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Andrews, Paul W, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/818
  • Person
  • 10 January 1927-27 November 2018

Born: 10 January 1927, Campsie, Omagh, County Tyrone
Entered: 14 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1962, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 27 November 2018, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1951 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1960 at Nth American Martyrs, Auriesville NY (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1964 at Selly Oak, Birmingham (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

A man of many talents
Milltown Chapel was packed on Friday morning, 30 November, for the funeral of Paul Andrews SJ, who passed away peacefully in Cherryfield Nursing Home on 27 November. A large number of family members joined Paul’s fellow-Jesuits, and they paid tribute, both by bring up gifts and by recounting stories, to the deep and meaningful role he played in their lives. In his opening remarks, the principal celebrant Bill Callanan SJ noted the many talents Paul had received and the generous way in which he responded to them. Paul was a writer, a therapist, a psychoanalyst, an educationalist, and a spiritual director. He was also a pivotal presence at critical moments in the life of the Irish Jesuit province.

In his homily Bruce Bradley SJ picked up this same theme, emphasising Paul’s willingness and enthusiasm when it came to a new venture. He was particularly heartened by his work in the 1970s chairing several national committees and writing their reports, most notably the ICE (Intermediate Certificate Examination) and FIRE (Future Involvement of Religious in Education). But his involvement in education was not only at a policy level. Over the years he taught in Clongowes, head-mastered in Gonzaga, and was rector of Belvedere College. He also, for 18 years, directed St Declan’s special school, a venture founded by the Jesuits for primary school children who need special attention and support for personal or emotional reasons. He was especially dedicated to this work. Both in St Declan’s and through private practice, Paul served about 10,000 individual clients in psychotherapy or spiritual direction. As Bruce Bradley said, “Paul was effortlessly intelligent and correspondingly but unselfconsciously articulate, but he wore his learning lightly and what he knew and what he could achieve through his education was essentially in aid of the pastoral ministry to which he had dedicated his life.”

Fr Bradley also recalled a curious accomplishment of Paul’s from his time as editor of the Old Clongownian, when he was a scholastic:
In 1955, well-read and highly cultured man that he was and always remained, with full knowledge of what he was doing, he invited a near-contemporary of Joyce to write his reminiscences of the college in the 1890s, in which the writer recalled what he had heard of Joyce at that time. This was the first occasion when any reference had been made to the school’s most famous past pupil for more than fifty years, even his death in 1941, as by then a world-renowned writer, having been passed over without comment in the college magazine and in other Jesuit quarters. Undeterred, not setting out to shock or act as the enfant terrible and draw attention to himself, which was never his way, but judging that it was time and, although even – as it used to be said – ‘a mere scholastic’ (how we wish we had a few more ‘mere scholastics!’) and in his mid-twenties, Paul was quite prepared to break the disapproving silence and begin the process of setting the record straight at last.

In many ways throughout his Jesuit life, Paul proved himself to be a skilled communicator. He wrote over 300 articles for the Sacred Heart Messenger, about 1700 contributions to Sacred Space, a best-selling book called Changing Children, and many sections of other books and magazines, in psychology, Jesuit history, and spirituality. In 2010 he began working in Irish Jesuit communications, editing Irish Jesuit News and Interfuse, and writing the obituaries of Jesuits.

The enthusiasm which Paul showed in all his work ventures also showed in his more leisurely activities. In particular he was a very keen fisherman, in Ireland, England and even New Zealand, which he loved to visit in the later years of his life.

Ar dheis Dhé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at Cross & Passion, Lytham St Annes; CBS, Great Crosby; Belmont Abbey, Hereford; Wimbledon College, London; St Columb’s Derry; Blackrock College, Dublin
1946-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying Classics at UCD
1950-1953 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1953-1955 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; CWC Cert in Education
1955-1959 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1959-1960 Auriesville, NY, USA - Tertianship in Our Lady of the Martyrs
1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Minister of Juniors; Inspector of Studies in Colleges of Province; Psychology Studies at UCD
1963-1966 Birmingham, England - Studying Pedagogy at Birmingham University
1966-1972 Gonzaga College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher of Religion; Province Prefect of Studies
1971 Directory of Province Organisation Project
1972-1976 Loyola House - Special Secretariat; Writer
1976-1982 Belvedere College SJ - Rector; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD & Milltown; Director of St Declan’s, Northumberland Road, Dublin
1982-1989 Gonzaga College SJ - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD; Writer
1988 Psychotherapy Studies - St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin
1989-2000 Leeson St - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD
1992 Province Consultor; Chair Board of St Declan’s School
1996 Consultant Psychotherapist; Lecturer; Writer
1999 Sabbatical
2000-2006 Manresa House - Rector; Continuing Formation Delegate; Treasurer; Counselling; Writer
2006-2010 Leeson St - Director Communications; Associate Editor Sacred Space; Therapist; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Board Jesuit Communications
2008 Editor “AMDG” & “AMDG Express”
2010-2018 Milltown Park - Assistant Editor Sacred Space; Editor AMDG Express; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Therapist; Writer
2012 Editor Irish Jesuit News; Editor Interfuse; Editor Province Obituaries; Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2015 Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2016 Editor “Interfuse”; Province Obituaries; Rector’s Admonitor
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Bacon, Patrick, 1813-1870, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/887
  • Person
  • 31 December 1813-27 September 1870

