Mungret College SJ, 1882-1974

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Mungret College SJ, 1882-1974

BT Mungret

Mungret College SJ, 1882-1974

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Mungret College SJ, 1882-1974

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Mungret College SJ, 1882-1974

335 Name results for Mungret College SJ, 1882-1974

335 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Allenou, Sylvain, 1854-1916, Jesuit priest

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

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

by 1885 came to Mungret (HIB) for Regency

Aubier, Jean, 1826-1898, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Bailey, Anthony, 1923-2007, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Br Anthony (Tony) Bailey (1923-2007)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barden, Thomas, 1910-1997, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

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

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

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

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

Barragry, John, 1879-1959, Jesuit priest

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

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

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Barragry SJ (1879-1959)

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

Barrett, Charles Harold, 1903-1944, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 2 1944

Obituary :

Father Charles H Barrett SJ (1903-1944)

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Charles Barrett SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MB

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Charles H Barrett SJ

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

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

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

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

Rev Patrick Barrett SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father Patrick Barrett SJ

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

Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

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

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

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

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

Barry, James, 1925-2002, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Barry (1925-2002)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-oOo-

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

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1991

Appreciation

Jim Barry SJ

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

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

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

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

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

John Mulgrew

Barthélemy, Marc, 1857-1913, Jesuit priest

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

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

by 1886 came to Mungret (HIB) for Regency

Bartley, Patrick, 1879-1941, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 3 1941

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Patrick Bartley SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Patrick Benson SJ

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

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 01 January 1901

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

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

Died : 11 October 1917 Passchendaele, Belgium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1904

Letters from Our Past

Michael Bergin SJ

Ghazir, Syria

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1905

Scenes and Manners in Syria - from the Letters of

Michael Bergin SJ and Austin Hartigan SJ

St Joseph’s University Beyrouth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1918

Obituary

Father Michael Bergin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Michael Bergin : A Mungret Jesuit at the Front

Father Michael Bergin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P J Gannon SJ

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

“A Son of St Patrick” by Sister S

Father Michael Bergin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Armand

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

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

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

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

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

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

Obituary :

Fr Matthias Bodkin (1896-1973)

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ (1896-1973)

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Booth, Edward, 1917-1988, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 3 1988

Obituary

Fr Edward Booth (1917-1938-1988)

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988

Obituary

Father Edward Booth SJ

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

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

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

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

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

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

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

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

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

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

  • IE IJA N5
  • Person
  • 1883-1966

Edward John Boyd-Barrett

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

Brady, Patrick, 1922-1994, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

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

Obituary

Patrick (Paddy) Brady (1922-1994)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Dargan

Brady, Philip, 1846-1917, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Older Brother of Thomas - LEFT 1872

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

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

Early Education was at Castleknock College.

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

Brennan, Brendan, 1910-1968, Jesuit priest

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

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

Cornelius changed to Brendan in HIB 1956

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1969

Obituary

Father Brendan Brennan SJ

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

Brennan, John F, 1920-2002, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Obituary

Father Jack Brennan SJ (OB 1937)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anraí Ó Braonáin (O.B. 1949)

Brennan, Joseph A, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1966 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying

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

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

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

Browne, Henry Martyn, 1853-1941, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

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

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Henry Browne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

Browne, Michael, 1853-1933, Jesuit priest

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Michael Browne (1853-1933)

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

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

Butler, Richard P, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dickie) Butler (1915-1999)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In lothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.

Liam Greene

-oOo-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Comerford

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

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

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

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

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

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

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

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

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

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

Byrne, John Baptist, 1898-1978, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 2 1979

Obituary :

Br John Baptist Byrne (1898-1978)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Byrne, John Gabriel, 1873-1943, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father John Gabriel Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

Byrne, Patrick J, 1908-1968, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Younger brother of Tommy Byrne - RIP 1978

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

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

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

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Byrne SJ (1908-1968)

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

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

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

Byrne, Vincent, 1848-1943, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 38 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

FR VINCENT BYRNE : 1848-1943

Seán Hughes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We shall not see his like again.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Rector (1904-1907)

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Vincent Byrne (1848-1943)

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

Byrne, William, 1868-1943, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Older brother of George Byrne - RIP 1962

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

Obituary :

Father William Byrne SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

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

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

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

AL

-oOo-

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Byrne (1868-1943)

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

Cahill, Edward, 1868-1941, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

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

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :

Father Edward Cahill

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1942

Obituary

Father Edward Cahill SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rector of Mungret

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

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

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

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

Father Cahill Catholic Sociologist

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

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

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

And the means used to achieve these objects are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calter, John A, 1885-1946, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1947

Obituary

Father John Calter SJ

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1947

Obituary

Father John Calter SJ

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

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

Campbell, Richard, 1854-1945, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. Richard Campbell (1754-1873-1945)

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Campbell SJ 1854-1945
Fr Richard Campbell was one of those men, who by force of character make an indelible impression on his generation. He was the most quoted man of the Province on account of his pithy remarks, whilst at the same time, most revered for his austerity of life and fidelity to duty.

Born in Sackville Street Dublin, as it was then, on January 24th 1854, he received his early education at Belvedere and Downside, entering the Society in 1873.

It was as Socius to the Master of Novices that he left his imprint on generations of future Jesuits. One of these novices at least, testified to the austerity of his own life afterwards, and that was Fr Willie Doyle.

As Minister of one of our houses Fr Campbell coined the immortal expression “The first year I tried to please everybody and failed, the sencod year I tried to please nobody and succeeded”.

His manner outwardly seemed brusque, but this was really a defence mechanism to cover a sensitive nature, which made him keenly sympathetic with those souls who were lonely and misunderstood.

He live to the age of 92 and died at Milltown Park on April 1st 1945.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Obituary

Father Richard Campbell SJ
Belvedere, 1864-67 - died on Easter Sunday, April ist, in his 91st year,

After leaving Belvedere, he went to Downside with two younger brothers, both of whom became Benedictines.. The elder, Fr Ildephonsus Campbell OSB, was drowned when the Mail Boat, Leinster was torpedoed off the Kish Lightship in 1918. The younger, Fr Martin Campbell OSB, who died in 1938, had been for many years Parish Priest of Beccles, Suffolk.

Fr. Richard was for many years connected with Belvedere. Shortly after his ordination in 1887, he began a connection with his old College, which was to last with some intervals for nearly thirty years. Through all those years he won not only the respect but also the genuine affection of the boys he taught. Those who knew him but slightly sometimes wondered at this, for to casual acquain tances Fr Campbell's manner seemed gruff and brusque. Those, however, who knew him best - most of all, the boys for whom he worked - soon realised that this external manner was but a cloak for an extremely sensitive and affectionate heart. Shy by nature, he found it hard to make advances, but once contact had been established there was no limit to his response. How fully his boys understood him - and he them - is wittiessed by the little addresses which they presented to him, not once only, but many times during his years in Belvedere :

“We the Junior pupils of Belvedere College on resuming our Studies beg most earnestly to testify our respectful and at the same time grateful appreciation of your qualities ... as the guide and master in whom we trust as conscientiously endeavouring to shape our futures both spiritual and temporal. We return dear father (sic) after Christmastide to College with the firm resolution of pursuing our Studies with renewed vigour, and, as far as it is possible for us, to your satisfaction”.

The date is January, 1889, and among the signatories is E. Byrne, who was thirty years later to become Archbishop of Dublin, J A Coyle, Lucien Bull and many other names which are familiar to us.

Seven years later, the boys protest at his being removed from Belvedere to be Assistant Master of Novices in Tullabeg, is quaintly worded :

“ Presented to the Rev Father Campbell as a small token of gratitude for your untiring efforts to get us on in our studies, and as a protest for your retiring from teaching on this 6th February 1897.
From a few of his pupils of 96: Érin go Brágh”. Among the names appended are A McDonald, W Fallon, H Redmond, W Doheny, E O'Farreli and P O'Farrell

There are many other testimonials, and, per haps we may cite the words of just one more. It was presented by the Boys of II Grammar and bears no date, but the concluding words are -

“Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness, and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a Long one:.

The long vacation has come for Fr Campbell, and looking back on the years of faithful work we may surely say that it is an eternally happy one. May he rest in Peace

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Richard Campbell (1854-1945)

Born in Dublin, educated at Belvedere and Downside, and admitted to the Society in 1873, was at the Crescent as a scholastic in 1878-1879 and again as minister of the house, 1906-1907. He was many years on the teaching staff of Belvedere College and in Gardiner St Church.

Cantillon, Eric, 1924-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/769
  • Person
  • 24 September 1924-02 April 2011

Born: 24 September 1924, Cork City
Entered: 28 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 April 2011, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/eric-cantillon-r-i-p/

Eric Cantillon R.I.P.
Eric Cantillon SJ was 86 when he died on 2 April. He was a quiet Corkonian with the air of a countryman, loved by his parishioners in Staplestown where he has been a
curate for 32 years, happiest when he had a dog to walk with him, remembered warmly by Mungret alumni, especially the swimmers and athletes – he had trained them in Mungret and Belvedere with startling and untrumpeted success. The memory that unfailingly brought the light to his eyes was of a morning on Lough Currane when he fished the Comeragh river, swollen with fresh rain, where it enters the lake. He was held skillfully in position by boatman Jack O’Sullivan. They packed it in at lunch time with sixteen salmon in the boat – all taken on the one fly, tied by Eric. He landed every fish that rose to the fly, then gave them all away.

◆ Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2011

Obituary

Fr Eric Cantillon (1924-2011)

24th September 1924: Born in Cork
Early education in Lauragh Christian Brothers College, Cork
28th September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
29th September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1953: Clongowes – Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1964: Mungret College - Teacher and Prefect
2nd February 1959: Final Vows
1964 - 1965: Gardiner Street - Bursar
1965 - 1973: Mungret College - Teacher
1973 - 1979: Belvedere College - Teacher; Swimming Coach; Pool Supervisor
1979 - 2011: Clongowes: Parish Curate, Staplestown
1979 - 1993: Rector's Admonitor
1998 - 2011: House Consultor
2000 - 2011: Rector's Admonitor
2nd April 2011: Died at Clongowes

Eric had been showing signs of failing health for some months before being admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 8th March. These revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, with secondaries. His own wish, as he put it, was for 'comfort, not intervention, and he was very anxious to come home to Clongowes, where the people among whom he had ministered for more than 30 years have some opportunity of coming to see him. Relatives, local clergy, Bishop Jim Moriarty (who had also visited him in Dublin), and his friends from the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh came to visit him here, after his return on 19" March. Over the following fortnight his condition gradually deteriorated and he died at 9.25 on Saturday morning, 2nd April. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Bruce Bradley
Eric went to hospital in Dublin for tests exactly four weeks before his funeral. I met him on the stairs in Clongowes as he was preparing to travel. “I'm off on my vacation”, he said, with the hint of a twinkle in his eye, though he knew he was unwell and must have been anxious about what lay ahead. After he had returned to Clongowes on 19th March, feast of St Joseph, patron of a happy death, knowing that he had, at the very most, only months to live, he spoke of going on another journey'. On the 2nd of April, much sooner than any of us foresaw, that journey was accomplished.

His reference to another journey puts us in mind of his first journey, the journey that began 86% years ago and took him from his childhood and schooldays in Cork to the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Co. Laois, then to studies in UCD and Tullabeg and Milltown Park, with an interval of some years spent as a teacher and prefect in Clongowes, culminating in his ordination to the priesthood on 31st July 1956, a few months short of his 32nd birthday. For some twenty years after that he worked in schools – in Mungret until shortly before its closure, then for six years in Belvedere in the middle of Dublin. It was only in 1979 that, in a certain sense, he found his true vocation by coming to the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh. There he was able to give himself to the pastoral ministry for which he was so supremely fitted and which, as his parishioners and his fellow-priests know so well, was to prove such a wonderful success.

Eric was raised and formed in the pre-Vatican II Church. His faith was planted and nurtured in those more tranquil but also more narrow times. As a young Jesuit, he experienced a formation process in ways out of touch with real life and divorced from people's needs, something for which he had little tolerance and wasn't slow to remark on in later years. Its authoritarianism, in particular, irked him, and authority in any form never got an easy ride from Eric.

Priests formed at that time, including not a few of his fellow Jesuits, were apt to find themselves a little like beached whales when the changes of the 2nd Vatican Council burst upon a largely unsuspecting Irish Church in the 1960s, their theology and spirituality largely irrelevant, leaving them struggling to adapt or function effectively in the new and evolving environment. But not Eric. One of his most obvious characteristics was his independence and his strength of mind. He thought for himself, he was full of common sense, and he kept himself in tune and up-to-date by whatever means it took. He knew who he was and what he wanted and he was unwilling to make himself the slave of any system.

This had some inconveniences at times, if you happened to be his religious superior, but it had huge benefits – for him and for the people to whose care he gave himself so completely. The professionalism with which he equipped himself to be a pastoral priest in a country parish was a quality he had already shown in previous assignments, some of them much less congenial from his point of view. He had a natural interest in and aptitude for sport of all kinds. In Mungret, Fr Jack Kerr had built a swimming pool during Eric's time there, which Eric had helped to run. When Jack Kerr was transferred as rector to Belvedere, a swimming pool, and then Eric, soon followed.

Eric was a countryman to the core, who never lost touch with his roots. He read the Irish Field every week, keen follower of horses that he was, and the Irish Examiner, as we now call it, every day. I cannot imagine that he found living in the cramped conditions of the inner city was remotely to his taste. But he set himself to become a hugely professional and meticulous supervisor of the pool in Belvedere, which not only served a large school but also public clients to whom it was hired out. He gave the long hours and immense care this charge involved, while also engaging with and befriending the boys and their families and coaching many a successful swimming team. Subsequently, through his work with St Kevin's Athletic Club in Cooleragh, he emerged as a hugely committed and highly skilled athletics coach.

Whatever he did, he made himself master of, always quietly and without any fanfare. And he met and mastered the requirements of his pastoral care in the parish in the same way. He absorbed and applied the person-centred theology of Vatican Two in his ministry and preaching and, at an age in life when many of his contemporaries preferred to have nothing to do with such modern gadgets as a mobile phone, Eric - never off duty, even at meal-times - was inseparable from his. The only difficulty that posed was that, in his last years, his deafness meant that we all heard his phone ringing in his pocket long before he did. Then he'd be up with his big diary, entering a new appointment, always available, even in the final months of his life.

Another hallmark of Eric's approach and personality was his love of, even insistence on, privacy. He was a very private man. We in the community heard little enough about his family or his pastoral duties, although we could see his relentless devotion. We almost never heard him preach, unless he happened to be celebrating the funeral of someone connected with the college. Of his success as an athletics coach we heard nothing, and only the chance of Fr Leonard Moloney, headmaster of Belvedere in the 1990s, bumping into him at the All-Ireland Schools Athletics Championships in Tullamore alerted us to the fact that Eric was bringing his young trainees from the parish to the highest levels of competitive achievement.

One of his favourite recreations was fishing - usually indulged just once a year in the west of Ireland, in the company of his Layden cousins and other friends. As a fisherman, he was as professional as he was at everything else to which he tumed his finely tuned practical intelligence. Once again, this was something about which we rarely heard much, not even about his record-breaking catch in the mouth of the Comeragh more than 30 years ago - the astonishing grand total of 16 salmon and a sea trout on a size 7 fly, with the assistance of Jack O'Sullivan. I know even this much because Anita Layden kindly drew my attention to an entry on the internet she happened to stumble on. Exceptionally, in this instance, Eric had actually shared the story with us about a year ago. Someone had written a ballad about the exploit of the Jesuit priest', as he was called, and it was broadcast on the radio. All those years later, quite untypically, Eric actually let us hear the tape. Otherwise - and I think this applied even within his own family – he kept the different compartments of his life almost completely separate.

Eric was a wonderful priest and his great friend, who was his second parish priest in Staplestown, Fr Pat Ramsbotham, spoke eloquently about that on the occasion of his funeral. He was a priest through and through, but he never, mercifully, acquired a clerical personality. In the same way, although he was nearly 87 when he died, he never really became old. It wasn't just the colour of his hair, which doggedly refused to turn properly grey, putting some of the rest of us to shame. It was his whole attitude and demeanour. He remained interested in what was going on and interested, above all, in the lives of people. His great humanity, his shrewd wisdom, and his unselfishness drew people to him. As Frank Sammon accurately remarked, he had a tremendous feel for the life and faith of local people and local priests. His days were shaped by the day-to-day lives of the people. He shared their lives and served them in so many ways. His conversation was not about himself and he was intolerant of pomposity or self-importance in others. He was extremely disciplined.

Following his car accident a number of years ago, he was utterly faithful to the daily walk which was part of his rehabilitation. One of my favourite memories of him now is of seeing him from my window in Clongowes heading off round the track behind the castle one morning, puffing his pipe as he still did at the time, with his little black cat trotting along at a respectful distance behind him.

I should say a word about the cat. He loved wild-life and was immensely knowledgeable about it, although, needless to say, he never flaunted his knowledge. Here, and earlier in Mungret, I think, he had kept a dog. The cat in question was dumped at our door, half domesticated, about six or seven years ago. As soon as he became aware of the cat, he began to feed her. From that time forward, he almost never missed a day and, if he did, Brother Charlie Connor filled in. With his usual professionalism, he provided a judicious mixture of milk, community left-overs and carefully selected cat-food. Inevitably, the cat became Eric's cat. For a long time, she had no name but eventually Eric decided she should be called Reilly because, as he said, she had the life of Reilly. One of our colleagues on the staff, Geraldine Dillon, told me of how she had been rushing from the staff-room one day and was stopped in her tracks by seeing, through the window, Eric sitting on the bench by the castle door, quite still and looking down the avenue. “His cat”, as she said, “was on the bench too, sitting up straight and facing the same direction”. “Apart and close”, as she said.

“Apart and close”. Perhaps that gets something profoundly true about Eric. He was a man apart in ways, partly reflecting the instinct for privacy I mentioned, partly reflecting how unusual and un-stereotyped he was, partly reflecting his priesthood itself. But he was also close to people, as the grief and bewilderment his death, even in his ninth decade, has caused among so many clearly shows. His humanity flowed out in his relationship with people. He had a particular gift for relating to the young, because of his interest in them, the range of his own interests, and the absence of all pomp and ceremony. He didn't waste words. As the old dictum says, he didn't speak if he couldn't improve the silence.

In his room after his death was a small pile of Mother's Day cards, bought for him at his request by Charlie Connor, which he was still hoping to send in the final days of his life. Perhaps the mothers for whom they were intended know who they are and will take them as sent.

They have better than Mother's Day wishes from Eric now.

I think everyone knew he wanted to die in his community in Clongowes and not in “that Cherryfield”, as he was once heard to say, fearing that he would have been too far away from his own people. Just a month before he died, showing clear signs of illness and finally acknowledging them himself, he went to St Vincent's Hospital for tests, which quickly showed that he had advanced cancer. He returned home ten days later and it became increasingly obvious that he had weeks rather than months to live. He said quite clearly on more than one occasion that he had had a good life and believed in the life to come. And so he prepared to embark on that 'other journey' to which I referred at the start.

In his last days, he was unfailingly gentle and grateful to the nurses and members of the Clongowes house-staff who cared for him with so much love and tenderness. He was especially grateful to his great friend in the community, Charlie Connor, who lived in the room beside him and took increasing care of him as the end grew near. The end came quickly. Only hours earlier, he had been looking forward to the Munster Leinster match, for which we had installed a television set in his room. He didn't get to watch television but, as Fr Dermot Murray suggested, he had by then acquired a better seat, May he rest in peace.

Canty, William, 1869-1944, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1007
  • Person
  • 16 July 1869-08 March 1944

Born: 16 July 1869, Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 29 October 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 15 August 1901
Died: 08 March 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 2 1944
Obituary :
Brother William Canty SJ (1858-1943)

Brother Canty died a happy, peaceful death at Milltown Park, on March 8th. He was born at Charleville, on July 16th, 1869, and entered the Society on 29th October, 1890. He came into touch with the Society through the instrumentality of Mrs. O'Mahony, two of whose sons, after having studied in Clongowes, became Jesuits.
Nearly all Brother Canty's work for God was confined to the tailor's shop, where he was not only a model of tireless work, but also very expert. He valued highly the quiet of such a scene of activity : “It's so much easier” he would say, “to get in a fair amount of prayer when you have no one disturbing you”. He was for a time Sacristan in Galway, looking after the altar boys as well as the Church. The best comment on his good influence on these lads was the visit that two of them, now living in Dublin, paid to Milltown to visit the remains.
His was a quiet, unobtrusive figure. He was the servus bonus et fidelis to whom the rich reward is promised. One felt in him, as the years went by, the growth of the spiritual deeper and simpler. It was another example of what Fr. Martindale has so truly said of St. Alphonşus, the type. “It may be that old men of this type I will not say the complete expression of the type, like Alonso are not so seldom to be met with in the ranks of lay-brothers of religious Orders. Perhaps anyone who has lived in a larger house of some such Order a house of Studies, for instance, will remember more than one of these gentle old men, full of profound spiritual insight expressing itself often in acts of the most pathetic childlikeness or downright childishness”. Again he says, and we should like to make his words our own, “Let so much, then, be said in homage of Alonso, and in affectionate recollection of not a few of his brothers, still, or not long since, among us”.
Some of this simplicity in Br. Canty's character appeared in his love of the birds. Twice or oftener in the day one might see him come with a few crusts from the Refectory, which he crumbled for the sparrows, finches and even blackbirds. They had got so used to his kindly ministrations and quiet ways that he could walk among them without disturbing them unduly.
One of the gifts he had received from God was that of unfailing good health. He said he had not ailed for 17 or 18 years. On this account he may have been a trifle rash in ignoring the bronchitis that attacked him and which developed into pneumonia, and carried him off after a few days illness. He said, just after the anointing, that he was glad to die in Milltown above any other house in the Province, his reason being that in no other house would he find so many Priests who would speed him on his way with the gift of the three Holy Masses. There were over 50 Priests in the house at the time,
He has left a kindly, holy memory behind him. May God give him the eternal reward of his temporal labours in His House,
He worked in many Houses of the Province : Tullabeg, Clongowes, Galway, Mungret and Milltown Park. He had celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit. The details of his years of service being : Tullabeg 10, Clongowes 12, Galway 9, Mungret 6, and Milltown 16, R.I.P.

Carlin, Joseph M, 1915-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/480
  • Person
  • 11 December 1915-13 July 1988

Born: 11 December 1915, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 13 July 1988, St Francis, Cape Girardeau MO, USA - St John’s Parish, Leopold MO, USA

by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1965 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1968 at Our Lady of Guadaloupe, San Antonio TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1971 at Catholic Charities, Fort Worth TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1974 at New Orleans LA, USA (NEB) working
by 1975 at Tulsa OK (MIS) hospital chaplain
by 1977 at Aguilar CO, USA (MIS) working
by 1982 at Mountain Grove MO (MIS) working
by 1985 at Verona MS, USA (MIS) working
by 1987 at Leopold MO, USA (MIS) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)

Obituary

Fr Joseph Mario Carlin (1915-1933-1988)

11th December 1915: born in Dún Laoghaire (then called Kingstown). 7th September 1933: entered SJ. 1933-35 Emo, noviciate. 1935-38 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1938: BA). 1938-41 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1941-44 regency (teaching, direction of choir): 1941-42 Belvedere, 1942-43 Mungret. 1943-44 Clongowes. 1944-48 Milltown, theology (30th June 1947: ordained a priest). 1948-49 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1949-59 Belvedere: 1949-52 teaching, direction of the choir (1957-59; also teach ing). 1952-59 editing and writing: 1952-53 assistant editor of Madonna and Messenger (then published from Belvedere). 1953-59 editor of Jesuit Year Book, which name he substituted for the older one used till 1954, Irish Jesuit Directory. 1956-59 he also edited The Sheaf, the organ of St. Joseph's Young Priests Society. (In a later summary of his career during the period 1953-59 he characterised himself as “editor, writer, newspaper columnist”.)
On 24th November 1959 Fr Carlin left Ireland to take up parish work in the Californian Province (IPN, January 1960), So began a career which was to span three American Jesuit provinces.
1959-67 California: St Francis Xavier parish, Phoenix, Arizona, assistant pastor. 1959-62 also athletic director and counsellor at the parochial grammar school. 1962-66 director of Youth office of Catholic Charities of Arizona and chaplain to the Maricopa county juvenile detention home, Phoenix.
1967-74 New Orleans: 1966-67 Our Lady of Guadalupe church, San Antonio, Texas, assistant pastor. 1967-69 Graduate studies, School of Social Work, University of Texas, Austin, Texas (1970: MSc in social work) and chaplain to Brown school for emotionally-disturbed children. 1969-73 Fort Worth: 1969 (half-year) social worker in Family Services; 1969-71 director of youth department at Catholic Charities; 1971-73 director of Catholic Social Service. 1973-74 (on a semi-sabbatical) assistant to Catholic Charities, Austin.
1974-88 Missouri: 1974-6 St Francis hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma, chaplain. 1976-81 St Anthony Church, Aguilar, Colorado, pastor. 1981-82 Sacred Heart church, Mountain Grove, Missouri, pastor. (His few remaining assignments were also in Missouri state.) 1982-83 Mercy Villa, East Montclair, Springfield, chaplain, 1983-84 St John Vianney parish, Mountain View, associate pastor. 1984-86 Sacred Heart, Verona, administrator. 1986-88 St John's, Leopold, pastor.
13th July 1988; died in St Francis Medical Centre, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Fr Luke J. Byrne SJ, pastoral assistant to the Missouri Provincial, in summer 1980 received from Joe a résumé of his curriculum vitae. To this Joe had appended a short self-assessment, the only one available to the present writer:
Present (1980) skills, capacity, and preferences :
1) Hospital chaplaincy in busy live-in hospital. Social Work degree and experience might be acceptable in lieu of chaplaincy certification.
2) Pastoral work, preferably in a one priest parish. Location is not important but distance from Aguilar, Colorado, might be, to avoid any kind of continuing “entanglement”.
In the next year Fr Byrne forwarded the résumé to the bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau, M R Bernard Law (who since became archbishop of Boston and a cardinal), with the qualification that Joe “presently” (1981) wanted the one-priest parish and not the hospital. “His doctor thinks the lower altitude of the Middle West will be favourable toward his high blood pressure problem which he treats with medication”.

At the hospital where Fr Carlin died, the chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care was Mr Arthur Kelley, a Catholic layman. In a long letter addressed to one of Joe's three sisters last August, he wrote:
It was as chaplain here at the hospital that I first met my dear friend Fr Joseph Carlin, SJ, Needless to say, with a name like Kelley we got along famously. He was always a refreshing interlude in my day. I treasured the sweetness of his wit and his genuine sense of spirituality.
Whenever he was hospitalised I saw to it that he received the Sacrament of the sick and daily Eucharist. Though his hospitalisations were usually minor problems they seemed to be spaced at steady, predictable intervals, and may have been indicators that his general health was declining. However, he was not one to complain. Since we are the only Catholic hospital in the area, we were assured of a steady customer in Joseph, who except for his last admission always felt satisfied.
Forgive me if I seem frivolous, but I can almost sense him peering over my shoulder, chiding me about being too somber and urging me to treat his obituary with levity. Joseph loved to laugh - and we had many together,
Fr Carlin's death may have seemed sudden, but I can't say it was totally unexpected either by him or by me. As I said, I felt his health had been declining for some time. Still he clung tenaciously to his parish ministry. Truly, he was a priest forever ......'
After describing the progressive deterioration of Fr Carlin's condition, Chaplain Kelley wrote that in all probability his death resulted from a clot, with other conditions as complicating factors. His death was pain-free: for his last two or three days he was not conscious or responsive, therefore could communicate nothing. From the time that his condition began to deteriorate, the bishop kept in touch by phone, as did Joe's Jesuit confrères in St Louis. Since I (Chaplain Kelley) was the only one who was here consistently, I kept them informed of everything.
Fr Carlin's funeral Mass was absolutely beautiful. The bishop's homily was superb and the church was packed. The choir was truly heavenly. He would have loved it. They laid him to rest under the trees in a quiet country cemetery near the church with some thirty priests in attendance. It was a fine send-off.

Dorothy Holzum Arnzen, PhD, composed a poem in Fr Carlin's memory and offered it to the Missouri Provincial. In her accompanying letter she wrote: ‘I was privileged to know him as our pastor at Leopold, Missouri. A few days before he left for the hospital, Fr Carlin spoke to me of the deep affection that he had for the Jesuit community. If you wish to publish the poem in your Jesuit bulletin, I would consider it an honor: but whether you wish to publish it or not, I wanted to share with you in a small way the respect and regard that we had for Fr Carlin :

In memory of Father Carlin, SJ
by Dorothy Holzum Arnzen
Some said we needed a younger man
Not such an aging one:
A priest that wouldn't move so slow
And be able to get things done.

But in the midst of all of us
He moved with tranquil grace,
With kindly ways and manners
And a smiling Irish face.

He touched the sick and dying
In a very special way,
And to the soul that longed for peace
He knew just what to say.

He could speak an innate gentleness
That was for him a part
He reached out with loving kindness
And touched our parish heart.

He came to be our Pastor
When his race was almost won,
But before he reached eternity
The important things were done.

For the above poem and most of the above information, thanks are due to Mrs Nancy Merz, Associate Archivist at the Jesuit Missouri Province Archives, St Louis, USA

Carré, Eugene, 1846-1909, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1026
  • Person
  • 01 August 1849-16 November 1909

Born: 01 August 1849, Belz, Morbihan, Brittany, France
Entered: 15 October 1869, Angers, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1883
Professed: 15 August 1903
Died: 16 November 1909, Guelph, Ontario, Canada - Canadensis Province (CAN)

Part of the College of the Immaculate Conception, De Larimer, Montreal, Québec, Canada community at the time of death

Transcribed FRA to Camp : 1887; CAMP to CAN 1891

by 1885 came to Mungret (HIB) teaching 1884-1885

Carroll, Denis, 1920-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/644
  • Person
  • 18 January 1920-29 October 1992

Born: 18 January 1920, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 22 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, St Ignatiuis, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 29 October 1992, Kizito Pastoral Centry, Monze, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Part of the Mukasa Secondary School, Choma, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1953 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners

Younger brother of John Carroll - RIP 1957

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Denis Carroll, known to his colleagues as "Dinny", was born in Offaly, Ireland in 1920, into a large family of farming stock, with strong religious traditions. These traditions were far more prominent during his life than his agricultural background, though at one stage he took charge of the school garden in Mukasa. Five of his sisters entered religious life and his brother, John, was a Jesuit on the Hong Kong Mission.

After his schooling at Mungret College, he entered the novitiate at Emo in 1937 and went through the normal training, being ordained a priest in 1950. Two years later he came to Zambia and went almost immediately to the eastern province to learn ciNyanja at which he became quite proficient.

Dinny's life can be divided into two distinct ministries: the apostolate of the school and the apostolate of the parish, the latter being determined to a large extent by his proficiency in ciNyanja. He served in many parishes along the line of rail in the Monze diocese. He started his parish work, however, in Regiment parish in Lusaka around 1953. He came to Chikuni in 1956 as Rector of the community, teaching and supplying at Mazabuka, Choma and Kalomo. A bout of sickness took him to Ireland for two years and when he returned he was posted to Choma parish in 1962. Mazabuka and the Sugar Estate saw him from 1968 to 1975.

One would never have classed Dinny as a well organised person whose program of work was drawn up with meticulous care. Yet despite his fluid approach, one thing was uppermost in his mind while he worked in the parishes: the administration of the sacraments. He made them available to his parishioners and was always willing to administer them. He was conservative in his theology and never liked the phrase "the people of God". His vision of God's people was as a Sacramental People, a Eucharistic People. He saw the Eucharist as the centre of Catholic parish life. He himself had a very deep faith and reverence for the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

He tried to serve the people as he found them, offering liturgies in different languages. He preached strongly and upheld the sanctity and sacramentality of Catholic marriage. In his parish work he believed in family-by-family visitation. In that way he got to know his parishioners, both adults and youth. At a later stage, many would consult him on their marriages and the advice he freely gave was, solely and loyally, from the Catholic point of view. He worked with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and engaged the services of some of his adult parishioners in the teaching of catechism to the youth.

While his move from parish work to school work in the mid seventies was partly necessitated by considerations of health, (his arthritis was making constant physical movement around the parish more and more difficult for him) nevertheless he had a firm conviction of the value of Catholic education. He decried the closure of Jesuit schools here and there, and he saw the practice of superiors of allowing young Jesuits to choose apostolates other than teaching as abdicating responsibility for the Catholic educational apostolate. For 17 years he liked teaching and was not happy at the thought of possibly having to give it up because of failing health. The Lord read his mind and Dinny taught right up to three days before his death. He was a fine teacher, attaining excellent results in all his subjects, English and English Literature, History and even ciNyanja. He understood the youth and had good rapport with them. From time to time the unwise and misguided behavioru of boys would depress him, but by and large he had the understanding and patience to accept such conduct in its own context. He took it for granted and did not judge them harshly. He often acted as mediator between them and the administration, thus earning for himself the title of "Peacemaker" while, at the same time, he would never compromise the Headmaster, his fellow members of staff nor the aims of Mukasa Seminary. At his funeral Mass, at least five of the concelebrants were Zambian priests who had been past pupils of his.

As a religious and Jesuit, Denis Carroll was a man of prayer and deep faith with a personal closeness to Christ in the Eucharist. He was loyal to the Society and interested in its growth and its apostolates. He was worried about how devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus seemed to have taken a less prominent place in the life of the Society. He felt that it should be more actively promoted and practiced by all.

Though failing in strength little by little, his death was sudden and very simple. He had gone to St. Kizito's Pastoral Centre for ten days rest as ordered by the doctor. While waiting for supper on the second day there, the Lord called him home to his reward on 29th November 1992.

"Criost an Siol" was an Irish religious phrase frequently on his lips. It means "Christ of the Sowing" and they are the first words of a beautiful poem and Eucharistic hymn which talks about Christ sowing and reaping and bringing us from death to new life. In a way, it sums up Dinny's life of faith and the work Christ did through him even though at times he might have uttered them in order to express mild exasperation.

Carroll, John, 1911-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/87
  • Person
  • 02 April 1911-20 January 1957

Born: 02 April 1911, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 06 January 1945, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 20 January 1957, Mater Hospital, Vulture Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia and Wah Yan, Hong Kong communities at the time of death

Older brother of Denis Carroll - RIP 1992

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered Religion, and a brother of his Denis also became a Jesuit and worked in Zambia (RIP 1992).
His early education was at Mungret College, and he was one of 32 Novices who entered St Mary’s, Emo in 1930.
1932-1935 After First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin, and studied at University College Dublin, where he graduated BA in English and History.
1935-1938 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for Philosophy
1938-1941 He was went for Regency to Hong Kong, including language school at Cheung Chau and teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. he found the Cantonese dialect very difficult, and yet while there he also edited the Wah Yan College Annual “The Star”.
1941-1945 As it was impossible to return to Europe for Theology, he and three other Scholastics were sent to Australia for these studies. he enjoyed his time there and the Australian Jesuits found him pleasant company. While waiting for Theology to began he taught for a bit at St Ignatius College Riverview.
1946-1947 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1947-1956 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan, where he was assistant Prefect of Studies, and went back to editing “The Star”. he was appointed Vice-Rector in 1951, and Rector a year later in 1952, and was also prefect of Studies. He managed all these tasks very efficiently, even though he was never of robust health. One of his achievements also was the planning of the new Wah Yan College, on Queen’s Road East. By 1955 he was no longer capable of heavy work, and in 1956 underwent a serious operation for intestinal cancer, he suffered many months of pain after this, and he bore it with great fortitude.
1956 By June of this year he had recovered sufficiently to fly to Brisbane for a period of convalescence. By November his condition had worsened, and he required another operation, but died in January 1957

His death at the Mater Hospital Brisbane at an early age, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of a most esteemed and valuable member. He had a deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system had established him as a very well informed representative and spokesman of Catholic Schools in Hong Long and their dealings with the government there.

He was a tall man, with a stately and almost stiff bearing and a habitual serious expression. He was a spiritual man and an observant religious, good at English literature and the craft of elaborate lettering of manuscripts, and the poignant epigram. He was meticulous, some would say excessive in the preparation of his classes. he was a hard worker and efficient administrator, strict on himself and a stern judge of those who did not measure up to his own high standards. At time he could appear to be stiff and unbending, but he had a good sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself. Towards his students he was uniformly kind though reserved, and this, combined with his unceasing devotion to duty, made them esteem him highly.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Fr. John Carroll, S.J.
Former Rector of Wah Yan College

News has been received of the death of Rev. John Carroll, S.J., who was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951-1956. It took place in Brisbane, Australia, where he had gone for convalescence after a serious operation at the beginning of last year.

Fr. Carroll, who was forty-six years of age, was born in Leix, in Ireland. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. he continued his studies in the National University of Ireland, where he took the B.A. degree and Higher Diploma of Education.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938, and after two years of Chinese studies was assigned to Wah Yan College, where he taught literature and history and was editor of the college magazine “The Star.” He then went to Australia to study theology, and was ordained by Archbishop (now Cardinal) Gilroy in 1945. At the close of the war he went to Europe and then returned to Hong Kong in 1947.

All the succeeding years were spent in Wah Yan College. After a period of teaching he was appointed Prefect of Studies in 1949, and then Rector. He supervised the building of the new college in Queen’s Road, East, and presided at its inauguration in September, 1955. A few months later his health broke down and he bore a long illness with great fortitude.

Fr. Carroll’s death is a considerable loss to education in Hong Kong. He had conspicuous literary and artistic ability, but the interests of his later years were wholly directed to education. He kept himself well informed on educational developments in many countries and his only regret at his loss of health was that he was unable to put into practice the many plans that he had in mind for the development of the school. He was a member of the Grant Schools Council and of the Board of Control of the Hong Kong School Certificate Examination Syndicate. He was also a member of the Court of the Hong Kong University.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 25 January 1957

Requiem Mass for Former Wah Yan College Rector

Large Numbers of priests, religious and lay people including some eight hundred pupils and Old Boys of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, attended the Solemn Requiem Mass last Wednesday at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, for the repose of the soul of Father John Carroll, S.J., former Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

His Lordship Bishop Lawrence Bianchi presided at the Mass and gave the Absolution. The present rector of Wah Yan College, Father Cyril Barrett, S.J., was the celebrant. He was assisted by Father Charles Daly, S.J., and Father Kevin O’Dwyer, S.J.

Father Carroll who died on January 20 in Brisbane, Australia, was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951 to 1956 when he went to Brisbane for convalescence after a serious operation earlier that year. He was 46 years of age and was born in Leix, Ireland, Educated at Mungret College, Limerick, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 1 February 1957

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a large family in Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly, 8 of whom entered religious life.
His early education was at Mungret Cllege SJ before he joined the Society of Jesus in 1930.

1938 He was sent to Hong Kong
1941 he was sent to Canisius College Pymble Australia during the war for Theology, and was Ordained there in 1945.
1946 He returned to Ireland to make Tertianship

By September 1955 his dream of the construction of the new Wah Yan College was completed. His health was poor and so he died in 1957.
He was the “architect” on the Wah Yan College, Queen’s Road East campus, Prefect of Studies and then Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong. Schoolwork was his life, and he gave his classes not mere instruction, but affection and respect. he prepared his classes with as much care as if he had to face a group of post-graduate university students. Although ruthless on himself, it pained him to be hard on students.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. John Carroll, Kevin O'Dwyer and Cyril Peyton, of the Hong Kong Mission, who completed their theology at Pymble recently, left, Sydney on December 9th on the Aquitania for England via the Cape. They hope to be home by the end of January. They are accompanied by Fr. Vincent Conway, an old Mungret boy, member of the Vice Province. All four will make their tertianship in Rathfarnham next autumn.

Fr. John Carroll, on the Aquitania, 13-12-45 :
“We left Sydney on time, at 8 am, on Monday 10th, and expect to be in England by the middle of January. Rumour says Southampton about January 12th. We are travelling as a military transport with some 200 civilian passengers. The total number of persons is said to be 4,700. It is therefore far from being a pleasure cruise, but the food is good and the ship so far is riding beautifully. There is a nice altar specially reserved for Catholics in a curtained recess in the library, and we have the place to ourselves from 6.45 to 7.45. The official chaplain, Church of England, claims the half hour from 8 to 8.30. There are two other priests on board, one of them Fr. Frank Bouchier who was at Mungret with me”.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957
Obituary :
Fr John Carroll (1911-1957)
The death of Fr, John Carroll in the Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia on the 20th. January last, at the early age of 46, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of one of its most esteemed and valuable members. For Fr. Carroll by his deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system, had established himself as the best informed representative and spokesman of the Catholic schools in Hong Kong in all their dealings with the Government. The numerous messages of sympathy which the Superior of Missions (Fr. Harris) received after his death from the principals of the Catholic schools bore eloquent testimony to how deeply they appreciated his advice and assistance, and regretted his untimely death.
Fr. John Carroll was born on the 2nd April, 1911 in Walsh Island, Geashill, Offaly. He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, from which he entered the Society on the 3rd September, 1930, being one of the thirty-two first-year novices who began their life in the Society in Emo Park the year that house was established as the Novitiate. In September, 1932, Fr. Carroll went to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate studies, and in 1935 obtained his B.A. degree in English and History. During the following three years, he studied Philosophy in Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission, where he arrived in the autumn of that year, and proceeded to the Language school, Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, For two years he applied himself most diligently and conscientiously to the study of the language, but in his case, it was very much like watering the dry stick. He had no special gift for languages, especially for Cantonese, and it was with no little relief that in 1940 he passed on to Wah Yan College, then situated in Robinson Road. It was soon clear that teaching and college work generally, were his true vocation in the Society, and though he spent only one year as a scholastic at this work, he proved an excellent teacher from the very beginning. Another task with which he was entrusted that year, and which he found most congenial as it gave scope for his artistic gifts was the production of the College annual, The Star. As it was impossible in July, 1941 to return to Ireland for Theology owing to the war, Fr. Carroll went with three other scholastics to the theologate of the Australian Vice-Province (as it was then) at Pymble, Sydney. His four years there were very happy ones. In later years, he often spoke of them with lively pleasure. His stay in Australia left him with pleasant memories not only of the great kindness which he received from his Australian brethren of the Society, but also of the reunion with many of his brothers and sisters who were already living there. As the scholastic year in Australia does not begin until February, Fr. Carroll spent several months before he began Theology teaching in St. Ignatius College, Riverview. He was ordained priest on 6th January, 1945, an appropriate date for a member of such a large missionary family.
In 1946 he went to Ireland for Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle, and the following year, 1947, he returned by plane to Hong Kong and by September, he was back at his teaching post in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. In rapid succession, he was appointed Assistant Prefect of Studies, Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector of the school in 1952. All these tasks he carried out capably and efficiently, in spite of health which was never very robust. His great achievement during his term as Rector, was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College on Queen's Road East. When that great task was completed, in September, 1955, and Fr. Carroll had the happiness of seeing his dream become a reality, his term of life was drawing to a close, though it was not fully realised then, In the final months of 1955, he was not capable of any heavy work, and in January, 1956 underwent a grave operation for cancer of the intestines. Many months of pain, discomfort, and suffering followed, which he bore with great serenity and fortitude. By June, 1956, he had recovered sufficiently to be able to travel by plane to Brisbane, Australia for convalescence. He was most hospitably welcomed there by the Jesuit community, and it was hoped that during his stay with them, he could help in the parish work. However he grew worse in November, and had to enter the Mater Hospital, where his sister is a nun. Another operation in December brought no relief and after several weeks of intense suffering, he died on 20th January, 1957, a fortnight after the twelfth anniversary of his ordination.
Fr. Carroll was a deeply spiritual man, and a most observant religious, His onerous duties as Prefect of Studies, or Rector of Wah Yan College were never permitted to make any inroads on the time assigned to spiritual duties which he performed most faithfully. He had a very deep love of the Society, and consequently was visibly hurt whenever a word or action on the part of another fell short of the ideals which he felt every Jesuit should live up to. As a Rector he insisted on a high standard of observance, and this taken together with his natural shyness, made him appear stiff and unbending. He had, however, a highly developed sense of humour, and was always ready to laugh at himself. Towards the boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities, coupled with his unceasing devotion to duty which made them esteem him so highly. It was when he became seriously ill, that the extent of that esteem appeared most, and his death was mourned by both past and present students as that of a true friend. In St. Margaret's Church, within sight of the beautiful school for which he laboured so much and in the presence of the Bishop and a large number of the clergy of the city, and nearly a thousand of our boys, Catholic and pagan, a Solemn Requiem Mass was offered for his soul.
To his brother, Fr. Denis Carroll, Rector of Chikuni College, we offer deepest sympathy. May Fr. John rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Carroll SJ 1911-1957
Fr John Carroll was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. Born at Geashill in 1911, he was educated at Mungret whence he entered the Society in 1930.

