New Ross



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New Ross

19 Name results for New Ross

15 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Archer, Edward, 1606-1649, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/876
  • Person
  • 1606-15 August 1649

Born: 1606, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 January 1630, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c. 1639, Roman College, Rome, Italy
Died: 15 August 1649, New Ross Residence

Entered at Rome, owned a pair of gloves, read Philosophy for 3 years, taught Grammar for 2 years. Early Irish College student.
1636 at College of Città di Castello (ROM)
1640 came from Rome to Ireland
1648-1649 Superior at New Ross

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1640 Came to Ireland from Rome
1648 Superior at New Ross
A learned man, he passed in London for an Italian Priest.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows at St Andrea, he completed his Philosophy course at the Roman College, and then spent a year of Regency at Città di Castello. He made his Theology studies at the Roman College and was Ordained priest c.1639.
1641 Returned to Ireland and was appointed to teach humanities and be Superior of the New Ross residence where he died, 15 August 1649.
(On Entry he may well be the “Edwardus Archerus Lagen”, the eighth on a list of twenty-two students of the Irish College, Rome, while it was under the super- vision of the Franciscans).

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ARCHER, EDWARD. I find by his letter, dated London, 27th of November, 1640, that by favour of the Venetian Embassador, he had safely arrived in England. In the report of Pere Verdier, (the Visitor of the Irish Mission, S. J.) dated 24th June, 1649, I find F. Edward Archer was then Superior of his brethren at Ross Co. Wexford, and commendable for his religious merits. When, or where he died I have searched for in vain.

Barrick, Michael John, 1585/6-1648, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/899
  • Person
  • 1585/6-26 March 1648

Born: 1585/6, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 1606, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitania Province (LUS)
Ordained: 1615, Évora, Portugal
Died: 26 March 1648, New Ross, County Wexford

Studied in Portugal, was examined for Grades after 4 years of Theology
1617 came on Irish Mission.
1622 in East Munster (Waterford).
Very talented but sickly

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1617-1646 In Ireland
He is identical with “Michael Burrice” in Foley’s "Collectanea"

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Studied at Irish College Lisbon before Ent 1606 Lisbon
After First Vows he completed his studies at Évora and was ordained in 1615
1617 Sent to Ireland and exercised ministry at New Ross until his death there 26 March, 1648

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Barick 1585/6-1648
Michael Barick was born in New Ross in 1582 or 5, and entered the Society in 1606 or 1610.

He returned to Ireland in 1617, and remained on the Mission until his death, which occurred between 1646 and 1649. Ther are very meagre details of a man’s life which can be accounted for by the fact that numerous letters sent by Superiors to Rome never reached their destination. Furthermore, if Fr Barick laboured in Ireland for about 30 years, as he did, he only succeeded in doing so by lying low and going round in disguise. In his case, the lack of information is complicated by the fact that his name is often given as “Burrice”.

Butler, James, 1579-1639, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/976
  • Person
  • 1579-02 December 1639

Born: 1579, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Professed: 05 July 1622
Died: 02 December 1639, New Ross Residence, County Wexford

1617 In Ireland age 28 and in Soc 18 years
1621 Catalogue Studied 4 years Theology. Taught Humanities for 3 years and was examined Ad Grad. Robust with good talent and judgement. Very irritable. A Good preacher
1622 In East Munster
1626 In Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Professor of Rhetoric; good Theologian and Preacher;
1613 Was stationed at New Ross and in 1621, and probably died there.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Richard and Alonsa née Archer - Nephew of James Archer
Went to Irish College Salamanca 01 December 1695 before Ent at Villagarcía 13 October 1600
1600-1613 After First Vows spent his studies and Regency in various CAST houses
1613 Sent to Ireland and the New Ross Residence where he spent the rest of his life, until his death there in 1639

Cahill, Patrick, 1708-1766, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/997
  • Person
  • 06 March 1708-16 December 1766

Born: 06 March 1708, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 13 July 1730, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 23 September 1742, Tours, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1746
Died: 16 December 1766, France/Ireland - Campaniae Province (CAMP)

1737 Teaching Humanities at Sens
1741-1744 Studying Theology and Prefect of Boarders at Irish College Poitiers
1746 at Charleville (CAMP) teaching Humanities and Philosophy
1748 Sent to Poitiers and also is in Ireland. Back in Poitiers 1749
1752 Procurator at Poitiers
1763-1767 in Ireland
Some confusion over dates he was in Poitiers and in Ireland - including saying he was said to be still in Ireland in 1767

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1748 Taught Humanities for five years and Philosophy for three at Charleville (in pen)
1752 Procurator at Irish College Poitiers (in pen)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ General Notes
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Pont-à-Mousson (1733-1735) and then Theology at Grand Collège Poitiers. In the meantime he had spent seven years in regency at Épinal, Sens and Auxerre.
1740-1744 He was sent for Theology to Grand Collège Poitiers, whilst living at the Irish College there. He was Ordained at Tours 23/09/1742
1744-1747 After Ordination and completing his formation he held a Chair of Philosophy at Charleville CAMP
1748-1755 At Poitiers as Procurator of the Irish College for seven years, when it is thought he was to go to Ireland. he is mentioned in subsequent CATS as being in Ireland, but at that time this could also mean at one of the Irish Colleges or Mission

According to CAMP CAT he was living in Ireland up to 1767, but there is no evidence to support this. He may be identical with a Father Cahill living at Bordeaux in 1759, and could have been working with a large colony of Irish there. The date and place of his death are unknown.

Carberie, Ignatius, 1628-1697, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1008
  • Person
  • 01 February 1629-29 April 1697

Born: 01 February 1629, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1648, Kilkenny
Ordained: 27 March 1655, Lille, France
Died: 29 April 1697, Bridge Street, Dublin

Studied 2 years Philosophy before entering
1655 On the Mission
1666 Living near Drogheda teaching, catechising and administering sacraments
1698 “Fr Carberry and Michael Fitzgerald lived at Bridge St Dublin”. In 1678 he lived in Baldoyle (Hogan reporting Fr Nicholas Netterville in a report”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Three Entries Ignatius and Edward
Son of James - who, before he Ent, took him to see the celebrated Dr Arthur, or Limerick (cf Arthur’s “Diary” in “Kilkenny Archaeological Journal”, and Foley’s Collectanea
Had studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent. Knew Latin, Spanish, Irish and English. (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1666 Living near New Ross engaged in Teaching, Catechising and administering the Sacraments. A Missioner for ten years (HIB Catalogue 1666 - ARSI)
1697 Reported to the Government as living at Bridge St, Dublin
Edward Carberie
Ent c 1648; RIP post 1660
His name appears written in Tursellini’s “Epitome Historiarum” printed in 1660
Note from Entry on Michael FitzGerald (Ent 1679) :
Ignatius Carbery, Priest, and Michael GitzGerald, Priest, lived in Bridge Street in 1697 (Report by a spy). Both were Jesuits probably.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he completed his studies at Lille and was Ordained there 27 March 1655
1655 Sent to Ireland and Dublin, and in spite of the “commonwealth” was still living in Dublin in 1658
The large part of his missionary work was outside Dublin and lived at Drogheda 1664-1666
For many years after this he lived at Baldoyle as a Catechist, Schoolmaster and Assistant Priest. After the Williamite occupation of the country he returned to Dublin where he worked until his death 29 April 1697. he is buried in St Catherine’s churchyard.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CARBERRY, IGNATIUS, was, a Novice at Kilkenny in 1648

Conway, Richard, 1572-1626, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1096
  • Person
  • 1572-01 December 1626

Born: 1572, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 22 July 1592, Coimbra, Portugal - Lusitaniae province (LUS)
Ordained: 1600, Salamanca, Spain
Professed: 06 January 1613
Died: 01 December 1626, Irish College, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Studied 3 years Arts and 2 of Theology at Coimbra before Entry
1603 At Salamanca has 3 years Philosophy and 4 years Theology and is a Confessor
1612 in Compostella where he wrote an account of O’Devaney’s in Ireland martyrdom from an eyewitness
1614 At Madrid College
1617 In Province of Castellanae
1622 Rector of Irish College Seville
1624 At Madrid, Prefect of College

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica”:
He was a Rector and a great promoter of the Irish Colleges in Spain; Writer;
He was zealous and pious.
He was tied to a tree by robbers and miraculously freed by the Blessed Virgin Mary and his Angel Guardian (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
Son of Patrick and his wife née White
Studied Humanities at Irish College Lisbon 1589/1590 before Ent 22 July 1592 at Coimbra
After First Vows was sent to Spain for studies, to Montforte for Philosophy and Royal College Salamanca for Theology and was Ordained there 1600.
From the completion of his studies until the end of his life he was destined to play an important part in the organisation and support of the Irish Colleges of Salamanca, Santiago, and Seville.
1600-1608 At Salamanca as Spiritual Father but frequently filled in as vice-Rector during the many absences of Thomas White, who was constantly travelling seeking alms for the College,
1608-1613 Rector Irish College Salamanca
1613-1618 Appointed Rector of Irish College Santiago
1619-1622 First Rector of new Irish College Seville - lent to BAE
1622-1625 Freed from Seville to organise the finances of the Irish Colleges from the procurator's office at Madrid.
1625 Appointed Rector of Seville again and died in Office 01 December 1626
Richard Conway, it can ·be justly claimed, was one of the most eminent of Irish Churchmen of the seventeenth century. Under his prudent guidance for over a quarter of a century the three Irish Colleges under the control of the Jesuits in Spain sent forth to the Mission in their home country an army of splendidly trained priests prepared with knowledge and animated by zeal to maintain the Catholic faith in all its purity amongst their countrymen.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Conway, Richard
by Terry Clavin

Conway, Richard (1572–1626), Jesuit, was born in New Ross, Co. Tipperary, son of Patrick Conway; nothing is known of his mother. In 1590 he travelled to Lisbon and studied humanities at the Irish college there. On 22 July 1592 he was received into the Jesuit noviciate at Coimbra. After completing his noviceship at Coimbra, he studied philosophy at Monterey in Spain (1595–8) and theology at Salamanca. Highly regarded by his superiors, he was ordained in 1600 at Salamanca and was preacher and confessor there (1600–08). From 1605 he was often acting rector of the college, as the rectors were frequently absent raising funds. Conway also went on fund-raising missions for the college and became close to influential figures at the royal court and elsewhere. His skill at tapping wealthy benefactors for money facilitated his appointment as rector of the Irish college at Salamanca on 6 May 1608.

By 1608 Conway had been made procurator of the Irish mission. This was an important but burdensome office, which involved variously arranging correspondence between the Jesuits in Ireland and Rome, providing travel expenses for Jesuit novices studying abroad, advising Irish exiles who went to Spain, and promoting the interests of the Irish seminaries at the royal court in Madrid. Further, in the years following the conclusion of the Nine Years War in Ireland in 1603, large numbers of Irish refugees began arriving in Spain, and Conway was heavily involved in providing for them. As a result of these administrative responsibilities, from 1608 he resided for part of each year at Madrid.

Despite his heavy workload, Conway kept in contact with his former pupils who had joined the Irish mission. Their dispatches from Ireland had left him keenly aware of the dangers that faced the catholic clergy there. In 1611 he began writing a book outlining the persecution suffered by Irish catholics at the hands of English protestants. However, his superiors dissuaded him from completing this work, for fear that it would anger the English government.

In 1611–13 he was heavily involved in negotiating the transfer to the Irish Jesuits of the Irish college at Salamanca, which had previously taught both the laity and candidates for the priesthood. The Jesuits intended to use the college exclusively to train priests, but this was strongly opposed by the existing students. In July 1613 Conway took possession of the college and informed all students there that they would be expected to become priests. Many students refused to accept this and were expelled. In 1614 the powerful exiled Irish catholic nobleman Domhnall O'Sullivan Beare (qv) protested at Conway's conduct, but his superiors stood by his actions and he remained rector at Salamanca until 1618. As before, he proved hugely successful at raising funds to maintain the college, which was soon able to support twenty-five students.

In 1618 he resigned his rectorship and moved to Madrid, where he focused on raising money for the Irish colleges in Spain and for the Jesuit mission in Ireland. However, in 1619 he was made rector of the Irish college at Seville. The college was in a miserable condition, but his ability to raise money brought about a rapid improvement. Such was his success that complaints were directed against him for depriving other Jesuit houses in the city of charity. In late 1623 he was replaced as rector in Seville and went to Madrid to resume his role as procurator. He returned to Seville to become rector again in late 1625 and died there 1 December 1626.

John McErlean, ‘Richard Conway S.J.’, Irish Monthly, no. 51 (1923); Francis Finegan, ‘Irish rectors at Seville, 1619–1687’, IER, 5th ser., cvi (July–Dec. 1966), 45–63

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

(Abbreviated from the account published by Fr. John Mac Erlean, S.J. in the IRISH MONTHLY, 1923-24)

The preservation of the Catholic Faith in Ireland during three centuries of brutal persecution was largely due to the colleges and seminaries which patriotic Catholic Irishmen founded in several countries of Europe for the instruction of Irish youths and the education of Irish priests. Such signal service to the cause of God and Fatherland deserves to be remembered with everlasting gratitude. Their work was crowned with success. The most deadly efforts of the persecutors were gloriously defeated. One strange effect, however, of the long continuance of the persecution has been that the lives and works of those who commenced and carried on its triumphal resistance have been forgotten by those who even now are enjoying the fruits of their self-denying labours. To rescue their memory from oblivion is a pious and patriotic task.

Three Irish Jesuits stand out prominently as founders of Irish colleges in the Spanish peninsula: Fr John Howling, of Wexford, founder of the Irish College of Lisbon in 1590; Fr Thomas White, of Clonmel, founder of the Irish College of Salamanca in 1592; and Fr Richard Conway, of New Ross, who with Fr, Thomas White founded the Irish College of Santiago de Compostella in 1613, and that of Seville in 1619. Sketches of the careers of Fr. Flowling and Fr White were published by the late Fr. Edmund Hogan, S.J. in his Distinguished Irishmen of the Sixteenth Century (London, 1094). Fr. Conway is mentioned frequently by the Rev, William McDonald, then Rector of the Irish College of Salamanca, in his articles entitled Irish Colleges Since the Reformation, published in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record in 1873, but a consecutive account of his career is well worth attempting for the light it throws upon the ecclesiastical history of the times.

The Conways were one of the leading families of New Ross in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The head of the family in the middle of the sixteenth century was Patrick Conway, who died in 1587, He married a Miss White, by whom he had two sons, George and Richard. Richard, the future Jesuit, was born at New Ross in 1572 or 1573. There is not much to record of his childhood or early years. He left Ireland for Spain when about sixteen or seventeen years of age, but, young as he was when he left his native land, he did not leave without personal experience of England's methods in Ireland, for his mother's house was raided on a forged warrant “to seize upon chalices, money and other things ... in respect of priests and Jesuits that were there harboured to say Masses”. In a note written in 1612 he sets forth clearly the reasons that forced him to seek abroad the education denied him at home. He says: “The greatest injury the English heretics have done, and one which has had the most serious consequences, has been the prohibition of all Catholic schools in our nation, naturally so inclined to learning, except an odd infant school in the principal cities and towns where reading, writing, and a little grammar are taught. Their object was to sink our people to degradation, or fill the universities of England with the children of those who had any means to educate them, where they might become more dependent on heretics and contaminated with their errors. They have also taken singular care that all children be taught English, and chastise them if they hear then speak their own native language. But all the efforts of these crafty heretics do not produce the desired effect. The natives not only did not go to England, but preferred rather to remain in ignorance than run the risk of their faith and religion by doing so, or they went secretly and quietly to many foreign parts, but particularly to Spain”.

It was in the year 1590, seemingly, that Richard Conway landed at Lisbon. There he met many other Irish students, who had come abroad for the same purpose, and whose interests and welfare were the object of the solicitous care of the Wexford Jesuit, Fr John Howling, then resident at the Jesuit house of S Roque, in that city. Fr Howling was at that very time engaged in founding a college for these Irish students, which was opened soon after'. During the next two years, 1590-1592, Richard Conway remained in the Irish College, studying humanities or classics. Then, as a Spanish writer says, “feeling that the end he had in view, the preservation of the faith and the conversion of heretics in Ireland, could be attained with greater security and perfection in a Religious Order, he offered himself to the Society of Jesus, and was received into it”. He entered the Novitiate of Coimbra on July 22nd, 1592.

After completing his two years! noviceship at Coimbra, and taking his vows as. a scholastic on August 20th, 15941, he was sent in the following year to the College of Monterrey in Spain, where he devoted himself to the study of philosophy for the next three years, 1595-1598, During this time he won the highest praise from the authorities of the College for his intellectual gifts, his prudence and skill in the management of affairs, and his progress in philosophy. He is described as being of gentle disposition, and even at this early date is said to be one who would be an excellent labourer in the vine yard of the Lord, and be suited for the office of Superior of his nation.

From Monterrey he passed, in 1598, to the Royal College of Salamanca, where he studied theology for the next four years, 1598-1562, though not without interruption, for, as our Spanish authority says: “The Superiors recognising his remarkable talent for looking after those of his nation, and the holy zeal that he had for their welfare, took him from his studies before he had completed them to employ him in this work, whereupon he began to aid the Irish seminaries”. The Irish Seminary, or College of Salamanca, founded by Fr Thomas White, had been put under the care of the Society of Jesus by King Philip, in 1592, in answer to a petition presented by the Irish gentlemen at the Spanish Court. From 1592 onwards, Fr White and Fr James Archer were in charge of it. As they were often absent on missionary labours, or seeking aims for the support of the College, the duty of loo!:ing after the Irish students devolved on Fr Richard Conway, especially after his ordination as priest in 1600, and though he had still to do two years of his theological course, he acted from time to time as Vice-Rector.