Born: 31 December 1813, Abbeyleix, County Laois
Entered: 26 August 1851, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 02 February 1862
Died: 27 September 1870, Fordham College, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970


Father Patrick Benson SJ

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

Bourke, Gerard, 1926-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/812
  • Person
  • 17 January 1926-20 August 2017

Born: 17 January 1926, Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 December 1981, Tokyo, Japan
Died: 20 August 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Japanese Province (JPN)

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

Transcribed HIB to JPN : 16 December 1960

by 1952 at Eiko, Yokosuka-shi, Japan (JPN) studying
by 1959 at Hiroshima, Japan (JPN)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

A much-travelled Jesuit
Irish Jesuit Fr Gerry Bourke SJ, who spent a good part of his Jesuit life in Japan, passed away on Sunday 20 August. He was aged 91 years. His funeral Mass took place in Milltown Park Chapel on Tuesday 22 August.
Fr Bourke SJ, a native of Ranelagh, Dublin, was a student in CBS Synge St. before he joined the Society in 1943. Shortly after his ordination in 1957, he joined the Japanese mission, and in 1960 he became formally a member of the Japanese Jesuit Province. After a short period as parish priest in Hiroshima, Gerry spent many years teaching in a Jesuit high school in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. He left in 1971, and went to New York, and then to Hawaii, where he did academic and pastoral work. He returned to Japan in 1984, where he taught and ministered at Sophia University in Tokyo.
After another stint in Hawaii, Gerry returned to Ireland in 2001, and for much of the next decade was deeply immersed in Jesuit communications, particularly with the innovative and thriving apostolate of Sacred Space. He moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in his native Ranelagh in 2013 where he settled in very well and appreciated all that was done for him. It was there that he passed away peacefully on Sunday 20 August.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at CBS, Synge Street, Dublin
1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1954 Yokosuka, Japan - Regency : Learning Language; Teaching at Eiko Gakuen Jesuit High School
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1960 Hiroshima, Japan - Parish Priest at Gion Kioku kunai
1959 Tertianship at Hiroshima
1960-1971 Yokosuka - Teaching at Eiko Gakuen Jesuit High School
1971-1972 Fordham University, New York - Education Studies; Parish Ministry; Family Consultation Service
1972-1978 Riverdale, New York - Campus Ministry at College of Mount St Vincent
1974 Lecturer in Psychology at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry New York
1978-1984 Honolulu, Hawaii - Superior at University of Hawaii Jesuit Community; Campus Ministry
1984-1991 Sophia University, Tokyo - Director of Counselling Institute; Lecturing in Psychology
1991-1996 Honolulu, Hawaii - Parish Ministry at St Anthony’s Church, Kailua
1993 Parish work at Star of the Sea Church, Honolulu
1994 Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Pahoa
1995 Parish Administrator at St Ann’s Church. Maui
1996-1997 Manila, Philippines - Lecturing at East Asia Pastoral Institute
1997-2001 Farm St Church, London - Ministering to Japanese Community in London; Parish Staff
2001-2017 Leeson St - JCC; Sacred Space; Editor of “Latest Space” & “Interfuse
2003 Editor “Scared Space”
2014 Praying for Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Bradley, Joseph, 1826-1896, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/942
  • Person
  • 31 December 1826-24 March 1896

Born: 31 December 1826, Kilrea, County Derry
Entered: 26 August 1851, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 15 August 1863
Died: 24 March 1896, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Byrne, Malachy, 1813-1873, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/988
  • Person
  • 02 February 1813-12 February 1873

Born: 02 February 1813, Fyanstown, County Meath
Entered: 28 May 1857, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 15 August 1867
Died: 12 February 1873, Fordham College, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

Byrnes, Michael J, 1843-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/992
  • Person
  • 29 May 1843-10 February 1907

Born: 29 May 1843, Elphin, County Roscommon
Entered: 08 September 1858, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Professed: 15 August 1878
Died 10 February 1907, Jersey City, NJ, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Part of the St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA, community at the time of death.