To his great delight, he was assigned to our Chinese Mission in 1938. Owing to the outbreak of the World War, he did his Theology in Australia, and often referred to these years as the happiest of his life. After his tertianship he was appointed Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in 1852. During his term of office the new Wah Yan on Queen’s Road was built.

In January 1956 he was operated on for cancer, and he went back to Australia to recuperate. However, his health further deteriorated and he died on January 20th 1957.

Fr John was a deeply religious man, one of those Jesuits of whom you could say that he never lost the fervour of the noviceship. He never allowed pressure of business or occupation to interfere with his observance of his religious duties. To the casual observer he would have appeared somewhat rigid and austere, but that was because being of a very high ideal himself, he expected th same of others. Nevertheless, like a true religious man, he could, when necessary, make allowances, and his sense of humour and his contribution to community recreation betrayed and understanding as well as an exacting spirit.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John Carroll SJ

THE death took place in Brisbane Australia on January 20th last of Fr John Carroll. He was born on April 2nd 1911 at Walsh Island Geashill, Offaly, and came to Mungret in 1927. From here he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. He did his studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong mission where he arrived the folowing Autumn. He studied the language for two years and then went on to Wah Yan College where he found the work more congenial. Here he was editor of the College Annual “The Star”. In 1941 as it was impossible to return to Ireland he went to Australia for Theology where he was ordained in 1945. In 1946 he came to Ireland for Tertianship, and the following year returned to Wah Yan College.

Here in rapid succession he became Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector in 1952. His great achievement during his rectorship was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College at Queens Rd East. Fr John was, however, now a very sick man, and in 1956 underwent an operation for cancer of the intestines. By June 1956 he had recovered sufficiently to go to Australia to recuperate, Here however, he grew progressively worse. Another operation brought no relief, and after weeks of intense suffering died on January 20th.

Fr Carroll was a deeply spiritual man and a most observant religious. He had however, a highly developed sense of humour. Towards boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities together with a great devotion to duty which made them esteem him so much. His death was mourned by both present and past students as that of a true friend. To his family and to his brother Fr. Denis we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Carroll, Joseph F, 1892-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1021
  • Person
  • 31 July 1892-12 December 1955

Born: 31 July 1892, Baltinglass, County Wicklow
Entered: 20 October 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly/St Andrew-on-Hudson, NY, USA
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1928
Died: 12 December 1955, Milwaukee, WI, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Transcribed HIB to MARNEB : 1911; MARNEB to MIS

◆ Mungret Annual, 1956

Obituary

Father Joseph Carroll SJ

Fr. Joseph Carroll was born in Baltinglass in 1892. He was in Mungret in the years 1907-10. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of eighteen. Shortly afterwards he went to America to continue his studies. He studied at St Andrew's on the Hudson, Woodstock and Georgetown. As a scholastic he taught for two years at Regis College, Denver and two years at Marquette University where he taught physics. This was when he first became acquainted with the Marquette seismograph. After that he went abroad to complete his theological studies in Holland and to study physics, mathematics and chemistry at the University of Munich, and the University of Bonn. There he received the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. After ordination at Milltown Park in 1928, he returned to Marquette University as head of the physics department. He taught physical optics and spectroscopy to advanced students. His main interest however was in the seismograph. With the wit that was characteristic of him, he used to recall the first seismograph he saw at Mungret. “It stood in a little shed in the middle of a pasture. But it was never of mạch use. The cows would come up to the shed and scratch their backs against it. Every time they did County Limerick had a major earthquake”.

In his classroom work Father Carroll was respected by both students and faculty members for the seriousness and thoroughness of his teaching. Besides this he took an active interest in the spiritual welfare of the students. When ever he heard that anyone was ill he went to see him. Besides these visits to the sick his duties included leadership of the Jesuit Mother's club an organization of mothers whose sons were Jesuits. To his two surviving brothers we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Carter, Thomas, 1837-1909, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1028
  • Person
  • 24 November 1837-07 November 1909

Born: 24 November 1837, Ballinasloe, County Galway
Entered: 09 September 1860, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Professed: 02 February 1876
Died: 07 November 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had been in business in Dublin before Entry where he had Dan Jones as Novice Master.

He was a very smart businesslike man, masterful and very capable in managing servants and refectories in Colleges. he spent most of his life in this role at Clongowes and Mungret.
1900 He was transferred to Clongowes and was House Steward, and later Cur Val (1904). They boys there used call him “Napoleon Carter” as he was supposed to be so like the famous General.
One of the medallions over the Altar at the Old Chapel in Milltown (later O’Brien Library) is a picture of him. Tradition says Dan Jones got him to sit for it.

Casey, James Thomas, 1907-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/90
  • Person
  • 18 February 1907-26 April 1985

Born: 18 February 1907, Cappaugh Cottage, Union Hall, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 26 April 1985, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Mungret College SJ

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1985

Obituary

Fr James Casey (1907-1924-1985)

Born on 18th February 1907. 1922-24 schoolboy at Mungret. Ist September 1924: entered SJ. 1924-26 Tullabeg, noviciate, 1926-30 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1930-33 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1933-36 Belvedere, regency. 1936-40 Milltown, theology. 1940-41 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1941-44 Mungret, prefect of studies. 1944-85 Clongowes, teaching. Died on 26th April 1985.

Our Clongowes community suffered one more grievous loss within the last year when Fr James Casey died suddenly in Dublin's Mater hospital, to which he had been brought on the previous even ing. He had been unwell for several months last summer, but made what we thought was a complete recovery. That illness did not seem to recur till shortly before the end, when it showed to some extent in depression. His sudden and of course utterly unexpected death was indeed a painful shock to us all, the more keenly felt as he was very much a
community man.
For the past forty-one years that Fr James spent in Clongowes, he was truly remarkable for his fidelity to his work of teaching. Every morning one could see him five minutes before the bell for class (he was punctuality itself) carrying down his heavy load of themes, all meticulously - one might be inclined to say too meticulously - marked for his pupils to correct. His class work was equally well prepared.
The truth is that James was a model religious, fulfilling all his religious duties with a regularity and modesty - in the old sense of the word - that was really astonishing. His faithfulness in all this was a compelling example to the whole community, and so a great help to each and all of us to maintain a high spiritual quality in our lives. As one might expect from a man of these virtues, he was a lover of community life and seldom left it. He took part in all community activities of work and play. He had a quiet sense of humour, and a liking for humorous yarns, not a few of which were his own.
If one of our younger and less experienced men should object: “What did Jim achieve? After all, your description fits a rather stiff, unenterprising schoolmaster”, I should reply that while scrupulously teaching his subject, he also deeply impressed the boys as a holy and lovable priest: he never lost his temper nor his sense of humour. In a word, he had all the qualities of a Jesuit teacher who is a master of his subject, sticks to the lesson, likes and is liked by his boys, yet never forgets that in their regard he is an apostle of Christ. He always remembered that those boys of his would be in professions such as medicine, law, engineering and so on throughout Ireland and England, influential Catholics mostly, who in their turn would exemplify the solid virtues they absorbed while at school from men like Jim. This was Jim's achievement, and tell me of better in the Society today! great pride in their success both in class
By Fr Jim Casey's death Clongowes has lost one who loved it and its environs and its boys, and who took and in the playing-field. (Incidentally, he always attended the Cup-matches with intense interest.) In the end, though, we, his fellow-Jesuits here, are the real losers. Vivat in Christo.

Casey, John, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/91
  • Person
  • 20 November 1873-5 June 1954

Born: 20 November 1873, London, England / Labasheeda, County Clare
Entered: 6 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1905, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 2 February 1910, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 5 June 1954, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

by 1900 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1901 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 29th Year No 4 1954

Obituary :
Father John Casey
Father John Casey was born in London in 1873, son of the late Patrick Casey, merchant, formerly of Labasheeda, Co. Clare. He was educated in Mungret College and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1890. After two years' Juniorate in Milltown Park, he studied philosophy at Louvain and Stonyhurst. A gifted mathematician, he taught for six years at the Crescent, Limerick, and at Clongowes before going to Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1905.
The following year he began his long association with Mungret College, where, from 1906 to 1919, and again from 1927 to 1933, he held appointments as prefect of studies and professor of mathematics and physics. He performed the same duties during the years 1921 to 1926 at St. Ignatius' College, Galway.
In 1933, Father Casey was transferred to Tullabeg, where he taught the philosophers mathematics and teaching methods to within a few years of his death, and was besides Spiritual Father to the Community.
To write an adequate obituary notice of a man who spent over 60. years in the Society, seems at first sight a well nigh impossible task, for almost inevitably the writer belongs to the older generation that knew him best in his prime or to the younger generation that knew him only in his later and declining years.
As one belonging to the former category, I shall try to give an appreciation of Father Casey's earlier years in the Society and supplement it by an account written for his Golden Jubilee by one who knew him, after his ordination, during his long teaching career in the colleges, and conclude with some extracts from the younger generation who knew him well past middle age or, perhaps, only in the sere and yellow leaf.
Those who were boys at Clongowes during the closing years of the last century or the opening years of the present one can call to mind a very unique set of scholastics who helped to mould their spiritual, intellectual and physical outlook on life. But among them all there was none for whom they entertained such a combined hero-worship and holy fear as Mister Casey, the powerful Clareman from Labasheeda.
Spiritually, they knew him or rather took him for granted for what he was : a holy man without any of the external trappings that are so frequently associated with the pedestal. Prayers before and after class, the Angelus at 12, but no “holy talk” in between.
Intellectually, he was par excellence the teacher of Euclid (as it was called in those days) which one was expected to demonstrate intelligibly on the blackboard or be sent for “twice nine” in default. Nor would it suffice to repeat a proposition “by heart”, as one unhappy victim tried to do until he was bidden to change the letters ABC to XYZ, with the result that he was reduced to impotent silence and found himself sentenced forthwith to the inevitable penalty.
Physically, he was the hero of playday walks, who always took a bee-line course, no matter what obstacles were in the way, and expected every boy to follow the leader at the risk of perishing in the attempt, 'or else be left shame-facedly behind nursing his wounds.
Not much of the “delicate” man was apparent in those days, and yet some years after his ordination he had to undergo an emergency operation, his life for a time had been in grave danger, and he survived only to become a comparative valetudinarian. But his spirit was not broken, nor his power of hard work, and he continued for over thirty years teaching mathematics, perhaps the first “Magister Perpetuus” in the Colleges.
Let another old pupil of Father Casey's give his impressions of him when, after his ordination, he fulfilled the dual function of Prefect of Studies and Professor of Mathematics for so many years :
“Looking back over a lapse of more than thirty years, one can see as clearly now as then how he dominated (it is the only word) the scene of activity in class or study hall. Other memories there are, indeed, of masters and boys and affairs, but it.can be safely said that of all who passed through Mungret at that time, there is no one who cannot conjure up at a moment's notice the vision of Father Casey striding swiftly along the stone corridor or appearing as Prefect of Studies at the head of a classroom without seeming, somehow, to, have come in by the door. And what a change was there when he did come! In the most restless gathering ensued a silence which could be heard, the hardiest spirit was reduced to his lowest dimension, and any vulgar fraction of humanity who might have incontinently strayed into a Mungret classroom instantly became a minus quantity.
Many of Father Casey's pupils who have since been called upon themselves to exercise authority of one kind or another, must have wondered enviously how he did it. For he used the physical and adventitious aids to pedagogy rather less than most Prefects of his time. Yet somehow he conveyed by a manner which, if we had had the wit to realise it, must have been sustained by a continuous effort, that if affairs did not progress with the speed and exactitude of a proposition in Euclid, and in the manner he indicated with precision, that then the sky would fall or the end of the world would come, or some dreadful Nemesis of the kind would await the unfortunate who lagged upon the road. ....
I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will ever have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Father John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher of mathematics; the combination of the two, as in Father Casey's case, must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elementary students. He knows so much that it is difficult for him to realise how little his pupils know, and it must be heart-breaking to find that there are some to whom the very rudiments of his science are inexplicable. At all events, Father Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical ; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities; it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done ; the question of trying to dodge it simply never entered our heads ; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams. One could almost hear Father Casey saying Q.E.D. when we got the results.
The greatest achievement of a master, however, is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations ; it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Father Casey carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man. For if boys recognise weakness and trade upon it, they also know strength and understand the proper and unerring use of it. We know that here was a man who had been given certain work to do and intended to do it for that reason alone....”

To conclude this brief obituary, over to you, Younger Generation :
“Father John Casey died peacefully on June 5th, at the age of 80. During most of his life he had to struggle against ill health. In his last years he was completely blind and so feeble that he had to be assisted to stand. But these infirmities of the body did not subdue his great and courageous spirit. He remained until the end as clear and fresh in mind as those thirty years his junior. His interest in and grasp of events both in the Province and the world in general remained undiminished. Always affable and gay, he was ready at recreation to join in any topic of conversation and the width of his interests was remarkable. Only three days before his death he was expounding the merits of Milton's ‘Samson Agonistes’. It is not surprising that this poem on blindness by a blind man should have made a special impression on him. When, however, Father Casey referred to his own affliction, there was never a trace of self pity. When he did mention it, which was rarely, it was always to note its humorous side.
Three years before his death he asked the Community of Tullabeg to join with him in a Novena that God might spare his eyesight sufficiently to continue to say Mass. But God required what must have been for him the supreme sacrifice. Father Casey quietly accepted. The memory of the calm face of the blind man assisting at Mass each morning will remain always with those who witnessed it.
Father Casey was too reserved and unassuming to wish us to catalogue his virtues. His spiritual children will always cherish his unfailing sympathy and sage and balanced counsel. In fourteen years of closest companionship the writer of these lines never heard him speak an unkind word. May his meek and gentle soul find rest and light at last in the Vision of God”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Casey 1873-1954
The name of Fr John Casey is remembered well and with affection and respect by many generations of pupils in our Colleges, especially Mungret, where he spent many years of his life. Born in London in 1873, and raised in County Clare, his life was no bed of silk.

He underwent a severe operation shortly after ordination which rendered him a veritable invalid all his life. In spite of his bad health, he gave a long life of valuable service to the Society, as teacher, Prefect of Studies, and Spiritual Father. For this last office he had a special aptitude – a clear judgement, an insight into character and a high standard of religious observance. A rector of Tullabeg once said, that as long as Fr Casey was Spiritual Father, he himself had no anxiety about the spiritual condition of the Philosophers.

For the last three years of his life he was totally blind and could not say Mass. This cross, as well as his long life of ill health he accepted cheerfully, as from the Hand of God. Fidelity to duty, thoroughness in work, courtesy to others, these qualities sum up the man.

He died on June 5th 1954 a model in many ways to succeeding generations of Jesuits.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Jubilee

Father John Casey SJ

Its is now just thirty-three years as time has flown - the month of September of the year 1908 to be precise - since the writer entered Mungret for a term of five years. During a great part of these years Father John Casey was at Mungret - either in the capacity of Mathematics Master or as Prefect of Studies. Looking back now over that gap of time, one can see as clearly now as then, how he dominated - it is the only word - the scene of activity in class or study hall, Other memories there are in deed - of masters and boys and affairs - but it can be safely said that of all who passed through Mungret at that time, there is no one who cannot conjure up at a moment's notice the vision of Father Casey striding swiftly along the stone corridor or appearing as Prefect of Studies at the head of a classroom without seeming somehow to have come in by the door. And what a change was there when he did come! In the most restless gathering ensued a silence which could be heard, the hardiest spirit was reduced to his lowest dimension and any vulgar fraction of humanity who might have incontinently strayed in to a Mungret classroom instantly became a minus quantity. Looking back on one's own limitations of these days, one is almost tempted to call it the triumph of mind over matter; but it was not merely a victory in the age-long psychological struggle between master and pupil - it was a rout, utter and absolute.

Many of Father Casey's pupils, who have since been called upon themselves to exercise authority of one kind or another, must have wondered enviously how he did it. For he used the physical and adventitious aids to pedagogy rather less than most Prefects of his time. Yet somehow he conveyed by a manner which; if we had had the wit to realise it, must have been sustained by a continuous effort, that if affairs did not progress with the speed and exactitude of a proposition in Euclid, and in the manner he indicated with precision, that then the sky would fall, or the end of the world would come, or some dreadful Nemesis of the kind would await the unfortunate who lagged upon the road. And of course some inevitably lagged and of course the Nemesis did not come to them even in the measure they deserved, but the illusion persevered and the triumph persisted. It is only with the passing of the years that the realisation comes that here was genius in one of its most unusual and most remark able manifestations.

Once only in my time at Mungret did I see the alter ego breaking through the ego while he was at his own particular work. Be it said parenthetically that when we were out of class or study it broke through continually in the little we then saw of him. But this was a special occasion-he had had to go away for an emergency operation, his life for a time had been in grave danger, and we had not seen him for many weeks and did not know when he would come back. Then one night when, with an indulgent apostolic prefect in the chair, we were in study and studying many books not to be found in the curriculum, my next door neighbour breathlessly whispered the time-honoured formula of the approach of authority. It seemed incredible but I saw a dark shadow appear from the back of the study, stop at every line of desks, collecting various periodicals, while those in front of the line were quite oblivious of anything unusual. It was a scene of the utmost drama while it lasted and ended when, laden with books and papers collected en route, Father Casey turned round at the top to a thoroughly demoralised study hall, smiled broadly and announced “Cæsar has returned to his armies”.

I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Father John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher--the combination of the two as in Father Casey's case, must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elementary students. He knows so much that it is difficult for him to realise how little his pupils know and it must be heart-breaking to find that there are some to whom the very rudiments of his science are inexplic able. Probably that is where method comes in. At all events Father John Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. I write as one to whom the subject was always a great trouble and who would never have passed through the Intermediate without the assistance I got in Father Casey's class. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical ; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities, it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done; the question of trying to dodge it simply never entered our heads; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams, perhaps not at the top, but certainly not at the bottom. One could almost hear Father Casey saying “QED” when he got the results.

The greatest achievement of a master however is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations - it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Boys are unerring in sizing up values in those who are placed over them - no psychoanalyst ever found the weak spots with greater certitude or more uncanny comprehension. What in another may be merely an amiable foible is turned to ill account so that it becomes overnight a serious difficulty to a teacher's success. The old Nannies belief that boys of a certain age are “limbs” of diabolical origin, is made manifest to the poor man's serious discomfort. We tried all these arts on Father John Casey but we never found the weak spot. He carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man. For if boys recognise weakness and trade upon it, they also know strength and understand the proper and unerting use of it. We knew as well as if it had been put into words for us that here was a man who had been given certain work to do and intended to do it if for that reason alone; we knew that outside that work no one in Mungret wished us more fun or amusement ; indeed we sus pected that if we scored one up on the Prefect of Discipline outside class and study hours there was a dignified and gentle chuckle from the Prefect of Studies. Father Eddie Bourke SJ, may remember a day when as a boy in 2nd Club he threw a laundry bag through the dormitory window so that it landed in front of Father Casey in the chapel quadrangle. When faces, poked out of the window, were horrified at this catastrophe, Father John gaily and accurately threw the bag up again remarking: “A bolt from the blue” - and went on reading his office. Various illnesses and short-sightedness prevented him from taking much part in our games. Yet whenever nowadays one meets a Mungret boy of the 1908 vintage the first question is “Where is Father Casey now?”

The last place I saw him was sitting on a bench at Lisdoonvarna enjoying a short holiday. He still teaches mathematics he told me - but nowadays to Jesuit scholastics and not to “the likes of us”. Anyway he has passed through all the burden of the day and the heats, and finds himself in the quiet of the evening time. That its peace may long endure as it does when the sun sets on the Shannon over his native Labasheeda, and that his prayer may help them on the more difficult tasks that now engage them as his instruction and example did long ago, will be the wish of all who passed through Mungret in his time, wherever these lines may find them.

DFG

-oOo-

We offer our heartiest congratulations to Father John Casey SJ (1888-'90) on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee as a member of the Society of Jesus, which fell due last September. Father Casey's name is a household word amongst many generations of past Mungret boys, who, we are certain, will revive their impressions of their school-days, when they read on another page the appreciation of their former Prefect of Studies by a distinguished past pupil of Father Casey, District Justice Gleeson (1908-13). Mungret sends her sincere good wishes ad multos annos to Father Casey, whose name is written in indelible characters in the annals of the college.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father John Casey SJ

The death of Fr Casey on June 5th meant the breaking of a link with the past for many old Mungret men. What memories his death evoked, the vision of a figure striding along the corridor or appearing in a classroom to be followed by a hushed silence. Strict yet kind, he had many friends among the Past who will mourn his passing.

He was born in London the son of a Clareman, in 1873. He was educated in Mungret College, and entered the Society in Tullabeg in 1890. After two years juniorate in Milltown Park, he studied Philosophy at Louvain and Stonyhurst.

He taught for six years at the Crescent and Clongowes before going to Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1905. The following year he began his long association with Mungret College where from 1906 to 1919, and again from 1927 to 1933 he held appointments as prefect of studies and professor of mathematics and physics. The following is a testimony of one who was taught by him

“I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will ever have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Fr John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher of mathematics : the combination of the two as in Fr Casey's case must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elemertary students. At all events Fr Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities; it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done ; the question of trying to dodge it never entered our heads; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams.

The greatest achievement of a master, however, is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations; it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Fr Casey carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man”.

In 1933 Fr. Casey was transferred to Tullabeg where he taught the philosophers mathematics and teaching methods to within a few years of his death, and was besides, Spiritual Father to the community. In his last years he was completely blind and so feeble that he had to be assisted to stand. But these infirmities of body did not subdue his great and courageous spirit. One who lived with him for fourteen years re marked that he never heard him speak an unkind word. May his meek and gentle soul find rest and light at last in the vision of God.

Casey, Seán J, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/492
  • Person
  • 01 August 1921-21 February 1995

Born: 01 August 1921, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 February 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at St Ignatius Chicago IL, USA (CHG) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Seán Casey (1921-1995)

1st Aug. 1921: Born in Glin, Co. Limerick
Education: Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1939; Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1942 - 1943: Supplying at Clongowes, Belvedere, Mungret
1943 - 1946: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1946 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1948 - 1950: Regency at Crescent College, Limerick
1950 - 1954: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1953: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1958: Teacher - Crescent College, Limerick
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1962: Teacher, Spiritual Father - Crescent College, Limerick
1962 - 1963; Studied Counselling in Chicago, USA
1963 - 1965: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Teacher of Philosophy - Rome, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1966 - 1967: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Spiritual Father and Adult Education - Crescent College, Limerick
1969 - 1972: Ministered in Sacred Heart Church, Limerick and Adult Education
1972 - 1973: Lecturer in Philosophy - Milltown Institute
1973 - 1975: Director of Adult Education - Limerick
1977 - 1980: CLC.
1980 - 1985: Chaplain - "Eye & Ear" Hospital, Dublin
1985 - 1990: Cherryfield Lodge
1990 - 1995: Kilcroney Nursing Home and St. Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co. Dublin
21st Feb. 1995: Died

The words of our Gospel just read really startle us. They contradict our worldly experience and scale of judgements. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted”. This does not make sense to us when we feel a great loss and are confronted by the awe and mystery of death. Yet, I think, that it is only in the experience of bereavement that we can come to understand the meaning and truth of these words. For there is a blessedness in mourning that can bring us comfort.

We mourn because we have loved and lose and are loved. And St. John has told us that those who love, live in the light.

When we mourn, we support each other, often in silent, unobtrusive ways. That love between us is a truly blessed thing, for it tells us that God is really present among us and walks with us in our grief.

When we mourn, we often think and talk about the one who is no longer with us. Incidents in his life are recalled, words he spoke, humourous sayings, mannerisms or incidents. This fills out the picture of a person's character and life. But such memories are private recollections, intimate and personal, not shared in public - because they are sacred. But they nourish love. They are a comfort.

When we mourn, we learn what the really important things in life are and accept that suffering and the cross touches every life. We come to understand that a person's worth is not measured by success in life or achievements. It rests on their relationship with God and others, by their sincerity, goodness and generosity.

These were qualities Sean possessed in a remarkable degree. He was blessed with a keen, subtle mind. He loved study and was considered to be a person who would achieve great things in the academic world of philosophy. But ill health constantly interfered with his studies. He had to turn to less burdensome, apostolic work which he pursued with all his kindness and skill.

Then he had the terrible accident that rendered him incapacitated for the remainder of his life.

But I never heard him complain. When I visited him in hospital, I saw many of the beatitudes reflected in his demeanour, gentleness, a poverty of spirit that prevented him from criticizing anybody, Jesuit or non-Jesuit. But frequently I heard him expressing gratitude, especially for the care and kindness he received from the Staff and Community in Kilcroney and St. Joseph's. The patients, too, felt at ease with him, "I like Fr. Casey," a patient said to me the last time I was with him, only two days before he died. "I'd like to meet him and talk with him." This was Sean's apostolate over the last few years as he offered himself daily to be one with the Lord. It is in qualities such as these that true greatness is achieved.

The last great comfort that mourning brings us is that it widens our horizons. Our Lord seems to take us away from the narrow confines of a hospital bed and takes us, as it were, to a cliff-top and directs us to look out at a vast expanse of ocean where death and life intermingle, where love in time flows into love in eternity. Those we love never die. “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall live for ever” Christ said. This, surely, is the greatest comfort for all who mourn.

Paul Leonard SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1995

Obituary

Father Seán Casey SJ

Seán Casey was born on the first day of August in 1921 in Glin, Co. Limerick. After school he joined the Jesuits in Emo and took his First Vows there two years later on 8 Sep tember 1941. He broke off his Arts studies, pursued at UCD while living at Rathfarnham Castle; to help out in his old school and, also spent spells in Belvedere and Mungret. From there, he proceeded to Philosophy at Tullabeg and only when he had completed this part of his course in 1946 did he return to Rathfarnham and UCD and complete his Arts degree.

With one year's “regency”, as a Jesuit's years as a teaching scholastic are known, already behind him, Seán spent only two more at the “chalk-face”, this time back in his native Limerick, at the Crescent. He then went on to Milltown Park for the regulation four years of Theology and was ordained after three, on 31 July 1953, by the late Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.

He went back to the Crescent to teach in 1954 and remained at this work and that of Spiritual Father until 1962, with just one intermission, in 1958, when he made his Tertianship at Rathfarnham.

As the Second Vatican Council was ushe ing in a new era for the Church in the autumn of 1962, Seán headed west to study counselling in Chicago. Immediately afterwards, he went to Mungret to teach Philosophy in the Apostolic School and begin his own doctoral studies in Philosophy, which he later pursued in Rome. After a final year in Mungret, he moved once more to the Crescent, when the work of the Apostolic School ended.

For the next five years, he engaged in Adult Education, acted as Spiritual Father in the school (1967-69) and ministered in the Sacred Heart Church (1969-72). A further five years were devoted to teaching Philosophy in the Milltown Institute (1972-3 and 1975-77) and filling the role of Director of Adult Educaiton in Limerick (1973-75). After that Seán worked for the Christian Life Communities movement (formerly the Sodality of Our Lady) for three years and then, in 1980, took up chaplaincy at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

Seán's own health, never robust, failed in the last period of his life. He spent five years at the Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, and then, in 1990, when the need for more intensive care arose, he went to Kilcroney Nursing Home. He died peacefully at St Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co, Dublin, where Kilcroney had been transferred, on 21 February 1995.

Seán Casey was a humble, even diffident man, whose considerable intellectual gifts were often concealed by his diffidence. His various postings in Dublin and Limerick gave him opportunities to deploy his gifts for study and teaching and the gentle listening which was one of his marked characteristics. May he rest in peace.

Casey, Thomas, 1865-1934, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1032
  • Person
  • 10 September 1865-16 September 1934

Born: 10 September 1865, Dublin
Entered: 05 April 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 16 September 1934, Mungret College, County Limerick

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1935

Obituary

Brother Tom Casey SJ

Beloved by the boys, and a great favourite in the Community, Brother Tom Casey passed quietly away from us on September 16th, in his 70th. year, and the 30th of his religious life. He looked much younger : his abundant hair, his fresh, even ruddy, complexion, and his humourous eyes seemed to be those of a man in the early forties.

For the last 12 or 15 years of his life, however, Brother Casey was, more or less an invalid with heart trouble and other complications. He bore his sufferings, weakness, and the occasional attacks of acute pain with the most edifying patience and resignation, indeed with joy ; it seems to the present writer, that like the great St. Paul, he “gloried in the Cross of Our Lord, Jesus Christ”.

His ideal seemed to be to hide his sufferings as much as possible, and to give as little trouble as he could to others. Let two instances of this suffice, I visited him when he was in St John's Hospital, Limerick; during my stay in his room I once touched the electric bell which hung near his bed. When the Sister in charge appeared she said at once that she knew Brother Casey had a visitor, for not once during his illness had he availed himself of that bell. Those who have spent a long time on a bed of sickness will appreciate the spirit of self-denial and the delicate consideration for others to which this bears testimony. On another occasion when detained in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin for a serious and painful operation, he won golden opinions from those who were attending him, so that he was described by the sisters in charge as “the life and soul of the whole hospital”.

Brother Casey suffered acutely in inind as a result of his physical weekness. Superiors had to relieve him gradually of his work, and he was most sensitive on the point. Always anxious to “do his bit”, the relinquishing of each of the offices he held was a fresh pang to his sincere desire to be liseful. At last he was allowed to do nothing but serve Mass, and this with the proviso that he should sit on a bench near the altar and merely answer the responses. He heard or served in this way, four or five Masses each morning - a great consolation to him, for he had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and speat many hours each day before the Tabernacle.

His genuine kindness, constant good humour, and ready wit, (like St Robert Bellarmine, he was an inveterate punster), endeared him to the boys by whom he is deeply regretted, and will be long remembered with affection. For the deep voice, the droll humour, the merry twinkle of the eyes when he told his little jokes canot be easily forgotten by the generations of Mungret boys who knew Brother Casey. Right up to the very end he retained his facility to quip and jest. His last illness was short. He met death with a smile.

And so well he might, for he was a trully holy soul, and I am sure that many of the blessings showered on1 the College were due to his pious prayers. Now that he has gone to his eternal reward, we may feel sure that he will not forget those amongst whom and for whom he spent such a considerable portion of his life as a Jesuit.
JC

Cassidy, Derek O, 1943-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/811
  • Person
  • 10 April 1943-30 March 2017

Born: 10 April 1943, Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1965, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 04 March 1985, Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
Died: 30 March 2017, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

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

Grew up in Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin.
by 1977 at Regis Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013 https://www.jesuit.ie/news/derek-cassidy-sj-man-soulful-presence/

Derek Cassidy SJ – a soulful presence
Fr Derek Cassidy SJ died peacefully on Thursday morning, 30 March, in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. He had been a dialysis patient for many years. In recent months, his health began to deteriorate very rapidly. The staff of Beaumont Hospital knew him well and gave him great care. He lay in rest at Belvedere College SJ on 2 April and his funeral mass took place on 3 April in Gardiner Street Church, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery. Leonard Moloney SJ, the Irish Provincial who worked with Fr Derek in Belvedere College, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the mass.
Fr Derek served as Rector of Belvedere College since 2002 and was a much-loved member of the College community. He was also a member of the Jesuit community in Gardiner St, Dublin and will be sadly missed by them. He is deeply regretted by his brother Damien and wife Anne, sisters Thelma, Sandra and Denise, nephew Joe, nieces Frances, Susan and Jennifer, grandnieces Chloe, Lucy, Katie and Baby Anne, Jesuit brothers, extended family and his many friends.
Tributes were paid to Fr Derek through the Irish Jesuits page on Facebook. Bláth McDonnell commented, “Rest in Peace Fr. Derek. He had always been such a calm, kind and gentle presence around the College and will be sadly missed”. Thomas Giblin said, “What I remember of Derek was his complete presence in a conversation. It is in his eyes in the photo above. When you needed him, he was with you. There was no doubt. That made him a great chaplain and a wonderful friend”. And Clar Mag Uidhrin said, “So sorry to hear this. I’m blessed I had the opportunity to work alongside him. Rest in peace Fr Derek”. And Niall Markey noted, “Rest in peace, Derek. Thank you for the kindness you showed to me throughout my Jesuit journey. God bless”.
Fr Derek worked in school chaplaincy for a large part of his Jesuit life. He also taught as a Religious Education/Religious Studies teacher at Belvedere for several years. His ratings were above the average at 4.35/5 stars as recorded on ratemyteachers.com. Students comments included: “Biggest baller going, inspiration and a half, aspire to be like this man”; “legend of the school”; “great guy”; and “a class act, very quiet but when he preaches it all makes sense, especially with the Simpsons references”. The school’s pastoral blog noted his Golden Jubilee in 2015 and remarked, “Fr Derek is a wonderful example of what Jesuit life represents”.
Fr Derek made deep impressions on the Belvedere community during the last 16 years of his life. Headmaster Gerry Foley was particularly close to him, as evident from this personal tribute:

Remembering Derek
When we gathered in St. Francis Xavier Church, in Gardner Street, we gathered in sadness, but we wanted to celebrate and give thanks for Fr. Derek’s life with his family and with the Jesuit province. Each of us knew Derek in a different way and we all have memories of a man who could laugh at himself, the world and laugh and talk with people of very different ages and backgrounds. In mourning him we remember fondly stories that highlight his wit, his willingness to confront what he perceived was wrong, even if that led to a difficult experience for both himself and whoever thought he was going to hold back, simply because of his vocation. You did not have to guess Derek’s opinions and views. He could be subtle or when required, bold and forthright when subtlety failed.
Derek’s response to illness made you realise that we should never take being alive and having health, for granted. The theology of salvation was not theoretical for him, it was a lived example.
Images of him laughing, chatting driving in the car or the cheerleaders in the minibus, mix with images of him being silent and attentive. I was lucky enough to bring him the Leinster Senior Cup on the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day. He was delighted and it was uplifting to see the chief cheerleader who loved rugby so much. He received that cup three times previously on the Front door of Belvedere House, so it represented commitment and dedication for him.
There are many things in his office, which point to who Derek is and what he brought to the college. There is a small-framed reproduction of the painting, Light of the world, Holman Hunt, Jesus carrying a lantern knocking on the door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, open the door, I will come to him, and I will sup with him and he with me”. On the left side is the human soul, locked away behind an overgrown doorway. Derek invited people to listen more carefully for that knock and when it came, wrench open the door, which could be difficult, and invite Jesus in.
On the table in Derek’s office is “The Simpsons and Philosophy, The D’oh of Homer.” It’s noteworthy that Richard Dawkins, Brief Candle in the Dark” is on the shelf, so Derek was catholic in his sources of inspiration. The connection may not seem obvious, but one of Derek’s favourite episodes of the Simpsons, which he used in his homilies, is the one where Bart, declaring he does not believe in having a soul, sells it, only to regret it when he discovers that life with soul is a life deprived.
If you re- watch the episode of the Simpsons he oft quoted, where Bart sells his soul, you will get a better understanding of Derek’s ability to pick something simple and use it to point to what is profound. He used it in his homily to remind all of us that soul is important, the essence of who we are and not to sell out for something else. For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what should a man give in exchange for his soul?
By using the Simpsons, Derek highlighted the challenge of Jesuit Education, to place the person of Jesus at the heart of what we do.
So, amid all Derek’s jocularity, there lay a sincerity, a belief that life was so much better lived if the gentleness of humility and care of Jesus was our inspiration.
Looking around his office, the photograph of one of the first Kairos, a card depicting Fr. John Sullivan, the photo of Fr. Reidy, photos of his family, the mass booklet from one of the Past Pupil Reunions, the framed newspaper article on the Jes winning the cup, The Belvo black and white, the Poster of the Holy Land, the model of the BMW 3 series reveal that Derek treasured many people and held them close to his heart, and indicated why he was held in their heart.
One of Derek’s many achievements in Belvedere was to develop the role of Rector, which was a challenge given we are not residents in the school but we are a community almost without boundaries. His presence as a man who was reflective and invited reflection has had an impact on so many people and on so many different levels.
His dry wit often brightened the moment and his genuine question asking “How are you?...” was never followed by a hurried moment, he gave generously of his time and gave people space so they could take time out of their hurried day, to stop, think and enter that space where prayer leads us. That appreciation of the moment lay at the heart of so many memories of him either sharing a glass, or at a meal or on a journey in somewhere like Greece, Rome, with students, or for me, very fond memories of when we were setting up the Chinese Exchange or the Boston exchanges. In Hong Kong, climbing a steep hill, the hand drawn rickshaw pullers approached Derek and avoided both the late Barry O’ Leary and I. We joked that it was the result of old age being respected in China, he quipped that their reluctance to approach us was a justified concern for their back, given our weight!
These exchanges expanded the Jesuit network and helped develop the sense of being a community sharing our faith journey. As with his untiring work in Fundraising and on the Buildings Committee, and Jesuit Identity Committee, he was passionate in providing the right environment to nurture community, friendship and learning.
Derek’s publican background gave him the skills to be fully present to people, to hear their story and enter into it with them. That is why so many students hold his memory dearly and fondly. He was there, fully present, not just physically, but in his un-divided attention to them.
If you asked Derek how he was, he never complained, instead he would reply with something like, “looking down on the daisies, which is better than looking up at them!” Even when he lost his toe he made a joke of it, saying the coffin was getting lighter by the day, and that was another aspect of Derek that made him attractive, particularly to students, he was a bit of a rebel, could be anti-establishment, feared not death because he believed and yet remained true to all that was good.
When we went to Hong Kong, Derek met Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (102), the last surviving child of Michael Mallin, executed leader of the Easter Rising in 1916. Derek and he shared a Republican background and he was immensely proud to be Irish. The Coleman’s mustard, sitting on the shelf in his office, is probably the only British thing he would admit tasted good.
On the little table is the statue of the Holy Family, Joseph and Mary looking at Jesus as he learns the trade of carpentry. Joseph’s hand is raised, obviously in instruction, while Mary looks on with great pride in her son. Derek had that care and pride for the students as they grew in their apprenticeship of what would be their adult personality. He loved young people and loved the privilege of being involved in their life. Lastly there was the prayer on the wall, and I think it captures a lot of his humour and honesty.
“Dear God, so far today I’ve done alright, I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help...”
Derek was that help for a lot of us and while extending our sympathy and condolences to his community and his family, I want to extend, on behalf of the Belvedere family, a sincere Thank You. For 16 years, we enjoyed Derek as chaplain, teacher, Form Tutor, Rector and Board member. You shared him with us and we are forever grateful for that. His soul will continue his work with the students and families and we gain strength from his example as a Jesuit, a priest, a friend and a companion.
May he rest in the peace of Christ. Gerry Foley

Early Education at St Mary’s Convent Arklow; SS Michael & John, Smock Alley, Dublin; De La Salle, Ballyfermot, Dublin; Mungret College SJ; Apprentice Solicitor & Barman

1967-1970 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1970-1971 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at UCD
1971-1976 Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy & Theology (integrated)
1974 Milltown Park - Administration at Irish School of Ecumenics
1976-1977 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Studying Theology at Regis College
1977-1978 Tabor House - Vice-Superior; Minister; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1978-1980 Leave of Absence
1980-1982 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Chaplain; Teacher
1982-1983 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1983-1989 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Director of Pastoral Care; Teacher
1989-1990 Tabor - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assistant in Retreat House
1990-1999 Campion House - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assists Tabor House & JVC; Young Adult Ministry
1993 Superior at Campion
1995 Principal & Treasurer at University Hall
1996 Formation Delegate
1999-2001 Leeson St - Principal & Treasurer at University Hall; Young Adults & Formation Delegate
2000 Sabbatical
2001-2004 Belvedere College SJ - College Chaplain; Teacher
2002 Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2003 Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2004-2017 Gardiner St - Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2011 College Chaplain & Teacher at Belvedere College SJ
2012 Rector of Belvedere College SJ

Coffey, Christopher, 1830-1911, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1062
  • Person
  • 12 July 1830-29 March 1911

Born: 12 July 1830, Trim County Meath/Loughanure, Clane, Co Kildare
Entered: 23 May 1858, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare
Professed: 15 August 1868
Died: 29 March 1911, Mungret College, County Limerick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was born at Trim but brought up at Loughanure, on the Meath and Kildare border.

At the time of Entry he had good knowledge of carpentry and building. In the 50 years he spent in the Province, he is in nearly all the houses, wherever a trusty man was needed to oversee and tale charge of a building project, or some important structural change safely through. So, he was at Crescent for the building of the Church there. He was also in Galway during the building of the Church there. Later he went to St Beuno’s in Wales during the construction of the new library there.
1887 By this time he began a special relationship with Mungret. He taught carpentry to a number of young men who came to the house to be trained as Brothers for the Missions. Later he went to Milltown as clerk of works for the building of the chapel there, and then back to Mungret to supervise the building of a new storey on the old buildings of the former Agricultural College.
Even though age had begun to undermine his strength he was still able to do a fair share of work by overseeing the work of others. He was a man of reflective and contemplative style, and his conversation often gave evidence of true insight and good judgement. Among the football and cricket students he was their oracle for the weather!
He was an observant religious, peaceful in his dealings with all, never querulous, and he bore the increasing infirmities of age with great patience. Winters became more taxing, but he always seemed to emerge from this season hale and hearty. Even toward his end, there had been hopes by all that he would be seen strolling thought the grounds and corridors. He said “If the east wind holds it will carry me off, if it changes I shall pull round again for a bit, please God”.
He died peacefully 29/03/1911, and after the Requiem Mass he was brought to the small cemetery and buried between William Frayne and David MacEvoy, and close to the grave of William Ronan.

Note from Francis Hegarty Entry :
He did return after some months, and there he found in Father Bracken, a Postulant Master and Novice Master, and this was a man he cherished all his life with reverence and affection. His second Postulancy was very long and hard - four years. he took the strain and was admitted as a Novice with seven others who had not had so trying a time as himself. He liked to say that all seven along with him remained true to their vocation until death, and he was the last survivor. They were Christopher Coffey, John Freeman, David McEvoy, James Maguire, John Hanly, James Rorke and Patrick Temple.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Christopher Coffey 1830-1911
Christopher Coffey was born in 1830 at Loughanure, on the borders of Meath and Kildare. In 1858 he entered the Society as a coadjutor Brother. He had a good knowledge of building and carpentry, so during the half century he spent in the Society, he resided in those houses where building or structural works were necessary.

This he was at Crescent for the building of the Sacred Heart Church. Similarly he was in Galway for the building of the Church of St Ignatius. He was actually sent across the water to St Beuno’s for the erection of the library there. In 1887 his special connection with Mungret began.

In Mungret he taught a class of young men who had come to be trained as coadjutor brothers for the foreign missions. He interrupted this task to go to Milltown Park for the building of the chapel, but was soon back in Mungret to assist at the building of the new storey to the original house.

He was an observant religious “just before God, walking in all the Commandments of the Lord without blame”. In his old age he was remarkably edifying and cheerful under his disabilities.When hopes were expressed by his friends of seeing his familiar figure round the grounds and corridors for many more years, he used say “If the east wind holds it will carry me off; if it changes I shall pull around again for a bit, please God”.

He retained his faculties to the last, and fortified by the Rites of the Holy Church, he passed away peacefully on March 29th 1911, and he was buried in the cemetery at Mungret, close to the grave of Fr Ronan.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1911

Obituary

Brother Christopher Coffey SJ

Another of the old familiar faces has vanished from our midst. Few of our past students but will remember Br Coffey. On and off he had lived some twenty years in the college. During that time he had ever the cheery “good-day” for all, the big and the little, the young and the old.

Born at Trim in 1830, and brought up at Loughanure, on the borders of Meath and Kildare, Christopher Coffey entered the Society in 1858 as a Lay Brother. He had at the time a good knowledge of building and carpentry, During the half century he spent in the Society he resided in nearly all the houses of the Irish Province, wherever a trusty man was needed to take charge of a rising edifice or to see some important structural change safely through. Thus he was at the Crescent House, Limerick, for the building of the Church of the Sacred Heart some 46 years ago. Similarly he was at Galway, when the Church of St Ignatius was built, and he went later on to the College of St Beuno's, N Wales, for the erection of the new library there.

His special connection with Mungret began about 1887, when he taught carpentry to a number of young men who had come to this house to be trained as Lay Brothers for the foreign Missions, under a plan which was in trial for a couple of years. Later on he was at Milltown Park, as clerk of the works for the building of the chapel, and back here again when the new storey was being added to the old buildings or former Agricultural College.

As age undermined his strength he could still do his share for the general good by overseeing the labours of others. He was of a reflective and even a contemplative turn of mind, and his conversation often gave much evi dence of true insight and sound judginent. Among the football and cricket enthusiasts of the school he was looked up to as their trusted oracle of the weather.