Thus began Fr Conway's work on behalf of the Irish seminaries. He was stationed at Salamanca as preacher and confessor from 1600 to 1608, and often acted as Vice-Rector, he had full charge of the Seminary of Salamanca as Rector from 1608 to 1613, then of that of Santiago, 1613-1618. In 1619 he became Rector of the newly-founded Irish College of Seville, a position he held until 1622, and to which he was again appointed in 1625, and which he continued to hold till his death in 1626. Nor did this exhaust his labours. During these same years he acted as Prefect of all the Irish colleges in Spain, and as Procurator of the Irish Mission, in which capacity he was called to attend to the financial and other affairs of the Irish Mission in countries so far apart as Rome, Germany, Spain, Flanders, France, and Ireland,

When first he took up these multifarious duties it was a time of extraordinary difficulty. The victory of the English arms in Ireland in 1603 not only cut off all hope of receiving alms from Ireland, such as Fr James Archer had collected for the colleges in 1596, but threw upon the shores of Spain in the succeeding years destitute crowds of Irish men, women, and children, fleeing in ever-increasing numbers from the cruelty of the English, while continuing the main work of providing for the necessities of the colleges, Fr Conway strove hard to relieve the distress of these helpless refugees. Of the religious and scholastic fervour of the Irish Seminary of Salamanca in these years the Annual Letters of the Province of Castile for the year 1604 bear : striking testimony. There were then four Jesuits living in the College, filling the offices of Rector, Confessor, Professor, and Spiritual Director respectively. The students numbered twenty-two, of whom eight were studying theology and four philosophy. Eight students had entered the Society of Jesus, and four had entered other Religious Orders. All students made a week's retreat, some even made two weeks, and all were assiduous in religious practices. The Bishop, the Magister Scholae, and other Doctors testified in laudatory terns to the doctrine, conduct, and training of the students.

But, meanwhile, those to whom was due whatever provision for Irish students existed were subject to a new and unexpected trial. The administration of the Irish Colleges was bitterly and unreasonably assailed. These institutions were so necessary, and the good they were doing for the preservation of the faith in Ireland was so striking, that some well-meaning persons forgot, no doubt unconsciously, the ceaseless efforts required to procure for them the limited and uncertain resources which they possessed; but the bitterest critics were those who had done nothing towards the founding of the Colleges, and had never contributed a penny towards their support. The history of the two centuries that followed offers many examples of similar attacks on the administration of the Irish Colleges in Spain and Rome. The motives in the main were provincial animosities, suspicions of partiality, and the interference of ill affected outsiders, who for their own ends fomented dissensions and encouraged insubordination within the college walls.

This agitation was begun in 1602, when a memorial against the continuance of the Irish Fathers of the Society af Jesus in control of the Seminary of Salamanca, drawn up in the names of O'Donnell and O'Neill, was presented to King Philip III, and demanded: (1.) that half the students of the Seminary should be selected from Ulster and Connaught; (2) that Fr Thomas White should be removed from the rectorship as being one who could not be trusted to carry out such a selection, or who would ill-treat those students whom he would be forced to receive; and (3) that a Spaniard, who would see to the punctual execution of this decree, should be appointed Rector.

The plot was skilfully conceived and vigorously carried out. The malcontents dared not go so far as to demand that the seminaries should be handed over to themselves, but yet they hoped by appealing to Spanish prejudices to oust the Irish Jesuits. The controversy continued for more than two years, memorials and replies alternating. In defence of the Irish Jesuits, the Irish nobles and gentlemen residing in Valladolid refuted the accusations and defended the existing administration; the Provincial of Castile denied that there was any preference against Northern students; the Bishop of the place testified to the good conduct of the students and the discipline observed in the government, and said he had never heard any complaints of the rule of the Irish Fathers. Finally, the Rector of the Royal College, to whose supervision the Irish College was subject, declared that all the charges made by the memoralists were false and wholly destitute of foundation.

In spite of these testimonies in favour of the Irish Fathers, the government of the Irish College was by order of the King taken from then and a Spanish Jesuit was appointed Rector. This royal order remained in force for only three years, 1605-1608. The arrangement was found by experience to be unsatisfactory both for the finances and the discipline of the College, Indeed, it would have proved ruinous to the College had not Fr William Bathe, Fr Richard Conway, and, later, also Fr Janes Comerton, who dwelt in it as confessors and preachers, exerted all their influence to keep things quiet, and in general to promote the interests of the College.

The efforts of the Irish Fathers to help the Irish students in the midst of numerous difficulties were fully appreciated by the Jesuit General, Fr Claudius Aquaviva, who on April 3rd, 1607, complimented Fr Conway on what he was doing for them. But the state of affairs brought about by the royal interference rendered all efforts well nigh futile. Soon the General came to see that if the Seminary was to do efficient work it would have to be committed to the charge of the Irish Fathers, and wrote to this effect to the Spanish Provincial on July 24th, , 1607. The Spanish Rectors themselves readily admitted their unsuitability for the position, and the last of the three who held office during those three years appealed to the Provincial to appoint Irish Rectors in future. Finally the King was requested to revoke his former order, which he did on March 24th, 1608. Fr Richard Convay was chosen as the person most fitted to take on the government of the College, and he entered upon his office as Rector on May 6th of the same year.

During the time of the Spanish Rectors, as well as during the whole of his subsequent career, Fr Conway continued his activity on behalf of the Irish students and refugees. In a contemporary account we read that he often went to the Court and other places to seek alms for the support of his seminarists and by his zeal, pleasant manners, and exemplary life succeeded in getting large contributions for their relief, many other students and priests, for whom the Seminaries had no room, he assisted by giving them enough to enable then to pursue their studies in Salamanca, Alcala, Valladolid, Granada, and Cordova. His zeal did not confine itself to students, ecclesiastical or lay, but extended itself to relieving a large number of Irish girls who fled from Ireland for religion's sake to Spain. He sought alms for them all, and settled them in good positions. Some entered convents, while for others he begged dowries, and left then honourably and virtuously married. In the matter of getting alms, he was greatly helped by the fact that he had easy access to the houses of the highest gentlemen at the Court, including even the King and Queen, and the Prelates and Chapters, all of thom he won over by his good example and by his conversation. Thile seeking to relieve the material necessities of his countrymen, he did not neglect their spiritual needs. He preached not only to his seminarists, but also to externs, gave them the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and sought their society only to win them and improve them spiritually.

His interest in the students did not cease when they left college, He followed then with paternal anxiety, and supported them by his advice when they had returned to their dangerous mission, and they on their part kept up a filial correspondence with him. Their letters shout the spirit with which they faced the danger's that surrounded them. The Rev Eugene O'Brien wrote to Fr Conway from Galway on September 30th, 1606, to tell him of the efforts made to take him when the persecutors found that he was an alumnus of the Spanish College. From Waterford the Rev John Wadding wrote in October of the same year, praising the constancy of the Mayor and Councillors of that city, several of whom had been taken prisoners by the heretics. Another former student, Rev Luke Bennett, a relative of his own, writing from Dunmore, in Leinster, in April, 1607, describes the persecution in his native New Ross, and tells how the faith is preserved in the district by the ministrations or four other priests from the Slamanca College, The Licentiate, Thomas Wise, who had gone from Salamanca to Rome, wrote to Fr Conway in June, 1607, telling hin of the barbarous cruelties inflicted on another former pupil. Thady Dimiran, because he refused to abjure the faith.

In 1611 the General wished Fr Conway to go to Rome and assist him with his advice in matters concerning the Irish Mission; but he yielded to representations made by Fr Thomas White and others, who explained how much his services were required in Spain.

In the year 1610 the Irish College of Salamanca was the recipient of several privileges and favours, A new building was presented to the Irish by the States of Castile, etc. A slab was placed over the door to commemorate the event. A new title, Colegio de Nobles Irlandeses (College of Irish Nobles), was given to the new establishment, which was formally made a royal college, and placed under the protection of the Kind, and, in addition to the ordinary annual alms given by the King to the College, Philip III undertook to pay every student his travelling expenses back to Ireland on the completion of his studies. These grants, largely due to Fr Conway's intercession, secured the future of the College.

But the government of the College, the begging of alms for its support, the solicitation of royal favours, did not exhaust the activities of Fr. Conway. Whilst engaged in these absorbing occupations, he compiled a work on English tyranny in Ireland, the publication of which was stopped lest the irritation of the King of England might endanger the lives of the Jesuits in Ireland and England and lead to a more violent persecution of the Catholic priests and laity in these countries. Whether the book was ever completed or not is not known, but certain short tracts, which may have been intended to form chapters of the complete work, have been preserved. Among these, his treatise on Irish saints marks him out as one of the pioneers of Irish hagiography.

During the last two years of Fr Conway's rectorship at Salamanca he was much occupied with the negotiations that transferred the Irish College at Santiago de Compostella to the care of the Irish Fathers or the Society of Jesus in Spain. This College had been founded in the year 1605 by the King of Spain, at a time when thousands of Irish exiles fled to that country to escape the persecution of the English heretics. £100 per annun was granted to the students by the King, and the Rev Eugene MacCarthy, a secular priest, was appointed Rector of the College. This arrangement did not work satisfactorily, and Philip III determined to entrust it to the Irish Fathers. He wrote to this effect to the Provincial of Castile, Fr Gaspar de Vegas, and the Governor of Galicia, D Luis Henriquez. Owing to the straitened circumstances of the Province of Castile the Provincial hesitated about accepting the additional burden. Fr Conway forwarded to the General a statement of the case, giving the reasons for and against acceptance. The General in his reply favoured acceptance. Meanwhile Fr Eugene MacCarthy undertook the defence of the existing arrangement, and in a letter to the Provincial accused the Irish Fathers of being actuated by motives of ambition and self-interest in attempting to capture the College. Fr William White, SJ, had no difficulty in refuting these charges; the Provincial's opposition weakened, and in April, 1613, the question was finally settled by an express order to the Provincial from the Duke de Lerma, on the part of the King, for the Fathers to take charge of the College.

In consequence of this order, Frs Thomas White, William White, and Richard Conway sent to Santiago and took possession of the College, and on the 16th July the General wrote to the Provincial to order Fr Conway to take up the government of the Seminary of Santiago.

Fr Conway occupied the position of Rector from 1613 to 1618, though his other office of Procurator of the Irish Mission often compelled him to be in Madrid, especially towards the end of his term. He threw llimself with characteristic energy into the work of establishing and developing the new Seminary. The royal allowance of £100 per annum sufficed for the support of a small number of students, but by alms which he succeeded in obtaining from the clergy and the faithful he was able to maintain as many as twenty-five. He drew up plans for linking up the Seminaries of Salamanca, Santiago, and Lisbon, to prevent overlapping, by having humanities taught in one, philosophy in another, and theology in the third. He looked after the spiritual interests of the Irish in Santiago, and as many of them were soldiers from France and the Low Countries, he arranged for the sending of Irish Jesuits who understood French and Flemish to minister to them. Another favourite idea of his was to unite the two Colleges of Salamanca and Santiago at the latter place. This would have economised on the staff and would have been beneficial to the health of the students; but no change was made.

Some disagreements and disputes arose during these years between O'Sullivan Beare and Fr Contay. In 1614 the former complained to the General of the expulsion of certain students from the Seminary, which, he said, had been established by the royal bounty, and with his consent transferred to the Society of Jesus. After full examination, however, Fr Conway's action was approved by his Superiors. Another complaint was in respect of a house granted him by the King, of which he had been deprived by Fr Conway. This dispute was brought into the courts, and the claim of O'Sullivan Beare was upheld. It was a curious example of a double grant. In the decree of the Royal Camera, dated 29th July, 1617, it is said that the Camera, when it granted the house in question to the Seminary, was not aware that a grant had previously been made of the same house to O'Sullivan Beare, and that consequently the house was adjudged to him. There is no imputation against the good faith of Fr Conway in this law suit,

During the progress of the case, O'Sullivan Beare petitioned the King to have the former semi-laical character of the College of Santiago continued, maintaining that there was greater need of Catholic gentlenen in Ireland than of priests. Fr Conway resisted this interference, and his action received the approval of the General, Fr. Mutius Vitelleschi, who succeeded Fr Aquaviva on the latter's death in 1615. In April, 1618, on the appointment of Fr James Comerfort as Rector of Santiago, Fr Conway was left free to act as Procurator of the Irish Mission in Madrid. He had been carrying on the duties of this position since 1608, and had to deal with many important matters concerning the welfare of the Irish seminaries in Spain. Between 1613 and 1624 he carried on a good deal of correspondence about what is termed “the Sicilian money” - a legacy of the late Queen, amounting to between 6,000 and 7,000 ducats, half of which was to be invested for the support of the Mission. The exhausted state of the Sicilian treasury caused the payment of this sum to be deferred, and finally all hope of receiving it was abandoned.

Another important affair entrusted to the care of Fr Conway was that of the pension of Archbishop David Kearney, of Cashel. As the Archbishop was for many years at the beginning of the seventeenth century the mainstay of ecclesiastical organisation in Ireland, Philip III of Spain, in order to enable him to promote the interests of the Church, assigned to hin a pension of 2,000 ducats on the Bishopric of Cadiz. With the approval oi the General, the Archbishop in 1611 appointed Fr Conway his agent to conduct the necessary negotiations. These negotiations continued until the Archbishop's death in 1621, and the subsequent arrangements to carry out the disposal of the money in accordance with his wishes, and to resist the claims of the English and Scotch Colleges in Spain, occupied the attention of Fr Conway till his death, two years later, and dragged on for four years after that time.

In 1619 Fr. Conway vas recalled from Madrid, and sent to take up the position of Rector of the Irish College of Seville, which in that year was handed over to the Irish Jesuits. Eight years previously the General had been asked by Don Felix de Guzman, a Sevillian nobleman, Archdeacon and Canon, to undertake the management of such a college, but the General was unwilling to do so, as an English College already existed in the same city, and he wrote to that effect to Fr Conway, who as then in Lisbon, on December 6th, 1622. In the following year the Apostolic Nuncio in Spain gave leave for the collecting of alms for the Irish students of Seville, but again in this year, and in the two succeeding years, the General expressed his unwillingness to have the Society associated with the projected College.

The College was duly opened, and for the next few years was governed by a succession of secular priests, of whom the first two were Irish and the next four Spaniards. As the numerous changes indicate, the arrangement did not prove satisfactory, and Don Felix de Guzman and Don Geronimo de Medina Ferragut renewed their exertions to induce the Jesuits to take over the government of the College. Don Felix offered to support the Fathers sent, and Don Geronimo offered to make over the house which the students occupied, on the sole condition that the College should be called the College of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God and of the Holy Catholic Faith, which name it retained ever afterwards. Fr Conway was now in favour of the Society taking over the College, and the King wrote expressing his desire that this should be done. In April, 1619, the Provincial and his Consultors agreed to accept, notwithstanding the grave difficulties which presented themselves, and this decision was approved by the General on June 19th. On the same day he wrote to Fr Richard Conway telling him to proceed to Seville to take charge of the new College.

The Society took possession of the College on August 20th, 1619. Fr Conway and Fr Michael de Morales (Cantuell) drew up an inventory of its goods and a list of the students. The effects left by the preceding administration were valued at only £12, and several large debts had been incurred which had to be paid afterwards. Fr Conway mentions the names of six students. The names of six others are known, and another account says that there were in all fifteen.

In view of the necessities of the Irish Seminary of Seville, the Holy See on September 9th, 1619, granted, in answer to a petition of Fr Conway, permission to the fishernien of Andalusia to fish on șix Sundays and holidays in the year, on the understanding that “the fruit of their toil should be given freely and without condition to the Irish College of Seville for the support of the Rector and students and persons employed in their services”.

To raise funds for the Irish Seminaries, all of which, but especially that of Seville, were in great need, Fr Conway proposed that some Irish Fathers should be sent from Spain to the Indies, that is, to Mexico and South America, with a view to collecting alms. When that proposal was not favourably entertained, he begged the General to write to the Provincials of the Indies to ask then to do whatever they could, and he suggested that the Provincial of Mexico should be requested to set aside Fr Michael Godinez (Wadding) for that work. The first part of the proposal was agreed to, but what the ultimate success of the project was we do not know.

During the years 1622-1623 complaints were made to the General of the way in which Fr Conway was running the College. The matters complained of were not of serious import. He is said to have admitted more students than the revenues of the institution could support, and to have allowed confessions to be heard in the church of the Seminary instead of sending the penitents to the Casa Professa, according to the regulations already laid down. Another complaint was that “the students of the Irish College went one day during the summer months in their collegiate gowns to bathe in the river, and returned home two hours after nightfall”. The real reason underlying all the complaints were seemingly Fr Conway's zeal in collecting alms, and new regulations were made with regard to requesting support for the College in the city. Fr Conway's alms-questing was not without some exciting experiences, for at least on one occasion, when going along the road for this purpose, he was set upon by robbers, who deprived him of everything he had, beat hin severely, and left him with his hands tied at the foot of an olive tree, where he lay for some time before he was able to free himself and make his way to a neighbouring village.

Towards the end of the year 1623, Fr Luis Ramirez was appointed Rector of the Irish College of Seville, and Fr Conway returned to his forner office of Procurator of the Irish Mission at the court of Madrid. On the 22nd December of that year he laid before the General a new plan for increasing the provision made for the education of the Irish secular clergy. This was to petition the Holy See to allow the Chapters of the Churches of Spain to receive tho Irish students each for the Irish Missions into the seminaries founded by order of the Council of Trent, notwithstanding the decree of that Council that the seminarists should be natives of the dioceses. The General deferred the consideration of this suggestion until the approval of the Chapters should have been obtained.

Another prospect for the development of colleges for the Irish secular clergy opened when towards the end of 1623 the Grand Prior of England of the Order of St. John set aside 2,000 ducats as a beginning of a foundation of an Irish College in Rome. Fr Conway was directed to forward the sum to Rome, so that it might be used to buy a site or be allowed to lie at interest until there would be enough for the end intended. In the following year, 1625, the General announced to him that the foundation of an Irish Seminary in Rome by Cardinal Ludovisi was taking shape slowly, but that it was not known when it would be put into execution.

On June 2nd, 1624, Fr Conway informed the General that the King and Council, recognising that the Irish Seminary at Douay was not being well administered by those who had charge of it, wished to entrust it to the Society. In reply, the General told him that, if the matter was as represented, the King and Council would be sure to give some sign of their desire, but that meanwhile he was not to speak about the subject or try in any way to have the Seminary entrusted to the Society. Similarly, when he announced in the following year the foundation of a new Irish Seminary at Alcala, he was told to have nothing to do with it: “Better improve those of Salamanca, Seville, and Santiago, so that they may be able to support more alunni”.

In 1624 he appealed to the Catholic King to recommend the needs of the Irish students to the bishops of Spain, and in a letter dated St Laurence (the Escorial), 31st October, 1624, King Philip III wrote recommending them to the Bishop of Zamora, as he had already recommended then, he says, to the prelates of Seville and Jaen.

Meanwhile affairs were not proceeding well in the Irish Seminary of Seville, Before a year elapsed Fr Ramirez asked to be relieved of the rectorate. The Spanish Fathers were not able to manage the Irish students. On the 7th July, 1625, Fr. Conway was ordered to proceed to Seville and take charge of the Seminary, as soon as he had settled up his affairs in Madrid; but it was not until Christmas that he arrived in Seville, and entered upon his duties as Rector of the Seminary for the second time. Under his management the disorders ceased, and he was congratulated on the zeal with which he looked after the interests of the College.