Callaghan, John, 1808-1879, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1000
  • Person
  • 12 July 1808-22 August 1879

Born: 12 July 1808, Minorstown, County Tipperary
Entered: 13 March 1843, Ste Marie, Bardstown KY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 02 February 1861
Died: 22 August 1879, Jersey City Sisters Hospital, NJ, USA

Part of the Fordham College, Bronx, New York USA community at the time of death.

Carroll, Joseph F, 1892-1955, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to MARNEB : 1911; MARNEB to MIS

◆ Mungret Annual, 1956


Father Joseph Carroll SJ

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

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

Chan, Albert, 1915-2005, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 132 : Summer 2007


Alfred J Deignan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coyle Desmond A J, 1912-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/739
  • Person
  • 10 April 1912-11 October 1962

Born: 10 April 1912, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Woodstock College MD, USA
Died: 11 October 1962, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin Community at the time of death

Younger brother of Rupert - RIP 1978; Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1947 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

America :
Fr. Desmond Coyle, Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland :
“There were three other priests on board, two Irish-American parish. priests and a Capetown parish priest, so we had four Masses each morning in the ship's library, the first said by myself at 5.30. The times of the Masses were announced over the public address system in English and French, A French sub-deacon from Marseilles did the French announcing. We had Confessions on Thursday for the First Friday and 47 went to Holy Communion. After the Masses on Friday the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart was recited. One of the priests, who bad made the voyage several times, said he had never seen so many attending Mass. The three priests were a godsend to the passengers, as they were very lively and organised sing-songs every evening for young folk. It was amusing to see some very black Protestants from Belfast succumb to the charm of Fr. Thomas Masterson of Longford, now of Springfield diocese, Illinois. He ran the ship. They could not understand how a Catholic priest could be so affable. He is a great friend of our Fathers in St. Louis, and for the last seventeen years has had them three times a year for missions and retreats.
I am staying at St. Ignatius' Rectory, Park Avenue, for the moment. Fr. Vincent McCormick very kindly showed me some of the parish after dinner, as well as Mrs. Julia Grant's house (we had suffrages for her a few years ago ; she built and endowed the only endowed Jesuit school in U.S.A.). A few of the Fathers bound for Rome are here at present Among them is Fr. Dragon of Canada. The church here has two patrons : St. Ignatius and St. Lawrence O'Toole”.
Fr. Coyle is doing the second year of his doctorate in theology at Woodstock. He reached New York on August 4th after a pleasant sea trip on the S.S. Brasil

◆ Irish Province News 38th Year No 1 1963 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1963

Obituary :