He was an observant religious, and we may say of him that he was “just before God, walking in all the Commandments of the Lord without blame”. Peaceful in his dealings with all, he was in no wise querulous, bearing, the increasing infirmlties of old age with admirable patience: Last winter had tried him severely; but in spite of the ups und downs he would re-appear seemingly hale and hearty as ever. Even to nearly the end, hopes were entertained of again seeing his familiar figure stroll about the corridors and grounds. . But In his own philosophic way; he said - “If the east wind holds it will carry me off, if it changes I shall pull round again for a bit, please God”. He retained his faculties to the last, and fortified with the rites of Holy Church he passed away peacefully on Wednesday, the 29th of March. . On the following Friday, after Requiem Mass and Office, his re mains were borne to the little' cemetery, and were there laid to rest between those of Brs Frayne and MacEvoy, and close to the grave of Fr Ronan, where with them and some other fellow-workers he awaits the final trumpet-call. RIP

Coffey, Patrick, 1909-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/94
  • Person
  • 10 June 1909-19 August 1983

Born: 10 June 1909, Cork City
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Mungret College Sj, Limerick
Died: 19 August 1983, Kilcroney, County Wickow

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

Early Education at Presentation Brothers College, Cork City

1933-1934 Caring for Health
by 1967 at West Heath Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Southwark Diocese (ANG) working
by 1971 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) working
by 1972 at Deptford London (ANG) working

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 58th Year No 4 1983

Gardiner Street
The summer months saw the passing of two members of our community. Fr Johnny McAvoy († 26th July), who had given us an outstanding example of cheerful endurance during his long struggle with ill health, was the first to go. As noted in our last report, he had had to return to Cherryfield Lodge some months ago, to receive special care. At the very end, however, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died after a brain haemorrhage which mercifully saved him from prolonged suffering.
Fr Paddy Coffey, who died almost a month later († 19th August), was also attached to our community, though he had been living at St Joseph's, Kilcroney, or many years. It is no exaggeration to say that he was a legend in the Province for his amazing will-power and persistence. It would have been fascinating to listen in to his last battle of with the Lord! His ever-widening circle of friends will miss his gentle but determined winning ways.
May he and Johnny rest in the the serenity of eternal peace.

Obituary

Obituary

Fr Patrick Coffey (1909-1926-1983)

Paddy Coffey arrived in Tullabeg on 1st September 1926: a sporty little Corkonian ready for anything, a bony little flier at football who would go through you with delight, kicking the shins off you in his passage. He seemed to lose a lot of this zest in the he had a period of pious “broken head” - a term which older Jesuits may have to explain to younger, less pious ones.
As far as I recall he was well while in Rathfarnham, where he got an Honours BA, but after that he was seldom free from illness and disability. In philosophy at Tullabeg he had a long and serious illness, during which he was reduced almost to the state of a vegetable. It is said that the authorities thought he should leave the Society, but Paddy dug his heels in. That dogged and even obstinate determination became a well-known characteristic of his. He began philosophy in 1931, but his was so interrupted that it did not end until 1936.
After Tullabeg he spent two years in Mungret, where he was prefect of Third Club and teacher. After theology in Milltown, where he was ordained in 1941, in 1943 he returned
to Mungret, where by far the greater part of his life was to be spent: indeed, he became identified with Mungret. For two years he was prefect of First Club. The boys used to mimic a saying from a pep-talk of his: Rugby is a game of blood and mud! When there was a difference of opinion about policy or a fixture, he would fight quite fiercely to the last and when he yielded, it was from his religious spirit.
Besides teaching, he also edited the Mungret Annual. This was his greatest work in and for Mungret. He had a great feeling for the boys - I never heard him running them down - and an exceptional involvement with the Past: probably the reason he was made editor of the Annual. Indeed, he founded and produced the Mungret Eagle for the Past. This was a brochure of about 8 to 12 pages,containing photographs and all the bits of news that could be gathered about their whereabouts and activities, with a section about the Present. It was sent out free several times a year, and was eagerly read.
I don't think any function of the Mungret Union took place without him. Later on, in Gardiner street, he asked Fr Kieran Hanley if he might go to the Mungret Union dinner. When that benign and not easily outwitted superior, said, “Certainly,Paddy, in fact you ought to go”'. Paddy added, with his little grin, “It's in London, you know”.
Paddy's life-story is less than half told without mention of his serious accident. He was on a supply in the Dartford area of Kent in August 1953: the date was the 16th. His motor-bike stalled as he was crossing the highway, and a speeding car crashed into him. He was unconscious for at least a week and a leg had to be amputated. The hospital staff said that in his situation any ordinary person would have died, and they were astonished at his exceptional determination, which gradually carried him through. He never learned to use the artificial leg as it could be used, but when he returned to Mungret, he had obviously resolved to carry on as if nothing had happened. He got a bicycle made with one loose pedal crank, and on it he propelled himself shakily with one leg into town almost every day. He also insisted on keeping his room at the very top of the house, until the community could no longer bear the nerve-racking sound of him stumping up the stairs at midnight or later. It was during these years that his notable work with the Union and the Annual was done. He also taught (at least until 1964), but was quite likely to fall asleep in class.
He was well-known to be quite shameless and even peremptory in 'exploiting' his friends of the Past with regard to motor transport by day or by night. When he had left Mungret (which he did in 1966), I happened to be with a group who were jokingly recalling the occasions when they were commandeered, and it made me wonder when they ended up saying unanimously “All the same, he was a saint”. I have always suspected that he gave a good deal of his presence to less well-off people in Limerick, but Paddy played his cards so close to his chest that one never
knew the half of his activities,
Mention of cards reminds me that he loved card games, “hooleys”, sing songs, hotels, and visiting his friends. Yet I always felt that though he was ready for any escapade that didn't involve excommunication, with himself he was a very strict religious, unswervingly faithful to the way he was brought up.
I don't think anyone expected that he would ever leave Mungret as well again, but in 1966 he launched out, “wooden leg” and all, to Birmingham, where he did parish work for three years, then for six more years did the same in Deptford (Southwark diocese). In 1975 he joined the Gardiner street community, but lived in some kind of accommodation in North Summer street and worked in Seán McDermott street parish.
He was about a year in Dublin when he suffered a stroke which left: one arm useless and affected his leg. With his unconquerable determination he soldiered on in St Joseph's, Kilcroney, for seven long and trying years, keeping in touch with his friends by continual letters, getting taken out at every opportunity, even when he was reduced to using a wheelchair. He was always glad to see members of the Society. The last, almost inaudible, words I heard from him, a few hours before he died (19th August 1983), were “Coffee, piles of it, but don't tell the nurse!”
May he rest in peace at last, and may his long sufferings and indomitable spirit merit for him 'above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.

Coghlan, Bartholomew, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/95
  • Person
  • 28 December 1873-10 October 1954

Born: 28 December 1873, Clogheen, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 10 October 1954, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1896 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1910 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
The Irish Sodality : This Sodality is directed by Fr Michael McGrath. It grew out of the first week-end retreat in Irish at Milltown Park in 1916. After the retreat, steps were taken with a view to the formation of an Irish-speaking Sodality for men. Success attended the effort, and the first meeting was held in Gardiner Street on Friday in Passion Week. The Sodality soon numbered 400 members. In 1917 a second Irish-speaking Sodality, exclusively for women, was established. In a short time it was found advisable to amalgamate the two branches. The Sodality is now in a flourishing condition, and has every prospect of a bright future before it. In addition to the Sodality, there is an annual “open” retreat given in Gardiner Street to Irish speakers. The first of these retreats was given in 1923 by Fr Coghlan, he also gave the second the following year. The third was given by Father Saul.

Irish Province News 30th Year No 1 1955
Obituary :
Father Bartholomew Coghlan

Fr. Bartholomew Coughlan Fr. Coghlan was born on December 28th, 1873 at Clogheen, Co. Tipperary. After attending Mungret College he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg on September 7th, 1893. He went to Roehampton for his classical studies in 1895, and did Philosophy in Valkenburg from 1896-1899. He came to Crescent College, Limerick in the summer of 1899, and taught there until he went to Belvedere in 1901. In 1903 he went to teach in Clongowes, and in 1905 began Theology in Milltown. He was ordained there in 1908 and after Theology taught for a year in the Crescent, then going to Linz, in Austria, for his Tertianship.
After Tertianship, Fr. Coghlan spent a year in Belvedere, teaching, and assisting Fr. Joseph MacDonnell, in the work of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart. Then he spent three years teaching in the Crescent, followed by four in Mungret. In 1918 he came to Galway to work both in church and school. He taught in the college until it was suspended in 1926, when he continued on with his work in the church. For a number of years he was Director of the Irish Sodality attached to St. Ignatius.
After long years of unswerving devotion to all aspects of church work, but especially to the arduous toil of the confessional, advancing age began to make its demands on his splendid constitution. For a time he fought off these attacks and continued to live by the regime he made peculiarly his own, but in the end he could no longer rally spent forces, and died peacefully, fortified by the rites of the Church, on October 10th. He was laid to rest mourned alike by the community, to which his very presence gave a special, highly-prized character, and his passing a sense of irreparable loss; and by the people of the city whom he had served so long and so unselfishly.
We give below two appreciations of Fr. Coghlan which have reached us. That the writers are separated by almost a generation suggests the universality of the appeal of Fr. Coghlan's personality,
“A man of giant frame, and of giant intellect and amazing memory; a reader and speaker of the chief European languages, Irish, German, French, English, Italian, Russian and Swedish and a lover of the classics; a historian consulted by many on the bye-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions; a confessor, who was a real anam-chara, a soul friend, to prelates and priests and people, high and low, from all over Connacht; a true patriot, in the Fenian tradition, one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, and always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom - Fr. Batt was all that. But it was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self-sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour, springing from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From that root, too, came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose or affectation and was the chief characteristic of his death-bed, when as men view all life from ‘that horizontal’, all pose or affectation falls away.
“We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man.
“Go ndéantar toil Dé. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam umhal uasal”.
“When I thought of writing something by way of appreciation of Fr. Coghlan, a remark of Fr. Peter Dwyer, who died some years since, occurred to my mind : '’ am a good friend of Fr. Coghlan's’ - and then, ruefully, ‘But Fr. Coghlan is very hard on his friends’. He was alluding, of course, to Fr. Coghlan's obliviousness of time, once he had induced you to sit down in the big chair - which he himself rarely or never used, ‘for a few words’. Fr. Coghlan loved a chat - it was his only relaxation in these later years when he became unable to move about freely; the wonder is that he survived, and with relatively good health, without some modicum of physical exercise.
And then while you were thus ensconsed you had the benefit of his varied knowledge the method was informal - the transitions, simplicity itself; but when you surveyed this mass, you found included - Russia and Sweden, and Germany and Italy, an episode from Michelet, a remark from Pastor. But these were only a fraction of his acquisitions; then Silva Gadelica and Séadhna and the Homes of Tipperary brought him home and it was home moulded his outlook, however extensive his other learning. With all that he was not merely bookish; his wide experience as a confessor had broadened the humanity in him which won him so much esteem and so many friends at home and without. Some of these friends were won many years previously, and correspondence continued when direct contact had long become impossible; his Christmas letters were well nigh as far-flowing as his reading - to religious whose vocations he had fostered, to scholastics or young priests who had won his intimacy while attached to the staff here. In his friendship for the latter particularly, I think, he preserved his youth.
His character and whole temperament was simple and straight forward; nothing studied or calculated attracted him; he was impatient of affectation or what appeared affectation to him and he reacted accordingly; if he had a ‘wart’ it was this - that he was possibly over-sensitive on this point.
The sincerity, which was instructive, was readily recognised; the sympathy and consolation he could provide in his equable fatherly way made him the confessor par excellence and priests and laity, having once discovered this treasure, returned continuously over long years for his guidance. These demands were no small burden, but he was devoted to this work and even towards the end - when his strength was evidently overtaxed - he replied to expostulations ‘some people will probably be waiting below who would find themselves less at home with another’ and he trudged to the box.
These appear to be the salient points in this review from one who only knew him late; if Fr. Dwyer's remark was true we only now appreciate ‘when the well is dry’ that the balance of payments for time expended was all in our favour his value was of things from afar. R.I.P.”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Bartholomew Coughlan 1873-1954
Fr Batt Coughlan, as he was affectionately called, was a man of giant frame, giant intellect and amazing memory, a reader and speaker of the eight chief European languages, including Russian and Swedish.

He was a lover of the classics, an historian, consulted by many on the by-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions. He was a confessor who was a real “anam-cara”, a soul friend to prelates, priests and people, high and low from all over Connaught.

He was a true patriot in the Fenian tradition, and one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom.

But is was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour springing up from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all. From that root too came a strange childlike simplicity, that made him above all pose of affectation, and was the chief characteristic of his death bed, when as men view all life from that horizontal, all poise of affectation falls away.

He was born in Clogheen Tipperary inn 1873, educated at Mungret and entered at Tullabeg in 1893.

His life in the Society was spent mainly in the classroom and Church. From 1918 he was stationed at Galway, till the breath left him peacefully and effortlessly on October 10th 1954.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father Bartholomew Coghlan SJ

Fr Batt Coughlan was born on December 28th 1873, at Clogheen, Co Tipperary. After leaving Mungret College he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1893. After doing some of his studies abroad he was ordained in 1908 at Milltown Park. After completing his studies, Fr Coughlan spent a year in Belvedere assisting Fr Joseph McDonnell in the work of the Irish Messenger. There followed three years teaching in the Crescent College, with four in Murgret. In 1918 he went to Galway to work in both school and Church, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Fr Coughlan was a man of great intellect, and amazing memory. He spoke the chief European languages, Irish, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish, and loved the classics. He was a historian consulted by many on the byeways of history, a theologian whose advice was often sought on moral questions, a confessor who was a real soul friend to prelates, priests and people of all classes from all over the West. It was, however, his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and sick and his rich fund of humours spring from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From thắt root too came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose and affectation, and was characteristic of his deathbed when all pose and affectation fall away. As some one remarked “We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man”. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Bartholomew Coghlan (1873-1954)

Was born in Clogheen, Co. Tipperary and at the end of his school days at Mungret College, entered the Society in 1893. He studied at Rhoehampton, Valkenburg, Milltown Park, and in Austria. He was ordained priest in Dublin in 1908. Father Coghlan's first association with the Crescent was during his scholastic days from 1899-1901. He returned as a priest in 1908 but spent only a year. He was again at the Crescent from 1911 to 1914. He continued as master at Mungret College (1914-18) when he left for St Ignatius College, Galway, where he remained until his death. By modern standards, Father Coghlan was not a great teacher. He was, perhaps, too learned to be a successful master. His repertoire of languages included Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish. But he carried his gifts modestly. He was universally loved and respected by his pupils. During his long association with Galway city, Father “Bart”, as he was affectionately known, was the anam-chara of the town and county. His spiritual direction was highly valued by the clergy, religious and laity alike.

Connell, Francis, 1864-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1088
  • Person
  • 31 March 1864-12 July 1951

Born: 31 March 1864, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 12 November 1886, Xavier Melbourne, Australia
Ordained: 1900
Professed: 15 August 1902
Died: 12 July 1951, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1895 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1896 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1901 at Sartirana, Merate, Como, Italy (VEM) making Tertianship
by 1902 returned to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Older brother of Dominic - RIP 1933

His early education was at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and then he Entered the Society at Xavier College Kew

1888-1889 After First Vows he did his Juniorate at Xavier College
1889--1890 He was sent for a Regency to St Aloysius College Sydney
1890-1892 He continued his regency at St Ignatius College Riverview. Here his singing at the boy’s concerts was popular. He was also Director of Rowing, and in 1891 he welcomed the Governor and his wife Lord and Lady Jersey to a rowing regatta.
1892-1894 He finished his Regency at Xavier College Kew
1894-1897 He was sent to Leuven Belgium and Stonyhurst England for Philosophy.
1897-1900 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1900-1901 He made Tertianship at Merate Italy
1901-1904 He was sent teaching at Mungret College Limerick.
1904-1905 He was sent to St Aloysius College Sydney as First Prefect.
1906-1914 He was then sent for a long experience of teaching at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, where he was also President of the Men’s Sodality (1906-1912)
1917-1921 He was sent to work at the Norwood Parish, where he was involved with the choir and taught catechism at local schools.
1921-1947 He then began a long association with St Ignatius College Riverview.
1947-1951 He spent his last years praying for the Church and Society at Canisius College Pymble

His reputation among his students was that of a very kind and thoughtful man. He was a gifted linguist in French, German, Spanish and Italian, and a respected teacher in his earlier years. He wrote many poems that appeared in the Riverview “Alma Mater”.

The above said he was also cursed with a strong temper which he never really conquered. The turning point in his life came at the Norwood Parish in 1920. There was a problem which resulted in his being moved to Riverview, where the Rector was instructed to keep a close eye on his correspondence and movements. He took this very badly himself and allowed himself to become embittered against all Superiors, and even against the Society itself. He did not conceal this bitterness, even from the boys at Riverview. This, of course, only strengthened the Superiors in their resolve to monitor him. He remained an unhappy man and was never reconciled with his Superiors.

His final move to Pymble was a happier one and he ended his life in greater peace.

At the time of his death he was the oldest man in the Province.

Connolly, Patrick J, 1875-1951 Jesuit priest and editor

  • IE IJA J/31
  • Person
  • 14 December 1875-07 March 1951

Born: 14 December 1875, Killomoran, Gort, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 March 1951, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson St, Dublin

by 1896 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1898 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1912 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

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

Connolly, Patrick J. (1875–1951), Jesuit priest and journal editor, was born 23 November 1875 at Killomoran, near Gort, Co. Galway, a son of Patrick Connolly, an illiterate farmer, and his wife, Mary (née Connors). He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick. After entering the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1893, he studied in England, at Roehampton, and France, at Vals. He then taught at Mungret, Belvedere and Clongowes, and was ordained priest in 1910.

From July 1914 until September 1950 he was editor of the new Irish Jesuit quarterly, Studies, which he made the most important catholic periodical read by Irish intellectuals. It contained articles on social issues, philosophy, history, economics (all pertaining directly or indirectly to Ireland), and on the state of continental Europe. An example from 1933 is a perceptive assessment of Hitler by D. A. Binchy (qv). Connolly's only original contribution was a two-part article, ‘Karl Lueger’, on the militantly catholic mayor of Vienna (Studies, iii, 1914, 280–91, iv, 1915, 226–49). Having spent a year in Austria after ordination, he greatly admired Lueger, a man of humble origins supported by the petty bourgeoisie and industrial workers, as a daring social reformer and as an opponent of ‘the Liberals and the Jews’. From 1924 until 1949 Connolly was spiritual director of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. On 7 December 1939 he was awarded an honorary D.Litt. by the NUI. Attached, for almost all his career, to the Jesuit house at 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin, he died 7 March 1951 in Dublin.

GRO; Ir. Times, 8 Dec. 1939, 8 Mar. 1951; Irish Independent, 8 Mar. 1951; Irish Provincial News, vii, no. 3 (July 1951), 76–9; Michael Tierney, ‘Looking back’, Studies, xxxix (1950), 369–72; Michael Tierney, ‘Studies, 1912–1962’, Studies, li (1962), 1–8 (with portrait); J. A. Gaughan, Olivia Mary Taaffe, 1832–1918, foundress of St Joseph's Young Priests Society (1995) (with portrait)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Father PJ Connolly

Father Patrick Connolly died on Wednesday morning, March 7th, just four weeks after an operation which had seemed to promise complete recovery. His sudden death came as a shock to many of his friends who had been expecting to see him back again in his familiar haunts. To the members of his own community it was the breaking of a very much cherished link with the past. For Father Connolly had come to Leeson Street in the summer of 1914, and had been Editor of Studies for the long and unbroken period of thirty-six years. Though his name no longer appeared as Editor in the status of 1950, he was asked to see the September issue through the press since he had in fact planned it. That was the last issue which came out under his supervişion. In December the new Editor very suitably produced an issue which opened with a most generous and sympathetic notice of Father Connolly's achievement from Dr. Michael Tierney, now President of University College, Dublin and for many years his most faithful and valued contributor. The issue for March had not yet appeared when the final call came. Fittingly enough, life ended within a few months of the end of an unusually long and fruitful editorship.
Father Connolly was a Galwayman, a native of Gort. On the day that he died Sir Joseph Glynn, another native of Gort, died after a long illness in Dublin. The two men, priest and layman, had been associated for many years in the work of Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society, and their common interest in their native county may well have held them together in this good work for the education of young boys who wished to study for the priesthood. But Father Connolly had another motive for his life-long interest in this work. He himself had been educated in Mungret College, in the great days of Father Vincent Byrne's rectorship, and he never lost an opportunity of helping his Alma Mater when there was question of finding a suitable school for the education of some young aspirant to the priesthood. In later years it was a standing joke in the community to reproach him with having been the Rector's favourite boy during his years at school. He left Mungret in the summer of 1893, and entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in the following September. As a Junior he was sent for two years to the English Juniorate at Manresa, Roehampton, even then it was thought probable that his work would lie in literary activity. From Manresa he went to Vals as a philosopher, then to Mungret, Belvedere and Clongowes for the years of his regency. He was in Milltown Park from 1907 to 1911, being ordained in the summer of 1910. After a year in a Tertian in Austria, he came back to Clongowes as Master of English as 1912.
The Fathers of the Leeson Street community had begun to publish Studies in the Spring of 1912, with Father Corcoran as Editor. It was a false start - so false that it came near to being fatal. At the visitation of 1914 the abandonment of the whole enterprise was seriously considered, and one of the debts which the Irish Province owes to Father T. V. Nolan is that he decided to continue publication, bringing Father Connolly from Clongowes to Dublin for that purpose. Hitherto the Leeson Street community had been responsible for the finances of the new Quarterly. Henceforward the Province made itself responsible for any possible loss. But the appointment of the new Editor soon turned loss into gain.
The first ten or twelve years were the most successful of Father Connolly's long tenure of office as Editor of Studies. They were the years when the first World War was opening new horizons in social and international questions abroad. At home Sinn Fein was sweeping the country, and the Anglo-Irish literary movement of the first two decades of the century was giving place to a more actively political and national campaign. It was an opportunity for any Editor with vision, and Father Connolly's fellow-workers were never slow to remind him that vision was his special gift. Beyond all doubt the quarterly issues of Studies from 1914 to the early 'thirties were a fine achievement, of which lay Editor might be proud. Hardly a name that was known in .the country as writer or thinker is missing from the title-pages of those years. The Civil War took the heart out of the national movement from 1922 onwards, but there was still enough mental energy in the country to make men eager to plan, and put their thoughts on paper. Eoin MacNeill and his pupils had set men studying the history of Ireland from a new angle, and Father Connolly was always willing to print any article that could fairly be described as a serious contribution to the study of Irish history.
As the years went on, the split between the two sections of what had once been the Sinn Fein party tended to harden on party lines, and an Editor was less free in his choice of contributors. During the 'thirties the European scene was intensely dramatic in its swift movements, with the clash of strong personalities and the ever-growing challenge to Catholic principles. Some of the best articles printed in these years dealt rather with European than Irish politics, though there was always a steady stream of articles on Irish social and economic problems as well as on various aspects of Irish history. Then came the second World War, with the declaration of Irish neutrality. No Irish Editor found those years easy to negotiate, and Father Connolly's own mental and physical energies were beginning to fail. The astonishing thing is that he continued for so long to produce, four times a year, new issues of Studies which - though some of them lacked the old brilliance and effervescence - had still a wide range of interest for many readers. The end of the War brought the problems of the post-war world in which we are still struggling to live. It did nothing to lessen the economic difficulties which face all editors and publishers today. Father Connolly struggled manfully against failing health and ever increasing external handicaps. His successor inherits a fine tradition, and may be sure that he inherits also the good-will of many readers and contributors to what has become a national institution.
Father Connolly had been a member of the Leeson Street community for almost forty years at the time of his death, and his well-marked habits and mannerisms had come to be accepted as part of the permanent background of the community's life. In the city his friends were numerous, and they were most loyal to him as he was always loyal to them. It was at the suggestion of a group of these friends that the National University of Ireland conferred the degree of Doctor of Literature Honoris causa on Father Connolly in recognition of his services to Irish letters in the past thirty years. The ceremony took place on December 7th, 1939. In the December issue of Studies Dr. Tierney gave a rapid sketch of the various journalistic ventures that have been associated, at one time or another, with the long history of University College, Dublin. He ended as follows : “Though there has recently been a welcome revival in the kind of serious journalism of which Father Connolly is such a master, the last thirty years has been a hard period for quarterlies. Our present world is far less favourable to their survival than the very different one into which Studies was born. ... The continued existence of Studies at the level at once of scholarly inquiry and of appeal to an educated intelligence to which Father Connolly brought it under unceasing difficulties is a necessity both for the College and the nation it serves. He will, I am sure, ask for no better acknowledgement of the value of his work than the determination to continue it in the spirit he inherited from predecessors stretching back to Newman, and has handed on invigorated and enriched by his own long years of unselfish devotion”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Connolly SJ 1875-1951
Fr Patrick Connolly was born in Gort, County Galway on December 14th 1875. He received his early education at Mungret College and after he entered the Society.

As a scholastic and as a priest he taught English at Clongowes, where he showed his fine literary taste, and high standard of writing. “Studies, the contemporary Review of the National University had been founded in 1912, and for some years run an editorial board with no great success. Indeed, things had come to such an impasse, that there was question of ceasing publication. To the credit of the Provincial FR TV Nolan was the decision to carry on, and to his greater credit and discernment was his appointment of Fr Connolly as Editor in chief. Almost immediately it began its course as a high class review, which was to have a great place, not only in the cultural life of Ireland, but also to be accepted by the leading Universities of the world.

Fr Connolly was a born Editor. He made the maintenance and advance of Studies is life-work. Questions of Irish interest, political, historical, economic predominated, but it remained a Catholic review and had articles of Church interest. This good wrk that Fr Connolly kept going through the gravest of crises – two world ward, the struggle for independence at home, the economic war and various smaller domestic storms. He did all of this for well nigh 40 years.

But Studies did not absorb all his energies. For many years he had a deep and practical interest in St Joseph’s Young Priests Society. He was the Spiritual Father and examined candidates and was accustomed to visit students in their various colleges. Personally he was a bit odd, but a great favourite, especially in Leeson Street, where he was somewhat of an institution. When he explained that the old “characters” of the Province had disappeared, his hearers would smile and remark to one another, that while he lived, the race of “characters”would not be extinct. He had a genuine affective love for the Society. As an appreciation of his distinguished services he received an honorary degree of Litt from the National University.

He died on March 7th 1951, after an operation which seemed to promise complete recovery.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1951

Obituary

Father PJ Connolly SJ

On March 7th we learned with regret of the death, in a Dublin Nursing Home, of Rev P J Connolly SJ. Born in Gort, Co. Galway, he was educated in Mungret, leaving here for the Noviciate of the Society of Jesus in the autumn of 1893. After he had completed his noviceship, he was sent to Manresa House, Roehampton, to pursue his studies in humanities, and upon leaving there, he continued his studies on the Continent, more particularly in France and Austria.

Upon his return to Ireland, he taught for some years at Clongowes, and in Mungret, leaving to begin his Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin in 1907. He was ordained at Milltown in 1910.
Two years after the foundation by the Jesuit Fathers of the quarterly review, “Studies”, Father Connolly was entrusted with its editorship in 1914. From the very first he brought new life to the pages of “Studies”, changing its rather severe academic tone to make it at once scholarly and topical. Almost every well-known writer and thinker in the Ireland of 1914 to 1950 contributed to it at one time or another, as well as a surprising number of writers famous all over the world. One cannot but admire the powers of persuasion he displayed suc cessfully for so long, as well as the tact and skill required from him in his exact ing task.

Like many great editors, he wrote little himself, but no one could excel the exactness with which he judged just what treatment a subject required, or the skill with he guided the first faltering steps in authorship of younger writers and castigated their literary efforts with a zeal no less kindly for its apparent sterness.

On 7th December 1939, the National University conferred on Father Connolly to the degree of Doctor of Literature, Honoris Causa.

After thirty-six years of devoted, un remitting, and immeasurably skilful labour, Father Connolly relinquished the editorship of “Studies” in August 1950, and his death only a few months later was a loss, not only to “Studies”, but to the service of Irish literature, not easily repaired. RIP

Conway, Joseph B, 1925-1981, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/100
  • Person
  • 07 March 1925-17 May 1981

Born: 07 March 1925, Leitrim, Kilmihil, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died:17 May 1981, Cahercalla Hospital, Ennis, County Clare - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Joseph Conway was born in Co. Clare, Ireland on 7 March 1925. After the normal period of primary and secondary education, which latter he did at Mungret College, he entered the noviceship on 7 September 1943. He followed the usual university and philosophical studies and arrived in Chikuni in August 1951 with Fr Robert Kelly, the first two Irish scholastics to be sent to the Zambian mission. He spent three years at Chikuni teaching but at the same time made himself thoroughly fluent in Tonga. In 1954 he returned to Ireland to study theology and was ordained in July 1957. By August 1959, he was ready to return to Zambia to begin his real life's work, beginning as parish priest in Chikuni for 13 years. He had no difficulty in learning the ciTonga language and was the picture of a man who had the ability, determination and dedication to carry out his life's work. For the next 13 years he labored single-handed in Chikuni parish, which for part of that time included areas covered by the present Monze town and St. Mary's parishes.

As parish priest Joe was meticulously dedicated to his work. Not only did he take great care of the parish records but by degrees he equipped himself with pocket records of all the parishioners, village by village, which he brought up to date on his annual visitations. The people knew their parish priest and Joe was known and is remembered as a pastor who "spoke about God", as one .who “told us the ways of God", as one who "told us how God wants us to live". At times people referred to him in the same context as Fr Moreau. He was also manager of schools. In this capacity he once again had direct contact with his teachers now in their more professional and temporal needs. He built outstations at Chipembele, Choompa and Gwembe. Just before he left Chikuni, he supervised the building of the new parish church which was designed by his architect brother, Senan Conway and built by Br Martin Murphy.

Appreciating the value of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Movement in the promotion of strong Christian family life, Joe was the diocesan director of the Movement for most of his time at Chikuni. To promote recreation among the young men of the parish, he started a football league between the different districts. This league was most successful, culminating each year in the big event of the Bishop's Cup.

After 13 years as parish priest at Chikuni, he became secretary to the Bishop of Monze which post he held until he was forced to go to Ireland because of failing health in December 1980. On top of all this responsibility, his work also included being bursar of the diocese and coordinator of the diocesan building team.

Joe's greatest contribution was his service to the personnel in the diocese. Being at the same time superior of the Bishop's house, he kept an open door. Everyone experienced his hospitality and helpfulness, especially the sisters of the diocese.

Joe did not lose his pastoral interests during this long period of administration. Each weekend he did his "supplies", preferring the small and isolated communities to the centers of large congregations. Fundamentally, he was a community man, loved the Christmas get-together and other similar occasions. He never wore his spirituality on his sleeve. One of the dominant features of Joe's spiritual life seems to have been the sacramental life offered to us by the Church and about which he frequently preached.

In 1977 he went to Ireland on long leave. He had a complete medical check-up together with operations for gall stones and hernia. When he returned to Zambia, he was the picture of health.

For more than a year and a half, he remained in good form. Then his health began to decline and he was flown to Ireland in December 1980. Almost immediately on arrival, a tumor on the brain was diagnosed. His family took him home to Co. Clare and agreed to his own request to keep him there as long as possible. He became totally blind. Two days before his death, Joe became semi-comatose and was moved to a nearby hospital run by the Sisters of St. John of God. While in this state, he spoke Tonga and also answered Fr O’Driscoll in Tonga who was with him the day before he died. His two sisters, both of whom are nuns, were with him when he died on Sunday evening, 17 May 1981.

The Lord took Joe peacefully home though not at the time of life Joe would have planned for himself. One of Joe's last prayers was to the Lord of the Harvest to send more shepherds, especially Zambian shepherds, to the Church in Zambia.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia.

Note from Bob Kelly Entry
He followed the normal course of studies in the Society but for regency he went to Northern Rhodesia in 1951 with Fr Joe Conway.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
He inherited the Credit Union from Fr Joe Conway and was able to live with all the hassle involved.

Irish Province News 56th Year No 4 1981

Obituary

Fr Joesph Benignus Conway (1925-1932-1981)

Joseph Conway was born in Co Clare, and after secondary education at Mungret College entered the noviceship. After the usual university and philosophical studies he arrived in Chikuni in August 1951, being one of the first two scholastics of the Irish Province to be sent to the Zambian Mission. He spent three years in Chikuni and made himself thoroughly fluent in Tonga, did some teaching and helped in the building of some of the out-stations and schools. In 1954 he returned to Ireland, and after theology, ordination and tertianship, returned to Zambia in August 1959.
I remember well the arrival in Chikuni of himself and Fr Robert Kelly - the first scholastics to return as priests. Both Joe and Bob were full of enthusiasm for the building of God’s Kingdom among the Tonga people. In his first Sunday sermon, in the old parish church, Joe told his people of all the questions the people of Ireland had asked him about Zambia and Chikuni in particular. He exhorted all present to live up to the answers which he gave to their questions. He was buoyant after Mass and was warmly greeted by the Bapati, the Kachosas, the Nkandus, the Choobes, by teachers and past students who had known him previously. As he met group after group under the shade of the great fig-tree (which alas was soon to disappear!) he had no language difficulty. He could even joke and enjoy jokes in Tonga. For the next thirteen years he laboured singlehanded as priest of Chikuni parish, then including areas covered by the present Monze town and St Mary's parishes.
He was meticulously dedicated to his work. Not only did he take great care of the parish records, but by degrees equipped himself with pocket records, village by village, which he brought up to date on his annual visitations. He aimed at visiting all areas in his far-flung parish at least once a year. He carried out this heavy programme during the dry season, staying out from Tuesdays to Fridays, sleeping in classrooms and cooking for himself; later he acquired a caravan. His people knew their parish priest. He met them at home in their villages. He had first-hand contact with the teachers. He expected a lot from his Catholic teachers - perhaps too much at times - but he saw that they were key figures in the planting of the faith in the hearts of the youth. He did all he could to help them keep their families together and to be faithful to their marriage. His flock saw him baptising, offering the Eucharist, blessing marriages, preaching, looking after and visiting the sick and the dying, conducting funerals. Before the day of the catechetical training centre at St Kizito’s, Joe took care of his own catechists. Every First Friday they were brought into Chikuni for instruction, Mass and an opportunity of the sacrament of Penance from some priest other than himself.
For a period he was also Manager of Schools; he ferried supplies of textbooks and school materials to his near and distant schools, and planned the siting and the building of new schools or extensions to existing ones. Later he had to take responsibility for the diocesan building programme: the building of out-churches at Chipembele, Choompa and Gwembe; and just before he left Chikuni, he was able to supervise the building of the new parish church designed by his architect brother Mr Senan Conway,
Joe was diocesan director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence movement for most of his time in Chikuni. Because of their growth, the annual Pioneer rallies had to move out from the original small classroom to larger and larger halls. Joe saw the great need for the Pioneer movement if family life was to be rescued from near destruction.
The temporal side of his parishioners’ life also interested him. He started a football league between the different districts of his parish. In this also he was a pioneer! - seeing the need of wholesome social activity. The league was most successful, culminating each year in the big event of the Bishop’s Cup. So successful was the league that later on, local football organisers copied the idea, and in the end robbed the Chikuni league of many of its best players! Joe felt this deeply, but did not become embittered.
To improve his parishioners’ standard of living, he started a parish credit union - a most successful and lasting venture. He preached the need of Zambian vocations among both boys and girls.
Following the call of obedience (September 1971) Joe took up the post of secretary to the Bishop of Monze, which post he held until forced to return to Ireland because of failing health (December 1980). As well, he was a diocesan consultor, consultor of the Vice Province, and bursar of the diocese. When Br James Dunne returned to Ireland for medical reasons, Joe had to assume the extra responsibility of the full diocesan building programme. As Superior of the Bishop’s house he kept an open door. All diocesan personnel and visitors alike experienced his hospitality and helpfulness. Fundamentally, at heart, Joe Conway was a community man. He loved the homely game of cards. He greatly enjoyed week-ends with the community and Christmas get togethers.
Sickness was something almost foreign to him, but from 1976 onwards he began to experience ill-health; sudden attacks of numbness in jaw and arm. In 1977 he went to Ireland and had a complete medical check-up together with operations for gallstones and hernia. The doctors failed to get to the root cause of the numbness: a brain scan revealed nothing. Back in Zambia, seemingly the picture of health, occasional attacks of the numbness recurred, this time with vomiting and severe headaches, from which he had never before suffered, and depression. On medical advice he was flown home to Ireland, where almost immediately a brain tumour was diagnosed, unknown to Joe himself. From Belvedere he was taken home to his family in Co Clare. Despite nursing, day and night, his health steadily declined. Total blindness set in. After Easter he was visited by Frs J Dargan (Irish Provincial), V Murphy and his brother Msgr Kevin Conway, who anointed him. After that he became increasingly resigned and peaceful. Two days before his death Joe was moved to a hospital at Cahercalla, Ennis, run by the Sisters of St John of God. His two sisters, both of whom are nuns, were with him when he died late on Sunday evening, 17th May, 1981. .
Even though in nursing Joe at home his family carried a great burden of love, yet I am convinced that nobody was more relieved at his passing than Joe himself. Some weeks before his death he had admitted that it had been “a long haul”. May the presence and peace of the risen Lord be felt by his sorrowing family. To his aged father, his brothers, sisters, relatives and friends let us offer the consolation and certainty of our faith in the Resurrection.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1966

Mungret Jesuits in Zambia

Fr Joe Conway SJ (1938/43) played wing forward on the JCT that won the Cup in 1941 and on the SCT in '42 and '43. He is now back in Ireland on holidays after spending six years on parish work in Chikuni Mission in Zambia, Zambia is about 15% Catholic. Chikuni parish has a population of 10,000 and dis 75% Catholic. It has 16 out schools, each of which represents an area the size of a small Irish country parish. The average number of pupils in these out schools is about 150. The rate of baptisms in the parish is at present 1,000 per year. Fellow Jesuits on the staff of Canisius College help out with Sunday supplies so that each area gets Mass once a month. The rest of the week Fr Conway is the only priest at the service of this vast parish.

Lay catechists are employed to help pre pare children for First Communion.

Chikuni parish has its own Soccer League and Cup Competition. The ground is too hard for rugby. There are 12 teams in the parish and between them they make up a team called “Chikuni United” which turns out in the green and white (the same colours as Shamrock Rovers).

Conway, Vincent, 1909-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/101
  • Person
  • 24 May 1909-11 May 1985

Born: 24 May 1909, County Meath
Entered: 10 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final vows: 15 August 1948
Died: 11 May 1985, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
One of eight children, his early education was at the Salesian Agricultural College (Warrenstown), Drumree, County Meath, as it was thought that he would follow his father into farming. However, he changed to the De La Salle School, Navan, County Meath for the last two years of his education, and from there entered the Diocesan Seminary (St Finian’s) in Westmeath, and two years later Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1931-1934 He went to Rathfarnham Castle and studied for three years at University College Dublin, but without taking a degree.
1934-1936 He returned to St Stanislaus College for Philosophy
1936-1937 He spent six months at Mungret College Limerick for Regency
1937-1940 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point
1940-1943 He went to Canisius College Pymbe for Theology
1943-1944 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1944-1968 and 1973-1985 He spent 36 years at St Aloysius College
1968-1973 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview teaching.

In the thirty six years he spent at St Aloysius, generations of Old Aloysians, especially those involved with sport, appreciated the interest he showed in them, the Sports Master of the 1950s, who constantly encouraged the boys to fair-play and sportsmanship, despite regular lack of success. His own patience and persevering optimism were an inspiration. He also taught Latin to young boys.
He was a fair man and boys knew where they stood with him. He was admired for his hard work preparing all the sporting fixtures and equipment, driving to and from Willoughby for cricket and football practices, and calling out the names for a decade of the rosary in the Chapel, setting up table-tennis tables at lunchtime, attending sportsmasters’ meetings, controlling tuckshop queues, rolling the College Oval cricket with the aid of the College horse when the groundsman was unwell, and as an editor of the “Aloysian” for many years.
In 1962 he became a reluctant Rector of St Aloysius, and performed his duties with the utmost dedication. He was praised for his occasional addressed, and for the way he successfully supervised the redevelopment of the College. He also taught Senior Religion. In later years he administered the Sacraments, looked after the maintenance of the buildings, coached boys, worked on the archives, managed the boys transport passes, collected the daily school mail, visited the sick and tended the garden.

He was a quiet, private, even shy man, but eminently reliable and thorough. His death marked the passing of an era for the College, as he was so well known and knew so many people. His compilation of lists of all students from 1879 to 1979 was a most valued record.

He was an indefatigable worker and especially good at carpentry. His colleagues remember his selflessness, his balanced self-control, his Irish humour, his faith and confidence i God, his complete loyalty to the Society and his prayerfulness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Fr. Peyton left for Australia on the “Mauretania” on 31st October in company with Fr. Conway, a member of the Viceprovince. Fr. Kevin Carroll, also a member of the Viceprovince, left Shannon Airport on 3rd November for New York, bound for San Francisco and Sydney. Mr. Monahan left Southampton on the “Queen Mary” on 20th November for New York; he took boat at San Francisco on 12th December for Sydney which he reached on 4th January. He will be doing his first year's philosophy at Loyola, Watsonia in the coming year.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

Fr Vincent Conway (1909-1929-1985) (Australia)

Born on 24th May 1909. 10th September 1929: entered SJ. 1929-31 Tullabeg, Emo, noviciate. 1931-34 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1934-37 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1937-46
Australia. 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1947-85 Australia. Died on 11th May 1985.

Fr Vincent Murphy, Mission Procurator, and Fr Senan Timoney, Executive Socius, organised a requiem for Vin Conway in the domestic chapel in Gardiner street. Vin’s last surviving sister
was present, also nieces and nephews with their families: 35 relatives in all. Nine Jesuits concelebrated the Mass: Frs Seán Hughes (of Vin’s year), Séamus Mac Amhlaoibh, Frank Hennelly, Matty Meade, Martin Brennan, Jim Moloney; Senan Timoney, Vincent that Murphy and John O'Keeffe (Superior, SFX). Brs Keogh and Colgan were present. Afterwards we met the relatives and friends over a cup of coffee.
Vin was that little bit older than most of us when he entered Tullabeg in 1929. He had spent some years in an agricultural college before he opted for the Society. He was quiet, retiring and shy, but not bashful. He would never push himself to the front, would stay with the foot-sloggers, and was happy to be one of the crowd. Only with company, where he felt fully at home, would Vin relax and reveal his sound judgments on all sorts of subjects and his lovely contagious sense of humour, He had a wonderful laugh full of sniggers, snorts and incipient convulsions, so that it was well worth one's while to keep a good story for him.
Vin had a good head, but not the kind that would make a professor of literature or philosophy. His was more the head of a practical man and an administrator. His shyness was an asset, because when circumstances forced him to take responsibility he won respect and affection. He won respect because he was not a self-seeker, and affection because of his genuine loyalty and social graces. Australia brought him to the fore. Why Australia?..
Vin was one of ten Irish Juniors who discovered by accident that they were not members of the Irish province: I remember well the day a group of us came from the ball-alley, to be met by Michael McGrath. Michael always had the gift of finding news in the small print. He had browsed through the catalogue, and under the heading Ex aliis provinciis in hac degentes he found listed ten of our community of Juniors. Jokingly he congratulated the visiting Irish members of the Australian vice- province. It was considered a good joke and an obvious slip made by the editor of the catalogue. But no, it was not a slip. It would seem that for years Australia had been financing these and other) Juniors, but by an oversight - and what an oversight! – they had never been told that they were to belong to Australia.
Be that as it may, Vin was one of those transferred, and his was certainly a case of digitus Dei. Had Vin remained in Ireland, I doubt if his talents would have been uncovered. Anyway, he had a lovely way with people, and got on well with the Australians.
The boatman of Glendaloch used to tell of the daring of young Australian Juniors who dived into the upper lake from St Kevin's Bed. What they did not know, apparently, was that three other Juniors, not to be outdone, dived from a ledge some fifteen feet above St Kevin's Bed. Vin Conway was one of those three.
Vin's early years of study in the Society were hard. While in Rathfarnham he had a bout of sleeplessness, one which came to a climax in November 1933 when Fr Michael Browne was dying. At the time, Fr Browne was occupying the room later given to the Tertian Instructor. Vin was quartered in the little room (nearly all window) next door. His dying neighbour moaned and groaned for several nights and unnerved the sleepless Vin.
He carried his tensed nerves to Tullabeg, where he studied philosophy. There he was fortunate to have as Minister (1935-'7) Fr Jim Scally, who had a kind and understanding heart. He told Vin to forget classes, repetitions and circles, and sent him to the carpenter's shop to make shelves for the philosophers' library – big high shelves, standing ceiling-high. They are still to the good.
Outside the big window of Tullabeg community refectory there is a big long seat. It is in a sheltered nook outside what used to be called the philosophers' door. The angle-space is a sun-trap in the morning and was a gathering-place for philosophers at all times. It was in 1937 that Vin got the idea of putting that seat there. It was like Vin himself, sturdy and strong, without pretensions, and genuinely serviceable and useful.
Vin however really served his time in the building trade when he was given charge of the boats. There was a boat house on the canal and six clinker-type boats, the novices' bequest to the philosophers. Thursday after Thursday (villa-day) from October 10 April, Vin spent his day not just repairing but rebuilding boats. He went to Norton, the boatbuilder in Athlone, who generously shared all his professional skills with him. Some boats he stripped almost to the gunwale and rebuilt.
Vin studied theology in Australia, where he was ordained to the priesthood, After the war, however, it was in Rathfarnham that he did his tertianship. He had a special interest in preaching, and was keen to hear Fr Patrick O Mara, whose fame as a conductor of the First Friday Holy hour had travelled as far as Australia. After a very few minutes in the church he left. “Oh, I couldn't stick that! When he started with “Up there amongst the candles and the flowers” I felt I'd had enough.” He was honestly unimpressed with Fr O’Mara's style.
Fr Garahy's toast to the priests of Killaloe could very aptly be applied to Vin:
They have no time for honeyed words or sentimental gush;
they do not lightly make a foe, or into friendships rush,
Would you be numbered 'mongst their friends? Be straight, as steel be true.
They ask no more, they take no less, the priests of Killaloe.
On the day following the news of his death, Vin's sister received a letter from him, saying that he was in the best of form. He died peacefully in his sleep. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal agus go méadaí Dia a ghlóir.