In January of the following year, 1626, the Seminary suffered great loss from the overflowing of the river. A good part of the building collapsed, and Fr Conway's efforts for the welfare of his students won considerable praise. He found accommodation for them in different places, but remained on in the house himself, and when he had collected what was necessary for their support he carried the food to them every day on foot. A few months later, in August, 1626, he became seriously ill, and he died on the lst of December, after having received the last Sacraments.

In this sketch of Fr. Conway's life and work little has been said of his spiritual life. From the difficulties he overcame and the greatness of the work he accomplished it has been possible, no doubt, to form some idea of those interior forces which supernaturalised his external activities, but there is abundant testimony given by those who lived with him to his religious virtue and holy life. Especially remarkable was his constancy in prayer. As the hours of the day did not suffice for his many devotional exercises, he devoted to them a large part of the night. We are told, that, though it was generally twelve or one o'clock when he retired to rest, he rose before four in the morning. His spiritual note-books, which reveal the daily life of his soul, contain so many prayers and devotions, distributed by days, weeks, months, and years, that it would seen he had nothing else to do. His fasts and other mortifications were also noticed by his contemporaries. He slept three nights a week on the ground; he fasted every Saturday, and each day he gave a large part of his food to the poor. He wore clothes cast off by others, and at his death the only thing that he seems to have possessed was a small cross, half broken. As a final example of his spirit of detachment and abnegation may be mentioned the fact that, although for many years he had leave from his Superiors' to return to his native land, he never made use of it, lest by doing so he might neglect the Irish exiles abroad.

Fr Conway was not only a devoted son of the Catholic Church, but a great lover of Ireland. In the heat of controversy O’Sullivan Beare spoke of him as Anglo-Irish. Geoffrey Keating was accused of being the same, and his reply to the accusation might have been penned by Fr Richard Conway. For Fr Conway spoke the Irish language, and was as familiar with Irish history and tradiions as any O'Sullivan. By his words and writings he revived the name and fame of Ireland on the Continent. It was through him, as far as we can discover that the Codex Salmanticensis, from which Fr. John Colgan, OSF, and the Bollandists derive so much of their knowledge of Ireland's early saints, came into possession of the Irish College of Salamanca, and was thus preserved for future ages. The seminaries he founded frustrated the British plan of perverting Ireland through enforced ignorance.

To Salamanca, the first of the seminaries which lie ruled, he transmitted that tradition of learning and love of Ireland which such men as Fr Paul Sherlock and Fr Peter Reade afterwards handed on. Ireland may well be proud of him, and so may the Society of Jesus. At a time when the memory of the canonisation of St Ignatius and St Francis Xavier was still fresh in Spain, a Spanish contemporary does not hesitate to compare him with both these illustrious saints : “Fr Richard Conway”, he says, “was one of the true sons of our glorious Father, St Ignatius, and a true imitator of that zeal for souls that consumed the heart of the glorious Father, St Francis Xavier, on the eve of whose feast he was called to his reward by God, leaving to us who remain after him his exemplary life for our initiation and consolation”.

John MacErlean SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Richard Conway 1572-1626
Fr Richard Conway, together with Fr John Houling and Fr Thomas White, may be reckoned as one of the Saviours of the Faith in Ireland. This claim is based on his work of founding and maintaining Irish Colleges, mainly in Spain and Portugal, by means of which a steady flow of secular priests, Jesuits and educated Irish gentlemen was poured into the country, when all means of higher education had been eeradicated by the English authorities

Richard Conway was born in New Ross in 1572, and he sought the education, deniend him at home, in Lisbon, at the age of sixteen or seventeen. There he met Fr John Howling, and under his aegis became a Jesuit at Coimbra in 1592. Thenceforward, his whole life was dedicated to the education andservice of trhe countless Irish refugees flybing from persecution at home. He founded the Colleges of Santiago and Seville, and by a lifetime questing alms and wisely governing various Irish Colleges, fought the good fight, which prompted Fr MacErlean to say of him “Ireland may well be proud of him, and so may the Society of Jesus”.

Some time before his death, while collecting alms, he was waylaid by robbers and deprived of everything he possessed.He was neated severely, and he was left with his hands toed to the bottom of an olive tree. He cried aloud for help but noone came. He invoked Our Lady and his Guardian Angel, whereupon his bonds were loosened, and he made his way to a nearby town.

On his death bed, December 1st 1626, before he closed his eyes forever, Christ Our Lord appeared to him, and as a foretaste of the glorious reward in store for him, led him unto a charming region, where he beheld strange and secret sights.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONWAY, RICHARD. I learn from two letters of Dr. David Kearny, Archbishop of Cashell, of the 15th of July, 1616. and the 30th ot September, 1616, that this confidential Agent was actively employed In Spain in his Grace s service. The Father was at Madrid in October, 1624.

Cullen, James A, 1841-1921, Jesuit priest and temperance reformer

  • IE IJA J/24
  • Person
  • 23 October 1841-06 December 1921

Born: 23 October 1841, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 08 September 1881, Leuven Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained 25 October 1864, Cathedral of the Assumption of BVM, Carlow, County Carlow - pre- entry
Final vows: 02 February 1892
Died: 06 December 1921, Linden Nursing Home, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1883 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Excerpts and paraphrase from a notice which appeared in the newspapers on his death :
Early Education at Clongowes, and then at Carlow College where he was Ordained 1964. He was then appointed by the Bishop of Ferns Dr Thomas Furlong as CC in Wexford for two years. in 1866, at the invitation of the Bishop, he became a member of a community of Missioners comprising four Priests in Enniscorthy. He then joined the Society in 1881.

After his Noviceship his career may be divided under three headings : Literary, Missionary, Temperance work.
He is probably best known as the founder of the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, which he started in January 1888. For sixteen years he watched over the development of his periodical, and starting offshoots such as “Messenger Popular Penny Library” which was the forerunner of the “Irish Catholic Truth Society”.
1904 He was sent to Gardiner St aged 63, and he worked there until his death in 1921. Here he began another phase of his work, that of Missioner and retreat giver. In this work he became known in almost every Parish in the country. In addition to bringing his work to England, he also spent two year long stints working in South Africa.
However, it is mainly his work in the cause of temperance that he is best known. He is sometimes called a “Second Father Matthew”. He had been a leading figure in the temperance movement of Ferns in the 1870s, and in 1885 founded the “St Patrick’s Total Abstinence Association” among the students at Maynooth.
1901 He inaugurated a branch of the “Pioneer Total Abstinence Association”. Confined at the outset to women only, it started with four ladies under the Presidency of Mrs AM Sullivan. However, after a homily he gave in Cork, so many men came to the Sacristy asking for the “Pioneer Pledge”, that he decided to extend the Association to both men an women. The Association made such rapid progress that at a public meeting in the Mansion House he could say that its numbers had reached a quarter of a million, and his Pioneer Catechism had by 1912 reached a circulation of 300,000.
Many messages of sympathy were received at Gardiner St from Bishops and Clergy in Ireland”. (cf

“Extract from a paper Entitled ‘The Holy Eucharist in Modern Ireland’ read by the Right Rev Mgr MacCaffrey, President, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, at the International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin 1932”.
The extract eulogises James Cullen for his spread of devotion to the “Sacred Heart” throughout Ireland, his work on the “Apostleship of Prayer” and the “League of the Sacred Heart”. It also eulogises his founding of the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, and his particular work in promoting the spiritual welfare of its Promoters, with the assistance of local Bishops and Priests, such that in his own lifetime, there was hardly a Parish in Ireland in which devotion to the Sacred Heart had not been established. This in turn left to a devotion to Our Lord and the Eucharist, replacing a spirit of fear with one of love and confidence. The “First Friday” practice, founded on a promise made to St Margaret Mary Alacocque, became widespread in Ireland, and led people to more frequently receive communion. ‘Holy Communion is not to be regarded so much as as a reward for a holy life, but as a means of becoming holy’, wrote Father Cullen.” (The Book of Congress p 161)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Cullen, James Aloysius
by Diarmaid Ferriter

Cullen, James Aloysius (1841–1921), Jesuit priest and temperance reformer, was born 23 October 1841 in New Ross, Co. Wexford, the eldest of five sons and three daughters of James Cullen, a businessman, and Mary Cullen (née Bolger). He was educated locally by the Christian Brothers in New Ross before moving to the Jesuit college at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, in April 1856. From 1861 to 1864 he was a student at Carlow college and was ordained a priest at Carlow cathedral on 25 October 1864, only five days after he had reached the canonical age. He was appointed curate in Rome Street Church in Wexford and worked closely with Dr Thomas Furlong (qv), bishop of Ferns. He became heavily involved in fighting intemperance, building churches, founding religious teaching institutions and retreats for nuns and priests, and launching the Missionary Institute in Enniscorthy.

Although he had been wary of the Jesuit order from an early age, disliking their association with the middle classes, his preoccupation with the spiritual exercises of their founder, St Ignatius Loyola, and his apostolic endeavours slowly led him to reverse his opinion: in March 1881 he made a vow to enter the order, enrolling in September 1881 at the novitiate of the Belgian province at Arlow, at the age of 40. The following year he enrolled to study moral theology and canon law at Louvain. In September 1883 he took his vows at the Jesuit House of Studies in Milltown Park in Dublin, where he became well known as a missionary of the Blessed Sacrament, a promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin, and a temperance reformer. He was appointed spiritual father to the students at Belvedere College, Dublin (1884) and national director of the Apostleship of Prayer (1887), marking a further commitment to the spread of Sacred Heart devotion. In 1888 he began publication of the hugely circulated Catholic weekly, the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart, which he also used to promote temperance. He produced his Catechism of temperance in 1892, and in the same year travelled to South Africa as a missionary, making a return visit in April 1899.

Extraordinarily demonstrative in his personal piety and organisational ability, Cullen established the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart in the presbytery of the Saint Francis Xavier Church in Gardiner St., Dublin, on 29 December 1898. Over the course of the twentieth century it grew into one of the largest temperance movements in the world and claimed 500,000 members by the 1950s. They were labelled ‘Pioneers’ because of a novel method of pledging: Cullen developed the concept of adults (those over 16) making what was termed a ‘heroic offering’, pledging to abstain from alcohol for life, publicly identifiable by the wearing of a pin which depicted a bleeding Sacred Heart. Cullen's initiative was not only the product of an acute social conscience – his early endeavours in Wexford and his work in inner-city Dublin convinced him that much of the poverty and deprivation he witnessed was the result of excessive drinking – but also a belief that intemperance could only be fought by an absolutist life-long pledge, in contrast to the loose ‘en masse’ administration associated with the famed but short-lived temperance crusade of Fr Theobald Mathew (qv) in the nineteenth century. The Pioneers were organised on a parish basis under the guidance of a spiritual director and controlled by a central directorate of Jesuit priests based in Dublin. Juvenile and later temporary pledge branches were also introduced.

A strong opponent of British imperialism, Cullen closely aligned his argument for temperance with the political and cultural nationalism prevalent in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland. Although never a masterful orator, he aggressively pursued the temperance cause through a column devoted to Pioneers in the Irish Catholic newspaper which he wrote from February 1912 until his death. This portrayed Pioneers as the soldiers of Christ engaged in a battle against intemperance which was destroying Irish health, morals, and welfare, and demeaning Irish claims to be a viable political and economic entity. He continually claimed that ‘the only thing wrong with Ireland is the excessive amount of drinking going on’. At the time of his death there were 280,000 Pioneers in Ireland.

Cullen was also active in Dublin's inner city in promoting sodalities, religious leagues and social alternatives to the public house. He also placed exacting spiritual demands on himself including four hours of obligatory prayer every day. He died 6 December 1921 in Dublin; he was said to be elated on hearing of the signing of the Anglo–Irish Treaty, hours before his death. Over 200 priests and ecclesiastical dignatories attended his funeral in Dublin.

Lambert McKenna, Life and work of Rev. James Aloysius Cullen SJ (1924); P. J. Gannon, Fr James Cullen (1940); Diarmaid Ferriter, A nation of extremes: the Pioneers in twentieth century Ireland (1998)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Cullen 1841-1921
Fr James Cullen was born at New Ross in 1841. He received his education at Clongowes, and he was ordained priest for the diocese of Ferns in 1841. For two years he served as curate in Wexford Town. In 1866 he and three other priests of the diocese founded the “House of Missions” at Enniscorthy.

In 1881 Fr Cullen entered the Society. As a Jesuit Fr Cullen is best remembered as the founder of the Pioneer Movement of Total Abstinence, which started in the Presbytery at Gardiner Street in 1898, with a membership of four women. Today its members number thousands, not only in Ireland, but across the sea in America and Australia, and anywhere an Irish Priest works on the Mission.

But his greater claim to fame may be found in the words of Monsignor McCaffrey, President of Maynooth, in a paper read at the Eucharistic Congress in 1932 :
“But, to the distinguished Jesuit Fr Cullen, the great Apostle of Total Abstinence, more than to any single individual must be given the honour of spreading this devotion to the Sacred Heart throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. A man of the highest spirituality himself, thoroughly convinced of the efficiency of this devotion to effect a spiritual revolution, and gifted with wonderful powers of organisation, he threw himself with ardour into the work, once he had been appointed Director of the Apostleship of Prayer and League of the Sacred Heart. Through the pages of ‘The Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart’ which he founded, he carried through this campaign so successfully, that even in his own lifetime, there was hardly a parish in Ireland, in which the devotion to the Sacred Heart was not firmly established. He was also the founder of the ‘Messenger Popular Penny Library’, the forerunner of the ‘Irish Catholic Truth Society’.”

He died on December 6th 1921. Truly, when we think of the Pioneer Movement as it exists today, Fr Cullen’s epitaph might justly be written :
“Exegi Monumentum aere perennius”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1922


Father James Cullen SJ

Father Cullen’s Life in brief:

1841 Born at New Ross, Co. Wexford.
1856-61 Student at Clongowes.
1864 Ordained priest at Carlow and appointed Curate at Wexford.
1866 Becomes one of the founders of the House of Missions, Enniscorthy.
1881 Enters the Society of Jesus..
1885 Founded a Total Abstinence Association among Maynooth Students.
1888-1904 Founder and Editor of the “Irish Messenger”, Editor of the “Messenger Popular Penny Library”--the forerunner of the Catholic Truth Society.
1898 Founded the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association,
1904 Attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin,
1921 December 6th - Death. RIP

If the aim of Clongowes is to turn out great Catholics and great Irishmen - and what other aim has any Irish Catholic School? - then Father Cullen is the greatest of her children. His work falls under three heads - Catholic Literature, Temperance, and Mission Work. In the domain of literature he has a unique record. In 1888 he founded the “Irish Messenger” (the sum of one pound being advanced by the Provincial towards expenses !) He watched over its fortunes until 1904, and to-day the “Irislı Messenger” has a monthly circulation of over 300,000 copies, and is read by Irish Catholics in every quarter of the globe. In addition, he founded the “Messenger Popular Penny Library”, which was the forerunner of the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland. His Temperance Catechism - though it comes more under the head of temperance than of literature, had a circulation of over 300,000 by 1912.

His work for temperance began in the House of Missions, Enniscorthy. In fact, he himself has said that he entered the Society of Jesus because he hoped thus to give his undivided attention to the study of the Temperance problem. In 1885 he founded a Total Abstinence Society among the students of Maynooth College. But it was not until 1898 that he founded the association with which he is most identified in the public mind - the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, which to-day has a membership of over a quarter of 2 million.

In the conduct of missions and retreats, he travelled all over Ireland, and worked also in England and South Africa. In this branch of his life's activities, too, he had won his reputation as a young priest in Enniscorthy, and even to this day the old people of the diocese of Ferns talk of those woriderful missions preached by him then and of the great good they wrought.

Such in the barest outline is his life, Up to the time of his death he was still working, and, what is still more wonderful, he had that same interest in the live problems of the day which was his as a young man. About three years ago he visited us here in Clongowes. He heard of the Social Study Club, and at once was interested. He asked to meet the officials, took them for a walk in the pleasure ground, and talked to them of the importance of this new work. Later, speaking to one of the Community who was then President of the Club, he told him how interested he was in social work. “If I was a little younger I would attack it”, he said, “but I am afraid I am too old. It would hardly be worth my while”.

We had hoped that the writer who is engaged in collecting matter for a life of Father Cullen would be able to write a sketch of his career in this year's “Clongownian”. Unfortunately, however, this he found impossible at the last moment owing to illness, and we are compelled to content ourselves with this brief outline.

The beautiful appreciation of Father Cullen which follows is from the pen of an old Crescent boy, and first appeared in the “Irish Monthly”. To the editor of that periodical our thanks are due for permission to reproduce it here. For those who knew Father Cullen, his saintliness, his kindliness, his quaint, pleasant humour this beautiful sketch will recall one whom all looked upon as a personal friend. For those who did not have the privilege of his acquaintance, it may do something to explain the greatness of his personality and the astounding success of his world for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.


Recollections of Father Cullen

It was in the year 1876 that I first I heard father Cullen's name mentioned. A kind friend, now dead, had invited me to spend some days at Raheny Park, Dublin. On the first evening he said to me at dinner :
“What drink will you have?” “Is there no good water in the neighbourhood?” I said.
“Oh! so you are a Cullenite”," said he; on seeing my puzzled look, he added “Don't you know Father Cullen, the Jesuit?” I told him I did not. Then he spoke in glowing terms of Father Cullen, a young Wexford priest, who was devoured with zeal, especially for temperance. He told me, further, that the Bishop of Ferns, having set his heart on diocesan priests giving Missions through the diocese, had put certain selected priests in a House of Missions, and among the first, or at the head (I forget which) was Father Cullen. The zeal and success of these priests was such - I hope nobody will be offended if I tell - that in ecclesiastical circles they were (half in joke and half in admiration) styled the Needleguns. (This was a new weapon put into the hands of the French soldiery in the Franco-German War of 1870, spoken of with most as much awe as the “Big Bertha” that bombarded Paris from 80 miles away, during Holy Week in the late war.)

Many a priest calculated to give name and fame to any institution passed through it; two only need be mentioned, His Grace the present Archbishop of Sydney and the subject these lines.

From the House of Missions Father Cullen passed into the Jesuit Noviciate; but, whatever else he left behind him, the divine zeal for Temperance, “like the scent of the roses, hung round him still”. . At any rate so much was I enraptured by my friend's account of him, that from that day forward I had my eye out for “Father Cullen the Jesuit”.

