. Albert was always very grateful to the Irish Jesuits for their warm welcome, their kindness to him and for their encouragement during these formative years. The Superiors recognized his talents, and he was sent to Fordham University for advanced studies in history, and later to Harvard where he obtained his Ph.D. in Chinese History in 1954. He returned to Hong Kong with his Ph.D. and humbly taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, 1954 58, and in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, 1958–60 while continuing to do some research.

In Wah Yan College, Kowloon, he discovered a kindred soul, a Chinese teacher of Literature and History who was an expert on rare Chinese books, Mr. Lau Kai Yip. They became great friends. While in Hong Kong, Fr. Albert went out each day to visit all the second-hand bookshops around and always returned in triumph and joy with some rare books which he had found and bought at a bargain price. Soon there were books everywhere - in his room, in the shower, and under the bed. Eventually they overflowed into the next room until it too was full. Some community members were very afraid that the floors would collapse under the weight! His intention was to build up a library of Chinese books for the use of future young Jesuits in China, a dream which, up to now, has not been fulfilled.

What has happened to his books? Fr. Albert was afraid that with the take-over of Hong Kong in 1997 his books would fall into the hands of the communist government, and all the books, which he so lovingly and carefully collected over the years would be lost. So they were packed into boxes and shipped to San Francisco. There were 80,000 volumes and they were housed in the University of San Francisco Ricci Institute. It is rated as one of the top 15 collections of Chinese History in the USA. Apart from these, he continued to collect books after going to San Francisco, and these ended up in 200 boxes in a friend's basement.

After 1960 he really devoted himself to research and attended many conferences at which he presented papers on Chinese history, especially on the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the history of the Jesuits in China. His doctoral thesis was published in 1982 - “The Glory and Fall of the Ming Dynasty”. And in 1969-76 he did a marvellous job on the Jesuit Chinese archives in Rome, cataloguing and writing a description of each book or document for the future benefit of researchers. This was published in 2002 entitled “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome”. This was the work of a great scholar and perfectionist. He also did research in the Jesuit archives in Portugal, Spain, France and England on Chinese and European relations in the 16th and 17th centuries. He contributed many articles to the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644)”. He left behind a book which has yet to be published - “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”.

Fr. Albert was a poet and we have a collection of his poems. He was also a calligrapher of Chinese script and a connoisseur of Chinese tea. In 1985, when he went with his beloved books to San Francisco, he was appointed to the post of Senior Research Fellow of the Ricci Institute. As he got older his health declined and from 2002 he suffered from cancer and died on March 10h 2005 having reached his 90th year.

He loved people and had many friends. Whenever anyone visited him in San Francisco he gave them a great welcome and invited them to his favourite Chinese restaurant. Besides being an academic he was an expert cook, and so several cooking books can be found in his collection. I remember during Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, when the staff were on holidays, he was delighted to take over the kitchen and cook our meals, providing us with some beautiful and tasty dishes.

He was a humble and holy man who has left us with a wonderful legacy after his quiet, patient research on Jesuits in China and Chinese history for the help of future generations. We are indebted to him and are proud of him as one who began his life as a member of the Irish Province. There are now 18 scholarships set up in his honour in each of the Wah Yan Colleges, promoting Chinese literature and history. And a very good friend of his in San Francisco sent a donation to the Irish Province of $100,000 as an expression of his gratitude to the Irish Jesuits.

Cunningham, Thomas P, 1906-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1147
  • Person
  • 24 February 1906-03 September 1959

Born: 24 February 1906, Taieri, Otago, New Zealand
Entered: 04 March 1924, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 12 August 1934
Final Vows: 10 March 1942
Died: 03 September 1959, St Patrick’s Mission, Barrow (Utqiagvik), Alaska, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to CAL : 1929; CAL to ORE

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
His grandfather was deported from Ireland to Australia for some act of patriotism. His secondary education was with the Christian Brothers at Dunedin, New Zealand before he Entered the Society in Australia at Loyola Greenwich, 1924.

1926-1927 He was sent to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin for a Juniorate
1927-1930 He was sent for Philosophy to Eegenhoven Belgium and Spokane Washington, USA. During his third year of Philosophy he was transcribed to the Oregon Province (ORE) having volunteered for the Alaska Mission. At Spokane he was known as a quiet and hardworking student with a fine mind, who never seemed to get tired. He was fiercely competitive at sports and the best soccer player among the scholastics.
1930-1931 He was sent to Kashunak School, Holy Cross, Alaska for Regency
1931-1934 He went to Montreal Quebec, Canada for Theology
1934-1935 He made Tertianship at Mont-Laurier Quebec, Canada
1935-1936 He began his missionary work at Nome Alaska
1936-1944 He was sent to work at Little Diomede Island Alaska. He became a US citizen 01 October 1941.
1944-1946 He was a Military Chaplain with the US Army, during which time he visited Australia and the Pacific region, which included New Caledonia, Manila, Honolulu, Guam and Japan. He even spent four months in Korea in 1946
1946-1947 After the war he returned to Little Diomede Island
1947-1950 He was sent to work with the Eskimos at King Island Alaska. Here he taught school at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as catechising, visiting the sick and sharing in village life. This included joining the local men hunting.
1950-1952 He became a Chaplain with the Air Force, spending much of his time teaching Arctic survival to servicemen.
1952-1953 He spent a year as a missionary at Kotzebue (Qikiqtaġruk) Alaska
1953 He moved further north in Alaska to Point Barrow (Nuvuk). Using this as a base, he went on long dog-sled journeys across the world’s last frontier, seeking Eskimo souls for Christ and working with white Catholics in Point Barrow (Nuvuk), construction workers, military personnel, people connected with the school, the hospital, the US Weather Bureau and the Civil Aeronautics Administration. He also ministered to the men working on the “Distant Early Warning” radar sites.

His life in Alaska was a saga of heroic deeds. he once saved a village from starving by personally conducting a hunt on the Arctic Ocean during very severe weather. His trained eye picked out the ice floe that was to be the home of scientists and airmen for eighteen months during the “International Geophysical Year” of 1957. This project was known as “Operation Ice Skate” and was completed under the guidance of Thomas Cunningham.

His “Parish” had been the 150,000 cold square miles of Alaska above the Arctic Circle. His parishioners were anyone he met. For a quarter of a century he laughed at Arctic dangers, survived pneumonia - which he caught while cruising the icy Bering Sea in a leaky sealskin boat. He leapt down an icy cliff and jumped to safety from ice cake to floating ice cake as Soviet officials sought to take him captive when his boat had been blown into Big Diomede Island (Gvozdev) during an Arctic storm. He mushed through winter blizzards that had kept even the Eskimos indoors, travelling on one missionary journey for 2,500 miles behind dogs.

His deeds in the Arctic became legendary and were told and retold wherever Eskimo or white men gathered along the Arctic coast or north of the glacier-packed Brooks Mountain range.

He learned the Eskimo language during his early Alaskan years, and spoke it with a fluency that amazed the natives. He was a scholar, who compiled an Eskimo dictionary of over 7,000 words and their English equivalents. He could look at an ice flow and tell the age of the ice, and accurately guess its depth and longevity. He knew more of the traditions, legends and anthropological lore of the Eskimo than anyone else in the north. He held a Major’s commission in the Air Force and had received a commendation-of-merit ribbon from the Secretary of the US Air Force.

He was a very cheerful person, very pro Irish and anti British, and a marvellous raconteur. He was small in stature, but very strong. He said he chose the Alaskan Mission because it was cold like his native place in New Zealand. He died in his Rectory cabin at Point Barrow (Nuvuk) from a heart attack. The US Air Force flew his body from there to Fairbanks, and he was buried there with full military honours and a 15-gun salute.

He was a remarkable Jesuit, described by a fellow missionary as “one of the most loved, versatile and dynamic missionaries ever to serve the Alaska Missions”. He was recorded in the “Congressional Records” as “a noble and gallant figure, a devoted servant of God and his fellow men”. Both “Time” and “Newsweek” magazines noted his passing.

cf “Memoirs of a Yukon Priest”Segundo Llorente SJ, Georgetown University Press, Washington DC 1990 - ISBN 10: 0878403615

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 6th Year No 2 1931
Alaska :
Mr Tom Cunningham has already been doing excellent work in Alaska. He will be most likely prefect and principal of a school next year.
Irish Province News 8th Year No 2 1933
Montreal
A great many of us remember Mr. Tom Cunningham, an Australian, who finished his juniorate at Rathfarnharn in 1927. He volunteered for the Alaskan mission, and at the end of philosophy was sent to the far north. He is now doing 2nd Year Theol. at the “Immaculate” Montreal. He sends an interesting letter :
It will be no time 'till I find myself back in Alaska for a life sentence, and the moment cannot come too quickly for me. It is true that life in Alaska is hard. You are lonely and cold, the food is of the crudest kind, the silence of the Arctic winter nearly drives you crazy, and you begin to wonder sometimes if you will ever see the sun again, or get a letter from home.
But it has its compensations. There is a sort of mysterious something about the Yukon that gets a grip on you, and makes you wish to be there rather than any place else. It must be the grace of God. I know that I wouldn't stay in Alaska one day if it were not for a supernatural motive.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937
ALASKA :
The following letter is from Father T. Cunningham who was a Junior at Rathfarnham in the year 1926-27. Shortly afterwards he joined the California Province in the hope of being sent to the Alaska mission. He now belongs to the Oregon Province, and when his theology at the Immaculate Conception, Montreal, was finished his hopes were realized, and he was sent to Alaska, the land his heart desired. Our regret is that limited space prevents our giving the entire letter, but the parts we are enabled to give are decidedly interesting. The letter is an answer to one received from a Jesuit friend.
“When your letter arrived the spirit was low. I don't mean low in the wrong sense of the word, but that lowness that comes from a long, miserable, cold winter, with always a couple more months to go, and a lowness that is increased by had grub, hard work and loneliness.
Much to my astonishment I was assigned on my return to Alaska to Nome. (Father Cunningham had spent some time in Alaska before his theology.) Nome has a reputation of wrecking havoc in the minds and bodies of the clergy. Of my predecessors one went completely mad, one froze to death, three lasted a year and then had to leave through ill health. I have been here since September, 1935, alone, and believe me it's no picnic. I have been to confession once since then when I went fifty miles out of my way to call on my neighbor in Kotzebue 200 miles north of here.
When I saw what I was up against I drew up a schedule to be followed as closely as possible here and when travelling. The day was divided from 5 a.rm. to 10.30 p.m. between prayer, study teaching catechism and manual labor, in such a way that I didn't have time to sit down and feel sorry for myself.
Outside of Nome the work was fine. My territory stretches as far north as the Noatak River, well within the Arctic Circle, and as far west as Cape Prince of Wales, the most westerly point on the Continent. I got over the whole district twice and my procedure was always the same, study of the various changes of dialect in each village, and teaching catechism to the children in the afternoon and to the adults at night. In between times, when I had the dishes washed, dogs fed, and the wood chopped against the next morning, I would do what I could towards easing the various bodily ailments to which the Eskimo is prone. I relied as often as not on the grace of God as on my own medical knowledge. Anyhow I produced some surprising results, and didn't kill anyone.
The winter was moderate. The coldest around here was 70 below zero, but only for a day or so. There was a seven weeks spell of minus 50 during March and April. The coldest I experienced when travelling was 58 below zero. That was too cold to travel but I didn't want to spend the night in the open. I came through the winter with only feet frozen twice, and frost-bitten hands and nose every other week, nothing serious, only inconvenient. It is really hard to describe the cold and the famous north Wind which makes it much worse.
Now we are enjoying what is rightly called Little Winter or that period of two months or so between the end and beginning of the Big Winter. We had five beautiful days early this month (July), but most of the time it's a cold damp atmosphere with an occasional frost and snow flurry. It did clear up enough to see the Midnight Sun on two occasions.
I have made satisfactory progress in the language, and can preach, hear confessions, teach catechism without much difficulty, and I hope to know it as well as possible in two more years. There are no books on the subject, and most of all I know I had to find out just by asking around.
The language has one big rule turn everything possible into a verb. Thus, “I didn't eat all day” is “I dayed without eating” - “Oubluzunga herrinanga”. They have no generic words, for the six kinds of foxes, they have six different words.
The method of counting is queer but logical. They count to twenty, as that is as far as the fingers and toes go. Then they multiply and add till they reach a hundred. 67 would be 20 by 3 plus 7.
Now, my status for next year. I have been billed to found a new mission on Little Diomede Island, in the Bering Sea, near Siberia. I shall be the first priest to winter there, and, as far as I know, the only white man. I go there in September (1936), and will have no communication with the mainland from October till the following July, when the ice begins to break up. Someone has to go there as it is a good place in case we can ever work on the Eskimos in Russia. The address will be : Ignalit - Diomede Island, via Nome. Alaska.
I would take it as a favour if you gave this letter to the Editor of the Province News, as I like to think that all my old Irish friends have not completely deserted me simply because I turned Eskimo.
We haven't enough men here. We cannot do half enough. I have at least six native villages to attend to outside Nome, and a fellow can be only in one place at a time, and dogs go only an average of six miles an hour, and that's good going. I was lucky to get all around twice.
Give my regards to all my old co-juniors,
Sincerely,
TOM CUNNINGHAM, SJ”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Letter from Fr. Tom Cunningham, King Island, Alaska :
“... A plane flew over this island last week and dropped some mail - a most pleasant surprise. This mail had been accumulating at Nome since last September and it contained two 1947 copies of the Irish Province News. Though it is a long time since 1929, the names of the older members of the Province are still very fresh in the memory.
If you know of any budding missionaries who wish to come out here, tell them from me that they need only one quality above other missionary requirements, viz. the desire and the ability to learn the Eskimo language, which I am convinced is the hardest language imaginable. I don't know though - a few years ago I came across a tribe in Liberia, who were Eskimo in every respect except language. Their language was very simple and after less than a month's association with them, I could get along fairly well. If a future missionary can grasp a language, he has overcome the most difficult part of the Alaska Missions. The weather, travel, terrain, etc. can be handled easily.
If you don't mind, let me bring you up to date on my personal activities. I was on Diomede Island from 1936 to 1940, when I then went to tertianship. Back again on Diomede till 1942 when the war had upset everything. There were soldiers all over Alaska except on these remote islands. I worked with the army quite a lot as adviser on Arctic conditions and spent some time training Arctic Search and Rescue Crews on the Alaska Liberia Wing of the Ferrying Command. Thousands of planes went through Alaska to the European Front. Americans would fly them to Alaska and the Russian pilots would take over there.
In 1944 I was commissioned in the Chaplain's Corps and sent to the S. W. Pacific, being on Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, Manila and eventually Tokyo and Korea. I was released from the army and went to Lewis Washington in September, 1946 and arrived back at Nome two weeks later. I spent last winter between two Missions on the mainland and from January to June, I was on Diomede Island,
Last summer, Fr. Lafortune, the priest who built the Mission on this island died, and King Island was added to the territory which I already had. My Present Parish is composed of King Island and Diomede Island in the Baring Straits and Teller and the village of Igloo on the Mainland. The latter three are accessible during the winter, but once on the island you must stay put till the ice goes.
My plans now are to alternate between one winter here and one divided between Diomede, Teller and Igloo. The population here is 198, all Catholics. Diomede has 94 of whom 86 are Catholics. Teller has 35 Catholics out of 150 and Iglo has 48 people, all Catholics. The distances between are considerable : Teller to Igloo 50 miles, Teller to Diomede 98 miles and Teller to here 40 miles. Teller is a sort of Headquarters. There are two stores there. I built the Chapels at Diomede, Teller and Igloo. This island and its buildings, I have inherited so to speak; a fine Church, nice living quarters and the most fervent congregation I have ever come across. There are at least 25 Communions daily and over 100 on Sundays.
I have been assigned considerable territory as you see, but except for Igloo it's much the same language and I happen to be the only one who knows it. The language will be necessary for at least two more generations. Here I am the only White, so the White population always sees eye to eye in Religion, recreation, politics and is a staunch follower of De Valera.
I have a Radio and get good reception on an average of once a week, so I don't know much about the outside. The programme except for the excellent News broadcasts are poor. The only station I can hear is an Army station at Los Angeles. Even the news, the odd time I hear it, is not very reassuring.
Life here is tranquil. The island is about one mile and a half in circumference, rising abruptly out of the ice. The village is an in credibly steep rocky slope, at least a 60° incline. It is quite an art to manoeuvre around the village. The only way that I can make it when taking Holy Communion to the sick on dark mornings is to tie a rope. around one of the Church supports and hang on. The Eskimos pick out the darndest places to live.
The living is made entirely off the ice and it takes rugged characters to survive. The weather is not too severe. Our coldest day so far was 44 degrees below zero, with a wind of 45 miles per hour.
My day starts at 5 am. and goes on till 10.30 p.m. There are four Catechism classes per day for the children and one in the evening for adults. On Wednesday and Saturday, I hunt in the afternoons, as I. need to eat too. All hunting is done on moving ice and it is sometimes dangerous and always cold and miserable. I take care of my own cooking, washing and house-keeping, so I really have not time to feel sorry for myself. Still, the hardest chore for me is making altar-breads. The iron must be hot, but not too hot and not too cold, and the dough not too thick and not too thin. A sort of equation with four unknowns. All in all it's a busy and I hope, a useful life.
St. Patrick's Day is coming and I have a sermon all ready for Benediction on Wednesday night. Can't help thinking of the days at Eegenhoven when March 17th was the big day and the Belgians and the Englishmen envied us. I understand our old home was pretty well blown up. I wonder what happened to all the friends we had there.
While in Korea, I had hopes of going as far as Hong Kong but I didn't get beyond Shanghai and I was there for only one night. There was an Irish Sister from Roscommon in Seoul, Korea in charge of an Orphanage and every other American soldier was helping her with stuff for her fold. While in Tokyo I heard that Fr. M. Bodkin was chaplain on a British aircraft carrier but I just couldn't visit him.....”

Irish Province News 35th Year No 1 1960
Obituary :
Fr Thomas Cunningham (1906-1959)
(From the Oregon- Jesuit, October 1959)

The frozen frontier of the Alaska Mission lost its restless “Father Tom” on 3rd September, 1959, when Rev. Thomas Patrick Cunningham, S.J. died of a heart attack in his rectory cabin at Point Barrow, Alaska.
His parish had been the 150,000 cold square miles of Alaska that lie above the Arctic Circle. His parishioners were anyone he met.
For a quarter of a century Fr. Tom had laughed at Arctic dangers. He had survived pneumonia, caught while cruising the icy Bering Sea in a leaky sealskin boat. He had leaped down an icy cliff and jumped to safety from ice cake to floating ice cake, as Soviet officials sought to take him captive, when his boat had been blown in to Big Diomede Island during an Arctic storm. He had mushed safely through winter blizzards that had kept even the Eskimos indoors, travelling on one missionary journey 2,500 miles behind his dogs. His deeds in the Arctic had become legend and were told and retold wherever Eskimo or white man gathered along the Arctic coast or north of the glacier-packed Brooks mountain range. His death was as Fr. Tom would have chosen, a quiet going to eternal sleep as he began another exhausting day.
When Fr. Thomas P. Cunningham joined our philosophy classes at Mount St. Michael's, Spokane, WA., in 1929, we knew him as a quiet, hard-working student with a brilliant mind, who never seemed to get tired. He was fiercely competitive in sports and the best soccer player any of us had ever faced. He had grown up in New Zealand where, on 24th February, 1906, he had been born on a farm near Taieri. He talked little of himself, but in defending some political figure in Ireland, he once said that his grandfather had been deported by England to Australia for some act of Irish patriotism.
Fr. Cunningham travelled a roundabout route to his Alaska mission, High school was spent with the Christian Brothers at Dunedin, New Zealand. He entered the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus at Sydney, Australia, 24th March, 1924. He spent his Juniorate at Rathfarnham, Ireland, his philosophy years at Louvain, Belgium, and Mt. St. Michael's, Spokane. He taught school at Holy Cross, Alaska, 1930-31, before entering theology studies at Montreal, Canada. He was ordained 12th August, 1934, at Loyola College, Montreal, and made his tertianship at Mount Laurier, Quebec, Canada. In 1935 he began his missionary work at Nome, Alaska, and the following year went to Diomede Island for a three-year stay.
Giving a chronological account of Fr. Cunningham's work in Alaska tells so little of what he did. Except for his year out for tertianship, he was at Diomede Island from 1936-44. From 1944-46 he was chaplain with the U.S. army. After another year at Diomede Island, he spent three years as missioner to the Eskimos at King Island. From 1950-52 he was chaplain with the air-force, spending much of his time teaching Arctic survival to service-men. After a year as missionary to Kotzbue, he moved north to Point Barrow, Alaska's northernmost tip and, from there, went on long dog-sled missionary journeys across the world's last frontier, seeking Eskimo souls for Christ.

Many Acts of Heroism
Fr. Cunningham's life in Alaska was a saga of heroic deeds. He once saved a village from starving by personally conducting a hunt on the Arctic Ocean during very severe weather. His trained eye picked out the ice floe which was to be the home of scientists and airmen for 18 months during the Geophysical Year. The project, known as “Operation Ice Skate”, was completed under his guidance. He was first ashore on the ice island and last to leave when it broke up. He foretold that the ice island would break twice during their stay and guessed within a week of when each break-up would occur. No life was ever lost in any of the air-force or scientific operations which he supervised.

A Skilled Scientist
Fr. Cunningham learned the Eskimo language in his early Alaskan years and spoke it with a fluency that amazed the natives. He was a scholar who compiled an Eskimo dictionary of over 7,000 words and their English equivalents. He could look at an ice floe and tell the age of the ice and accurately guess its depth and longevity. He knew more of the traditions, legends and anthropological lore of the Eskimo than anyone else in the north. He held a Major's Commission in the Air Force Reserve and had received a commendation-of-merit from the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force.
Fr. Cunningham's body was flown by the U.S. Air Force from Point Barrow to Fairbanks and buried there on 8th September with full military honours and a fifteen-gun salute by the Air Force of Ladd Field. Bishop Francis D. Gleeson, S.J. said the Mass in the presence of twenty missionaries from all over Alaska and innumerable friends from the military, civilians and Fr. Tom's beloved Eskimos.
Erwin J. Toner, S.J.

Doyle, Francis, 1931-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/771
  • Person
  • 04 October 1931-17 March 2011

Born: 04 October 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 March 1963, Wah Yan College, Kowloon
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, St Francis Xavier, Kulala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 17 March 2011, Arrupe, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1961 at Bellarmine , Baguio City Philippines (ExOr) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Former editor dies

A former editor of the Sunday Examiner and the first Jesuit to be ordained a priest in Hong Kong, Father Frank Doyle, died in Manila, The Philippines, on 17 March 2011, after suffering a stroke on 6 February 2011. He was treated at the Medical City in Manila, but his condition continued to deteriorate.

He was farewelled from the Loyola House of Studies on the campus of Ateneo de Manila University on 23 March 2011, with Father Mark Raper as the main celebrant at his requiem Mass, and buried at the Jesuit novitiate in Quezon City.

Born in Ireland on 4 October 1931, he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1949. His ordination at Wah Yan College Chapel in Kowloon on 25 March 1963 is described as being a big moment in the history of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, receiving headlines in the newspapers and on the radio news.

The newly ordained priest did interviews for the radio and historian, Father Thomas Morrissey, described it “a widespread manifestation of friendliness towards the Church and the society,” in his book, The Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond.

He is described by Paul K. B. Chan, as “as a very friendly teacher and a good spiritual director.”

During his years in Hong Kong, Father Doyle was at the forefront of many activities and was particularly active in the push for direct elections from 1988 into the early 1990s. He addressed a forum of 10,000 people, along with the Democratic Party champion of the cause, Martin Lee Chu-ming, and on 21 May 1989 was present at a prayer meeting in St. Margaret’s Happy Valley at the end of a day when an estimated crowd of between 400,000 and one million people walked the streets of Hong Kong in support of the issue.

Father Doyle also worked in the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality at Cheung Chau, as well as among the students at Ricci Hall, and was among the first group to go from Hong Kong to the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila to study.

After an initial stint teaching at Wah Yan College, Father Doyle went to Singapore, where his career with newspapers began, working on the diocesan publication, Catholic News. He later became the founding director of the Pastoral Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he stayed for the full 10 years allowed to a foreign resident by the government at that time.

Back in Hong Kong, he continued his writing at UCA News, before coming to the Sunday Examiner. He is remembered from his years at the editor’s desk (1991 to 1993) as an extremely good speaker of Cantonese, as well as a joyful and enthusiastic person.

“He would sing as he worked,” one of the staff said, “adding that he seemed to be able to do almost everything from writing articles to designing advertisements and doing the artwork himself.”

He is also remembered for giving a job to a hearing impaired woman. Staff who go back that far, say that he was patient and took time to teach her how to cut and paste to set out a page for the printers. They say that he continually encouraged her and, gradually her self-confidence grew and she began to speak more freely. Eventually, even, her hearing appeared to improve and in the end, she could talk quite fluently.

Father Ciaran Kane, from Xavier House in Cheung Chau, studied with him in high school in Ireland and they were again together in the Jesuit formation programme, coming to Hong Kong at about the same time.

Father Kane described his old friend as charming and a man who made friends easily, although in many ways he could be called a loner, as he liked to do his own thing in his own way. Father Kane said that something changed in him in later years. In describing him as dapper, he noted that in his later years he become really casual and even grew a beard.

“But he really loved writing,” Father Kane said, “and he was good at it. For many years after he went back to Ireland, he would return to Kuala Lumpur and do a month at the Catholic paper each year. He wrote many things.”

Father Doyle left Hong Kong when he finished at the Sunday Examiner and returned to Ireland where he worked in high school ministry and also retreat work.