The Australian province's Fortnightly Report had this to say (no. 377, 1st June 1985):
“The sudden and most unexpected death of Fr Vin Conway was a great shock to us all and a profound loss to the College St Aloysius', Milson's Point, Sydney]. Virtually all his priestly life was spent here, where he laboured with prodigious industry and constantly, in humble obscurity, never seeking recognition. With Fr John Casey, he was co-founder of the redeveloped college. Against seemingly insuperable odds he forged ahead in most difficult times, sustained and fortified by his deep faith. I cannot begin to describe how deeply the College is indebted to him. The large congregation at his funeral was ample witness to his wide esteem among the Old Boys whom he helped so much.”

Obituary

Fr Vincent Conway (1909-1929-1985) (Australia) : continued
(† 11th May 1985)

Giovanni Papini, in one of his several books of appreciation of the lives of great men, included an essay on 'Nobody' who, quite rightly, proved to be the most outstanding subject of all. He was the great unknown who invented the wheel, built the pyramids, designed and built the great mediaeval cathedrals of Europe: great achievers, like the “Unknown Solider”, “known only to God”. Every society has had them and the Least Society no less than any other,
Vincent Conway's achievements are not entirely unknown, and he was certainly one of those Jesuits of whom we may say his life was more subdued and hidden and its splendid achievement less advertised on earth, but certainly known to God as that of a “good and faithful servant”.
It has been said that Vin was born a simple farmer's son: he lived a simple farmer's son, and he died a simple farmer's son. That may be true enough so long as we recognise that the “simple Irish farmer” is mostly a man endowed with a very high degree of shrewdness. He was born one of eight children in County Meath between Navan and Kells, and he died just two weeks short of his 76th birthday.
As he began his secondary studies in the Salesian Agricultural College in his native county it may be assumed that it was first thought that he would follow in his father's footsteps as a farmer. The change for his last two years to the De La Salle School in Meath might suggest that a priestly vocation was looming on his horizon. This is confirmed by the fact that from there he entered the Diocesan Seminary in Westmeath.
After two years in the seminary he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1929. He studied for three years at the National University of Ireland, but without taking out a degree. He returned to Tullabeg for four years philosophy and after six months regency at Mungret he was assigned to the Australian Vice-Province. He taught for four years at St Aloysius College, Milson's Point. Except for his four years theology at Pymble and Tertianship in Ireland, and five years teaching at Riverview, St Aloysius College was to be his home for nearly forty years.
It was there that he died on the night of May 11th. He was found in the morning slumped on the floor as if having fallen from his chair. The large attendance of Old Boys at his requiem was a tribute to their respect, admiration and affection for one who had served them so faithfully while they were students, and no less as members of the Old Aloysians. In Ireland, too, he was remembered at a requiem Mass at Gardiner street, at which a good number of his contemporaries concelebrated with other priests and at which there were thirty-five of his relatives.
Vin was a great man and indefatigable worker. His years at the Salesian Agricultural College had given him some training in carpentry, which he put to good use during his theology at Canisius College as “College Carpenter”. When, after the first “boom” year of ordinations, there were twenty-six priests in the house, and before the days of concelebration, many altars were required for daily masses, all more or less at the same time in the morning. Vin made the missal stands and all sorts of altar furnishings in wood. The designs were County Meath but everything was like himself, plain, strong and serviceable. He was never a man for frills, any more than he was a man to cut corners on the essentials.
When the College had been built, a short time before, the builders had provided mirrors above the wash basins in each room, but no shaving cabinets. It was Vin who undertook to make a cabinet to fit each mirror and he trained a few other scholastics to help in this work. There were over forty to be made and some modest celebration marked the completion of this very welcome service.
These were only some of his tasks. He was always ready to lend a hand at any job with perseverance and a ready smile, whether it was hard digging in the garden or field, or to learn an instrument to play in the orchestra. He would give a groan, more of modesty that he should be asked than of complaint, and take up the task with a will, Like all the men who came to us from Ireland, he was a dedicated apostle.
As Fr Cecil Smith points out, much of the the burden of carrying out John Casey's plan for the completion of St Aloysius College fell on Vin's shoulders. Cecil was closely associated with him in these years of his rectorship of the College, 1961-67. It is his tribute that follows:

Vin Conway's name was seldom seen in the Fortnightly Report. He was the original "quiet achiever". Because he avoided the limelight and his voice never rose above a conversational level and was more often below it, few knew him outside his much loved St Aloysius College.
Apart from a brief spell as Headmaster Riverview Junior School, most of his working life was spent at SAC. As Sportsmaster he delighted in coaching Rugby, especially the skills and schemes of the forward pack. Later, when he was appointed Rector to succeed Jack Casey, surprised and bewildered that Provincials could be so lacking in judgment. Coming into dinner that night he gave a very good impression of a stunned mullet. He knew what had been dumped in his lap: a programme to rebuild St Aloysius, initiated by Jack Casey, but far from activated.
An expensive excavation had been cut by Civil & Civic and there was no money available to pay for it. Jack, despite application to numerous financial institutions, had been unable to raise a loan. Provincial consultors were asking basic questions like, 'How do you expect to build a school costing millions when you have no money?', and such like.
Because he was convinced it was 'God's work', Vin bounded over all the fences using his almost ruthless determination and his skill at making people see his way, as his springs.
He had a remarkable memory for the names and faces of people he had met . Old Boys - hundreds of them - he greeted by name and could reel off the dates they were at school, and all gory details, No wonder they all loved him! He had a reputation for being tight-fisted with tight-fisted with money and with good reason - he was! He had to be in those early days at SAC where the pound had to be stretched; and stretch it he did. He just could not comprehend the affluence of today as anything but sinful.
Vin was a remarkable man, much underestimated by many. His selfless ness, his balanced self-control, his Irish humour, his faith and confidence in God, his complete loyalty to the Society,
his prayerfulness – so many qualities to make the man Peter Steele described as a good servant and a good Jesuit'.
May he enjoy his new job of oiling and painting the gates of heaven of
Cecil Smith, SJ

According to Irish province catalogues, Fr Conway's philosophy course lasted he was the usual three years, not four, Thanks to Jesuit life for mentioning his six month regency in Mungret, which because of its shortness escaped notice our 1938 catalogue. in More importantly, though: his assignment to Australia took place, not after that regency (c. Christmas 1937), but during (or before) the first year of his juniorate (c. 1931). The story of the accidental discovery by ten Irish juniors, including Vincent, of their assignment to Australia was recounted in IPN, July 1985, p. 181.

Cooney, Albert, 1905-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/649
  • Person
  • 31 August 1905-06 December 1997

Born: 31 August 1905, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 06 December 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death

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

by 1927 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1960 at St Aloysius College Birkirkara, Malta (MEL) teaching

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Albert Cooney, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Albert Cooney died in Dublin on 6 December 1997. He was 92 years old and had been a Jesuit priest for 62 years.

Albert Cooney was born in Ireland on 31 August 1905 and as a young man became very interested in the performing arts.

Before entering the Society of Jesus on 31 August 1923 he toured Ireland with a drama group. He was ordained on 31 July 1935.

On completing his formal training in the Society he was sent, in 1937, to the Hong Kong Mission where he immediately went to Tai Laam Chung, a language school in the New Territories, to study Cantonese.

At the end of two years of language study he was sent to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he was in charge of providing for the material needs of the community when the Pacific War began on 8 December 1941.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Wah Yan became a Chinese middle school and Father Cooney joined his confreres who set out for free China in April 1942. First they went to Macau and from there on to fort Bayard (Kwangchowan). Towards the end of May he set out from Fort Bayard on the carrier of a bicycle for Pak Hoi in Southern china where he worked in a parish before moving on to Hanoi for a spell. Eventually he came back again to Pak Hoi but in less than a year he was recalled from there to join a new Jesuit venture in Macau.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, about 4000 Portuguese families returned to Macau. To look after the youth, the Macau governor asked the Hong Kong Jesuits to set up a school with all expense paid. The school, St. Luiz Gonzaga, began in January 1943 and Father Albert Cooney was called back from Pak Hoi when the school was well under way. He always looked back to the time that he spent in Macau and happily remembered the boys he taught there.

The war over, St. Luiz Gonzage College closed its doors in December 1945 and Father Albert returned to Hong Kong Wah Yan College. He worked on several committee dealing with social work, helping the Boys and Girls Clubs Association, saying Mass for the US naval forces, and helping students to get into US universities.

In 1947 while on home leave in Ireland, he was informed of his appointment as Rector of Wah Yan. Before returning to Hong Kong he went to the US to collect information about school buildings and equipment for possible Jesuit schools both in Hong Kong and Canton and made arrangements with universities to take students on graduating from Wah Yan College.

Although administration was not his forte, he was well-beloved by the community and was noted for his kindness and thoughtfulness.

On 31 July 1951 he was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon. In October of that year he suddenly suffered a stroke. Although he survived the crisis, a long convalescence kept him in Ireland for the next 10 years.

In November 1962 he arrived back in the Orient, this time to Singapore to take up parish work. The following year he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Petaling Java, Malaysia to work in the church giving retreats and conferences. He was also warden of Xavier Hall. But in 1969, the “right of abode” issue for foreign missionaries in Malaysia forced him to move on.

Early in 1970, he arrived back in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was to spend the next 22 years of his life here doing light work and keeping in contact with his former students of St. Luiz Gonzaga College.

In September 1992 he finally said good-bye to the Orient when he returned home to Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 January 1998

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a wealthy family and a brother of his became a Carmelite priest. He had a keen interest in the performing arts and toured with a group in Ireland.

When he came to Hong Kong after Ordination in 1937, he went to Tai Lam Chung to study Cantonese. He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and became involved in various social work committees. He also worked with the Girls and Boys Clubs and said Mass for the US Naval forces.

In August 1942 he moved to Luis Gonzaga College in Macau. He also went to Singapore for parish work, and he spent time at St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, working in the church and giving retreats and conferences.He enjoyed producing English plays acted by students, and had a great love of drama and poetry..

He left Hong Kong in 1951 and returned again in 1969 until 1996. At one time he was Principal at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

On 22nd October were announced the appointments of Frs. Albert Cooney and Harris as Rectors of Wah Yan College and the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong respectively. The former who is still in Ireland will be returning soon to the Mission via the United States.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Albert Cooney (1905-1997)

31st Aug. 1905: Born in Dublin
Education: Belvedere and Mungret
31st Aug. 1923: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
1925 - 1926: Rathfarnham: Juniorate
1926 - 1929: Vals: Philosophy
1929 - 1932: Belvedere College: Regency
1932 - 1936: Milltown Park: Theology
31st July 1935: Ordination
1936 - 1937: Tertianship St. Beuno's:
1937 - 1939: Hong Kong studying Cantonese
2nd Feb. 1938: Final Vows
1939 - 1941: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Minister and Teacher
1941 - 1943: Pak Hoi, China: Church work
1943 - 1945: Macau: Minister and Teacher
1947 - 1951: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Rector and Teacher
1951 - 1953: Recuperation from illness
1953 - 1957: Mungret: Teacher
1957 - 1958: Belvedere College: Teacher
1958 - 1959: Gardiner Street: Convalescence
1959 - 1960: Malta: Teacher at St. Aloysius College
1960 - 1962; Loyola Dublin: Librarian
1962 - 1963: Singapore: St. Ignatius Church, Pastoral work
1963 - 1969: Malaysia, Petaling Jaya: Warden of Xavier Hall
1969 - 1992: Wah Yan College Kowloon: Pastoral work, Tutor
1992 - 1997: Cherryfield Lodge.
6th Dec. 1997: Died aged 92.

Fr. Cooney maintained a consistent state of health during his time at Cherryfield. At the end of October concern was expressed at his condition, but he recovered. He made his farewells and left instructions that he was to be laid out in his Hong Kong gown. On December 5th he said he would go to the next life on the following day. He died shortly after prayers for the dead were recited in the early hours of December 6th. May he rest in peace. Albert enjoyed every moment of his five years in Cherryfield Lodge. He appreciated the comfortable lifestyle and especially the great care and attention he received from his Jesuit colleagues and the staff. He could not speak highly enough of the great kindness he received in the declining years of his long life. When one realizes that Albert was quite a demanding patient, the loving care and attention he received was all the more praiseworthy.

I suppose it was only natural that Albert should fully appreciate and thoroughly enjoy the kindness he experienced during those five years in Cherryfield, because he was such an extremely kind person himself so he could graciously accept the care and attention he received. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed; he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland. I accompanied him when he left Hong Kong in 1992 and I feared that after a little while in Cherryfield he would grow restless and pine for a return to the Orient, but I need not have worried. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them. One of my first memories of him goes back to Holy Week of 1948. Four of us, scholastics, were studying Chinese in Canton at the time and Albert, as Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong invited us to join his community during the Easter holidays. I can well remember his sending us out to Repulse Bay - one of Hong Kong's most popular beaches - to enjoy a swim and sunshine on Holy Thursday. Can you imagine, long before the more relaxed days that followed Vatican II, there we were, on Holy Thursday, relaxing in the glorious sunshine. If some of us had qualms about such frivolity during Holy Week, Albert felt that was what we needed and he saw to it that was what we got. That was just one of the many kindnesses Albert showed us as we struggled with the intricacies of the Chinese language. We were always welcome to join his community during our vacations and he frequently sent us cakes, chocolates and other goodies while we were in Canton.

In those days clerics were permitted to go to the cinema in Hong Kong only if they had the express permission of the Bishop granted on each occasion. Albert must have thought this was an unfair position. He used to borrow 16mm films and invite all the Jesuits in Hong Kong to showings in Wah Yan College. Another of his initiatives was to prevail on one of his friends who owned a cinema to have private previews for the convenience of all the clergy in Hong Kong. This was a facility that was much appreciated and well attended. It was just another example of Albert's desire to help all he could.

When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong in 1941 plans that had already been prepared by the government were put into operation. Albert, along with several other Jesuits, was assigned to “billeting” duties. The job consisted mainly in finding quarters for those who were displaced by the fighting, Little more than a year after the occupation, Albert, like many other Hong Kong residents, left the colony. Many Chinese returned to their native villages and many of Portuguese extraction set out for Macau - a Portuguese overseas territory, not far from Hong Kong. After some time Albert made his way first into South China, then Vietnam and then back again to South China, where he worked in a parish.

Then began for him what was probably one of the most interesting periods of his life. The government of Macau invited the Jesuits to open a college for young Portuguese boys who had come to Macau from Hong Kong. Albert seems to have loved the two years he spent there, and up to the end of his life he took an intense interest in the young men he had been teaching. He continued to keep in touch with some of them over the years - one of them even visited him while he was in Cherryfield.

After the end of the war in Asia Albert returned to Ireland on home leave and in 1947 he was informed that he would be the new Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. School administration was not one of Albert's strong points but he was extremely fortunate that during his term of office he had two excellent Prefects of Study - Fr. Harry O'Brien and Fr. John Carroll - who ran the College very efficiently. More or less relieved of the responsibility of running the College, Albert was able to devote much of his time to other activities. He took a special interest in the “Shoeshine Boys Club” - a club started by Fr, Joe Howatson for “Shoeshine Boys” - young lads who earned a meager living by shining shoes in the Central district of Hong Kong. In the Club they were given some basic education, they could play games in the College and they were given a hot, nourishing meal three evenings each week.

In July, 1951 Albert was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon and in less than three months he was taken suddenly ill, due to a blood clot near his brain. For some time he was in a critical condition and eventually had to return to Ireland for a very long period of convalescence. He did not return to the Orient until 1962, this time to Singapore where he did parish work for one year and then was transferred to Petaling Jaya, in Malaysia, where, in addition to parish work he was Warden of a hostel for University students. Immigration restrictions limited his time in Malaysia and he returned to Wah Yan College, Kowloon in 1970. There he helped out in the church engaged in a good deal of tutoring, and kept in touch with past pupils of Wah Yan College and St. Luis Gonzaga College - the College in which he had taught in Macau.

With his health declining, Albert expressed a wish to return to Ireland; thus in September, 1992 he took up residence in Cherryfield. As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward on 6th December, 1997. May he rest in peace.

Joe Foley, SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1998

Obituary

Father Albert Cooney SJ (OB 1938)

Fr Albert Cooney died on 6th December 1997 in Cherryfield Lodge. He was educated at Belvedere and taught there in the late 50's. Albert was an extremely kind person. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed. He had lived so much of his life in Hong Kong but he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland for health reasons. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them.

As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring in Cherryfield; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in the foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward. May he rest in peace.

Corbett, Martin Burke, 1876-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/103
  • Person
  • 27 December 1876-05 January 1957

Born: 27 December 1876, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 December 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 05 January 1957, Mungret College, County Limerick

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :
Fr Martin Corbett (1876-1957)
On the morning of Sth January, Fr. Corbett was unexpectedly taken from us in the 81st year of his age and the 62nd of his religious life, Only a few days before, during the Christmas festivities, we had been celebrating a well-known domestic event, his birthday. This year there seemed to be special cause for jubilation. Fr. Corbett had just made a very good recovery from a cycling accident which had kept him in St. John's Hospital for many weeks, he was now almost back to normal activity, and we looked forward with confidence to see him add quite a few more years to the goodly four score completed, On Friday, the day before his death, he had an X-Ray examination in St. John's which it was hoped might throw light on a certain stomach trouble that had been causing anxiety over Christmas. He returned to us at midday, a little tired after the ordeal, but obviously pleased that a thorough investigation had been made, and also relieved that nothing serious had been discovered. The remainder of that day went in the usual community round and he retired after Litanies at 9 o'clock. Next morning he was up in good time and apparently fully dressed when he felt the first warning of a heart attack, without seeming to recognised it as such. When it was just time to go down for Mass he came out to the corridor and, finding one of the Community nearby, asked him to come over to his room. Here he explained in a few words the symptoms of a sudden attack which seemed to puzzle rather than frighten or distress him. With a slight hesitation he accepted a suggestion to lie down for a while, then stretched himself as he was full length on his bed and seemed to settle down to rest. In perhaps less than a minute more, and with only a slight sign of struggle, he had passed into unconsciousness.
Father Rector was immediately summoned and anointed him. All the available members of the Community gathered to say the last prayers.
At the Solemn Office and Requiem on Monday His Lordship the Bishop presided and gave the last Absolution. Father Rector was celebrant of the Mass and Father Provincial said the prayers at the graveside. A large number of priests and laity were present.
Fr. Corbett was born on 27th December, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes he entered the Noviciate on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual period of Noviceship and Juniorate was completed he was sent to Valkenburg for Philosophy where he remained three years. His first year of colleges was spent in his Alma Mater as Prefect and Editor of The Clongownian. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere, where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Messenger for two years, In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years. In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the school of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field.
Fr. Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness, increasing with the years and so patiently borne, he always managed to keep contact with the brethren and to contribute a full share to the happiness and gaiety of every one. The community was his home, he was never willingly far away, Polite and courteous - in a word, found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. His sound judgment, accurate memory and shrewd sense were recognised, and his verdict or opinion sought on a variety of subjects. Was there a big legal case or a sworn inquiry in the news - he was in his element commenting on the cross examination, speculating on the probable result. Invariably he would recall a similar case of long ago, or tell a good story of a clever swindle or a dramatic arrest-his stories in this line were numerous, but he had many others too, not all in serious vein, of course, but all told word perfect. In matters of practical bearing on the improvement of Mungret, which indeed he ever had at heart, his suggestions were listened to by Superiors with respect and often acted on with profit. It was no small tribute to his practical versatility that he was chosen by Fr. Fahy, when Provincial, to take charge of the arrangements for the preparation of St. Mary's, Emo, for the Novices in 1930. When he was Master of a Villa the community could be confident that every detail would be seen to, in particular that the commissariat would be all right. They could be sure too, incidentally, that, kind-hearted though he was, a modicum of discipline would be maintained for the good of everyone. Fr. Corbett was himself, first and last, a man of regularity, who did not believe in avoidable absence or un - punctuality in community duties. His own example in this, and in particular his devotion to the Brothers' Points night after night for over twenty years were most edifying.
But no picture of Fr. Corbett could be complete without the old bicycle. The local people will surely miss the vision of the ageing priest, upright on the high frame, quietly and purposely pushing his way, hugging the side of the road - he took no needless risks - as the cars and lorries whisked past. It was his afternoon recreation, simple, inexpensive and healthy, and must have kept him not only healthy but cheerful and bright in darker times. He loved the countryside, the stretch of Lough More, the ploughed fields, the waving corn. He loved the Limerick Docks and the ships from all parts - to speak here and there perhaps with an old friend or acquaintance and then to tell at home of all he heard and saw. “A grand old man” “a noble priest” “a most loyal Jesuit”, they said about him.
At the turn of the year, when days are lengthening, a season of hope, he liked to talk about and think upon, it was then it came the day that knows no darkening - “that the highest Truth ever enlightened, a day always secure and never changing its state for the contrary”. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Martin Corbett SJ 1876-1957
Like Fr William Kane, Fr Martin Corbett was connected so long with Mungret as to become almost identified with it. Like Fr Kane too, his imposing frame seated on the inevitable bicycle was familiar to all the inhabitants of Mungret and the denizens of the Docks. This was his invariable form of recreation and exercise for years.

A man of remarkable gifts of mind, he was hampered throughout his life by deafness, yet his judgement and practical ability were prized by Superiors.

He held the post of Procurator in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret, and was chosen for his administrative ability by the Provincial Fr Fahy, to open our new house at Emo.

He was a valuable asset in the community, a model of punctuality and observance, faithful to the duties assigned to him, teaching English and Physics to the Apostolic School for many years. All of these past Apostolics will remember him with affection and gratitude.

He had quite a flair for writing in his younger days and wrote a couple of boys’ stories which had a wide circulation published by the CTSI and the Messenger Office.

He died quite suddenly on January 5th 1957 in his 81st year, having lived 61 years in the Society he loved so well.

◆ The Clongownian, 1957

Obituary

Father Martin Corbett SJ

Father Corbett was born on December 27th, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes, he entered the Novitiate on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual studies of Humanities and Philosophy were completed, he returned to Clongowes as Prefect and editor of “The Clongownian”. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Irish Messenger for two years. In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years, after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years; In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret College, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the School of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father Martin Corbett SJ

Although Fr Corbett was not an Old Boy of the College it would be ungracious not to pay a tribute to him considering the number of years he was on the staff.

In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret where he was first Procurator of the House and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching English and Physics in the Apostolic School. In this work he c012 tinued to the end and will no doubt be remembered by many an old Mungret priest on the Mission field.

Fr Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness he always managed to keep in contact with others in the College, and contribute to the happiness and gaiety of everyone. Polite and courteous-found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. He was always ready to stop and chat with others about local topics in which he had a great interest. He had a great interest in past students of the College, and a great interest in the College itself. He was deeply devoted to its welfare. In his death we are sure he was remembered by many a far flung Apostolic with love and respect. To his brother and relatives we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

-oOo-

In Memory of Father Corbett SJ - RIP

By O Kemp

He was a man, a man of God
He fought for right, he fought the wrong
But now he's laid beneath the sod
His life was like one long sweet song.

Although he's gone, there still remains
A memory we hold most dear
A golden sheet without a stain
A life heroic without fear.

Then let his lasting epitaph be
He loved all as the one above
He departed life lightly and free
To all he gave his labour and love.

And then o'er his lonely grave at night
As the bloss'ming flowers sway to and fro
As the twinkling stars above show their light
On his lonely gyavestone on earth below
We send up a prayer which comes from our hearts
That he may go to God ne'er more to part
And may he abide with his cherished reward
With God and His Mother to act as his guard.

Corboy, James P, 1880-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1101
  • Person
  • 14 March 1880-27 June 1922

Born: 14 March 1880, Grange, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 June 1922, Dublin

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

by 1901 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1903
by 1913 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he stayed at Tullabeg to study Rhetoric. Later he went to Vals for Philosophy.
1903 He was sent to Australia for a Regency teaching in Sydney.
After his Regency he did Theology at Milltown and Innsbruck and was Ordained 1913.
He then made Tertianship at Tullabeg.
1916 He was a Teacher at Mungret, and was appointed Rector there in 1917.
1721 He was sent to Clongowes as a Missioner.
His health failing he died in Dublin 27 June 1922

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1896-1900 He entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg and after First Vows he continued for two years Juniorate.
1900-1903 He was sent to Vals and Kasteel Gemert for Philosophy
1903-1904 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College Sydney for Regency
1905-1910 He continued his regency at St Ignatius College Riverview, where he was First Prefect, was involved with senior rowing and senior debating master.
1910 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology and also at Innsbruck, Austria, followed by Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg
1917-1920 He was sent as Rector to Mungret College Limerick
1920-1921 He was sent to Coláiste Iognáid Galway
1921-1922 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College

Corcoran, John, 1874-1940, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1105
  • Person
  • 24 April 1874-14 May 1940

Born: 24 April 1874, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1904, Petworth, Sussex, England
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 14 May 1940, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Younger Brother of Timothy Corcoran - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1895 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1903 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1904 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying
by 1905 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
Came to Australia 1905

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His parents were Irish, and whilst they left Australia to return to Ireland, he later joined the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

His studies were in Dublin and Jersey, Channel Islands, and then he was sent to teach mathematics at Mungret College Limerick and Belvedere College Dublin. He then became ill and was sent to Petworth, Sussex, England where he made Theology studies. He was Ordained there in 1904 and then sent to Australia.
1904-1906 He arrived in Australia and was sent to the Norwood Parish
1906-1913 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview
1913-1914 He returned to Ireland and St Stanislaus College Tullabeg to make his Tertianship.
1915-1919 He came back to Australia and Riverview
1919-1940 He was appointed Novice Master and remained in that position at Xavier College Kew until his death in 1940. He was highly regarded by the Jesuits whom he trained.

When he was at Riverview he was given the task of Minister and so had responsibility for the wellbeing of the boarders. He was considered very adept in catching any boy who returned later after leave in the city, or in posting or receiving letters in an unorthodox way. He was known as the “Hawk”, but this name was given with the utmost respect for him, as the boys experienced him as a most charming man who went about his duties very quietly and thoroughly. They also liked his sermons.

His Novices appreciated his thirty days Retreat. He addressed them four times a day, sometimes speaking for an hour without the Novices losing interest. He spoke with considerable eloquence and feeling, slowly, pausing between sentences, and from time to time emphasising something dramatically. While Novice Master he hardly ever left the house. He lived for the Novices. His life was quietly and regularly ascetic. He went to bed around midnight at rose at 5.25am. He loved the garden, especially his dahlias.

His companionableness was memorable. The Novices enjoyed his company on their walks. He was unobtrusive and yet part of it, a most welcome presence. He was an unforgettable person, a wise and gentle director of souls. He taught a personal love of Jesus and was deeply loyal to the Society. he considered the rules for modesty to be among the great treasures of the Society, and gave the Novices true freedom of heart to make wise decisions.

He was a cheerful man, optimistic in outlook and easy to approach. People at once felt at home with him. He was experienced as a striking personality, a kind man with a sense of fun who spoke little about himself.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 15th Year No 3 1940
Obituary :
Father John Corcoran
1874 Born 24th, near Roscrea, Co. Tipperary Educated Clongowes
1891 Entered. Tullabeg 7th October
1892 Tullabeg, Novice
1893 Milltown, Junior
1894-1896 Jersey, Philosophy
1897-1900 Mungret, Doc
1901 Belvedere. Doc
1902 Petworth. Cur. Val
1903 Naples, Thel.
1904 Petworth, Cur. Val. Ordained 1904
1905 Norwood (Australia) Cur. Val
1906-1907 Riverview, Adj, proc, Doc. Stud. theol. mor.
1908-1912 Riverview, Minister, Adj. proc., etc.
1913 Tullabeg, Tertian
1914 Richmond (Australia), Oper
1915-1918 Riverview, Minister &c.; Doc. 17 an. mag
1919-1940 Mag. Nov. First at Loyola, Sydney; then at Victoria. For a time he was. in addition. Lect phil. in Univ., and for a great many years Cons. Miss. Sydney, as well as lending a hand in many other ways.

Fr Bernard O'Brien, one of Fr Corcoran's novices, kindly sent us the following :
Half the members of the Australian Vice-Province have done their noviceship under Fr Corcoran, and it seems strange to think that the noviceship is no longer under his kindly care.
His health was always weak, and his heart gave him trouble, he used to chuckle as he recalled how his ordination had been hastened for fear that he might die at any moment.
He could be extremely stern. He had no patience with deliberate wrong-doing, with irreverence or contempt of holy things. The novices sometimes' received electric shocks, as when after retreat points on sin that grew more and more heated he turned back from the door and burst out “There is no omnibus marked Jesuit for heaven”.
He kept himself, however, remarkably under control. Though at times the blood would rush to his face, he would say nothing at the moment, but sleep on the matter before acting, a practice he frequently recommended to his novices. Often nothing came of it at all, but the dead silence and the suspense of anticipation was a punishment severe enough to sober any culprit.
He became more and more kindly and sympathetic as time went on. “Gently Brother!” was a favourite remark of his.
He came to rely less and less on external regulations and reproofs, and to form his novices by personal contact and encouragement. In his first years he used to check all trace of slang, but later it became common to hear a novice who had received an order leave him with a cheery “Good-O Father!”
He gave and aroused great personal affection. The timid first probationer, whatever his age, was at once called by his Christian name and adopted among his “babies”. As the noviceship was usually small, he could give each novice individual attention. Even the candidates who left remained strongly attached to the Society.
Fr Corcoran was a man of strong emotion and imagination. He disliked giving the more abstract exercises of the long retreat, and was happiest when he came to the early life of Our Lord. He had made a thorough study of historical Palestine and one heard much about the Vale of Esdraelon and Little Hermon. Some of the other Fathers in the house were shocked to see coloured pictures of camels crossing the sandy desert appear at this time on the novices' notice board.
United with this imagination and emotion went a deep spiritual life. He may not have supplied very clear notions of Church and Society legislation, but he gave his novices strong draughts of the true Jesuit spirit : devotion to Our Lord, constant striving to give God greater glory and better service, love of the Passion and zeal for souls.
One Christmas he gave a remarkable series of points for meditation. He took as subjects the crib, the straw, the cave, the star and so on. The points began with homely remarks and simple reflections, but almost imperceptibly the objects described became symbols and we were on a high level of contemplation.
In his deep and gentle affection, his preference for the concrete and his high spirituality there was much to remind one of St. John, whose name he bore.

◆ The Clongownian, 1940

Obituary

Father John Corcoran SJ

Father Corcoran was born near Roscrea, in Tipperary, on the 24th of April, 1874. In October, 1891, soon after leaving Clongowes, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had been preceded by his brother, Rev T Corcoran SJ, whose fame as an educationalist is world-wide. Ill-health. limited Father John's literary studies at Milltown Park to a single year, and from 1894 until 1897 he studied philosophy with the French Fathers at Jersey. The next five years were spent in teaching-four at Mungret, and one at Belvedere. His great understanding of boys, and his bright, genial sympathy made him a great favourite with all.

It was now time to study Theology (1902). His health had been seriously impaired by tuberculosis, which was to give rise to grave fears for a number of years, and Theology requires hard work and strength. But, to quote a phrase which Father Corcoran loved to repeat in later years, “difficulties are things to be overcome”, and at Petworth, in England, and at Naples, he overcame them sufficiently to be ordained priest in September, 1904.

The following year he was sent to Australia, and under its sunny skies he regained the health and strength required for his future work. After recuperating for a year at Norwood, he spent the years 1906-1913 on the staff of Riverview College.

In 1913 he returned to Tullabeg for his Tertianship; and twelve months later said a last good-bye to his native land, whose green fields and limpid streams lingered in his memory, and gave him “heartaches”, as he put it, even during his last years. After a year at Richmond, he once more became the Father Minister at Riverview, in 1915. In May, 1919, he was given the responsible position of Master of Novices at Loyola, Sydney, a position which he filled for the remaining twenty-one years of his life. Henceforth all his energies were to be devoted unsparingly to the religious formation of Jesuits. He used laughingly to speak of his novices as his “babes”, and he was in truth the spiritual father of the whole generation of post-war Jesuits in Australia.

His genial simplicity and kindness won the veneration and deep affection of all with whom he had to deal. He had the happy gift of making people feel at once at home with him; but perhaps his strong influence over others came mainly from his intense but child-like spirit of faith, which made him converse as familiarly with the Holy Family as with his novices, and which transformed the world for him into a temple of God. He was an enthusiastic gardener who loved weeding his flower beds, and tending his dahlias - but a gardener who could describe the garden as one of the best teachers of the spiritual life. It is often said that Christ's life was full of sorrow from the beginning; but, for Father Corcoran, “the rafters of the Holy House must often have rung with the sweet laughter of the Boy Christ” characteristic illustration of the joyful spontaneity of his own character and outlook.

He could be stern when occasion required; but those he trained treasure the memory of his remarkable gentleness - a trait which became more and more pronounced during the last years of his life. A prominent Jesuit remarked of him that he was an outstanding example of the transforming power of the Jesuit rule when it is lived and sincerely loved in all its fullness; and those who knew him during the latter part of his life were astonished at the constant mellowing of his sanctity. The Society of Jesus in Australia has suffered a great loss by his death, but he himself has surely passed to the happy state which he delighted to think of as “home”.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1939

Obituary

Father John Corcoran SJ

As we go to press a cablegram from Australia announces the death of Father Corcoran at the age of sixty six. Of these years forty-eight had been spent as a Jesuit. For the last twenty-two years he fulfilled the important office of Master of Novices and had given retreats to the clergy both in Australia and New Zealand. Father Corcoran's connection with Mungret was not very long - 1897-1901 - but the boys of these years never forgot the kindly scholastic who played with them and who prayed with them and who always found time to give them a word of encouragement in their trials. He was always ready to smooth out their difficulties and to lighten their load. He treasured to the end of his life, a kindly message from Florida that reached him through the “Annual” in 1907. It was as follows:

“If Father John Corcoran is still in this vale of tears, let him rest assured that the lads of 1900 loved him. In him we ever found a sincere sympathiser in our little troubles and I could not restrain my tears when I grasped his hand for the last time at Naples in 1902”.

Father Corcoran said that since the day of his ordination he never forgot these “boys” in his daily Mass. They are now priests and we ask them and indeed all Mungret priests, to pray for the repose of the kindly soul of Father John Corcoran. May he rest in peace,

Corcoran, Patrick, 1822-1905, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/571
  • Person
  • 16 December 1822-23 February 1905

Born: 16 December 1822, Tuam, County Galway
Entered: 07 January 1862, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1873
Died: 23 February 1905, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1864 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology 4
by 1875 at Holy Name Manchester - St Helens (ANG) working
by 1877 at Saint Francis Xavier Liverpool (ANG) working

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Educated at Maynooth for the Tuam Diocese, where he was administrator of the Cathedral before Ent.

He was sent to Galway and Limerick as Operarius, and also to Clongowes as Spiritual Father and Procurator. He spent time at Mungret as well as Spiritual Father.
He was for a while on the Missionary Band under Robert Haly with Thomas Molloy and William Fortescue as fellow Missioners. He also worked on the ANG Mission at Liverpool and other places in Lancashire.
In his last year he was at Milltown, where he died after a short illness 25 February 1905
He was a good Theologian, spoke Irish, a zealous worker and a kind and friendly man.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Patrick Corcoran (1822-1905)

A former alumnus of Maynooth College, was a secular priest of the Archdiocese of Tuam at the time of his entrance into the Society in 1862. Father Corcoran was a member of the Crescent community, as a missioner, from 1872-1874 and was again at the Crescent as minister, 1878-1879. In his later years he was a member of the retreat staff at Milltown Park.

Corish, Edward, 1862-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1108
  • Person
  • 14 December 1862-08 January 1951

Born: 14 December 1862, London, England
Entered: 29 November 1884, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1897, Tortosa, Spain
Final vows: 15 August 1901
Died: 08 January 1951, Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

by 1896 at Deusto Bilbao, Spain (ARA) studying
by 1900 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1901

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was born in England and received his early education from the Benedictines at St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate, Kent. In spite of this, he Entered the Society in the Irish Province at Dromore, County Down.

1886-1890 After First Vows he made a Juniorate at Milltown Park Dublin and St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and then did a year of Philosophy at Milltown Park.
1890-1893 He was sent for Regency to Clongowes Wood College
1893-1895 He continued his regency at Mungret College Limerick.
1895 He began his Theology studies at Milltown Park, and was then sent to Tortosa in Spain, in the Aragon Province, and was Ordained there after two years, receiving a special dispensation due to health.
1897-1899 He was sent to Mungret teaching
1899-1900 He made tertianship at Drongen.
1900-1902 He was sent teaching to Belvedere College Dublin, where he was also Minister and Prefect of the Church.
1902-1908 He arrived in November and was sent to teach at Xavier College Kew, where he also served as Minister.
1908-1913 He was sent to the Lavender Bay Parish
1913-1918 and 1922-1923 He was sent to St Mary’s Parish in North Sydney, where he was also Superior for a while.
1918-1922 He was sent to the Hawthorn Parish
1923-1931 He was sent to the Norwood Parish where he was also Superior for a time.
1931-1934 He returned to St Mary’s in North Sydney. While there he turned a former factory into Manresa Hall
1934-1940 He returned to the Hawthorn Parish. Hawthorn parishioners spoke of his kindness and fine social gifts.
1940-1948 He was sent to Canisius College Pymble as Spiritual Father and examiner of candidates. Whilst here he also gave a monthly day of recollection to Cardinal Gilroy
1948 His final mission was to Loyola Watsonia, for care and prayer.

His early ill health accounts for the sporadic nature of his studies in Philosophy and Theology. In Australia no one would have thought that he had suffered from ill health. He was a most zealous man, a whirlwind of activity, throwing himself heart and soul into any work that he was given to do, and doing it very well.

He was a kind and charitable man always willing to give a helping hand to others. As a Superior he probably did not allow the men enough scope and was inclined to very fixed views, and he struggled when dealing with others who had equally fixed but opposing views. he did great work especially at North Sydney and Norwood. He had a fine old gentlemanly manner,

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926
Residence. SS. CORDIS, SYDNEY :

In 1878 Archbishop Vaughan handed over the Parish of North Shore to the Society. The church was exceedingly small, had very little church furniture and the Fathers were obliged to hire a Presbytery at 16s. a week. The Residence S.S. Cordis completed by Fr D Connell in 1923. The parish now numbers some 3,000 souls. It has two splendid primary schools, with an attendance of about 740 children. These schools. the Brothers' residence and the hall capable of holding 1,000 people, owe their existence to the energy of Fr Corish. In 1924 there were 45,000 Confessions heard, and about 50,000 Communions given. Attached to the church are two Sodalities, a Catholic club, a debating club, an athletic club a tennis club, and a branch of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Counihan, Tom, 1891-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/461
  • Person
  • 11 October 1891-12 January 1982

Born: 11 October 1891, Kilrush, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 12 January 1982, Richmond Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
Awarded a BSc 1st Class at UCD 1914, and offered a Postgraduate Scholarship, which he did not accept.
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

◆ Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982 & The Belvederian, Dublin, 1982
Frs. Counihan and Edward Coyne are acting as members of a Commission set up by the Government Department of Social Welfare, at the end of March, to examine Emigration and other Population Problems. The former is still working on the Commission on Youth Unemployment, while Fr. Coyne, who served on the Commission on Vocational Organisation appointed in 1939, and whose Report was published five years later, is at present Deputy Chairman of the Central Savings Committee, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council for Beads Industry, Chairman of the Joint Labour Committee for Solicitors, Member of the Joint Labour Committee for the Creamery Industry, Member of the Council of the Statistical Society.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982

Obituary

Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982)

I well remember Fr Tom Counihan coming to Belvedere in September 1916, when I was a boy in “prep”. We boys thought it strange that he should be so bald, knowing that he was only in his middle twenties. Our first impression of him was that we had a pleasant-looking fellow as our master, one who seemed happily disposed towards us and might not be too strict. Furthermore, on talking to us he gave us the impression of being kindly, and before long we discovered that he had a good sense of humour and could laugh just like any of ourselves.
As we got to know him better, we found that we had a master who would stand no nonsense and would expect us to listen to him and learn from what he had to say. He was strict, firm and determined, all with a view to teaching us and getting the best out of us. Behind all this we found him a most understanding teacher, scrupulously fair and prepared to listen to us. His subjects were mathematics and chemistry and he was a most competent teacher of both subjects.
Two very close and lifelong colleagues of his were in Belvedere to meet him on the first day he arrived: Fr Tom Ryan [d. 1971] and Fr Charlie Molony [d. 1978]. The former was dedicated to Dublin newsboys and particularly to the Belvedere Newsboys' Club, where he was much beloved by the boys. In later years he spent all his time working with the people of Hong Kong. The latter on leaving Belvedere spent most of his time in St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner street, and during his free time gave much support to the Old Belvedere Rugby Club, of which he was a founder member.
In his second year at Belvedere Fr Tom was assigned to the task of training the JCT. In the previous year, Mr Vincent Conlon, an Australian scholastic (d. 1959), had trained the team with such success that they won the Cup, beating our old rivals Blackrock in the final. Fr Tom had come to Belvedere from Clongowes, where he had played soccer. He knew nothing about the finer points of the game rugby, yet by sheer determination and dedication, he learned rugby skills to great perfection. Twice a week time we trained and on Wednesdays and Saturdays we had games against other schools. By the end of the season our team had greatly improved, especially in the art of passing the ball, and due to Fr Tom's efforts and enthusiasm we went through the Cup series winning all our games, thereby retaining the Cup, having played Castleknock three times in the final. The following year, Fr Tom trained us again with the same eagerness and keenness as in the previous year, and his dedication was so earnest that there was nothing we boys would not do for him. The result was that for the third year in succession we won the Cup, having beaten Blackrock once again in the final. It must be said of Fr Tom that for one who knew so little about rugby when he came to Belvedere, great credit was due to him for being the trainer of two consecutive Cup-winning sides. We schoolboys were conscious of his great devotion to our Lady of Lourdes. He knew by heart the days when she had appeared to St Bernadette, and rolled them off for us. He would expect a postcard from any boys going to Lourdes, and it would be seen later on his mantelpiece. If you went to Lourdes and failed to send a card, he would tell you so when next he saw you. He helped in the formation of the Belvedere Society of our Lady of Lourdes. Fr Tom was chaplain to the Belvedere Newsboys’ Club for many year later and endeared himself to the boys by his love and concern for them, They too regarded him as a friend whose advice they sought and respected. The young newsboys sold the Dublin Evening Mail and the Evening Herald barefoot on the streets of Dublin. The price of a paper then was one old penny, and a boy’s earnings for the evening were about a shilling, provided he had sold four dozen papers. Fr Tom gave many retreats to these newsboys, during which they came to know him really well, making friendships that lasted many years.
We Old Belvederians greatly enjoyed the retreats Fr Tom gave us in Milltown Park. He kept strictly to the Gospels and would talk to us for three-quarters of an hour without a note in front of him. We benefitted greatly from all he told us. To the Christian Brothers also he gave many retreats in their various houses: he was proud of his connection with them. One year he gave a retreat in the Clarendon street Carmelite church, a fairly big church. For five or six days he spoke to the people, having pushed the micro phone to one side.
He had a loud voice and used it to great effect in churches and oratories, the classroom and the playing-fields, I might add that he also used it in his own room, and when people knocked at his door he answered “Come in” with a voice that could be heard at the end of the corridor. Many visitors came to his room daily, some for a chat, some for advice, and some for confession. He would not leave his room in case he might miss one of these friends who needed him.
He had a great admiration for Frank Duff, who was a particular friend of his throughout life. He read Abbot Marmion's books and thought them excellent for spiritual reading. Fr Tom did not smoke, but to the end enjoyed his pinch of snuff, which he said kept him from dozing.
To me who knew him when he came to Belvedere and later visited him in his last days in Milltown Park and Richmond hospital, Fr Tom had changed very little. He came to Belvedere as one who was always happy, with a pleasant smile on his face, jovial and friendly, with a good sense of humour. Later on, he uttered criticism at times but laughed it off as a bit of fun. He would not spare those in high office: yet he had nothing but the highest praise for his own superior, who showed the utmost concern for his needs at all times.
We Belvederians well remember him as a true friend, one with a deep affection for us, whose wisdom and advice we sought and respected, who was deeply spiritual and put all his trust in the Mother of God. He told us: Devotus Mariae nunquam peribit, nunquam.
E.D.