Fr Desmond Coyle SJ

Desmond A. J. Coyle as he usually liked to sign himself-was born in Dublin in 1912, the youngest of a large family of boys. He went to school in Belvedere in 1921 and from there to Clongowes, in 1923, after the death of his mother. His brother, Father Rupert, was Lower Line Prefect at the time. A friend who remembers him at that time writes: “What stands out most in my memory is his complete friendliness. He was one of those happy boys who have nothing to conceal and who win friendship by taking it for granted that others are their friends”. In his final year in school - a year incidentally in which Fr. E. Mackey gave the retreat - six boys entered the novitiate; three of these were from a group of five friends: Val Moran, Harry Fay and Des Coyle. It would be hard, I think, to exaggerate the influence that Harry Fay had on Des's life. All of that large vintage of novices for a time there were fifty in the newly-opened Emo - will have vivid memories of Harry's break-down in health from heart disease and his long struggle from that first year in Rathfarnham until his death in Milltown Park in 1939 before he was ordained. Desmond did not have his own first serious skirmish with death till 1937, but even during Juniorate he was seldom really well. He had an unbounded admiration for Harry Fay's extraordinary unselfishness and courage. For Harry kept to the end a great zest for life, especially intellectual life, and he had a flattering way of making everyone else of his numerous friends feel that they had the same kind of capacity as he.
After getting a B.A. in Classics, Desmond went to Tullabeg for Philosophy. In November 1937 the very serious nature of his illness showed itself; he had a haemorrhage from duodenal ulcer early in the morning. Mr. Donal Mulcahy was soon on the scene and then Fr. Billy Byrne. He was anointed and Fr. Billy pronounced him “finished” of course thinking he was unconscious. Des heard this at the time and recalled it with relish as soon as he started to recover. In this crisis he showed himself an extremely courageous and even humorous patient. His remark, when he could barely whisper, “I am as tired as So-and-so”, went into folklore. From this on for a few years his studies were disorganised. He did a brief period in the colleges - Mungret - and then returned to Tullabeg.
When he came to Milltown Park he settled into a routine of life which in essentials he maintained to the end: extremely hard, conscientious work at theology, coupled with a surprising capacity for other interests. He thoroughly enjoyed concerts, matches, etc., perhaps more as social occasions and a meeting place for friends than for themselves. One thing he allowed no place for and that was self-pity on the score of health, which remained more than precarious. He could on occasion be vigorous in protest about some lesser snag but never about this. During his fourth year he became so engrossed in work that he husbanded every minute; though the story that he blessed the Palms in Roundwood from the bus to save time and be able to get back home in the morning is probably apochryphal!
After the Tertianship in Rathfarnham under Fr. L. Kieran, he was assigned to further study in theology; but as this was now the middle forties there was no question of going to Rome or any European centre. After a year in Maynooth he went to Woodstock College, Maryland. Here I should say, from the way he always spoke of it, he was extremely happy. Desmond really loved meeting new people; he was keen to hear all they had to tell him about their work and interests, and was tireless, in turn, in arranging things for them, whether a journey through the realms of dogma or through a city.
He taught the “Short Course” for a while and then Major Dogma; this was probably for him the term of his “ambition”. He was an enthusiast for theology and while in formal lectures his method was somewhat dry for most tastes and too cumulative of authorities, his industry and confidence in its supreme importance were inspiring. He was at his best in his room, speaking privately; visitors always seemed most welcome to him. While he shrank from committing himself to print he was tireless in helping others to amass authorities and sources for an article or book. With his encouragement and assistance, papers, originally read in class, were subsequently published in first-class theological journals. Fr. L. O'Grady, then Provincial, gratefully remembers the work he did in checking references and sources for his two papers read at the Maynooth Summer School and afterwards published in the book Mother of the Redeemer,
A notable and very pleasing trait in his character was his readiness to congratulate anyone who had written, lectured in public, etc. He was most genuinely appreciative on these occasions. In offering condolence and saying Mass for those in trouble he was particularly thoughtful and kindhearted.
He was very interested in Mariology and was an active member of the Irish Mariological Society. A run wrote of “a wonderful course of theological lectures which he gave to the community in the Marian Year on the Maternity of Our Lady. So we were much impressed by the fact that Our Lady should call him on that identical feast”. Another spoke of “his ardent zeal for theology which was contagious. ...”
Fr. A. Gwynn in a recent Province News commented on Fr. Coyle's most useful work as librarian in Milltown for nine years, in the increase “in number and quality of the periodicals purchased”, which attract students also from outside the Society.
Fr. Desmond had a number of very devoted lay friends whom he helped in all family events - baptisms, deaths, marriages, etc. He became a great apostle of the timely and frequent administration of Extreme Unction, as also of Confirmation of dying children and Communion for the sick. It gave him real pleasure to make full use of the relaxation of the fasting laws in such cases. In fact, for Desmond, not to use a privilege to the full was almost equivalent to heresy!
It was a hard bout of work on recent rubrical changes which showed that his strength was ebbing. At first it appeared that he was only some what overwrought and needed rest. While he was in hospital receiving suitable treatment the old, or similar, trouble recurred and he underwent surgical treatment for it. He had a long and trying illness during much of which he struggled with all his old resilience to get back to work. At what stage he realised that this was very unlikely is hard to know. However much he suffered he probably refused to think other than optimistically of his prospects and may have managed, as it were from habit, to exclude other considerations from his consciousness; certainly he never made melancholy play with them. He was a fine example of how to lead a hard life happily. May he rest in peace.

Creedon, Joseph, 1821-1847, Jesuit brother novice

  • IE IJA J/1124
  • Person
  • 26 April 1821-10 July 1847

Born: 26 April 1821, Ireland
Entered: 02 May 1847, Fordham College, New York, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Died: 10 July 1847, Fordham College, New York, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)

Cronin, David C, 1880-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1127
  • Person
  • 17 September 1880-10 December 1968

Born: 17 September 1880, Tureencahill, Gneevgullia, Rathmore, County Kerry
Entered: 18 October 1900, Frederick MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 28 June 1915
Final Vows: 02 February 1921
Died: 10 December 1968, Bronx, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1951

Our Past

Father David Cronin SJ

Father David Cronin SJ, celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit last November. When in Mungret Father David had as classmates the late Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, and Frank Fahy. The Jubilarian has had a distinguished career in America. In 1919 he became the first Director of Journalism in Canisius College, Buffalo, where he exercised a wide influence. In 1937 his services were sought as a Professor of Philosophy, and he has taught successively at Buffalo, Georgetown and Fordham. On the occasion of his jubilee he celebrated Mass at the Fordham War Memorial Chapel and a reception was held afterwards.