Father Kane said, “He never forgot his Cantonese though and kept contact with Chinese people in Ireland and England, as well as in Vancouver and New York for many years.”

Father Doyle finished his days in Manila among the Jesuit scholastics as a spiritual adviser. He is also remembered as an author of prayers and reflections.

He once wrote, “Perhaps I haven’t seen things from this perspective, or have forgotten it, but it is the truth of my life: I am called by name, journeying along a unique path, God with me, God before me, all along the way that is mine.”

Tributes to him have poured in from every country in which he worked. May he rest in peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 April 2011

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/frank-doyle/

Frank Doyle, an Irish Jesuit priest of the Chinese Province, died on Saint Patrick’s Day 2011. After some years working in Ireland, Frank had returned to Asia in 2010, undertaking
work as a spiritual director in Manila. For many years he wrote the Living Space commentaries – reflections on readings and saints – on the Sacred Space website. His requiem and burial took place in Saint Ignatius Oratory, Loyola House of Studies, Manila on 22 March. Messages sent on news of his illness and other more general comments indicate how meaningful his apostolate had become to so many whom he had helped in their search for the Lord. The text of the homily delivered at his funeral can be read at Living Space, courtesy of Mark Raper SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific. The text of the homily (http://sacredspace.ie/livingspace/funeral-homily/)

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/frank-in-sweaty-manila/

Frank Doyle SJ (left in photo) recently exchanged the green and leafy delights of Gonzaga for the humid heats of Manila, where there has been no rain for a long time and it is extremely hot, exceeding 30C and going up to 36, with humidity to match. After years in Hong Kong, Frank served Chinese exiles in many parts of the world, including Dublin. His ease with groups of diverse languages and cultures will stand to him in his new job as spiritual director to Jesuit students from at least twelve different countries. On arrival he joined a team directing the spiritual exercises in an upcountry retreat house. He lives on the large (Belfield-size) campus of the Jesuit university, Ateneo de Manila, and is praying for some cool rain

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
Among his students were Ciarán Kane and Frank Doyle in Belvedere

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Frank Doyle (1932-2011) : China Province

Obituary by Myles O'Reilly
Who is Frank Doyle? He had so many lives within one life that no one seems to know the whole Frank. On top of that, he was quite a private person and very self-sufficient. No wonder the editor found it so hard to find someone to write his obituary and the lot falls to me, being his last Rector in Ireland. Outwardly Frank was an exemplary novice like monk who never wasted a minute of his time. He rose at six in the morning, faithfully meditated for an hour, had breakfast in silence on his own, dutifully sat at his desk dealing with emails, researching, reading and writing for his Sacred Space contributions, celebrated Mass once weekly in Gonzaga school, and for the rest of the week at 10 30 a.m. with the Cherryfield community, for whom he had great affection, continued his morning desk-work until lunch to which he went with a certain reluctance (Frank was strongly one-to-one in preference).

After a short friendly chat in the kitchen with Linda the cook, he went to his room for a siesta, continued his reading and writing but interlaced it with listening to the radio, listening to his favourite music, usually jazz, and getting some physical exercise. This brought him to a late supper where he was careful to eat a healthy diet. After this, he played the piano for half an hour, relaxed in the library, having a chat with Kennedy O'Brien, whenever he was there, and then went off to bed. He was usually cheerful, had a great hearty laugh, loved a joke, passed many a one by email to his friends (including blue!!). He wore simple clothes, always wore a ring as a sign of his commitment to Christ, and always kept his room simple and uncluttered.

Yet he was also deeply serious and reflective and could be easily drawn into a theological discussion, usually taking a liberal line but in a gentle, non-aggressive way. Despite being wedded to his routine, he was always ready to drop it at the request for some help of any nature. He was also generous with his time for directees or friends that came to visit him. On Sundays he joined the Dublin Chinese community for Eucharist, after which he would join his brother Philip and his family for lunch, where he was a great hit with his nephews and nieces, and their children, all of whom he baptized and with whom he would watch television (only time in the week he permitted himself such an indulgence!). . For some of his summer, Frank became a curate in an all-Chinese community in New York, In September he offered himself as chaplain to a group that went to Lourdes every year. Occasionally throughout the year he would give a preached retreat, usually to nuns in the Loreto retreat centre in Linsfort, Co Donegal. He also loved to stand in as chaplain in St Vincent's private hospital in Dublin when required. So far this is only a brief external description of Frank in his Gonzaga incarnation

From his outer conformity to routine, you could be forgiven for thinking that Frank could just as easily have been a Cistercian as a Jesuit, but when you read his retreat reflections from the early 90's you realize that nothing could be further from the truth. True to Ignatian spirituality, we are defined by what is our deep heart's core. Even the ancient spirituality of the Upanishads recognized this. “You are what your deepest driving desire is; as your desire is, so is your will, as your will is so is your deed” The following is how Frank expressed his deepest desire.

    “My deepest desire is
to work for the kingdom of God
in whatever place
and in whatever work
to which I believe God is calling me
In the spirit of the beatitudes
especially in companionship with Christ today
in the poor and the discriminated against
even if it means suffering and rejection
using only the weapons of compassion, justice and freedom”.

We can easily hear the call of Christ the King, and the “Two Standards” in this deepest desire. True to it, throughout his reflections in his diary and his retreat notes, Frank is always questioning himself as to whether he is in the right place or doing the right work in terms of promoting God's kingdom. Could he be more effectively employed elsewhere? Even though the Chinese left the deepest imprint in his heart, it did not stop him from wondering whether it would be best for the Hong Kong mission that he leave, as a more indigenous Church would be more acceptable to mainline China when they would take over Hong Kong in 1997. Ought not the Hong Kong Church stand on its own feet, and best evangelize its own people? A combination of external circumstances and internal discernment led Frank to switch his missionary life to Malaysia where he put down fruitful roots for 10 years, enhanced by his willingness to learn the Malay language. He was deeply impressed by the strength of the indigenous church there, which gave him the freedom to consider turning the last quarter of his life to the Western world. The first part of this was spent in Canada where he was confronted with the challenge of making a stand for the gay community on what he saw as a human rights issue. This led to his having to leave ministry there and come back to Ireland as chaplain to Gonzaga school, which he undertook for three years.

Inwardly Frank was always chiding himself for writing just for himself alone. He saw it as too self indulgent. “Did not Ghandhi write solely for the edification of people? And Jesus did not write at all!!” But somehow he knew his vocation was to write. He had been editor of the “Hong Kong Examiner” and he had ambitious writing goals to fulfil. He longed to write about the Eucharist, the Beatitudes, New Testament syllabi for Hong Kong schools, sermon notes, Discernment of Spirits, and the use of “eros”, “philia”, and “agape” in the New Testament.

Late in his life he got his opportunity, a chance to channel all his in-depth reflections over the years on these topics through “Sacred Space”, which had an outreach to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. He was asked to provide reflections on the liturgical readings of each day in the year and on the lives of the saints. He thrived on this mission and even found time to write a book on “A New Sexual Ethic” in his spare time, that I hope the Jesuits will find in his computer in the Philippines. The quality of the responses that Frank got from all over the world from his readers, when they heard of his stroke, was amazing. Emails came flooding in from Italy, Canada, India, Scotland, Brazil, Norway, USA, England, Portugal, Philippines, Malta, Korea, Honk Kong, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland and Spain in their hundreds. I quote a few just to give the reader a flavour of the remarks.
“You communicate the message of Christ convincingly to contemporary culture”...
“You touch, inspire and challenge me, I relish the Jesuitness that oozes out from your deep integrated life” ...
“On many occasions, I felt like the disciples on the way to Emmaus having the scriptures opened to them”...
“You are like St Paul, Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” etc

When Frank was riding high apostolically at the age of 77, his deepest desire, the guiding principle of his life, did not leave him. It led him to agreeing to go back to Manila in the Philippines, to where he did his theology as a scholastic, as chaplain to 40 Chinese students. There was a feeling of St Paul leaving one of his missionary communities, never to return, as we said good bye to him on the steps of Gonzaga community two years ago, as he headed off to the East yet again to fittingly die among the people that struck the deepest chord in his heart, the Chinese on, of all days, St Patrick's Day!! St Francis Xavier will surely gladly be among the welcoming party for Frank, but might be a little envious that Frank got to work and live among the Chinese, spoke their language, and travelled his missionary 100,000 miles by plane and train!!! May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

Father Frank Doyle (1949). The only other who belongs to this part of the world and is within it is Father Frank Doyle, who is just now concluding his Tertianship and is due to return in the middle of May. He is to work with the “China News Analysis”, a weekly publication run by Jesuits which sifts the news published in China and is highly respected as an interpreter of current events and trends in Communist China.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

News of the Past

Frank Doyle SJ

Frank Doyle SJ (1949) was in Belvedere this summer: I spent seven years in Belvedere, from 1942 to 1949.

In that year, I entered the Society of Jesus with three other classmates, two of whom are still in the Society - Denis Flannery(Zambia) and Percy Winder (Clongowes). There followed two years as a novice in Emo, three years in Rathfarnham studying Classics at UCD. (then in Earlsfort Terrace), and three years of philosophy at St Stanislaus College in Tullabeg, near Tullamore.

In 1957, I went to Hong Kong. The first two years there were spent in our language school and the third year was spent teaching in a Jesuit secondary school, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong (not to be confused with Wah Yan College, Kowloon).

At the end of the third year, I returned to Ireland to begin theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. But after one year, I transferred to Bellarmine College at Baguio City in the Philippines. Studying here also gave me an opportunity to study Mandarin Chinese, the mostly widely spoken form of Chinese. (In Hong Kong I had learnt Cantonese which is spoken by “only 30 million” people.)

In 1963, I was ordained priest at the chapel of Wah Yan College Kowloon in Hong Kong - the first Jesuit to be ordained in Hong Kong.

After completing theology at Baguio in 1964, I went to Chabanel Hall in Manila for tertianship, my final year of formation, “Hall” was really a euphemism for a collection of galvanised metal huts which had in previous years served as a prisoner of war camp for both Americans and Japa nese during the Second World War.

In 1965, I returned to Hong Kong to start my career as a “formed” Jesuit. In the first year, I worked with Fr Ladany, a Hungarian Jesuit, on “China News Analysis”, a weekly newsletter which Fr Ladany single-handedly edited from 1953 to 1982. He has now retired and handed over to a younger generation.

In the following year, I was assigned back to Wah Yan College Hong Kong as “spiritual father” to the boys and minister to the Jesuit community.

In the summer of 1967, I was asked by the superior Fr Fergus Cronin if I would like to spend two months of the holidays in Singapore. I was delighted at the idea.

The day after I arrived in Singapore towards the end of July, I was put in the editor's chair of the local Catholic newspaper although I had no experience whatever of this kind of work. The two months became two years. In 1969 I parted company with the paper. The Archbishop of Singapore was not too happy with my freewheeling editorial policy.

Instead I was transferred to neighbouring Malaysia where I was to spend 10 years (so much for the two months in 1967). I only left after 10 years because the government's policy towards missionaries did not allow me to stay any longer.

My work in Malaysia was very varied. There are not many priests there and one finds oneself doing all kinds of things. So I found myself helping out in parishes at weekends, being chaplain to two universities (at the same time), helping out in a pastoral institute, editing a diocesan newsletter, giving retreats, seminars and talks, teaching religion in schools... In my final year (78-79) I was a parish priest. My time in Malaysia was a very enriching experience.

In 1979, I was back in Hong Kong. My first year back was spent relearning Cantonese, which had. grown rusty from lack of use over 12 years. There followed one year of teaching but since then I have been mostly engaged in editing work of one kind or another. In 1982 I began editing “Correspondence”, a newsletter whose intention was to keep Jesuits informed on what was happening to the Church in China. Also in that year, I began an association with UCAN (Union of Catholic Asian News). UCAN is a Catholic news agency which covers the East and Southeast Asian region. Each week it sends out a dispatch to subscribing newspapers. It has also been preparing a directory of Catholic dioceses in the region of which I was the editor. In more recent years, it began publishing a weekly newsletter of Church news in Asia. I was also involved with this.

On a more directly pastoral level, I have been helping out in a parish at weekends and been spir itual adviser to a Christian Life Community group in one of our schools. There have also been retreats and talks to various groups.

Hong Kong in many ways is an exciting place to be. The Pacific Basin is now probably the fastest growing area economically in the world today and Hong Kong is one of its hubs. The many changes taking place in China and it assumption of sove =reignity over Hong Kong in 1997 also present excit ing challenges. Not least to the Jesuits. I am very happy to be part of that.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1991

Interview

At Home in the World : Talking to Father Frank Doyle SJ

Frank Doyle SJ (1949) has spent most of his time since joining the Jesuits in the Far East and works in Hong Kong, now facing reunification with China in six years' time. On one of his occasional visits home, when he likes to stay in Belvedere, Conor Patten interviewed him for The Belvederian in October 1990.

When did you enter Belvedere?
I joined the Junior House in 1942 at the age of eleven and a year later went on to the Senior School, where I spent all six years of my secondary education.

What are your memories of the school?
Well, I can remember being very happy there, I enjoyed the school a lot. I was very involved with the Vincent de Paul Society - in those days there were terrible slums down in Parell Street and we would visit people there and bring them food tickets, which were worth about five shillings, sometimes ten. That's roughly twenty-five pence nowdays. It was really Sean O'Casey poverty - have you seen Juno and the Paycock? It was just like that. Whole families living in rooms. I was also very keen on the Camera Club. We had a Jesuit (Fr Scantlebury) in charge who was also editor of The Irish Messenger. He was very interested in archeology and every Saturday or Sunday we would head out for some archeological site in the country and photograph it, so combining the two interests. I can remember the bicycles that we used, it was always bicycles. In that way I visited most of the archeological sites in Dublin and the surrounding counties,

Do you think the school has changed since then?
Of course! It has changed a lot! Mostly for the better, I think. I haven't had much exposure to the classroom since I returned and I haven't been in contact with many of the students but I can see changes have taken place. The curriculum has certainly changed: everybody studied Latin up to the Leaving when I was in school and there was a straight choice between Science and Greek in Fifth Year. Society changes and the school changes with it.

Do you think that the Jesuits in Belvedere influenced your decision to become a Jesuit yourself?
Yes, I do. We had nine scholastics in the school during my final year and I got to know the Jesuits well. I think they did influence my decision.

Did you know any of the community back then who are still here today?
I knew quite a lot - Br Coigan [R.I.P.), Fr Reidy, Fr Schrenk, Fr McLaughlin and Fr MacSeumais.

How do you think Ireland as a society has changed in the years that you have been away?
Well, I think that there is a lot of wealth around now that was not there when I was at school. The greatest changes are economic, People seem to have more money, even students have more money. I remember receiving two and sixpence a week, which is about fifteen pence now. Looking back, those days seem a very austere time. Those who were considered the “comfortable middle class” would not be considered middle class today. There also seems to be a much greater split in society - the gap between rich and poor and the haves and have-nots seems to have grown.

Did you join the Jesuits straight after leaving school?
I graduated from Belvedere in 1949 and went straight to Emo Park where I spent two years, then I took my vows and then spent four years studying Classics in UCD, then came my three years of Philosophy.

Why did you volunteer for the missions?
I think that it was because I saw that nobody else from my year was going to apply, and I knew that there was a great need for people out there. They usually send at least one scholastic out every year and it seemed that no one else was interested in going. I think I also wanted to see other parts of the world, I wanted to travel.

How did you feel on arriving at Hong Kong?
It was very exciting - the day I arrived must have been the most exciting day of my life. I can remember being very impressed by Hong Kong, it seemed a very impressive place compared to Ireland's bare existence. For instance, we had a brand new Jesuit school which was very modern. I think I fell in love with Hong Kong. I wasn't homesick at all, as a matter of fact. I found leaving Hong Kong a lot harder than leaving Ireland.

What were your duties while you were there?
I spent two years learning the language, Cantonese Chinese. Although it is a British colony, the work of the Church is in Chinese, and in my third year there I taught in the two Jesuit schools - one on the mainland and the other on the island.

How did you find the students in Hong Kong compared to students in Ireland?
The Chinese are very future-orientated: from a very young age they are talking about their careers and what they want to become. There are always exceptions, just like there are anywhere, but discipline is not a major problem. There seemed to be a very good relationship between the pupils and staff. I found myself so much at home there I didn't want to leave at all!

Your next posting in the Far East brought you to the Philippines: what were your experiences there?
I spent my tertianship, which is a period of renewal before your Final Vows, in Manila. It was suggested that I go out there because I would be able to lean Mandarin Chinese in a theology house that was near the city. After the Communist take-over, there was a lot of pressure on the Jesuits to leave China, so they just moved the whole community from Shanghai to Manila. Of course, they never expected the Communist regime to last so long! After that I spent some time in a place out in the countryside which was called Chabanel Hall of, as it was sometimes called, Chabanel Hell! It was a former prison used by both the US and Japan during the forties and was just a collection of corrugated iron sheeting which, of course, became very, very hot during the day. The only window was a small mosquito-screen which we would leave open to try and cool the place a little.

Did you witness any of the events which led to the elction of Ferdinand Marcos?
Yes, they held the election just before I left in 1965. He was just like any other Filipino politician - presumed corrupt. But he seemed very capable, a very canny and shrewd politician, He was a qualified lawyer, and the most prestigious exams in the Philippines are Law exams that take place every year. To come in the top ten of your class marks you out as an exceptional man, Marcos came first. He was also known to have killed a man, but he defended himself and was acquitted.

I think he probably could have brought the country out of the problems it had, but he got caught up in the political system that exists in the Philippines. It's very feudalistic, the country is iun by the powerful families. Things haven't really changed, even under Aquino. If you can remember back to the revolution when they stormed the palace, there was a lot of talk about “People Power”. “People Power” is a myth! Mrs Aquino is finding it hard to cope with these powerful families, just like he did.

Where did you go after your Final Vows?
I returned to Hong Kong where I expected to spend a lot of time, but things were not to work out as I had expected, I began working with a priest who was a well known expert on China, There is only one paper allowed out of China and that's The People's Daily. Of course, it's just a mouthpiece of the Communist Govertiment, full of propaganda, but by carefully reading between the lines this priest could see some of the power struggles that were taking place in the party. It didn't really work out too well though: he was the sort of man who could only work by himself and after a year I went back to teaching.
'
At the beginning of the summer holidays it was suggested to me that I work in Singapore for a couple of months. A week later, I arrived there, was brought downtown to the headquarters of the Catholic newspaper, shown the editor's chair and told to sit down! So I had to start from scratch and my two months quickly turned into two years. I was eventually fired from my post by the local Archbishop who was not happy with my work.

Was there any particular reason for your dismissal?
Yes, to be honest there was. At the time I was editor, around 1968-69, Humanae Vitae was published and there was a great debate going on inside the Church for and against it. I regarded myself as a serious journalist and set about publishing views for and against the document, and this angered the Archbishop. He didn't mind me publishing articles in favour of Humanae Vitae but he wasn't too happy with me publishing articles against it. I think we had a basic difference of opinion - he felt the paper should have been an organ for teaching the faithful the doctrine of the Church, whereas I felt it should give both sides of the story and let people know what was going on. Anyway, at the end of my second year, it was the general feeling that it would be better for me to leave.

Where did you go?
I volunteered for Malaysia because I know they were very short-handed and Jesuits from Hong Kong were reluctant to go there. As it turned out, I spent almost all of the seventies there, from 1969-79. I was chaplain to two universities and I gave a lot of retreats and things like that. In my last year I was a parish priest.

In 1979 you returned to Hong Kong. How had the colony changed in the years you had been away?
Hong Kong is constantly changing, new buildings are always going up, new property constantly being created. For instance, they had a totally new road system which had been built while I was away. I didn't feel the same excitement that I had felt when I first arrived in the colony, but it is still a very vibrant place. I taught in a school up until 1981 but then I decided that teaching was not my strongest skill so I started to work in a new Catholic newsagency called UCAN. I've been helping to edit and report for the agency from then until now.

What is your opinion of the student demonstrations that took place last year in China and their significance for Hong Kong?
Well, the year that looms larger over the colony is 1997 when Britain hands it back to the Peking government, but I'm optimistic in the long run. : Hong Kong has gone through a lot of crises through the years and its people are very resilient. The people of China are very pragmatic, and I think the crackdown on the students was a setback, not a real change in direction. Two years ago China was regarded as the leading reformer in the Communist world, flow it is the last. Its political struggles are happening at the top, and things will change in the end.

Hong Kong is of colossai importance to China, in terms of economic and political power. It's very small but it is the eleventh largest industrial unit in the world. If China would only unleash the energies of its people it would become a huge power.

Your trip to Ireland is nearly at an end. Where do you think your travels will bring you next?
I could be spending a lot of time in Hong Kong, but you can never know for sure. If there was somewhere else I thought I was needed theri I would go. This is a very exciting period for the whole region - for the whole of the Far East and the Pacific Rim.

After spending most of your life in the Far East, where do you consider home?
I love Ireland, but I think I belong to the whole world rather than a single place. I see the whole

Did you ever think you would have ended up on the other side of the world when you decided to become a Jesuit?
To be honest, I had no idea! My original ambition was to become a teacher in a Jesuit school somewhere in Ireland. I volunteered for Hong Kong because I thought no one else would go.

Any regrets?
None at all.

Fook-Wai Chan, Francis, 1923-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/491
  • Person
  • 29 January 1923-04 December 1993

Born: 29 January 1923, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Entered: 17 August 1940, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 04 December 1993, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge community, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992; CHN to HIB : 15 September 1992

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Francis Chan Fook Wai, SJ., a long-serving teacher in Wah Yan College Kowloon and a sought-after priest at St. Ignatius Chapel there, died in Dublin, Ireland, on 4 December 1993, aged 70 years.

Born to a Catholic family in Shamshuipo, Kowloon, in 1923, he graduated from Wah Yan College Hong Kong which was then situated on Robinson Road. He joined the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) in 1940 and went to the Philippines for his novitiate, taking his vows there under Japanese occupation in 1942.

After studies there in humanities and philosophy, he returned to teach for a year at his old school and then moved to Ireland to study theology in 1950-54 at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained a priest in 1953. He made his final year of spiritual formation in Wales, followed by a year of educational studies in London.

After returning to Hong Kong in 1956, he took up what was to be his life-long career as a secondary-school teacher, this time in Kowloon Wah Yan College on Waterloo Road.

He was to teach full-time at Form Five level for over 30 years, a period broken only by his going to Canada in 1969 to take a Master's degree in history at the University of Saskatchewan. Even after official retirement at 65 in 1988, he continued with a reduced teaching load for a further two years. During the course of those long years, he had served also as Prefect of Studies of the school and as the first Chinese Rector of the Jesuit community.

His pastoral work at St. Ignatius Chapel had begun as early as 1972 but from 1990 this became his main concern. There he had already become known for the many groups whom he personally instructed for Baptism. Every year he prepared two groups of over fifty adults. He often baptised a whole family, including grandparents and grandchildren.

In early 1992 he moved to England to care for the Chinese Catholics living in London. But soon after taking up that responsibility, he had to undergo major surgery. He was happy to be able to resume his pastoral work for some months but when the problem recurred in mid-1990, he sought medical treatment in Ireland and it was there that he died peacefully on 4 December.

◆ 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 in Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
He made his Novitiate in Manila, and the studied Humanities and Philosophy.
1950-1954 he was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology.
After that he studied Spiritual formation in Wales and Educational studies in London.
He taught at Wah Yan College Kowloon and then in 1992 he moved to London, England to care for Chinese Catholics living there.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Francis (Frank) Chan (Fook-wai Chan) (1923-1993)

29th Jan. 1923: Born in Hong Kong to a Catholic family Primary studies: Tun Mui School, Hong Kong
Secondary studies: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Graduating 1940
14th Aug. 1940: Entered Society at Novaliches Novitiate, Philippines
15th Aug. 1942: First Vows at Novaliches
1942 - 1944: Juniorate at Novaliches, studied English, Latin and Greek
1944 - 1946: Philosophy at Novaliches
1946 - 1950: Regency in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
1950 - 1954: Theology in Milltown Park
31st July 1953; Ordained a priest in Milltown Park by J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at St. Bueno's, Wales
1955 - 1956: Diploma in Education at Strawberry Hill College, London
1956 - 1958: Taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
3rd Feb. 1958: Final Vows, professed
1959-1965: Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
1965-1967: Fund-raising for new school wing
1967-1970: Studies for M.A. in history at University of Saskatchewan, Canada
1970-1990: Taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
1972-1978; Minister of community
1972-1991: Prefect of Church
1972-1982: Consultor of Vice-Province
1978-1994: Rector of Wah Yan College
1985-1991: Minister of community
1991-1992: Sabbatical Year
1992-1993: Director of London Chinese Catholic Association, St. Patrick's Church, London
1992: Transcribed to Irish Province
4th Dec. 1993: Died at Our Lady's Hospice, Harolds Cross

I suppose “single-minded” is the word that best sums up Fr. Francis Chan. I first noticed this when we were together in Theology in Milltown Park in the early fifties. For Francis it was slog and swot every spare hour of the day. The result was that he outshone many of his colleagues who considered that they were of higher intellectual ability than him. There was a certain amount of chagrin that Francis got his “Ad Grad” and was thus on the way to becoming Professed Father, while some of his colleagues had to be satisfied with becoming "mere" Spiritual Coadjutors.

Francis continued to show that same determination to achieve academic success after completing his tertianship in St. Beunos, North Wales. He first studied for a Diploma in Education in Strawberry Hill, London. Then, after his return to Hong Kong in 1956, he sat his Matriculation Exam and an external degree in history from London University - no mean achievement as he was a full-time teacher during that period. Later, he obtained a Master's degree from Regina University, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Francis devoted himself with the same single-mindedness to the very difficult task of fund-raising for Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was Chairman of the Committee and gave himself wholeheartedly to the task, contacting his many friends and Past Students of the College.