Here is a viewpoint from the Far East:
As a student in the College of Surgeons, I first met Fr Counihan while on a week-end retreat in Rathfarnham in 1950. I was enthralled by his patriarchal manner, so understandingly human and yet so authoritarian and inspiring. He prided himself on voting Labour, and certainly was the working-man’s guru. Later on in the Society, I always had a warm spot in my heart for him. For three years in Rathfarnham I helped in the refectory by reading at meals for boys and men on retreat. Fr Tom and I got to know each other well.
He prided himself on Abbot Marmion, whom he had known. Everything said by Vatican II is in Marmion, he used to say! Perhaps the Belvedere connection was important here. He always had a predilection for Belvederians! This however did not restrain him from making caustic criticism. His witty tongue spared no one, and his prophetic denunciation covered all - Provincial and Taoiseach, superior and bishop - usually to the delight and enjoyment of listeners. With a whiff of snuff, the word of God was on his tongue. He claimed to be a priest to whom boys - and most ordinary men - listened. He had the wavelength of, and a charism for, people of the 1950s and 1960s. I remember his week-end retreats were based on the Sunday liturgy. The Mass prayers and Scripture texts were written out in his hand and placed on the board. His spirit was indomitable, forthright and courageous - to the edification and admiration of most people. A man of God for men, he told me he never visited anyone, as a visit was a waste of time, He was always available for anyone who called on him: many did call.
Surely he was a disciple of John the Baptist. May he pray for vocation to preach the word of God, to bring consolation to the desolate, forgiveness to the erring and vision to the down hearted.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary
Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982) : Continued
†12th January 1982
Fr Thomas Counihan passed into eternal life in the 91st year of his age, having outlived his eight brothers and five sisters. The President of Ireland, Dr Hillery, and the Archbishop of Dublin,Dr Dermot Ryan, who had been a schoolboy under him at Belvedere, sent letters of condolence. The former spoke of the encouragement he had been given Fr Tom when he was minister for Education, while the latter noted the sustained interest which Fr Tom had taken in the welfare of many of the priests and people of the diocese. Many other hearts were moved to pay tribute, and several of these appear in these pages. The brethren rallied in strength to his requiem; Fr Tom had remarked some years ago, on the death of one of his years.Jesuit peers, that now there were no more colourful characters left in the Province. It was an ingenuous judgment: he himself was one of the great characters among us; an institution, larger than life, he sailed like a liner among tugs, bumping some and swamping others, and it was impossible not to notice him with awe, so certain was his course and so majestic. He was very human, full of contradictions, an extravagant personality, never dull, gleefully imitated.
He was born in Kilrush, Co.Clare, and went to the local Christian Brothers School; there began that interest in and respect for the Brothers which endured throughout his long life. “I saw Christianity in the Brothers in Kilrush. Their ascetic spirituality appealed to him, and in his latter years he used lament the softness and slackness into which he saw the Society slipping, and contrast us unfavourably with the Brothers. For thirty years he was their spiritual director and through direct contact and a large : correspondence had enormous influence among them. He loved them and trusted them, “When I die, the Brothers are to be told first, and a Brother will come and clear out my room: I want no Jesuits to touch it”. Given the state of his room, a small battalion would have been required for this labour of love, but Tom had no doubt but that the Brothers would have responded to the call.
He finished his secondary education in at Tullabeg. He moved on to UCD for three years, taking a science degree - he had obtained first place in Ireland in Chemistry while at Clongowes, winning a gold medal in the process. Because of the outbreak of World War One his further studies in science were interrupted, nor were they ever resumed. He went to Stonyhurst for two years philosophy, and returned in 1916 to teach in Belvedere. Among the pupils of that five-year period was Kevin Barry, whose confidence he won, and who sent for him the night before his execution.
In 1921 he began theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained after two years, a privilege granted to those who had spent many years in regency. After two further years of theology, Fr John Fahy, the Provincial of the day, seeking to remedy some urgent problems at Mungret College, sent Tom there as Minister instead of forwarding him to tertianship. Tom remembered the challenge well: there were three tasks assigned him; the ending of the food strikes by the boys; the cleaning of the house, and the reconciling of the opposing views of the Rector and the Superior of the Apostolic School. His principle for reform, repeated to me 55 years later in reference to Milltown Park was: bona culina, bona disciplina. “When. I got to the front door, I asked for water and a mop. I washed my way to my room! I found an excellent layman to take over the kitchen, and the whole atmosphere changed within a week. Everyone was thrilled: I examined every plate of food and every cup, and the Provincial said at Visitation that I was the best Minister he ever appointed”.
The following year saw Tom in tertianship in Tullabeg. He was remembered as “always jolly and gay, . and a good choirmaster”. In 1927 sent back to Belvedere, where he was Headmaster for six years. Highly respected and successful, he taught Maths and Science, coached successful rugby and cricket teams, and had great control over the boys. He had a lifelong interest in sport, and was good at games. To the end he recalled a Visitors versus Community match about 1930, when, partnered by Fr Matty Bodkin, he scored 97 runs. And during a school retreat in . 1954 at Rathfarnham, to illustrate the importance of determination, he told us how once, when playing Gaelic in Kilrush, he got the ball near the goal, lay down and yelled to his team-mates: |Kick me into the net!” He told me that he was excellent at tennis: “Cyril (Power) and I at were unbeatable: I stayed at the back and Cyril went to the net: I returned all the shots he missed”. Reminiscences of such feats, delicately tinted with passing of the years, consoled him in the time of his infirmity.

In the public eye
In 1933 his talents as preacher and as a 'man's man' were given full scope, when he was appointed to the Mission and Retreat Staff. He was stationed at Emo first (1933-41) and then at Rathfarnham (1941-'43), Although he once described himself as “patched-up second tenor” he knew he had a splendid voice and could pitch it at will: he made of it a most effective apostolic instrument. His clear faith, unclouded as it seems by even a moment's doubt, made his message clear and convincing. He liked especially his work with Fr Garahy: between them they attracted huge crowds. Tom developed hymn-singing and revelled in leading his congregation at Missions and Benedictions, although once, to general dismay, he failed to get the right note, and overheard a remark afterwards that he sounded like a bellowing calf. He claimed he could drown out the Rathfarnham organ; to which challenge Fr H. Croasdaile rose by putting on an 8 foot Diapason.
He was at the height of his energies in this period; he remarked once that he had had indifferent health till his mid-forties, and suffered from a distressing, though harmless heart complaint throughout his life, but now he was travelling the length and breadth of Ireland, moving from parish to parish, always available. “I came home once after giving a Long Retreat, and got a message to start another one that night, and off I went. I gave more and better retreats than anyone else. To give a long retreat you have to make it yourself and give good example. I never took a villa – too many retreats to give ...”
For many years Dr John C. McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, was his friend. “The Arch' as Fr Tom called him, engaged him to give spiritual nourishment to the seminarians in Clonliffe and so began a series of long retreats and lasting friendships with men of the diocese. His Grace asked for him to sit on the Government Commission on Youth and Unemployment (1943-50). His work as civil servant was obviously appreciated, for he was next appointed to the Commission on Emigration. The reports of both Commissions are published. Fr Tom had little to say in later years about their impact, “but at least I got all the members coming to confession and reading Marmion!” He was a fine public speaker and often addressed several meetings a week. His addresses were always full of Christian principle and conviction: the Labour men respected him, and Jim Larkin on his death-bed would have no one else but Fr Tom. We who came to know him only in his declining years would not have thought of him as a mediator; yet the daily arrival of a personal copy of the Irish Independent was a constant reminder that he had intervened to avert a newspaper strike. He was Chaplain to the Lord Mayor in the 1950s. He and "The Arch' fell out at a public meeting about the same time, because of a disagreement over policy. Happily good relations were restored at the time of Rathfarnham Retreat House's golden jubilee (1963).
His naive candour about his achievements ("Guess how many confessions I heard tonight!) added to his ex cathedra statements (I'm telling you ...) frustrated and annoyed many: those who disagreed with him found him difficult; patience was needed, but there seem to have been no shortage of patient men around, for the number of those who valued his friendship was legion. They valued his prayers during his lifetime too, and now have even greater trust in ' his power of intercession with God on their behalf. He had the ability to relate ' easily with young and old; doctors, : lawyers, bricklayers, priests – all could come and use him as consultant, moral theologian, as confessor and as friend. He was a great supporter of the Larkins and of James Connolly, and was sensitive to the rights of workers. He knew the social teaching of the Popes, and warned that anyone taking the encyclicals seriously would get into trouble. Men of vision and nonconformists often found in him an ally; institutions and officials which were failing in their duties found in him an outspoken and fearless critic. The lapsed called him 'the hound of heaven'; his zeal for souls sent him out on the streets to search for a relapsed alcoholic. He was sensitive, and visibly saddened if a penitent failed to keep the contract made in confession. He acknowledged that he good at helping the determined, but poor with the indecisive: he was grateful to be able to turn those with vocation crisis over to men like Fr Joe Erraught.

Retreat work
In 1950 he moved from Leeson street to Rathfarnham as Assistant Director of the Retreat House, and was equally effective both with men and boys. His years at Belvedere had taught him all the tricks of the schoolboy mind: in early 1954 we Sixth-years from St Vincent’s came trooping up the avenue towards the Castle, plotting all sorts of mischief. But the “The Coon” as we called him, dominated everything. He was impressive with his bald head and its odd bump at the back covered by a black skull-cap; but more by his voice and his kindly face. We knew he cared about us. He spaced us out, four to a bench, each with his own place, so that there would be no fooling in the chapel; he had a book which all must sign and this entailed going to his room, which ended in a chat and confession. His simple emphasis on the person of Christ was compelling. The tough grew silent, and that autumn, ten of the group went on for the priesthood.
For him the weekend retreats were times as of maximum effort. He was to be found after midnight of the opening night, patrolling Rathfarnham avenue with Br s John Adams, to catch the 'trailers - the nervous and the drunk. “The best wine comes last”, he'd say. He would see a man in the distance, go to him and lead him gently in. He became oblivious of time when dealing with the men in his room: Bishops took their turn in the queue, “I'm no respecter of persons”. Retreats didn't end on Monday morning: he encouraged men to return for direction. Marmion was most recommended; also Fulton Sheen. For spiritual ills, his remedies were crisp: frequent confession, penance and spiritual reading.
His penances were widely known was among the retreatants. “It's good for them to hear me (using the discipline)” he would say. The whole of religion is pain; you have to pay that price for the conversion of others. We are priests and victims. No man has ever refused to see me, because I suffered for them all. I used the discipline and the chain for the conversion of sinners. I got the idea from Michael Browne, my novice-master – he's a saint. A Bishop once asked me: “Is it true you use the scourge?” I said: “Yes. Do you?” I asked about his arthritis which had become so crippling towards end. “That's from the chains I wore.After a while the metal dug into the flesh and then affected the bone. Of course the pain is terrible, but I won't take anything to ease it. I must offer it to God, to make up what is wanting to the sufferings of Christ”. One felt that God must be impressed by his motivation. Not many could follow his ascetical path: “I didn't go to him for confession or counselling said one of the brethren, because I was afraid of his grá for the discipline”.
He came to Milltown in 1957, after some turbulence over the management of Rathfarnham, Again he was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House.
It may be noted that except for some work in England, he never travelled abroad: one may speculate on the scope of his life-work had he been assigned to Australia or to Hong Kong after tertianship. Priests' and professional men's retreat work, retained his connections during Fr Tom's time as Assistant Director. He continued to do outside retreat work retained his connections with the Christian Brothers, had time for innumerable visitors and penitents, and followed the fortunes of the English cricket team. His certitude about the rightness of his own convictions gave great security to many friends and penitents: “If you'll just do as I say, you'll be all right!' He loved company and friendship, and even in his declining years had a marvellous memory of persons met long ago. His correspondence was huge: requests for Masses and prayers were unending.
He loved the poor and was very kindly. As rector, I got into the habit of asking him for cash for the needy who came to the front door, and he never failed: sometimes he would give his pocket-money, while on other occasions he would tell a well-to-do penitent that money was needed, and it would be generously given. When he finally went into hospital the poor at the door mourned his departure. A side of him that was suitably hidden from most was his great generosity, thoughtfulness and sympathy for the really poor and those who have no one to champion their cause. He was never embarrassed to use his influence for them: he kept to the end a great interest in them and their families. He interceded with State bodies for the poor, and could be relied on to get jobs for the needy, with his vast network of friends, but more by his gift of persuasion. His remarkable memory for names and faces helped here. A correspondent who lived many years with him gives the following summary:
“One reason for his great apostolic success was that he kept his nose to the grindstone: his was the asceticism of being in his room, always welcoming and available. He took little exercise, and no holidays - nor did he take dessert, nor drink nor smoke cigarettes. All he allowed himself was a little snuff. He never, to my knowledge, read a novel, nor watched a film; he restricted his use of the radio to sport, and refused TV altogether. He went to bed at all hours, as the apostolate demanded, but was up often at 4.15 am. He had great devotion to the Stations of the Cross, which he said in the Chapel until his legs would support him no longer, and in his final years made them in his room, where he had a large set on the wall. He admired Fr Willie Doyle, Matt Talbot, and most of all his novice master, Fr Michael Browne – all of them great ascetics. He lived for the spread of the Gospel, and if he took a day off, he spent it with the Christian Brothers in Bray, hearing in dealing with them. confessions. A simple pleasure which he indulged to the end was the crossword. When stuck, he used ring up one of his friends for help, and the business of the city would be halted while the clue was worked out!”
In regard to Fr Michael Browne, another correspondent adds: “He told me he owed everything to Fr Browne, and that he had tried to build his life on his teaching. He said that whatever way Michael Browne spoke, of us you would be moved by what he said; for example, by the statement: God needs you, or We must be not only priests but victims. I think Fr Michael would have been proud of him: everything he undertook for God, he did well”.

The later years
From about 1970 onward, his arthritis gave increasing trouble, and we watched with awe his declining years, the slowly diminishing sphere of his activity. First a room on the first floor, so that getting to the door would not be too awkward. Then a handrail so that he could manage the stairs. Then a room on the Chapel Corridor when stairs became impossible. Slow walks up and down the drive with faithful and patient companion, Fr Brendan Lawler. Then confined to the room, a den of wild chaos: plants, dust, tattered booklets, snuff. We spent weeks wondering would he refuse the wheelchair. Then one day: “There are our stages in getting old, you know. First it's the room, then the chair, then even the bed, and then the box”. He wondered once if Fr Willie Doyle, whose photo he had in his room, would have coped well with the pains of old age, a harder asceticism than the freely-chosen austerities of youth. Lively and athletic as he had been, he never complained about the ever-increasing restrictions the Lord placed on him. He was blessed in his infirmarian, Br Joe Cleary, even if he seldom acknowledged it openly. Joe built him a padded chair, and it became his throne: there he sat and slept and prayed, and held court and heard confessions, read the Tablet and said innumerable rosaries - the 15 mysteries daily.
He loved Our Lady, and read a five-volume Life of her, written by the Ven. Mary Agreda, and used quote at length passages detailing “facts” known neither to scripture nor tradition. He kept all Mary's feastdays with great solemnity, and was deeply devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette. Little wonder that Frank Duff was a long-standing friend, and that Legion of Mary affairs were important to him. I like to think of of him being wheeled down the Milltown Corridor by Br Joe Cleary or Bill Reddy – the latter used to stand in for the infirmarian, and put up patiently with lots of abuse when Tom was in poor mood, and that Bill did so is a measure of the devotion and respect Tom inspired in so many. Anyway, down the corridor he'd come and swing into the refectory: anyone daring to obstruct his progress t got poked with a stick. Tom dominated the refectory from his chosen table, singing a hymn at the top of his voice, and delighted if he created attention or gathered a chorus. “They're all too dull in his here: look at them all with their solemn faces. They need to smile”. It was hard, even on a wet morning, not to smile at him, with his black knitted hat firmly on the back of his head, and his gown and coat covered in snuff. Perhaps he recognised that he was not a community man, and that in fact distances and chasms yawned between him and some of the brethren, and in his own inimitable way was trying to make up, by allowing himself to become a figure of fun. It was a source of lifelong hurt to him never to have been invited to give a retreat to Jesuits; he felt a lack of trust in the “management”. He ignored the fact that many other good men had also failed to receive such an invitation.
He was a convinced anti-feminist, though he gave many retreats to sisters in his heyday. He had an Aloysius-like respect for the Ne tangas, rejected female nurses, and would have no women in for confession: he was there for the men, and others could look after the weaker sex. Sisters crowding around the Milltown Institute notice-boards learned to scatter at his approach. In the chapel, if one happened to be obscuring his line of vision of the tabernacle, a stage whisper would float through the air and the guilty soul, breathless with adoration though she might be, had to slink further along her bench. He opposed the introduction women visitors into the refectory: in this he was not unique. But when the battle was long lost, he still continued a guerrilla warfare by protesting against any women who happened to be facing him: they should all face up the Refectory and away from him. In his last year, however, spent in the Richmond, had to submit to the ministrations of the female staff, and by and large bore it well. He used to boast at Milltown that he took a bath twice a year, whether he needed it or not: when the nurses took charge of him, they apparently decided that this boast had been true, and proceeded to give him an ether bath, “They removed four or five pounds from me. They're very wicked nurses; now I'll be a prey to all sorts of diseases which the dirt saved me from”. The nurses grew very fond of him and tended him with love: it is not clear just how much that love was reciprocated!
The obverse of that simple certitude which was a blessing to so many was a quality of intolerance with those who disagreed with him. He was an easy man to work with only while one was on his side. The tale is told of a retreat for priests at Milltown. Tom had not been assigned to give it, but he thought little of the man who had, So at the end of each talk he would lurk about at the door of the chapel and waylay one of the group and ask: “Well, what did he say this time?” One being told, he would snort: “Rubbish”, and proceed to give his, the correct, version. These remedial instructions were so comprehensive that one retreatant was left with the scruple that perhaps he should pay for two retreats instead of one, while another felt that he was excused from the obligation of the following year's retreat.
He had a clear eye for the faults of the brethren, and could articulate them in devastating fashion. As Headmaster he acknowledged that he would have got rid of a number of scholastics then teaching in Belvedere, while fifty years later he offered unsolicited advice of the same nature to me at the breakfast-table. In his early years with the Christian Brothers. he was idolised by many because he seemed so far ahead in his outlook: it was sad that growth stopped at some point such that the forward movement of the Society and of the Province since 1965 left him angry and embittered. He could see nothing but compromise and weakness in many developments, and felt that the original spirit of the Society had been betrayed. Perhaps not surprisingly, he seemed untroubled by any regrets for his sometimes scathing criticisms. Superiors bore the brunt of his wrath, and so I entered on the job of Rector of Milltown in 1974 with trepidation, but a reliance on the fact that he had a soft spot for me, having sent me to the novitiate. Thus began a breakfast-table friendship, something forbidden all others. Through good moods or ill we chatted about the issues of the day; as the years passed and his deafness (selective, some thought) increased, I was cast as passive listener: while he played the part of self-appointed admonitor of all who needed correction, from Father General down to the kitchen staff. The remarkable thing was that if one stood up to him and contradicted him, there would be a brief storm, after which he would ease up and laugh. It was said of him that he lived by indignation. Certainly he loved the ring of battle: Quem timebo? he would say. But while he took joy into the smash that put his opponent away, he could acknowledge a good return and passing shot too. I look back on my years with him as a great privilege: sometimes I wonder if his crusty exterior was a façade for an inner gentleness. When he left Milltown for the last time, en route first to Our Lady's Hospice and then, at his nephew's insistence, to the Richmond (where Harry, his nephew, was Consultant), I went to tidy his room, and found there the letter I had sent him in 1954, three days after my entering Emo. Why should that have meant so much to him? Another gentle touch came at the end of a visit to him in hospital, when he said: “I. hope I wasn't boring?” On another occasion I was sitting on his bed, chatting, and moved position after a while. There was silence for a bit, then he said: “Now you're sitting on my other leg”. When I took leave of him in September 1981, and said I'd see him in six months, he was silent, but I'd almost swear his eyes glistened.
Thus, like most of us, he was a man of contradictions. 'Quem timebo?' yet he could not bear to sleep alone in the house at night. A totally spiritual man, yet he feared death and could be thrown into panic by a heart condition which though distressing, he knew to be harmless. Likewise, he had his gentle side and his rough edges. The trick was to learn to roll with the punches. 'Whatever job they give you next, he said to the Province Delegate for Formation, 'I hope it won't be in formation: you're useless at it! Fourth-year Fathers had to learn not to take too seriously the admonition; "You're not fit for hearing Confessions, Leave that work to me: it's me they want."

The end
He cherished for long a desire to be buried with the Christian Brothers: opinions differed on the real reason: Was it his lifelong friendship with them, or the fact that Brothers are buried in individual graves, whereas Jesuits have a single mass grave? The latter would appear to be the true reason; he let slip one day that he was concerned that in 50 years' time 'people won't be able to find me in Glasnevin!' The presumption was that there'd be those around who would wish to know: some of his brethren would consider this an irritating conceit. But he operated with a different frame work from that currently in vogue: Fr Michael Browne had taught him the importance of sanctity: it was a goal to be achieved, not simply admired in the saints of old. The means were clear: constancy in prayer, asceticism, zeal for the Kingdom of God, and total faith in God's grace. Tom saw miracles of grace worked in his friends and penitents; it did not seem too strange to him to think that God would do likewise in himself, and that he might be chosen by God as a channel of grace for others after his death, just as he had been during his lifetime.
In 1979 Fr Tom celebrated his 70th year in the Society, and the occasion was marked by a lunch in his honour, at the close of which he made a speech. "Love and joy' he said, “have been the chief characteristics of my life.' His hearers were a trifle incredulous then, but not so now. He has entered into the company of Love and Joy, and laughter and the love of friends innumerable are his again. And I have little doubt but that as he looks down on our topsy-turvy world he indulges in the occasional comment, meant for Them, as to what remedial steps should be taken.

◆ The Clongownian, 1982
Obituary
Father Thomas Counihan SJ

Fr Counihan died on the 12th of January 1981 in the 91st year of his age, having out lived his eight brothers and five sisters. He was born in Kilrush, Co Clare, and went to the local Christian Brothers' school; there began that interest in and respect for the Brothers which endured throughout his long life.

He finished his secondary education in Clongowes and joined the Order in 1909, spending two years in the novitiate at Tullabeg. He moved on to UCD for three years, taking a science degree - he had obtained first place in Ireland in chemistry while at Clongowes, winning a gold medal in the process. Because of the outbreak of World War One his further studies in science were interrupted, nor were they ever resumed. He went to Stonyhurst for two years philosophy, and returned in 1916 to teach in Belvedere. Among the pupils of that five-year period was Kevin Barry, whose confidence he won, and who sent for him the night before his execution.

In 1921 he began theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained after two years, a privilege granted to those who had spent many years teaching as scholastics. After two further years of theology he was sent as Minister to Mungret College.

In 1927 he was sent back to Belvedere, where he was Headmaster for six years. Highly respected and successful, he taught Maths and Science, coached successful rugby and cricket teams, and had great control over the boys.

In 1933 his talents as preacher and as a “man's man” were given full scope, when he was appointed to the Mission and Retreat staff. He was stationed in Emo first (1933-41) and then at Rathfarnham (1941-43).

For many years Dr John C McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, was his friend. “The Arch”, as Fr Tom called him, engaged him to give spiritual nourishment to the seminarians in Clonliffe and so began a series of long retreats and lasting friendships with men of the diocese. His Grace asked him to sit on the Government Commission on Youth and Unemployment (1943-50). His work as civil servant was obviously appreciated, for he was next appointed to the Commission on Emigration. The reports of both Cominissions are published. Fr Tom had little to say in later years about their impact, “but at least I got all the members coming to confession and reading Marmion!”

He was a fine public speaker and often addressed several meetings a week. His addresses were always full of Christian principle and conviction: the Labour men respected him, and Jim Larkin on his death-bed would have no one else but Fr Tom. He was Chaplain to the Lord Mayor in the 1950's.

In 1950 he moved from Leeson Street to Rathfarnham as Assistant Director of the Retreat House.

In 1957 he moved to Milltown Park and again was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House.

In 1957 he moved to Milltown Park and again was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House. He loved company and friend ship, and even in his declining years had a marvellous memory for persons met long ago. His correspondence was huge; requests for Masses and prayers were unending.

From about 1970 onwards, his arthritis gave increasing trouble and slowly but surely his sphere of activity declined. In 1979 he celebrated his 70th year in the Society of Jesus. He has entered into the company of Love and Joy, and laughter and the love of friends innumerable are his again.

Coyle Desmond A J, 1912-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/739
  • Person
  • 10 April 1912-11 October 1962

Born: 10 April 1912, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Woodstock College MD, USA
Died: 11 October 1962, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin Community at the time of death

Younger brother of Rupert - RIP 1978; Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1947 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

America :
Fr. Desmond Coyle, Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland :
“There were three other priests on board, two Irish-American parish. priests and a Capetown parish priest, so we had four Masses each morning in the ship's library, the first said by myself at 5.30. The times of the Masses were announced over the public address system in English and French, A French sub-deacon from Marseilles did the French announcing. We had Confessions on Thursday for the First Friday and 47 went to Holy Communion. After the Masses on Friday the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart was recited. One of the priests, who bad made the voyage several times, said he had never seen so many attending Mass. The three priests were a godsend to the passengers, as they were very lively and organised sing-songs every evening for young folk. It was amusing to see some very black Protestants from Belfast succumb to the charm of Fr. Thomas Masterson of Longford, now of Springfield diocese, Illinois. He ran the ship. They could not understand how a Catholic priest could be so affable. He is a great friend of our Fathers in St. Louis, and for the last seventeen years has had them three times a year for missions and retreats.
I am staying at St. Ignatius' Rectory, Park Avenue, for the moment. Fr. Vincent McCormick very kindly showed me some of the parish after dinner, as well as Mrs. Julia Grant's house (we had suffrages for her a few years ago ; she built and endowed the only endowed Jesuit school in U.S.A.). A few of the Fathers bound for Rome are here at present Among them is Fr. Dragon of Canada. The church here has two patrons : St. Ignatius and St. Lawrence O'Toole”.
Fr. Coyle is doing the second year of his doctorate in theology at Woodstock. He reached New York on August 4th after a pleasant sea trip on the S.S. Brasil

◆ Irish Province News 38th Year No 1 1963 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1963

Obituary :

Fr Desmond Coyle SJ

Desmond A. J. Coyle as he usually liked to sign himself-was born in Dublin in 1912, the youngest of a large family of boys. He went to school in Belvedere in 1921 and from there to Clongowes, in 1923, after the death of his mother. His brother, Father Rupert, was Lower Line Prefect at the time. A friend who remembers him at that time writes: “What stands out most in my memory is his complete friendliness. He was one of those happy boys who have nothing to conceal and who win friendship by taking it for granted that others are their friends”. In his final year in school - a year incidentally in which Fr. E. Mackey gave the retreat - six boys entered the novitiate; three of these were from a group of five friends: Val Moran, Harry Fay and Des Coyle. It would be hard, I think, to exaggerate the influence that Harry Fay had on Des's life. All of that large vintage of novices for a time there were fifty in the newly-opened Emo - will have vivid memories of Harry's break-down in health from heart disease and his long struggle from that first year in Rathfarnham until his death in Milltown Park in 1939 before he was ordained. Desmond did not have his own first serious skirmish with death till 1937, but even during Juniorate he was seldom really well. He had an unbounded admiration for Harry Fay's extraordinary unselfishness and courage. For Harry kept to the end a great zest for life, especially intellectual life, and he had a flattering way of making everyone else of his numerous friends feel that they had the same kind of capacity as he.
After getting a B.A. in Classics, Desmond went to Tullabeg for Philosophy. In November 1937 the very serious nature of his illness showed itself; he had a haemorrhage from duodenal ulcer early in the morning. Mr. Donal Mulcahy was soon on the scene and then Fr. Billy Byrne. He was anointed and Fr. Billy pronounced him “finished” of course thinking he was unconscious. Des heard this at the time and recalled it with relish as soon as he started to recover. In this crisis he showed himself an extremely courageous and even humorous patient. His remark, when he could barely whisper, “I am as tired as So-and-so”, went into folklore. From this on for a few years his studies were disorganised. He did a brief period in the colleges - Mungret - and then returned to Tullabeg.
When he came to Milltown Park he settled into a routine of life which in essentials he maintained to the end: extremely hard, conscientious work at theology, coupled with a surprising capacity for other interests. He thoroughly enjoyed concerts, matches, etc., perhaps more as social occasions and a meeting place for friends than for themselves. One thing he allowed no place for and that was self-pity on the score of health, which remained more than precarious. He could on occasion be vigorous in protest about some lesser snag but never about this. During his fourth year he became so engrossed in work that he husbanded every minute; though the story that he blessed the Palms in Roundwood from the bus to save time and be able to get back home in the morning is probably apochryphal!
After the Tertianship in Rathfarnham under Fr. L. Kieran, he was assigned to further study in theology; but as this was now the middle forties there was no question of going to Rome or any European centre. After a year in Maynooth he went to Woodstock College, Maryland. Here I should say, from the way he always spoke of it, he was extremely happy. Desmond really loved meeting new people; he was keen to hear all they had to tell him about their work and interests, and was tireless, in turn, in arranging things for them, whether a journey through the realms of dogma or through a city.
He taught the “Short Course” for a while and then Major Dogma; this was probably for him the term of his “ambition”. He was an enthusiast for theology and while in formal lectures his method was somewhat dry for most tastes and too cumulative of authorities, his industry and confidence in its supreme importance were inspiring. He was at his best in his room, speaking privately; visitors always seemed most welcome to him. While he shrank from committing himself to print he was tireless in helping others to amass authorities and sources for an article or book. With his encouragement and assistance, papers, originally read in class, were subsequently published in first-class theological journals. Fr. L. O'Grady, then Provincial, gratefully remembers the work he did in checking references and sources for his two papers read at the Maynooth Summer School and afterwards published in the book Mother of the Redeemer,
A notable and very pleasing trait in his character was his readiness to congratulate anyone who had written, lectured in public, etc. He was most genuinely appreciative on these occasions. In offering condolence and saying Mass for those in trouble he was particularly thoughtful and kindhearted.
He was very interested in Mariology and was an active member of the Irish Mariological Society. A run wrote of “a wonderful course of theological lectures which he gave to the community in the Marian Year on the Maternity of Our Lady. So we were much impressed by the fact that Our Lady should call him on that identical feast”. Another spoke of “his ardent zeal for theology which was contagious. ...”
Fr. A. Gwynn in a recent Province News commented on Fr. Coyle's most useful work as librarian in Milltown for nine years, in the increase “in number and quality of the periodicals purchased”, which attract students also from outside the Society.
Fr. Desmond had a number of very devoted lay friends whom he helped in all family events - baptisms, deaths, marriages, etc. He became a great apostle of the timely and frequent administration of Extreme Unction, as also of Confirmation of dying children and Communion for the sick. It gave him real pleasure to make full use of the relaxation of the fasting laws in such cases. In fact, for Desmond, not to use a privilege to the full was almost equivalent to heresy!
It was a hard bout of work on recent rubrical changes which showed that his strength was ebbing. At first it appeared that he was only some what overwrought and needed rest. While he was in hospital receiving suitable treatment the old, or similar, trouble recurred and he underwent surgical treatment for it. He had a long and trying illness during much of which he struggled with all his old resilience to get back to work. At what stage he realised that this was very unlikely is hard to know. However much he suffered he probably refused to think other than optimistically of his prospects and may have managed, as it were from habit, to exclude other considerations from his consciousness; certainly he never made melancholy play with them. He was a fine example of how to lead a hard life happily. May he rest in peace.

Coyle, Rupert F H, 1896-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/105
  • Person
  • 23 April 1896-20 January 1978

Born: 23 April 1896, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered: 30 August 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1927, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 20 January 1978, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

Older brother of Desmond - RIP 1962; Studied Arts at UCD

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 2 1978

Obituary :

Fr Rupert Coyle (1896-1978)

On January 20th, 1978 Belvedere lost someone who was morally part of itself when Father Rupert Coyle died.
Born in Dublin, on April 23rd 1896, Father Rupert Coyle completed his education in Belvedere and his First Arts Course at UCD, before entering the Noviceship on August 30th, 1913. He completed his Maths-Science Course in UCD from 1915 to 1918. After a year's teaching in Belvedere (1918-1919) he began his Philosophy in Milltown Park. His Philosophy Course was not completed until 1924 because it was interrupted by three years teaching in Clongowes, 1920 to 1923. Father Coyle was ordained priest at Milltown Park on July 31st, 1927. After three years teaching in Mungret (1928-1931) he went to St Beuno's for his Tertianship (1931-1932).
After his Tertianship began his uninterrupted work in Belvedere until his death in 1978.
In Belvedere he was : 1932-1933: Prefect of Games; 1933-1955: Prefect of Studies; 1955-1968: Teaching; 1968-1972: Adj. Oecon.; Editor “Belvederian”; Editor of the “Ordo”; From 1972 he was Adj. Oecon, until his death on January 20th, 1978.
A colleague of Father Rupert Coyle has sent us a tribute from Belvedere which, no doubt, expresses concisely what so many who have lived and worked for so long with Father Rupert Coyle would wish to say.

A Tribute to Father Rupert from a Colleague
Father Coyle was a man completely dedicated to his task as teacher and Prefect of Studies. He set a very high standard. Day after day in all weathers he patrolled the school yard. He was a frequent visitor to the classrooms and even though these inspections were unwelcomed by the boys they learned in later years that he was genuinely interested in their welfare.
A fine mathematician he introduced classes in Maths, Physics, and under his aegis the course in Philosophy for post Leaving Certificate students was started. He had high ideals of academic attainment for both staff and boys. But he was a man of sound common sense and realised that very many were not designed to be academics, and he encouraged his pupils to take part in the many extra-curricular activities of the school, and develop their talents that otherwise they might have been quite happy to hide.
Time after time he recalled at recreation how his past pupils had done so well. He was a “diehard” supporter of the Old Belvedere Rugby and Cricket Clubs, and even in his old age he was most conscientious in attending funerals of his former students. He was no “socialite”, and indeed in many ways he was a shy man, but with the passing of the years, and after a spell for Colostomy in St Vincent’s Hospital he showed qualities of human kindness dormant till then.
He was a model in his devotion to the religious life. He was a man of “de more” regularly and punctuality. He had a keen sense of humour and his repartee and wit brightened many recreations. Up to his last illness he worked steadily, A man of iron will, he left hospital to try to continue his work as Bursar.
In his last year of life his health declined steadily. It was a trying cross for a man of great ability and enthusiasm, and on occasions he confided that he was “bored to tears”. Brother Jim Dunne cared for him and tended him with a devotion far beyond the call of duty, and Fathers Finbar Lynch and Peter Troddyn did much to alleviate his loneliness. The Grand Old Man of Belvedere is now with God and the loss to Belvedere is irreparable.

◆ The The Belvederian, Dublin, 1978

Obituary

Father Rupert Coyle SJ (1912)

In the Belvederian 1963 the following tribute was paid to Fr, Coyle:

Father Rupert Coyle SJ (1903–12), so well known to many generations of Belvederians, is this year celebrating his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit. His connection with Belvedere goes back to the beginning of the century and since then his name and those of many of his family appear repeatedly in the pages of The Belvederian. In the current roll some of the younger members figure still; perhaps no family has made a greater impact on College life than the Coyles.

In 1910 he captained the Junior Cup Team. In the same year Father Charles Moloney SJ, who recently celebrated his Golden Jubilee, was secretary of the team. In The Belvederian of that year both are mentioned as outstanding players. The Captain's untiring energy and enthusiasm are emphasised. In all his work during the year he has shown the same energy and enthusiasm for Belvedere and its ideals. In 1912 Father Coyle was Vice-Captain of the Senior Cup Team, while Father Moloney was Captain. In the same year Father Moloney was Prefect of the BVM Sodality and Father Coyle second assistant.

When Father Coyle came back in 1932 he had charge of the games until he became Prefect of Studies. His tenure of office as Games Master saw the transfer of the grounds at Cabra to future generations.

He held his post as Prefect of Studies a record number of years-about twenty-one-So that it would be impossible to touch on all who passed through his hands, but many a one who reads these lines will recall with gratitude the help and en couragement he got from the Prefect of Studies. He had a surprising interest in every boy-surprising that is, when one thinks of the numbers of his charges.

He watched carefully for signs of slackness but also for evidence of over-anxiety, and one of his former teaching staff relates that he was frequently asked whether a certain boy was working too hard or showing evidence of strain. If the answer was in the affirmative, that boy's hours of work and sleep were fixed by Father Coyle.

So he has the good wishes and gratitude of hundreds of his boys and will have the prayers of all for his welfare and his happiness that his dedicated work may continue.

AMDG

-oOo-

Fr Coyle never officially retired from active service. After a colostomy operation in 1956 his one desire was to come back and continue teaching, which he did for twelve years until 1968. After he collapsed in O'Connell Street at Christmas 1976 and the pacemaker was installed his only anxiety was to return to Belvedere and continue his work as assistant Bursar, Self pity never entered his reckoning. He never suggested that Belvedere owed him anything. He merely wanted to get back there and continue working. There was one later incident, amusing but poignant. Earlier this year an urgent phone call came from the dedicated Sisters at Our Lady's Hospice for the Dying. Fr Coyle wished to see a priest ...A priest was whisked out complete with stole and oils. To him Fr Coyle had only this to say: “I want to you to take me back to Belvedere now”. What sad scheming.

It must not be thought that he had been abandoned. He had visitors from Belvedere almost every day. Sometimes he could not remember who had been Sometimes he could. Before going to the Hospice he had had nurses day and night in his room in Belvedere. There he used to say Mass seated at a table with another priest concelebrating. But eventually the nurses could not manage: he might decide in the middle of the night that it was time to totter down the rickety stairs, and no woman was going to stop him.

The world, school world and outside world, was very different in 1933–1955. (This seems obvious to anyone who was alive then but in 20 year's time we will be fewer in number). In 1942 Fr. Coyle used to visit each class every day. he would walk in, probably say nothing, go over to the window, ook out, holding the cord. He look out, holding the cord. He would listen to the lesson for a while and then depart. In those days bus conductors wore uniforms, uniforms with numbers on. There were dictators all over Europe. People accepted and expected a well-defined system of control.

Fr Coyle would station himself on the corner of the stairway near his office at the beginning and end of every break. It was the one spot in the building that every boy had to pass. This made the boys more aware, if necessary, who was running the show. A name called out and a dreaded finger pointing to the space outside his office door meant that one had to wait there until everyone else was gone and then, perhaps, have one's latin verbs examined.

A Prefect of Studies had to be physically fit in those days. Perhaps now, in our enlightenment, we find it strange or shocking, but at that time there was in more frequent use in the home as well. In the nineteen forties hardware shops and family grocers would often have a bunch of canes on display for domestic chastisement. Fr Coyle used to tell of an occasion when Queen Victoria felt obliged to smack the little bottom of the future King Edward during some royal reception. A group of elder statesmen formed a screen. Something like a huddle in the middle of a rugby pitch, one supposes. Times change! In this matter not all the children of the school were cherished equally. It was more in the nature of "to each according to his need; from each according to his ability”. Fr Coyle took a particular interest in boys of the first two years, especially if he thought a boy was slacking or could be in a stronger class. Some were regularly called into his office to have lessons examined and given a straight talking-to. Those lectures ... Possibly no recipient can remember a single word of what he said - but they must have had a deterrent value.

Fr Coyle did not retire from Prefectship of Studies to become an eminence grise. He stepped back into the ranks to become a teacher of mathematics. Despite his sometimes dogged attachment to his own ways as Prefect of Studies he did not try to dictate to others how they should do the job. His own religious formation was in the old manner. Yet he made unostentatious efforts to adapt with the Church. He took part in Community discussions and listened with commendable patience to the ideas of people who were fifty years his junior. He was an optimist. He was a fighter. He was not an inspiring leader, but he was given a job to do and did it with no complaint. Possibly he is a man for our time, catching the pendulum on the counter swing. He never asked to be “fulfilled as a human person”, as we tend to do. Perhaps, in some modern senses of the expression, he never “found himself”. Of course he never went looking; he was too busy working for the Lord.

Coyne, Richard C, 1917-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/621
  • Person
  • 27 January 1917-07 February 1999

Born: 27 January 1917, Ballyvaughan, County Clare
Entered: 29 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 February 1999, Sacred Heart community, Limerick City

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard Coyne (1917-1999)

27th Jan 1917: Born at Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare
Early education: St. Joseph's, Ballinasloe, Galway, up to Leaving Cert, and scholarship.
31st July 1957: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1958 - 1959: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1959 - 1961: Mungret College, Limerick, Asstd. Dir. Apostolic School
1961- 1963; Crescent College, teaching Classics
1963 - 1964: Belvedere, teaching (+H Dip Ed, UCD)
1964 - 1969: Mungret College, teaching, Editor “Mungret Annual”
1969 - 1972: Rathfarnham, bursar, study Social Science, UCD
1972 - 1989: Tullabeg, Asst. Director of Spiritual Exercises, assisted in the Church, Librarian
1989 - 1991: Cherryfield Lodge, promoted “Bethany Groups”
1991 - 1999: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, Church work.

Father Coyne felt a little unwell on the Saturday evening and retired to bed. He was visited a number of times by members of his community and seemed to be resting peacefully at bedtime. He was found dead in bed on the Sunday morning, 7th February.

I first came to know Dick Coyne in the 1980's when he was in Tullabeg and I had returned from Zambia. We found that we had interests in common (including Wodehouse and history) and a friendship developed. He helped me to wade through the Tullabeg archives and assorted papers prior to Jesuit departure - though perhaps his help was rather dubious because of his “conserving” tendencies.

I associate some of my more placid memories of the 1990's with him: visiting Clonmel, Cashel, Kilkenny, Waterford in honor of pre Suppression Jesuits; another holiday in Galway with visits to Aran and Ballyvaughan; meeting him in Veritas and being treated to coffee in Wynn's (which seemed the absolutely right hotel for him); seeing him off at Heuston (on one occasion not so placidly diverting him from the wrong train)...

He was a most pleasant companion, understanding and undemanding but (on holiday) quietly intent on seeing what interested him - with, I seem to remember, a prior visit to the local tourist office. He was a great man for telling you in the most civilized and encouraging way) what you should do for God. And when you modestly told him what you were doing, you felt that you were being listened to. He reached out for and appreciated companionship (I wonder if there was a lonely streak in him), and was close to his family.

As I say, I associate him with placidity. I am sure that many people associated him with peace. He was, I am told, a good listener, “would inquire how things were going”, very patient and kind. It was not surprising that he was drawn to the Bethany bereavement apostolate. He was a peaceful presence in his Tullabeg “parish” and afterwards kept in touch with “his flock” in annual pilgrimage to Knock. And I like to think that something of the peace-giving came across in the way he celebrated Mass.

He was a man of the mind: he combined being a civil servant and later a bursar with university courses. His incredible array of pamphlets, magazines, cuttings, notes (carefully classified), seemed to indicate a passion for the written and conserved word. I suspect that this interest in intellect and its expression derived from his school-master father.

And I more than suspect that this urge to keep everything on file camę largely from his Civil Service experience. The paper clips and rubber bands which had served the State were, as it were, transferred to the service of the Church: in both areas symbols of a personal and professional integrity and devotion to duty.

He delighted not only in the word of the spirit' but in the word of humour and wit (Wodehouse was a favourite author), of friendly conversation, of history and tradition. (His long-term assignment in Tullabeg enabled him to explore and appreciate the roots of the people he served.) His interest in the focal Gaelige went back at least to his days at St. Joseph's, Ballinasloe and his careful and researched writing in An Timire was an example both of his devotion to the Sacred Heart and of his attachment to Irish tradition.

Fear ann féin é. Fear sibhialta é omósach i gcursaí dúchais, feasach i gcúrsaí comhshaolacha. Cara dílis. Thar gach ní, fear le Dia. Requiescat.