But it was a dozen years or so before I met him. In the year 1888, while I was one of the priests attached to the Limerick Workhouse, two doctors told me that I was threatened with consumption. Late in the month of May, or early in June, I obtained leave to go to Lisdoonvarna. Having got into the train I found only a few in the compartment; but huddled up in a corner, with a black woollen muffler round his neck, was a priest who seemed to me to be aged, and whose harsh cough at once awoke my sympathy, for I was only too familiar with it myself.

I was wondering where he came from, and where going to, when the train, drawing up at Ennis, I found him, like myself, changing into the little West Clare Railway. Oh, for the good old days of earlier years, when we took “the long car” here and drove over the magnificent country through Corofin, Kilfenora, and by Maurya Rua's Castle into Lisdoonvarna, as the afternoon sun was declining towards its bed in the ocean. Thomond of ancient times, with its windowed castles, its ferny hills, and bushy glens, is to my mind the most romantic land in Ireland. Or run in the mail car, if the old mail car is still running, of a summer's evening, for a remembrance that will last you all your life, from Lisdoonvarna by Quinn Abbey in its ruins, through Ruan in its loveliness, into Ennis.

We reached Ennistymon and I found my companion priest preparing to leave. “He is for Lisdoonvarna, on the same melancholy errand as myself”, I said in my own mind. But, no; a private car, in waiting, took him away. I sat in one of the public vehicles, as, bereft of company and interest, I jogged up and down the uneven road to the Spa.

That evening I was surprised to see the place full of priests, going along in soutane and cap, but all solitary and silent. I couldn't think what it meant. Happening, however, to see an old classmate of Maynooth, I stopped to inquire. He put his finger to his lips and whispered : “On Retreat!”

All the priests of the diocese were on Retreat. “Who is conducting it?” I asked hastily. “Father Cullen, the Jesuit; there he is”.

I looked, and saw my companion in the train. I may here add that, at the end of the Retreat, the same priest told me that he thought he never attended so beautiful or so elevating a one; and the subject matter that Father Cullen took was, “The seven steps of : the Priesthood”.

Of all the priests there Father Cullen and I were the only two not on retreat. I watched a favourable opportunity to approach him, I told him where I had first heard his name, and he spoke as charmingly and as delightedly of our common friend of Raheny Park as he had spoken twelve years before of him to me.

We had a high time of it for that week. Every moment that he was free we were off together. We talked of many things as “the bee through many a garden roves”; but when we came to talk of Temperance “we settled there and strayed no more”. At this winding up, I said to him:

“You have now a grand opportunity. You have started your beautiful magazine, The Messenger of the Sacred Heart, which God bless and prosper. Make it a vehicle of temperance”.

It was the first year of the Messenger; and if there is a mistake in the date I have given above, this will correct it. On its appearance I had written to him welcoming it; I had already been getting and circulating the English Messenger.

His answer was: “We must wait till we are fixed in the saddle”. And his final words at our parting on the last day of that week, when I was still insisting, gave this definite promise : “As soon as the circulation of the Messenger reaches 2,000 I will cry, in the words of Father Mathew signing the Temperance Register at Cork, ‘Here goes in the Name of God’.”

During the year I kept dropping him an occasional line, reminding him of his promise. Towards the end he wrote cheerily: “The circulation has reached 5,000; here goes in the name of God”; and the January number, 1889, had duly the beginning of the Temperance Crusade.

Somewhere about this time I had to go to Dublin. At Gardiner Street I learned that Fr Richard Clarke SJ, (the Oxford convert at the time Editor of the Month), would preach on the following day, the 3rd December, on St Francis Xavier. My heart gave a jump. Not long before that, at a critical moment Father Clarke had, all unasked, done me a seasonable and valuable service at a time I badly needed it. I determined at once to be present to hear him, and try to get a chance of saying one word of thanks to him viva voce, I had already written to him, and some letters: had passed between us, but I had never met him.

Next morning I was in good time at St Francis Xavier's. I begged the good Brother to take me where I could see, and not be seen - that the pulpit was all I wanted to see. He took me through corridors and doors, up flights of stairs the inner economy of St Francis Xavier's always reminds me of the Greek cave, where, when one enters, one never could find the way out. He took me, as I thought, up to the ceiling. I said, “O, thank you, Brother, this is grand; but will you come for me again, when the ceremonies are over?” He was good enough to smile at my evident fears and said he would.

With my weak sight I thought I was alone, and was exulting; but a low cough told me there was some one else there. I turned and saw Father Cullen, bent in his characteristic attitude of humility and thought, his cap pushed far down on his head and his Roman cloak about him. I told him what had brought me, and asked him to introduce me to Father Clarke, to say one word of thanks. “We must hurry, then, after the sermon”, he said, “and it must be only one word, for he has to go away immediately”.

I met him, had that one word, was satisfied and glad.

The next place I met Father Cullen was in Limerick, when the present Canon Cregan was the indefatigable Adm of St Michael's. Father Cregan had invited him to conduct a Retreat for the Women's Temperance Sodality and, knowing that Father Cullen and I were old Temperance friends, asked me to meet him, It was in the forenoon, with a brilliant sunshine pouring into the church, that, being put into the organ loft; I was in time to see Father Cullen in the pulpit. He was leaning out over the edge, and a subdued ripple of laughter was passing through the gathering. He was heaping ridicule on the drink fetish: “The baby is born, and there must be drink at the christening; the grandfather dies, and there must be drink at the wake. The horse has got a colic, or the calf has got wind in the stomach - send for whiskey. The boy gets his head clipped and, to prevent ‘getting cold’, he must shampoo with drink. If the day is hot - I'm thirsty, come, and we'll have a pint; is it freezing, come, and we'll have something to warm us. Are you going on a journey, put up a frost-pail. Have you a cough going to bed, put on a night-cap. Have you a pain in your tooth - oh, nothing like a drop to cure a toothache!”

It is singular how trifles remain in one's memory, when serious things, with the passage of years, fade away. I do not remember one thing more about that meeting ; but an incident happened about that time which I tell with some diffidence. It may serve, however, to put learned men “on their taw” about signatures to great things, when one finds a mistake in the case of a small signature.

He wrote to me one morning, saying: “I enclose you a letter, that asks how to establish a branch of the ‘Apostleship of Prayer’. Father Cullen then went on to say that he had a great deal of work pressing on him; and (with some roundabouts and apologies) asked would I write an article or two. My answer was: It was hard for one man to write what was in another man's mind; but I would do my best, and send them to him.

On considering the matter, I thought it would be well to divide it into three papers, and because of the subject, and for Father Cullen's sake, did my best; signed them with his name, and sent them to him. He forwarded them on to the Record, and in due time the first came back to me to be proofed, bearing my name as signature. I corrected it; and because the articles, written at Father Cullen's suggestion, were approved of by him; because I, not being sent, had not authority to preach on the subject, and because Father Cullen's name would carry infinitely more influence than mine, scored out my name, put Father Cullen's to it, and sent it back to the Record.

In a week or two I had a letter from'him, telling me how puzzled he was, when a friend, meeting him in Gardiner Street, spoke of his paper in the Record. He went on to say that at the first opportunity he hastened to find out what his friend had alluded to, and was “so sorry to see the paper with his name to it, that it was a shame”, etc, etc. I laughed at him, and said nothing.
Of course, when the first went on that line, the other two followed on the same rails - with his signature to them.

The last place I met him was at Sacred Heart College, The Crescent, Limerick. It is not many years ago, and again it is only a trifle. All my memories seem to be trifles, but happy trifles inseparably connected with friends, like “the old familiar faces” of poor Charles Lamb; and in the kindly spirit of the gentle philosopher, I make the avowal, with grey hairs on my head and the sands in the glass running low, that God has been kind in allotting to me all through life the truest and happiest friends that human heart could desire.

I forget what Father Cullen was doing at the Crescent - Temperance, I suppose. It was told in Waterford long ago of two brothers who took a hand in stealing sheep, when sheep-stealing was a hanging matter. One was taken, but through some loophole or influence, instead of being hanged, was transported. He served his time, and on returning, the first thing he saw as he set foot on the wharf, was his brother hanging on the gallows. His only comment, they say, was - “Mutton, of course!”

With Father Cullen it was Temperance, of course. He was at luncheon when I called. With the invariable charm and courtesy of the Society towards “an old Jesuit bay”, I was invited in to meet him. My very first look gave me joy, he seemed so hale and vigorous, I reckoned on years and years to come, bringing with them innumerable holy and fruitful works. We shook hands with delight across the table, and in a roguish vein he bent down and kissed my hand. But if he “reviled, I reviled him again”, for before he could withdraw it, I, too, had bent down and kissed his. We then rose up and laughed in each other's faces with gladness, like two schoolboys. God be with him! That is the last time we met.

I saw the noble Avondhu in its flood roll down from the mountains. There was sun shine about it; and on its heaving breast I read the beautiful words of the Holy Book: “I am black, but beautiful” ; black with the burden of riches it bore from its solitary wandering among the distant heights. God had placed riches there, and had bade the infant rivulets to take them in their charge, bear them up in their hands, and carrying them down, fertilize the waiting lowlands, throng. ing with multitudes of men and beasts. One rivulet, hearing God's call before the rest, springs forward, and leads the way; the others follow, all uniting in forming the glorious Avon-dhu.

So it is with the Temperance movement of each generation. The Sacred Heart is scattering its graces on the height. Men come and meditate. Over against is the expelled demon of Drink, having with him (as confessors only know too well) seven others worse than himself; showing the kingdoms of the earth, and crying in his lying voice, for he was a liar from the beginning : “All these will I give you, if, falling down, thou wilt adore me”. Alas! alas ! some poor fools believe.

But the Sacred Heart cries out: “He that will be My disciple, let him deny himself, and so follow Me”. And Father Mathew, in his time, with his vehement slogan,“Here goes in the name of God," springs forth on the height and leads on”. In the next season Fr Cullen, filled with love of the Sacred Heart, devotes a whole lifetime, with all the elan of the mountain flood, to the holy cause. Today men, whose names have not yet become household words, are as truly and wholeheartedly devoting themselves to the sacred cause of temperance: which, religion alone excepted, surer than any other, makes the rough ways smooth and the crooked ways straight.

With the vehemence of the grand old Irish river, they pour down the mountainside, bring ing from theirconversation with God, indelibly written on tables of stone, the peace and blessing of their Creator.

R Canon O’Kennedy

◆ The Clongownian, 1924

Clongownians in Literature

Father James A Cullen SJ - by Father Lambert McKenna SJ

In the “Clongownian”of 1922 there appeaed a very vivid sketch of that distinguished son of Clongowes, the Rev James Cullen SJ. The editor of that date prefixed to this a tolerably complete summary of the work of this man, whose varied activities affected millions of his countrymen. It is unnecessary, therefore, to recapitulate here the career of Father Cullen, but it would be a pity to pass over this biography which, though not the work of an old Clongownian, is still so intimately connected with Clongowes as to fall naturally under the heading “Clongownians in Literature”.

And first, a few words about the book in general before we consider in detail those parts of it which will particularly interest Clongownians. The first, the absolutely essential quality we demand from the author of a life, the primary interest of which is religious, is absolute straightforwardness. He must not fall into the error of imagin ing that because the subject of his work was a very holy man he must be presented to the world as a faultless paràgon. Still less pardonable is the modern error which would transmute charity into common bonhomie, austerity into mild eccentricity, and mistakes and errors into the most lovable qualities in their watered down hero. Father McKenna is utterly removed from either of these irritating attitudes of mind.

Father Cullen is, in every page of the book, a living human being. There is an abundance of detail to enable us to see him as he really was at each stage of his career. It is a record of growing, not a description of a born saint, for if it is true some. saints are born, all are made. Father McKenna shirks nothing, but puts down with frankness and understanding all the facts of this remarkable life, though they are at times puzzling and even disconcerting. But at the end of the book we find ourselves saying, with something a little like awe: “What a life of zeal, of labour, of prayer. If only there were a few more like him”.

The book is well proportioned, much better so than the average biography, and the writing is vivid and clear, and in parts beautiful. The author possesses that vein of quiet humour without which we dare say Father Cullen could not be wholly under stood. He has collected excellent and very complete materials and used them with great effect.

To Clongownians, naturally, the chapter on Clongowes Wood is the most interesting. Father Cullen came to us almost by chance in 1856, and was here five years. He entered in Elements, and until he reached Poetry skipped a class each year in his upward progress and yet found himself each summer an Imperator. It is scarcely necessary to add that in the Debates, the Literary competitions, and the academic dis plays, he was peculiarly distinguished. One good story is told in this connection.

When the subject of the Academy-day Essay (carrying with it a prize of £10) was announced, he found that it was an historical question, of which he was totally ignorant. At the same time, he knew his only serious competitor to be extremely good at history, though poor in graces of composition. He therefore approached this boy with the following novel proposal : I suggest you get up the historical matter and arguments. I will then use them to write two essays one for myself, the other for you. One or other of us will get the prize, which we shall then go halves in. His friend accepted the terms, studied up the matter, and wrote the two essays as arranged. The Master of Rhetoric, who was official judge of the essays, detected signs of James Cullen's style in both compositions. James, summoned before him, stood on the defensive : You have no proof. But all to no purpose. He was to be punished for deceit, etc. James appealed forthwith to the Rector, who admitted the case was not proved against him, but seemed inclined to temporise. James would have none of this: if he was not proved guilty. he was to be treated as perfectly innocent. He therefore did a most unheard of thing. He wrote a long protest to the Provincial in Dublin. He won his case, too, and loyally shared the prize, which was adjudged to the essay he had presented in his own name.

There is another story of a stolen swim which we would dearly like to quote, an episode in which James' audacity brought him even nearer to a flogging, in this case at least well deserved. He had indeed an over-developed liking for playing at Tribune of the Plebs; but apart from that, he seems to have been a studious and quiet boy. He was in after years a great believer in school games, but as a boy was a poor performer. He was, as one expects to find, very pious, more so than is natural in most boys, and it was while serving the Mass of Father Eugene Browne, then Rector of Clongowes, that he felt, as he tells us hinself, with great distinctness, that God wished him to be a priest. There and then his resolve was made, his promise given, and a decision taken which in God's Providence saved, it would seem beyond all doubt, hundreds and hundreds of the souls of his fellow-men.

◆ The Clongownian, 1999

Pioneer Apostle

Father James Cullen SJ

by Bernard McGuckian SJ

Continuing our occasional series on the occupants of the Serpentine Gallery, we feature an essay on Fr James Cullen ST, one of the great apostles of the Irish Church in the late 19th and early 20th century. His enduring influence is to be seen in the periodical he founded in 1888, the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, and the Pioneer Association to promote abstinence from alcohol and sobriety in its use in honour of the Sacred Heart, founded ten years later. He has found more improbable fame as the original behind James Joyce's Fr Arnall in chapter three of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Previous denizens of the Gallery covered in this series are Sir Nicholas O'Conor (The Clongownian 1994), John Redmond (1995), Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and Oliver St John Gogarty (1996) and Kevin O'Higgins (1997). The contribution on Fr Cullen is by the present Central Director of the Pioneer Association, Fr Bernard McGuckian SJ. Fr McGuckian served on the Clongowes staff for a year before ordination in 1966-7.

For over a century now strangers have been puzzled by our Irish use of two common words, messenger and pioneer. For most of them a messenger was a person, usually male and under twenty, haring around a town delivering goods on a bicycle. A pioneer was an intrepid individual blazing a trail across North America. But here in Ireland these words had a different connotation. “Messenger” meant a little red booklet about the Sacred Heart and “pioneer” someone who took the soft option where drink was con cerned. Behind both these peculiar uses of language is an Old Clongownian and Jesuit priest, one of the Rogues in the Gallery, James Aloysius Cullen.

Late Vocation
Father Cullen's vocation to the Jesuits was slow in coming. He couldn't get far enough away from them on finishing at Clongowes in 1861 although he wanted to be a priest. He opted for his home diocese of Ferns. After four years of study he was ordained at St Patrick's College, Carlow, on 28 October 1864, just five days after his 23rd birthday, the minimum canonical age.

Seventeen years later, after establishing himself as a priest of extraordinary apostolic zeal in Ferns and further afield, he was admitted to the Jesuit novitiate at Arlon, Belgium, on 7 September 1881. He wrote of his intense joy but, particularly, his relief that the Jesuits had been prepared to have him at what he considered that late stage.

For the next forty years his life was an inces sant round of apostolic initiatives of all sorts; missions, retreats, hospital visitations, pam phlets, booklets, conferences, pilgrimages, “magic lantern” presentations, societies, sodalities, St Vincent de Paul meetings, in short, whatever he thought to be “ad maiorem dei gloriam”, the great ideal of his hero, Ignatius of Loyola. It is not surprising that he was a frequent visitor to “Undercliff”, the family home of Fr John Sullivan, in the period leading up to the Servant of God's reception into the Catholic Church. When he died on 6 December 1921, the day of the momentous Anglo Irish Treaty, he was universally regarded as one of the greatest benefactors of the Irish nation of his era.

At Clongowes
His years in Clongowes made a lasting impression on him and he talked affectionately about them afterwards. He was often first in his class, a keen debater and prominent in “Concertationes”, which involved declamation, translation and musical contributions on Academy Day. In a talk at his Alma Mater in 1904 he recalled the games he had played there. “handball-the two kinds of it, Common and Indian - a good old Irish game - cricket, archery, marbles, stilts, peg-tops, battie-dore and shuttlecock”. He was a particularly committed member of the sodality, which was meant to foster regular religious practice. His initiative in founding a branch of the Arch confraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Conversion of Sinners gave some inkling of his later bent.

Although enthusiastic about things religious he found nothing to excite him in this regard about his Jesuit teachers. From early childhood, particularly through the influence of his very religious mother, he had developed a gen uine passion for the salvation of the world, something that stayed with him for the rest of his life. But he just couldn't see how what the Clongowes Jesuits did had anything to do with this. What had teaching grammar and sums to do with spreading the Kingdom of God? His view, however, underwent a radical change during his years as a dynamic young priest in Wexford, bent on converting the world. By degrees he came to appreciate the apostolic efforts of his old masters as they tried to imple ment the Ignatian vision in the humdrum of life in a boys' boarding school. When he discov ered the wisdom and shrewd apostolic strategy of the Spiritual Exercises he began to rethink his Clongowes experience. In his voluminous diaries (unfortunately lost, but, we hope, not irretrievably) he often laments his short sightedness during his years there. Lambert McKenna's fine biography, the “Life and Work of Father James Cullen SJ” (1924) documents How zealously he made up for any lost time by giving himself totally to the Ignatian ideal during every waking moment of his subsequent life.