When he became Minister of Wah Yan College, Kowloon he showed the same efficiency that he had displayed in classroom teaching and in his term as Prefect of Studies in the College. However, his single mindedness and his determination to achieve sometimes meant that he was lacking in the art of good personal relationships. However, I must say that whenever I visited the College when Francis was minister, or later when he became Rector, he was always most welcoming, considerate and attentive.

I think that this appointment as Minister of Wah Yan was really a turning-point in Francis's career. As Minister, he was in charge of the “School Chapel”. It needs to be explained that the “Chapel”, to all intents and purposes, is a “mini parish church”; funerals or weddings are not performed, but other normal parish activities are carried out. (The official designation of St. Ignatius Chapel is a “Pastoral Zone” - the only one in the whole diocese of Hong Kong!!). It was in this work that Francis really blossomed and it became evident that while he threw himself wholeheartedly into his work as a teacher, his heart wasn't really in it. This might help to explain why he never developed a close personal relationship with his students. Anyhow, he relished his work with the people who came to St. Ignatius Chapel and took a deep interest in them. He prepared very many for Baptism himself, when the general practice of the diocese was to leave this task to catechists. And the people loved him. When he later became Rector, and would normally have ceased being in charge of St. Ignatius Chapel, he continued his association with it. Still later, when he retired from full-time teaching in the College he was able to devote practically all his time to his “parishioners”.

The thought of the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 was something that caused Francis a great deal of anxiety and he made no secret of the fact that he intended to leave well in advance of that date. So, in 1992 he left Hong Kong: first to visit his former parishioners living in Canada and then he came to Ireland. He obtained an Irish passport and became a member of the Irish Province in September of that year. Earlier, he had signed a three-year contract with the Archdiocese of Westminster to be the priest in charge of the Chinese Catholics in London - “Director of the Chinese Catholic Association, London” was his official title.

However, he soon experienced ill health and had prostate surgery in Dublin that same year. Against medical advice, Francis insisted on returning to his flock in London. He realised that, on account of his cancer, he didn't have very long to live so he paid a final visit to Hong Kong without revealing to anyone his serious medical condition. When the cancer worsened he had to leave his pastoral work in London and took up residence in Cherryfield Lodge in August, 1993. As his health continued to deteriorate, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin where he died on 4th December, 1993.

Something of the single-mindedness that had marked his life was evident in his final illness. He knew that he hadn't long to live so he committed himself totally into the hands of his Creator. The nurses in the Hospice said that they had never seen anyone die with such peaceful resignation - a peace that was clearly evident on his face after his death. May he rest in peace.

JG Foley

Hurley, James, 1926-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/861
  • Person
  • 01 October 1926-13 April 2020

Born: 01 October 1926, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 11 November 1944, Emo
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon
Died: 13 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death

Younger brother of Michael - RIP 2011

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1954 at Way Yan, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1960 at Cheung Chau Hong Kong - studying and teaching
by 1972 at Manila, Philippines (PHI) Studying
by 1973 at Wah Yan, Kowloon (HK) Novice Master
by 2014 at Milltown, Dublin (HIB) Pastoral work

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Today, Sri Lankan-born Basil Fernando plies his legal trade in exile from the offices of the Hong Kong-based human rights watchdog, the Asian Human Rights Commission, in bustling Mong Kok. Chatting with the Sunday Examiner he reminisced about what he terms his “conversion,’’ which is manifest in his long dedication to the difficult and frustrating grind of fighting for human rights among some of the most abused people in the world.

In a time when few giants walk upon the earth, Fernando points to Jesuit Father James Hurley as one who towered head and shoulders above others who influenced his determination to spend his life working for the dignity of people. “I first met Father Hurley in 1969,’’ he said matter-of-factly, “when I was a university student and came as a delegate from my homeland (Sri Lanka) to a conference organised by Pax Romana in Hong Kong.”

Fernando explains it was a time when the excitement of Vatican II still electrified the air and Church reform was an integral part of the discussion. “I suppose we had some radical views,” he noted, “and we were often heavily criticised at home.”

But Fernando says that something solidified inside him when he came into contact with Father Hurley at that conference. “I found that whenever I opened my mouth in front of Father Hurley and the representatives from Hong Kong, I received an immediate, sympathetic and encouraging response,” he recounted.

“This left a lasting impression on me,” he reminisced, “for me this was the first time in my life I had experienced a climate that encouraged freedom of expression and respect for the opinions of individuals, and especially young people.”

Fernando recounted that the meeting selected me as one of the two young people to represent Asia at the first ever Asia-wide bishops’ conference, which was attended by Pope Paul VI and held in Manila the following year. Father Hurley accompanied me and Peter Wong to the meeting, which came at a volatile time in the life of The Philippines.

He noted, “There were fears martial law was going to be declared and we met students in the streets who were highly critical of the Church.”

Fernando related how he saw a demonstration of students holding placards and chanting, “Viva il papa (Long live the pope) and down with Santos” (the archbishop of Manila). He said there were discussions on “how we were going to respond and a short resolution entitled, The Bishops of Asia, was drafted as we thought the bishops had spoken well on the meeting floor, but feared their words may be drowned if not translated into action to identify with the poor.”

Fernando told of how the statement was read out in the inaugural broadcast of Radio Veritas, on the day it was opened and blessed by the pope. “We distributed pamphlets while it was being broadcast,” he explained, “and had the privilege of giving one to the pope. We were picked up by Reuters and made the worldwide news as well.” He remembers with a chuckle that “we were the centre of attention and full of the enthusiasm of youth.”

Fernando said what he really learned to appreciate in Father Hurley was that “he did not obstruct, push orthodoxy or try to warn us. He knew we were speaking our convictions and, as chaplain, encouraged us. I think he himself was touched by the reform of the times.”

Fernando said he kept contact with the Irish priest and he came to Sri Lanka during the middle of what was a difficult and repressive time. “There were insurrections in which 10,000 young people were killed,” he said. “As a young lawyer I had to leave my country in 1989 and I came to Hong Kong. I did not write to Father Hurley, I just came, and we have been close friends since, even during the time I was away in Cambodia.”

The barrister said, “Father Hurley kept encouraging me in my human rights work, encouraging and participating.”

Fernando said that when a Jesuit priest was in trouble in India they all went to bat for him, as we did during the time when the Sri Lankan Father Tissa Balasuriya was excommunicated, until his reinstatement. “Father Hurley never condemned,” he said, “he simply encouraged us to follow our convictions.”

Fernando said that the Church still has a long way to go in the implementation of Vatican II, but his youth was a time that inspired real conversion and brought people to a faith that is described by the theologian, Father Hans Küng, as something that many people did not come to understand, but did create a new generation, which will not easily give up in the face of pressure.

Fernando said that “we learned to go beyond the formal into the substance. We learned from the Anglican Bishop (John A.T.) Robinson, who said ‘to live our relationships as if there is no God,’ in other words, ‘play responsibility in a serious way’.”

He said that the Second Vatican Council brought about a tremendous internal conversion. “I was converted, even at my age and in spite of my limitations. I respect Father Hurley,” he went on, “as someone who understands. One of my mentors was a Dutch priest, Father Henk Schram, he came to Sri Lanka as a worker-priest. He was known to Father Hurley (who was a worker-priest in Hong Kong). He introduced us to the theology long before Vatican II happened.”

Fernando said that many people have stood with him as he has learned to live a life of defiance, defiance of what is corrupt, and he has always been supported by Father Hurley, in his eyes, a giant walking on the earth.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 October 2007

Priest of the young and the worker calls it a day

Father James Hurley sj has decided to call it a day in Hong Kong. Just 62 years after he took his first steps on the island soil he took a plane back to his native Ireland at the end of October on a one-way ticket.

However, he did not leave with his presence unacknowledged, as his memory lives on in the hearts of those who were young when he was part of the Pax Romana Chapter in the late 1960s, as well as in his fellow workers at a clothing factory where he stood at the table cutting cloth each day, and the members of the Apostleship of Prayer, of which he was chaplain for many years.

Father Hurley has decided to call it a day in Hong Kong and return to his native Ireland, where he believes that he can still contribute to people’s lives, but at a slower pace and in a more sedate manner, befitting his age.

He left Hong Kong for Mill Town, the Jesuit house of study and prayer, where he hopes he can serve out his days as a spiritual director to working people.

As a man who cut the cloth in Hong Kong factories he is well equipped to guide those who work for their living, as Basil Fernando, the former director of the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong, says, “He introduced that theology long before even Vatican II happened.”

Fernando recalls that he first met Father Hurley when he came to Hong Kong as a young representative of the Sri Lankan Church in 1969 as part of Pax Romana.

He describes him as a breath of fresh air. Coming from a strictly authoritarian Church in Colombo, Fernando says that Father Hurley surprised him.

“He did not obstruct, push orthodoxy or try to warn us. He knew we were speaking our convictions and, as chaplain, encouraged us,” he recalls.

Speaking to the Sunday Examiner in 2007, Fernando said, “I suppose we had some radical views and we were often heavily criticised at home, but I found that whenever I opened my mouth in front of Father Hurley, I received an immediate, sympathetic and encouraging response.”

Fernando reminisced, “This left a lasting impression on me. For me, this was the first time in my life I had experienced a climate that encouraged freedom of expression and respect for the opinions of individuals, and especially young people.”

Fernando regards Father Hurley as a giant among men, but today the once strident figure moves more slowly and is seeking a life style more in keeping with his ageing body.

As a man dedicated to justice, Father Hurley was also a long time member and past president of the Asian Centre for the Progress of Peoples. He spent his life fighting for what he regarded as the basic rights that should be attributed to each and every individual.

Father Hurley says that he leaves Hong Kong with no regrets and hopes he will find a fulfilling role to play in his native Ireland.

As the prayers of many hearts go with him and the best wishes of many people to whom he brought hope and courage in their lives are with him as well, the Sunday Examiner wishes Father Hurley ad multos annos.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 23 November 2014

Final farewell to Father James Hurley SJ

Jesuit Missionary Father James Hurley, who served the Church in Hong Kong for over five decades, died on 13 April 2020, at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, Ireland. He was 93-years- old.

Father Hurley was born in Ireland on 1 October 1926. He was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1958 in Dublin and professed final vows on 2 February 1962 at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Father Hurley first came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1950 and lived in Cheung Chau doing his language studies.

After his ordination in Ireland, he returned to Hong Kong and worked in Chu Hai post-secondary college in Kowloon till 1969. He also became chaplain to the Hong Kong Federation of Post Secondary Students and became closely associated with the student movement in Hong Kong.

He was appointed the Master of the Novices for three years and later lived as a “Worker Priest” during which time he worked as an ordinary labourer in a garment factory for four to five months.

In 1978 he began his parish ministry in Christ the Worker Parish, Ngau Tau Kok, and served the parish till 1989. For the next four years he initiated an experimental parish for Basic Christian Communities in St. Vincent’s Parish in Wong Tai Sin. Later he also served in Star of the Sea Parish, Chai Wan from 1995 to 1998 before moving to the Jesuit Parish of St. Ignatius Church at Wah Yan College.

As his health deteriorated, he left Hong Kong for Ireland in 2014 (Sunday Examiner, 23 November 2014).
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 19 April 2020

Father James Hurley - A gem of a man

Jesuit Father James Hurley, a great man and a humanist, passed away on April 13. I had the privilege of associating with Father Hurley since 1970. He impressed me as a man who was very deeply concerned with individuals as well as on the great social issues of his time.

As a human being, he had the enormous capacity to listen to others, including people who were much younger than him.

I first met him when he was the students’ chaplain for university students at an organisation known as Pax Romana. I attended this meeting as a representative of the Catholic Students’ Federation of Sri Lanka. This meeting left an indelible mark in my memory.

What attracted me most was the tolerance with which students were received and the space that was made available to them to discuss and debate all kinds of very controversial issues.

At the time, the more burning issues amongst the Catholic students were related to the developments of the Second Vatican Council.

Father Hurley had a very ardent interest in the developments within the Church during this time. He had been associated with progressive theologians from Asia over a long period. He was aware of the controversies that were taking place all around Asia on the issues relating to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

At this pan-Asian conference in 1970, one of the main debates was related to a theme that was very familiar at the time: institutionless Christianity. Several theologians had written about this issue and the critique of institutional limitations to the spread of the message of the gospel was quite a common theme everywhere.

The conference encouraged the students to share their views and Father Hurley, in particular, followed these discussions after the meetings at the dinners.

Once Father Hurley knew somebody, he knew how to sustain a friendship over the years. A short time after this meeting, he was going for a vacation in Ireland and he stopped in Sri Lanka to meet me. He spent a few days there and talked to many people. Going out of his way to keep that sort of close connection was, I think, the way he thought of his duties as a priest.

At the time, he had the idea of being a worker-priest, which meant working at a factory just like any other worker. He wanted to know the life of the workers and the circumstances under which they lived, their difficulties as well as the richer side of them as human beings.

Sometime later he carried out this wish and spent a year or more working in a factory. Later, he would narrate some of his experiences in a very moving manner.

In 1989, 1 had to leave Sri Lanka and I chose to come to Hong Kong, mainly because I knew I had two friends there, Father Hurley and John Clancey, who I also got to know at the students’ meeting mentioned above.

By the time I arrived in Hong Kong, Father Hurley had already left for Ireland for his sabbatical year. However, as soon as he arrived back, he contacted me and, ever since, we had a long friendship.

I used to address him as Father Hurley and then he told me, “Just call me James.” That was his way. There was no trace of clericalism in him. You could discuss anything with him, including things that were happening in countries he had never been to.

For example, he had a keen interest in what happened to Cambodia under the Pol Pot regime, which followed the massive bombing of the country by the United States. He listened to the story of millions of deaths, inquiring a great deal about the details of the results of these times and how far things had improved (or not).

Naturally, one of the conversations we returned to many times was the situation in Sri Lanka itself. He already knew a lot about Sri Lanka because he had friends like, for example, Father Tissa Balasuriya OMI, who was the Asian chaplain for Catholic students. He also knew some bishops, particularly a priest, Father Michael Rodrigo, who was assassinated by the military while he was trying to protect young people in a remote rural area.

I have heard a lot from him about the Irish struggles for freedom. When he came to speak about the killings of some of the fighters whom he knew personally, there were occasions on which he became very emotional, and at least on one occasion, he cried. That was when I one day recorded an interview with him on the issue of the Irish people’s struggles against colonialism.

As he was narrating this story, he began to mention many names of people who he had known, admired and loved very deeply. At this point, he became emotionally very involved, and started to cry. That was the deep love with which he remembered his country, and also the real depth of his feelings about freedom. He was a person who was very committed to struggles for freedom wherever it happened.

One time, after he returned from Ireland after a holiday, he mentioned the use of rubber bullets by the Irish police. He was given one of those bullets by someone. He kept it to remember the kind of problems people are faced with. During his trips to Ireland, he visited people who were involved in these struggles, some of whom had gone to jail for a long time over these matters.

He had a deep love for Hong Kong and the struggle of the students happening at that time. He knew most of these students and told stories about them with affection and admiration.

He was a deeply spiritual man. He associated with the people and often said the rosary; with them when they came to discuss some of their problems with him. I particularly remember one instance when the mother of a convicted prisoner used to visit him on Sundays after the Mass. Father Hurley used to visit this man in the prison often and went out of his way to help the children to have their education despite of the fact that their father was in prison. He always spoke with a deep sense of affection for the prisoner, with that spirit of forgiveness that also made it possible for people to appreciate the good side of people even if they were convicted of crimes.

We used to meet often for lunch or dinner. During these times, he had the capacity to tell many stories, sometimes very humorous ones. He once talked about a Protestant in Ireland who used to be very virulent in his attacks against the Catholics. When this man was dying, he called a Catholic priest to come and admit “him to the Catholic faith. The priest arrived and, just out of curiosity, asked the man why, after being io strongly against them, why he wanted to become a Catholic at the moment of his death. The man replied, “Well, when I die, it will be one of them that died and not one of us.”

When recalling Father Hurley, one remembers that one was meeting at the same time a deeply human person with an enormously deep spirituality and a commitment to his religious beliefs, who was able to bring these into a relationship in the context of the modem world.

Most of the time, he was dressed in trousers and a shirt, and behaved like other people. This way, he befriended people without making them feel that the relationship was one that involved any kind of hierarchy.

He was a democrat to the core and a person who was committed to human rights absolutely.

He reminded me of a definition that a Dutch priest gave of priesthood: a priest is a person who gives gratuitously. Father Hurley certainly was such a priest.

Legacies such as that of Father Hurley will not be erased.
Basil Fernando
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 26 April 2020

Memorial Mass for celebrated for Father James Hurley

The Justice and Peace Commission organised a memorial Mass on April 20 for Jesuit Father James Hurley, its former ecclesiastical advisor, who passed away on April 13 in Ireland, at the age of 93 (Sunday Examiner, April 19). He was confirmed to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

The Mass, which was streamed live online, was concelebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun and Father Carlos Cheung Sam-yui.

The service began with a sharing from Martin Lee Chu-ming, former legal advisor of the commission. The lawyer and former democratic legislator spoke about incidents mentioned in Father Hurley’s book, Option for the Deprived, written in 2008.

Lee recounted the Irish missionary’s 50 years in Hong Kong since he first arrived in 1952 by boat-a journey which took 30 days. He said he was impressed by Father Hurley’s commitment to social justice, evidenced by the time he spent working in a factory to experience the life of the poor, as well as setting up Amnesty International in Hong Kong.

Lee said that he could find many similarities between Father Hurley’s life and his own. They were both inspired by Father Fergus Cronin in the fight for people’s rights.

In 1969, Father Hurley come to prominence for defending five students who were expelled by Chu Hai College for openly criticising the post-secondary school, where he had been a lecturer for eight years.

Lee recalled how Father Hurley sought clearance before attending a press conference to speak for the students and Father Cronin, the then-Jesuit superior in Hong Kong, told him: “Go James, attend! This is where you must be.” Father Hurley said he could not forget such a clear instruction and was grateful for the support.

Lee recalled that when he started in politics, he also visited Father Cronin, who was then seriously ill, and asked what he could do for the Church. Father Cronin told him to follow his conscience and do what he thought he should do.

A recorded message from humans right lawyer, John Clancey, a close friend of Father Hurley, was then played. Clancey recalled meeting the Jesuit priest in 1969 and since then they met every month for yum cha at different restaurants to talk about their work. He recalled that for several months in 1975, they met in hawker stalls near factories and had a good time with the labourers with whom Father Hurley worked.

He compared Father Hurley to; a saint and a prophet, as he had reflected the love of God to people and helped them to understand the principles of justice and peace. Clancey said Father Hurley often asked about people in Hong Kong after he had returned to Ireland.

He said that if Father Hurley were alive, he would tell him about the arrest of Lee, Albert Ho Chun- yan as well as a number of former pan-democrat legislators for their roles in alleged unlawful protests last year.

In his homily, Cardinal Zen said the memorial Mass should not be a sad occasion as Father Hurley had returned to heaven at Easter and this reminds us of our hope in eternal life.

The cardinal said that as the homily of a memorial Mass should focus on God instead of the life of the departed, he wanted to remind people of Father Hurley’s motto. “I imagine that Father Hurley would smilingly say a simple line... follow Jesus Christ, be a person with kindness and humility so that you can have a peaceful heart,” he said.

Cardinal Zen also expressed his sadness that the Covid-19 corona-virus had not stopped political suppression in Hong Kong.

He thanked God for sending the people of the city an example in the person of Father Hurley who showed how to seek justice and stand with the poor.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 May 2020

Jesuit Community offers Mass in memory of Father Hurley

A requiem Mass for Father James Hurley was organised by the Jesuit Community at St. Ignatius Chapel on June 8 and attended by around two hundred people.

Father Hurley passed away on April 13 in Ireland at the age of 93. He was confirmed to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Father Stephen Chow Sau-yan, Jesuit provincial of the China province, celebrated the memorial Mass. Father Chow said that while Father Hurley pursued social justice, he showed love for everyone and did not bear any hatred, which is one of the reasons why he touched the hearts of many people.

A woman, named Liu, said that she had known the priest since the 1980s when he served at Christ the Worker parish, Ngau Tau Kok. She remembered him as kind, leading a simple life to save money for the church and dedicated to fighting for the rights of parishioners.

Another former parishioner of Christ the Worker parish, Cheng, said Father Hurley treated parishioners with love as he would remember their names and pray for them.

Earlier, on April 20, the Justice and Peace Commission webcast a memorial Mass for Father Hurley, celebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun to mourn its former spiritual advisor (Sunday Examiner, May 3). The Jesuit community waited for the resumption of public Masses to ensure the participation of the friends and associates, whom Father Hurley loved.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 June 2020

◆ Option for the Deprived, by James Hurley SJ, Centre for Catholic Studies CUHK 2008.
https://archives.catholic.org.hk/In%20Memoriam/Clergy-Brother/J-Hurley.pdf

Note from Derek Reid Entry
During the Requiem Mass on 5 December, Father James Hurley SJ, assistant pastor at St Vincent’s Parish, Wongtaisin, and a contemporary of Father Reid, gave the homily in Chinese. Father Hurley pointed out that Father Reid was a man of all-round and exceptional ability. This was recognised soon after he joined the Jesuits and, even before his ordination as a priest, he had been given many responsibilities. After his return to Hong Kong his great qualities were even more clearly seen. Father Hurley gave examples of the help that had been given to himself and others.He was not only a great headmaster, he was also a great priest, said Father Hurley.“We shall never forget him,” said Father Hurley in conclusion.

Early Education at Mount Mellary Abbey, Cappoquin, Co Waterford

1946-1949 Rathfarnham - Studying at UCD
1949-1952 Tullabeg - Studying Theology Philosophy
1952-1954 Faber Community, Hong Kong - Studying Cantonese
1954-1955 Wah Yan Kowloon - Regency : Teaching Religion, English and History; Assistant Prefect; Editor of “The Shield”
1959-1960 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1960-1961 Xavier House, Hong Kong - Studying Cantonese; Teacher; Novitiate Spiritual Father
1961-1962 Wah Yan Kowloon - Spiritual Father; Teaching English and Spiritual Father in “Chu Hai College”, Hong Kong
1964 Chaplain at Chinese University Hong Kong; Chaplain to Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students; Chaplain to Catholic students at Hong Kong Technical College
1965 Chaplain at Black and Grantham Training Colleges
1966 Chaplain at Baptist College, Kowloon; Director of College Club at McPherson Playground
1966 Transcribed to Chinese Province [CHN] (03/12/1966)
1972 Working in Adam Schall Residence, Chinese University Hong Kong
1972-1973 Manila, Philippines - Studying Pastoral Theology at East Asian Pastoral Institute
1973-2014 Wah Yan, Kowloon - Novice Master
1977 Working in Social Apostolate
1978 Consultor; Parish work & Chaplain to YCW at Christ the Worker Chapel, Kowloon
1983 Parish Priest
1992 Parish Team St Vincent’s; Council of Priests; Ecclesiastical Councelor of Justice and Peace Commission; Consultor at Ricci Hall
1996 Assistant Pastor of St Ignatius Church
2000 Chaplain of St Camillus Society
2002 Consultant to the Delegate for Hong Kong
2005 Apostleship of Prayer Director for Hong Kong; School Chaplain
2009 Assistant Rector St Ignatius Church
2013 Retreat Apostolate
2015-2020 Milltown Park - Pastoral Ministry

◆ Jesuits in Ireland https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-james-hurley-an-exceptional-jesuit/

Fr James Hurley – ‘an exceptional Jesuit’
Fr James (Jimmy) Hurley SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Ranelagh, Dublin, on Easter Monday, April 13, 2020. He was 93 years old.
Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral service took place on 15 April followed by burial in Ardmore Round Tower Cemetery, County Waterford. You can watch a video of the ceremony here.
It was attended by a small number of his family and Tom Casey SJ of the Milltown Park community who represented all Jesuits. Messages of condolence were sent from Hong Kong where Fr James spent over 50 years as a missionary involved with education and pastoral work. Watch a photo-story tribute to him here made by his friends in Hong Kong. Also read a tribute by the Asian Human Rights Commission ».
Born in Ardmore, County Waterford in 1926, James was educated by the Cistercians at Mount Mellary Abbey and entered the Jesuits at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1944. He was influenced by his brother Michael (sometimes called the ‘father of Irish ecumenism’) who entered the Jesuits before him. After studying at UCD and Tullabeg, James went to Hong Kong in 1952 to study Cantonese and to do his regency as a secondary school teacher. He studied theology and philosophy at Milltown Park in Dublin, and after ordination and tertianship he returned to Hong Kong in 1960.
James took on many different roles during his years as a Jesuit missionary. He was a secondary school teacher, a spiritual father, a university chaplain, a novice master, a parish priest and spiritual director. He came back to Ireland in 2015 where he engaged in pastoral ministry at Milltown Park, Dublin.
Fr James was much loved wherever he went, and after his return to Dublin he had a steady flow of visitors both from Ardmore and from Hong Kong.
Messages of condolence were sent by the Chinese Jesuit Provincial and Cardinal of Hong Kong, expressing their deep appreciation for the missionary work of Fr James and acknowledging the impact of his legacy on the people of Hong Kong. The messages were read out at the graveside by Irish Jesuit Fr Tom Casey on Wednesday 15 April.
In his letter, Fr Stephen Chow SJ, Chinese Provincial, said: “Jimmy was an exceptional Jesuit who had given so many years of his life to Hong Kong. He was always energetic, curious, daring, caring, and active. Many of us have been awakened by his passion for social justice. And he is dearly remembered for that”.
He continued: “Many have left words and prayers on my Facebook page after I posted the announcement this afternoon. Cardinal Tong of Hong Kong also sent me a condolence message this evening. This has never happened before with Jesuits who had gone before him, and some of them were famous and well- loved priests.”
Cardinal Tong wrote the following: “On behalf of the Diocese, I would like to offer my condolences and sympathy on the death of our dear Fr Jimmy Hurley. Jimmy had served the Diocese in different ministries for many years with much love and dedication to every ministry he was assigned to.
He served as Spiritual Director of the Justice and Peace Commission, Chaplain to students of some universities in Hong Kong, Pastor of St Vincent Church in Wong Tai Sin, Christ the Worker Mass Centre in Ngau Tau Kok, Star of the Sea in Chaiwan, and St Ignatius Chapel in Waterloo Road.
He was a very capable man. He spoke very good Cantonese and was able to reach out to the different sectors of people in Hong Kong. He was well-loved and appreciated by everyone. He was a good example for the priests in our Diocese”.
Both Fr Chow and Cardinal Tong prayed: “May Fr Jimmy now rest in the eternal embrace of our Risen Lord whom he has vowed to follow”.
The Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong has also created a cartoon image depicting Fr James going to his eternal reward.