Stephen Redmond

Cremins, Richard, 1922-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/751
  • Person
  • 24 August 1922-21 February 2012

Born: 24 August 1922, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961
Died: 21 February 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/203-missionary-experience-of-the-late-fr-richard-cremins

Missionary Experience of the late Fr. Richard Cremins
Father Richard Cremins, SJ died on 21st February 2012 in Cherryfield Nursing Home in Milltown Park after a long illness. The funeral mass took place on Friday 24th February in Milltown Park Chapel, after which Fr. Cremins was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Fr. Cremins spent over 50 years working as a missionary in Zambia until a stroke brought him back to Ireland in 2006 where he remained until his recent death.
Fr. Richard Cremins was born in 1922 and attended Blackrock College in Dublin. He went on to study at university for 3 years before making the decision to become a Jesuit priest after being impressed by the spirit among the students of Milltown Park. Fr. Cremins taught in Belvedere College for 2 years before he was ordained in 1955. In 1957 Fr. Cremins was sent out to Zambia, then Northern Rhodesia, to work in the Chikuni Mission. He spent several months learning the local language, Tonga and was mainly involved with the primary schools in the area. He spent a year travelling around the country finding schools a job which required him to learn a second language, Bemba. In 1964, Fr. Cremins was sent to Monze to step in as principal of the secondary school for 6 months. He remained in the post for four and a half years until the appointment of Michael Kelly as principal. Fr. Cremins spoke fondly of his time as parish priest in Monze. “They were lovely people. Very nice” he said. He felt it was important to value the customs and traditions of the people in the area. He recounted an early experience he had of a woman who was having trouble with her husband and he had been asked to step in. He sat with them in their family home but realized that his presence there was enough. “They had their own way of settling these things. So I never tried to interfere and just let things take their course”. Fr. Cremins kept this stance throughout his time in Zambia. He did a lot of work in development in the area which included the setting up of Church councils in each area and also the translation of the Bible into Tonga. This occurred in 1970 after the events of Vatican II.
Fr. Cremins was most noted for his work in AIDS prevention and development in Zambia. He went to Lusaka, the capital, in 1970 and spent 12 years there working on development with particular attention given to the introduction of natural family planning. This followed the work of Doctor Sister Miriam Duggan who wanted to introduce the idea to the area. After the implementation of a programme in Lusaka, Fr. Cremins then moved to Malwai in 1990 where he spent 12 years working on a similar project resulting in the establishment of FAMLI. In 2004, he helped to set up an AIDS programme called Youth Alive which aimed at educating young people in Malawi about the risks of AIDS.
Fr. Richard Cremins enjoyed his work as a missionary and spoke positively of his experiences abroad. “I always had a principle that if you have to do something you might as well enjoy it and I always enjoyed my work whatever it was".

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/225-fr-richard-cremins-sj-1922-2012

Fr. Richard Cremins, SJ 1922-2012
Dick was raised in Dublin during the post independence and post civil war years. He attended the Holy Ghost Fathers' Blackrock College and then proceeded to do undergraduate studies at University College Dublin (UCD). Afterwards he began legal studies spending one year at King's Inn, passing his first bar exam with first class honours. He was a formidable debater and was elected president of the LH Society (Literary and Historical Society), well known for the who's who of Irish politicians and professionals who had been members in their younger days. Dick resigned as president of the Society and discontinued his legal studies to join the Society in 1943. He followed the usual course of studies in Ireland doing regency at Belvedere and Mungret Colleges. After theology at Milltown Park he was ordained a priest in 1955.
In response to a request from Father General, the Irish Province formally assumed responsibility in 1949/1950 for missionary work in much of the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia (later to become the independent country of Zambia). This led to the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in the Southern Province with a procure in the capital, Lusaka. Building on the great accomplishments of the Zambezi Mission and of Jesuits from the Polish-Krakow Province who had laid the foundations of Church presence in this area, the new arrivals for the Chikuni Mission quickly found themselves engaged in the work of mission development. This they did through the establishment of parishes, the consolidation and expansion of secondary and teacher training institutions, the management and growth of an extensive network of primary schools, and the advancement of women and lay leadership in the Church.
Throughout the 35 years of his period in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, where he arrived in September 1957, Dick Cremins found himself involved in each one of these works, apart from teacher training. On completion of a period learning chiTonga, the major local language used in the Chikuni Mission territory, his first assign- ment was as Manager of Schools, in charge of supervising, improving and expanding the large network of Catholic primary schools for which the Mission was responsible. In an era when Church presence in an area tended to be closely linked to educational presence through a Church-managed primary school, this involved much hard bargaining with similarly placed representatives from other Christian Churches and colonial officials. Though he threw himself into this work with enormous verve, this was something that did not fit well with Dick's broader ecumenical vision. Neither did it give much scope for his manifest abilities, including his sharp understanding of the needs of a colonial territory that sooner rather than later would become independent.
The situation changed for him in 1959 when he was appointed as Principal of Canisius College, a Jesuit boys' secondary school which had commenced in 1949, much to the displeasure of the colonial authorities who protested at the time that the territory already had a secondary school for boys and so did not need a second one. But by 1959 the winds of change were already blowing in Northern Rhodesia and Dick saw it as his duty, not to challenge the colonial authorities, but with their (sometimes grudging) financial support to develop a school that would respond to the territory's future needs for well qualified human resources. His task in doing so was facilitated by the transfer of the teacher training component from Canisius to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College nearby, leaving Dick free to promote a programme of expanding boarding and teaching facilities (especially science laboratories and a library) at Canisius and to increase the number of staff.
A very significant development during the four-and-a-half years of Dick's tenure as Principal of Canisius was the commencement of 6th Form (A-level). Those who completed this programme would have spent almost fifteen years in school - this in a territory where by 1963 less than 1,000 (up to 200 of them from Canisius itself) had completed even twelve years in school. Equally significant, and an early sign of what would be a major con-cern throughout the rest of Dick's life, was his determination that girls should benefit from this development and be able to attain the highest possible level of education. This resulted in Canisius becoming the only school in Northern Rhodesia that offered 6 h Form education to both girls and boys - a noteworthy advance not only towards gender equity but also in Jesuit understanding of the need to ensure that the equality between women and men became a lived reality.
A further development was the active recruitment of a large number of lay teachers for the staffing of the expanding Canisius College. But more was at work in Dick's case, for here he found it possible to give expression to his pre-Vatican II vision of increasing the role of the laity in Church affairs. The strength of Dick's convictions in this area led to his appointment in 1964 as parish priest of the town of Monze and subsequently as chaplain to the Lay Apostolate Movement in the newly established Diocese of Monze. That same year, Northern Rhodesia's colonial status ended when it became the independent country of Zambia. Dick identified wholeheartedly with the new State and as soon as it was possible for him to do so adopted Zambian citizenship, even though this necessitated renouncing his status as a citizen of Ireland, the country of his birth. For the rest of his life, Dick remained a Zambian, a man committed to improving the status of women, and a man passionately concerned to give practical expression to Vatican II's vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples.
Dick worked indefatigably for six years as parish priest of Monze town and for five years as promoter of the lay apostolate throughout the diocese. An outstanding legacy to his term as parish priest was the establishment by the Holy Rosary Sisters of Monze Mission Hospital. Dick always proved himself a staunch ally of these Sisters, some of them still fresh from the Biafran war in Nigeria. Always conscious of the dignity of women and the active role that lay and religious women could play in the Church, he supported the Sisters with deep practical love and respect (which they in turn generously reciprocated). Dick pursued these apostolic commitments in Monze Diocese at such expense to himself that he had to spend the greater part of 1976 rebuilding his health. When he was strong enough to return to Zambia late that year, his enduring commitment to the development of the laity resulted in his transfer to Lusaka and appointment, on behalf of the Catholic Hierarchy, as national chaplain for the lay apostolate and secretary for development. For the next seven years he spent the greater part of his time educating and training the laity, mobilising and energising lay groups, and advocating on their behalf. His constant concern was to ensure that Vatican II's vision of the role of the laity became a reality energetically adopted and practised, not only by the ordained ministry of the Church and by members of the Society, but also by lay-persons themselves. These years also saw his trail-blazing support for the National Council of Catholic Women in Zambia, with his unflagging insistence to the women who asked him to implement some of their ideas, "No; this is for you to do, yours are the voices that should be heard." His belief in the power of women was remarkably vindicated in 1982 when, because of the outspoken opposition of the Catholic Women's League to the Zambian Government's inclusion of communist ideology in the curriculum for schools at all levels, the Government capitulated and backed off from this development.
Dick's experience and reflections during this time brought into sharper focus for him the importance of the family. A prime concern here was to enable women to control the number of children they bore while observing the teaching of the encyclical Humanae Vitae about contraception. He was motivated here not just by loyalty to Church teaching, but also by his commitment to improving the lot of women and his anguish at the suffering women endured in bearing more children than their health, their means, the well-being of their already-born children or their prospects as persons who were fully equal to men, could sustain. He was further energised by his deep-seated conviction on the supremacy of human life and hence was driven by the imperative of preventing abortion and opposing its legalisation.
Both of these concerns led Dick to become a protagonist for natural family planning as a way that respected human dignity, while enabling women take more control of their lives and avoid abortions by not having unwanted pregnancies. He became skilled on the medical and social aspects of natural family planning and was soon recognised as a national and international authority in this area. His views did not always find acceptance with others, but this did not diminish their respect for his integrity, the consistency of his approach, and his manifest commitment to bettering the condition of women. His involvement in the area of natural family planning be- came more all-consuming when in 1983 he was appointed as Director of Zambia's Family Life Movement. He was to remain in this position until his appointment to Malawi, the second country that constitutes the Zambia- Malawi Province, ten years later. During this Lusaka period Dick also served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community of St. Ignatius. Throughout the latter years of that time, St. Ignatius' was the base for the newly established Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, a faith and social justice think-tank which received wholehearted support from Dick's wisdom, experience, and vision.
In 1993 Dick was sent to Lilongwe in Malawi to set up a Jesuit residence there. Since a number of Jesuits were already working in the Malawian seminaries, Malawi was now recognised as part of the Zambian province, but there was no specifically Jesuit residence there. Dick first stayed with the Kiltegan Fathers for a few months as he surveyed the houses which came on the market in Lilongwe. He was responsible for the purchase and rehabilitation of the present residence of Our Lady of the Way, more usually known as 9/99, the official address. This house became the rallying point for a scattered Jesuit community whose members were working hundreds of kilometres away to the four points of the compass (Zomba, Kasungu, Kachebere and Mangochi).
However 9/99 was not merely a convenient staging point - one of the attractions was meeting Dick. At breakfast and especially after evening meal, one could be sure of a stimulating discussion arising on some point relevant to our mission that had been noticed by Dick and obviously pondered over by him. One might not always agree with Dick's point of view, but that made the discussions all the more stimulating. Dick continued the family apostolate he had animated so well in Lusaka and set up an official NGO called FAMLI, supported by overseas aid.
In Lilongwe in 2007, Dick experienced a massive stroke that ultimately led to his return to Ireland and admission to Cherryfield, the Irish Province's nursing home for infirm, disabled and recuperating Jesuits. Here Dick was to remain until his death in February 2012. But his approach to his transformed conditions was not one of self-pity. Instead, with characteristic determination and enormous courage, he succeeded in teaching himself to speak with some sort of clarity and in making himself mobile with the aid of a "walker" that had been designed according to his specifications for a person whose right hand was crippled. The strength of his resolve and his unfailing commitment to his priesthood were shown by the way he struggled every week to serve as principal celebrant at the community Mass. Despite his limited mobility, he succeeded in attending outside lectures and functions. He taught himself to use a laptop by tapping out messages with one finger of his left hand. And in an effort to build up a sense of camaraderie among his fellow-residents in Cherryfield and the wider community of Jesuits living in the Dublin area, he organised Scrabble and draughts competitions.
Dick put his hard-won computer skills to good use in these final years. From the darkness that must have enshrouded his own life, he regularly sent warm and supportive messages to colleagues who, like himself, were experiencing the cloud of unknowing. But even more, despite his limitations, he continued to press for the better- ment of women, loyal adherence to the teachings of Humanae Vitae, ever greater involvement in the official Church on the part of "outstanding lay Catholics who are to be found as leaders in every walk of life," and advocacy for a Church "where St. Peter might feel at home. "At a meeting just six weeks before his death, he expressed concern that Cherryfield might be obtaining its medical supplies from a pharmacy where the "morning-after" pill could also be purchased. His spirited contributions continued after his death - nine days after he died, The Furrow, the respected religious journal from Maynooth, published his article in support of the Irish government's decision to close its Embassy to the Vatican as he saw this as a step in the direction of making it possible for the Church to remain true to the simplicity of the Gospel.
Throughout his long and very full life, Dick Cremins emerged as a gentle person, kind and peaceful, who lived his life joyfully in the service of others and in pursuit of the highest ideals. At times, people could be upset by his sabre-sharp remarks or forthright statement of his views. But behind these there always lay his fearlessness in challenging accepted points of wisdom, his passion to see the Kingdom of God as envisaged by Jesus realised among us, his zeal for the genuine development of all peoples, his razor sharp mind and his powerful sense of humour with its love of irony, laughter and the joy of people.
Years ago, Dick was characterised as being shaped like a paschal candle - tall, thin and luminous. But his moral stature far surpassed his physical tallness. The Bible tells us that there were giants in the early days. But Dick Cremins shows us that giants are still to be found in modern days.

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dick) Cremins (1922-2012) : Zambia Malawi Province

24 August 1922: Born in Dublin.
Early education: Blackrock College, UCD and 1 year at King's Inns (legal studies)
1943: Obtained a BA Degree in Legal and Political Science in 1943 from UCD
5 October 1943: Entered Emo
October 1945: First Vows: Emo
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg, studying Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Belvedere - Regency
1951 - 1952: Mungret College, Teaching, Prefecting
1952 - 1955: Milltown Park, studying Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained
1955 - 1956: Milltown Park, 4th Year Theology
1956 - 1957: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1957 - 1958: Zambia, learning the language
1958: Chikuni, Manager of schools
1959 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius College, Principal
2 February 1961: Final Vows at Chikuni
3 December 1969: Transcribed to Zambia Province
1964 - 1970: Monze, Parish Priest
1971 - 1975: Monze, Chaplain, lay apostolate
1976: Monze, Nairobi, Dublin, recovering health
1976 - 1983: Lusaka, Catholic Secretariat, Chaplain, Lay Apostolate, Secretary for Development
1983 - 1992; St. Ignatius, Director Family Life Movement St. Ignatius,
1983 - 1990: Superior
1990 - 1993: Luwisha House, Director Family Life Movement
1993 - 2007: Lilongwe (opened the house in 1993) FASU consultancy (later FAMLI)
1999 - 2004: Chaplain Lilongwe International Catholic community
2000 - 2001: Assistant Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator
2007 - 2012: Dublin, Cherryfield Lodge, recovering health. Praying for the Church and the Society
21 February 2012: Died Cherryfield

Obituary : Conall Ó Cuinn
Dick grew up in Dublin and was the last surviving sibling, having been predeceased by his brothers, Pat, Gary and Paul, and by his sister, Nora. Though his education at Blackrock College left a strong mark, unlike his brother he was clear that the Holy Ghost Fathers were not for him. General Richard Mulcahy, his mother's cousin, connected him with the turbulent socio-political situation of post-independence and post civil-war Ireland. So it was not surprising that he studied Law and Politics in UCD, including a year at King's Inns. He was a bright student, a formidable debater with a razor sharp sense of humour tinged with a certain killer instinct, not always appreciated by his adversaries, and which sometimes got him into trouble. Having graduated from UCD and passed his first Bar exam, both with 1st class honours, he joined the Society at the then late age of 21, a late vocation, a man of the world. And all of this during World War II.

Zambia--Monze (1957-1975)
Dick spent 50 years living and working in Zambia (Northern Rhodesia for his first 7 years there). He embraced the new State on independence and became a Zambian citizen, a symbolic statement representing a desire to insert himself into Zambian life and culture. This involved revoking his Irish citizenship so that he required a visa each time he needed to visit Ireland. He put down roots in the Chikuni Mission which was later to become Monze Diocese. He arrived there in 1957, just nine years after the first involvement of the Irish Jesuits. From there he later launched himself nationally, and even internationally.

Learning Tonga for a year was always the first task before being thrown into the apostolate. His first job was that of Manager of Schools at a time when the primary education project of the mission was in full swing. He then became Principal of Chikuni Secondary College in the lead up to Independence (1964). Effectively he was educating what would become the leaders of the new Zambian state. And clearly Dick was seen by his superiors as a man of ability and initiative.

In 1962, as the Second Vatican Council was getting underway, James Corboy, then Rector of Milltown Park and Theology Professor, was appointed Bishop of Monze. The Council changed James, as a person and an ecclesiastic. He embraced it as a process, and ever afterwards claimed that the Council was his introduction to theology, especially the seminars given on the fringe of the Council's formal sessions. On his appointment to Zambia he had a clear vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples. With that vision he gathered people of the calibre of Dick Cremins around him to promote the project of Vatican II in the new Diocese of Monze. Dick would be a right-hand man when appointed Parish Priest of Monze in 1964 and also Chaplain to the Lay Apostolate movement.

At the same time and at the invitation of Bishop Corboy, the Holy Rosary Sisters were establishing their hospital next door. Dick became great friends with the sisters, a camaraderie and friendship similar to that of siblings in a family, brothers and sisters who supported each other in deep and practical love. This is an occasion to acknowledge and give public thanks for such support and love, and to thank God for it, not just to the Holy Rosary Şişters, but also to the Sisters of Charity, the RSHM sisters (Ferrybank), and the Holy Spirit Sisters (founded also by Bishop Corboy).

Amid the hardship, labour and struggle of those first years there was much fun and laughter. Dick's humour became legendary in the land. For example, rushing out the door at 9.50 a.m. one morning he declared: “I've got to rush. There is a meeting that was due to start at 8.00 am and I don't want to be late!”

And another, told by Sr. Theresa, a Holy Rosary sister. She arrives in the country, fresh with a sociology degree and some notion of community development. Her first task is to interview the PP to avail of his vast experience and local knowledge. Dick lets her ask her questions and avidly write her notes with that neophyte enthusiasm of the recently arrived. “Sister”, interrupts Dick as she begins to ask another question, “I'd like you to know that I've only arrived here myself 3 days ago. So I'm finding my feet too:. They became friends that moment, a friendship which included Theresa sitting by Dick's bed as he lay dying, 38 years later. Such was the quality of friendship on the Mission that we celebrate and acknowledge today.

Shortly after independence when three of the Sisters were PI'd (declared persona ingrata] by the new, youthful and over-confident government, for refusing the orders of local officials regarding medical matters, Dick went to bat for them with the government officials in Lusaka. The PI order was revoked after hours of palaver. Dick came within a hair's breadth of being PI'd himself, so that Zambia nearly lost this “troublesome priest”, a term used to describe him in a government memo on the events.

Zambia -- Lusaka (1976-1993):
Vatican II had taken place; the Decree on the Laity played a central role in Bishop Corboy's strategy. As a result a huge investment was made in the education and training of lay people. Dick, given his experience in Monze, moved to Lusaka in 1976 to take up an appointment at the Catholic Secretariat (set up by Fr. Colm O'Riordan SJ) as National Chaplain to the Lay Apostolate, and Secretary for Development

He was a trailblazing supporter of the National Council of Catholic Women of Zambia, at a time when women were invisible supernumeraries both in the church and in Zambian society. Dick encouraged them to take a lead and use their power. He campaigned hard for them to have an appropriate place both in the church and in African society, and he saw his job as an enabler, giving them the courage to make the moves themselves; so when they came up with an idea and asked him to act on it, he would say No, yours is the voice that should be heard.

Later in 1983, he became Director of the Family Life Movement which tried to implement the teachings of Vatican II on family life. Dick was very much taken with Humanae Vitae when it was published in 1968, and believed its practical teaching could be put into practice if the vision behind it were understood and assimilated. Of course, this was controversial, and in a sense grist to Dick's mill. With determination and humour he developed and led the organization, Famously, he introduced himself to a somewhat sceptical if not hostile international conference with a statement, that he had practiced natural family planning all his life!

So Dick had many friends, and some enemies. An example of such friendships is the message of Clare Mukolwe, now a graduate student at Fordham University in New York:
“A gentle spirit gone before us marked with a sign of faith. I was introduced to Fr Richard Cremins by my mother Grace Mukolwe. They worked together for the National Council of the Laity. Fr Cremins was also my mother's first spiritual director and he introduced Mum to the Ignatian Spirituality retreats. He gave me my first real job straight after high school. It was fun”.

Malawi --Lilongwe (1993-2007)
As a number of Malawian men had joined the Society, Malawi opened up as a mission possibility in the early 90's. Dick was sent to open a new house in Lilongwe and to develop his Family Life apostolate in that country. He worked there for 14 years, until his stroke in 2007. Like a tree being felled, he was suddenly reduced from full health to a state of great disability, both in his walking and in his speaking. He returned to Ireland via Zambia and moved into Cherryfield Lodge, his last home.

Ireland--Cherryfield (2007-2012)
Dick's approach was not one of self-pity. In his usual manner he confronted the problem head on. Getting himself as mobile as possible, and getting himself to speak with some sort of clarity was now his main goal. And with great determination, never accepting to lie down in the face of difficulty or refusal, he achieved much of what he set out to do. The sharp mind and quick wit never deserted him, even after the stroke in March 2007 which crippled and distressed him --- as with characteristic determination he set himself to recover clarity of speech.

An example of his logic and determination had to do with his wheeled walker: All wheeled walkers have two brakes, literally one on the left hand and one on the right hand. But what if your right hand doesn't work, as was the case for Dick and thousands of other stroke victims? Two-handed breaks do not work. They are positively dangerous. If you asked a car driver to break with two break pedals, he argued, there would be carnage on the roads. Why are stroke victims expected to do with two-handed breaks? Such a break doesn't exist, he was told. Should exist, he insisted, and if you won't locate one, I will do so myself. So using the Internet he located one in Sweden. Expensive, but existent. It was bought and functioned well. But he needed to redesign the right handle to suit his withered hand which design he then sent to Sweden where they made it for him and sent back to Ireland for fitting, Where Dick had a will, there was a way: Dick's way, “No” was not an option for Dick when he saw that something was possible.

And again the humour: Matron Rachel McNeil was the subject to which one of Dick's Ditties was addressed:

    Poem to Rachel
Dick has more problems with his vowels
than with his bowels
And therefore needs more alcohol
than Movicol®

Dick died six months short of his 90th birthday. Even to the end of his days in Cherryfield he was a formidable crusader for a number of causes, often a champion against the authorities, and always on the side of life – whether it was through natural family planning, or organising a draughts championship in Cherryfield for men who'd have thought their gaming days were over. He lived life to the full and to the last. In his last week in hospital he had an article accepted for publication in the Furrow, and one in the Irish Catholic. All he needed was a WiFi modem to send it to the editors. Both articles were controversial, questioning the standard version. Both rocked the boat.

Now the questioning and the rocking and the struggling are over. For those who did not know Dick, remember how a chieftain in Tanzania described him: :I know only one human being who is shaped like the paschal candle: Fr Dick Cremins, tall, thin and luminous”. His light faded for us on 21 February, but shines now in a broader heaven.

Croasdaile, Henry, 1888-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/760
  • Person
  • 09 October 1888-30 November 1966

Born: 09 October 1888, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 30 November 1966, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Henry Croasdaile SJ (1888-1966)

Lancelot Henry Croasdaile was born on the 9th of October 1888, at The Drift, Belfast, the native place of his mother, formerly a Miss O'Rourke. His childhood was spent at Rynn, Rosenallis, in the then Queen's County, the estate of his father, Major Croasdaile, D.L., J.P. He had a brother, who died in infancy, and two sisters, younger than himself. His father was a member of the Church of Ireland, but all the children were brought up Catholics. His mother died in 1905. Harry was educated at home until early in 1906 when he was sent to Clongowes. Though over sixteen, he was in the junior grade for his first two school years and ended in the middle grade. This comparatively undistinguished career was doubtless due to the informal nature of his previous education. He was later to show that he had more than average intellectual powers. In his last year at Clongowes he was Secretary of the House, an office then usually bestowed not for athletic prowess, but for the ability to entertain visitors, a task for which he was admirably suited.
In September 1908 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg. His father, not unnaturally, strongly opposed this step, and Harry must have had considerable strength of character to persevere and to renounce an inheritance which must have been peculiarly attractive to one who had such a love of country life. After a year's juniorate at Tullabeg, he went to St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, for philosophy.
From 1914 to 1919 he taught at Clongowes. He was quite an effective teacher, and his musical gifts added to his usefulness on the staff. He figures in many photographs in the Clongownian as a member of the choir and conductor of the orchestra. He was very popular with the boys, and no doubt this popularity was enhanced by his remarkable prowess as a sportsman. Though it belongs to his later time at Clongowes, there may be recorded here an excerpt from a letter still treasured in the family of one of the boys. “We went for a walk today with Fr. Croasdaile and he shot a peasant (sic)”
During this period occurred an incident which he was fond of recounting. In the early days of the Easter Rising of 1916 he be came anxious about his sisters, who were then living in Dublin, and set off on his bicycle to try to locate them. On reaching Dublin, he found the usual roads blocked by the military. He then attempted a circuitous approach, but somewhere in the vicinity of Dundrum was arrested by a patrol of soldiers and brought to Dunlaoire police station. Here he was lucky in finding a sympathetic sergeant of the D.M.P. who was indignant at the arrest of a priest and secured his release.
It may be mentioned in passing that Fr. Croasdaile used to boast that he was the only member of the Province to be imprisoned for his country. This was not correct. During Easter Week a present member of the Milltown Park community was lodged for an hour in Beggars Bush barracks. Some idea of the confusion that reigned in the minds of the military may be formed from the fact that the chief grounds for making the arrest were that the Jesuit had in his pocket a handkerchief with the initials of another member of the community and a list of names (which turned out to be his selection of “Possibles” for the next rugby international).
In 1919 Harry went to Milltown Park for theology and was ordained in 1922. After tertianship at Tullabeg he taught for a year at Belvedere and then returned for his second spell on the staff at Clongowes, 1926-31. It was about this time that he began to write a series of short stories for boys, largely based on his own experiences. At intervals, published by the Irish Messenger Office, appeared Stories of School Life, Parts 1-6, and later When the Storm Blew and a Dog Led. It seems to have been during these years also that his interest in organ-building was developed. He had a remarkable combination of the two gifts required for this craft, being a good musician (he played, besides the organ, the double bass and the euphonium - an unusual combination) and a first-class carpenter. This activity continued all his life until ill health forced him to relinquish it. He was an adept at buying up old organs and combining their parts to make new ones. He thus provided organs for Emo, Rathfarnham, Clongowes and for several country churches.
In 1931 Fr. Croasdaile was transferred to Mungret where he again taught and organised musical activities until 1939. He then acted as Assistant Director of Retreats at Rathfarnham, and in 1944 was appointed teacher of religion in the Commercial College, Rathmines, which post he held until 1955. In some ways this was the most successful period in his life. His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin had in 1941 appointed the first teachers in the Dublin vocational schools and the system was still in an experimental stage. Fr. Croasdaile entered into the work with enthusiasm, and carried out the purpose intended, not merely to teach religion formally, but to act as spiritual guide to the pupils. He interested himself in all their activities, especially, as might be expected, in music, and with a production of The Geisha in Rathmines Town Hall began a tradition of musical entertainments which still con tinues. He also established most friendly relations with the members of the teaching staff. One of them recalled a statement made to him by the late Mr. George Clampett, then Principal of the College : “I am not a co-religionist of Fr. Croasdaile, but I have no hesitation in saying that he has meant more to this school than any other person”. The following tribute to Fr. Croasdaile was recently paid by Mr. Seán O Ceallaigh, the present Principal :
“The teenage boys and girls attending the Technical School in Rathmines accepted him immediately as one of themselves. His fatherliness, his simple loyalty to the simple Christian principles which at their age they could understand, his facility in using the language which they could grasp, his obvious interest in the material progress and spiritual welfare of each one of them and of their families, all these virtues endeared him to them in a perfectly natural way. The obvious happiness which he took in their extra curricular activities brought them nearer him; his active participation in their games, in their drama, in their operas, in their Gaelic cultural activities (to make up, as he used to tell them, for his being a direct descendant of Oliver Cromwell!), and particularly his desire to give them a love for church music, exemplified in his accompanying the school choir in their rehearsals for the annual Votive Mass.
He took the greatest pleasure in meeting ex-students and in his daily conversation with the men and women teachers of different denominations in the school. He was really the first of the permanent priest-teachers in the city's technical schools; he exercised a new and wonderful influence on all of them. To this extent, Fr. Croasdaile was the pioneer, the man who proved to the educational and religious authorities that priest-teachers could play a vital role in vocational education. The remarkable development of this work in recent years is a monument to his character”.
When Fr. Croasdaile retired from his work in the College of Commerce in 1955, his health had been for some time giving cause for anxiety. After a year as Assistant in University Hall, he was transferred to Emo, and from that on was more or less an invalid. One who knew him well wrote: “There was a staunch courage and hardy faith about the way he met the ever-present prospect of death during the later precarious years of his life”.
It was, however, a consolation to him to be back in the county of his boyhood. He had always been devoted to his native Rosenallis, and delighted in reminiscences of his family. He found relief also from the inevitable monotony of a semi-invalid's life in a new interest which he developed, the local history of Laois. In this he was helped by the kindly interest of a good neighbour, Fr. Barry O'Connell, C.C., Mountmellick, with whom he made frequent historical and archaeological trips. His death, so often expected, came at last on 30th November 1966.
In the foregoing sketch many of Fr. Croasdaile's gifts have been touched on, his success in dealing with boys and young people, his musical talents, his skill in field sports, which was often a help to him in establishing good relations with men who would ordin arily have fought shy of a priest. To fill in the picture, a word must be said about him as a good companion. During the long years in which he worked in the colleges, he was heart and soul in his task. Knowing the boys so well, their work and play were a constant source of interest to him, and he had a droll sense of humour which enabled him to see the amusing side even of their misdemeanours. He was, therefore, a great community man, a great enlivener of recreation. He was an outstanding raconteur, and seemed to have an uncanny gift of getting involved in strange experiences, which he related with gusto. It is regrettable that the best of his stories have escaped the writer's memory.
Such are our memories of Fr. Harry Groasdaile, “Cro”, to use the name by which he was affectionately known throughout the Province, a memorable character, and, in his own humorous and original way, a most loyal and devoted son of the Society.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father L H Croasdaile SJ

Rev Lancelot Henry Croasdaile SJ, who has died, aged 78, at St Mary's, Emo Park, Portlaoise, was a well-known teacher.

He taught for a time at Belvedere College, Dublin, and at Clongowes Wood College for a period. He was chaplain to the College of Commerce, Rathmines, Dublin, for a number of years.

Irish Indpendent, 2-12-1966

Crowe, Patrick J, 1925-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/826
  • Person
  • 05 March 1925-04 July 2017

Born: 05 March 1925, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died 04 July 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1977 at St Ignatius College Prep San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/paddy-crowe-sj-a-quality-educator/

Paddy Crowe SJ – a quality educator
Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4 July, in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6 July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily. He was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare.

Born on 5 March 1925 in Edenderry, Co Offaly, Paddy was the oldest boy in a large family. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College SJ in Co Kildare before entering the Society of Jesus in 1943. Early on, it was thought he would make a good professor of philosophy, but he had a more active interest in schools. He soon found himself working in education under various roles. At Clongowes Wood College SJ, for example, he became teacher, prefect, rector, and eventually headmaster.

He served as Director of Education Policy and Education Delegate for the Irish Province and worked at several other schools, including Crescent College SJ and Mungret College SJ in Co Limerick, and Belvedere College SJ, Gonzaga College SJ, and Greendale School in Dublin. Referring to his personality, Fr Bradley said: “He was an extrovert and had such a sense of humour. He was bravely adventurous, who loved to travel, have new experiences and make new friends”.

“Educational value,” Paddy said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young.” Fr Bradley, who worked with him for many years, noted: “In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm, but fair. He lived in the continual tension between the old and the new, always reading, questioning, and seeking to move on”.
One of his former students commented: “You always knew where you stood with Fr Crowe”.

Paddy was consultant to Fényi Gyula Jesuit High School, the only Jesuit school in Hungary, founded in 1994. He was heavily involved in the University of Scranton (USA) Scholarship Scheme, which led in time to his honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud.

Later from 1998 to 2009, he returned to Clongowes where he lived among his Jesuit community; acted as spiritual father for students; assisted in a local parish and ministered to the Holy Family Sisters. His mind remained very alert as his physical health deteriorated. As one friend said of him: “He was a great man to have a conversation with but a terrible man to play scrabble with”. He also retained a great interest in computers and loved using up-to-date devices.

His passing is deeply regretted by his family, Jesuit companions, friends, former colleagues and his many students, some of whom posted warm tributes on Facebook. Fr Bradley concluded: “As Paddy arrives at last at the father’s house, we can rejoice with him and for him. Paddy, go without fear. Amen”.

Early Education at Edenderry NS; Knockbeg College, Carlow; Clongowes Wood College SJ

1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1953 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1953-1954 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Third Line Prefect; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1959 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1959-1960 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Lower Line Prefect; Teacher
1960-1965 Mungret College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1965-1976 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1968 Rector
1971 Headmaster
1976-1977 St Ignatius Prep. San Francisco, CA, USA - Sabbatical
1977-1978 Loyola House - Province Special Secretariat
1978-1979 University Hall - Vice Superior; Province Special Secretariat; Director Province Education Policy
1979-1984 Belvedere College SJ - Working in Education; Director Province Education Policy
1980 Headmaster; Teacher; Education Delegate; Colloquium
1984-1987 Campion House - Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1985 Manager Gonzaga College SJ; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ; Vice-Superior
1987-1992 Loyola House - Superior; Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1990 Central Province Admin; Asst Education Delegate; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ
1992-1995 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Rector; Provincial Team
1995-1998 Belvedere College SJ - Principal of Junior School
1997 Chair Board Cherryfield Lodge
1998 - 2017 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Assists in Clane Parish of St Patrick & St Brigid
1999 Chair Board of Greendale School, Kilbarrack, Dublin
2001 Spiritual Father to Third Line
2006 Ministry to Holy Family Sisters, Clane, Co Kildare
2009 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ The Clongownian, 1977

Appreciation

Father Patrick Crowe SJ

It is doubtful if anyone has had such a varied experience of responsibility in Clongowes as Fr Crowe, our first Headmaster, who left us last summer. He was Third Line Prefect 1953-54, Lower Line Prefect '59-60, Prefect of Studies '65-68, Rector '68-71 and finally Headmaster from '71 to '76. For eleven years, then, his office, if not regal, was at least consular in the Roman sense: he was one of two holding “imperium” in our little state. Anyone in a position to make a “before-and-after” assessment of that period in Clongowes must agree that the many changes which took place have amounted to a transformation. These range from unlocked notice-boards and study. halls to new buildings, from boys distributing their own letters to voluntary Mass on week-days, from entrance exams to self-service in the refectory, from a catering committee to a School Council, from monthly breaks to women teachers, from an integrated staff lunch to a stand-by generator, from cups for tennis, choir and orchestra to work for the poor and aged of the district and the handicapped children in Stewart's hospital, from masters' classrooms to parents' meetings, from social evenings to an O Level year, from boys telephones to a crowded programme of holiday engagements in the college. The degree of Fr Paddy's involvement in these changes varied, of course, from agonising personal decision to mere encouragement of other people's energy and initiative. But the work of any man in government or administration is judged, for credit or condemnation, by what actually took place during his term of office. By that test our first Headmaster when he comes back to visit Clongowes - which we hope he will do very often - will be able, with all the confidence and gratification of Christopher Wren in St Paul's, to look around and see everywhere monuments to his vision and efficiency. His devotedness to visiting the sick and attending funerals will endure in the grateful memory of very many parents and past pupils, the community and teaching staff, and all whom, in a favourite phrase, he liked to call the “Clongowes family”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2017

Obituary

Father Paddy Crowe SJ : A Quality Educator

Fr Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4th July, 2017 in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6 and was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare. Paddy spent much of his life in Clongowes, first as a pupil and then as teacher, prefect, rector as well as being the first headmaster. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6th July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily

Herbert McCabe, the English Dominican theologian of Irish descent and a near contemporary of Paddy's, wrote in his book, “Faith Within Reason”, published posthumously in 2007: “The whole of our faith is the belief that God loves us; [...] there just isn't anything else. Anything else we say we believe is just a way of saying that God loves us”. And the corollary of that is that everything we hear in Scripture is the message of God's love. The whole of salvation history, the account of God's interaction with us from the beginning of time, through different epochs, across diverse cultures, expressed in a variety of human literary forms and devices, all of that history recorded in the complex collection we call 'the Bible', carries the same message, finally summarised in St John's heartbreakingly simple phrase of just three words at the end of the New Testament: “God is love”.

Herbert McCabe's fellow-Dominican, the great Flemish theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, prefaced his book on the Church with a memorable anonymous quotation: “People are the words with which God tells his story”. In the Word of God we read at a funeral, we seek to cast light on the human life we are celebrating and to discern the working out of God's love in that life. It's not difficult to see that the leit-motif of Paddy Crowe's story, the leading theme, was education. On one occasion, speaking in this instance about Clongowes - but the remark has much wider application when referred to himself - Paddy said: “We think Clongowes is a good school and to it we are willing to give our time, our energy. our humanity, our lives”. Education, the eliciting of potential and the nurturing of gifts and talents in young lives, is, properly understood, above all a work of creative love. And that is the work to which Paddy gave himself, directly or indirectly, for much of his long, dedicated life.

Clongowes, of course, where he went after the local national school and a period in Knockbeg, looms large in his story. The oldest boy in a large family from Edenderry, to which he remained always attached, he was there as a student in the war years from 1938 to 1943. The records - as is often the case - hardly presage the distinguished career in education that lay ahead of him, although he was clearly an able first division student and produced excellent Leaving Certificate results. He was a prominent and able debater from the beginning and in his second year - perhaps a little harder to imagine but accurately reflecting the interest he always had in music - he was praised for his portrayal of the shy and petite Germaine in the comic opera “Les Cloches de Corneille!”

His keen, enquiring intellect
Having joined the Jesuits straight from school, in the course of his formation he was at one stage envisaged as a future professor of philosophy. That points to his keen, enquiring intellect but it was almost certainly a misreading of his temperamental inclinations and he was destined to more active work in schools for almost all of his life. He served as Third Line Prefect in Clongowes from 1953 to 1954, as Lower Line Prefect from 1959-60, as Prefect of Studies from 1965 to 1968, as Rector in the old days of the Rector Magnificus from 1968 to 1971, as Headmaster from 1971 to 1976, as Rector again from 1992 to 1995 (though by then, as he discovered somewhat to his disappointment, with headmasters now in place to lead the school the role had gone down a bit), and, finally, for the years from 1998 to 2009, as a member of the community and carrying out some duties inside and outside the school, but without the burdens of office which he had carried for so long and at a time when his health was beginning to decline.

“But Clongowes was far from the whole story. Apart from the valuable work he did in other Jesuit schools in Ireland - the Crescent in Limerick; Mungret, where he was Prefect of Studies for five years before moving to the same role in Clongowes; Belvedere, where he served as Headmaster for four years at the beginning of the eighties, after his long stint in Clongowes, and later as Principal of the Junior School in the mid nineties; and Gonzaga, where he was manager for a time - he was also Education Delegate to the Provincial in the 1980s, giving him oversight of all the schools and those who worked in them. In addition, he was heavily involved in these years in promoting what was known as the Colloquium, which brought Jesuit and lay teachers together to talk about their shared aspirations - the kind of dialogue he had come to believe in more and more. It partly explains, too, his great interest in psychology. And I have not mentioned the many organisations and projects and committees beyond the Jesuit sphere to which he made substantial contributions, often in leadership roles, to promote an educational vision and foster its practical application to the actual life of classrooms; or his chairing of the board in Greendale Community School in north Dublin for several years from 1999; or his heavy involvement in the Scranton University scholarship scheme, which led in time to an honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud; and so on. And that list, long as it is, is not exhaustive.

Paddy thought a lot about education and, over his time of leadership in Clongowes, he delivered reflective, well-crafted addresses at the annual past pupils' dinner, expounding his own developing understanding and the need for change. One such speech even made the front page of The Sunday Press! His first administrative appointment was to Mungret in 1960 and he would remain in school leadership continuously until 1976, almost two decades, which finally left him exhausted. This was a period of huge change in ireland and further afield. Paddy was keenly aware of such change and worked hard, reading and consulting widely, to keep abreast of it. in his speech to the Clongowes Union, in the autumn of 1969. he made what must have been one of the earliest references to computers in such a context - computers, as we know, would prove a lifelong passion and his room in Cherryfield became something of a computer graveyard, as latest model succeeded latest model in the relatively confined space, all identified and ordered on-line by Paddy himself! In that speech he also spoke, in the same sentence, of the government's pivotal Investment in Education report and the all-important decree of the Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 'The Church in the Modern World'. The introduction of free education in Ireland, followed by the points system, gradually transformed the system here, asking new questions of Clongowes and all the Jesuit schools. The Church's role in education, as has become so familiar to us now, was beginning to be called into question. Les évènements in Paris in 1968 took place as he was making the transition from Prefect of Studies, in which he had been, in the words of “The Clongownian”, “the architect of aggiornamento”, to the heavier responsibilities of Headmaster.

Personal contact of good people
“Educational value”, he said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young”. Paddy himself was one such good person and he sought this kind of contact to the extent that he could. Over time, his direct manner, which could be intimidating, softened considerably. In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm but fair. One former student was quoted as saying that you always knew where you stood with him. He was never afraid to confront but colleagues and parents found him accessible and often became his good friends. A notable part of his legacy in Clongowes was the effective abolition of corporal punishment, which took full effect after he left. In Belvedere he put an end to streaming just before he completed his term, a no less important change for the atmosphere and culture of a school. Schools, boarding schools especially perhaps, have a tendency to be somewhat conservative places and Paddy was well aware that his modernising policies were the subject of criticism inside and outside the school. He confronted the challenge directly at the Clongowes Union Dinner in 1974. “Meeting many of the older men here”, he said, “sets me thinking of all the things that have changed”. Having listed some of the changes, he asked: “How did it happen? If you like simple answers to complex questions, take your choice: ‘they’ have gone permissive, soft, have no backbone, will not stand out against the rot... As we see it, things began to happen, matters were forced on our attention - we began to listen to others, began to accept an enormously changed world, began to reflect more on what we were trying to do and what in fact we were doing. The Catholic school could easily become a place of comfortable conformity, he had said a year earlier.... Priests and religious do not wish to stay in their schools for this ... We are at the end of Phase | Catholic Education in Ireland. The response of 1814 does not answer the needs of 1973”.

He ended one of his addresses by quoting the inspirational Jesuit General of the time, Father Pedro Arrupe, whose “Men for Others” address in Valencia would soon make its impact on all Jesuit schools: “If our schools are to perform as they should, they will live in continual tension between the old and the new, the comfortable past and the uneasy present”. Paddy, destined to lead schools in a period of extraordinary change, always wanted them to live in that way. That was where he tried to live himself, always reading and questioning and seeking to move on.

Bravely adventurous There is so much more to be said but time does not allow and, despite what you might think, this is not, in the end, intended to be a lecture on the educational career of Paddy Crowe or a mere personal eulogy. Through these - often lonely and taxing - endeavours (and he could get down and discouraged), Paddy was working out his vocation, responding to God's call, telling God's story through his own life. In this very inadequate sketch, I have stressed the educational component and the richness of what he achieved, for particular reasons. From our present vantage-point, Paddy's life easily seems to fall into what we might almost think of as two “halves”. There have been more recently what seem - and certainly seemed to him - like the long years of decline, which weighed so heavily on him, despite the devotion - and even, we have to say, the forebearance! - of Mary Rickard and Rachel McNeill and the staff who cared for him in Cherryfield, since he went there actually less than a decade ago. Even before that, in his last years in Clongowes, as the extrovert that he was, with such an appetite for life and involvement and activity, as a man who was so bravely adventurous and loved to travel and have new experiences and make new friends, as a man used to being in authority and exercising influence and in control, he felt himself”'beached” and on the sidelines and found this very painful. Who knows what heroism he practised, behind the mask of failing powers and old age, as he went, increasingly and inscrutably silent, through all this? And so it is appropriate to correct the balance and beware of forgetting his achievements in the many earlier decades of his life. That's my first reason for laying such emphasis on them now, as the trajectory of that life comes more clearly into focus.