Crowe, Patrick, 1817-1869, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1134
  • Person
  • 28 February 1817-08 August 1869

Born: 28 February 1817, County Carlow
Entered: 10 January 1845, St Mary’s, Lebanon, KY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final Vows: 15 August 1855
Died: 08 August 1869, Fordham College, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province NEBCAN)

Cullen, John, 1814-1885, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1137
  • Person
  • 01 March 1814-03 November 1885

Born: 01 March 1814, Tintern, County Wexford
Entered: 12 February 1853, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 15 August 1863, Sault-au-Récollet, Montréal, Canada
Died: 03 November 1885, St Peter's College, Jersey City, NJ, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Cunningham, Bernard, 1817-1874, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1141
  • Person
  • 01 July 1817-11 March 1874

Born: 01 July 1817, Knockbegg, County Roscommon
Entered: 09 September 1853, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final Vows: 02 February 1864
Died: 11 March 1874, Xavier College, New York, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

Dealy, Patrick Francis, 1827-1891, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1170
  • Person
  • 07 April 1827-23 December 1891

Born: 07 April 1827, Rathkeale, County Limerick
Entered: 31 October 1846, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1861
Final Vows: 15 August 1865
Died: 23 December 1891, Fordham College, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Deignan, John V, 1891-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1173
  • Person
  • 22 May 1891-19 June 1966

Born: 22 May 1891, Bailieborough, County Cavan / Birr County Offaly
Entered: 15 October 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 June 1924, Montreal, Canada
Final vows: 02 February 1928
Died: 19 June 1966, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL, USA - Neo-Aurelianensis Province (NOR)

Transcribed HIB to NOR : 1911

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1967


Father John Deignan SJ

Very Rev John V Deignan died in June, 1966, at Springhill College, Mobile, Alabama. He was aged 75.

Fr Deignan was a native of Birr, Co. Offaly. Educated at the Presentation Brothers' School, Birr, and at Mungret College Limerick, he entered the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg, Offaly, in 1911; and the following year he joined the American Province of the Order. He was ordained in 1924.

Fr Deignan was for some years on mission work in St Joseph's Church, Bronx, New York, and on retreat ministry at Newark, New Jersey, but he spent most of his life at Springhill College, Mobile, Alabama.

He established the faculty of Science at Springhill College, and was Dean of the Faculty for many years. He was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Chemical Society and of the Association of Chemical Education.

Fr. Deignan celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit în 1961. His last visit to Ireland was in that year.

He was brother of the late Rev Francis Deignan, Pastor of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA, of Sister Mary Imelda, Convent of Mercy, Swinford, Co Mayo, and of Mrs Lillian Mary Buckley. To all his surviving relatives we extend our sympathy. May he rest in peace.

Dillon-Kelly, Robert, 1878-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/209
  • Person
  • 03 February 1878-02 February 1955

Born: 03 February 1878, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 February 1955, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1912 at St Andrew on Hudson, Hyde Park NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News 30th Year No 2 1955 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1955