Fr Todd Morrissey SJ, historian and author of the book Jesuits in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute to Fr James, his fellow community member in Milltown Park.
“When I visited Hong Kong in 2006 to research the history of the Irish Jesuits there, Jimmy was still full of zeal as a parish priest working directly with the Chinese people. He was very popular, always willing to help people out and was noted for his good sermons and his fluency in Cantonese.
When he came to live in Milltown Park, there were constant visitors from the Chinese. These included young Chinese people who have great respect for the elderly and their wisdom. There were many dinners with our Chinese visitors, several days a week over three years.”
According to Fr Morrissey, even during his last two years at Cherryfield Lodge, Jimmy was always a man who listened to people, interested individually in what they were doing, and very friendly and encouraging. “He was always in good humour and cheerful no matter what complaint. He was a very pleasant man to live with and to know.”
Fr James is deeply missed by his family, his wide circle of friends and his Jesuit communities in Hong Kong and Dublin. He is buried alongside his parents. A memorial Mass in celebration of Fr James’ life will take place at a later date.
Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/358-irish-men-behind-the-missions-fr-james-hurley-s

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: FR. JAMES HURLEY SJ
Fifty years in Hong Kong: an Irish Jesuit’s tale.
Fr. James Hurley SJ reached the grand old age of 90 this month! Jimmy, as he is affectionately called, has a lifetime of 72 years of service as a missionary with the Society of Jesus. Across the decades, he has met and befriended remarkable men, been inspired by their dynamism and sense of mission and entered wholeheartedly and courageously into the lives of people living in poverty in Hong Kong. He went into the Jesuit organisation on the Feast of St Stanisclaus, November 13th 1944, his ordination taking place on the Feast of St Ignatius July 31st 1958.
Here he shares some of the stories of his mission with humour, grace and insight with the Irish Jesuit Missions.
James was the youngest child born into a family of two boys and two girls at Ardmore, County Waterford in 1926. As a child he spent a lot of time in Church activities and enjoyed assisting at Mass. He was influenced by his brother Fr. Michael Hurley SJ who was a theologian, widely known as the 'father of Irish ecumenism' for his promotion of Christian unity. James studied in Mount Melleray from 1939 – 1944 and at the time, Mellary had a thriving farm producing an abundance of food. But when Foot and Mouth disease struck in 1941, the students were not allowed home for the Easter vacation. They organised a protest demanding “We want a vac!”
And so James, from his youth, prepared for a life of student protest, mobilisation and critical engagement that was to continue for most of his lifetime.

It was 1952. Four years had been spent in Milltown for study and pastoral work in preparation for the Far Eastern missionary life to come. At last, it was time to set sail by boat for Hong Kong! The long voyage took about 30 days and James was grateful for the companionship of a priest and three fellow seminarians on board.
Ten years passed in Hong Kong before James began working with students as the acting Head of Foreign Languages Department at a post-secondary College. He also became Chaplain to the Hong Kong Federation of Post Secondary Students from 1965 to 1972. Students at that time were against colonialism and many forms of injustice and were concerned with, for example, the colonial status of Hong Kong and the fact that Chinese wasn’t a recognised official language. Two of them wrote an article 'From Hope to Despair', an all-round and penetrating analysis of the College that was not well received by the authorities. Twelve students were subsequently expelled — one of whom was a Buddhist monk — and thus began the student movement in Hong Kong with which James was closely associated.
It was an era of student mobilisation and protest: similar movements were gathering momentum on the US campuses regarding the attainment of civil rights and the ending of the Vietnam War.
James, Jack and the Bishop
Jack Clancy, a close friend and Maryknoll missionary, was very involved with the anti-Vietnam War movement and was not in favour with Bishop Francis Hsu who had been born in Shanghai and was then Bishop of Hong Kong. When James’ name was mentioned in the public press in relation to the student movement, the Bishop was quite angry and requested a meeting with him. James recalls his trepidation at that very formal meeting with Bishop Hsu and others while he explained himself and his actions. He was exonerated and the two men became very good friends despite the dramatic beginning to their relationship.
But there remained misunderstanding between Jack and the Bishop. James helped to build a relationship between them by asking the students if they would like Jack Clancy as their Chaplin. The vote was a resounding YES! Armed with that mandate, James went to the Bishop and brought both men together. Jack was appointed Chaplin.
It was the early 1970s and James felt that the time was ripe for a European priest to pass the reins on to a Chinese priest. Three seminarians were encouraged to become involved with the student movement and one, Stephen Tam, was selected. Then the Bishop put Jack Clancy and another in place to assist Stephen – who meanwhile had become a priest – in covering James’ former workload.
James’ and Jack’s relationship continues and to this day, they are very close friends. Jack is now married and a very prominent lawyer practising in Hong Kong. Unfortunately and much to his great sorrow, James sheds a quiet tear as he recalls Bishop Hsu’s untimely death as a result of a heart attack suffered in his 50’s.
On Sabbatical in the Philippines
“Speak out, speak strongly, criticise while remaining loyal!”, was a message that resounded for James while on Sabbatical at the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila in 1972. Bishop Cisco Claver gave a course there in September of that year: it was the beginning of Martial Law in the Philippines.
James remembers Cisco as being very casual, he played basketball with the students to win. He was an utterly fearless, exceptionally dynamic man with a sharp, penetrating intellect with whom James became well acquainted. While spending Christmas at Cisco’s residence and office, he would often drive with the Bishop in his jeep through the mountains. He laughs when he recalls the occasion they visited a convent while the Bishop stayed at the wheel: “Bring your driver in for a cuppa tea”, said the Reverend Mother!
Ed Delatorre (Edicio de Latore) an SVD priest, was politically active in Manila and on the run at the time while James was there. He took the opportunity to hear Ed speak at a meeting held in secrecy (Ed still lives in Manila although contact with him has been lost).
When Martial Law was declared by Marcos, it was discussed by the Filipino Bishops who used to meet bi-annually. Should they issue a statement? The laity was waiting for guidance...the clergy were for and against. Some Jesuits were close to Marcos while others like John Doherty — a sociologist and a Jesuit at the time — were highly critical of Martial Law and it was he who wrote its first analysis. It was 1975 before it was issued as a statement.
But in 1972, the Bishops decided to say nothing. “We bishops have no conscience“, Cisco subsequently declared.
The inspiration of remarkable men
Bishop Perez left a deep impression on James when he announced: ‘You students are the prophets of the 20th Century!”. He compared them to Amos in the Old Testament. Amos was called by God to preach social justice and was rusticated i.e. sent to live in the remote countryside. It was an enlightening moment for James! He was inspired to write a paper on the concept of 'prophecy' and intends to expand on his ideas in his retirement. 'Prophecy' in today’s Church carries great meaning for him.
James recalls Fr Dan Berrigan SJ, a social activist and now in his 90s, who suffered the same fate i.e. rustication, in the US. But eventually Dan was fully accepted and loved by all.
Pope Francis is tending towards the same social activism, James adds, although in the past was not obviously political when based in Bueno Aires, Argentina. Michael Campbell Johnson, an elderly Jesuit in the UK, was in charge of the Social Apostolate based in Rome at the time. Seemingly, he was sent to Francis (then Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ) to hold discussions with him. Long conversations ensued but Michael deemed them 'inconclusive'. Bergoglio then travelled to Europe to research his doctorate and spent a short time in Milltown Park, Dublin. On his return to Argentina, he was 'rusticated' to Cordoba. He led a simple life there, supporting the priests working in the slums and when he came back to Bueno Aires in 1998 as Archbishop, he was a different man.
An unanswered question often comes into James’ thoughts. One day he was in conversation with a priest based in Japan who had been a staff member in the Vatican financial department. A just, living wage was being strongly recommended at the time by the Church and when James enquired as to how the Vatican was implementing it amongst lay staff, there was silence. The priest replied that concessions, such as petrol allowances, were given to staff. James hesitatingly concludes that the Vatican was not practising what it preached on the issue. However, he is of the opinion that the Vatican would benefit from opening up and prays for Pope Francis' efforts in trying to bring change about.
Blessed Franz Jägerstätter the Austrian has also been a lifelong inspirational figure. He was a conscientious objector who refused to take up arms during World War 2 and was subsequently executed as a result. He was later declared a martyr and beatified by the Church.
James recalls another inspirational man, the Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe SJ, and the story Pedro would tell about assisting at Mass when he was Father General of the Society of Jesus. Pedro liked to pray in the small simple rooms of St Ignatius and one day, a visiting American Jesuit prepared to say Mass there for his group of American visitors. The sacristan was absent so Pedro performed the duties required. One of the group remarked afterwards to Pedro: “That Mass was a bit strange, but valid.” When he realised to whom he was speaking, he shot off!
On the factory floor
After the Sabbatical and not wishing to take up a full time position, the Hong Kong students wanted James to become Asian Chaplin to the Secretariat of Pax Romano, which he did. In addition, he was invited to become Master of Novices in Hong Kong. Although it was quite a change, he accepted but eventually when the student number dropped, it was time once again to take another direction.
James quotes Canon John Hayes (founder of Muntir na Tíre in 1937), who was told by his ordaining Bishop on the occasion of his ordination, that he would: “Prefer to see you drunk with your people rather than sober without them”. James has tried to be with his people experiencing their realities throughout his ministry. And so it was that he became a factory worker in Hong Kong.
It was a clothes factory where James cut cloth endlessly for four mind-numbing months. It wasn’t easy getting a job there, as a foreigner. Although offered a supervisory role, he refused wanting to experience life as an ordinary worker. He prayed daily for social justice and read Karl Marx’ Communist Manifesto, sitting on the factory floor. Although read previously, the difference of his understanding from the factory floor was immense. He carries a great respect for Marx and treasures pictures taken at his graveside.
James laughs when he recalls the first time he meet the owner of the factory where he was employed. They recognised each other immediately. He was a graduate of a Hong Kong Jesuit college! They were both fixed to the floor. Here was the priest talking to the student who was the boss talking to the worker! Who was to make the first move... suddenly, a voice called out to the boss: “You’re wanted on the phone”. Thank God! James breathed a sigh of relief.
He spent four months in two different factories and although he got used to it, standing continuously was hard. Having said that, conditions were better then; hours were nine to five and there was no overtime. James got to know his co-workers well and often had discussions with them. Two young workers would remind him; “You’re a priest; you are free to come and go”.
Life with the Sisters and Brothers of Charity
While working at the factory, James lived with the Missionary Sisters and Brothers of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa. They were a cheerful group of young men, one of whom was an Australian, Brother Andrew, and a former Jesuit. Andrew, who later became General of the Brothers, also worked there and shared a room with him, sleeping on the floor, living in poverty and depending on charity. James recalls the evening when there was nothing to eat for dinner but tea and bread. Then there was a knock on the door. Two big chickens were handed in! The community dined in style the following evening.
James went on a 'Discernment' retreat in a Silesian retreat house. It afforded him a period of reflective time based on St. Ignatius’ observations of one’s feelings: to understand God’s will for us in our lives. He recalled the advice of the famous Fr. Tommy Ryan SJ given to him as a seminarian, “Stay in touch with poor people”. Three parishes in almost 30 years
James went on to serve in his new parish of Christ the Worker for 11 years, being Parish Priest for eight of them. It was a very happy, active period in James’ life. He began a Faith and Justice group and a Labour group amongst the communities in the parish. He was a founding member of the Hong Kong Amnesty International group there, informal at first and then having sought government approval, on a formal basis. The founder of Amnesty, Peter Benenson, became a friend and colleague. Amnesty is thriving in Hong Kong, as it is all around the world, to this day.
It is usual for a Jesuit to spend five to 10 years in one place before relocating. A Sabbatical taken in Dublin was followed by over a decade at St. Vincent’s Parish in a poor area of Hong Kong. It was the happiest period in James life. There a basic Christian community and Legion of Mary movement was flourishing. He worked towards collaboration with the Lutheran and Anglican communities, with the pastors sometimes giving homilies at each other’s churches. Nearby was the famous temple of Wong Tai Sin where thousands would gather regularly, especially for the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Interfaith relationships were built up and a new one with the neighbouring Buddhist monks was in the making, when James was requested to move to the Star of the Sea Parish. He was very regretful to leave at this point as so much progress was being made.
There were two other Jesuits along with James at the new parish. It was before the Hong Kong changeover of 1997 and no one knew what to expect. The transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China — referred to as "the Handover" internationally or "the Return" in China — took place on 1st July 1997 and marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong. Having spent over five years there, he returned to the Jesuit Parish of St. Ignatius Church at Wah Yan College.
Leaps of faith: Johnny’s and A Wong’s stories
It was common knowledge that James was in touch with families that were in financial need. Friends and colleagues often donated money to be used where required.
One day a woman called to ask for help for her son Johnny. He was the eldest of a family of five and on remand in prison for shooting another man; his brother awaited trial in another courtroom for rape and robbery. Johnny was found guilty of Triad membership and manslaughter. He received a sentence of 15 years and was freed after 12, during which time James visited him regularly and was very impressed by his intelligence. Thus began a long friendship that is still enjoyed by both.
Later on Fr. James married Johnny to Jovita and the couple went on to parent a son and daughter, now both young adults. Johnny's children’s educational expenses being very large, James contacted a wealthy friend who then supported the son’s second and third level education. He has done very well in his exams and has a choice between Oxford and Cambridge Universities for the 2015 academic year. Johnny’s daughter got top marks in her University Finals and her intention is to work with prisoners. Another of James’ friends, who is a graduate of the Jesuit school in Hong Kong and a well- known lawyer practising there, is also highly supportive of the family.
Johnny himself works as a lorry driver and takes care of his widowed father. His prison record goes against him unfortunately when he applies for a job, and he has been unable to progress in a career.
And then there was A Wong. He worked as a cook in the school where James lived. He was a gambler and although he borrowed from the teaching staff, no one reported him. He owed a great deal of money to the Triad and was constantly under pressure from them. His wife had divorced him, for legal reasons. He lost his job and was at rock bottom when he attempted suicide.
But James had faith in A Wong and knew him well. He helped the man to pay his debts and stop gambling. A Wong rebuilt his life and although they remain legally divorced, is still with his wife.
Homeward bound
In 2012, James travelled to Ireland thinking it would be his last time to visit his homeland. However, upon returning to Hong Kong, his health began to fail and when he was offered the chance to live permanently in Ireland, he decided to return. That was in October 2014 and he is now, he says, adjusting himself to a new life situation. Living a quiet life in Dublin is very different from the bustling, thronged streets of Hong Kong with its seven and a half million people!
James is looking for an appropriate apostolate to continue his life of Jesuit service in the country of his birth. He would like to direct “retreats in daily life” as he has done over the last two years. This is a month long program of daily prayer, reflection and spiritual direction that is conducted in the course of a person’s ordinary responsibilities. It has become the most common way of making a retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.
He would like to become involved with Amnesty International Ireland and continue the human rights activities that have characterised James’s lived experience and lifelong ministry in the service of people living in poverty.
Compiled by Irish Jesuit Missions Communications from a series of interviews with Fr James, 3rd March 2015. Updated 17th October 2016

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong in 1952 and learned Cantonese and then taught for a year at Wah Yan College Kowloon.

After Ordination he returned to Hong Kong in 1960 and from 1961-1967 taught at Chu Hoi College.

He had great sympathy for the Cantonese people and their nationalistic feelings. He was a chaplain with the Catholic Tertiary students from 1965-1975, including Chung Chi College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he was also the Spiritual Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic students.
From about 1977 he served in the parishes of Ngau Tau Tok, Wong Tai Sin and Chai Wan until 1997 when he retired to Wah Yan College Kowloon.

He was involved in SELA - the Jesuit inter-provincial grou focused on socio-economic life in Asia. In 1977 he went to a SELA meeting in Bangkok and was especially happy with the living arrangements there which involved living with the poor and marginalised. There he met with some Thai students and SELA made a commitment to setting up some Basic Christian Communities in Thailand, where members would live together and carry on with their normal lives. He became the Hong Kong SELA representative in 1979, succeeding Patrick McGovern. he was then involved in compiling a report on Faith and Ideology, and this 9.000 word report also covered the issue of nationalism in Hong Kong, Marxism and the Church’s response.

In Hong Kong he was also involved in some intensive group Retreats at Cheung Chau. The emphasis of these retreats was on spiritual development and social awareness.
1980 He was officially appointed by the Bishop as Chaplain to the Young Christian Workers movement.

He was loved by his students as he was so approachable.

O'Callaghan, Richard, 1728-1807, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1867
  • Person
  • 25 September 1728-15 June 1807

Born: 25 September 1728, Dublin
Entered: 15 January 1753, Seville, Spain - Baeticae province (BAE) for Philippinae Province (PHI)
Ordained: 1753, Seville, Spain - Pre Entry
Died: 15 June 1807, Upper Church St, Dublin

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Had studied at Seville before Ent.
Spent many years in the Philippine Islands, where his tongue was split by the savages through hatred of his zeal and faith.
1771 Sent to Ireland in November 1771. There he preserved the funds of the Old Society for the Restoration, to which he always looked forward with confidence, and he may be called the founder of the Restored Society in Ireland. He was a very holy man and rejoined the Society at the Restoration.
He died 15 June 1807 in Dublin and is buried at the family plot in Ardcath, and not at the Convent in George’s Hill, as Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS has it.
Note from then Thomas Tasburg Entry :
Father R O’Callaghan’s sister was cured by an application of the above relic (Hogan)

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
Educated at the English College Seville, where he was Ordained in 1728 and Ent for the Philippines Mission
1755 Arrived Manila on 14 July 1755 and did two years Theology
1757 Working on the Missions with natives (one one occasion his tongue was slit to stop him preaching his doctrine!)
1768 Minister at Residence of Barugo on the island of Leyte when Jesuits were expelled on 12 May 1768
1769 Arrived in Italy from Philippines and the General agreed for him to return to Ireland
1771 Arrives in Ireland and worked in Dublin during the suppression in 1773
1804 Entered the Restored Society
1807 Died in Dublin revered for his holiness

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already completed his Studies at English College Seville and was Ordained before Ent there 15 January 1753 Seville
After First Vows he was sent to the Philippines and arrived 14 July 1755. He completed his studies at Manila and worked in the Philippines until the Society was expelled from Spain and Spanish territories.
1774 He arrived from the Philippines in Spain he was instructed by the General to join the Irish mission and was back in Dublin by 07 February 1774, to sign the instrument accepting the suppression of the Society.
He was then incardinated into the Dublin diocese and served as a curate at St Mary's Lane Chapel. He was appointed “Fidei Commissarius” of the diocese in succession to John Fullam when he died.
At the partial restoration of the Society in 1804 he renewed his solemn profession and died a Jesuit, 15 June 1807.

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for yopu than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14/06/1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

A letter from Nicholas Sewell, dated Stonyhurst 07/07/1809 to Betagh gives details of Irishmen being sent to Sicily for studies : Bartholomew Esmonde, Paul Ferley, Charles Aylmer, Robert St Leger, Edmund Cogan and James Butler. Peter Kenney and Matthew Gahan had preceded them. These were the foundation stones of the Restored Society.

Returning to Ireland, Kenney, Gahan and John Ryan took residence at No3 George’s Hill. Two years later, with the monies saved for them, Kenney bought Clongowes as a College for boys and a House of Studies for Jesuits. From a diary fragment of Aylmer, we learn that Kenney was Superior of the Irish Mission and Prefect of Studies, Aylmer was Minister, Claude Jautard, a survivor of the old Society in France was Spiritual Father, Butler was Professor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Ferley was professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Esmonde was Superior of Scholastics and they were joined by St Leger and William Dinan. Gahan was described as a Missioner at Francis St Dublin and Confessor to the Poor Clares and irish Sisters of Charity at Harold’s Cross and Summerhill. Ryan was a Missioner in St Paul’s, Arran Quay, Dublin. Among the Scholastics, Brothers and Masters were : Brothers Fraser, Levins, Connor, Bracken, Sherlock, Moran, Mullen and McGlade.

Trouble was not long coming. Protestants were upset that the Jesuits were in Ireland and sent a petition was sent to Parliament, suggesting that the Vow of Obedience to the Pope meant they could not have an Oath of Allegiance to the King. In addition, the expulsion of Jesuits from all of Europe had been a good thing. Kenney’s influence and diplomatic skills resulted in gaining support from Protestants in the locality of Clongowes, and a counter petition was presented by the Duke of Leinster on behalf of the Jesuits. This moment passed, but anto Jesuit feelings were mounting, such as in the Orange faction, and they managed to get an enquiry into the Jesuits and Peter Kenney and they appeared before the Irish Chief Secretary and Provy Council. Peter Kenney’s persuasive and oratorical skills won the day and the enquiry group said they were satisfied and impressed.

Over the years the Mission grew into a Province with Joseph Lentaigne as first Provincial in 1860. In 1885 the first outward undertaking was the setting up of an Irish Mission to Australia by Lentaigne and William Kelly, and this Mission grew exponentially from very humble beginnings.

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.from the Government.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Richard O’Callaghan 1728-1807
Fr Richard O’Callaghan had the distinction of entering the Society before its Suppression, of living right through that sorrowful period, and of rejoining on its Restoration.

He was born in Meath in 1738, and after studying for seven years at the English Seminary of the Society at Seville, he became a Jesuit.

After his ordination he was sent as a missioner to the Philippine Islands where he laboured with great zeal for many years. On one occasion he was wounded by savages and taken prisoner, and only released on the payment of a good ransom.

Shortly before the Suppression he returned to Ireland in 1771, where he worked in the parish of St Michan’s. During the weary years of waiting for the Restoration, he never ceased to pray for that happy event. “To him” says Oliver “his country must be indebted for his honourable and generous efforts for the education of youth and the re-establishment of his brethren”. He was one of the Trustees of the Province Funds. The supreme consolation of his life was the actual renovation of his Vows as a Jesuit in the Restored Society, which he did in the presence of Fr Marmaduke Stone, Superior of the Restored Jesuits in England.

During his ministry at St Michan’s, Fr Richard usually resided with his good friends the Doyle’s at No 76 Upper Church Street Dublin. Attacked by his last illness, the Doyles transferred him to their country house at Cabinteely, where he passed to his reward on June 15th 1807, and is interred in Arcath Cemetery.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CALLAGHAN, RICHARD, was born in 1728. After studying for seven years in the English Seminary at Seville, he enlisted under the banner of St. Ignatius : and, I have been told, soon after his promotion to Holy Orders, was sent to the Mission in the Philippine Islands, were he resided several years, and was wounded on one occasion by the Savage Islanders, for his zealous labours in the Gospel. In November, 1771, as I ascertain from one of his letters, he returned to his native country, and, within two years, had to weep over the dissolution of the Society of Jesus. Yet he never lost hopes of its revival : and, to use his own words, he “ever ardently wished for the renovation of his Profession, and without any change of mind in this point”. At the first news of its restoration he hurried to rejoin his ancient colours. To him his country and religion must ever be deeply indebted for his honourable and generous efforts for the education of youth, and the re-establishment of his Brethren. The Venerable Patriarch died at 76, Upper Church-street, Dublin, on the 15th of June, 1807, and was interred in the Chapel of St. George’s hill, but without any inscription. “Sem per honos nomenque tuum laudcsque manebunt”.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 34 : September 1984

PORTRAIT FROM THE PAST : RICHARD O’CALLAGHAN

Roland Burke Savage

A finely-researched article on Father Richard Callaghan (1728 1807), a man described as one of the langely forgotten links between the original & the restored Society of Jesus in Ireland

In the living tradition of the Province Fr Thomas Betagh (1738-1811), has long been revered as the link between the old Irish Mission and what is now the Irish Province; it is true that he was the school master of the majority of the young men who re-founded the Irish Mission but he was by no means the only former Jesuit who inspired them. While not wishing to question the part played by Betagh, I wish to focus attention on the largely forgotten Richard Callaghan; from the facts that I shall record here I contend that Callaghan was the greater benefactor of the Irish Mission. He was the only former Irish Jesuit to renew his solemn profession (May 1803) in the partially restored Society. He was greatly disappointed that Betagh did not join him in doing so; so grieved was he that a certain friction developed between them. To be fair to Betagh it is only right to state his view: be thought the Pope's oral approval to be an insufficier.. foundation for the partial restoration; he held that as the Society was suppressed by an official Brief so its restoration must be grounded on an equally official Brief. In addition as Vicar General to Archbishop Thomas Troy, he was torn by conflicting loyalties.