The second reason for thinking about those achievements, which perhaps brings us closer to what Paddy's inner experience was like, is that I think he did not always believe in all the good he had accomplished himself. And, for all his extroversion and his capacity to encourage others and promote development around him, there was a depressive side which showed at times and he was prone to self-doubt or at least to doubt the extent to which his efforts were appreciated by others. For him, on a superficial level at least, the measure of success - and perhaps of approval - was always further worthwhile employment. And when, in the judgment of others though not his own, he was past that, he found it harder to cope.

I began by quoting Herbert McCabe and I want to end with him. Paddy, full of humanity, longed for acceptance and emotional connection with others. In him I sensed that the emotion was often masked behind the brusque, direct, sometimes even abrasive manner. He was hardly aware of this or the degree to which it conditioned some of the responses he evoked in others. I think, to the extent that I knew this or have any right now to make such a surmise (and we lived and worked together in a variety of capacities over many years), in some measure it affected his spirituality and his search for a closer felt relationship with God. The uncertainty of the prodigal son in the parable in Luke's gospel at the reception he might expect from his father when he returned home, the journey on which we are all embarked, sometimes, judging by what he would say himself, seemed to infect Paddy's efforts to pray and to find rest in prayer. Herbert McCabe, interpreting that wonderful, utterly seminal parable in his posthumous book earlier referred to understands the essence of the story of the prodigal not to be the father's forgiveness of the son, but the father's welcoming and celebrating the son's homecoming with a feast. The love shown in this by the father is, for McCabe, analogous to God's love for us, sinners that we are. “His love”, he writes, “does not depend on what we do or what we are like. He doesn't care whether we are sinners or not. It makes no difference to him. He is just waiting to welcome us with joy and love”. As Paddy arrives at last at the Father's house and the banquet of which Isaiah writes so eloquently (Paddy would appreciate that!), the good fight finished (and he was always a fighter) and his race run, we can rejoice with him and for him that he knows the truth of the parable of the returned prodigal and the heavenly Father's welcome now. Now he can say with the psalmist that, through all his endeavours and all his struggles, “I was always in your presence; you were holding me by your right hand” (Psalm 73 1721,23). In the words Pope Francis, a man after Paddy Crowe's heart, likes to use for such a moment, we say to him: “Paddy, avanti senza paura! Go without fear! Amen”.

Cuffe, Charles F, 1878-1935, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1135
  • Person
  • 02 October 1878-09 December 1935

Born: 02 October 1878, Mountjoy Square, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 09 December 1935, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1904

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
He came from a well known County Wicklow family. Mass was said in their private Oratory at home for the family and those who lived nearby by priests from Milltown Park.

1899-1901 After First Vows he continued at St Stanislaus Tullabeg for a Juniorate
1901-1903 He was sent to Chieri Italy for Philosophy.
1904-1905 He was sent to Australia for Regency, and firstly to St Aloysius College Milsons Point
1905-1910 He was then sent to continue his Regency at St Ignatius College Riverview, where he was Third Prefect and orgainised junior Debating
1910-1914 He returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park and then made tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg (1913-1914)
1915-1920 He was sent teaching at Coláiste Iognáid Galway
1920-1921 He was sent teaching at Mungret College Limerick
1922-1931 He was sent back to Australia and firstly to St Ignatius Church Richmond, caring especially for the Church of St James
1931-1935 He was sent to the Norwood Parish and he was not in good health at this time.

He was a gentle and amiable man.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 11th Year No 2 1936

Obituary :
Father Charles Cuffe
Father Charles Cuffe was born 2nd October, 1878, at Mountjoy Square, Dublin. In 1889 he went to Mungret lay school, remained there a short time. and continued his education at Ushaw College, Durham. In 1895 he returned to Mungret. He began his noviceship at Tullabeg, 7th September, 1897.
He made two years juniorate at Tullabeg, three years philosophy at Chieri, and in 1904 we fid him in Australia, Praef. Mor. at St Aloysius College, Sydney. Next year he was transferred to Riverview, where he remained, Praef. Mor., etc., until 1910, when he began his theology at Milltown Park. Tertianship at Tullabeg followed. After Tertianship he went to Galway, where he taught, and worked Sodalities up to 1920, when he became Assistant Moderator of the Apostolic School at Mungret. The following year saw him once more in Australia amongst the “recently arrived”.
For about the next ten years he was stationed at St. James' Presbytery, Somerset Street, as Minister, and Director of a vast number of Parish works. At the end of that period his health began to fail, and, according to the Australian Catalogue of 1932, he was stationed at Norwood (Adelaide) with the ominous “Cur Val”, appended to his name. However, he did not give in. He remained at Norwood, getting through no small amount of work to the end. He died on Monday, 9th December, 1935. R.I.P.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1936

Obituary

Father Charles Cuffe SJ

To those who knew Fr, Cuffe in youth his death at the relatively early age of 57 may appear surprising, as nobody could have seemed more destined than he to reach a ripe and even venerable old age. But already in the year 1931 he had a heart seizure of a serious kind, from which he rallied, indeed, but never quite recovered. Hence for his friends the end was not unexpected.

It was not, however, on that account the less mournful for it was impossible to know him and not to grow attached to him. He had the qualities that conciliate affection the natural qualities of kindliness, helpfulness, generosity and seren ity of soul, the supernatural quality of solid virtue and piety.

Born in Dublin, Oct 2, 1878, he was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, 1888-89 and 1895-97. He entered the Novitiate, Tuliabeg in Sept. 1897 and took his first vows in 1899. In 1901 he went to Chieri in Italy to study Philosophy. In 1904 he made his first acquaintance with Australia where he taught and acted as Prefect (principally at Riverview) till 1909. In 1910 he commenced the study of Theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1913. In 1915-16 he returned to Tullabeg for his Tertianship. From 1916 to 1920 he was on the staff of St Ignatius College, Galway. In 1921 he became Assistant Moderator in the Apostolic School, Mungret. The following year he took a last farewell of Ireland to find in Australia the final theatre of his activity and the place of his resurrection. He worked in St James' parish, Melbourne till the parish was relinquished to the diocesan clergy in 1931. He then went to Norwood. Shortly after arriving, he suffered that breakdown in health which the doctors thought must mean death within six months, but in point of fact took four years to complete its work.

Such is the dry-as-dust chronicle of events. It gives us little clue to the animating spirit of the life. Character and personality escape the chronicler of dates and occupations, yet it is just character and personality we would like to recapture and retain. The outstanding feature of his life as I remember it was a quiet cheerfulness which was proof against any trials; a steady dedication to the tasks of the day without any of that peevish fretfulness which dissipates energy and wears out the forces of soul and body; an extraordinary readiness to lend a helping hand to those about him. These characteristics seemed natural - an inheritance as it were or the result of early training. He was one of those rare beings who seem to have escaped the effects of the Primal Fall. No one could imagine him making an enemy or even losing a friend. He walked the quiet ways of life, doing good unobtrusively and winning affection unostentatiously. He was ideally suited to the parish work in which his last years of activity were spent.

The Melbourne Advocate in its obituary notice, Dec. 12, 1935, writes:

Fr, Cuffe needs no monument in stone to recall his fruitful labour for souls. He leaves an abiding memory in the hearts of all with whom he came in contact. For he was a most kindly and lovable priest, generous and deeply esteemed”.

I think it was Dr Johnson who said : “No man is on his oath in a lapidary inscription”. I suppose it is the same in obituary notices. But no one who ever knew Fr Cuffe will need an oath to accept this tribute. Every word of it rings sincere and true. It is the least, and not the most, that could be said of him. He was a good priest, a good religious, a good friend; and he will be remembered by all who had the privilege of his acquaintance till they too pass from the transitory to the eternal. May he rest in peace.

Cuffe, Frederick, 1887-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/107
  • Person
  • 10 June 1887-06 April 1951

Born: 10 June 1887, Dublin
Entered: 01 February 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 April 1951, Dublin

Part of St Mary's community, Emo, County Laois at time of his death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ.

by 1911 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Fr. Cuffe was born in Dublin on June 10th, 1887. He was educated in the College of the Josephite Fathers, Ghent, Belgium, and at Clongowes. He entered the Society in 1907, and after his Juniorate, studied philosophy at Louvain and St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst. As a scholastic he taught in Clongowes, Belvedere and Mungret, besides being Third Line Prefect in Clongowes and Third Club Prefect in Mungret. He studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1920. After his Tertianship at Tullabeg (1922-23), he was appointed Vice-Superior in the Apostolic School, Mungret, a post which he held until 1933. He was then transferred to Clongowes where, in addition to his duties as master, he had charge of the People's Church. In 1943 he was appointed Spiritual Father at St. Mary's, Emo.
During the last few years of his life he suffered from heart trouble, which steadily became more acute. Shortly before Easter of the present year he went to stay with his family at Rathnew, Co. Wicklow, where, it was hoped, a period of complete rest and quiet would revive his fast-ebbing strength, But he was soon attacked with congestion of the lungs. His case became so serious that he was transferred to a nursing home in Leeson St., Dublin, where, fortified with the rites of the Church, he peacefully died at about 7 p.m. on Friday, April 6th.
Fr. Cuffe's personality and character, simple, straightforward, honest, devout, answered in a striking manner to the description of “the just man” in Holy Scripture. For him life had no brain-bewildering, heart-aching problems, but was a plain matter-of-fact business of ordinary duties to be faithfully performed day in day out. Be was of a courteous, cheerful disposition, a pleasant companion to live with, free from every trace of moodiness or low spirits, scrupulously exact in doing the work assigned to him, and ever ready to help in times of stress and strain. He was easily disturbed, it is true, when things went wrong, but impatience was but a passing “shadow of annoyance”, swiftly fleeting across the sunny landscape of his spirit. He was, indeed, incapable of deep and enduring resentment, and I doubt if he ever said a hard word about any of his brethren.
His religious life was cast in the same mould. Upon the deep spiritual foundation laid down by him in the noviceship, he raised the solid structure of his holy life as a Jesuit. The performance of his spiritual exercises, observance of rule, progress in virtue, he never failed to regard as duties of strict obligation, which he fulfilled with edifying exactitude. During the last few months of his life on earth, when physical debility rendered him incapable of even the lightest work, he was most assiduous in prayer, with the rosary or Dolour beads constantly in his hands. Death came to him peacefully; and I can well believe that he answered the Master's call with unruffled tranquility, as though it were part of the day's routine.
To simple-hearted, faithful servants such as Fr. “Freddy” Cuffe Our Lord Himself gives testimony : “Of such is the Kingdom of God”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1951

Obituary

Father Frederick Cuffe SJ

The news of the death of Father Fred Cuffe early in April will come as a sur prise and a shock to all Old Clongownians who knew him either as a boy in the college or as an enthusiastic and energetic professor of the French language. One who knew him intimately for a quarter of a century finds it difficult to imagine any part of his life not characterised by this enthusiasm and energy. Over that considerable period one could not, on the closest observation, discover the slighest change in the principles that guided his every action, little or great. These principles were founded on a deep appreciation of the supernatural; for Fr Cuffe was above all a man of God possessed of a self-belittling humility that was never scandalised, and consequently souls were drawn to him as iron to the magnet. People who had met him only casually frequently and affectionately asked for him. Past pupils home on holidays from their labour's as priests in the far-flung mission fields of South Africa and Australia went out of their way to visit Fr Cuffe at Clongowes. His fervent sermons from the altar of the People's Church are still recalled; likewise his tender and untiring care and solicitude for the sick of the locality.

But the strongest of constitutions could not indefinitely withstand the demands of his unbounded energy and enthusiasm for God's work. Some eight years ago saw him struck down by an illness that forced him to retire from his work in Clongowes. That was doubtless a great blow to a man of such supernatural ambitions as Fr Cuffe; but here, too, the character of the man of God was apparent. Never once was he heard to murmur a word of complaint though he inust certainly have regretted that he no longer possessed his former energy to spend in the service of the well beloved Master. A cold developed while attending the Easter ceremonies in the parish church brought on a severe attack of pneumonia, which he was not strong enough to resist, and Fr Cuffe passed to a well-deserved reward. RIP

The Irish Province of the Society of Jesus is the poorer for his loss. To his brothers and sister we tender our deepest sympathy in their bereavement.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1951

Obituary

Father Frederick Cuffe SJ

It is with deep sadness that we chronicle the death of Father Frederick Cuffe, Vice-Superior of the Apostolic School (1923-'33). Though Father Cuffe has been in poor health for a number of years, bis last illness was short. On April 5th he was taken suddenly ill and died the following day in a Dublin hospital.

Father Cuffe's connection with Mungret goes back to 1917 when he came here as a Scholastic. Having himself been educated in Belgium, he was well grounded in the French language, and consequently his two years' teaching was very fruitful in its results. After his ordination in 1923; Father Cuffe returned to Mungret as Vice-Superior of the Apostolic School, Again he showed himself as a skilled and highly efficient teacher of French, but his main work lay in a different sphere. As an upholder of the highest ideals, Father Cuffe is principally remembered by the students of this time who passed under his care. Thoughtfulness, gentle ness with firmness, piety, strength of character, a great devotion to the Sacred Heart and Our Lady were the virtues that he inspired in those whom he helped to form both by word and his own example; for Father Cuffe was above all other things a saintly priest. A grotto to the Sacred Heart in the Apostolic playground bears witness to his efforts to adorn the college. The boys who passed through his hands in Mungret can each testify to his special interest in them, for he never failed to write to each of his old alumni on the occasion of their ordination, and later, when he was at Clongowes and Emo Park, was constantly inquiring about the Past whom he had known.

Two years ago we were glad to have a visit from him. It was apparent then that he was not in good health. Yet he bore his suffering with his accustomed cheerful spirit. We offer our sincere sympathy to his brother George, who was a student here, to Colonel Cuffe, DSO, and to his sisters. RIP

Cunningham, Peter, 1917-1990, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/487
  • Person
  • 29 June 1917-23 October 1990

Born: 29 June 1917, Boyle, County Roscommon
Entered: 25 October 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 23 October 1990, Sacred Heart, Limerick

Curran, Shaun N, 1924-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/622
  • Person
  • 29 December 1924-14 August 1999

Born: 29 December 1924, Dublin
Entered: 02 October 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 06 January 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 August 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1985 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

Curran, Stephen, 1911-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/109
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-02 June 1960

Born: 02 January 1911, Lippa, Spiddal, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 June 1960, St Stephens Hospital, Glanmire, County Cork

Part of Mungret College community, Limerick at time of his death.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 3 1960
Obituary :
Fr Stephen Curran (1911-1960)
Stephen Curran was born near Spiddal, Co. Galway, on 2nd January, 1911. He was at school at St. Mary's College, Galway, but in 1927 he transferred to the Apostolic School, Mungret College, where he remained until he entered the Noviceship at Emo in 1931. In due course he moved from Emo to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate (1933-36), during which he read for his degree in Celtic Studies at University College, Dublin. For the next three years we find him studying Philosophy at Tullabeg, In 1939 he was assigned to St. Ignatius College, Galway for his “Colleges”, and in 1942 he began Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1945. After Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle, 1946-47, he spent the remaining years of his life in teaching at Mungret College, Limerick.
“A gentle scholar, poet and universal friend”. These words from a very appreciative letter of sympathy from the Mungret Union give a true impression of Fr. Curran.
Gentle he was all his life and in every way, notably in a certain delightful charm in his manner of speech and conversation, gentle too in his habitual judgments and outlook, in his dealings with others, and in his exceptional degree of modesty about his own very highly cultivated talents.
A true scholar also. He was blessed with the knowledge of Irish as his natural language, he had enriched this knowledge by a deep and lifelong study. He also had studied kindred Celtic languages. Added to this was a persistent study of Irish history, literature, poetry and art, ancient and modern. A few years ago he became interested in Spanish; this interest turned into serious study and he became proficient at the language and taught it successfully to the Philosophers. It is characteristic that at the same time he studied the history, literature and art of Spain, reading Cervantes, St. John of the Cross, modern drama, novels and biography, Added to this he cultivated Spanish boys in the school, listened to Spanish radio, got to know their newspapers and periodicals, and hoped to have an opportunity of visiting Spain.
This all indicates that he “saw life whole”; it also brings us to his predominant characteristic, his wholehearted and affectionate interest in people. This was evident in the whole bent of his conversation, especially in Irish. Another example is this : the Hungarian Rising inspired him with sympathy and admiration for that people. He studied their history and literature and mastered some of the fundamental mysteries of their so very different language; but his real happiness was when he visited the refugee camp and got in touch with the living Hungarian people. As well as this natural interest there was the urge of his apostolic priesthood. He envisaged translations of religious matter from Spanish into Irish, and had published at least one article, an Irish version of a poem on the Nativity. He worked in England for the last two or three summers and returned with great sympathy for the people. The outstanding example of this interest of his comes from his time in hospital in Cork; he got to know all the patients around him, and all about their families, occupations, ailments and personal histories. When visited by any of his Community he divided the time talking, with wholehearted interest, about the patients and about Mungret. Incidentally his genuine and obvious delight at seeing his brethren was a pleasure to witness, and his sense of gratitude, for what he truly thought quite undeserved attention, would almost overcome him. In a letter shortly before his death he said that so good had everyone been to him by prayer and every way that he expressly wished that to every prayer of petition for him should be added one of thanksgiving
After his Tertianship in Rathfarnham he came to Mungret, his own school, in 1947, and there he laboured until his last illness. The word is used deliberately. Fr. Curran laboured to the fast ounce of his strength. He taught Irish classes right through the school, every day and nearly all day. But the curriculum was merely basic. Irish for him was something loved and living, and he strove with all his inward and outward power to make it live for others. He was like one devoted, lighting little beacons in the darkness and little fires in a great cold. He seemed fully informed about every development in Irish, about writers of the day in prose or poetry, about books, periodicals and plays, and even about techniques in printing and publishing; in general, all received his happy approval, He spoke Irish to the boys, interested them in Club Leabhar na Sóisear, Inniu, An Gael Og, etc. With scarcely any recreational space or facilities he kept Cumann na Gaeilge going with conversation, debates, dramas, prize essays, and a lending library.
Indeed in his last illness he provided for the awarding of the Bonn Óir le haghaidh óráidíochta and the Corn le haghaidh comhrá. Once or twice a year he produced Irish plays. For these he himself planned the stage, painted the scenery, did all the coaching in speaking and acting, costurned the players and was an expert at make-up. One year he produced the opera Maritana, making his own translation very beautifully. On several occasions his players took part in the Féile Luimní, He really was the life and soul of Irish in the College, and we seriously fear that without him, whom all of us together cannot match, it may lapse into a mere class subject.
He whose home tongue was Irish and whose native earth was betwixt the hills and the sea in Cois Fhairrge must have found the inland plains dull and the English language flat. Be that as it may, an unwonted gaiety and joyousness took possession of him when on holidays in a gaeltacht beside the sea and his companionship was a delight. There he who ordinarily was so retiring became a leader, full of happy enterprise and initiative; there too his natural gifts as a homely raconteur shone.
His last illness began with what might have been an ordinary attack of flu. He soon showed symptoms of pleurisy and pneumonia and was brought to the Regional Hospital. They found grave disorder in the lung and recommended Surgeon Hickey, St. Stephen's Hospital, Cork. He made the journey by car on Shrove Tuesday. He had there a big exploratory operation and it was found that the lung and surrounding area was flooded with a great quantity of blood. It had come from a leak in the main artery very near the heart. This artery was in a very thin and worn condition. For nearly two weeks after this he was so low that those who visited him thought him dying. But he made a great recovery and became quite himself, saying Mass and spending some time out in the grounds. He knew he was building up for the crucial operation and he knew its nature, but he kept cheerful and optimistic, planning away for the future, always with the proviso, “If it be God's Will”. The operation consisted in grafting a patch on to the defective artery. Without this he could not live, but the chances of its success were small. It was said that the only other place it could be performed is in Texas. Nothing could exceed Mr. Hickey's devotedness and attention, and Fr. Stephen had full confidence in him and a tremendous admiration for him. The operation began at 1 p.m, and was not over till after 9 p.m. About 10 p.m. Fr. Stephen came to himself and spoke to the doctor, Mr. Hickey. Mr. Hickey said to Fr. Rector: "You may go home now Father and pray he may get through the night, if he does he should be all right". About an hour later he took a bad turn and at 12.25 on Thursday, 2nd June he died. He had been anointed and the chaplain was with him. Those who saw him after death remarked on the tranquillity and peacefulness of his appearance. He was buried in the Community cemetery on the Eve of Pentecost.
Ar dheasláimh Dé go raibh a anam ar feadh na síoraochta.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Stephen Curran 1911-1950
Fr Stephen Curran was a truly gentle and lovable soul. Born near Spiddal on January 2nd 1911, he never lost his tender love of his native language nor his native place. Next to God and the Society, this was his one love.

He worked unremittingly in his Alma Mater, Mungret, from his tertianship in Rathfarnham in 1947 until his death in 1960. Is devotion to his classes was his leading trait, and his energy was unflagging in promoting our native language, in producing plays and running debating societies, and in writing for various Irish periodicals.

His early tragic death at the age of 49 may be traced to the exemplary execution of his duties. The early habits and customs of the noviceship he carried out right to the end. If ever a man earned the right to hear those words “Well done good and faithful servant”, Stephen Curran surely did.

“Ár dheis-lamh Dé go raibh a anam”, as he himself would like to say.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1961

Obituary

Father Stephen Curran SJ

Few of us thought that when Father Curran went to hospital last February twelve months, that he would never return to the College alive.

Father Curran was born in Spiddal, Co Galway, on January 2nd, 1911. He went to school at St Mary's College, Galway. From this he transferred to the Apostolic School in Mungret in 1927. Here he remained until he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus in 1931. After the long studies of the Society he was ordained in 1945. After two years he came to Mungret where he spent the remaining years of his life.

Father Curran's name will always be associated with the Irish language, He spoke it with anyone he found willing to do so. He gave all his free time to working for the Irish Society in the College. His greatest love, perhaps, was centred on the Irish play he produced every year. For this he planned the stage, painted the scenery and did the make-up. In his last illness he made arrangements for the awarding of the “Bonn Oir le haghaidh oraidiochta” and the “Corn le haghaidh comhra”. The Editor of the Annual got a yearly reminder of the Irish Essay.

Many tributes were paid to Father Curran by past students. The Mungret Union spoke of him as “A gentie scholar, poet and universal friend”.

Another wrote of him as “A grand priest”.

Father Curran was an outstanding teacher, but those of us who were priviliged to live with him, will best remember his gentleness, kindness and charm of manner. Father Curran died in St Stephen's Hospital, Cork on June 2nd, 1960. May he rest in peace. RIP

Cusack, Patrick, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/591
  • Person
  • 29 August 1918-06 March 2003

Born: 29 August 1918, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Della Strada, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 06 March 2003, Cherryfield Lodge Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Cusack (1918-2003)

29th Aug. 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education in Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, and CBS, Richmond Street
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Crescent College, Limerick - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1953: Mungret College - Teaching
1953 - 1954: Clongowes -Teaching
1954 - 1959: Mungret - Teaching, Spiritual Director (Boys)
1959 - 1968: Emo:
1959 - 1961: Master of Novices
1961 - 1968: Rector; Master of Novices
1968 - 1974: Mungret:
1968 - 1971: Spiritual Director (Boys); Teacher
1971 - 1974: Rector; Teacher
(Mungret closed Summer '74)
1974 - 1978: Sullivan House - Director Spiritual Exercises; Member of Spirituality Centre
1978 - 1983: Dooradoyle - Chaplain; Teacher; Spiritual Director (pupils)
1983 - 1984: Tullabeg - Co-ordinator of Apostolate.
1984 - 1989: Leeson Street - Spiritual Exercises & Retreats
1989 - 2003: Belvedere:
1989 - 1990: Spiritual Exercises
1990 - 1992: College Confessor
1992 - 1993: Asst.Pastoral Care Co-ordinator
1993 - 1994: Adult Education on Prayer
1994 - 2003: Director Spiritual Exercises; Adult Prayer Education; College Confessor
6th March 2003 Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

After a long illness, borne peacefully and patiently, Paddy died at Cherryfield Lodge in the presence of family members and Father Eddie FitzGerald from the Milltown community.

Kevin Laheen writes:
Paddy Cusack had just left for Rathfarnham when I arrived in Emo in 1938. The novices who were still in Emo remembered him very well and gave us, newcomers, a fair picture of him. Some said he was fervent, others described him as edifying, while Sean O'Connor, (my 'Angelus' and now a missioner in Nairobi) said he was meticulous. When I got to know him in Rathfarnham he certainly lived up to the reputation he had earned for himself in Emo. But I learned a lot more about him as the months in the Castle passed. He was a placid man whom nothing could ruffle, but in our eyes there was a downside to him. He had no athletic ability and no taste for games. He never played tennis, nor handball, but because he felt it was the will of God he turned out to play that is the wrong word) football, for he was essentially a passenger on the field. He once brought a book to the pitch to have a little read just in case nobody passed the ball to him. They never did.

When I joined him in Tullabeg he had become a great reader. He never again ventured on to the football pitch but in his many long walks, aided by his musical ear, he had become an expert in identifying the birds by listening to their songs - in Tullabeg their name was legion. Apart from our days in Milltown Park prior to ordination, I never lived with him again until we both were stationed in Mungret. There he was a good teacher but his appointment to the post of Spiritual Father to the boys gave a pointer to what would occupy him for the rest of his life. Apart from his days as the last Rector of the college, all his work for the rest of his life was associated with spiritual formation. As Master of Novices I am sure that many of his novices would enrich this picture of him by adding their own memories.

He was a great friend of the nuns all over the country. There was many a convent that had an open door and a bed for the night whenever he found himself stranded between retreats. The number of Long Retreats he directed exceeded thirty, and he had a particular weakness for the convent that had a piano. Paddy was a lover of the piano but he hesitated to play before an audience. As he pursued his nomadic life he always tucked away in his case a few sheets of piano music, with a preference for Mendelssohn. Towards the end of his life when the burden of travel became too heavy he spent longs periods at Knock Shrine assisting many people with guided prayer. He became known as the “be still and know that I am God” priest for that was how he always began his prayer sessions. His name is still remembered there with affection and appreciation.

During my own sojourn in Cherryfield, Paddy paid a few short visits. He had become more quiet, took little part in recreation, spent more time in the chapel or pacing up and down the corridor. When able, his great achievement was to take a trip into the city and have a cup of coffee in Bewleys, and later he would talk of it as a real triumph. The end came rather suddenly and I am sure he had the support of the prayers of the thousands whom he had helped during his life as a priest. May he rest in peace.

Daly, Francis H, 1848-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/112
  • Person
  • 15 July 1848-19 October 1907

Born: 15 July 1848, Dalysgrove, County Galway
Entered: 12 November 1870, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1886
Final Vows: 03 February 1890, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 19 October 1907, St Mary’s, Rhyl, Wales

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at time of his death.

Youngest brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; James - RIP 1930 Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1873 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1874 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1875 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1877 at Poitiers, France (FRA) Regency
by 1884 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1886 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1902 at Holy Name, Manchester (ANG) Missions

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Third brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; James - RIP 1930 Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter. They were a very old Catholic family who resided in the Elphin Diocese. Oliver joined earlier than the others in Rome and was allotted to the Irish Province.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy in France and Theology in jersey.
He taught for many years at Belvedere, Clongowes, and Mungret.
He also served on the Mission Staff in Ireland for a short time, and then he went to Manchester as a Missioner.
He received permission to go to Rhyl for a rest, had a stroke there and never recovered consciousness.
Some Fathers from St Beuno’s assisted at the requiem Mass in St Mary’s Rhyl. He was then buried at Pantasaph, North Wales.

Appreciation by Vincent Naish preached at the Church of the Holy Name Manchester :
“...it is my duty, my dear brethren, to ask your prayers on behalf of the soul of my dear old friend and fellow-worker, Francis Daly. It so happens that it is given to me, by chance, to say a few words in support of my plea. I have had the privilege and pleasure of knowing Father Daly well. Forty three years ago we were boys together at school, and during those years of unbroken friendship I never knew a soul more full of zeal for God’s glory, more possessed with simple faith, and more devoted, in his own sweet way, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Blessed Mother.
Of the family - a grand old Irish Catholic family - five were boys and three girls; he was the youngest of the boys, who became members of the Society of Jesus, of whom all the three elder survive him. One sister joined a religious Order. That family was known throughout the length and breadth of Ireland for its spotless life and perfect devotion, which seemed to unite all the members in the beauty and piety of the family life. There was a family private chapel in the house, and father, mother, boys and girls all joined together each day at God’s altar.”
He continues saying that the four brothers worked in different parts of the world - in Ireland, England, Scotland and Australia. They in the Holy Name Parish who knew of the devotion and zeal of Father Daly were fortunate, because to very few men was it granted in their time to know a more hard-working Priest, devoted to the spiritual welfare of Catholics in this country of Ireland. Hundreds of hopeless fallen cases of human nature he was ever eager to attend to, and by the very simplicity of his faith, and his transparent earnest manner, he often succeeded where others were afraid or shrank from.
He then asked that as many as possible would attend the requiem Mass the following day, and to offer their Communion for the good, holy, zealous Priest who had gone to his reward. At the end of Mass the organist played the “Dead March” from Saul, and the people stood.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis Daly 1848-1907
Fr Francis Daly, who died at Rhyl North Wales on October 19th 1907, was the author of “The Child of Mary before Jesus Abandoned in the Tabernacle”. In 1953, this book had entered on its 38th edition, enjoys to this day a steady sale of 582,000 copies. He was on the staff of Mungret College when he compiled this prayer book. At his request, the profits accruing were expended on the furnishing and establishment of the sacristy of the Boy’s Chapel.

Francis was the youngest of five sons, four of whom became Jesuits, the others being Oliver, James and Hubert. Born in Ahascragh County Galway in 1848, he entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1870.

He taught for many years in Belvedere, Clongowes and Mungret. After some years on the Mission Staff he went to Manchester as a missionary.

While resting at Rhyl in 1907 he had an apoplectic stroke, cause by over exertion in his labours, from which he never recovered. He is buried at Pantasaph, North Wales.

◆ The Clongownian, 1908

Obituary

Father Francis Daly SJ

The Rev Francis H Daly SJ, who was the fourth son of the late Mr Peter Paul Daly, of Dalysgrove, Co. Galway, Ireland, was born on July 15th, 1848. He came of a deeply religious and pious family. There were five boys and three girls. Of the former, four became Jesuits, and of the latter one entered a religious Order. On his mother's side the deceased priest was a cousin of the late Father Peter Gallwey SJ, and also of Fathers Grehan and Sherlock, other well known Jesuits. His brothers, all in the Society of Jesus - Fathers Oliver, James, and Hubert survive him: the first-named is at present in Glasgow, whilst Father James has for over thirty years been Prefect of Studies of Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare, Father Hubert Daly SJ, is in Australia.

The deceased received his early education by private tuition, and subsequently at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, King's County. Later on he was sent to Mount St Mary's College, near Chesterfield, and afterwards to Namur, in Belgium. His theological and philosophical studies were made on the Continent, and about twenty-five years ago he was ordained priest in the Channel Islands. During his priestly career the late Father Daly SJ, worked with unremitting zeal and energy in many districts, his missionary work in various parts of England, north and south, being well-known and appreciated. With the Irish people in this country he was especially at home, and to them quite naturally was always a welcome visitor. He was most kind and charitable, and many acts, ungrudgingly done, have been related since his death in several quarters. Many a prayer has during the past week ascended to Heaven for the repose of the soul of the dear, good, kind priest.

A Notable Work
The late Father Daly SJ, was the author of the little book known as “The Child of Mary Before Jesus Abandoned in the Tabernacle”. This useful work was intended for the members of the Confraternity of the Children of Mary, and its circulation has run into many thousands, Only this year the tenth edition was published. Its spiritual reading has done incalculable good amongst those for whom it was intended.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1908

Obituary

Father Francis Daly SJ

Two special friends of Mungret have been, during the past year, called to their reward. These were Rev Francis Daly SJ, who died at Rhyl, N Wales, 17th October, 1907; and Rev Jas Murphy SJ, who died at Tuliabeg, Ireland, March, 1908.

Father Francis Daly had been Professor in Mungret College, 1891-1897. It was during those years that he compiled “The Child of Mary” and “The Ignatian Album”, both of which we have reviewed in the “Mungret Annual” on the appearance of new editions. “The Child of Mary” is still used almost universally by the pupils. On Father Daly's initiative the profits on the sale of some of the editions of this little book were allocated to the purpose of furnishing and decorating the sacristy of the college chapel, and this work, carried out under Father Daly's own direction, remains as a monument of his taste and skill. Aster leaving Mungret in '97 he worked for several years on the missionary staff in Ireland and afterwards in England. He never lost interest in Mungret, and remained to the last a steadfast and zealous friend of the college. When he visited Mungret a short year ago he seemed to be as vigorous and cheery as ever, and we were little prepared for the news of his fatal illness which reached us towards the end of September. The apopleclic stroke by which he was prostrated seems to have been hastened, if not caused, by excessive exertion in his missionary labours. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Francis Daly (1848-1870)

A brother of Father James Daly (infra) came to the Crescent teaching staff for one year only, 1887-88. On finishing his tertianship in Belgium, he was engaged in teaching in the Irish Jesuit College, when he joined the mission staff. In 1902 he was loaned to the English Province where he engaged in mission work until his death.

Daly, Kevin, 1895-1929, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1160
  • Person
  • 25 October 1895-19 July 1929

Born: 25 October 1895, Terenure, Dublin
Entered: 07 December 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1927, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 19 July 1929, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1921-1923 - Regency at Xavier College, Kew, Australia
1923-1924 - Regency at St Aloysius College Sydney

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at the Bower in Athlone and Clongowes.

After his Novitiate he remained at Tullabeg for his Juniorate.
1918 He was sent to Milltown for Philosophy.
1921 He was sent to Australia for Regency and he spent three years there at Xavier College Kew, and St Aloysius Sydney.
1924 He returned to Milltown for Theology. he worked hard there and was ordained there, but had begun to suffer from pains in his head and eyes.
After his ordination, and before he had finished his Theology, he was sent to Mungret, in the hope that the change of work would ease his difficulties. He was very popular at Mungret, and a very able Teacher and Prefect.
1928 He returned to Milltown to complete his Theology, and early on he was diagnosed with Sarcoma. He grew weaker and had to go to St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, where he lingered for eight months until he died there 19 July 1929.

The day before he died, a Jesuit who went to see him met a Nun who was caring for him, and said how edified she was by his obedient patience, and how trustful he was of them and of Our Lady’s protection, and how grateful he was for prayers.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Kevin Daly entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 December 1914, and after the juniorate he moved to Milltown Park for philosophy. He was sent to the Australian Mission in the later part of 1921, initially at Xavier. After approximately three years teaching at St Aloysius' College, 1922-24, Daly returned a sick man to Milltown Park for theology.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 4th Year No 4 1929
Obituary :
Fr Kevin Daly
On Friday, 19th July a welcome release came to Fr. Kevin Daly after 8 months on his death bed. His disease was diagnosed as incurable last autumn, and he entered St Vincent's private hospital in November to die. He new the truth and faced it with bright and easy courage.

About Christmas a novena to B. Robert Beilarmine was begun at Milltown, and for some time he grasped again at hope. By degrees that last hope faded, and he came to see that his death was but a matter of a few months. He was dying by inches. He was unable to move or do anything for himself, and his voice had sunk to a whisper. He never lost courage or
patience. The day before he died one of Ours, who had been in to bid him good-bye, met the nun who had charge of him, and heard, from her how edifying he had been, how patient and obedient, how be let them do with him what they thought best, how trustful in Our Lady's protection, how grateful for prayers. His greatest grief was not for himself but for his mother. She had been in to see him every day, and clung to the hope of his recovery long after he had given it up. On the night of Wednesday, 17th July he get a bad turn. On Thursday he was dying, and asked for Extreme Unction. He died that night. Father Kevin was born in 1895. As as mall boy he was sent to the Bower Convent, Athlone. It cheered him on his death bed when told that his former teachers were praying for him. After several years at Clongowes he entered Tullabeg on 7th December 1914, where he did his noviceship and juniorate. In 1918 he went to Milltown for philosophy, and in 1921 to Australia. His three years there were spent at Xavier, and St. Aloysius. He returned to Milltown for theology in 1924. Fr Kevin was not clever and found theology and philosophy difficult. He worked very hard at them, and began to suffer from pains in the head and eyes. After his ordination, but before his theology was finished, he was sent to Mungret in the hope that he would get stronger by this change of work. In Mungret he was very popular, and proved himself a most capable and efficient prefect. Towards the end of the year he had to undergo a serious operation and was a long time convalescing. In August 1928 he returned to Milltown to complete his theology, but it was soon clearly diagnosed. that he was suffering from Sarcoma. He bravely kept the knowledge from his father and mother, and when meeting them was so bright and cheerful that they had no suspicions. But he gradually grew weaker, and in November had to go to St. Vincent's. The rest of his story has been already told.
Fr. Kevin's career was not so much cut short as never begun. He had given his life to God in the Society of His Son, and God had taken the will of a full apostolic career for the deed. Indeed we may well say that Fr Kevin gave the deed also. We may well believe, and we trust that his generous response to his vocation, his earnestness, his charity, his struggles at his studies, above all the heroic courage, the splendid resignation which he showed when face to lace with a lingering death, gave God all the glory He looked for from Fr Kevin's stay on earth. And certainly his career, brief in years but rich in virtue, has not been without its influence all all who knew him. To his father, and very specially to his mother, who watched him dying for so many months, we offer our most sincere sympathy. RIP.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Kevin Daly 1895-1929
The death of Fr Kevin Daly at the early age of 34 was regarded as a tragedy by his contemporaries.

Born in 1895, he received his early education at the Bower Athlone and Clongowes.

During his theologate at Milltown he began to feel pains in his head and eyes. Immediately after ordination he went to Mungret asFirst Prefect, in the hope that the change would benefit his health. Here he proved immensely popular with both Community and boys, while being at the same time efficient as a Prefect, a rare combination.

Returning in 1928 to complete his Theology, his pains continued until finally his condition was diagnosed as Sarcoma. He lingered on in St Vincent’s Hospital for eight months till his happy release on July 19th 1929.

There is always something of a tragedy in the death of the young, but in the case of Fr Kevin this note was heightened by his lovable winning disposition and the promise of great work for God to come.

“Consummatus est in brevi, explevit tempora multis” words used of St Aloysius and St John Berchmans have an application to Fr Kevin Daly.

Daniel, Jacques, 1851-1921, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1164
  • Person
  • 05 April 1851-02 October 1921

Born: 05 April 1851, Mégrit, Brittany, France
Entered: 18 April 1875, Angers, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1884
Final vows: 02 February 1893
Died: 02 October 1921, St Aloysius, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands - Franciae Province (FRA)

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1922

Obituary

Father Jacques Daniel SJ

Fr. Daniel was one of the French Fathers who were at Mungret in the early days of the College, during the years 1886 to 1888, He taught Metaphysics and Ethics, giving the lectures in Latin. His teaching was very efficient and very much appreciated by his pupils.

In the Jubilee number of the Mungret Annual (June, 1907) it is recorded under date 1888, July 26th : “Fr Aubier and Fr Daniel left Mungret to-day. Fr Daniel's departure is much regretted, especially by next year's philosophers. During his two years' stay in Mungret his labours as Professor of Philosophy were crowned with most brilliant success”.

In the year 1887-88 he was Prefect of Discipline for both Apostolics and Seminarists (ie, of the diocese of Limerick who were then at Mungret College). Fr J B R René was Rector of the House and Director of the Apostolic School; but we understand from one who was here at the'time that Fr Daniel had a great deal to do with the practical direction of the Apostolic students. In the same number of the Annual, among the distinctions gained in those years, mention is made in 1887 of honours in Mental and Moral Science with Exhibition awarded to Ed Cahill; and in 1888 the same successes secured by three, W Turner, D Danaher and P Horan. The Ed Cahill named is, we need hardly say, Fr Cahill SJ, who has been so long connected with the College in several capacities, and is now again amongst us as Superior of the Apostolic School. The W Turner developed into the author of the well-known History of Philosophy, and is now Bishop of Buffalo (USA). The P Horan referred to is now the distinguished V Rev P Horan, of Little Rock (Ark, USA). Others among Fr. Daniel's pupils were H Moynihan, the Rector of St Thomas College, St Paul (Ma), M J Gallagher, now Bishop of Detroit, P Enright, the late René Jeanniere SJ, and many others who have distinguished themselves in work for the Church.

We add a few facts as to the rest of the life of Fr Daniel, which may have a special interest for his old pupils. He was born in 1851 at Mégrit, in Brittany, passed some years at the Seminary of St Brieuc, entered the Society in 1875, and was ordained in 1884. After his time in Ireland he was successively Professor of Philosophy, of Dogma and of Moral Theology, and Spiritual Father at the scholasticate of Jersey from 1889 to 1901. He was Rector there from 1901 to 1906, when he was appointed Provincial of the Paris Province. In this capacity he went as visitor to the missions of the Society in China. Later he became Instructor of Tertians. Finally, in 1919, he returned to Jersey as Spiritual Father, an office which he discharged up to his death in the autumn of 1921. One morning last autumn, on being called at 4 o'clock, he had answered as usual. An hour and a half later he did not appear to say his Mass, and on his server going to look for him he was found dead in his room.

The previous evening he had received all who came to consult him up to the usual hour of retiring.