The Sacred Heart
The great passion of his life, as with many of his contemporaries in all the provinces of the Society of Jesus at the time, was the spread of devotion to the Sacred Heart. For him, this devotion, as revealed in 1675 to an enclosed nun, St Margaret Mary at Paray-le-Monial, France, and made public through her Jesuit spiritual director, St Claude la Colombière, was the inspired answer to all problems, personal or otherwise. His appointment as Director of the Irish branch of the Apostleship of Prayer in 1887 gave him full scope for his zeal. This work based on Sacred Heart devotion, the brainchild of two young French Jesuits, François X Gautrelet and Henri Ramière, aimed at mobilizing the prayerful support of all believers for the missions of the Church. Fr Cullen's prayer to Christ at the time appears in his diary: “Make this Apostleship the business of my whole life; make all my works for Thy glory succeed - above all the Apostleship and the Messenger”.

Through the Apostleship he encouraged the devotion throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. In a very short time there was a little red light burning before a picture of the Sacred Heart in every kitchen in the country, people were making a morning offering of all their "prayers, works and sufferings of the day to the Sacred Heart, churches became as crowded at Mass on the First Friday of every month as on Sundays and large numbers were attending a "Holy Hour" in the churches every month.

To promote this work he published the first edition of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart on 1st January 1888. When he first mooted the idea of a publication to his Rector in Belvedere he was given an assurance of “warm approbation and sympathy”. But the cunning Cullen said “How much do you sympathise?” “One pound” was the answer. This was all he needed. By the end of the year the circulation had reached 9,000 and six years later 45,000. As we enter the new millennium it is still going strong. Between four and five thousand volunteer promoters are responsible for maintaining a very high circulation and keeping distribution costs to a minimum. While exact circulation figures are not available (the Messenger is unique in that it does not carry advertisements), it is probably read by substantially more people than anything else published in this country. “This little red book according to one writer remains one of the most startling phenomena of Irish life”.

The Pioneer Association
Another significant contribution of Fr Cullen was the foundation of the Pioneers. He wanted to alert the Irish people to the need for great care in the use of alcohol as he came to know of the widespread heartbreak caused through abuse of it. As a man of faith he was convinced that a remedy was to be found in the “Heart of Christ, the Abyss of all Virtues”. Among these virtues the one he focused on was sobriety. Jesus had once said that some “demons could only be driven out by prayer and fasting”. Working on the assumption that irrational addictive behaviour was one of these “demons” Fr Cullen set about organising what he called the Pioneer Association of the Sacred Heart, It was to be a concerted campaign of prayer and fasting”. Members were asked to make three simple promises: to pray each day for excessive drinkers, to abstain from even the most innocent use of alcohol for life and to wear publicly a little emblem of the Sacred Heart.

Beginning with four ladies on 28 December 1898, the movement grew phenomenally. Within 20 years over 200,000 Irish men and women from every social class had joined the Association. Eventually Irish missionaries took it overseas so that today there are upwards of 500,000 members worldwide, especially in Africa. It was appropriate that an African should have been the principal speaker at the Centenary Mass in Croke Park, attended by 35,000 people from all five continents on 30 May 1999. His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, who had seen for himself the great transformation effected in the lives of thousands of his fellow-Nigerians by the Pioneer ideals, spoke of how “the careful apostolic planning of Father Cullen had been blessed by Divine Providence". The Cardinal referred to Fr Cullen's insistence on the importance of prayer and his awareness that without Christ we can achieve nothing. Indeed in his diaries he once wrote, “For every one word I say to a sinner, if I am to do that sinner any good, I must say one hundred words to God”.

Another of the “rogues in the gallery”, Doctor James Corboy SJ, a former Bishop in the Diocese of Monze in Zambia, is also part of the Pioneer story. He received his own pioneer pin as a boy in Clongowes from Fr John Sullivan. He has seen for himself the good fruit produced by the little seed thrown into the ground over a hundred years ago by his great fellow-Clongownian. The most recent Pioneer report from Zambia mentions a membership of “16,000 adults and 10,000 youths” and still growing. The first Pan African Congress of the Pioneers is scheduled for 2001 in Nairobi. The story is just beginning.

◆ The Clongownian, 2009

Roundabout Route To The Jesuits

Father Bernard J McGuckian SJ : Central Spiritual Director of The Pioneer Association.

James Aloysius Cullen (1841-1921), founder of both the Messenger, the well known monthly religious magazine and the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart, first came to Clongowes in 1856.

Gifted all his life with a computer-like capacity for recalling dates, anniversaries and minute details about events, he recalled that it was on April 7th of that year that he set out in the family car from his home in New Ross, Co Wexford to Bagenalstown, where he boarded the Sallins-bound train that would take him to Clongowes. While a boarder there he involved himself enthusiastically in the school-activities, especially the music, debating and academic side of things. Sport was not one of his priorities. There was one thing, however, that did not impress him at the time: the Jesuits who ran the place. Although only in his early teens he was greatly taken by things religious and the notion of evangelisation. Yet he saw little evidence of a similar passion in the teaching staff of his school. As priests they were meant to be “saving souls” and spreading the Kingdom of God and yet all they did was say Mass, teach classes, organise games and supervise dormitories. This impression, formed during his school-days became so much a part of him, that while feeling called to priesthood, the last place that he would have considered living out this vocation was among the men responsible for his secondary education. This attitude would later return to haunt him.

At Clongowes he was academically successful. The Christian Brothers in New Ross had done such a good job on young James that he skipped from Elements to Rudiments after a few weeks and for the rest of his time in the school was usually “Imperator” or first in his class. Strangely enough, in spite of being a model student and punctilious about his religious duties, he was often in trouble with his Prefect whom he considered, according to his biographer, Lambert McKenna, S.J., “unreasonable and arbitrary”. Cullen's own independent streak and tendency to originality were also contributory factors in a series of showdowns.

Father McKenna's account of one extraordinary episode is worth reproducing in toto.

When the subject of the Academy-day Essay (carrying with it a prize of £10) was announced, he (Cullen) found that it was an historical question of which he was totally ignorant. At the same time, he knew his only serious competitor to be extremely good at history, though very poor in the graces of composition. He, therefore, approached this boy with the following novel proposal: 'I suggest that you get up the historical matter and arguments. I will then use them to write two essays, one for myself and the other for you. One or other of us is sure to get the prize, which we shall, then go halves' in. His friend accepted the terms, studied up the matter, and handed the result to James, who wrote the two essays as arranged. The Matcer of Rhetoric, who was official judge of the essays, detected James Cullen's style in both compositions. James, summoned before him, stood on the defensive: “You have no proof”. But all to no purpose. He was to be flogged for deceit, etc. James appealed forthwith to the Rector, who admitted that the case was not proven against him, but seemed to temporise: James would have none of this; if he was not proved guilty he was to be treated as perfectly innocent. He therefore did a most unheard of thing; he wrote a long protest to the Provincial in Dublin. He won his case, too, and loyally shared the prize, which was adjudged to the essay presented in his own name.

McKenna commented that this incident “illustrates James's courage, unconventionality, and initiative qualities which under prudent guidance served him well in after-life in”.

Pioneering zeal
On leaving Clongowes he was accepted for priesthood in Ferns, his native diocese and was sent to St Patrick's College, Carlow for studies. Ordained in 1864 when barely 24 years of age, he actually required a dispensation because he was under the canonical age. Right away, he chrew himself into apostolic work with the enthusiasm and zeal that were to characterise all the activity of his subsequent life. Being in demand for missions and retreats all over Ireland did not prevent him from attending to his parish duties. It was while a curate in Ferns that his advocacy of temperance began. He felt impelled to do something drastic to end the widespread heartbreak caused in so many homes as a result of excessive drinking among boatmen along the Slaney.
While seemingly happy and fulfilled in his work, his copious personal diaries reveal. a deep unease during the 17 years after his ordination, Exteriorly his initiatives were attended by success and were attracting universal admiration but he himself was beginning to see things in a new light. The upshot of it all was his application for admission to the Society of Jesus on May 28th, 1881. As it had the consent and approval of his Bishop his application was approved by the Jesuit authorities. Over those years, as he became more aware of the influence of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola in the life and spirituality of the Church, he began to reconsider his attitude to the rank and file of the Society of Jesus. The motto of St Ignatius and his Order, “Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” (for the greater glory of God) helped James Cullen to understand that very ordinary activities, if done for a good motive and with a right intention could lead to the salvation of souls and the spread of the Kingdom. He later confessed that, if during his school years he had known of the variety of works undertaken by the Society, he would probably have applied for admission on leaving school. However he was unaware of even the great Jesuit missionary outreach, spearheaded in the Far East by the herculean labours of St Francis Xavier. Only slowly did he come to realize that the whole thrust of the works of the Society was “the salvation of souls” and that this could very well be done by accepting the drudgery of correcting the essays of the burgeoning human being and trying to put manners on him before he had become an incorrigible adult! Indeed, it was only after he had reached this conclusion, the result of a long interior struggle, that he considered himself ready for admission to the Society of Jesus. An entry in his diary for July 29th, 1881 reveals the completion of chat extended gestation process: “I feel today quire a consolation in thinking that I shall have much to do with educating boys”. Fr McKenna's comment on this was; “The prospect, which in Clongowes had turned him from the Society, the prospect of teaching boys, even attracts him”.

After his novitiate in Belgium, as a singularly obedient Jesuit, he would have been ready to spend his life as a teacher in a classroom if his superiors had so wished. This, however, was not what he was asked to do. His superiors realized that his talents lay elsewhere. With their blessing he spent his life, based in Ireland, spreading devotion to the Heart of Christ in an endless variety of good works, publishing, preaching, organising sodalities, clubs, counselling people (among them the Servant of God, John Sullivan SJ), promoting sobriety etc. Many of the good works he started are still thriving.

He died on the day the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on December 6th, 1921. Fr McKenna described his last hours.

A friend said to him; “Fr Cullen, you have done a good work in your day”. He answered: “Well, I think I can honestly say I have tried to do my best”.

On the morning of 6th December when the newspaper arrived he was told that the Peace Treaty had been signed during the night. “Thank God”, he replied, “I have lived to see Ireland free”.

A few hours afterwards he said to the nun attending him: “I am going into port, and he breathed his last peacefully about 12 o'clock”.

Dowdall, Gregory, 1612-1650, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1206
  • Person
  • 1612-09 August 1650

Born: 1612, Dublin
Entered: 19 March 1633, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1638, Douai, France
Died: 09 August 1650, New Ross Residence - described as a “Martyr of Charity”

1633 Is at Douai
1638 Studying Theology at Douai
1650 Died in service of and stricken by the plague

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1640 Came to Irish Mission
He died a Martyr of Charity in his service to the plague stricken of New Ross.
He was the only Priest left in New Ross when it was taken by Cromwellian (Parliamentary) Rebels. He went in many disguises and was a holy and humble man. Five others had remained in Waterford, two of whom were Priests - George Dillon and James Walshe. (Report of Irish Mission 1641-1650, by Mercure Verdier, Visitor, to Fr General - a copy at English College Rome) (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already completed Philosophy at Douai before Ent 19 March 1633 Rome
1635-1639 After First Vows he was sent back to Douai for Theology due to ill health and was Ordained there in 1638
1640 Sent to Ireland and to New Ross. He was Minister at the Residence at the time of Mercure Verdier’s Visitation, and he reported favourably on him in his Report of 1649 to the General.
1649 At the capture of New Ross by the Puritans Gregory was the only Priest left in the town, and he spent his time bringing consolation to the plague-stricken up to his death there 09 August 1650
He is described as a “Martyr of Charity”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Gregory Dowdall 1614-1650
At New Ross on August 9th 1650 died Fr Gregory Dowdall, a victim of charity in the service of the sick. During the siege of the city by Cromwell, he was a source of great comfort and strength to the citizens. When the city was finally captured, he was the only priest left at his post, ensuring the ravages of the plague which inevitably followed, he devoted himself single-handedly to the sick and the dying. Disguised as a gardener selling fruit and vegetables, he eluded the vigilance of the Puritans, and thus was enabled to minister to the Catholics.

He himself was struck down by the plague, and assisted by a fellow Jesuit, Fr Stephen Gelous who had been sent from Waterford, he died at the early age of 36, having lived 18 years in the Society.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DOWDALL, GREGORY. This Father, the model of zeal, humility, and self-denial, during the Siege of Ross, Co. Wexford, was like an angel of comfort to its inhabitants. When the town was taken by the Parliamentary troops, he was the only Priest that remained at his post; and during the ravages of the plague, devoted himself to the service of the sick and infected. Overcome with exertion, he at length took the infection, and fell a victim of charity on the 9th of August, 1650. As soon as the Superior, F. Malone, heard of his illness, he sent F. Stephen Gelosse to his assistance from Waterford, and from his hands the dying Father received all the consolations of Religion and all the attentions of friendship.

Furlong, James, 1882-1958, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/157
  • Person
  • 05 July 1882-10 January 1958

Born: 05 July 1882, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 18 March 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 10 January 1958, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News

Province News 33rd Year No 2 1958

Obituary :

Br James Furlong (1882-1958)

Br. James Furlong was born in July, 1882, in New Ross. He entered the Society on 18th March, 1904. While yet a novice he was sent to Gardiner St. and remained there till his death on the 10th January of this year. He became Sacristan of the Church after the death of Br. Mahon in April, 1917, but had done much of the sacristy work in the previous two or three years.
It is not too much to describe his fifty-two years in Gardiner St. as a chapter in the history of the church which began in 1832. His one interest was in the church. In a special sense he could have said: “I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house”. This love was shown in his unremitting zeal in all that concerned the altar. Everything was carefully attended to, the chalices, ciboria, candlesticks always polished, the vestments kept clean and in good repair, “the white cloth spread glistening for the Mass”. A nun, writing from Kildare, recalls that when as a young girl she watched Br. Furlong, prepare the altar, she thought : “If only I could live and work like that for Jesus”.
His ordinary work put him in contact with people of all kinds, and he had the gift which made him many friends among them. Thus he had lady helpers, both poor and well-to-do, in making and mending for the altar. He was never without help from the Mass servers and “old boys” to whom his character had some special appeal. He won their hearts, for he was a genuine man. In his dealings with the boys he could be brusque enough. He could hustle and order them about, and often seemed over-exacting in his demands on them. Yet they did not fear him. They sensed that he understood them, and there was no sting in his rebukes.
He had their welfare at heart. He enjoyed organising their little celebrations, preparing for their annual excursion to Clongowes, the big outing of the year. He joined simply and heartily in their occasional parties in the choir room, and got cross with anyone who would not contribute a song or some other item to the entertainment.
His old Mass servers gave a striking proof of their regard for him, when a large number of them gathered to honour him at a Golden Jubilee dinner in the Belvedere Hotel. A source of great happiness to Br. Furlong was the number of sacristy boys who had become priests and brothers. Some are in the Society, some among the diocesan. clergy, at least six are Marist priests or brothers. One joined the Picpus Fathers, and spent many years in Fr. Damian's Island of Molokai.
There was nothing subtle or mysterious about Br. Furlong. He was forthright and outspoken, but not given to expressing his views. He had to be drawn, then he spoke sincerely. He was simple and straight in his outlook. He enjoyed an amusing story or incident, and laughed heartily when he heard it. He would tell it to his friends. On his last visit to an elderly lady who had been confined to her house for some years, he told a story he had heard in the community. A certain victim of heart trouble was given a prescription by the doctor. He was to take the medicine every second day, take it one day and skip the next, and so on. Some time after, the man's wife sadly told the doctor of the patient's death. The medicine had been all right. It was the skipping that killed him. And Br. Furlong's story was a good prescription to cheer a lonely invalid.
Br. Furlong was a happy man. He needed no relaxation outside the ordinary round of his work, which provided him with pleasant contacts with many friends; and the ordinary recreation of the Society where he was an easy and pleasant companion. He was ready to enjoy the simplest bit of fun or engage in an argument. It was all the happier, when, as in recent years, many of these engagements were with two of his former altar boys, Brs. Foley and Colgan.
His life was busy and contented. The work of his department could be taken for granted. He fitted easily into the community. In the past few years impaired health made him hand over more and more of the church work to Br. Foley. He had much illness of body to suffer, but his faculties never failed, and he was at hand to direct, and to do much of the lighter work of the sacristy.
His name is linked with one notable and glorious chapter of Dublin's history, the sanctity of Matt Talbot. Matt was amongst the group to whom Br, Furlong for years opened the church door at 5.30 each morning. And so he was called upon to give evidence in Matt's cause,
Br. Furlong's piety was, like himself, simple. After his work round the altar, he liked to retire in the afternoon to the organ loft or the domestic chapel for a long visit. Love of the church, love of the Rosary, love of the Blessed Sacrament, these were obvious in his life.
So, known far and wide, and associated with the church for so many years, but personally unassuming and sincere in all his ways, Br. Furlong passed from his good and faithful service to the Master's yet more beautiful House.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother James Furlong SJ 1882-1957
Br James Furlong spent fifty two years as Sacristan in Gardiner Street Church. Surely that is a record comparable with the years of service of St Alphonsus Rodriguez as porter in Palma.

His care of the altar and the Church, and all that appertained it was the tender solicitude of a mother for her child. Truly it could be said of him “I have loved, O Lord the beauty of Thy House”. It follows “as the night, the day” in the words of Fr Michael Brown, that such a long period of service in one house was based on an essential fitness and deep spirituality in Br Furlong.

He came into contact with all sorts, high and low, rich and poor. Many friends he made who helped him with the altar. But his best friends were the altar-boys, many of whom, influenced by his example, became priests and religious, Jesuits – one of them a Provincial. On the occasion of his Golden Jubilee, these old boys entertained Br Furlong to dinner. Their number, their excellence, their high standing in their vocations, is sufficient tribute to Br Furlong. “By their fruits ye shall know them”.

He died on January 10th, being born in New Ross in 1882.