Richard Callaghan was born in Dublin on 25 September 1728. He made his studies and was ordained a secular priest in the English College, Seville. On 15 January 1753 he entered the Society in Seville for the Philippine Province. On completing his noviceship he set out for Manila where he arrived on 14 July 1755. Unfortunately there are no annual letters covering that period in the Roman archives so the account of his work there is scanty. He spent his first two years repeating his theology in Manila. Then he worked in the islands of the Pintados and the Visayas, on one occasion the natives split his tongue in hatred of the doctrine he taught. In 1768 the Spanish Government ordered the expulsion of the Jesuits in the Philippines; at that time Callaghan was Minister and Missioner in the residence of Barugo in the Island of Leyte, one of the Visayas. From there he boarded the frigate San Carlos bound for Acapulco in Mexico, the first stage on his way back to Italy. Not being a Spaniard, be was not entitled to the pension which the Spanish Governnent paid to the expelled jesuits. Before returning to Dublin he made his profession of the 4 vows in Genoa on 12 January 1771. The autograph of his vow formula is in the Roman archives.

With nine other Jesuits working in the Archdiocese of Dublin, Callaghan formally accepted the Brief of Suppression from Archbishop John Carpenter on 7 February 1774. It may be of interest to cite the document he signed :

    We, the undersigned of the Suppressed Society
of Jesus, anxious to manifest our ready
obedience to the command of the Holiness,
hereby declare that we accept fully and
simply the apostolic Brief suppressing the
Society, and conformable to the tenor of the
Brief, we acknowledge ourselves brought back
to the state and condition of secular priests
under the complete obedience of his
Illustrious and most Reverend Ordinary.

In testimony of which we have signed our
names this seventh day of February 1774.

RICHARD CALLAGHAN

The first signature followed by the remaining eight.

Though later on, as we shall see, Archbishop Carpenter came to recognise the quality of his new subjects, promoting theo to positions of responsibility, he was far from being sympathetic towards them at the outset. To instance this by two examples we may first cite his letter to Dr Nicholas Sweetman, the Bishop of Ferns, who made plain to hin his deep distress of the suppression. Replying to Sweetman, Carpenter lets himself go:

    Why, in the name of wonder, should be aggregate to ourselves the power of judging an affair on
which we have not the least right to pronounce? ................ The Brief, in order to preserve peace
and prevent animosities, has very wisely forbid the entering into any dispute concerning the
suppression, nor can I at all perceive what reasonable end such a controversy would answer.
I must confess that I never received a letter that astonished me so much as your last has
done. It must surely have been written when the storm of passion was up, and calm reason
absent from the helm. for your comfort let me observe to you that the members of the
suppressed Society are now become members of the most perfect and most illustrious body of
men (the order of St. Peter) that ever was or ever will be on the face of the earth, and one
that never has suffered, and never will suffer dissolution or suppression. Reflect on this,
and be pacified and consoled.

Three months earlier (11 December 1773) Carpenter suggested to Cardinal Marefoschi that whatever capital the Irish Jesuits held should be confiscated and given to the Irish Colleges in Europe. In replying Marefoschi said the Irish College in Rome was badly in need of £300. A debt of at least £1,600 was due to the Dublin residence arising from an old mortgage on the estate of Castle Browne; this mortgage Carpenter and his Vicar General Dowdall, took upon themselves to compound with John Browne, then on his death bed, for £300. Browne, a just and religious man, would have paid the Society in full had not his directors decision prevailed. Fullam adds had he not timely alienated the rest of our property, they might have seized upon the whole and left us as beggars.

The rest of the property was not great: somewhat short of £8,000. It remained over from what was left of the property of the Irish College in Poitiers and what remained of the gift of Catherine Breganza destined for a foundation, never made, in Athlone. Were it not for injudicious speculation by the Father in charge of the funds in Paris in 1750's the Irish Mission fund would have been worth much more.

The reader may have wondered what all this has to do with Richard Callaghan. To help him understand what may appear to be an un justifiable degression, in 1793 Callaghan became the custodian of the former Mission Fund.

On the death of John Ward in October 1775 the last Superior of the old Irish Mission, the property devolved on John Fullam. As the remaining fifteen former Jesvits were convinced that one day the Society would be restored, they were anxious to keep the capital intact. Three fathers were chosen to discuss with Fullam how their property was to be dealt with. John Austin, Henry Nowlan and Joseph Halloran. These four proposed that the capital should be untouched and chat from the interest arising from it each should receive an annuity or £50 a year during their lifetime. All accepted this arrangement which continued until Fullam's death in 1793. In his will he named Richard Callaghan as his Executor Callaghan called together the four remaining survivors to discuss the future of the fund. They confirmed Callaghan as the guardian of the fund but instead of allowing themselves 250 a year, they decided, against Callaghan's wishes, that the interest should be divided equally between the five so that they would have money for various charitable purposes. On Fullam's sisters death he willed his personal property should be added to the fund, bringing it up to almost £16,000.

In addition to their decision to make the interest available to then, they discussed the future of the fund. With the revolution in France at its height, the prospect of the restoration of the Society in the immediate future did not appear bright. As their numbers were so few it was necessary to decide what should become of their patrimony. An agreement was signed binding the last three survivors, in the event of the Society not being restored, to consult with some of the Irish Bishops how best the money could be used in endowing some college for the education of secular priests for work in Ireland.

Callaghan was never satisfied with this agreement as he considered it did not sufficiently safeguard the rights of the Society but as things were so unsettled he thought it better to defer the matter.

Though fully occupied by his work as Curate in St. Andrew's (old Townsend Chapel) and in St. Mohan's (Mary's Lane Chapel) he never forgot the possibility of a restored Society; he knew that the Society still had a precarious existence in White Russia depending on the oral approval of the Pope, Pius. A letter written from Leghorn by a former Irish Jesuit, Peter Plunkett, on 1 July 1794 reveals the way he was thinking and what Fullam also had in mind before he died:

    Russia is by no means fit for rearing missioners for your country. Besides the climate which is
intensely rigid and the language which is extremely difficult, the breeding and manners
are somewhat uncouth ............. taste for the pulpit and polite literature neglected.
Consequently, all thought of Russia should be laid aside in my opinion as a place unfit for
those who are not natives and unfit moreover for answering the wishes of our dear friend
(Fullam who from his private means left £50 for 10 years to the Vicar General in White Russia),
Europe is too: unsettled and precarious to think of making new establishments. When peace is declared

I doubt not in the least of seeing the Society also restored at least in some parts of Italy and Spain. This last country I would prefer for putting into execution the intentions of Mr Fullam.

At the request of the Czar Paul I, Pius VII by the decree Catholicae Fidei (7 March 1801) publicly recognised and formally approved of the Society in White Russia. Anticipating a more general restoration Callaghan sent Peter Kenney and three other young men to St. Patrick's College, Carlow on 6 June 1801 to study humanities with å view to preparing them for entry into the Society: these four were followed by seventeen more students whose pensions Callaghan paid from the Mission fund.

Shortly after the election of Pius VII, the gentlenen of Stonyhurst, as they styled themselves, asked the Vicar General, for the second time, to receive them back into the Society. The Vicar, Gruber, thought it better to consult the Pope before doing so. Writing from Leghorn on 21 December 1801, Peter Plunkett told Callaghan that a Brief had been sent to the Court of Moscovey authorizing the Vicar General of the Jesuits there to assume the title of General and to act throughout the whole Russian empire with the full powers annexed to that dignity authorizing him moreover to take under bis inspection and government all the missions of those countries towards the east that bordered on the said empire. He added. that Cardinal Brancadara, who alone the Pope consulted in drawing up the Brief, said: “The Brief is such that you all may well be contented with”.

Gruber, the General, then wrote to England:

I notify your Heverence that I have received from Cardinal Consalyi from Home an explanation of the
Brief concerning the aggregation to us with regard to those outside (ad exteros). The said Cardinal replied
that it was true that the Holy Father in the Brief had restricted our existence. to Russia but by that His Holiness
did not wish to prevent others in non-Catholic or Catholic countries from aggregating to us provided they
did not open new professed houses; suon faculty inheres in the Brief, since without it, it would seem that the
Society could not maintain itself. So the field is open. His Holiness could not reply more clearly.

In March 1803, at William Strickland’s suggestion, Gruber named Marmaduke Stone, a professed father of the old Society, as English Provincial: he commissioned Strickland to admit Stone, the Superior of the gentlemen of Stonyhurst, to solemn profession and then to install him as Provincial of England. Stone took his vows on 22 May 1803 and shortly afterwards he re-admitted six members of the former English Province with Nicholas Grou, the well known spiritual writer and Richard Callaghan who journeyed over from Dublin to Stonyhurst for the ceremony.

Before renewing his profession he told Stone that he had made his will transferring the Mission fund and his own personal property to him whom he had named as trustee for the future Irish Jesuits. Before returning be handed his will to Stone.

Four years later Callaghan died on 15 June 1807 with the reputation of being an outstandingly zealous priest; in 1852, forty-five years after his death he was described as “the great Callaghan”. On hearing of his death Stone and Sewell crossed over to Dublin where Betagh introduced them to an eninent Catholic Attorney named Browne. He advised them to take possession of Callaghan's effects and papers without the slightest risk from his relations in virtue of the will they produced. Browne also advised them to have all the debentures transferred to Stone's name. In an amusing sentence in his letter to Wright, Stone tells how he found £4,000 in cash under the floorboards of Callaghan's sitting room: “it is lucky”, he writes, “that I was made acquainted with Callaghan's secret repository three years ago”.

Both Stone and Sewell were greatly taken by Betagh's kindness and concern for them: they had earlier formed a wrong impression largely because of his failure to rejoin the Society which had so disappointed Callaghan. Betagh told them that he was leaving £200 and his library to Stone in trust for the future Irish Mission, The highlight of their stay was when he brought them to dine with the Doyles of Church Street to meet five Irish Bishops.

When Callaghan's affairs were settled Sewell noted on 30 August 1807 that £30,000 had been lodged with Wright's of London in trust for the future Irish Mission. Callaghan's wisdom in transferring the Mission funds to Stone will become clear in the sequel.

Early in the year of Callaghan's death Archbishop Thomas Troy of Dublin wrote a long letter to Cardinal Di Pietro alleging misappropriation of the funds of the former Irish Jesuits. He asked the Cardinal to write to Stone at Stonyhurst firmly and decisively and “to threaten him with suspension if he does not transfer the funds...”. His agent in Rome, Luke Concannon OP, in a covering
dated 14 July 1807 enclosing Di Pietro's answer, wrote that he thinks “the Jesuits havo outwitted Propaganda and all of you and you'll never get a farthing out of them now..... It is not known whether the Jesuits exist or not in the British Empire; De Pietro believes they do not, but cannot swear to it ... Such an artful and political body of men (as the Jesuits) never existed”.

In an earlier undated letter Concannon expressed amazement at the obstinacy of the old ex-Jesuit Callaghan. Dr Carpenter was too indulgent. Callaghan will now be pleased that the Society survives in the persons of the Abbé O'Connell and the Abbé Plunkett, both ex-Jesuits.

The next move is a letter from Propaganda to Archbishop Troy, dated 23 January 1808, stating that a letter is being sent to Stone about all the ex-Jesuit funds: the Arcbbishop is to forward to Rome all documents relevant to the same. Under the date 5 May 1808. We have a draft reply in which Plowden (the English Master of novices) makes two points succinotly: (1) three former Irish Jesuits are still alive: Fr. Betagh (Dublin), Peter Plunkett (Leghorn) and James Connell (Rome); (2) does the Archbishop wish “to invoke the spiritual power to invalidate the will of a British subject?” This last point is a reference to the statute of Praenunire. There is no evidence in the Dublin diocesan archives of a letter based on Plowden's draft. There is a letter from Concannon, dated 8 October 1808, upbraiding Troy for giving up the Callaghan affair and urging him to take the matter up again with Di Pietro.

Plowden supplies us with the end of the story in a letter, dated 20 November 1808: in it be records that “Archbishop Troy is satisfied that Mr Stone will fairly employ the property in question. Mr Granger says the affair is now closed and settled”. (1) + (2)

(1) To make for easier reading I have deliberately omitted all references as this is meant to be a straightforward popular account.

(2) In his Biographical Dictionary of Irish Jesuits in the old Society, Fr Francis Finegan SJ, in a brief notice of Callaghan states that he was appointed Fidei Commissarius by Archbishop Carpenter. I failed to trace where he got the information so I asked him these two questions, What was the function of Fidei Commissarius? and what was his source for his statement? He said he had forgotten.
I deliberately omitted this matter from text as I have a source for every statement in it.

Interfuse No 47 : Easter 1987

The Suppression in Ireland

Roland Burke Savage

There were sixteen Jesuits working in Ireland when the Society was suppressed. Here's what happened to them and to their money during the forty years of darkness. The story has a happy ending.

Without entering into details about the Suppression it will be enough to recall that the enemies of the Jesuits in Europe, rationalists and free thinkers for the most part, were not satisfied with Pombal's victory in Portugal from where he expelled them in 1759; with Choiseul's dissolution of the Society in France in 1762; or with the deportation of the Jesuits from Spain by Charles III in 1767. What they wanted was the total destruction of the Society as a religious order; relentlessly they pressed forward to achieve their purpose. Clement XIII exerted all his efforts to defend the Jesuits but his successor Clement IIV, four years after his election, yielded to mounting pressure from the Bourbon governments, more especially from Spain. Accordingly, without any judical process, Clement suppressed the Society by the Brief Dominus ac Redemptor dated 21st July, 1773.

of the sixteen Jesuits then working in Ireland, the eleven working in Dublin formally accepted the Brief of Suppression from Dr. Carpenter, Archbishop of Dublin, on 7th February, 1774; four others accepted it in Waterford and the remaining one in Wexford.

John Ward, who had been the superior of the Irish Jesuit nission from 1760 to 1773, was the first of the suppressed Jesuits to die. Shortly after his death in 1775, the remaining fifteen survivors met in Dublin. They elected John Fullam as chairman; all were convinced that the Society would some day be restored and so they drew up an agreement to safeguard the future of the mission fund, sadly depleted some twenty years before by financial failure in France. At that meeting and at a subsequent one on Fullam's death in 1793, they decided to leave their capital intact and to allow each of them and annuity of £50 a year as long as he lived. At Fullam's death the fund stood and £8,650 but it was more than doubled by his leaving his own private money to be added to the fund on the death of his sister. Though he does not appear to have been as well known as Austin or Betagh, he had many staunch friends and admirers among the better-off Catholics who showed their esteem for him by giving him considerable gifts of money from time to time. In some instructions regarding his will he modestly attributed their largesse to their regard for the Society to which he had belonged.

John Austin was born in New Street (then called Austin's Grounds) near Kevin Street, Dublin, on 12th April, 1717. Battersby, the well-known Dublin bookseller and publisher of the directory, tells how young Austin, who went to school near St. Patrick's, one day rattled of impromptu Latin verses to divert some youngsters from butchering a faithful old dog. Being told of these verses and much struck by the talent they displayed, Swift sent for Austin's parents and asked them what they wished to make of the boy. When the Dean heard that they hoped he might become a priest, he told them to send him to the Jesuits who would make a man of him. There is a tradition that the Dean went further by offering to pay some of the expenses involved.

Whether that tradition be true or not, John Austin entered the Society of Jesus at Nancy in the Champagne Province on 27th November, 1735. He studied at Pont-à-Musson in Lorraine, at Rheims where he was ordained priest, and at Poitiers where the Irish Jesuit mission had its only continental college.

In 1750, Austin returned to Dublin to work as an assistant priest in St. Michael's chapel, Rosemary Lane, Though he is best remembered as a great schoolmaster, it is well to recall some of his other activities. Contemporary evidence stresses his immensely energetic and generous disposition; besides his church work, the mass, the confessional and the pulpit, he was tireless in visiting the sick and the poor in the garrets or cellars, constantly giving away all he had. The more prosperous Catholics, knowing his disposition, were liberal in their gifts to him: they knew he kept his door open to all in need.

He was much in demand as a preacher, and may be said to have begun the practice of 'charity sermons' which raised 30 large a part of the revenue for various good works in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Dublin. A touching proof of the Patrician Orphan Society's gratitude to Austin is found in the silver medallion presented to him on 17th March, 1776, still preserved in Clongowes.

Austin's school in Cook Street quickly established itself as the leading classical academy in the city. Among pupils in its early years were Thomas Betagh, later to return from France as a Jesuit priest to assist him and, after his death, to carry on and extend his work; John O'Keeffe, the dramatist, who tells “how from Greek, Latin and French acquired under Father Austin, to whose school in Cook Street I went, my fancy soon strayed to Shakespeare”.

The dissolution of the Society of Jesus in France in 1762 brought welcome assistance to him by the home coming of James Philip Mulcaile and Thomas Betagh. Mulcaile took up duty in Mary's Lane chapel; in addition to starting an elementary school for boys and help Mary Teresa Mulally to open a small school for girls of the parish in 1766, he taught in Austin's school.

Four years after Mulcaile's return, Thomas Betagh arrived in Dublin. Born on 8th May, 1738, in Kells, Co. Meath, where his father was a tanner, he received his classical education in Austin's school in Cook Street. He entered the Society of Jesus at Nancy on 3rd November, 1754; graduated master of arts at Pont-à-Musson in Lorraine, taught humanities for four years before beginning his theological studies also at Pont-à-Musson and was ordained on 24th May, 1766. In the following year, he began his work as assistant priest in Rosemary Lane. Of all the Jesuits of the old Society his career is the most fully recorded in the newspapers and magazines of the period and in the folklore of old Dubliners, many of whom treasure engravings or busts of him which depict him characteristically as a hunchback.

With Mulcaile and Betagh to help him, Austin was able to expand his school work and moved to a larger house in Saul's Court, off Fishamble Street. He also set up a boarding house to provide for boys from the country; one such was Daniel Murray from Arklow, later to become Archbishop of Dublin. Other pupils included Michael Blake, later bishop of Dromore, William Yore, a future vicar general in Dublin and Charles Stuart, later Provincial of the Augustinians.

Austin died on 29th September, 1784, after a tedious illness. An English traveller visiting Dublin in 1789 was surprised to find a neat and elegant obelisk in St. Kevin's churchyard commemorating a Catholic priest only a few years dead. This obelisk was removed when Dublin Corporation turned St. Kevin's churchyard into a public park; it has now been restored and may be seen inside the main gate on Camden Row.

That Betagh and Mulcaile maintained with success Austin's work is evident from the relatio on the state of his diocese sent to Rome in 1790 by Dr. Patrick Plunkett, bishop of Meath. He reported that there was a remarkable school in Dublin presided over by two secular priests who had belonged to the Society of Jesus and that he had adopted it as a seminary for his diocese.

On Fullam's death the care of the mission fund devolved upon Richard Callaghan who as a young priest had worked for many years in the Philippines where his tongue was slit by one of the islanders in hatred of his faith and zeal. In August, 1793, Callaghan with four other surviving members of the old Society discussed the future of the fund. With the Revolution at its height in France, the prospect of the restoration of the Society in the immediate future did not appear bright; as their numbers were becoming so few it was necessary to determine what should become of their patrimony. An agreement was signed binding the last three surviving members, whoever they should be, in the event of the Society not being restored, to consult with some of the Irish bishops as to how best the money could be employed in endowing some college for the education of secular priests for work in Ireland.

Callaghan was never satisfied with this agreement as he considered it did not sufficiently safeguard the rights of the Society, but as things were so unsettled he thought it better to defer the matter. He knew that the Society still led a precarious existence in White Russia, depending on the oral approval of Pius VI who feared to commit himself in writing.

A happy turn of events brought new hope. At the request of the new Czar, Paul I, Pius VII by the decree Catholicae Fidei (7th March, 1801) publically recognized and formally approved of the Society in White Russia. Anticipating a more general restoration, Callaghan sent Peter Kenney with three other young men to St. Patrick's College, Carlow, on 6th June, 1801, to study humanities with a view to preparing them for entry into the Society: these four were followed by seventeen more students, whose pensions Callaghan paid from the mission fund.

-oOo-

Events now took another turn. On the suppression of the Society the English Jesuits were allowed to continue their college in Liège as an academy for the education of secular priests for the English mission and for a certain number of lay boys. In 1786, while living as secular priests in community, they petitioned the vicar general in Russia to receive them into the Society; the vicar had to refuse their request as his jurisdiction was confined to Jesuits living in White Russia. Eight years later, on the outbreak of the revolutionary wars in the Netherlands, they crossed to England with their students and established themselves at Stonyhurst near Blackburn, Lancashire, put at their disposal by Thomas Weld of Lulworth Castle, Dorset.

Shortly after the election of Pius VII, the gentlemen of Stonyhurst, as they were styled, again asked the vicar general to receive them back into the Society. The vicar, Gruber, thought it better to consult the Pope before doing so. Writing from Leghorn on 21st December, 1801, Peter Plunkett told Callaghan that a Brief had been sent to the Court of Moscovy authorizing the vicar general of the Jesuits there to assume the title of general and to act throughout the whole Russian empire with the full powers annexed to that dignity; authorizing him moreover to take under his inspection and government all the missions of those countries towards the east that bordered on the said empire. He added that Cardinal Brancadara, whom alone the Pope consulted in drawing up the Brief, said: "The Brief, he assured, is such that you all may well be contented with'. Plunkett then suggested that there should be no difficulty in getting privately a Brief to cover England and Ireland. He added, however, that James Connell, also a former Irish Jesuit and then secretary to Cardinal Rinuncini in Rome, consulted Brancadara who advised seeking a Brief for Ireland alone as the vicars apostolic in England were hostile to the Jesuits.

In March, 1803, at William Strickland's suggestion, Gruber named Marmaduke Stone, a professed father of the old Society, as English Provincial: he commissioned Strickland to admit Stone, the Superior of the Stonyhurst community, to solemn profession of the four vows and then to install him as Provincial of England.

Stone took his vows on 22nd May, 1803, and shortly afterwards he re-admitted six members of the former English Province, with Nicholas Grou, the well-known spiritual writer, and Richard Callaghan who had journeyed over to Stonyhurst for the ceremony.

Before renewing his profession, Callaghan told Stone that he had made a will transferring the Irish Jesuit mission fund and his own personal property to him whom he had named as trustee for the future Irish Jesuits.

On hearing of Callaghan's death, Stone and Sewell crossed over to Dublin on 25th July, 1807, where Betagh introduced him to an eminent Catholic attorney named Brown who advised them to take possession of Callaghan's effects and papers without the smallest risk in virtue of the will they produced. Brown also advised them to have all the debentures transferred to Stone's name. In an amusing sentence in his letter to Wright, Stone tells how he found £4,000 in cash under the floorboards: “it is lucky that I was made acquainted with Callaghan's secret repository three years ago”.

When Callaghan's affairs were settled Sewell noted on 30th August, 1807, that £30,000 had been lodged in England for the benefit of the future Irish mission.

Early in the same year Archbishop Troy wrote a long letter to Cardinal di Pietro alleging misappropriation of the funds of the former Irish Jesuits. He asked the Cardinal to write to Stone at Stonyhurst “firmly and decisively” and “to threaten him with suspension if he does not transfer the funds... He (Troy) has always been friendly with the Jesuits, giving them parishes and appointing one his vicar general (Father Betagh)”.

His agent in Rome, Father Luke Concannon, OP, in a covering letter dated 14th July, 1807, enclosing Cardinal di Pietro's answer, wrote that he thinks “the Jesuits have outwitted Propaganda and all of you and you'll never get a farthing out of them now.. It is not known whether the Jesuits exist or not in the British Empire; di Pietro believes they do not, but cannot swear to it... Such an artful and political body of men (as the Jesuits) never existed”.

In an earlier undated letter, Concannon expressed amazement at the obstinancy of the old ex-Jesuit, Fr. Callaghan. Dr. Carpenter (Dr. Troy's predecessor as Archbishop of Dublin) was too indulgent. Callaghan will now plead that the Society survives in Rome in the persons of the Abbé O'Connell and the Abbe Plunkett, both ex-Jesuits'.

The next move is a letter from Propaganda to Archbishop Troy dated 23rd January, 1808, stating that a letter is being sent to Stone about all the Irish ex-Jesuit funds; the archbishop is to forward to Rome all documents relevant to same. Under the date 5th May, 1808, we have a draft reply to Archbishop Troy written by Plowden in which he makes two points succinctly: (1) three former Irish Jesuits still alive: Fr. Betagh (Dublin), Peter Plunkett (Leghorn) and James Connell (Rome). (2) Does the archbishop wish “to invoke the spiritual power to invalidate the will of a British subject?”. This last sentence is a reference to the statute of Praemunire.

There is no evidence in the Dublin diocesan archives of the letter based on Plowden's draft; there is a letter from Concannon dated 8th October, 1808, upraiding Troy for giving up the Callaghan affair (the ex-Jesuit funds) and urging him to take the matter up again with Cardinal di Pietro.

Plowden supplies us with the end of the story in a letter dated November 20th; in it he records that “Archbishop Troy is satisfied that Mr. Stone will fairly employ the property in question. Mr. Granger says that the affair is now closed and settled”.

-oOo-

To complete the restoration of the Society in England, Stone founded a noviciate at Hodder Place about a mile from Stonyhurst. Here on 26th September, 1804, Peter Kenney with four other Irishmen and seven Englishmen began their noviceship with Charles Plowden as their master. Tempting though it be to follow Kenney through Hodder, Stonyhurst and Palermo where he was ordained, the aim of these pages rules this out: the starting point must be his return to Dublin on 1st September, 1811, six months after Betagh's death. In his Palermo journal he had recorded, “God forbid that I should ever be a Superior, especially over the Irish”; before setting out for Dublin, however, he found himself appointed Superior by the Provincial of Sicily, later to be confirmed by the General in Russia. On arrival in Dublin, he learned that Stone held £32,000 for him in trust to rebuild the Irish mission.