Obituary :
Father Robert Dillon Kelly
When Fr. Dillon Kelly died early in the morning of February 2nd, a long and faithful life came quietly to a close. He had just completed his seventy seventh year. The eldest of a family of four brothers, he was born on February 3rd, 1878 in Mullingar, where his father, Dr. Joseph Dillon Kelly, had an extensive practice. He was at school in Belvedere when still quite young, and later went to Clongowes. On August 14th, 1895 he entered the noviceship and had as companions Fr. Finucane and Fr. Barragry, who this year will celebrate their Diamond Jubilee.
When in Belvedere he was taught for some time by Fr. Richard Campbell, and on one occasion missed the memory lesson. Fr. Campbell : “Robert what happens to the little bird that can sing and won't sing?". Robert : “I don't know, Sir”. Fr. Campbell : “It must be made sing!” However, the lesson may have been impressed on him, and most of us can guess, there is little doubt that Robert learned it then once and for all. During all his life as a Jesuit, anything that he was given to do he did faithfully and well. One who was his friend from the noviceship days writes : “We were in the Noviceship together. He found it hard, more than most novices, but bravely went through, It was the same in the Juniorate. He found the studies hard, but kept on doggedly”. So it was through life. Whatever the work, he gave himself to it wholeheartedly and demanded a high standard of achievement both from himself and from others. Affectionate by nature, loyal and sincere, he made many friends and those who needed a helping hand knew the value of his friendship, for he spared no trouble to assist them in their difficulties. In Limerick, where he spent twenty-nine years of his life as a priest, to the many generations who passed through his hands in the School, the Choir, and the Dramatic Societies, he was always and everywhere “D.K.” It was a simple and spontaneous expression of their affection for him. When he would rise to speak at the Ignatian Dinner, his welcome was tumultuous.
Through the long years he spent in the Crescent he filled many duties. He was games-master when he came first in 1914; then and for many years afterwards teacher in the School; later a wise and selfless confessor in the Church. In all he was the same, keen, alert, devoted to his job. But I think he will be best remembered there for his work with the Choir and the Dramatic Societies. From 1914 till he left for Galway in 1943 he was in charge of the Choir, and none will dispute the excellence of his achievement. Perfection was the only standard he accepted, and he did not rest till he obtained it. Early in 1916 lie produced his first play, The Pope in Killybuck, with the boys of the School ; and those who took part in it learned then and, I should say, have never forgotten what good acting and good production mean. A born actor himself, he knew what he wanted from each one, and no detail of gesture or movement or tone of voice was too small to be insisted on. A friend of his writes : “I have seen plays produced by many, but none with the perfection of his”. Year after year, from then on, he produced many plays, both with the boys and with the Dramatic Societies attached to the Crescent. David Garrick and Little Lord Fauntleroy stand out in memory, but perhaps his greatest triumph was The Greek Slave. A new organ was badly needed in the Church but there was no money to pay for it. Fr. Dillon Kelly got permission to do what he could to raise funds. He produced The Greek Slave. It was played to packed houses for a fortnight in the Theatre Royal, and when it was finished he had the money for the new organ, In his last years he would still talk lovingly about that organ. He knew every pipe and stop and piece of timber that went into it.
In 1943 Fr. Dillon Kelly left Limerick for Galway. He was sixty-five, but his health was already beginning to fail. The story of his years in Galway is one of slow but steady decline, with many long spells of serious illness. To one who had always been busy and active the tedium of those years must have been trying indeed. Yet he did not complain. Quietly he adapted himself to his growing weakness. As the years went on he came to live more and more in the past, and loved to dwell on memories of early holidays in Galway as a boy, of Villas with the giants of the past, and of the many happy fishing days in Waterville. With the approach of Summer, memory often became too strong for him, and he would be stirred into making plans for yet one more excursion with rod and line in the old familiar haunts. The spirit was eager, but the tired body was unable to respond. He could but cast his line over the quiet waters of his dreams.
And so slowly, very slowly, came the end. St. James says “patience has a perfect work”, and I think it was in the patient, uncomplaining acceptance of his weakness that the true quality of Fr. Dillon Kelly was revealed. Quick tempered and often superficially impatient of minor annoyances, there was in him a dignity and a nobility of character that shone bright in his declining years. His touching, almost childlike, gratitude for some little act or word of kindness showed a delicacy and depth of feeling unsuspected by many who did not know him well. Of someone it has been said that nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it. I venture to say that nothing in the long life of Fr. Dillon Kelly became him more nobly than his patience in the years when he was failing He had been hoping that Our Lady would come for him on her Feast Day, and she did not disappoint him. May he rest with her in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Dillon-Kelly SJ 1878-1955
It is the lot of some Jesuits, rare indeed, to be associated with one house or activity for most if their lives. Fr Dillon-Kelly was one of these. He spent 29 years in the Crescent and, to this day, his name is remembered and his memory affectionately recalled as “DK”.

Born in Mullingar in 1878, he was educated at Belvedere and Clongowes. 1914-193 in the Crescent he was in turn, Prefect of games, teacher and operarius. But his main work was with the choir and Dramatic Society. As a producer, it is no exaggeration to say that he would rank with the leading producers in the world. His greatest triumph was “The Greek Slave” which ran to packed houses, and earned enough money to pay for the new organ in the Church. His declining years were painful in their inactivity and illness were spent in Galway, 1943-1955.

He was a great character. Quick-tempered and superficially impatient of petty annoyances, there was in him a dignity and quality of character which shone bright in his latter years. His greatness of heart which went into all his activities, and not least into his personal religious life. He loved Our Lady and she took him as she wished, on her own Feast Day, February 2nd 1955.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1955


Father Robert Dillon-Kelly SJ

Father Robert Dillon-Kelly SJ, whose death at St Ignatius' College, Galway, is announced, was son of the late Dr Joseph Dillon-Kelly. Bom at Mullingar in 1878, he was educated at Belvedere and Clongowes Wood Colleges and entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, in 1895.

He studied Philosophy at Jersey, Channel Isles, for three years and taught for six years at Mungret and Belvedere Colleges before going to Milltown Park, Dublin, for his theological course.