He was. remarkable for his clear intellect, for large mindedness and sureness of direction, as well as for a kindness and affability which endeared him to all. In fine, he was a model religious and observant of community life in all its details. RIP

de Bénazé, Octave Joseph, 1843-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1430
  • Person
  • 14 September 1843-08 September 1908

Born: 14 September 1843, Meillac, Brittany, France
Entered: 03 March 1876, Angers, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1883
Final vows: 15 August 1891
Died: 08 September 1908, Meillac, Brittany, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

Part of the Angers, France community at the time of death

by 1886 came to Mungret (HIB) as Minister, Teacher and Church 1885-1887

Deevy, John A, 1887-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/800
  • Person
  • 15 June 1887-10 March 1969

Born: 15 June 1887, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 10 March 1969, Regional Hospital, Limerick

Part of the Mungret College, Co Limerick community at the time of death.

by 1911 at Cividale del Friuli, Udine Italy (VEN) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 44th Year No 2 1969

Obituary :

Fr John Aloysius Deevy SJ (1887-1969)

For some months before his death Fr. John Deevy had been growing weaker, and experiencing greater difficulty in walking. He had got permission to say Mass sitting down, and as long as he could make his way to the little Altar near his room, even by pushing before him a chair on which he leaned, he clung to his daily Mass. But that period soon passed and he came to need the constant professional care which he could get only in a hospital. His last weeks were spent in the Regional, near Mungret, where he died on Saturday March 10th. He was buried from the College Chapel after a concelebrated Requiem Mass, in which the Rector of Mungret, Fr. Senan Timoney, and ten other priests, chiefly from other houses, took part in the presence of Fr. Provincial. After the Gospel the Rector made a short address in which he dwelt on the two chief devotions of Fr. Deevy's life : devotion to his daily Mass, and his devotion to Mungret. He mentioned that Fr. Deevy, before his last illness had declared that he missed his daily Mass only twice in his life of forty nine years as a priest.
The ceremonies of the Requiem were carried out impressively with the boys choir singing hymns to the accompaniment of two guitars. Afterwards the boys lined the avenue from the chapel to the graveyard where Fr. Deevy was laid to rest among the fellow Jesuits with whom he had lived.
John Aloysius Deevy was born in Waterford on June 15th, 1887. He belonged to a very well known Waterford family, which consisted of four boys and nine girls. None of his sisters married, only one survived him and was at his funeral. He was a layboy at Mungret from 1903 to 1906, when he entered Tullabeg with seven other companions. It was a small vintage, but all of the eight persevered in their vocation and four of them predeceased him. From the beginning he showed himself the John Deevy that so many were afterwards to respect and to like, bright, cheerful, utterly sincere and honourable. The Master of Novices, Fr. James Murphy, at once perceived the sterling qualities of Brother Deevy, and held him up as a model of the spirit he sought to inspire in his novices, which he expressed in his often repeated words : “What is right is right, what is wrong is wrong and that settles the matter”. You could not know John Deevy for any length of time without coming to admire his sincerity and straightness, and his unswerving sense of honour and truthfulness.
His constant flood of energy, and his zeal for what was good, were not always appreciated by less vigorous companions. He was a formidable companion at the pump. For a later and softer generation it should be explained that pumping water up to tanks in the garret was a part of the manual work of the novices. It was also a test of solid virtue. Br. Deevy would throw himself into this back-breaking activity while his companion, wilting over the other handle of the pump, would feel inclined to greet the ardour as an excess of zeal. At the oars in the boats on the canal, on the long summer afternoons, he rowed like a Roman galley slave.
He did his Juniorate in Tullabeg, under Fr. John Keane and then went to Cividale in Italy for his Philosophy. His colleges were done in Belvedere, Mungret and Clongowes. He was an excellent teacher of Latin and, especially, of Mathematics; he had a gift of expounding clearly that severe discipline, if not of enlivening it. From 1918 to 1922 he did his theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained on August 15th, 1920, earlier than the canonical date, because he had been delayed by the war. He did his tertianship under Fr. Bridge, of the English province from 1922 to 1923 at Tullabeg,
For the first years of his priesthood he circulated around the colleges and everywhere he was true to the image he had shown in his years at Tullabeg, friendly, bright, energetic, a thoroughly devout priest but without a trace of smugness or solemnity. After some years he began to be more engaged in administration for which his energetic and practical temperament fitted him. He was changed from the classroom and allotted to the duties of minister, procurator and Superior. Mungret, Tullabeg, Milltown Park, the Crescent, and Emo Park saw him successively. His years at Emo, twelve of them, deserve a special mention. He was Procurator, then Superior and finally Rector. In these positions he came to know intimately the secular clergy of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin and particularly those who lived about Emo. He was at once accepted as one of themselves, and was soon a welcome and frequent guest at their dinners. He was at home in their presbyteries. The gossip, the politics of the diocese were openly discussed in his presence. And he contributed to the gaiety of the dinner table by his large stock of clerical stories which he narrated with the skill of a born raconteur. As a Superior he had a car at his disposal and he took a boyish delight in dashing into Portarlington and Portlaoise and further afield on errands or business or visits. The Society had opened Emo as a noviceship house in 1930 and were timidly making their way into the good will of the priests of the diocese. Fr. Arthur Murphy, the P.P. of Emo had been our sponsor there, and to him we owe, more than to anyone else, our settlement in the diocese. But Fr. Deeyy's contact with the priests did great service in changing toleration into genuine friendliness. Fr. Deevy was the least “Jesuitical” of men, as defined in the Concise Oxford dictionary, a “dissembling person, a prevaricator”. On everyone who met him he left the impression that he was a man whose word was as good as his bond, whose speech was “yea and nay”.
By temperament he was active and practical and took naturally to administration. He liked working with his hands and was glad to do odd jobs; he spent a good deal of time tinkering with things. He was not a reading man and would not often be seen in his room reading. That was a pity as he was intelligent and had a clear and vigorous mind. It was a pity also that he so early in his priestly life allowed his administrative activities to take him from pastoral work and, especially, from retreat-giving, a ministry which his deep spirituality, his good judgment, his kindness and his bright manner fitted him for to a high degree.
In 1944 Fr. Deevy returned to Tullabeg as Procurator and in 1953 he was assigned, in the same office, to Mungret; it was his last change and it was fitting that the end of his life should be spent in the place where he had made his first contact with the Society. The wheel of his changes had come full circle. For the years left him he was the same useful worker;, the same bright popular community man. He had little contact with the boys, they only remember the white-haired old priest who was so regular with his Mass. A good part of these years. was spent in compiling the Mungret Record, a list of all the past Mungret boys with their places of origin and their years in the College, It was a work which demanded a great deal of minute research in the Mungret Annual, old lists of the Prefects of Studies, of the Procurator, in the account books. It was done with the thoroughness and accuracy that were characteristic of all his work. The typed volume will remain as a very useful book of reference as well as a monument to Fr. Deevy's love of Mungret.
His death was felt throughout the province with a very genuine regret, by those who had ever lived with him. One of these, one who made his acquaintance on the 7th of September 1906, who drove him on the same sidecar to the noviceship, renders in these pages his sincere, if inadequate, tribute, his Ave atque Salve to a Very near friend of a lifetime. Ar dheis-Dé go raibh a anam.
Two of Fr. Deevy's sisters deserve a brief mention, Tessa was a well known playwright. Many of her plays were presented with success at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and outside Ireland. Another, Agnes, entered the Carmelite monastery, Delgany, where she was known as Mother Mary of the Incarnation and was Mother Prioress for many years. She was revered and loved by her community and those who knew her still cherish the memory of her outstanding charity and holiness.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1974

Obituary

Father John Deevy SJ

John Aloysius Deevy was born in Waterford on 15 June 1887. He belonged to a much-respected Waterford family of four boys and nine girls. His family is perhaps best known because of its accountancy firm which has offices in several Irish cities but it also has to its credit a well-known playwright, his sister Teresa, many of whose plays were presented successfully at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and abroad.

John was a layboy at Mungret from 1903 to 1906 when he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg. He studied philosophy at Cividale in Italy for three years and then taught in Belvedere, Mungret and Clongowes. He was ordained at Milltown Park on 15 August 1920 at the end of his second year of theology. This was a special privilege granted to those who, because of the European war, were kept longer than usual as scholastics in the colleges. It did not, however, dispense them from completing the full four years of theology. After his tertianship, which he did at Tullabeg, he resumed teaching and made the acquaintance of the Crescent.

After a few years he was selected for ad ministrative work and he continued in it until the last few years of his life. The Jesuit novitiate had been changed to Emo Park in 1930 and two years later Fr Deevy was sent there as bursar. He then became superior and finally, when the new house reached its full status, he was appointed rector. In all he spent twelve years at Emo where his chief interest was in developing the farm and in doing pastoral supply work in the neigh bouring parishes. He had a car at his dis posal and it soon became known that he could be relied upon to come to the assis tance of priests and convents who needed help, and that he made demands on no one. In time he won a host of clerical friends and he warmly responded to friendship shown him.

In 1944 his period as Rector at Emo was completed and he was transferred to Tullabeg to become bursar and to take charge of the farm. Nine years later, in 1953, he was sent to take over the farm at Mungret. In 1956 he celebrated his golden jubilee as a Jesuit but he continued to look after the farm until he was in his seventies. When he was relieved of this responsibility he devoted his time and energy to the compilation of the “Mungret Record”. This is a list of all past students with their places of origin and their years in the college. It involved working through all sorts of documents and when lists were completed he had to type them out page by page. It was a very big undertaking but it was a labour of love and he was happy to be able to complete it for distribution in 1963. It is, of course, an invaluable contri bution to the history of the college,

Fr Deevy died on 10 March 1969. Up to the time of his final illness he missed his daily Mass only twice in his life of forty-nine years as a priest. He was a man of quite outstanding uprightness and integrity, of great kindness of heart and he contributed much to every community in which he lived.

Deignan, Alfred J, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/817
  • Person
  • 25 March 1927-11 December 2018

Born: 25 March 1927, Mullagh, Kells, County Meath
Entered: 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
Died: 11 December 2018, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to HK 15/08/1970; HK to CHN 1992

Mission Superior, Hong Kong - 1996-2002

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Long time educator to receive honorary doctorate

The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIED) announced, on September 25, that it will award an honorary doctorate in education to Jesuit Father Alfred J. Deignan, at a ceremony scheduled for November 13.

In a press release, the institute saluted Father Deignan’s more than 50 years of dedication to education in Hong Kong and the region, nurturing young people from all walks of life.

Father Deignan worked at the Wah Yan College campuses in Waterloo Road, Kowloon, and in Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong. The HKIED noted that he “put into practice the pedagogical principles of the Society of Jesus, introduced various education programmes and made both schools two of the most respected” in the territory.

The institute noted his “active participation in social and community service” that has “won the respect of society” and pointed out Father Deignan’s belief that education extends beyond the academic confines of the classroom.

The Jesuit priest worked together with leaders of religious bodies and school principals to push the government to revitalise moral education. This effort bore fruit with the release of the official Guidelines on Moral Education in 1981. In 1997 he teamed with educators, school principals and teachers to start the Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership to promote the holistic development of the person and the learning of positive values.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 19 October 2008

Beloved Jesuit mourned

Father Alfred Deignan of the Society of Jesus died in the early hours of 11 December 2018 at St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. He was 91-years-old.

Father Deignan was born in Mullagh, County Cavan, Ireland, on 25 March 1927. He entered the society at Emo Park, Portlaoise, Laoise, on 7 September 1945 and was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1959 in Dublin. He professed his final vows on 5 November 1977 at Ricci Hall, where he was warden from 1970 to 1978.

He was conferred an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences by Hong Kong University (HKU). His citation on its Honorary Graduates webpage notes that he arrived in the city in August of 1953 and lived for two years on Cheung Chau island where he learned Cantonese.

The citation notes that Father Deignan “experienced at first-hand the struggles of the villagers and boat-people against poverty and hostile natural conditions. But besides their need for help, he also saw and appreciated their inventiveness and resilience, an appreciation which developed, over the years, into strong bonds of affiliation with the young and old who came under his apostolic care. As Father Deignan, he is loved, respected, and revered by many in the Hong Kong community, past and present?

He began a long association with Wah Yan College Hong Kong after he left Cheung Chau and, between 1962 and 1970,served first as vice-principal and then as principal of the school. He was also principal of Wah Yan College Kowloon from 1978 to 1992.

In a 2017 interview with the SCMP, he lamented the state of education and society in Hong Kong, saying, “There is too much about exams and academic achievement and a complete lack of spirituality,” adding that far more work had to be done in schools on the personal development of children.

A final tribute is scheduled to be held at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, from 8.30 to 10.45am. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11.00am followed by burial at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 16 December 2018
◆ Adam Schall Residence Catholic Community The Chinese University of Hong Kong 1972-2012

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/alfred-deignan-sj-death-of-a-great-educator/

Alfred Deignan SJ: death of a great educator
Irish Jesuit missionary Fr Alfred Deignan, who spent 65 years in Hong Kong mostly as an educator, passed away on Tuesday 11 December, aged 91. He was superior of the Hong Kong mission from 1996 to 2002.
Originally from Mullagh, Co. Cavan, Alfred was one of thirteen children. Neither he nor anyone in his family had any contact with the Jesuits, but a chance meeting with a Jesuit in the parish church set the course of his life. “Towards the end of my time in the local school a priest came to give a mission,” he recalled some years ago. “I was serving at Mass when he turned round and asked me if I’d ever thought of becoming a Jesuit. I said no. But the strange thing was that at that moment I seemed to be filled with happiness that this was what I wanted to be. So I went home and told my mother and she said: ‘What’s a Jesuit?’ And I said: ‘I don’t know’.”
Thanks to a scholarship to Mungret College in Limerick, Alfred came to know the Jesuits. He entered the novitiate in 1945, and in 1947 he began an Arts degree in University College Dublin. In 1953 he was sent to join the Hong Kong mission. “It was such a complete change,” he said of arriving in Hong Kong after 28 days on board the RMS Carthage. “Everything was strange. It was my first time out of the country.”
It was as an educator that Fr Alfred excelled in Hong Kong. He was at different times principal of both Wah Yan College in Kowloon and Wah Yan College on Hong Kong Island. He also co-founded the Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership (HKIIEL) in 1997. In recognition of his contribution to education in Hong Kong he received honorary doctorates from The University of Hong Kong (2003), The Hong Kong Institute of Education (2008) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2012).
Fr Deignan also worked tirelessly to combat the rise of HIV/Aids. He was a member of the Hong Kong Advisory Council on Aids, member and Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Aids Foundation, Member of the Council of the Aids Trust Fund, and Chairman, Expert Panel for HIV Infected Health Care Workers. In 1993, he received the Governor’s Commendation for Community Service Award in recognition of his contribution.
In response to news of the death of Fr Deignan, the Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon, said:
I have learned with sadness of the death of Fr Alfred Deignan. Since his arrival in Hong Kong 65 years ago, Fr Deignan dedicated his life to education and was loved and respected by generations of his pupils. He also played a leading role in tackling the impact of AIDS in Hong Kong. His life is a testament to the untiring and selfless work of Irish missionaries in Hong Kong – and more widely around the world – in the fields of education, health and welfare. I would like to convey my deepest condolences to his family, friends and to all his past pupils who mourn his loss. Ní fheicfimid a leithéid ann arís.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/209-alfred-deignan-missionary-in-hong-kong

What it means to be a missionary in Hong Kong today
Alfred Deignan SJ
One day when talking to a layman friend, he spoke with real appreciation saying, “Father, we admire you missionaries , who have left your country, families, relatives and friends to come to Hong Kong and work among us, learning our difficult language.” This kind of appreciation and gratitude is part of our consolation and encouragement, which we receive from people we meet and work with.
Jesus said “I came not to be served but to serve”. Yes, to serve –this is what it means to me as a missionary in Hong Kong - whether that service is in teaching, preaching, counseling, directing retreats, giving instruction, chaplaincy or parish work, helping the poor or sick.
I am happy that in God’s providence I was assigned to Hong Kong. There is so much service can be given. Even though I am involved in the very important apostolate of education, I always had opportunities of being involved in marriage counselling, in working for Aids patients and the formation of youth and teachers.
The majority of Hong Kong people are Buddhist or Taoists, but the Church is growing in numbers. Imagine 3,000 adult baptisms last year! The Church is a young Church and a Church of the young. The growth is partly due to the number of good Catholic schools in which there is a mixture of Catholic and non-Catholic students, and the vibrant life of the parishes.
Christ’s call “Go and teach all nations “is a call to missionaries and of course to all Catholics. Our answer is “Here I am Lord, send me.” The Irish Jesuits have played an important role in the evangelisation of the Chinese people and they are very grateful. Let us continue to pray for the millions of Chinese people who have yet to know Christ.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/550-fr-freddy-deignan-sj-in-hong-kong

FR FREDDY DEIGNAN SJ IN HONG KONG
“How did God take me out of that small village and plant me in Hong Kong!” Fr Freddy Deignan SJ laughs when he recalls his little home town of Mullen in County Cavan, Ireland. In an interview with John Guiney SJ, he looks back over his long life as a Jesuit educator.
Go South or go East?
He has been on mission in the metropolis of Hong Kong with a population of almost seven and a half million people for 65 years and admits to have learned a great deal since being sent there in 1953. He has compiled a history of the Irish Jesuits 90th anniversary in Hong Kong, (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/543-90th-anniversary-of-the-arrival-of-the-jesuits-in-hong- kong)celebrated in 2016.
One of his desires was to go to Zambia and when as a young priest his future was being discussed with the Provincial, the reason he gave was that Fr Joe Conway there was in contact: Zambia was tempting. “ You’re not going” said the Provincial, ‘ There’s only one person going to Zambia” and that was Fr Tom McGivern.
What awaited was difference with a capital ‘D’! Language, customs, food, weather— typhoons even—it was a complete change for the young priest. Learning the language wasn’t easy but he persevered over two years and credits his eventual proficiency through his teaching of primary school pupils. He particularly enjoyed the education work.

There and back again
Bringing his Chinese books to continue his learning on the long voyage back to Ireland to study Theology in 1961, was more aspirational than practical. He admits with a smile that he never did actually read them. Having requested another year learning Chinese, he returned to Hong Kong and the language school there with good intentions. The busy life of a Jesuit and work duties intervened however, leaving less time for study.
A sabbatical in 1992 followed the end of his principalship at Wah Yan College, Kowloon allowing him to go to Manresa Retreat House in Dublin. The walks in the beautiful St Anne’s Park nearby are a particularly fond memory. Back to the bustle of crowded Hong Kong then to work as assistant secretary to Jenny Cho for the East Asia Oceania Jesuit Conference of Education, as it was called then.
The position required travelling to Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/534-endings-and-beginnings-in-the-far-east) Thailand, the Philippines and even back to Ireland! He enjoyed giving the workshops on Ignatian pedagogy and staff development, especially in Catholic schools. Eight teams were formed and in one year alone, nearly 200 workshops were given.
Unbelievable generosity of past pupils
“I think it’s unbelievable” says Freddy, “to experience the loyalty, dedication and gratitude of past pupils to us. They are so grateful for the education they have received.” One of the things they have done—because the Jesuits in Hong Kong (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/546-irish-men-behind- the-far-east-jesuit-missions) are ageing and thus more prone to illness—was to establish the Jesuit Nursing Fund to help pay for medical expenses. The goodness and care of his doctors—freely given as old age takes its toll—is also a source of great appreciation.
Another sign of their great generosity was to establish the Wah Yan Family Foundation that has supported the schools for the last 10 years. “It has made such a big difference” he says and means more teachers with smaller classes. It also helped fund activities like athletics, music, swimming and other games. The fund has raised the amazing amount of 120 million in total: Fr Freddy explains its distribution in the interview video.
Fr Deignan retains his deep interest in an ever changing education landscape. “ The dialogue on teaching as a service is still continuing” he says “even to this day”.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/615-death-of-influential-educator-in-hong-kong

DEATH OF AN INFLUENTIAL EDUCATOR
Fr Alfred (Freddie) Deignan SJ, of the Irish Jesuit community in Hong Kong died, aged 91, on December 11, 2018. As Principal of both Wah Yan Colleges and Chairman of the Jesuit Board of Education he was an influential figure in education whose presence will be greatly missed. RIP.
Fr Deignan was born in 1927 in the village of Mullagh, Co. Cavan. He was from a farming family, and was sixth of 12 children (https://jesuitmissions.ie/news/550-fr-freddy-deignan-sj-in-hong-kong). He won a scholarship to become a boarder at the Jesuit-run Mungret College in Co. Limerick which influenced his decision to become a Jesuit priest. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1945 as a Novice and took his First Vows two years later. A BA degree in UCD in 1950, was followed by three years of philosophy study in Tullabeg College, Co. Offaly. He then set off for Cheung Chau, Hong Kong to study Cantonese for two years before taking up a teaching position in Wah Yan College.
He recalled, in interview, his first impressions of Hong Kong being the heat, the food that was strange to an Irish palate and the poverty that people were living in, after WWII. He said :
"The people were very poor. Of those who could work, some were doing two jobs in order to support the family, and some were doing ‘piecework’; the factory would give them the material to do the work at home. I remember out in Cheung Chau, one family I knew, when I visited, they were just sitting around a basket in the centre, they were making match boxes, each of them was rolling a matchbox. They would send them back to the factory and they would get about 5c for 100 boxes. I met a young fellow in the hospital and asked him if he was working, he said yes and I said how did they pay you? And he said no he wasn’t paid anything, but it gives me a bed space and feeds me, and he seemed happy with that. People lived at the top of buildings and in little shacks on the hillsides, made out of wood or galvanised iron. They were very poor at that time, very poor."
Fr Deignan returned to Ireland in 1956, and was ordained as a priest in 1959. He studied theology in Milltown Park for three years and received a Bachelor of Divinity in 1960. On completion of his Tertianship in Rathfarnham, he returned to Hong Kong in 1961, taking his Final Vows a year later. He also returned to Wah Yan College, as Prefect of Studies in 1962, becoming Principal in 1968 to 1970.
He spent 1970 to '78 involved in the running of Ricci Hall which accommodated Catholic students attending university in Hong Kong. Deignan was Principal of Wah Yan College in Kowloon from 1978 to 1992, and after this used his vast experience who held several key positions within the educational framework of the Society including Assistant Secretary for Jesuit Education in East Asia Oceania Region and Chairman of the Jesuit Board of Education. He was awarded honorary degrees for his life-long contribution to education in Hong Kong, including the Degree of Doctor of Education in 2008 and the Degree of Doctor of Social Science in 2012.
As part of the Society of Jesus community in Hong Kong, Fr Deignan shared his life there with fellow Irish missionaries Joseph Mallin SJ and Harold Naylor SJ, both of whom also died this year. The Irish Jesuit presence there is diminishing but their influence is still felt among the Jesuits from China and other international Provinces, laypeople they have worked alongside and students they have educated. "Hong Kong was blessed with and has been enriched by Father Deignan’s love and visionary contributions, and will miss him dearly" said Alan Leong, Civic Party Chairman.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a large family of 12 children. His early education was at Mungret College SJ, Limerick. When asked there as a boy what he would like to become he said “I want to be a Jesuit priest”.
He Entered at Emo in 1945, and the read History, Irish and English at UCD, followed by Philosophy at Milltown Park.
In 1953 he was sent for Regency to Hong Kong, beginnig with studying the language at Cheung Chau. During this time he also played foorball for Hong Kong FC, and was a good Irish dancer.
He gave courses on self development, love and life. He offered them not only at Wah Yan but other catholic schools. To each of his students who needed help, he was a patient and sympathetic listener, and someone in whom people placed their trust and on whom they could rely on in terms of crisis or everyday disappointments. He brought this experience with him then when he was made Warden at Ricci Hall (1970-1978). Here he was Chaplain and contributed as an active member of the Warden’s Committee and President of the University’s Social Service Group (1972-1978)

His educational philosophy was founded on the firm belief that young people should have faith in themselves and others. The need for a positive self-image was particularly urgent for some of his students from underprivileged backgrounds, others suffering abuse from family members or reacting against parental pressure to compete and succeed.His counsel to both teachers and students was to begin with self-reflection, and through this, to recognise their own good qualities, not to become complete in self-confidence, but to initiate the path to self-reform and better human relations.

He served at Way Yan Hong Kong, first as Vice Principal and then as Principal (162-1970), Under his leadership it became the nurturing ground of young men who not only excelled academically, but also received the holistic education that so well prepared them for personal fulfilment and social distinction. Many more now stand at the apex of Hong Kong society, and some have achieved international renown. His achievements as a teacher and educator were equally evident at Wah Yan Kowloon, where he was Principal (1978-1992). he was much sought after for advice and leadership by those in Catholic eduction and many in the educational field. He taught classes in English and Ethics, and was dearly loved by teachers, students and parents, always encouraging and leading to trust and serve.

His vision of educational reform exemplifies the twin vocations of the Jesuits -teaching and the welfare of the spirit. “Dialogue on teaching as a Service”, a programe which he initiated in Hong Kong in 1980, and this was followed by others such as “Characteristics of Jesuit Education” and “Reflective or Ignatian Pedagogy”. he mapped out for teachers the detailed process of reflection on experience, preparation, sharing and cooperative learning.. This is vocational training with a significant difference, using new pedagogical or presentation skills, teachers lean how to integrate ethical values into their periodical re-examination of themselves, their classroom experiences and their care for students wellbeing as individuals and social members.
He was Assistant Secretary in the Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania (1992-1996), Regional Superior for Jesuits in Macau and Hong Kong (1996-2002), and the Provincial Delegate for Hong Kong from 2003.He was a member of the HK Advisory Council on AIDS, a member and Vice-Chair of the HK AIDS Foundation, a member of the Council for AIDS Trust Fund, and Chair of the Expert Panel for HIV infected healthcare workers. He received the Governors Commendation for Community Service Award in 1993.
In 1997 with a group of educationalists in tertiary and secondary institutions he established the HK International Institute of Educational Leadership, of which he was Chair.The Institute’s vision is “to fister a community which is fair, honest, just, caring, compassionate, responsible, trustworthy, generous and with courage, a community which lives in harmony and sets a high standard of moral behaviour” This statement encapsulates his educational vision and mission

In 2003 he was awarded a Doctor of Social Science by the University of Hong Kong for his social contributions. He was also awarded a Doctorate in Education by the Hong Kong Insttitute of Education in 2008 for his educational contributions, and a further Doctor of Social Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong for his social contributions.

Delaney, John J, 1883-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/29
  • Person
  • 04 July 1883-08 August 1956

Born: 04 July 1883, North Strand, Dublin City
Entered: 23 September 1904, Drongen Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1921
Died: 08 August 1956, St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner St, Dublin - Belgicae South Province (BELG)

WWI Chaplain

by 1920 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1933 came to St Francis Xavier (HIB) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/from-easter-week-to-flanders-field/

‘From Easter Week to Flanders Field’
From Easter Week to Flanders Field: The diaries of and letters of Fr John Delaney SJ, 1916-1919′ is the latest book by historian Thomas Morrissey SJ. John Delaney SJ walked the streets of Dublin during Easter Week 1916, recording in a diary everything he encountered along the way. This treasure came to light in the Jesuit archives five years ago, and is reproduced in the book and so public for the first time.
The next year, in 1917, John Delaney was sent to the battlefields of Europe, where he served on the front line as an army chaplain. It is his letters, in this instance, that provide a first-hand account of the realities of war. Putting both experiences together, this volume provides an eye-witness account of two major events of the early twentieth century.
Thomas Morrissey SJ brings us through Delaney’s life and times from Dublin to Flanders, later on to service in Ceylon, then his final years back in Dublin. “Ypres, Louvain, Rheims, were before our mind’s eye in a moment and we thought – war had come to us at last. Dublin was in flames. The roar of guns was in our ears, at our very door, and men were falling. Men were dying not on the fields of France or in the trenches of Flanders, but on the streets of Dublin. It was really dreadful; too dreadful to look at, too dreadful to hear, too dreadful to think of… We went down to prayers. I could not help thinking of the poor fellows dying not so far from us amid the shot and shell whilst we repeated in our little chapel, ‘Ora pro nobis’ ”, wrote John Delaney SJ, Thursday 27 April, 1916.
The book was launched on Monday 23 March at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, Superior of Gardiner St community, warmly welcomed those at the launch. He said that when that when Todd (Thomas Morrissey) first approached him about the book he advised him that he wouldn’t have enough material and Todd agreed. Then totally unexpectedly he was given a link to published correspondence of John Delaney in the ‘Old Boy’s Journal’ of the Jesuit College in what is now Sri Lanka.
Launching the book, Professor of history Fergus D’Arcy began by reciting a chilling list of the numbers of young men from all the countries involved in WWI who died in battle. The room went very quiet. He called the war “the beast of the apocalypse”, a war “so awful that it raises questions about the beautiful gardens around the world that commemorate it”.
Commenting on John Delaney’s diary entries regarding the Easter Rising, Prof. D’Arcy said his first-hand account, warts and all, was fascinating. Delaney was a chaplain to the Gardaí at the time. For this reason a specially invited guest at the launch was Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey (pictured here with Fr Morrissey). He said he was delighted to represent the Gardaí at the launch of such a book and he wanted to honour the memory of John Delaney SJ who served the Gardaí so well.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 31st Year No 4 1956

St. Francs Xavier's, Gardiner Street
By the death of Father Delaney, on 8th August: we suffered the loss of one of the best-loved priests in the Church. Even though illness had for almost the last two years removed him from his many posts of duty, there were constant affectionate enquiries for him, and requests for his spiritual assistance: up to the time of his leaving Gardiner Street last Autumn he was always ready to come down from his room in response to the latter. Messages of sympathy on his death reached Father Provincial and Father Superior from many sources: large numbers of Mass-cards were left on the coffin: and, at his funeral, the Civic Guards whose Sodality he directed So splendidly turned out such a Guard of Honour as he himself, always so pleased with a uniformed and well-drilled parade, would have thoroughly appreciated. May he rest in peace!

Obituary :

Fr John Delaney (1883-1956)

Fr. Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883 and educated in O'Connell Schools and at Mungret Apostolic School, from which he graduated as B.A. in the old Royal University. In 1904 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and he studied philosophy in Louvain before going to teach for four years in St. Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon.
Returning to Ireland for his course of Theology, he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1916. The following year he was appointed Army Chaplain and he saw service in Flanders and France during the years 1917-1919, succeeding the late Fr. Willie Doyle as chaplain to the “Munsters”. At the end of the war he returned to the Mission in Ceylon, where he remained until 1932, being Director of Studies at $t. Aloysius College, Galle, for six years and later Principal of St. Mary's College, Kegalle.
During the twenty years he spent in Ceylon Fr. Delaney rendered valuable services to the cause of education in that country, where, in St. Aloysius College, Galle, he succeeded another Irishman, the late Fr. Denis Murphy, as Principal. He was responsible for the building and equipment also of St. Mary's College of the Society of Jesus at Kegalle, with a roll of 600 students.
In 1932 he returned again to Ireland to become an outstanding figure as a giver of missions and retreats throughout the country. In 1944 he joined the staff of Gardiner Street Church, where he remained until his death. At Gardiner Street he was Director of the Sodality for members of the Dublin Metropolitan Gardaí, and Director also of the Arch-Association for Work for Poor Churches, the annual Exhibition of Vestments of which he organised so efficiently. For a number of years he was also responsible for the organisation of Irish Jesụit Mission Week in St. Francis Xavier's Hall; and was the imperturbable Traffic Superintendent-in-Chief of the huge Crowds during the Novena of Grace.
For the last year or two of his life he had been in poor health. He died suddenly and peacefully on Wednesday, August 8th. The Civic Guards, whom he had admired so much, did him honour in death. They formed a Guard of Honour in the Church, acted as pall-bearers and lined the path way to the graveside in Glasnevin. The Commissioner, Chief Superintendents and Superintendents were in attendance in the Church and at Glasnevin.
One shall not easily forget the glamour of his rhetoric in the pulpit or the record of his patience and prudence in the confessional. He was particularly successful in the direction of nuns and of scrupulous people. But, indeed, his guidance as a confessor was sought by all classes of people, and he had the very precious gift of being able to inspire people with confidence in their last moments. I think it was just three years ago that Fr. Delaney was flown to the death-bed of a gentleman in London. This gentleman had been away from the sacraments for many years; he had met Fr. Delaney only once, before, and accidentally; but, when he came to die, he asked for Fr. Delaney to help him make his peace with God.
For the past year Fr. Delaney had been almost completely helpless. He required assistance to even change his position in his chair; he could not feed himself. For a man of such abounding energy formerly this was a particularly heavy cross. Yet he bore it with a superb patience. He never murmured. To Fr. Superior and Fr. Minister he would say : “Is there any thing I could do for you?” He was surely touched to receive Fr. General's blessing a few months ago. To Fr. Superior Fr. General had written : “Nuntium de conditione adeo gravi Patris Joannis Delaney maxime dolebam; cui caro Patri qui in ista provincia et in missionibus indicis per tot annos cum zelo laboravit velim Reverentia Vestra paternam benedictionem significet”. Fr. Delaney was especially pleased that he should have been considered a carus pater. He was indeed beloved by all, by none more than by his community. He was a great community man. But, then, he did all things well.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Delaney 1883-1956
Fr John Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883, educated in O’Connell’s Schools and Mungret College, whence he joined the Belgian Province of the Society.

As a scholastic he worked in St Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon, which he helped attain that position of scholastic achievement, initiated by another Irish Jesuit, Fr Denis Murphy.

Having served as a Chaplain in the First World War, he returned to work in Ceylon until 1932, when he came back to Ireland. Here he became an outstanding figure on the Mission Staff until 1944, when he was appointed as Operarius in Gardiner Street. The glamour of his rhetoric in the pulpit and his patience and prudence in the confessional will not be forgotten. He had a charisma for scrupulous souls. On one occasion he was flown to London to hear the confession of a dying man years away from the Sacraments. This man had only met Fr Delaney once in his life. Such incidents could be multiplied and they speak volumes of the character and spiritual quality of Fr Delaney.

He died on August 8th 1956, a jubilarian of the Society.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

Fr J J Delaney SJ was a companion of Father Willie Doyle during the Great War. After years of teaching at St. Aloysius College, Galle, he is now in charge of St. Mary's School, Kegalle, where he has renewed the face of the earth. He is easily the most popular and effective preacher in the island, a wonderful raconteur, and doing no end of good,

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

Father J J Delaney SJ, (1899-1924) is home from Kegalle, Ceylon. It was said that he came home for a rest. Father John's definition of rest must be change of climate, for he has never ceased work since he returned. He has made a name in Ireland already as a preacher and director of Retreats. On Whit Sunday he received our Sodalists and delighted all the boys with his sermon for the occasion. We have seldom heard so many tributes from them after a sermon.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John J Delaney SJ

We regret to announce the death of Fr John Delaney which took place on August 8th. Fr Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883. He was educated in O'Connell schools and Mungret Apostolic School where he graduated as a BA in the old Royal University. In 1904 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tronchiennes Belgium. After Philosophy he taught for four years in St Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon. Returning to Ireland for Theology he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1916. The following year he was appointed military chaplain and saw service in Flanders and France during the years 1917-19. At the end of the war he re turned to Ceylon where he remained until 1932. Here he was responsible for the building of St Mary's College at Kegalle.

In 1932 he returned to Ireland where he became an outstanding giver of Retreats and Missions. In 1944 he joined the staff at Gardiner St, where he remained till his death. In Gardiner St. he was Director of the Sodality of the Dublin Metropolitan Gardai and Director also of the Arch-Association for work for poor Churches. In his life his guidance was sought by all classes of people in the confessional. He was particularly successful in the direction of nuns. At his funeral the Guards formed a guard of honour in the Church, and acted as pall bearers. They whom he admired so much in life honoured him in death. RIP

Dempsey, James, 1832-1904, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/134
  • Person
  • 18 May 1832-03 October 1904

Born: 18 May 1832, Clane, County Kildare
Entered: 09 September 1860, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final vows: 15 August 1873
Died: 03 October 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He spent many years of his life as a shoemaker at Clongowes, Milltown and Mungret.
He finally retired to Tullabeg and he died there 03 October 1904. he was assisted there in his last moments by the saintly Michael Browne, Rector and Master of Novices.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - PATRICK. Began in Clongowes. Came to Noviceship 09 September 1860.

Dennehy, Vincent, 1899-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/120
  • Person
  • 27 August 1899-30 April 1982

Born: 27 August 1899, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 30 April 1982, St Joseph's Nursing Home, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

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

by 1924 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary

Fr Vincent Dennehy (1899-1917-1982)

My first glimpse of Vincent Dennehy was on 1st September 1919; he was a Junior preparing himself for the University; the place was Tullabeg. His singular carriage of his head and his red face singled him out from the others.
Ten years later in the theologate at Milltown Park we really got to know each other. He was a most helpful and thoughtful person. He was keen that all in the house should share in all that went on. When we revived the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at Christmas time he arranged to have a short play or sketch put before the G & S musical. This was done in order that those who were not singers might have a medium in which to entertain their fellow-students and guests.
He was ordained in Congress year, on 14th June 1932. The ordinations were early that year so that we might exercise the ministry to celebrate the bringing of the Gospel to Ireland by St Patrick.
Once the Congress got under way there followed a gruelling beginning to the priestly life in the Dublin churches; midnight often saw us returning from a day spent hearing confessions. It was an immediate and satisfying beginning to our priestly life.
A year later we were together in St Beuno's, North Wales, for our tertianship. This time of renewal was well spent in many acts of sharing and good-fellow- ship. Fr Vincent stood out in this respect and was always in good humour, so that despondent persons found in him a very rational and down-to-earth remedy for their worries.
He was always a man of principle and indeed his favourite argument in favour was always “the principle of the thing”.

A good human Jesuit of those days, untiring in doing good for others, and loyal to the Ignatian way.
At the Crescent, Limerick (1939-949), with Fr Bill Saul (d. 1976), he was involved in the revival of the Cecilian Musical Society in the 1940s. The daughter of the regiment was one of the shows staged by the CMS in those days.

From the time he was assigned to the duty of promoting the cause of Fr John Sullivan, Fr Vincent found a renewal of energy and a stimulating purpose. He really rejoiced in his close association with Fr John and during the many years of his apostolate of promotion he gained the co-operation and affection of a large number of persons. Vincent’s zeal for the work was infectious – so much so that he could and did enlist the help of a number of car owners; from them he formed a panel of drivers, each one pledged to call for him at 6.15 pm on the day of the week agreed upon. From that hour until 10 pm or later he was brought to hospitals and private houses to bless with Fr John's crucifix all who had been listed for that particular day. At a late snack between 10.30 and 11 one could be sure of meeting a very tired but happy Fr Vincent.
North of the Border there is widespread devotion to Fr John, and Vincent travelled there whenever he was wanted. He was in Belfast very shortly after the attempted murder of Bernadette McAliskey (née Devlin) and was delighted to have been called to bless the still unconscious young woman. That she recovered was, no doubt, due to Fr John's intercession, Vincent was so unsparing of himself and so utterly dedicated to his apostolate that he could be quite testy with anyone who seemed to impede or belittle the work. Nor would he allow Fr John to be second fiddle to anyone else however renowned for sanctity. If a patient had on display a picture of someone such as Padre Pio, Fr Vincent passed by! When Vincent's long suffering ended in death I am sure Fr John was at the gate to welcome his confrère and friend.

Devane, Richard, 1876-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/44
  • Person
  • 06 July 1876-23 May 1951

Born: 06 July 1876, William Street, Limerick
Entered: 30 July 1918, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1901, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare, pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 23 May 1951, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Ord pre entry; Early Education at Crescent College SJ, Mungret College and St Patrick’s College Maynooth

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Devane, Richard
by Maurice Cronin

Devane, Richard (1876–1951), Jesuit priest, was born 6 July 1876 at 29 William Street, Limerick, the eldest of three sons and two daughters of Cornelius Devane, merchant, and his wife, Joanna McCormack. His two brothers, John Devane (qv) and James Devane (qv) were medical doctors. Richard was educated at the Christian Brothers’ Sacred Heart College, Limerick, until 1889, and attended Crescent College until he was 17. After this he went to study in Mungret, and then attended St Munchin's seminary until he was 19, finishing his studies in Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1901. He was attached to St Patrick's church, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, until 1904 when he returned to Limerick to a curacy at St Michael's and was also garrison chaplain for ten years. His parochial work included the direction of a conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul and temperance sodalities for men and women, as well as running a large club for girls. He kept in close touch with labour circles in Limerick on whose behalf he inaugurated a series of lectures on industrial subjects. He was active in rescue and vigilance work, launching a crusade against evil literature, in which connection he published articles in the Dublin Leader. He was responsible for the introduction of a licence to regulate cinema shows, adopted by Limerick Borough Council, and a member of the Limerick technical committee.

He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, on 30 July 1918, being professed two years later. His first appointment with the Society was to the newly founded retreat house for working men at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, where he became the first director in 1922. There he remained organising retreats until 1932 and again from 1945 until his death. From 1933 to 1944 he was director of the retreat house at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was known for his great interest in social legislation and for twenty-five years specialised in an apostolate in favour of the young and their moral protection by legislative means. He did much to further acts dealing with film censorship (1923), censorship of publications (1929), legal redress for mother and offspring in irregular unions (1930), and public dance halls (1935) as well as the criminal law amendment act of the same year. The children's act (1942) set the seal on his practical interest in the fate of children. He published in 1942 Challenge from youth, a fully documented study of modern youth movements in other countries in which he pleaded for a catholic youth movement in Ireland based on a sound Christian philosophy. In another important work, The failure of individualism (1948), he traced the progress of individualism in the religious, political, and economic life of Europe and pleaded for the restoration of the organic structure of society. For many years he was a contributor to the daily press and to various periodicals. His correspondence covered a wide range of subjects touching the welfare of his countrymen: cinema control, dance hall problems, censorship, the imported press, parish councils, adult education, civics, summertime, the retreat movement, national athletics, and national film institutes.

Devane died 23 May 1951 at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin.
Irish Jesuit Archives; Ir. Times, 24 May 1951

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/richard-devane-sj-keeping-the-faith/

Richard Devane SJ: Keeping the faith
If a screen writer were looking for one historic figure to stand in for all the Catholic clergymen who strove to ensure the social purity of the nascent Irish state in the early 20th century, Richard Devane SJ, subject of a new book from Messenger Publications, might be their man. Both as a diocesan priest and after he joined the Jesuits in 1938 at the age of 42, Devane worked tirelessly against what he saw as a rising tide of immorality assaulting the new Ireland. In the words of the book blurb for Richard Devane SJ: social commentator and advocate, 1876-1951 » by Martin Walsh, he was “a sometimes over-zealous gatekeeper of Irish culture and morals”.

Devane’s crusading began early in his priestly life. It appears to have been inspired by his first assignment after ordination in 1903, to Middlesborough, England, which had a burgeoning Irish immigrant population. Many of the Irish migrants worked in the growing number of iron foundries in the area, and they lived in considerable poverty. Devane’s experience there seems both to have instilled a strong nationalist sense in him and to have alerted him to the dangers of, in the words of Martin Walsh, “an altogether different set of English values, values that he would later see as running contrary to everything that he saw as pure about the Irish nation”. Cinemas, music halls, football games on Sunday, salacious newspapers, even more salacious books and ‘penny-dreadfuls’ – all of these and many other features of popular British culture horrified Devane. He made it his life’s task to keep this rot from his native land.

Back in Ireland Devane led many efforts to address what he saw as the single greatest threat to the state of morals in Ireland, namely the intemperance of both men and women. He had witnessed it in his native Limerick, where hard drinking in public was perhaps the natural effect of having 315 public houses in the city.

As well as his work with temperance societies, Devane fought to curb the proliferation of ‘evil literature’, to establish women’s sodalities, to get young women trained for lives of domestic service, to seek the regulation of cinemas so as to prevent the display of immoral films, and the like.

Devane also took a keen interest in the social conditions of the working classes, especially prompted by Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum. It appears to have been, for him, part of the bigger programme of preparing for a new Ireland after Home Rule.

In 1918, Fr Devane joined the Jesuits. For the remaining decades of his life he continued to spend his energies on addressing Catholic values and social problems in Ireland. He worked energetically to shut down prostitution in Dublin, and he tried to get the girls who worked in it to go to Magdalene Laundries. He was greatly exercised by the problem of unmarried motherhood in Ireland. To give him his due, he held that it was wrong that men were not held accountable for their actions in the same way as women were.

One surprising feature of Devane’s life is his role in the establishment of the Irish Film Institute. As he conceived it at the time, the IFI (or National Film Institute as it was known then) was designed to combat the ‘school of corruption’ in the motion picture industry, particularly through Hollywood’s depiction of extra- marital affairs, divorce and other American cultural phenomena from which the Irish people needed to be protected. The patron of the institute was Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid.

Devane was a man of his time. He provides us with a thick-lined portrait of a highly significant strain of Catholicism that was overt and powerful in Ireland in the decades after independence. It is a phenomenon that still needs to be studied closely, particularly given its traumatic impact on the Ireland of later generations. It is important, of course, to acknowledge the role of this Catholicism in creating shameful institutions and attitudes in Ireland, but one must see too that it was itself formed not just by attitudes within the Church but also by social, psychological, and cultural factors specific to Irish society at large. Martin Walsh’s book on Fr Devane SJ is helpful in this respect.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

The Press notices on the death of Fr. Devane were generous in their tributes to his zealous endeavours throughout a long and varied priestly career. Indeed they synopsised the whole story of it so well that it will be sufficient to reproduce here the version found in the Irish Independent, May 24th, 1951 :

“DEATH OF A NOTED JESUIT”
Rev. Richard S. Devane, S.J., whose death has occurred at Rathfarnham Castle, was one of the best-known members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, and played a notable part for many years in the sphere of social legislation,
Born in Limerick 75 years ago, he was son of the late Cornelius Devane, a well known merchant of that city. Educated at the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, and at Mungret, he passed to St. Munchin's Seminary and to St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1901.
For the next three years Father Devane worked on the English mission, being attached to St. Patrick's Church, Middlesborough. Returning to Limerick in 1904, he spent 14 years as curate at St. Michael's, in charge of a large working-class district. During the first ten years of this period, he was also garrison chaplain.

RESCUE WORK
Father Devane kept in close touch with labour circles in the city, on whose behalf he inaugurated a series of lectures on industrial subjects. He was actively identified also with rescue and vigilance work : he launched a crusade against evil literature, and was responsible for the licence regulating cinema shows which was adopted by Limerick Borough Council. Along with these activities, he was a member of the Limerick Technical Committee.
In the summer of 1918 Father Devane entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and made his religious profession two years later. He was now to find more leisure and larger scope for his special talents. His first appointment was to the newly founded Retreat House for working men at Rathfarnham Castle, of which he became the first Director in 1922. Here he remained for ten years, and again from 1945 until his death, organising and conducting retreats and imparting to his hearers some of his own enthusiasm for the active apostolate and for social Catholicism. From 1933 to 1944 he was attached to the Retreat House at Milltown Park, Dublin in the same capacity.

SOCIAL LEGISLATION
Father Devane will, however, be chiefly remembered for his work in the sphere of social legislation. For over a quarter of a century he devoted his talents to a specialised apostolate in favour of the young, the promotion of legislation for their moral protection. He did much to place on the Statute Book of the Irish Free State Acts dealing with Censorship of Films (1923), Censorship of Publications (1929), Legal Redress for mother and offspring in irregular unions (1930), Public Dance Halls (1935), and the Criminal Law Amendment of the same year, an Act which dealt with many grave moral problems affecting the young.
The passing of the Children Bill of 1942, by which some provision was made for the education of the children of nomads set the seal on the practical interest which Father Devane had shown in the lot of gypsies and vagrants from the beginning of his priestly life.
The same year saw the publication of his book, “Challenge From Youth”, a fully documented study of modern youth movements in other countries, in which he pleaded for a Catholic Youth Movement in Ireland, based on a sound Christian philosophy. In another important work, “The Failure of Individualism”, published in 1948, he traced the progress of Individualism in the religious, political and economic life of Europe and pleaded for the restoration of the organic structure of society. ... For many years Father Devane was a constant contributor to the daily Press and to various periodicals. His active and facile pen covered a wide range of subjects touching the welfare of his countrymen - cinema control, dance hall problems, censorship, the imported Press, parish councils, adult education, civics, summer time, the retreat movement, national athletics, and national film institutes.

Fr. Richard's death was sudden indeed - he died in his sleep - but not unexpected either by himself or those about him. It was long knon that he suffered from high blood pressure and was liable to a fatal seizure at any moment. The least pertu