Foremost in Kenney's mind from the outset was the setting up of a boarding school but he knew that he would have to wait for the arrival of the second batch of his confrères not due to finish their studies in Palermo until the summer of 1814. Stone wrote to him early in 1812 to tell him that he met Dr. Moylan in London who 'would welcome a college in Cork and (he) though that Dr. Power in Waterford'. Even before this Kenney, knew that Dr. Plunkett, Bishop of Meath, would also be glad to have him in Meath.

Meanwhile he lost no time in settling into other work while his plans matured. First he lodged in the house in Cook Street where Betagh had lived and before long he moved across the Liffey to No. 3, George's Hill to Mulcaile's old home. He gave his attention to what was near at hand: helping the nuns in George's Hill with conferences and advice, hearing confessions in St. Michan's, preaching there and in other city churches.

Kenney was not long in Dublin before Dr. Troy asked him to become vice president of Maynooth, as Dr. Everard, the president, had become seriously unwell. For many reasons Kenney was slow to accept this responsible position, especially as he was not twelve months back in Ireland: in the end he agreed to act for the academic year 1812-13, on condition that Dr. Troy's coadjutor Dr. Daniel Murray held the presidency.

In the autumn of 1813, Kenney began negotiations with General Michael Wogan Browne for Castle Browne which he had inherited on the death of his brother; as the estate was heavily in debt he was anxious to find a purchaser for the house and some of the land. Situated some twenty miles west of Dublin near the village of Clane, co. Kildare, Castle Browne seemed suitable for Kenney's purpose. Daniel O'Connell, always cautious in questions of title, was fully satisfied that the property was confirmed by letters patent of King Charles II. Long before the deal was completed, the anti-Catholic faction raised hue and cry. Despite it, Kenney was satisfied to buy the house and 219 acres for £16,000. The deed of conveyance from Browne to Kenney was signed on 4th March, 1814. Kenney's sharpened sense of history led him to deem that day Founders' Day, as the purchase was made possible for the foresight and generosity of his predecessors.

Hansard recorded in full detail a debate in the House of Commons on 17th May, 1814, initiated by Sir John Cox Hippsely who asserted that it had come to his knowledge that nearly £30,000 had been remitted from Rome to Ireland for the purpose of purchasing lands. Sir Henry Parnell told the House that Mr. Kenney had put into his hands the prospectus of his establishment; the whole object which it aimed at was neither more nor less than the education of young persons; it did not even exclude those the Protestant religion. Sir Henry Newport, MP for Waterford, said that he had looked into the statute book and could not see what objection could be raised against the conduct of Mr. Kenney.

Replying to the debate, Robert Peel told the Commons that he had interviewed Mr. Kenney and had received from him the prospectus of his school. The only point Kenney refused to divulge was how he came by the money which he asserted was his private property. Peel told him that he must not be surprised if the same feeling which had induced the British Government to confiscate the property of the Jesuits in Canada should induce them at least to watch with the utmost diligence and suspicion an institution established and superintended by one of the order, supported by funds, the origin and nature of which were totally unaccounted for.

The debate is best summed up in an entry in Charles Abbot's Diary under the date 23rd May, 1814:

“Peel called by appointment... talked over the foundation of the school at Clongrove (sic) Wood, late Castle Browne, Kenney's conversation with him asserting the £16,000 to be his own funds, though how obtained he refused to disclose; and that when his vow of poverty was objected to him in bar of his being the proprietor of such funds, he said the vow was only simple not solemn. To all questions he generally answered by putting some other questions instead of giving an affirmative or negative”.

On 18th May, 1814, Clongowes Wood College received its first pupil, James MacLorinan, of Dublin.

O'Driscoll, Francis, 1630-1682, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1893
  • Person
  • 24 June 1630-25 January 1682

Born: 24 June 1630, County Cork
Entered: 24 June 1652, Manila, Philippines - Philippinae Province (PHI)
Ordained: c 1660
Final vows: 02 February 1672, Dagami, Leyte, Philippines
Died 25 January 1682, Manila, Philippines - Philippinae Province (PHI)

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
1654-1660 Studied Philosophy and Theology.
1660 After his Ordination he was devoted to the Missions among the pagan natives, at first in the district around Manila, and afterwards at Catabalogan City in the island of Samar (Leyte, Philippines)
1662 Missions among the pagan natives Catbalogan on the island of Samar
1670-1673 Superior at Cat Garan Residence
1673 Superior at Residence of Dapitan, a very dangerous post on the island of Mindinao - due to the fanaticism of the Mohommedan people there

O'Dwyer, Charles, 1729-1772, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1894
  • Person
  • 1729-20 January 1772

Born: 04 September1729, Borja, Zaragoza, Spain
Entered: 30 March 1749, Seville Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)
Ordained: 23 December 1755
Died: 20 January 1772, Bagnacavallo, Italy - Philippine Province (PHI)

Deported from the Philippines 12 May 1768

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
1752 Left for Philippines and after completing studies went to work in Tubig and other places among the natives, especially the Tagulos.
1769 Expelled along with other Jesuits and arrived in Italy - worn out by hardships he had endured he died in 1772 at Bagnacavallo, Italy.

Pigot, Edward Francis, 1858-1929, Jesuit priest, teacher, astronomer and seismologist

  • IE IJA J/1985
  • Person
  • 18 September 1858-22 May 1929

Born: 18 September 1858, Dundrum, Dublin
Entered: 10 June 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899
Professed: 01 March 1901
Died: 22 May 1929, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia

by 1893 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1894 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1895 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1900 at St Joseph, Yang Jin Bang, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1904 in St Ignatius, Riverview, Sydney (HIB)
by 1905 at ZI-KA-WEI Seminary, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1910 in Australia

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online
Pigot, Edward Francis (1858–1929)
by L. A. Drake
L. A. Drake, 'Pigot, Edward Francis (1858–1929)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/pigot-edward-francis-8048/text14037, published first in hardcopy 1988

astronomer; Catholic priest; meteorologist; schoolteacher; seismologist

Died : 22 May 1929, North Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Edward Francis Pigot (1858-1929), Jesuit priest, astronomer and seismologist, was born on 18 September 1858 at Dundrum, near Dublin, son of David Richard Pigot, master of the Court of Exchequer, and his wife Christina, daughter of Sir James Murray, a well-known Dublin physician. Descended from eminent lawyers, Edward was educated at home by tutors and by a governess. The family was very musical and Edward became a fine pianist; he was later complimented by Liszt. He studied arts and medicine at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1879; M.B., B.Ch., 1882) and also attended lectures by the astronomer (Sir) Robert Ball. After experience at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, he set up practice in Dublin.

In June 1885 Pigot entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore, County Down. He began to teach at University College, Dublin, but in 1888, on account of ill health, came to Australia. He taught at St Francis Xavier's College, Melbourne, and from August 1889 at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney. Returning to Europe in 1892 he studied philosophy with French Jesuits exiled in Jersey, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained priest on 31 July 1898. In 1899 he volunteered for the China Mission and was stationed at the world-famous Zi-Ka-Wei Observatory, Shanghai. In 1903, again in poor health, he spent some months working in Melbourne and at Sydney Observatory, and taught for a year at Riverview before returning to Zi-Ka-Wei for three years. Tall and lanky, he came finally to Sydney in 1907, a frail, sick man. He had yet to begin the main work of his life.

On his way back to Australia Pigot visited the Jesuit observatory in Manila: he was beginning to plan an observatory of international standard at Riverview. He began meteorological observations there on 1 January 1908. As terrestrial magnetism could not be studied because of nearby electric trams, he decided to set up a seismological station as the start of the observatory. The Göttingen Academy of Sciences operated the only fully equipped seismological station in the southern hemisphere at Apia, Samoa: a station in eastern Australia would also be favourably situated to observe the frequent earthquakes that occur in the south-west Pacific Ocean. Assisted by the generosity of L. F. Heydon, Pigot ordered a complete set of Wiechert seismographs from Göttingen, and visited the Apia observatory. Riverview College Observatory opened as a seismological station in March 1909. Seismological observations continue to be made there.

A great traveller despite his teaching duties, Pigot visited Bruny Island, Tasmania (1910), the Tonga Islands (1911) and Goondiwindi, Queensland (1922), to observe total solar eclipses; and observatories in Europe in 1911, 1912, 1914 and 1922 and North America in 1919 and 1922. He made observations of earth tides in a mine at Cobar (1913-19), collaborated with Professor L. A. Cotton in measurements of the deflection of the earth's crust as Burrinjuck Dam filled (1914-15) and performed Foucault pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market building, Sydney (1916-17). On 1 September 1923 F. Omori, a leading Japanese seismologist, observed with Pigot a violent earthquake being recorded in the Riverview vault; it turned out to have destroyed Tokyo, with the loss of 140,000 lives.

Fr Pigot was a member of the Australian National Research Council from 1921, president of the State branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923-24 and a council-member of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1921-29. On his way back from the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo (1926), he visited the observatory at Lembang, Java, where he planned a programme of study at Riverview Observatory of variable stars. Between 1925 and 1929 Pigot measured solar radiation at Riverview and Orange, particularly in relation to long-range weather forecasting. He was seeking a site of high elevation above sea-level for this work, when he contracted pneumonia at Mount Canobolas. He died at North Sydney on 22 May 1929 and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery.

Sir Edgeworth David paid tribute to Pigot:
It was not only for his profound learning that scientists revered him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health, he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful manner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of scientific truth. Surely there never was any scientific man so well-beloved as he.

Select Bibliography
Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal, 49 (1915), p 448
Riverview College Observatory Publications, 2 (1940), p 17
S.J. Studies, June 1952, p 189, Sept-Dec 1952, p 323.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Paraphrase/Excerpts from an article published in the “Catholic Press” 30/05/1929
“The late Father Pigott, whose death was announced last week in the ‘Press’, was born at Dundrum Co Dublin 18/09/1858, of a family which gave three generations of judges to the Irish Bench. He himself adopted the medical profession, and having taken his degree at Trinity, he practiced for a few years in Dublin and at Croom, Co Limerick. While studying at Trinity he made his first acquaintance with astronomy, when he heard a course of lectures by the famous Sir Robert Ball, then head of the Observatory at Dunsink, and Astronomer Royal of Ireland.
In 1885 the young Doctor, already noted for his charming gentleness and self-sacrificing charity entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore. he made his first visit to Australia as a Scholastic in 1888, and he taught for four years at Xavier College Kew, and Riverview Sydney. Naturally his department was Science.
In 1892 he was sent to St Helier in Jersey to study Philosophy with the French Jesuits who had been expelled from France. It was here that he began his long battle with frailty and illness, during which he achieved so much for scientific research over his 70 years. He did his Theology at Milltown and was Ordained 1899. Two years later he volunteered to join the French Jesuits in China, and this required of him not only his scientific zeal, but also his spiritual and missionary ones. he did manage to master the Chinese language for his work, and he used to tell amusing stories of his first sermons against himself and his intonations. His health was always threatening to intervene, and so he went to work at the Zi-Kai-Wei Observatory near Shanghai. The work he did here on the Chinese Mission was to reach his fulness in the work he later did over many years in Australia, and where he went to find the climate which suited his health better. He received much training at Zi-Kai-Wei and in photography and study of sunspots at Ze-se, which had a twin 16 inch telescope.
1907 saw him back in Australia and he set about founding the Observatory at Riverview, while teaching Science. By his death, this Observatory had a range and capacity, in terms of sophisticated instruments, which rivalled the best Government-endowed observatories throughout the world. Whilst he had the best of equipment, he lacked the administrative personnel necessary to record all the data he was amassing. His great pride towards the end was in his spectroscope for the work on Solar Radiation where he believed that ‘Long-distance weather forecasts will soon be possible, though not in my time’ (Country Life, 29/04/1929). Current farmers and graziers will owe him a lot in the future.
The scientific work at Riverview has received recognition in Australia. Edward’s interests in the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his experiments in earth tremors at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, geophysics at the Cobar mines, pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Markets of Sydney. In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania, and in 1911 on the ship Encounter a similar trip to the Tongan Islands, and the Goondiwindi Expedition of 1922.
In 1914 he was appointed by the Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St Petersburg, though war cancelled that. In 1921 he was a member of the Australian National Research Council and sent to represent them to Rome at the 1922 first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union and the International Union of Geoditics and Geophysics. He was president of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association, and a member of the Royal Society of NSW. In 1923 the Pan-Pacific Science Congress was held in Australia, and during this Professor Omori of Japan was at Riverview watching the seismometers as they were recording the earthquake of Tokyo, Dr Omori’s home city. In 1926 he went to the same event at Tokyo, and later that year was elected a member of the newly formed International Commission of Research of the Central International Bureau of Seismology.
From an early age he was a passionate lover of music, and this came from his family. he gave long hours to practising the piano when young, and in later life he could play some of the great pieces from memory. He was said to be one of the finest amateur pianists in Australia. It often served as a perfect antidote to a stressful day at the Observatory."

Many warm-hearted and generous tributes to the kindness and charm for Father Pigott’s personal character have been expressed by public and scientific men since his death. Clearly his association with men in all walks of life begot high esteem and sincere friendship. Those who knew him in his private life will always preserve the memory of a kindly, gentle associate, and of a saintly religious.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Pigot's family was of Norman origin and settled in Co Cork. Ireland. The family was a famous legal family in Dublin. He was the grandson of Chief Baron Pigot, son of judge David Pigot, brother of Judge John Pigot. He was the fourth of eight children, and was educated at home by a governess and tutors. The family was very musical, Edward playing the piano.
Pigot went to Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated BA in science in 1879. His mentor at the university in astronomy was Sir Robert Ball, then Royal Astronomer for Ireland and Professor of Astronomy. Pigot then studied medicine and graduated with high distinction in 1882, and after postgraduate studies practiced in Baggot Street, Dublin.
However, Pigot gave up this practice to join the Society of Jesus, 10 June 1885, at the age of 27.
After a short teaching period at University College, Dublin, Pigot was sent to Australia in 1888 because of constant headaches, and he taught physics and physiology principally at St Ignatius College, Riverview, 1890-92. He returned to Europe for further studies, philosophy in Jersey with the French Jesuits, 1892-95, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1898. Tertianship followed immediately at Tullabeg.
At the age of 41 and in ill health, Pigot volunteered for the Chinese Mission in 1899, and was stationed at Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, working on a world famous observatory, where
meteorology, astronomy and terrestrial magnetism were fostered. Pigot specialised in astronomy and also studied Chinese. Like other missionaries of those days, he grew a beard and a pigtail. However, his health deteriorated and he was sent to Australia in 1903 for a few years. He then returned to Shanghai, 1905-07, before returning to Riverview in 1908.
After visiting the Manila Observatory, he formulated plans for starting an observatory at Riverview, an activity that he believed would bring recognition for the excellence in research that he expected at the Riverview observatory He believed that seismology was best suited to the location. Pigot obtained the best equipment available for his work, with the gracious benefaction of the Hon Louis F Heydon, MLC. He personally visited other observatories around the world to gain ideas and experience, as well as attending many international conferences over the years. One result of his visit to Samoa was the building and fittings for the instruments in the half-underground, vaulted, brick building at Riverview. Brs Forster and Girschik performed the work. Some instruments, called the Wiechert Seismographs, came from Germany.
He became a member of the Australian National Research Council at its inception in 1921, and foundation member of the Australian Committee on Astronomy, as well as that on Geodosy and Geophysics. He served on the Council of the Royal Society of NSW, and was President of the British Astronomical Association (NSW Branch), 1923-24.
The upkeep of the Riverview observatory was borne by the Australian Jesuits and Riverview. Family and friends also gave funds for this work. When he died from pneumonia, he left at the Riverview observatory five double-component seismometers, two telescopes fully equipped for visual and photographic work, a wireless installation, clocks specially designed for extreme accuracy, an extensive scientific library, a complete set of meteorological instruments, and a solar radiation station, possessing rare and costly instruments.
Pigot's work at Riverview included working on scientific problems of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, experiments at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, geophysics at the Cobar mines, and pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market Buildings in Sydney In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania. In April 1911 he went with the warship Encounter on a similar expedition to the Tongan Islands in the Pacific, and was prominent in the Goondiwindi Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1922.
Pigot was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St Petersburg in 1914. He was secretary of the seismo-
logical section of the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Sydney, 1923, and in 1926, once more represented the Commonwealth Government as a member of the Australian Delegation at the Pan-Pacific Congress, Tokyo. In 1928 he was elected a member of an International Commission of Research, which was part of the International Bureau of Seismology, centered at Strasbourg.
He was highly esteemed by his colleagues for his friendship, high scholarship, modest and unassuming demeanour, and nobility of character. Upon his death the rector of Riverview received a letter from the acting-premier of New South Wales, describing Pigot as one of the state's “most distinguished citizens”, and Sir Edgeworth David praised his magnetic personality and eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of scientific truth.
Edward Pigot, tall and lanky, frail and often in weak health, was also a fine priest, always helper of the poor, and exemplary in the practice of poverty. He did pastoral work in a quiet way. On his scientific expeditions, he was always willing to help the local clergy and their scattered flocks. He was genuinely modest, humble, and courteous to all. Yet he was naturally a very sensitive and even passionate man, with a temperament that he did not find easy to control. He disagreed strongly with Dr Mannix on the issue of conscription - the Pigots were decidedly Anglo-Irish - and positively refused to entertain the idea of setting up an observatory at Newman under the archbishop's aegis.
His extremely high standards of scientific accuracy and integrity made it difficult for him to find an assistant he could work with, or who could work with him. George Downey, Robert McCarthy, and Wilfred Ryan, all failed to satisfy. However, when he met the young scholastic Daniel O'Connell he found a man after his own heart. When he found death approaching he was afraid, not of death, but because O’Connell was still only a theologian and not ready to take over the observatory. Happily, the Irish province was willing to release his other great friend, William O'Leary to fill the gap.

◆ 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 3rd Year No 1 1927

Lavender Bay, Sydney :
Fr. Pigot's great reputation as a seismologist was much increased during the present year by his locating of the Kansu earthquake within a few hours of the first earth tremors. “Where he deserted medicine,” the Herald writes, “that profession lost a brilliant member, but science in general was the gainer. Dr Pigot is one of the world's leading authorities on seismology, and can juggle azimuths and seismometers with uncanny confidence”.

Irish Province News 4th Year No 4 1929

Obituary :
Fr Edward Pigot
Fr Pigot died at Sydney on May 21st. He caught a slight cold which in a few days developed into T. B. pneumonia. He was very frail, and had no reserve of strength left to meet the attack. The Archbishop presided at the Requiem. The Government sent a representative. The papers were all very appreciative.

Fr Pigot was born at Dundrum, Co. Dublin on the 18th September 1858, educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied medicine, and took out his degrees - MB, BCh, in 1882. For the three following years he was on the staff of Baggot St Hospital, Dublin, and was Chemist with his uncle, Sir James Murray, at Murray's Magnesia works. He entered the Society at Loyola House, Dromore, Co. Down on the 10th June 1885. He spent one year at Milltown Park as junior, and then sailed for Australia. One year at Kew as prefect, and three years at Riverview teaching chemistry and physics brought his regency to an end. Fr. Pigot spent three years at Jersey doing philosophy, as many at Milltown at theology, and then went to Tullabeg for his tertianship in 1898. At the and of the year a very big event in his life took place. He applied for and obtained leave to join the Chinese Mission of the Paris province. For a year he worked in the Church of St. Joseph at Yang-King-Pang, and for two more at the Seminary at Zi-Kai-Wei, but the state of his health compelled a rest, and in 1913 we find him once more at Riverview teaching and trying to repair his shattered strength. He seems to have, in some measure, succeeded, for, at the end of the year he returned to his work at Zi-kai-wei. The success however was short lived. He struggled on bravely for three years when broken health and climatic conditions forced him to yield, and he asked to be received back into the Irish Province. We have it on the highest authority that his reasons for seeking the Chinese Mission were so a virtuous and self-denying, that he was heartily welcomed back to his own province. In 1907 he was stationed once more at Riverview, and to that house he belonged up to the time of his happy death in 1929.
It was during these 22 years that Fr. Pigot's greatest work was done - the founding and perfecting of the Riverview Observatory. The story is told by Fr. Dan. O'Connell in the Australian Jesuit Directory of 1927.
Fr. Pigot's first astronomical training was at Dunsink Observatory under the well known astronomer “Sir Robert Ball”. Then, as mentioned above, many years were passed at the Jesuit Observatory at Zi-kai-wei.
For some years previous to his return to Riverview, earthquakes had been receiving more and more attention from scientists, Excellent stations had been established in Europe and Japan, but the lack of news from the Southern Hemisphere greatly hampered the work of experts. It was the very excellent way in which Fr. Pigot supplied this want that has won him a high place amongst the worlds scientists.
Thanks to the kindness of relatives and friends, and to government help, Fr. Pigot was able to set up at Riverview quite a number of the very best and most up-to-date seismometers, some of which were constructed at government workshops under his own personal supervision. At once, as soon as things were ready, Fr Pigot entered into communication with seismological stations all the world over. When his very first bulletins were received in Europe, Riverview was gazetted as a “first-order station”, and the work done there was declared by seismologists everywhere as of first-rate importance. At the time of his death Fr Pigot had established telegraphic communication with the International Seismological Bureau at Strasbourg.
The study of earthquakes was only one of Fr. Pilot's activities, He was able, again through the generosity of his friends, to put up at Riverview, a first class astronomical observatory. It has four distinct lines of research :

  1. The photography of the heavens.
  2. Photographs of sunspots
  3. Study of variable stars.
  4. Micrometre measurements of double stars.
    Fr Pigot also took part ill a number of solar eclipse expeditions to Tasmania in May 1910, in April 1911 to Tonga, and to Goondiwindi in 1922.
    Finally, and perhaps most difficult of all, he established at Riverview a solar radiation station. The object of such a station is to determine the quantity of heat radiated out by the sun. This quantity of heat is not constant, as was thought but variable. The work is expensive, and of a highly specialised nature. It was hoped that in course of time it would have very
    practical results, amongst them being the power of being able to forecast changes in climate and weather over much longer periods than is at present possible. The necessary funds were collected by a Solar Radiation Committee formed at Sydney, Supplemented by a legacy from a relative of Fr Pigot's.
    Fr Pigot's ability as a scientist is shown by the number of important positions he held, and by the number of missions entrusted to him. He was elected President of the N. S. W. branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923 and 1924.
    He was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW for several years. On the occasion of the International Seismological Congress to be held at. St. Petersburg in l914 he was appointed by the Commonwealth Government as delegate to represent Australia. Owing to the war the Congress was not held. It was on this occasion that Fr Pigot was sternly refused permission as a Jesuit to enter Russia. Even the request of the British ambassador at St Petersbourg for a passport was of no avail. It was only through the intercession of Prince Galitzin the leading Seismologist in Russia and a personal friend of the Russian Foreign Minister that the permit was granted.
    He went to Rome in 1922 as delegate from the Australian National Research Council to the first General Assembly of the Astronomical Union.
    He was Secretary of the Seismological Section at the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Australia 1923.
    He was appointed by the Commonwealth Government as one of an official delegation of four which represented Australia at the Pan-Pacific Congress in Tokyo 1926.
    Fr Pigot was a great scientist he was also a fine musician an exquisite pianist and a powerful one. He was said Lo be amongst the finest amateur pianists in Australia. Once during a villa he was playing a piece by one of the old masters. In the same room was a card party intent on their game. Fr Pigot whispered to a friend sitting near the piano “mind the discord
    that's coming”. It came, and with it came howl and a yell from the card players. In the frenzy of the moment no one could tell what was going to come next. But, as Fr Pigot continued to play a soothing bit that followed, a normal state of nerves was restored, and the players settles down to their game.
    He was a great scientist, and a fine musician, but, above all and before all, he was an excellent religious. In the noviceship too much concentration injured his head, and he felt the effects ever afterwards. It affected him during his missionary work and during his own studies. His piety was not of the demonstrative order, but he had got a firm grip of the supernatural, and held it to the cud. He knew the meaning of life, the meaning of eternity and squared his life accordingly.
    His request for a change of province was in no way due to fickleness or inconstancy. He had asked a great grace from Almighty God, a favour on which the dearest wish of his heart was set, and he made a supreme, a heroic sacrifice to obtain it. That gives us the key note to his life, and it shows us the religious man far better than the most eloquent panegyric or the longest list of virtues that adorn religious life could do. Judged by that sacrifice he holds a higher and a nobler place in the world of our Society that that which his genius and unremitting hard work won for him in the world of science.
    A few extracts to show the esteem if which Fr. Pigot was held by externs :
    Father Pigot's death “removes a great figure not only from the Catholic world but also from the world of science. His fame was world-wide. He was one of the worlds' most famous seismologists”.
    “By his death Australian science and the science of seismology have sustained a loss that is almost irreparable. He initiated what now ranks among the very best seismological observatories in the world”.
    “He was able to secure the best instruments for recording the variations in heat transmitted from the sun to the earth for his Solar observatory at Riverview, and to make observations, which science in time will rely upon to put mankind in the possession of long range forecasts as to future rainfall and weather in general”.
    “Dr. Pigot told me that after some years it would be possible to forecast the weather' two seasons ahead”.
    “ Dr. Pigot was one of the brightest examples of simple faith in a Divine purpose pervading all the universe”.
    “It was not only for his profound learning that scientists reverenced him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful manner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the pursuit of scientific truth. Surely there never was any scientific man so well beloved as he”
    “Those who knew him in his private 1ife will always reserve the memory of a kindly, gentle associate, and of a saintly religious”.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary : Fr Edward Pigot
The following items about Fr. Pigot's youth have been kindly supplied by his brother.
“He was born the 18th Sept. 1858 at Meadowbrook, Dundrum, Co. Dublin His first tuition was at the hands of governesses and private tutors, after which he attended for some years a day school kept by H. Tilney-Bassett at 67 Lower Mount St.
Concurrently, under the influence of his music Master, George Sproule, his taste for music began to develop rapidly. Sproule had a great personal liking for him, and took him on a visit to Switzerland. Many years afterwards Fr. Pigot heard that Sproule (who had taken orders in the Church of England) was in Sydney. He rang him up on the telephone, without disclosing identity, and whistled some musical passages well known to both of them. Almost at once Sproule knew and spoke his name.
Even as a schoolboy, I can recall how he impressed me by his superiority, by his even temper, command of himself under provocation, his generosity, his studiousness and his steadiness generally.
He entered Trinity about 1879. In the Medical School, he had the repute of a really serious student. He was especially interested in chemistry and experimental physics. Astronomy was outside his regular course, but I remember visits to Dunsink observatory, His studies seemed to he regulated by clockwork.
Before setting up as a doctor in Upper Baggot Street, he was resident medical attendant at Cork Street Fever Hospital, and the Rotunda Hospital, and at the City of Dublin Hospital. When in private practice at Baggot Street, he was not financially successful. I have the impression that his serious demeanour and grave appearance were against him, But I have better grounds for believing that his work amongst the poor, his unwillingness to charge fees to the needy, operated still more in the same direction. We often heard, but not from him, of his goodness to the poor. This was the time that he announced to us his desire to join the Jesuit Order. May I add that if there was one event in Ned’s life for which I have long felt joy and thankfulness, it was his desire to enter your Order.
Years after he had left Dublin, one of his prescriptions had become locally famous, and was ordered from the chemist as “a bottle of Kate Gallagher, please”, Kate having been one of his poor friends”.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Australia :

Riverview :

In 1923 Fr. Pigot built a Solar Radiation Station at Riverview, and started a programme of research on the heat we receive from the sun. This work has now been finally wound up. The valuable instruments, which are the property of the Solar Radiation Committee, were offered on loan to Commonwealth Solar Observatory, Mt. Strombo, Canberra. The offer was accepted and the instruments were sent by lorry to Mt. Strombo on February 7th. The results of the work have been prepared for publication and are now being printed. This will be the first astronomical publication to be issued by the Observatory since December 1939. Shortage of staff and pressure of other work during the war were responsible for interrupting that branch of our activities. Another number of our astronomical publications is now ready and about to be sent to the printer. We have started a new series of publications: Riverview College Observatory Geophysical Papers." The first three numbers are now being printed and will be sent to all seismological Observatories and to those scientists who may be interested.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Edward Pigott 1859-1929
Fr Edward Pigott was born in Dundrum Dublin on September 18th 1858, of a family which gave three generations to the Irish Bench. Edward himself became a Doctor of Medicine, taking a degree at Trinity College, and practising first in Dublin, then in Croom County Limerick. In 1885, the young doctor entered the Society at Dromore, and made his first visit to Australia in 1888, where he spent four years teaching at Xavier College.