He was ordained priest in 1912 by the Most Rev Dr Donnelly, Bishop of Canea and Auxiliary of Dublin, and completed his training at St Andrew's on-Hudson, Poughskeepie, USA.

In 1914 Father Dillon-Kelly began his long and notable association with the Sacred Heart Church and College, Limerick. Himself a talented musician, he brought the church choir to a high pitch of perfection and was also most successful in dramatic productions both by the boys of the college and by amateur societies in the city,

In 1943 he was transferred to St Ignatius, Galway, where he worked in the church as long as failing health permitted.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Robert Dillon-Kelly (1878-1955)

Of an old Mullingar family, had received his early education at Belvedere and Clongowes when he entered the Society in 1895. He pursued his higher studies at the French scholasticate-in-exile at Jersey and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1911. He made his tertianship in the USA, and on his return to Ireland was appointed prefect at Clongowes. After two years there, he entered on his long association with Sacred Heart College in 1914 and remained in Limerick for the ensuing twenty-nine years. His first contact with Limerick, however, had been much earlier, when he spent the first year of his regency at Mungret College, 1902-03. Throughout his long years at the Crescent, Father Dillon Kelly gave splendid service to Limerick and the Society. As a master of English or French, he imparted enthusiasm for the subject to his pupils. He helped his pupils to realise the impor tance of correct diction and clarity of expression, and did much to illustrate and implement his teaching on these matters in the debating societies and dramatics. His other notable work for the Crescent was his mastership of the church choir. He gave unsparingly of his time to voice training and the results of his labour soon became evident in the beauty and solemnity of the music of the Benediction services and of the Solemn Masses at Sacred Heart Church.

By the early 1940's, Father Dillon Kelly's health was visibly failing, His physique had never been robust and he was no longer able for the strenuous work attaching to his duties. So, he was transferred to St Ignatius', Galway where his work was less onerous but carried out with the same loyalty and fidelity as in former days.

Donovan, William, 1822-1896, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1199
  • Person
  • 10 January 1822-16 December 1896

Born: 10 January 1822, Paulstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 17 August 1850, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 15 August 1860
Died: 16 December 1896, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Dooher, Anthony, 1826-1914, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1200
  • Person
  • 31 December 1826-02 September 1914

Born: 31 December 1826, Cloonmore, Tuam, County Galway
Entered: 17 November 1851, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 02 February 1862
Died: 02 September 1914, St Francis Hospital, New York NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

part of the Fordham College, New York, NY, USA community at the time of death

Doyle, Patrick J, 1922-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/772
  • Person
  • 24 April 1922-14 September 2008

Born: 24 April 1922, Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 16 November 1974, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 September 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 09 September1975-1981

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

by 1965 North American Martyrs, Auriesvilel NY USA (BUF) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

The death of Fr Paddy Doyle SJ
Former Irish Jesuit Provincial Fr Paddy Doyle SJ died in Cherryfield in the early hours of Sunday morning. His body was in repose at Cherryfield on Tuesday Sept 16 at 2.30pm
followed by prayers at 4pm. His funeral mass will take place in Milltown Park chapel on Wed Sept 17th at 11am. As he had worked for peace on the frontiers, he crossed the final frontier peacefully. God be good to him. In sickness and in health Paddy was a man who meant a lot to the Irish Province. He was 31, a seasoned engineer, when he entered the noviceship, almost a grandfather figure for his peers. For the Jesuit students he cared for in Rathfarnham, he was a source of encouragement and affirmation, giving them a sense of warmth and freedom in their vocation. Succeeding Cecil McGarry as Provincial he showed a strongly contrasting style, but like Cecil contributed to the Province’s growth in a providential way. Paddy had negotiated first with Derry, then with Armagh, for access to the North, and he spent the rest of his active life as a brilliantly unobtrusive yet effective presence in Portadown. When he was gradually debilitated by strokes, his personality remained serene, humorous, accepting, deeply rooted in his faith. As he had worked for peace on the frontiers, he crossed the final frontier peacefully. God be good to him.

Paddy Doyle and the ISE
Many others besides Jesuits have felt the loss of Paddy Doyle SJ, former Irish Provincial, who passed away recently. Below is a piece from Robin Boyd, the second director of the
Irish School of Ecumenics, who offers an intriguing perspective on Paddy’s contribution to the school at a crucial stage of its development. “Slight in stature but strong in presence,” Boyd comments, “Paddy was a man of warmth and quiet friendliness, sometimes few in words, but the words were worth waiting for.”