Gellous, Stephen, 1613-1678, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1358
  • Person
  • 01 February 1613-22 July 1678

Born: 01 February 1613, Gellowstown, Dublin
Entered: 17 May 1639, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 04 April 1643, Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 22 July 1678, County Wexford

Son of John and Maud O’Dunn.
Studied Humanities in Dublin under a priest Mr Edmund Doyle, Philosophy in a house of the Society under Fr Henry Cavell. They taught Grammar in Dublin.
Received into Soc in Belgium by Fr Robert Nugent
1644 At Antwerp (Arch Irish College Rome IV)
1647 Came to Mission (1650 CAT)
1649 Catalogue is at Kilkenny
1666 Is near New Ross where he conducts a boarding school with Fr Rice, administers the sacraments and other parochial duties. Was captured three times but set free each time. Now on the mission 23 years
A book in Waterford Library has “Steph Gellous Soc Jesu Resid Waterf”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of John Gellows, a carpenter, and Maud née Dunn (Mechelen Album) Family originally from Gellowstown, Co Meath (now Bellewstown)
Early education was in Dublin under Edmund Doyle, a Priest, and then two years Philosophy under Henry Cavell at the Dublin Residence. He then taught Grammar at Douai until he was admitted to the Society by Robert Nugent, Mission Superior, 07 March 1637, and then sent to Mechelen for his Noviceship in 1639.
Studied three years Moral Theology. Knew Irish, English, Flemish and Latin.
1647 Sent to Irish Mission and had been a Professor of Poetry. Taught in the lower schools for three years and was a Confessor (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI)
1649 Teaching Humanities at Kilkenny (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
1650-1660 He was a Missioner in New Ross, and in spite of all the efforts of the rebel Cromwellian forces, he continued by a constant miracle to escape arrest and say his daily Mass, which he did for twenty years. He went sometimes disguised as a faggot-dealer, a servant, a thatcher, porter, beggar, gardener, miller, carpenter, tailor, milkman, peddlar, dealer in rabbit-skins etc. he was nevertheless arrested four times, but always contrived to escape.
1666 Living near New Ross, where he kept a boarding school with Father Rice, taught Humanities and was a Missioner, Preacher, and occasionally with Father Rice, performing the duties of PP to the satisfaction of the Vicar General. The school took the lead of all the others in the country, but it was broken up in the persecution of 1670.
1673 He then taught about forty scholars near Dublin, and then tried to return to New Ross to unsuccessfully re-open his school there.
He was captured four times, and as often released, including riding a race with Cromwellian soldiers. He worked in the Irish Mission for twenty-three years.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John, a carpenter, and Mouda née O’Dunn
Had studied Humanities for seven years under Edmund Doyle, a secular priest in Dublin, and then studied Philosophy for two years at the Dublin Residence with Henry McCavell (McCaughwell) as his teacher. With these studies, he then started teaching Grammar in Dublin, until he was received for the Society by Robert Nugent.
1641 After his First Vows he studied Theology at Antwerp, and with special dispensation from Fr General before he had begun his fifth year in the Society, he was Ordained there 04 April 1643. This dispensation was granted thanks to the Flemish Provincial’s report on Stephen's mature virtue.
1643-1644 Theology was not his forte and so he was sent immediately to Lierre for Tertianship
1644 Sent to Ireland and was to teaching at Kilkenny. Mercure Verdier in his Report of 24 June 1649 for the General on on the Irish Mission described Gellous as “an excellent religious man, who takes no part in worldly business”.
After the Cromwellian conquest he left Kilkenny to exercise his mission in Co Wexford. He became something of a legend for resourcefulness during the “commonwealth” regime. he was captured four times but managed to get free. On one occasion, a protestant judge, disgusted by the perjury of Gellous’ betrayer let him go free. On another occasion he was deported to France, but due to a storm the Captain had to return to port, and once there let Gellous go free. On yet another occasion, he was out on a mission when he rode straight into a troop of Cromwell’s, and he challenged them to a horse race. They accepted, and at the end of the race let him go.
His HQ during these years was New Ross, and it was there, probably at the Restoration, that he opened a famous school, and with Stephen Rice conducted it with great success. Protestants, no less than Catholics were anxious to have their sons educated at this school whom was seen as a genius teacher. One feature of this school was the production of plays he had seen acted in Belgium.
1670 He was visited by the Protestant bishop and told to close the school and leave New Ross. The decision angered Catholic and Protestant locals alike. He staged his farewell by putting on for free, four plays acted by his pupils for the town, and then withdrew to Dublin.
1671-1673 Outside Dublin he conducted a small school by himself for two years
1673 Back in New Ross by popular acclaim and was there until 1678 - the year of his death
Most probably notifications of his death to the General would have gone astray due to the confusion caused during the Titus Oates's Plot.
By the Society’s standards, Stephen was not a clever man in book-learning, but his judgement on weighty matters affecting the Irish Mission was both sought for and respected by the General.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Stephen Gelouse SJ 1614-1675
In Ireland exact date and circumstances unknown died Fr Stephen Gelouse, a man of versatile talents and great zeal. He was born in Meath in 1614, was admitted to the Society in 1639 by Fr Robert Nugent in Dublin, did his noviceship in Mechelen and two and a half years of Philosophy under Fr Henry Cavell in the Dublin Residence.

He will always be remembered for his long and arduous ministry in New Ross, where for nineteen years he laboured as a priest and teacher. His school was famous. Fr Stephen Rice, the Superior writes this to the General : “Stephen Gelouse SJ has been working in and near New Ross this year 1669, and ever since 1650. When the plague and Cromwell’s tyranny ceased, Fr Gelouse taught a small school in a wretched hovel, beside a deep ditch, and there taught a few children privately. When the king was restored, his companion thought they might make a venture, the hut was levelled and a large house built, where they opened a school. It became famous and drew scholars from various parts of Ireland. There were 120 boys, of whom 35 (18 Catholics and 17 Protestants) were boarders. The Jesuits were forced to take the Protestants by their parents. The school flourished for 6 years. Fr Stephen produced a play which was enacted in the main square in new Ross. The play lasted three hours and was witnessed by a very large throng of Protestants and Catholics, many of whom came from distant towns to witness the novel spectacle. For the first time in Ireland, scenery was used on the stage. After the play there was a distribution of prizes”.

When the school was forced to close in 1670, in spite of Protestant parents who fought the authorities for its continued existence Fr Gelouse went to Dublin, where he taught a school of 40 pupils. In spite of persecution, he never missed a day saying Mass for 20 years. He was arrested 4 times, but managed to escape. He used adopt many forms of disguise : a dealer in faggots; a servant; a thatcher; a porter; a beggar; a gardener; a miller; a tailor; a milkman; a peddler, a carpenter and seller of rabbit skins. It was no wonder that he was so expert at training the youth to act.

In 1673 he tried to reopen the school at New Ross, but Protestant fanaticism defeated him. He was still alive in 1675.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GELOSSE, STEPHEN, born in 1617, was teaching Poetry in Kilkenny College in 1649, and was then reported by the visitor Pere Verdier, as a truly good and religious man. I believe he made his debut as a Missioner at Waterford, whence he was sent to Ross to attend F. Gregory Dowdall in his last illness, and who died in his arms, on the 9th of August, 1659. For the next 19 years he continued to exercise his pastoral functions in that town and neighbourhood. No dangers that threatened him from the Cromwellian party who filled every place with blood and terror, could deter this genuine hero from doing his duty : no weather, no pestilential fevers, no difficulties could hold him back from visiting the sick and the dying in their meanest hovels!. His purse, his time, his services, were always at the command of the distressed Catholic : it was his food and delight to exercise the works of mercy corporal and spiritual. Though the tyrant Cromwell had issued a proclamation to his troops, (and they were in the habit of searching the houses of respectable Catholics), that should they apprehend a Priest in any house, the owner of such house should be hung up before his own door, and all his property be confiscated; and that the captors of the Priest should be rewarded at the rate the Wolf destroyers formerly received (so little value was attached to a Priest s life); nevertheless F. Gelosse managed every day to offer up the unbloody sacrifice of the altar : his extraordinary escapes from the clutches of his pursuers border on the miraculous. He adopted every kind of disguise; he assumed every shape and character ; he personated a dealer of fagots, a servant, a thatcher, a porter, a beggar, a gardener, a miller, a carpenter, a tailor with his sleeve stuck with needles, a milkman, a pedlar, a seller of rabbit skins, &c. thus becoming all to all, in order to gain all to Christ. However, he was four times apprehended, as he told F. Stephen Rice; but his presence of mind never forsook him and he ingeniously contrived to extricate himself without much difficulty. After the restoration of Charles II. he set up a school at Ross, which took precedence of all others in the country, whether rank, numbers, proficiency, discipline, or piety, be taken into consideration, but this was broken up by the persecution in 1670. He then removed to the vicinity of Dublin, where he taught about forty scholars; and in August, 1673, he returned to Ross to reopen his school, but at the end of three months was obliged by the fanatical spirit abroad to abandon this favourite pursuit. He was still living in the summer of 1675, when I regret to part company with him.

Kelly, Ignatius Daniel, 1679-1743, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1511
  • Person
  • 1679-03 October 1743

Born: 1679, Dungarvan, County Waterford
Entered: 17 November 1698, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1707, Valladolid, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1716
Died: 03 October 1743, Dungarvan, County Waterford

Alias Roche
Mission Vice-Superior 14 August 1727-1773

Entries in old books show that he belonged to :
1723 New Ross Residence
1723-1726 Waterford Residence
1737 Named Rector of Poitiers
His will made in 1743 names him as PP of St Patrick and St Olav Waterford (Thrifts Irish Wills VOL III p 75)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1727 Appointed Mission Superior - as appears by a letter of his to John Harrison 13 June 1727
1729 Sent to Irish College Poitiers by General Tamburini
1733-1734 He was sent to Salamanca (Irish Ecclesiastical Record)
1743 At the Waterford Residence

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John Daniel Kelly and Helena née Roche
1700-1707 After First Vows he studied Philosophy and Theology at St Ambrose, Valladolid where he was Ordained 1707
1707-1711 Teaching Humanities at Valladolid
1711-1714 Chair of Philosophy at Bilbao
1714-1715 Tertianship
1715-1718 He was sent back to his Chair of Philosophy at Bilbao
1718-1721 Chair of Theology at Coruña
1721 Sent to Ireland and Waterford Residence and was appointed (15 September 1725) Secretary and Assistant with right of succession to the Mission Superior Anthony Knoles
1727 On the death of Knoles (14 August 1727) he became Vice-Superior of the Irish Mission, and held this Office until 1773. By his prudent government he kept his subjects free from participation in the disputes then rife amongst Catholics. He received many applications to establish houses of the Society in places with old-time Jesuit associations but by reason of the lack of Jesuits he could not accede to the requests from Limerick and Galway. In the end he was able to open the Galway Residence.
At the request of the bishops in Ireland assembled at Dublin he was able to bring influence from abroad to prevent the renewal of religious persecution. While on Visitation as Mission Superior to the Irish Colleges on the Continent, he was able to bring their perilous financial situation to the attention of the General, and thanks to his painstaking work, his successor was able to bring financial negotiations to a successful conclusion.
He was very popular with the clergy and people of Waterford who prevented his return to Spain when he had been named rector of the Irish College, Salamanca.
He died as a result of an accident returning from a sick call 03 October 1743 Dungarvan

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

Ignatius Kelly alias Roche (1727-1733)

Ignatius Daniel Kelly, generally known in Spain and Ireland as Ignatius Roche, was the son of John Daniel Kelly, of Dungarvan, and Helena Roche. He was born at Dungarvan on or about 15th June, 1679, and entered the Society at Villagarcia in Castile on 17th November, 1698. He studied philosophy for three years, and did a four years' course of theology in the College of St Ambrose at, Valladolid, ending in 1707; after which he taught grammar for three years, and acted as Minister for one. From 1711 to 1714 he was Professor of Philosophy at Bilbao, and after an interruption of a year of third probation, he resumed his Chair of Philosophy at Bilbao for another three years, during which he made his solemn profession of four vows on 7th February, 1716. Then, after teaching theology at Coruna for two years (1718-20), he returned to Ireland early in 1721, and was stationed at Waterford. Having been appointed Secretary and Assistant to Fr Knoles, with right of succession (15th September, 1725), he became Vice-Superior of the Mission when Fr Knoles died on 14th August, 1727, and continued as such till 1733. By his prudent counsels he kept the Society free from participation in the internecine disputes then rife among Catholics. He received many applications from various places to establish Residences of the Society, but the fewness of subjects prevented compliance. The Residence of Galway, however, was re-opened in the summer of 1731, the bishops of Ireland, assembled in Dublin, requested him to use his influence abroad to thwart the hopes of the heretics, which he did with such success that the danger was averted. In 1631-32* he made a Visitation of the Irish College of Poitiers to settle the confused financial relations between it and the Irish Mission. He appealed often to be relieved of the government of the Mission, but his petitions were not heard until 1733. His end was in keeping with his life. He met with an accident on his way back from a sick call to a poor woman, and died soon after at Waterford on 1st October, 1743.

*Addendum for 1631-32 read 1731-32

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Ignatius Kelly 1679-1743
Ignatius Kelly, generally known in Spain and Ireland as Ignatius Roche, was born in Dungarvan in 1679. As was usual in those days, he did all his studies in Spain, where he was received into the Society in 1698. He was Professor of Theology in Bilbao and Corunna.

Having returned to Ireland he was stationed at Waterford. He acted as Socius to Fr Knoles and became Vice-Superior on his death. The following extract from a letter of his to Fr John Harrison, Santiago, 13th June 1727, will give an idea of the conditions of the time, and the various devices used in correspondence to conceal identities :
“I have written to you several times asking for news of your health, which may the Lord preserve to you for many years. Here we are few and frail. Mr Knoles is incapable of doing anything unless suffer. Senor Tamburini has relieved him of the charge of this poor Mission, and has placed it on my shoulders, and I assure you I am tired of it.I am sorry that I cannot give you a formal Patent to Dom Andrew Lynch, who will be the bearer of this. His parents are very respectable, and his parents have the necessary qualities to become an apprentice in your factory”.
In spite of the poor account that Fr Kelly gave of the state of the Mission, he was able to reopen the Galway Residence in 1729.

In 1733 he was relieved of office, and spent the next ten years in the ministry. He was Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Waterford from 1734-1742, and died on October 1st 1743, as a result of an accident occurred while returning from a sick call.

Knowles, Anthony, 1648-1727, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1546
  • Person
  • 10 April 1648-14 August 1727

Born: 10 April 1648, Co Waterford
Entered: 12 June 1666, Santiago de Compostella, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1675, Salamanca
Final Vows: 15 August 1684
Died: 14 August 1727, Co Waterford - Romanae Province (ROM)

Alias Sherlock
Superior of Mission 15 May 1694-14 August 1727

In Society Studied 3 years Philosophy and 4 Theology. Taught Grammar, Moral Theology and Philosophy
“Thrifts Index to Irish Wills iii.60 give date 1731 of will of Rev Anthgony Knowles R Catholic priest, Waterford”
12/06/1666 Compostella CAST; FV Sherlock and Sherlog 15 August 1684 at Monforte - “Sherlogus” 18 August 1684; RIP 14 August 1727 Ireland
1672 “de Sherloque” at Tuetensi
1675 “de Sherloque” at Salamanca in Theology
1678 “Sherlog” at Medina CAST
1681 “Sherlog” at Valladolid
1685 “Sherlog” at Monforte College teaching Philosophy and Moral Theology. Was a Missionary. Talent for higher subjects. Not 1690 Catalogue
1708 1714 1717 Catalogue Was Minister and Vice-Rector, now Superior of Mission
“Anthony Knowles SJ, Superior of the Jesuits in Ireland sends John Higgins to Rector of Irish Seminary in Rome, praying that he may be admitted as soon as possible 07 November 1720. He sent Henry Marshall 04 June 1721; Thomas Stritch 21 July 1724. He always begins “cum studiorum causa Romam mittanus” (Arch Rom Coll Lib 19 pp46, 47, 49)
“Sherlog in Bibliotheca Hispan was highly esteemed for the excellence of his erudition at the time when we were in the same school.”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Professor of Belles-lettres, Theology and Philosophy for fifteen years.
1694-1727 Superior of Irish Mission
1727 Imprisoned
Short abstracts from his letters 1694-1714, dated mostly from Waterford are given in Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS. These letters expose a terrible system of cruel persecution carried on against Catholics, especially against the education of their children. In one letter dated 26 December 1696, he says that he had been committed to prison with all the clergy of Waterford diocese four weeks previously, and the same had happened in other parts of Ireland. The imprisonment appears to have lasted over thirteen weeks.
The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, March 1874, mentions a letter from Father Roche, dated 13 June 1727, which states : Here we are, few and frail. Father Knowles is incapable of doing anything, unless suffer. Tamburini has relieved him of his poor mission, and has placed it on my shoulders, and I assure you I am tired of it”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he spent a short Regency at Santander and was then sent for studies in Philosophy to Oviedo and in Theology to Royal College Salamanca and he was Ordained there 1675.
1676-1679 Sent to Medina del Campo teaching Latin
1679-1680 Minister and Vice-Rector at Monforte
1680-1682 Sent successively to St Ignatius Valladolid
1682-1686 Sent back to Monforte to teach Philosophy and Moral Theology
1687 Sent to Ireland and to Waterford.
1694 Appointed Superior of Irish Mission 15 May 1694 by the General, Tirso González de Santalla. He remained in office for the rest of his life (33 years) was carried out in the darkest of penal times. Yet he not only maintained a foot-hold for the mission in face of overwhelming odds but assured the succession of the Jesuits through the recruitment of worthy candidates.
General Tirso González de Santalla said of him “I knew him well in Spain, and I know him to be a learned, industrious, religious and pious man, eminently equipped with all the talents and virtues attributed to him”. The Superiorship of Knoles was one that might daunt the bravest spirit, but for thirty three years he withstood the first fury of the Penal Laws against religion. He was arrested in November 1596 at Waterford and imprisoned for thirteen months. At the start of 1713 he was in the strictest hiding, and by 1714 known to be hiding at New Ross. In spite of all this hardship, be built up the Irish Mission again slowly. On 06/12/1675 he used his influence abroad to prevent the King’s assent being given to a shameful Bill passed by the Irish Parliament against Catholic Clergy. In 1725 when his health was failing he secured as Secretary and Assistant Ignatius Daniel Kelly with right of succession. Not long after he was stricken by a deep paralysis and he died in Waterford 14 August 1727.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Anthony Knoles (1694-1727)
Antony Knoles was born in Waterford on 10th April, 1648. In Spain he was called Sherlock, which was probably his mother's surname. He was admitted into the Society at Santiago on 12th June, 1666. After teaching Latin at Santander, he studied philosophy at Oviedo and theology in the Royal College of Salamanca. On the completion of these studies in 1676, he taught Latin at Medina del Campo for three years, acted as Minister and Vice-Rector of the College of Monforte for one year, and taught philosophy in the College of St Ignatius at Valladolid for two years. He then returned to Monforte, where he lectured on moral theology for four years (1682-86), and made his solemn profession of four vows on 15th August, 1684. He arrived in Ireland early in 1687, and was stationed at Waterford. He was appointed Superior of the Mission on 15th May, 1694, by the General, Fr Thyrsus Gonzalez, who says of him: “I knew him well in Spain, and I know him to be a learned, industrious, religious, and pious man, eminently equipped with all the talents and virtues attributed to him”. The future Fr Knoles had to face was one to daunt the bravest spirit, but for thirty-three years he withstood the first fury of the penal laws against religion. He himself was arrested in November, 1696, at Waterford, and imprisoned for thirteen months. At the beginning of 1713 he was in strict concealment, and early in 1714 he was hiding near New Ross. Yet, in spite of persecution and great poverty, he maintained his ground and built up the Mission again slowly. On 6th December, 1723, he used his influence abroad, not without success, to prevent the King of England's assent being given to a shameful bill passed by the Irish Parliament against the Catholic clergy. In 1725, when his health was fast failing, he secured the appointment of Fr Ignatius Roche as Secretary and Assistant, with right of succession. Not long after he was stricken down with paralysis, and after lingering on for several months he died at Waterford on 14th August, 1727.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Antony Knoles 1648-1727
Antony Knoles was born in Waterford in 1646 and entered the Society at Santiago in 1666. He spent some years professing philosophy and theology until 1687 when he returned to Ireland.