Ordained in 1899, two years later he volunteered for the Chinese Mission. He learned the Chinese language in preparation for his work, and for a while tested the hardships of active service with the French Fathers of the Society. He used recall afterwards with a wry smile his efforts to preach in Chinese, and how he hardly avoided the pitfalls on Chinese intimation. I;; health, which dogged him all his life, sent him to the less arduous work of Assistant at Zi-Kai-Wei Observatory, near Shanghai. This was the beginning of his brilliant career as an astronomer.

After six years in Shanghai, during which he mastered his science, he returned to Australia in 1907 and started the Observatory at Riverview. He started with a small telescope and a few elementary instruments for recording weather changes, and finally made of Riverview, one of the leading Observatories of the world. Honours and distinctions were showered on him. He was appointed by the Government to represent Australia at St Petersburg in 1914, in Rome in 1922, at the International Astronomical Union, and the Pan Pacific Science Congress in 1923, held in Australia.

In spite of his prominence in the scientific world, Fr Pigott remained always to his brethren a kindly and gentle associate and a saintly religious.

He died on May 22nd 1929, aged 70 years, battling with ill health all his life. A strong spirit housed in a frail body.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1912

Father Pigot’s Return

On April 11th, the Community and boys went down to the College Wharf to welconie Father Pigot SJ, back to Riverview, after his extended tour through Europe. He had been absent about seven months, and during that time visited most of the leading seismological observatories on the Continent and in the British Isles. He had purposed visiting also some other observatories in the United States, Canada and Japan, on his return journey to Sydney; but a severe attack of pleurisy in Italy, during the trying mid-winter season, obliged him to hasten back to the warm Australian climate, without even being able to accept the kind invitation of Prince Galitzin to spend a few days as his guest at St Petersburg. All have heard of Father Pigot's application to the Foreign Office, London (on hearing accidentally, a day or two before, of the existence of a Russian law prohibiting members of the Jesuit Order. from entering Russia) to obtain from the Russian Government the necessary permission, in view of a short visit to Prince Galitzin's Seismological Observatory at Pulkovo. The request of the Foreign Office was refused, as everyone knows, but apparently the sequel of the story is not so generally known.

It was during liis stay at Potsdam (Berlin) that Father Pigot received the unfavourable reply from Westminster. He at once acquainted Prince Galitzin with the refusal, whereupon the distinguished seismologist made a strong representation, resulting in his Government inimediately withdrawing the prohibition. His kind letter to Father Pigot acquainting him with the Russian Government's concession, and a formal communication to the same effect from the British Foreign Office, arrived during Father Pigot's convalescence, but a delay in Europe of three months would have been necessary to allow the severe winter in St. Petersburg to pass before he could, without risk of relapse, have availed himself of the concession and kind invitation.

Father Pigot has asked us to record his deep feeling of appreciation of the cordial greetings of the Community and boys, when they most kindly came down to welcome him at the wharf,

We give a photograph of Father Pigot, and another of a group of distinguished seismologists assembled together from various parts of the world, at Manchester, for the International Seismological Congress (1911).

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1922

Fr Pigot’s Visit to Europe : The InternationalAstronomical Union - First General Assembly, Rome, May 1922

The First General Assembly of the Inter national Astronomical Union commenced its deliberations in May this year, in the Academy of Science (the old Corsini Palace), at Rome. That Australia in union with the other nations, might be represented at the two main conferences (Astronomy, and Geodesy and Geophysics), the Commonwealth Government having paid the necessary subscriptions, three delegates - Dr T M Baldwin (Government Astronomer for Victoria), Mr G F Dodwell (Government Astronomer for South Australia), and Father Pigot represented the Australian National Research Council at the General Assembly.

The purpose of the Union, as set forth in this report, is - (I) “To facilitate the relations between astronomers of different countries where international co-operation is neces sary or useful; and, (2) To promote the study of astronomy in all its departments”. Each country adhering to the Union has its own National Research Council, which forms the National Committee for the promotion and co-ordination of astronomical work iul the respective countries, especially regard ing their international requirements. The countries at present adhering to the Union are Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czecho-Slovakia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, · Itály, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and the United States.
When Father Pigot left us suddenly in March, we felt that indeed there must be “something on” in the scientific world to draw him away at short notice from his beloved observatory. But the meetings of the Astronoinical Union, despite their international importance, were not his only objective. His itinerary, as we shall see, was a long one, and one of his chief aims while in Europe and America, was to inspect the principal Astronomical, Seismological and Solar Radiation observatories, and to get in personal touch with the foremost scientists. of the northern hemisphere.

Upon arrival in Europe he spent some time, successively, in the observatories of Marseilles, Nice, Geneva, and Zurich, In April he attended the Seismological Congress at Strasbourg, and then went on to Rome, taking in on his way, the Arcetri Observatory at Florence (situated, by the way, a stone's-throw from Galileo's house). While in Rome at the Conferences of the Astronomical and Geophysical Unions, he was, of course, in constant touch with Father Hagen S J, the Director of the Vatican Observatory, and though he does not say so, we may well imagine that his feelings were not untinged with sadness as he ascended the great staircase of the Government Observatory-the great Roman College of the Jesuit Order, before a Ministry more sectarian than honest usurped it.

Before the Conferences of the General Assembly were over, the delegates were in vited by His Holiness the Pope to a special audience in the Throne Room of the Vatican. It was accepted by all. Before congratu lating themselves on the splendid success of their meetings, His Holiness spent some time in chatting freely with most of those present, shook hands with them all, and be fore their departure, had a photo taken by the Papal photographer in the Court of St. Damasus.

The Roman Conferences over, Father Pigot lost no time in getting on his way. His first call was at the Geophysical Institute of Göttingen. Then on to Munich, and to Davos Platz for a private meeting on Sky and Solar Radiation with Dr Dorno (Head of Davos Observatory), Professor Maurer (Head of the Swiss Weather Bureau), and Professor Kimball (of the Solar Radiation Station of the Washington Weather Bureau).

The Paris Observatory - one of the largest in Europe - came next, and after spending some time here, he went on to the Royal Observatory at Brussels. Before leaving Beigium, he had time to run down to the Jesuit Observatory at Valkenberg, near the Dutch frontier, after which he returned to Greenwich. At a dinner of the Royal Astronomical Society, at which nine of the delegates were entertained, Father Pigot's health was proposed by Father Cortie SJ, of the Stonyhurst Observatory.

After a brief visit to Ireland, Father Pigot started out on his return journey, via America. One of his first visits on the other side was to the Jesuit Seismological Observatory at Georgetown University, Washington. While in the Capital, he spent some time at the Carnegie Observatory (Terrestrial Magnetisın), the Weather Bureau Solar Radiation Station, the Astro-physical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institute (where he renewed acquaintance with a valued friend, Dr Abbot, the President), the Bureau of Standards, and the Office of the Geodetic Survey. He was much impressed, as in 1919, with the up-to-date appliances of the Americans, and with the thoroughness of their scientific work.

Leaving Washington, he called at The Observatory of Harvard University (Boston, Mass.), and at the University of Detroit, where he found Professor Hussey, who knows Riverview well and has been in Australia more than once on scientific work. Yerkes Observatory, near Chicago, where is installed the largest Refractor in the world, claimed him next, after which he proceeded to the famous Mt Wilson Observatory at Pasadena (near Los Angeles, Col.). Here Father Pigot was in his element, for it is with Dr. Abbott, more especially than any one else, that he has discussed the details of the projected Solar Radiation Observatory at Riverview, and from him received the most valuable assistance.

Passing on to the Lick Observatory (Mt Hamilton, N Cal), he just missed Professor Campbell, who had left for Australia four days before as a member of the Wallal (WA) Eclipse Expedition. Professor Tucker, however, the locuin tenens, showed hiin every kindness.

Father Pigot's final visit before embarking for Australia was to the Canadian Government Observatory (Victoria, BC), which possesses the most powerful telescope in the British Empire (73in. Reflector). In the realm of instrumental astronomy Canada has outstripped all the other Dominions, and even the Mother Country herself.

It is superfluous to emphasise the im tiense value Father Pigot derived from his visits to the leading scientific men of the world, picking up hints, seeing new methods, and the most modern appliances for the subject nearest and dearest to his heart.

That the Riverview Observatory will gain by his experiences, and that the new Solat Radiation Observatory will receive a new fillip, goes without saying:

◆ Our Alma Mater Riverview 1929

Obituary

Edward F Pigot

Father Pigot was born at Dundrum, County Dublin, on September 18, 1858. He adopted the medical profession, and practised for a few years in Dublin. In 1885 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore, County Down. He made his first visit to Australia as a Jesuit scholastic in 1888, and taught for four years at Xavier College, Melbourne, and St Ignatius' College, Sydney. Naturally, his department was science. He completed his theological studies in Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained in the summer of 1899. Two years later he volunteered for the arduous China Mission, where the French Fathers of the Society of Jesus were endeavouring to Christianise the vast pagan kingdom - an act revealing fires of missionary zeal and personal devotion probably unsuspected by those who knew only the retiring scientist and scholar of later years. His sacrifice was accepted, and recompensed in a striking manner. He did, indeed, master the Chinese language in preparation for missionary labours, and for a while tasted the hardships of active service.

He returned to Australia in 1907, and immediately set about founding an observatory at Riverview, while teaching science on the college staff. When death called him he had gathered at Riverview five double-component seismometers, two telescopes fully equipped for visual and photographic work, a wireless installation, clocks specially designed for extreme accuracy, an extensive scientific library, a complete set of meteorological instruments, and what he most valued in his later years, a solar radiation, station, possessing rare and costly instruments, such as are possessed by only a few other, and these Government-endowed, stations throughout the world.

Fr. Pigot's in terest in the scientific problems of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his experiments at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, in geophysics at the Cobar mines and elsewhere, his pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market Buildings in Sydney, are well known. In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania; in April, 1911, he went with the warship Encounter on a similar expedition to the Tongan Islands in the Pacific, and was prominent in the Goondi windi Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1922.

Father Pigot was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St. Petersburg in 1914. The outbreak of war prevented the Congress being held. In 1921 he was chosen as a member of the Australian National Research Council, and in 1922 went to Rome as its representative at the first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union, and of the International Union of Geodetics and Geophysics. He was elected President of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923 and 1924. For many years he was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW.

At the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, held in Australia in 1923, Father Pigot was secretary of the seismological section. In 1926 Father Pigot was once more chosen by the Commonwealth Government as a member of the Australian Delegation at the Pan-Pacific Congress, held in Tokyo, in October, 1926. In December of last year he received word from the secretary of the Central International Bureau of Seismology, Strasburg, that he had been elected member of an International Commission of Research, formed a short time previously at a congress held in Prague, Czecho-Slovakia.

Many warm-hearted and generous tri butes to the kindliness and charm of Father Pigot's personal character have been expressed by public and scientific men since his death. Clearly his associa tion with men in all walks of life begot high esteem and sincere friendship. Those who knew him in his private life will always preserve the memory of a kindly, geritle associate, and of a saintly religious. RIP

-oOo-

The Solemn Office and Requiem Mass were celebrated at St Mary's North Sydney in the presence of a large congregation. His Grace the Archbishop presided, and preached the panegyric, and a very large number of the priests of the Diocese were present. Representatives of all classes were amongst the congregation, as may be seen from the list, which we cull from the “Catholic Press”.

The Government was represented by Mr J Ryan, MLC, and the Premier's Department by Messrs. F C G Tremlett and C H Hay. Other mourners included Professor Sir Edgeworth David, Professor C E Fawcitt (Dean of the Fa ulty of Science in Sydney University), Professor H G Chapman, Professor L A Cotton (president of the Royal Society of NSW), Professor T G . Osborn (chairman of the executive committee of the Australian National Research Council), Dr and Mrs Conrick, Dr P Murray, Dr Noble, Dr Murray Curtis, Dr H Daly, Dr Armit, Dr G H McElhone, Dr Wardlaw (president of the Linnean Society), Dr Robert Noble, Dr James Hughes, Messrs Cecil O'Dea, M J Mc Grath, H W and J N Lenehan, Austin Callachor (St Aloysius' Old Boys' Union), J Boylan (St Ignatius' Old Boys' Union), K Ryan, J Hayes, I Bryant, G E Bryant, K Young, R W Challinor (Sydney Technical College), James Nangle (Government Astronomer), O J Lawler, V J Evans, K E Finn, F W Brennan, J and I McDonnell, J Burfitt, and W S Gale, E Wunderlich, Dr Bradfield, Messrs L Campbell, L Bridge jun, Harold Healy, J Edmunds, E P Hollingdale, T Thyne, H Tricker (German Consul, representing the German Scientific Societies), W H Paradice, J. J. Richardson, W Poole (representing the Council of the Royal Society), K M Burgraaff (German Geographical Survey), E W Esdaile, A P Mackerras, E Gardiner, F S Manse (Under-Setretary for Mines), E C Andrews (Mines Department), W S Dun (Geological Survey), E H Matthews, F K Du Boise, Herbert Brown, R H Bulkeley, FRAS, M B Young, O S Cleary.

Letters of condolence were received from the following :The Old Boys' Union, NSW Chamber of Agriculture, The Shires Association of NSW, Dr C J Prescott (Headmaster, Newington Coll ege), Lane Cove Municipal Council, British Astronomical Association (NSW Branch), Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Chemical Society of the Sydney Technical College, the Royal Society of New South Wales, The Hon Sir Norman Kater, Kt, MLC, and many others.

The following letter was received from: the New South Wales Cabinet:

Premier's Office, Sydney, N.S.W.
22nd May, 1929.
Dear Sir,
At a meeting of the Cabinet this morning mention was made of the sad loss this State has sustained in the death of Reverend Father Pigot, one of its most distinguished citizens. I was invited by my colleagues to convey to you, as Principal of the eminent educational establishment, with which Father Pigot had the honour to be associated, an. expression of the deepest sympathy from the Members of the New South Wales Ministry.

The memory of Father Pigot, who was a per sonal friend of many of us, will be kept ever green by reason of his high scholastic and scien tific attainments, modest and unassuming demean our, and ni sy of character.
Yours faithfully,

E. A. BUTTENSHAW,
Acting Premier,


The Rev Father Lockington SJ, StIgnatius' College, Professor

H, H. Turner, of the British Association and the International Seismological Summary, speaks of “the splendid work done by Father Pigot in seismology; Riverview has been for many years our standby in the discussion of earthquakes near Australia”.


Professor Sir Edgeworth David, quoted in the “Catholic Press”, writes:

“By his death Australian science and the science of seismology have sustained a loss that is almost irreparable. He initiated what now ranks among the very best seismological observatories in the world. He was able to secure the best in struments for recording the variations in heat transmitted from the sun to the earth for his solar observatory at Riverview, and to make observa- . tions. This science in time we will rely upon to put mankind in possession of long range forecasts as to future rainfall and weather in general.

He was well known to all leading physicists and astronomers, and entirely because of his great reputation the University of Sydney was able to borrow for a period of six years some extremely valuable pendulums from Germany for measuring small displacements of the earth's crust at the great reservoir at Burrenjuck.

It was not only for his profound learning that scientists reverenced him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health, he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful man ner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of seien tific truth. Surely there. never was any scientific man so well beloved as he”.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

The New Seismographs at Riverview

That Seismology, and especially Seismographs, are in the air at pres ent, there can be no doubt. We have recently experienced in Sydney such a series of earthquake tremors, some of which have been usually large, and all coming on top of one another, as it were, that the subject was a common topic of conversation for several weeks. But the greatest interest centred not so much on the earthquakes as on the Riverview Seismograph that recorded them. When, a few weeks ago, the papers announced that a big and destructive earthquake had occurred so many thousands of miles away, "A big earthquake somewhere," one Melbourne Daily headed the re port-the safe announcement following that it was possibly in the sea somewhere, did much, we are sure, to nullify any exciting effect the tid ings might have had on even unsceptical readers. The news two days later, however, that a severe earthquake had taken place in Sumatra, and that 250 people had been killed, made the Riverview Seismograph not only known, but famous. With Father Pigot's permission (or, shall I say, with out Father Pigot's permission?) I purpose giving a short account of the Seismographs to accompany our illustrations,

The idea, as a mere remote possibility, of starting a Seismographical Observatory at Riverview, occurred to Father Pigot a few years ago at Zi ka-wei (Shanghai), just when leaving for Australia, where he was oblijed by ill-health to return, and received a fresh impetus when he was passing through Manilla on the voyage south. The splendid seismographical work done by the Fathers for many years at these two great Jesuit Observator ies of the Far East (not to speak of all that they have achieved in their other departments, viz., Meteorology, Terrestrial Magnetism, and Astro nomy, above all, of the tens of thousands of lives saved by their typhoon warnings during the last thirty years), was a sufficient incentive to Fr Pigot, who had been on the staff of the former Observatory for some time, to attempt a small beginning of at least one branch of similar high class work in Australia. No doubt excellent records had been obtained for several years in Australia and New Zealand by the well-known instrument of the veteran Seismologist, Professor Milne; but it was interesting to see what results would be obtained by a more modern type of Seismograph of one or other of the recent German models. Those of Professor Wiechert, of Gottingen University, were decided upon, if funds would per mit. The decision was most unexpectedly confirmed by the arrival in Syd ney shortly after, on his way home to Germany, at the expiration of his term of office as Director of the Samoa Observatory, of Dr Linke, who showed his Wiechert earthquake records to Father Pigot, at Riverview. Dr Linke, who now, by the way, is Director of the Geophysical Institute in Frankfort (Germany), has since taken the kindliest interest in our embryo Observatory.

But where was all the necessary money to come from? Needless to say, a lot of expense was involved. As two of the principal instruments are now installed, we may say that nearly the whole of the expense of the larger (horizontal) Seismograph was defrayed by our kind and generous friend and neighbour, the Hon Louis F Heydon, MLC - a man whose charity is equalled only by his love of learning and scientific progress ad majorem Dei gloriam. To the Hon Mr Heydon, therefore, for the great pioneer part he played in giving Seismology a foothold in Riverview, not Father Pigot's alone, but Riverview's warmest thanks are due. But though Seismology has certainly got a foothold in Riverview, it must be remembered that at present our Observatory is only in an embryonic con dition. Space has been provided in the building for other Geophysical re search work, to be carried out later on, when, like the Hon. Mr. Heydon, other lovers of scientific research shall have recognised in the Riverview Observatory, a work deserving of their patronage and generosity.

In July, 1908, Father Pigot paid a visit of three weeks to Samoa, where, through the kindness and courtesy of the Director of the Observa tory, Dr. Angenheister, and his assistants, he was able to study the con struction and working of the various instruments, the methods for the reduction of the records, etc. On his return, he set about erecting the building and fittings for the instruments the half-underground, vaulted, brick building (not as yet covered with its protecting mantle for tem perature), and woodwork fittings. These were admirably constructed respectively by Brother Forster SJ, and Brother Girschik SJ, with their usual indefatigable care. In the early autumn the instruments arrived from Germany, and soon afterwards they were recording tremors and earthquakes. The instruments are amongst the most modern in use at the present day, and are known as the Wiechert Seismographs or Seis mometers, named from their designer, Professor Wiechert. Until quite recently they were not numerous, being confined, with the exception of the Samoa instrument, to European Observatories. Now, however, they are being installed in various regions of the globe. The extreme delicacy of the instruments is almost incredible; an unusual weight on the floor of the Observatory (a party of visitors, for example), even at some dis tance from the instruments, would be sufficient to cause serious derange ment of the recording pens; the ocean waves dashing on the coast six miles away on a rough day are frequently recorded. It is in this extreme delicacy that the value (and, incidentally, the trouble) of the instruments consists. As a consequence they demand the most careful handling, and almost constant attention.

There are two instruments: a Horizontal Seismograph and a Vertical Seismograph, to receive, as the names suggest, the horizontal part (or component, as the scientists call it), and the vertical part respectively of the earth-waves set up by any seismic disturbance. The Horizontal Seismo graph, however, consists practically of two Seismographs in as much as it separates the waves it receives into two directions; NS and EW, giving a separate record for each, as may be seen from the two recording rolls hang ing down in front.

The horizontal is an inverted pendulum whose bob is a large iron cylindrical (or drum-shaped) mass of 1000 kilograms, or a little over a ton weight. This mass is supported on a pedestal which is poised on four springs set on a large concrete pillar built on the solid rock, and separated from the surrounding floor by an air-gap one inch wide. When an earth quake occurs in any place, that place becomes the centre from which earth waves travel in all directions, through the earth and round the earth (surface waves). These waves on reaching Riverview disturb our concrete pillar, and set the pendulum in motion. The iron mass is reduced to a "stable equilibrium” by a system of springs, so that when the base is disturbed, the large mass will not fall over, but will oscillate or swing backwards and for wards till it comes to rest again. Now, a very ingenious air-damping arrangement (the two drum-like structures over the mass) destroys the oscillation or swing set up in the mass by the first wave, so that the second and third and succeeding earth-waves will not be affected by the oscillation of the mass itself, but each wave, no matter how quickly it comes after the others, will have its own effect on the mass. Consider, for illustration sake, one of those now-antiquated punching-ball apparatus that consist of a heavy leaden circular base, into the middle of which is inserted a stout four or five-foot cane, on the top of which is fixed the punching ball. When you punch this ball it and the cane oscillate, or swing backwards and forwards (the heavy base remaining stationary). If you determine to hit out at this ball at a fixed rate, say thirty punches a minute, you cannot be certain that every blow will have its full effect on the ball-in many cases you may not hit the ball at all. But if you contrive to make the ball stationary, so that it keeps still, or moves very little, when you punch it, every punch, no mat ter at what rate you punch it, will catch the ball and have its full effect upon it. In somewhat the same way our large iron mass is kept as station ary as possible, by the damping cylinders, while each earth-wave has its full effect upon it. This effect is received by the arrangement of levers above the mass, and magnified enormously, which magnified effect is traced by the recording stylus or pen--a tiny platinum pin-on the smoked re cording roll of paper, Waves coming in a N or S direction are recorded on one of the rolls; those in an E or W direction are recorded on the other, while waves coming in any other direction are recorded on both.

The Vertical Wiechert Seismograph is a Lever-Pendulum, consisting of an iron mass of 160lbs. weight at the end of an arm (under the wooden temperature-insulation box), and a spiral spring (enclosed in the box) be tween the weight and the fulcrum, the weight and the spring keeping the arm of the lever in equilibrium. Hence this pendulum can move only up and down, only by the vertical part of the earth-waves. The effect, as before, is highly magnified and recorded by the stylus. The damping (drum-like) arrangement in this instrument is seen at the left-hand back corner of the table. The temperature-insulation box is simply a double-walled wooden jacket packed with carbon, to protect the spiral, as well as a zinc-steel grid iron compensation, from change of temperature. One of the greatest diffi culties with these instruments is keeping the instrument room at the same temperature always. For this reason the brick building is not yet nearly completed, as it will have to be covered by a thick layer of protecting material, which will finally have to be covered by a proper roofing. Again, scientifically inclined and generously disposed friends, please note!