Appointed Superior of the Mission his term of office lasted the unprecedented length of 33 years, the lifetime of his Master. He suffered the first fury of the Penal Laws against the Catholic religion.

Arrested in Waterford in 1696, he was imprisoned for 13 months. The years 1713 and 1714 he spent in hiding, yet in spite of persecution he built up the Mission. By means of the Society on the continent and through the interventions of the Catholic powers, France Spain and Portugal, in 1723 he prevented a very obnoxious Bill being passed by the Irish Parliament against the Catholic clergy.

In 1727 he laid down the burden of office and not long after on August 15th the worn out warrior of Christ died from paralysis.

McNamara, Brian, 1933-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/295
  • Person
  • 09 May 1933-01 October 1989

Born: 09 May 1933, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 28 May 1981, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 01 October 1989, University Hall SJ, Hatch Street, Dublin

Had been part of the Espinal, Gardiner Place, Dublin City community up to just before his death

by 1969 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying
by 1972 at Southampton, England (ANG) working
by 1975 at St Bede’s, Manchester (ANG) teaching

Nugent, Nicholas, 1629-1671, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1845
  • Person
  • 22 February 1629-28 September 1671

Born: 22 February 1629, County Kildare
Entered: 30 September 1648, Kilkenny
Ordained: c 1656, Bourges, France
Died: 28 September 1671, Dublin - Franciae Province (FRA)

1651 At La Flèche College FRA
1655 At Bruges College FRA
1658 Not in main body of FRA Catalogue, but at the end as teaching in France
1661 At Vannes College teaching Grammar
1665 Not in FRA Catalogue
1666 is 25 miles from Dublin teaching, catechising and administering the Sacrament. 1st year on Mission

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent, and then a further half year of Humanities afterwards. he knew Irish, English and Latin.
Ent 30/09/1648 (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1665 Sent to Ireland and New Ross
1666 He was a Missioner twenty-five miles from Dublin, teaching catechism to the country people and administering the Sacraments (HIB CAT 1666 - ARSI).
??In 1640 removed with the community to Galway and then to Europe.
1670 Living in Ireland
(Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had already studied Philosophy for two years before Ent 30 September 1648 Kilkenny
1650-1656 After First Vows he was sent for Philosophy studies to La Flèche and Theology at Bourges where he was Ordained c 1656
1656-1662 Sent to teach at Vannes
1662-1663 Made Tertianship at Rouen
1663-1664 Sent to teach at Tours
1664/65-1667 Sent to Ireland and in the Dublin region for two years and then to New Ross
1671 At New Ross he got into trouble, July 1671, for having challenged the local Protestant Priest to a public dispute in which he would show that the Pope was to be obeyed in spiritual matters but the King in temporal matters only, and also that the Protestant Bible could not be called “Word of God” as it was full of errors. The Protestant cited Nugent before the Assizes when he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment, and his goods were confiscated. The incident was the Holy See and the General and latter wrote at once to the Superior of the mission advising him that none of his subjects should engage in public controversy except with the advice of Hierarchy and the Superior himself.
On his release from prison Nicholas was recalled to the Dublin district and was working at Beggstown at the time of the Titus Oates's Plot. He died shortly after that, but the date was not recorded.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NUGENT, NICHOLAS. I meet with two Members of this name.
The other member was finishing his Noviceship at Kilkenny in 1649. The next year he was removed with his Brethren to Galway, and thence to the Continent, where all traces of him disappear.

O'Connell, Maurice, 1622-1687, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1875
  • Person
  • 1622-31 March 1687

Born: 1622, Castlegregory, County Kerry
Entered: 20 January 1641, St Andrea, Rome, Italy (ROM)
Ordained: 1647, Rome, Italy
Died: 31 March 1687, County Cork

Alias Henriquez

1649 was at Ross in Ireland
1652 Catalogue M Conauld of Kerry and Rome 1641 or 1642 on Mission 1649 is a formed Spir Coad.
1666 Catalogue M Connelle is near Cork catechising and assisting in missionary work. He was once arrested but soon set free.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Moral Theology for two years. Knew Irish, Italian and Latin.
Taught lower school for three years.
1649 Sent to Ireland and was teaching at New Ross. (HIB Catalogue 1650) Was a great Preacher and “thaumaturgus” (Miracle worker).
1666 Living near Cork working as Missioner, Catechising etc. He was also imprisoned for his faith. (cf Foley’s Collectanea) He had then been on the Mission 17 years.
Eulogised in the Annual Letters 1671-1674, and styled the “Thaumaturgus” of the island. Kerry seems to have been the chief base for his apostolic works. He was cruelly outraged and persecuted, and died at Cork 31 March 1687, aged 72.
No doubt that he was of the “Liberator” family - Daniel O'Connell. He is called “nobilis” in the contemporary account sent to Rome

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Cornelius of Cahir (a townland of Corcoguiney, Killiny parish near Castlegregory) and Maria née Watre (sic).
Three of Maurice's uncles were priests; Richard, afterwards Bishop of Ardfert, Maurice, an Augustinian and Donough a diocesan priest of Ardfert
Had studied Humanities at Bordeaux 1638-1640 before Ent 20 January 1641 Rome
1643-1647 After First Vows he was sent to study at the Roman College and was Ordained there c 1647.
1647-1648 Sent as Minister at Sezze College
1648 Sent to Ireland via Bordeaux and New Ross. He was appointed to teach but as he does not seem to have known any English, it can only be supposed that the schoolboys at New Ross used Irish or spoken Latin as the languages of the classroom. He himself was known to speak Irish, Italian and French. In Mercure Verdier’s Report to the General (1649), he speaks of his zeal and industry.
During the “Commonwealth” period he moved to Kerry, and then after the restoration moved to Cork working there until he died 31 March 1687
While working in Cork he won the veneration of the poor and persecuted amongst whom he was commonly regarded as a “Thaumaturgus” /Miracle Worker”
During the Oates Plot his name appeared on a list of Priests sent to the Government.
A kinsman, Daniel - in religion, Robert, O. M. Cap.- and collaborator in writing the Commentarius Rinuccinianus mentions Maurice in that work.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Maurice Connell SJ 1615-1687
Fr Maurice Connell was born in the Kingdom of Kerry in 1615. He entered the Society in Rome in 1641.

On his return to Ireland he was stationed fors at New Ross, and then at Cork, where he laboured as a missioner and catechist. In the Annual Letters of 1671-1674, he is spoken of as “the Thaumaturgus of Ireland” Fr Oliver says of him “he was truly an eye to the blind, a foot to the lame and a true father to the poor”.

Like his Blessed Master he went about doing good, and like Him, was cruelly outraged and persecuted. He was for some time imprisoned for the faith.

He died on March 31st 1678 at the age of 72.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONNELL, MAURICE, “genere nobili oriundus”. The Annual Letters from 1671 to 1674, shew how powerful this Father was in word and in work, insomuch that he might be called “hujus Insulae Thaumaturgus”. Kerry seems to have been the theatre of his Apostolic labors. He was truly an eye to the blind and a foot to the lame, and the Father of the poor. Like his blessed Master, he went about doing good; and like him he was cruelly outraged and persecuted. He was living in July, 1675, “sexagenario major”.

O'Connor, John Baptist, 1652-1706, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1895
  • Person
  • 28 June 1652-06 January 1706

Born: 28 June 1652, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 08 December 1674, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 1687, Arlesham (near Basel), France
Final Vows: 15 August 1694
Died: 06 January 1706, New Ross, County Wexford - Romanae Province (ROM)

1676-1678 At Épinal CAMP teaching Grammar at the Residence
1678-1680 At Pont-á-Mousson Studying Philosophy
1680-1681 Teaching Grammar at Langres CAMP
1681-1682 Teaching Grammar at Charleville CAMP
1682-1683 Teaching Humanities at Nancy
1683-1684 Teaching Grammar at Pont-á-Mousson
1684-1986 Theology at Rheims
1686-1688 Theology at Pont-á-Mousson
1690-1691 Not in CAMP Catalogue - gone to Scotia

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1693 Tertianship in Dublin
Was on Irish Mission 1669, 1674 and 1694; Skilled in Irish language (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1676-1680 After First Vows he was sent for a year of Regency to Épinal and then to Pont-à-Mousson for Philosophy.
1680-1684 There followed four more years of Regency at Langres, Charleville, Nancy and Pont-à-Mousson.
1684-1688 Sent to Rheims for Theology and was ordained at Arlesham (? Arles ?), near Basel 1687, and then back to Pont-à-Mousson to complete his studies
1688 Sent to Ireland and New Ross and was registered as PP there 11 July 1688 - having succeeded Bishop Wadding there. He died at New Ross 06 January 1706

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
O’CONNOR , JOHN. I meet with him in Champagne,in 1686, when his services were demanded for the Irish Mission. There I find him in November, 1694, labouring diligently and fruitfully in a country Parish. His skill in the Irish language rendered his services particularly valuable to a poor population.

Power, Edmund, 1878-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/363
  • Person
  • 02 March 1878-03 August 1953

Born: 02 March 1878, Kilcullane, Herbertstown, County Limerick
Entered: 01 October 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 25 February 1915, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome Italy
Died: 03 August 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1901 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language
by 1908 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1910 at Oran, Algeria (LUGD) studying
by 1910 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1915 at Pontifical Biblical Institute Rome, Italy (ROM) teaching

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from J Austin Hartigan Entry :
After Noviceship he made studies at Tullabeg, and then Eastern languages at Beirut with Edmund Power.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Studied at St Patrick’s Seminary Thurles and St Patrick’s College Maynooth to 1st Divinity before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 28th Year No 4 1953

Obituary :

Father Edmond Power 1878-1953

When Father Power went to his reward, on August 3rd, the Irish Province lost one of its most venerable and distinguished sons. Studying, teaching and writing with unflagging energy till the end, he had done much, in a long lifetime, for that scholarly defence of the Faith which, as the Holy Father said at our fourth centenary, is what the Church chiefly asks of the Society. The funeral of “this eminent Jesuit scholar”, to quote the papers, was marked by sympathetic tributes from the highest dignitaries of Church and State in Ireland. All felt that there had gone from us a learned and holy man who could hardly, if ever, be replaced. Fr. Power had, in fact, in a laborious life devoted to some of the most difficult branches of scholarship, brought his great gifts to a readiness and ripeness which made him indeed a master in Israel." Happily, in the most important contribution which be made to the recent “Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture” be was able to leave to the Church a fitting memorial of his great achievements.
Father Power was born at Kilcullane, Herbertstown, Co. Limerick, in 1878. From his sturdy farming ancestors he derived a wiry vigour which stood him in good stead during the rigours of a student's life passed for the most part under the trying conditions of Eastern and Roman climates. His deep piety too owed much to his remarkable family - seven of his sisters became nuns, two of his brothers priests, one of whom was till his retirement Parish Priest in California, the other Archdeacon of the Cashel diocese. One sister and one brother “stayed in the world”, and Fr. Power had the happiness of seeing a nephew ordained last year. He treasured the memory of his father, who instilled into his children a great devotion to the daily rosary, and who was a weekly communicant at a time when few felt prepared. His saintly mother may well be remembered by her words in time of trial : “What is this life worth, except to serve God”. Fr. Edmond was not the slowest to learn and live that lesson.
He was a talented child, who learnt the alphabet in one lesson at the age of three - a foreshadowing of what he would do later when faced with the four hundred cuneiform characters of the Assyrian ‘alphabet’. When he left the National School to attend the Christian Brothers, Limerick, he was intended for law. But his vocation to the priesthood brought him to Thurles Seminary where in one year he won a place at Maynooth. There he studied Philosophy for two years, 1894-6, and three weeks Theology, before entering the noviceship. Well-meaning and revered counsellors had urged him to wait till after ordination. But he was determined “to get the real Jesuit spirit” by doing the full course, thereby showing the high esteem he had of the Society, and which he expressed on his death-bed. “A year or two”, he said, “what does it matter? You all know what I think of the Society”. He was remembered at Maynooth as the student who was always in the chapel.
He stayed in Tullabeg for his juniorate, 1898-1902, gaining one of the most brilliant degrees on record at the Royal University in Ancient Classics. During three of these years, he taught his fellow juniors. In 1906 he went to the University of the French Jesuits at Beirut. His chief study was Arabic, ancient and modern, which he admitted he found much more difficult than the Hebrew which he also studied, along with Syriac, Aramaic, Assyrian, Coptic and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. His doctorate thesis was on a medieval poet of Arabia. During these years he gained that living familiarity with the East which graced his widely-read articles on Palestinian Customs as illustrating the Bible. A year's teaching at Clongowes was followed by two years philosophy at Valkenburg, and theology with the exiled French Jesuits at Hastings. His way of passing the summer, even most of the one after ordination, was to study in the British Museum, His preparation for his work could hardly have been more apt or thorough.
In Tertianship at Tullabeg, he was highly appreciated as the author of skits and humorous poems performed at the concerts given to the Novices on festive occasions. His wit was indeed always quick, though his charity restricted its play. He was called to Rome in 1914 to begin the twenty-four years of Professorship at the Biblical Institute which made him a well-loved figure to hundreds of students from all parts of the world. His chief subjects were Arabic, Syriac, Biblical Archaeology, the physical and historical Geography of Palestine, all demanding highly specialised skill. He was for a time editor of the scientific organ of the Institute “Biblica”, and contributed regularly the Bibliography which covered all fields of Scripture studies. He also edited the more ‘popular’ “Verbum Domini”, where articles in his elegant Latin often appeared. His learned research articles gained him the name of high erudition even with those who could not accept some of his conclusions. Perhaps the finest publication of his Roman period was the study of the religion of Islam in Huby's Christus. Some of his work, especially his identification of the site of the House of Caiphas, brought him into controversy with the great Dominican scholars of Jerusalem. When the dust had settled, the new Dictionnaire de la Bible entrusted the subject in question to Fr. Power.
Returning finally to Milltown Park in 1938, at the age of sixty, Fr. Power began an Indian summer which was to be perhaps the most fruitful period of his life. In 1941 he added exegesis of the New Testament to his classes on the old, and took on the duties of prefect of studies. His lectures were clear and solid, and he shirked no amount of repetition to drive home what had to be known - a trait very welcome to students heavily burdened with examinations. The project of a complete English commentary on the Bible found in him an enthusiastic supporter, and his scholarship and industry made him a valued contributor. Nor only did he fulfil his own engagements punctually, but he took up tasks where others defaulted. It is hardly too much to say that without him the Commentary would not have been published for many years more, nor would it have reached the standard it did in the time. To the remuneration of the 200,000 words he wrote, the publishers added a substantial sum in recognition of the special part he played in its production. The relentless energy he put into this work was astonishing in so frail and stooped a frame, racked as it was by the paroxysms of a cough which had been chronic since his early days in Rome. He wore out at his work, but it was well done.
He was fully conscious during his last illness, which lasted only a day, and he died in sentiments of tranquil hope. Priests wept unashamedly at his graveside. None could recall a harsh or an uncharitable remark from his lips, but all remembered his patient and humble obedience, the fervour of his Mass, office and beads, his courageous devotion to duty. Many regretted the loss of a prudent kind and understanding confessor and his friends inside and outside the Society, in many parts of the country, mourned a sympathetic and self-effacing companion. It was well to have known this model of work and prayer. He had joined the Society with the clear purpose of serving God there perfectly. His merciful Judge knows how loyally he kept his word.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 1 1954


of the late Father Edmund Power
It was only a few days ago that I heard from Fr. Sutcliffe, S.J. of the death of Fr. Edmund Power, S.J., our colleague for the past ten years in the production of A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, and I should like to express on behalf of the other contributors and myself our deep sorrow at your loss and ours. I said Mass for him the day after I heard the news and am making a 30-day memento, which is the same as we always do for the brethren of our own Community.
Fr. Power's part in the production of our Commentary was in valuable and can hardly be overestimated. From our first approach to him early in 1944, be was an enthusiastic supporter of the project, and so far as I can gather, he devoted the greater part of the next seven years to writing a series of articles and commentaries, the learning, balance and breadth of which are amongst the greatest adornments of our work. Indeed, without bis amazing industry and energy it is difficult to see how we could ever have completed our task. His helpfulness and willingness to undertake assignments unfulfilled by others showed the breadth of his character, and none of the many great calls we made on him but was cheerfully taken up and completed to our great satisfaction. Both from his and our point of view, it was providential that in his last years we were able fully to utilise those great stores of learning and experience that he had built up in the course of a most distinguished career.
My own personal contact with him was unfortunately limited to one personal flying visit to Milltown Park in 1945, where I was most hospitably received and entertained. I always received the greatest personal consideration from him at every time and I was always struck by his humility in consulting and sometimes deferring to a much younger and less knowledgeable person. I should appreciate very much receiving a copy of his obit card and of his obituary notice.
Bernard Orchard

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund Power 1878-1953
Fr Edmund Power was born of farming stock near Herbertstown County Limerick. His early years of farm life gave him a strong body, which stood him in good stead during his arduous years of study.

He was educated by the Christian Brothers in Limerick. He went first to Maynooth, and when he had finished the Philosophy courses, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg. He did his studies abroad and was ordained in 1912.

He was then sent to the Biblical Institute, where he spent the next 24 years. He contributed to many learned magazines, including “Studies” and “Christus”. He took a major part in th compilation of the Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture.