To lessen any disturbance from the room itself (visitors, etc.) the floor of the building is covered with sand to the depth of a few inches, and in the case of the Horizontal, an air gap to the depth of a few feet sepa rates the instrument from the surrounding floor.

The records, which are changed every twenty-four hours, are traced on specially-prepared smoked paper, and can be fixed at once with a suitable varnish. On the instruments, the records are stretched by drums which, by a very nice clock-work device (c.f, weight and escapement) are rotated once every hour, and moved to the right at the same time. Fur thermore, by an ingenious electro-magnetic contrivance connected with a Wiechert contact-clock (seen with the Vertical Seismograph), the hours and minutes are accurately recorded on the earthquake tracing itself, and not at the side. Consequently, the exact second almost at which a distur bance begins is known. The rate of tracing is about fourteen millimetres per minute for the Horizontal, and ten millimetres per minute for the Vertical Seismograph.

To the uninitiated, at least, the results in the matter of records are really marvellous. They are worth the trouble they entail, and they do en tail lots of trouble. So far, there have been records of at least four con siderable earthquakes (one of which has been already identified), as well as eight or nine smaller ones. Some of these have probably been subma rine, and can be localised when reports come in from other distant Obser vatories. There is one more point to be treated in this rather crude explanation, and it will explain the last sentence. How is the distance of the earthquake ascertained? Well, in a large seismic disturbance, if situ ated at a considerable distance, preliminary earth tremors or short waves precede the long earthquake-waves. The distance of the centre of the dis turbance (which usually lasts for an hour or two) can be calculated from the time elapsing between the first preliminary tremors, and the beginn ing of the long waves. Consequently when three Observatories sufficiently distant and suitably situated calculate the distance of a particular shock, say, in mid-ocean, the actual centre can be found by simple geometry.

I have tried to give a simple, straightforward, unscientific explanation of the instruments, without going into more detail than was absolutely necessary. In fact, it would be unwise to go into much detail, for, if I did, I should probably become helpless very soon, and should require a kind and helping hand from Father Pigot to extricate me. But the calculations in volved are terrific—a fact that will appear plausible when we say (I have it on Father Pigot's word) that the pressure of the stylus on the record, equivalent to a weight of one milligram, must be allowed for in the reductions of the observations.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1902

Letters from Our Past

Father Edward Pigot SJ

China

Father Pigot SJ, whom our past students of late years will remember, writes from the Shanghai district: to somewhat the same purport :

“Oh, if we only had a few thorough-going Irish priests here, how many more poor Chinese could be received into the Church! In some parts, as in the North, and in Father Perrin's section, one priest more would nean the certain conversion of hundreds and hundreds of Pagans. But Father Superior is at the end of his tether and can not send any more men just now; for the Christian villages around here cannot be left without their missionaries”.

In another letter, dated October of present year, Father Pigott writes :

“Here in our mission, as indeed throughout nearly the whale of China, things are quiet enough : how long it will last I do not know, The Boxers have lately broken out again in the south-west. We had many deaths this past year among our missionaries, and are badly in want of men, especially in the newly opened up districts in the north and in parts of the west of our mission. I send you the lately published yearly “Resumé” of the Kiang Nan. It is, above all, in the Sin-tchcou-fou (Western) Section that the greatest movement of conversion has taken place recently among the people whole villages sometimes asking to be received for instruction for baptism. But how receive them? The means are wanting - above all men. If Fathe

Sheridan, Terence J, 1908-1970, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/401
  • Person
  • 16 September 1908-14 December 1970

Born: 16 September 1908, Phibsborough, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 14 December 1970, La Ignaciana, Pasay City, Manila, Philippines - Hong Kong Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03 December 1966

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1935 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1967 at Manila, Philippines (PHI) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Terence Sheridan, S.J., died in Manila on 11 December 1970, aged 61.

Father Sheridan was born in Ireland in 1908. He first came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1934. He studied Chinese, taught in Wah Yan College, wrote one book and many articles, and returned to Ireland in 1937 for theological studies and ordination.

He came back to Hong Kong after the war and was stationed here until 1960, boldly combining his duties as senior English master in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, with apostolic and pastoral work and energetic participation in the cultural life of the community. Almost immediately after the war he started a series of annual Chinese operas in English - a daring and successful venture into Anglo-Chinese cultural relations. He also produced many plays for the Stage Club, including a long remembered ‘Othello’ From 1952 to 1954 he edited Outlook - a lively cultural review - so lively indeed that it once brought him before the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case that won him many new admirers.

In 1960 he went to Singapore as editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. In 1964 he joined the Pastoral Institute in Manila to work on the use of modern communications media in Catechetics and in general radio and TV.

He died suddenly at his table, when busily at work editing a film record of the Pope’s visit. He would probably have chosen such a death if the choice had been his.

These dull details seem totally inadequate in a notice on Father Terry. They point to the intellectual gifts and the energy and initiative that he had in abundance; they give no idea of the friendliness and the astonishing ever-fresh charm that brightened every group that he joined, whether he joined for a few moments or for a span of yeas. Very fittingly, his death came in Gaudete week, Joy Week.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 18 December 1970

Requiem for Father Sheridan

Friends of the late Father Terence Sheridan, S.J., filled the chapel of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, on 18 December for a Requiem Mass concelebrated by about twenty of Father Sheridan’s fellow-Jesuits.

Few people will be so sorely missed as Father Sheridan. Nevertheless there was no appearance of gloom in the congregation before or after Mass. They had gathered to pray for the repose of the soul of a man who spent his life spreading happiness and high spirits in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Many of those present stated explicitly that mourning would be out of place on such an occasion.

The chief celebrant, Father Fergus Cronin, Provincial Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and one of Father Sheridan’s oldest friends in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute.

I suppose all of us here are people who knew Father Terence Sheridan so it is not necessary for me to say who he was nor to mention many of the things he did.

Indeed it would be difficult to do this for he did so many things, and all of them with some distinction.

He was first of all a priest and a Jesuit. He prized his priesthood and his membership of the Society of Jesus above everything else.

He came to Hong Kong and the East because he was sent here by his superiors to be a living witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He came to this part of the world joyfully, eagerly, and he did not preach so much in words as by living his faith and by letting what he was come through all that he did.

He taught. I suppose he would have thought of himself for many years as primarily a schoolmaster, but his interests went beyond the classroom to the playing fields for he was a sport master and a good athlete himself, to the production of plays. Many who were boys in Wah Yan when he was a teacher would think of him as an inspired producer.

But he was more of a writer than a teacher and, as in teaching, his writing overflowed into action. He wrote and produced plays, Chinese operas in English, religious plays such as his play for the Marian Year 1954, spectaculars such as the pageant he produced in the Racecourse (on another occasion) and good drama in English such as so many Shakespearean plays and The Lady is not for Burning for the Hong Kong Stage Club.

He was a good writer – first of all an editor – and he founded outlook, Tsing Nin Man Yau, Eastern Messenger. He wrote for all sorts of periodicals. He wrote books. He wrote the text of his Chinese operas in English. If he had been only a writer he would have quite a creditable amount of good writing, as much as many whose sole work was writing.

He was a critic of events. His pungent writing in Outlook pointed out many of our local weaknesses. The same was true in his writings in the Malaysian Catholic News. After he left here and went to Singapore he became interested in film criticism, in making people critical of what they saw on the screen or on the stage.

He was all these things and so much more. I thing you will agree with me that he was the most alive person you have known. Wherever he went he had people laughing. He was able to spread most of his ideas by making people laugh while they read them or listened to them. He had also a genius for friendship and comradeship. In any company he was the centre of laughter, of discussion, of song. Frequently he burst into song. I suppose he took at least one shower a day and he never took a shower without singing.

It is hard to think of one who was as alive as now being dead. In the words of one of the songs from Gilbert and Sullivan, which he loved so well: “Is life a boon, then so it must befall that death whenever it calls, must call too soon?” But do not think of him as not being alive. He is in peace and happiness we trust, and we are here to pray God to bring him to the eternal happiness of heaven. It seems a strange thing to ask that God might give him eternal rest if by rest we mean inactivity, but if we mean that he is a valiant soldier of Jesus Christ who has returned from battle and is now with his Master enjoying himself, relaxing after the years of struggle on earth, then we are closer to the reality. In Irish, “Ar deas De go raibh a anim.” May his soul be on the right hand of God.”
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 25 December 1970

Note from John Moran Entry
He then took over editorship of the Far East Messenger, a monthly magazine started by Father Terence Sheridan SJ. It ceased publication in 1953.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong KongIrish Province News 46th Year No 2 1971

Obituary :

Fr Terry Sheridan SJ

The news of Fr Terry Sheridan's death in Manila arrived as a shock in Honk Kong on the evening of December 14th. His body had been discovered that morning in his locked room at the East Asian Pastoral Institute on the Ateneo de Manila campus; and a spate of rumours about the circumstances of his death soon found echoes in newspapers in Hong Kong and even more luridly in Ireland Investigation established that Fr Terry had died, of “cardiac failure with coronary failure with coronary insufficiency”, during the night of 10th-11th. He was last seen on the Thursday evening when he dined late with Fr Leo Larkin and some of the staff of the ETV Institute of the Ateneo. Thus abruptly, at the age of 62 with drama and in tragedy came the end of a life that had been full of incident and colour, laughter and varied achievements. Fr Sheridan was buried in the novitiate cemetery at Novaliches, Quezon City, on December 18th mourned by a host of friends he'd made during his four years' residence in Manila, after a magnificent funeral.
One of Fr Terry's fellow-novices, Fr. Tom Barden, who was on his way back to Australia after visiting Ireland and Hong Kong, arrived in Manila the day Fr Terry's death was discovered. He'd been looking forward to meeting him after so many years, and planned to stay some days with him, and was rather puzzled and disappointed at not being met at the airport. In a letter to Fr Provincial he wrote: “I stayed for the funeral and during the intervening days was struck by the great love everyone had for Terry. I have written to Marie (Terry's sister) and tried to convey in some measure the reactions of the people at the Institute and the magnificent ‘Mass of Resurrection’. It was a unique experience and made one feel proud of the little man who had earned so much love and so much esteem. I know he will be missed not only in Manila but even more in his province to which he has brought no little fame."
Fr Terry was born in Dublin on September 16th 1908, and went to school first at the Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin, then in Kilkeel, and finally to Belvedere College. He was always full of life, and it's been said of him that he was the best known schoolboy in north Dublin in his day. At school he was particularly well known for his prowess in games - swimming, water-polo, hockey, and of course rugby in which he played for the Schoolboys of Ireland and on the Leinster interprovincial schools' team. Years later in Hong Kong, an Ulster schoolboy of those days, the then Commissioner of Police, Mr. Maxwell, discovered Terry after dinner one evening in one of our houses and told him the Ulster team considered Terry and his brother Dick (scrum- and out-halves respectively) were “the two roughest players we had ever played against”.
In 1927 Terry joined the Society, arriving in Tullabeg on the night the Long Retreat was to begin, and going straight into it without time to get anything from his Angelus, Fr Sean Turner, but a bar of soap, as he recalled afterwards. After about a week of the Long Retreat he told his novice-master, Fr Martin Maher, that he'd known the novitiate would be a bit hard but he thought he could take two years of that kind of life - and was then re assured that the Long Retreat would last just a month.
During his Juniorate which followed, at Rathfarnham Castle, Fr Terry began his lifetime career as a writer and editor being a leading light of the subsequently suppressed Broken Delph. Having been more noted for games than for study at school, he did not take a university course in Rathfarnham, and later felt that he had been deprived of something that he could have benefited from and certainly would have enjoyed. From 1931 to 1934 he studied philosophy as well as producing plays each year and topical sketches at frequent intervals. A superb comic actor, he was also interested in the art of stage production, and he wrote many of the Tullabeg parodies of well-known songs which survived to later generations. Assigned to Hong Kong after philosophy, he was the outstanding personality on board the German ship on the 42-day voyage from Dover, bubbling with life and endless philosophical argument and fun. On the morning of his birthday the ship's band insisted on playing outside his cabin at 5.30 a.m., and later in the day a mammoth tea-party with plenty of Munich beer was given for him and all the passengers by the ship's company.
At Shuihing on the West River, where Fr Terry was sent along immediately after his arrival at Hong Kong, he got his first taste for the Cantonese Opera, for which in his inimitable English adaptations he was later to become well known in Hong Kong. In his year in the Portuguese-province house at Shiuhing, besides studying Cantonese and gaining a fair command of the colloquial language, he also did a fair amount of writing on various topics, some of which was published in The Rock, and began his first book, Letters to Bart, a series of letters of advice to a young man on the various practical problems of life. From 1935 to 1937, Fr Sheridan was on the staff of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong as as teacher and sportsmaster, and produced school plays climaxed by a famous production of scenes from the Merchant of Venice in which some who are today leading citizens in Hong Kong took part.
Humorous stories about Fr Terry abound at every stage of his career, perhaps the best known (which he always vehemently denied) being about Fr Kenny, the Minister at Milltown Park, where he studied theology from 1937 to 1941, finding him piously at his priedieu with his hat still on his head, after an unsuccessful surreptitious return “from abroad” during time for Examen. With the 2nd World War at its height, Fr Terry went to Gardiner Street after completing his Tertianship, and there spent some of the happiest years of his life, giving retreats and missions all over Ireland, doing church work and working for the Pioneers. It was not until 1946 that he could return to Hong Kong.
Almost immediately be became involved in the cultural life of post-war Hong Kong, and began his series of Cantonese operas in English, which became an annual “event”; they are Sheridanesque translation-adaptations of the well known themes of Cantonese opera. For these, he collected a team of former students of his. to form the Wah Yan Dramatic Society, which still holds together and is now preparing to produce the latest of Fr. Terry's scripts quite recently completed, One of his greatest fans was the former Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Alexander Grantham, to whom was dedicated the printed version of the most famous of the operas, A Lizard is No Dragon. In 1952 Fr. Sheridan left the classroom, to launch two periodicals, a fortnightly Chinese magazine for young people Tsing Nin Mar Yau (later taken over by Fr. Peter Dunne), and Outlook which ran for two years and ended in a blaze of glory which Fr Sheridan as its editor being cited for contempt of court because of some editorial comment on the newly introduced system of district judges in Hong Kong. He lost the case and was fined a nominal sum, which was paid by a friend. As the magazine, (intended to be a literary and cultural magazine for Hong Kong as a successor to the very successful pre-war Jesuit publication, The Rock), wasn't paying its way and there didn't seem much likelihood that it ever could, it was discontinued and Fr Sheridan went back to the classroom for a few years. But all this time he was also producing plays, and was a leading member and one-time chairman of the Hong Kong Stage Club for whom he produced numerous presentations, among his best being Othello and The Lady is not for Burning. He also wrote a number of religious plays, school plays and film scripts and scenarios, as well as pageants for the Marian Year of 1954, and on the history of Hong Kong and Macao.
In 1961 Fr. Terry was assigned to Singapore to take over the fortnightly Malaysian Catholic News, started some years previously by Fr J Kearney (California and Far East provinces). It became a different, lively paper in his hands; and again he became a well known and loved personality in his Singapore setting. It was he who drew up for the Singapore defence forces their official Code of Conduct. In 1966, after difficulties about his editorship of the newspaper, he resigned from the post, and was sent to Manila to work for the overseas programme of the newly established Radio Veritas. After a short while there he went to the East Asian Pastoral Institute to which he remained attached, writing, teaching and editing, until his death. He was also teaching at the Ateneo, and last year spent some months in Saigon training the staff of the community development TV enterprise there in TV script-. writing and production techniques. Film appreciation and TV, especially for education and religious purposes, were dominant interests of his last years, together with modern catechetics and audio-visual methods. He travelled over much of the Philippines introducing teacher-groups to the study, evaluation and use of film, and at the time of his death had almost completed a book on this subject. When he died, he was working on a film record of the recent visit of Pope Paul to Manila, commissioned by the Bishops' conference; it was but one of many irons in his fire.
The tremendous achievement he left behind will be long remembered; but it is his personal charm and gaiety, the impression he made as a priest and Jesuit that will remain in the memory of all who had the privilege of knowing him, and of all whose lives were brightened by his cheerful presence. It is impossible to record even a fraction of the amusing and outrageous incidents which happened to him, in which he was involved or took part; they happened all the time, and in various places all round the world in which Fr Terry found himself at one time or another he nearly always seemed to fall on his feet, meet the right person at the right time, improvise brilliantly. He will be missed, for many reasons by many people, as Fr Provincial said in his address at the memorial Mass for Fr Sheridan at Wah Yan, Hong Kong; he would surely also appreciate the quotation from his beloved Gilbert & Sullivan operas, used on the same occasion: “Is life a boon? If so it must befall, that death whene'er he call, must call too soon”.

Tributes
Though it is nine years since Fr Sheridan left Hong Kong, a large gathering of friends and acquaintances from all walks of life attend ed the Requiem at Wah Yan, including many non-Christians who had been associated with him at some stage. A number of letters paying tribute to Terry were received by Fr Provincial and others, from individuals and groups like the Stage Club, who heard of his death with shock and sorrow. An old friend of the stage, Mr. Rei Oblitas, now director of cultural services for the Hong Kong government, paid this tribute on the radio:
“At midday today, I was told of the death that has just occurred suddenly in Manila of Fr T J Sheridan, SJ. The news came as a shock to me, and I felt at first as if a thick and lowering cloud had suddenly swept over the sun. Terence Sheridan was born 62 years ago on the 16th September, 1908. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1927 and came to Hong Kong first in 1934, where he was occupied in learning Chinese. He returned home to Ireland in 1937 to study theology, and was ordained priest in 1940. He returned to Hong Kong immediately after the war, early in 1946, to teach at Wah Yan College, both in its early site in Robinson Road and at its new premises at Mt Parrish. In the early 1960's he left Hong Kong to work at Kingsmead Hall of the University of Singapore, and he edited a diocesan paper there. About 1964 he moved to Manila to concentrate upon work concerned with television and lecturing at the University Ateneo de Manila, where he was working until his recent death. Within his vocation to the priesthood he used his considerable talents as a teacher, a writer, editor, dramatist and producer, both for radio and for the stage. In Hong Kong he was particularly notable for his activity both as chairman and as producer for the Hong Kong Stage Club, and for productions for many other societies in the colony as well. I have myself, personally, very vivid recollections of the splendid productions he engaged upon for the Stage Club, and particularly for his ‘Othello’, which was staged at the Lee Theatre, ‘The Lady's not for Burning’, ‘The School for Scandal’, ‘Treasure Island’ and a host of others. And he was of course concerned with the revival of interest after the war in Gilbert & Sullivan's operettas, by a most successful production of ‘The Mikado’. His productions were always alive, exciting, very colourful; and he also initiated productions by the Hong Kong Stage Club especially directed for the enjoyment of local children studying English, of extracts or whole passages from the English classics. He didn't do this with any sense of over serious didacticism, as is illustrated by the fact that one of his first potpourri productions of this kind was entitled ‘It's a School Cert’. But it is for his very free translations and productions of Chinese opera in English, which he did with the Wah Yan Dramatic Society, that I think he will probably be best remembered by many in Hong Kong. For those who had never seen a Chinese opera, it was a delightful and heartwarming experience to find the full richness, gaiety and movement of the Chinese theatre presented with a fine Gilbertian wit in the translated versions of English dialogue. Even after he left Hong Kong, he returned on more than one occasion to reproduce one of these operas with the Wah Yan Society, usually for the benefit of some charity of the colony. It is saddening to think that if one of these works is ever produced again, we shall not find him before the curtain rises, moving to the foot-lights for his brief and good-humoured exposition to explain one or two of the conventions of the Chinese theatre for the benefit of those who are experiencing it for the first time”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Terry Sheridan SJ :

It is impossible to do Fr. Sheridan justice within the limits of an obituary notice. He was so versatile, so energetic, so amusing and so zealous that to leave anything out is to mar the general portrait.

After a school career which was more noteworthy for prominence in sport than for progress in studies, he joined the Society and after his philosophy course set sail for Hong Kong in 1934. Though still a Scholastic, he was the outstanding personality on board the German liner, so much so that on his birthday the ship's band insisted on serenading him and the ship's company threw a huge party for all the passengers.

On his arrival in China, he was posted to the language school at Shiuhing. There he gained a fair command of Cantonese and learned to appreciate the Cantonese opera. For the secondary school pupils, struggling with their English texts he staged scenes from Shakespeare or from other English classics.

He returned to Ireland for theology and did not get back to Hong Kong till 1946. Once more he interested himself in the stage and initiated the foreign element in the colony into the meaning of the Chinese theatre. The former Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Alexander Granthan, was an enthusiastic supporter of Fr Terry.

The schoolmaster and producer had now to turn his hand to journalism. He launched two periodicals in 1952 and then in 1961 was assigned to Singapore to take over Malayasian Catholic News. While he was there he drew up for the Singapore defence forces their official Code of Conduct. After a short while he was sent to work for the overseas programme of the newly established Radio Veritas. He spent the rest of his life training priests and laymen to write and adapt audio-visual aids to the defence and spreading of the Church. .

His death came when least expected and alarming rumours were spread that he had met a violent end. This was not so. Fr Terry had died of heart disease, but his body was not discovered for a day. Hence the inevitable crop of lurid tales. We offer our sincere sympathy to his sister Maria.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1938

Mungret Mewn in South China

Father Terry Sheridan SJ

The last account of this mission to appear in the “Mungret Annual” was written by Father Joseph McCullough from the mission field itself. He, with Father Michael Saul, another Mungret man, was at that time in Canton, the capital of South China. His account of the Mungret men who were helping him was probably the last article that Father McCullough ever wrote. For the very time when it was published here June 1932, Father Saul was dying from cholera and Father McCullough was courageously attending to the needs of his friend. On June 21st, Father Saul died. On the evening of the funeral, Father McCullough himself went down with the awful sickness that was sweeping away hundreds at that time. He fought the disease out of his system, but on June 27th his heart gave way and he was laid beside Fr Saul in the little Catholic cemetery by the Pearl River. It was the end of the first gallant attempt of Irish Jesuits to help in the establishment of a Catholic school in Canton. Two old Mungret men gave their lives for that cause. They were the first of the Irish Jesuit mission to die in China.

The pioneer and founder of the mission was Father George Byrne. He landed in China in 1926, on the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. His first concern was to build a University Hostel where, in a Catholic atmosphere, Chinese Catholics might live while attending the Hong-Kong University. To-day Father Byrne is professing in the University and is known familiarly to the students, Catholic and pagans alike as “Grandfather”. That is a title of honour and affection in China.

The second work he was bold enough to undertake was the Regional Seminary for South China. Here the future priests for a region with a population of nearly fifty millions get their training right up to ordination. As native priests are one of the primary needs in China to-day, it can be seen how important the success of this work was and is. At present there are more than sixty Chinese students in the Seminary, where their spiritual needs are catered for by Father Dick Harris.

In 1933 the Irish Jesuits took over Wah Yan College, which is now, with over 900 boys on the rolls, one of the largest colleges in Hong-Kong. Here, almost from the beginning, Father Richard Gallagher has been in charge. If he was popular in Mungret as a teacher he is even more popular among the Chinese boys. They say of him that he is “hó hó sam”, which means that he has a very kind heart. And all who work with or under him know that this is true. At present he is the acting Superior of the Mission; an arduous task on top of his other responsibilities.

With him in Wah Yan, also from the beginning, is Father Eddie Bourke, who had been First Club Prefect in Mungret just before he went to China. He has been in charge of the boarders all the time and his influence over them has been so great that it is from among these boarders that we draw the greatest number of converts. One has entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Manila while another is going soon to the Regional Seminary to start his studies for the priesthood.

Besides those actually working in the front-line trenches, so to speak, there are others preparing themselves by the study of the language. And what a language! The Jesuits have a special school for its study about twenty miles from Hong Kong. Here Father Albert Cooney looks after the wants of those who are learning to write with a brush and to speak in lilting monosyllables. Father Ned Sullivan, his old school-mate, is with him there, striving to “Kong Tong wa”, which means simply, but not too simply, to speak Chinese. Mr Patrick Walsh has now reached such proficiency in the language that he is staying on there simply to perfect himself. Mr George McCaul, who was in Mungret a year after him, is still that time behind him in the study of the native tongue. Soon he, and all the others in the Language School, will be out teaching in Wah Yan, the Seminary or the University, or, be it whispered, in our new village mission. They will be replacing the Mungret men, and, of course others, who have gone before them.

Next September, Father T Fitzgerald, who edited the 1932 Jubilee “Mungret Annual”, and Mr John Carroll will be going out with six other Jesuits to swell the ranks and carry on the good work in South China. Mungret is prominent in the Irish Jesuit Mission to China as in so many other mission fields. May we ask that you will not forget that little Mission in South China, and that you will help to protect it, by your prayers, now that war and unrest threaten that kind Chinese people who must be won to Christ.

Wong, Maurice, 1932-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2268
  • Person
  • 09 April 1932-06 June 1998

Born: 09 April 1932, Shanghai, China
Entered: 30 April 1955, Manila, Philippines (Neo-Ebiracensis Province for HIB)
Ordained 15 June 1967, Woodstock, Maryland, USA
Final Vows: 02 February 1973
Died: 06 June 1998, Murray-Weigel Hall, New York, NY, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

by 1962 at St Gabriel’s Birmingham (ANG) studying
by 1966 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) studying