He returned to Dublin in 1938 to teach Old and New testament Studies at Milltown Park. His many virtues made him much beloved. He died there on August 3rd 1953.

Rice, Stephen, 1625-1699, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2047
  • Person
  • 03 April 1625-07 January 1699

Born: 03 April 1625, Dingle, County Kerry
Entered: 20 May 1648, Kilkenny
Ordained: 13 March 1660, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 03/ November 1664
Died: 07 January 1699, Dublin Residence - Romanae Province (ROM)

Alias James Flent
Superior of Mission 08 October 1672

Had studied 2 years Philosophy before Ent. Taught Humanities 16 years. Was Superior of Irish Mission
1666 Is living near New Ross teaching school at his Boarding School. Preaches Catechetics in the country and does parochial work. Very good. On Mission 5 years. Has good talents with great fitness for catechising and teaching boys.
1679-1682 Minister and Prefect of Boarders at Irish College Poitiers
There is at Clongowes a “Praxis Episcopalis” Ed 1618 in which is written “P Ig. Rice”

1660 or 1662 Sent to Ireland from Professed House at Antwerp
1662 Living in New Ross where he kept a boarding school, and was engaged in Preaching, Catechising etc, and also occasionally acting as PP
1672 Superior of the Mission, and recommended for the same office in 1697 . Father Kelly, Rector at Poitiers, in a letter to the General, recommends Stephen Rice to be the Superior of the Mission again in a letter dated 26 May 1697 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
He is the author of a long and most interesting history of the Irish Mission SJ 1669-1675 (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
Highly eulogised in letters of the martyred Archbishop Plunkett to the General Oliva, dated Dublin 22 November 1672 and Armagh 31 January 1673
Much praised for learning, zeal, eloquence, holiness etc, by Primate Plunket and Dr Peter Talbot
Note from No Ch Name (actually George) Murphy :
Named in an Italian letter, dated Dublin 22 November 1672, ad written by the Martyr, the Archbishop Oliver Plunket, Primate of Ireland, to Father General Oliva, in which, after expressing his affectionate regard for the Society, and informing him of the meritorious labours of Fathers Rice and Ignatius Brown at Drogheda, he speaks of Father Murphy as a good Theologian, and excellent religious man, a man of great talent, and a distinguished preacher in the Irish language. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of James and Phyllis née Fanning (daughter of Edmund of Limerick) and brother of Br Nicholas Rice (LEFT?)
Studied Humanities and Philosophy under the Jesuits at Kilkenny before Ent 20 May 1648 Kilkenny
A year after First Vows he was sent to Flanders for Regency before Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 13 March 1660
1662 Sent to Ireland and initially to Limerick
1663-1670 Sent to join Stephen Gellous at New Ross, where he taught Humanities and Rhetoric for the next seven years
1670-1672 Went to Drogheda to organise the College there which was opened by Blessed Oliver Plunket.
1672-1678 Superior of the Mission 08/10/1672. A fresh wave of persecution meant that the schools had to be closed and missionary work carried on in secret. During his term of office the Irish College, Poitiers was established, not only as a school for boys, but also a refuge for old, inform or exiled Irish Missioners. Before he finished Office he wrote at length to the General regarding the Irish Mission 1669-1675.
1678-1682 At the time of the Oates's Plot, 1678, he was arrested and then deported. He went to Poitiers and was Minister of the Irish College until 1682
1682 Sent back to Ireland and Limerick. After the surrender of Limerick he came to Dublin as Consultor of the Mission, and he died there 07 January 1699, and is buried in St. Catherine’s Churchyard

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Stephen Rice (1672-1675)

Stephen Rice, son of James Rice, of Dinglicoush, and Phyllis, daughter of Edmund Tanning, of Limerick, was born at Dingle on 3rd April, 1625. He made his early studies up to philosophy at the College of Kilkenny, where he entered the Novitiate of the Society on 20th May, 1648. In 1651 he was sent to Flanders, where, after the usual course of teaching and study, he was ordained priest on 13th March, 1660, during his fourth year of theology at Louvain. On his return to Ireland he was stationed first at Limerick (1662), but next year he was sent to New Ross, where he taught school for seven years. He made his solemn profession of four vows at Dublin on 3rd November, 1664. In 1670 he went to Drogheda to conduct the College opened there by the Blessed Oliver Plunket. On 8th October, 1672, he was appointed Superior of the Mission. A fresh outburst of persecution caused the closing of our schools, and the ordinary ministrations of the Society had to be carried on in secret. During Fr Rice's term of office the Irish College of Poitiers was founded as a house of refuge for old, infirm, or exiled missioners. Before leaving office he wrote a long report on the work of the Society in Ireland from 1669 to 1675. At the time of Oates's pretended Plot (1678) he was arrested and banished. He went to Poitiers, and acted as Minister of the Irish College till 1682, when he returned to Limerick. After the surrender of Limerick he came to Dublin, as Consultor of the Mission, and died there on 7th January, 1699.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Stephen Rice SJ 1625-1699
Stephen Rice was born in Dingle in 625. Educated at our school in Kilkenny, he entered the noviceship there in 1648. Ordained at Louvain in 1660, the year of the Restoration of Charles II, he was stationed first at Limerick, then at New Ross, in which town he taught school for seven years.

At the request of Blessed Oliver Plunkett he opened a school in Drogheda, where he had 150 pupils, besides 40 Protestant gentlemen who attended classes in 1670.

Two years later he was made Superior of the Mission. During the disturbance caused by the Titus Oates Plot, he went to Poitiers, where he acted as Minister.

However, in 1682 he managed to return to Ireland and he worked in Limerick. After the surrender of that city to the Williamites he came to Dublin as Consultor of the Mission, and he died there in January 7th, 1699.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
RICE, STEPHEN, began his Noviceship at Kilkenny, and in the sequel became a leading man amongst his Brethren. The venerable Primate Archbishop Plunkett, of glorious memory,* in a letter addressed from Dublin on the 22nd of November, 1672, to the General S. J. Father John P. Oliva, extols Father Rice then Superior of his brethren, for his learning, disinterested and indefatigable zeal, fervid eloquence, remarkable discretion, and profound religious virtue; he adds, that this good Father has all the modest diffidence of a Novice: that he is a true son of St. Ignatius, and full of the spirit of the Institute. In a second letter to the same, dated Armagh, 30th of January, 1673, the worthy Archbishop repeats his unqualified commendation of this meritorious Father. His Grace of Dublin, Archbishop P. Talbot, held him in no less esteem. We have this Rev. Superior’s well written report of the Irish Mission of the Society, from the year 1669 to the 15th of July, 1675, and which has furnished several details for these biographical Sketches. I find by a letter dated Poitiers, 20th of May, 1097, that he was thus recommended by its Rector, F. Kelly, to the General Gonzales, to resume the Government of his Brethren in Ireland : “Rev. Father Stephen Rice, who, about 20 years since, was Superior of the Mission, appears to me eminently qualified to fill that office again, unless his age and strength may incapacitate him for the labour”. When the good old man descended into the tomb, I have inquired in vain.

  • The head of this illustrious victim of legal murder, is respectfully preserved in the Convent at Drogheda. How true is the remark, that “Calumny spread, no matter how, will frequently prove an Overmatch for candour, truth, and innocence, until time has applied his Touchstone, and proved the temper of the Metal!”

Troddyn, Peter M, 1916-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/421
  • Person
  • 23 May 1916-27 November 1982

Born: 23 May 1916, Rathgar, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 October 1947, Clonliffe College, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1951, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 27 November 1982, University Hall, Hatch Street Lower, Dublin

Older Brother of Billy Trodden - RIP 1984

by 1939 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Irish Province News 58th Year No 2 1983 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1984


Fr Peter M Troddyn (1916-1933-1982)

Peter was born in Dublin on 23rd May. 1916. He was the eldest of six children, five boys and one girl. His father, a civil servant, was a native of Maghera in Derry; his mother, née Walsh, was from near Ballina in Mayo. All Peter's uncles, his mother's brothers, were boys at Clongowes in the early years of this century. His initial schooling was under the direction of a Miss Haynes, a devout Church of Ireland teacher, and her two Catholic assistants. This little school was about one hundred yards from Peter's home in Rathgar. There he met, for the first time, one who was to be a fellow-Jesuit and life long friend, the late Fr Dick Ingram.
For a few years after leaving Miss Haynes's Academy Peter continued his education under the Irish Christian Brothers in their schools in Synge street, then a penny tram-ride from his home. In the autumn of 1929 his parents made a decision which was to affect his whole life. Peter and his two brothers, Billy and Gerald, entered Belvedere College.
Athair Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire writes of Peter as a boy at Belvedere:
“While he did not play games, he was a faithful member of the Cycling Club and an enthusiastic, talented photographer. He was active, too, in the Debating Society and in An Cumann Gaelach, of which he was a founding member. One memory of him is abiding: from his arrival in the school, he was an inveterate “asker of questions”. In this the child was father of the man; to the end Peter's keen intellectual curiosity was a noted characteristic: Over the years I myself have frequently witnessed his struggles with abstruse mathematical, Theological and even historical problems. He was all his life a seeker and searcher for truth.
In February 1933, Peter's father died. This proved to be a turning point in Peter's life. It was decided that he should sit for the Civil Service Examinations for Junior Executive Grade and at the same time complete his Leaving Certificate Course at Belvedere. Shortly after his , 17th birthday he passed both examinations with honours. However, during the Summer months which followed, he made up his mind to become a Jesuit and he entered our Novitiate at St Mary's, Emo, on 30th September 1933. He was one of seven Belvederians to do so in that year.
His noviceship came to an end on 1st October, 1935, when he made his first vows. He spent the three following years in the Juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle. He graduated from the National University, receiving his BA (Hons) in Maths 2014 Maths Physics. He was one of three to do so in 1938; the late Fr Dick Ingram and Fr Ted Collins of Hong Kong made up that distinguished trio.
While in the judgement of his contemporaries he would have benefited from further studies at the University, it was decided that he should start his philosophy course at the French House in Jersey. Here he spent one golden year, a year he often spoke of with affectionate appreciation. Everything appealed to him, the stimulating lectures of the Professors, the congenial company of the French scholastics, the climate, the diet and the all-round liberating régime. Here too, was kindled his love for France and things French. In later years he would return to France to carry on, for over twenty years, a hidden apostolate in a Paris suburb.
The outbreak of the Second World War on 3rd September, 1939, brought about the recall of Peter and his four fellow Irish Scholastics to Tullabeg. Philosophy as an academic discipline appealed to him and he excelled in it. And, as in the he played a full and useful part in all the activities of his fellow philosophers', games apart.
For two years, from 1941, he taught mathematics in Belvedere, edited the Belvederian and presided over the Senior Debating Society. He also obtained his Higher Diploma in Education. Then he spent one year at the Crescent teaching and prefecting and refereeing rugby matches for the very young boys! In addition, he was in charge of the new school hall, where his practical knowledge of electricity was a decided asset! In both Colleges he won the hearts of many a youth by his patience and his kindly interest in their boyish affairs.
He arrived in Milltown Park in Autumn of 1944 to commence his studies. Here his health began to deteriorate. He was rushed to hospital and underwent major surgery on 29th July, the eve of the Ordination Day 1947. He recovered slowly and was ordained privately at Clonliffe College by the late Archbishop John C. McQuaid on 19th October, 1947. He offered his first Mass in the Convent Chapel attached to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross.
But illness dogged him. He was unable to complete his Theology and retired to do light work in 35, Lower Leeson Street, and to Clongowes in the summer term of 1949. In the autumn of . that year he began his Tertianship. This final year of formation proved a trial for him, but he persevered until ill health forced him to retire once more, this time to Milltown Park where he took his final examinations successfully just before Christmas 1950.
Fr Peter arrived as a member of the Community attached to St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner Street, in January 1951. On 15th August of that year Peter, he made his final profession. During the next eleven years Peter held posts of varying importance. He was for a time Assistant to the Province Treasurer, he preached frequently in the Church and during the Novena of Grace and always to appreciative audiences. Fr Daniel Shields takes up the story: “I was in the St Francis Xavier Community during the years when Fr Peter was in charge of the building of the present St Francis Xavier Hall. He was faced with many problems, not least, the financial problem, How was he to raise the large sums required to meet not only the building costs, but also the cost of installing modern theatre and stage equipment, seating, etc. Fr Peter with the expertise of a Rothschild banker came to the rescue. He devised a system of weekly “draws” which were so attractive and so widely supported, that the money so raised financed the entire undertaking. When the Hall was completed, Fr Peter recruited a group of voluntary helpers. These included skilled carpenters, painters, engineers, light and or sound experts and even a tailor! Fr Peter became the friend and Father of each. They came to him with all their problems, not least their religious problems. It is unbelievable the trouble he took in finding real solutions to a wide variety of such problems.
Fr Peter then turned is attention to providing accommodation for the members of the Pioneer Club, who had formerly been housed in the original Fr Cullen's Pioneer Hall in Sherrard street. He purchased a fine Georgian house on the East side of Mountjoy Square and had the entire building renovated, decorated and equipped to a high standard, The proceeds of his Weekly Draws' helped to finance this project also. The St Francis Xavier Hall and the Pioneer Club - Fr Cullen House - stand today }s monuments to Peter's financial genius, to his foresight and above all to his loyalty to his fellow co-operators and friends.
An tAthair Proinsias 0 Fionnagáin re- calls another activity of Peter's which, as has been mentioned, started in 1951: 'He undertook annually pastoral work at Gonesse, a parish north of Paris. There he won the trust and the approval of the Curé who invited him back year after year down to 1969. For two years he continued his summer pilgrimage, first at Milly-la-Forêt and then in Brittany, whither the Curé, for reasons of health, had retired. For the next three years, Fr Peter was too occupied with editorial problems to undertake any trips abroad. During his own time in France, Fr Frank met some of Peter's former fellow philosophers from his Jersey days. They all spoke of his gifts of mind and heart.
On the Status, 1962, Fr Peter found himself transferred to Clongowes as a teacher of Maths. He was then in his forty-seventh year, had been out of the classroom for seventeen years and was in very indifferent health. It proved to be a mistake. After two years it was my pleasure to welcome him as a member of the Jesuit team then manning the young College of Industrial Relations. He stayed with us until the Spring of 1966 when at the request of his old friend, Fr R Burke-Savage, he joined the Leeson Street Community as “Collaborator in Studies”. Incidentally, his religious Superior was none other than his erst- while companion at Miss Haynes's Academy forty years before - the late Fr Dick Ingram.
An tAthair Proinsias resumes: On his appointment in 1967 to the editorship of Studies - it might have been thought that he had neither sufficient experience nor. qualifications for that important position. His Provincial, Fr Brendan Barry, how ever, judged him to be eminently qualified and how splendidly justified was Fr Barry's judgement!
Peter proved to be an editor to the manor born. His was a fastidious sense of good English. The Autumn issue of Studies, 1968, left no doubt as to the accuracy of his judgement concerning the changes taking place in Ireland in the euphoria of the prosperous 'sixties. “Post-Primary education, now and in the future - A Symposium” - proved a brilliant success. Over 5,000 copies of this issue were sold. On this occasion Fr Peter showed himself to be a peritus among the periti.
For six more years, Studies under Peter's editorship maintained the highest standards of readable scholarship. In deed, the very excellence of succeeding issues concealed the nagging financial problems and worries and the wretched health that continued to affect the conscientious Editor. He continued the unequal struggle until the Spring of 1974, when he felt obliged to lay down his pen and vacate the Editor's chair.
His association with University Hall and with its students, which had begun in the Spring of 1966, now continued, Fr Jack Brennan writes: ‘Peter was happy in the Hall ... Surprisingly, perhaps, in such a private person, he enjoyed time spent with the students. He was extremely patient in listening to them. His advice was sure and often took pragmatic turns that sprang from his wide knowledge of fields in which they were concerned. His tolerance was of a high degree, and, occasionally he would inter cede in a caring way on behalf of a student who was in 'hot water'. For him the faults or failings of another were never the whole story. His sense of loyalty - often involving a considerable amount of work on his part - towards the students as well as towards his family being able to share some of his good and friends was striking. Confidentiality was also a key quality of his.
One very close to him all his life writes: “A thing that always struck me about Peter was his kindness to the domestic staff in the Houses in which he lived. I used to notice this whenever I came to visit him. They would speak of him very appreciatively and tell me about the many good turns he did them”. Fr Shields concurs with this: “The staff of St Francis Xavier's Hall looked on Peter as their friend. And when he left the Hall, they were lonely and upset, Meeting me, they would say, ‘Father, when is Fr Troddyn coming back?’" Such touching appreciation needs no comment. Nor did this characteristic escape Fr Jack Brennan's observation; “The domestic staff at the Hall held Fr Peter in high regard; they were glad to be able to attend to his simple wants with real affection”
There is one virtue which this very private person could not conceal from those few who knew him intimately. Peter was a genuinely humble man - a man who, with St Paul “in labours, in knowledge, in long suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Spirit, in charity unfeigned, in the word of truth", showed himself a true Minister of God'. He had to carry the cross of poor health for most of his working life with the humiliations, misunderstandings and frustrations attached to it. His judgements and opinions did not always receive the consideration they deserved. Apart from St Francis Xavier's Hall and Fr Cullen House, his plans and dreams were seldom actualised. These apparent “failures' provided him with opportunities for the practice of humility and consequent self effacement. He was always more ready to blame himself than to question the wisdom of others.
Some final thoughts occur to me. Personal friendships meant a great deal to him, not for what he himself could get abut for the joy he felt at being able to share some of his good his advice or practical knowledge with someone, however lowly, in need. This must have helped him to a more correct appreciation of God's gifts to him self and of his duty as a Christian to help other members of the Body of Christ.
From his many serious illnesses, Peter grew in self knowledge and also in awareness of the care which the sick and convalescent needed. He demanded high standards of care for anyone ill and showed his concern and displeasure if he thought that those who were sick were neglected in even the smallest way. His genuine concern was shown clearly in daily visits, in all weathers, for three and a-half years until her death, to an aged aunt in Our Lady's Hospice. The staff and other patients admired his faithful kindness and concern for her welfare.
If I or other contributors to this obituary have said very little about Peter the Jesuit, it is because we have no reason to stress what was obvious to us all. As has been well said: “Peter was a Jesuit in the authentic lgnatian mould”. Ever an avid reader, he kept in touch with “Jesuitica” and like so many of his generation found it difficult to accept some manifestations of the new “pluralism”.
May the good Lord, who is gentle and lowly in heart, welcome Peter into the new home prepared with exquisite care for all who love and serve his heavenly Father.
Edmond Kent SJ