Remembering Paddy Doyle SJ - By Robin Boyd
With the death on 14 September of Fr Patrick Doyle the Irish School of Ecumenics has lost a true friend and effective supporter. Born in Dublin in 1922, Paddy Doyle studied Physics at UCD, and became a research worker at ICI and the Research Institute; and it was not until he was thirty-two that he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained in 1963 and took his final vows at Milltown Park in 1974. He became Provincial of the Irish Jesuits in 1975, and was succeeded by Fr Joseph Dargan in 1980, the changeover happening at precisely the time when I entered on my term as Director of the ISE. So although he was no longer the Roman Catholic Patron of the School and President of the Academic Council by the time I assumed office, I knew that in those capacities he had played a vital part in the process whereby the School’s founder, Fr Michael Hurley, was succeeded by a Protestant, and not – as had been widely expected, not least by the Hierarchy – by a Catholic. The story is told by Michael in chapter 2 of The Irish School of Ecumenics (1970- 2007).
It was – for Paddy and Michael as well as for the School – a very tense and difficult period; but Paddy was tactful as well as fearless, and was able to pilot the School through stormy waters not only safely but successfully. For myself I am glad to relate that my relations with Archbishop Dermot Ryan were always cordial; Paddy had smoothed the way. And I think I can truly say that had it not been for Paddy Doyle I might never have come to the ISE; and that was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Paddy was largely responsible for the establishment of Jesuit communities in the North of Ireland, first in Portadown (1980) and later in Belfast (1988). The Portadown experiment coincided with the development of the School’s Northern Ireland programme, when it first became affiliated with what was then the New University of Ulster. Paddy’s presence in Portadown was a great help and encouragement to Brian Lennon SJ and later Declan Deane SJ – who operated the Certificate programme from this base – as well as to me and other members of staff who were frequent visitors to “Iona”, the small but welcoming council house where Paddy lived.
Slight in stature but strong in presence, Paddy was a man of warmth and quiet friendliness, sometimes few in words, but the words were worth waiting for. He suffered a number of small strokes in 2002, and latterly lived at Cherryfield Lodge, where he continued to exercise a ministry of prayer. The last time I saw him, his powers of communication were sadly diminished, but his smile and the twinkle in his eye were still there. We give thanks to God for this good man.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 138 : Christmas 2008


Fr Patrick (Paddy) Doyle (1922-2008)

24th April 1922: Born in Dublin
Early education in CBS, Synge St, BSc (Phy) and MSc (Phy) at UCD.
He was employed in research work at ICI and the Research Institute before joining Society.
1st October 1954: Entered the Society at Emo
2nd October 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956 - 1959: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1959 - 1960: Clongowes - Teacher (Regency)
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1963: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Auriesville, USA
1965 - 1967: Mungret College - Prefect of Studies
1967 - 1971: Rathfarnham- Rector, Minister of Juniors; Co-ordinator of Studies in the Province
16th November 1974: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Rector, Co-ordinator of Studies in the Province; Provincial Consultor
1974 - 1980: Loyola House -
1974 - 1975: Vice-Provincial
1975 - 1980: Provincial
1980 - 1988: Portadown - Superior, Pastoral Ministry
1988 - 1994: Belfast - Superior; Directed Spiritual Exercises; Church Assistant, CLC
1992 - 1994: Tertian Director
1994 - 2002: Milltown Park - Directed Spiritual Exercises
2002 - 2008: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for Church and Society
14th September 2008: Died at Cherryfield

Brian Lennon Remembers taken from his Funeral Homily):
.....Paddy went to school in the Christian Brothers in Synge St, then to UCD, and then he worked in England for over 10 years as a physicist before finally joining the Society at the then ripe old age of 32. Eddie O'Donnell tells us in one of his books that Frank Browne, a famous Jesuit, was saying Mass in Beechwood Avenue Church - it is less than a mile from our chapel here in Milltown and during his sermon he said that he was now an old man and was looking for someone to take over from him as a Jesuit. So he asked any young - or not so young man who felt like responding to come and see him in the sacristy after Mass. Paddy Doyle turned up.

Paddy made an enormous contribution to the Irish Province. He spent 25 years in administration. He became Provincial in 1974-75 at the age of 52. Much of his work as Provincial was about planning, as we worked out how to respond to Vatican II. One of the ideas going the rounds was MBO (Management by Objectives). Someone came up with the idea of CFP (Concept of Forward Planning), but Paddy capped that with CRP (Concept of Retrospective Planning). That was the one that worked! It allowed Paddy to proclaim modestly “I always said that was the way things would turn out!”

Some people wondered where all the planning was going. In fact I suspect Paddy didn't know, any more than the rest of us. To me this was one of his most attractive qualities - he was an explorer, not somebody with all the answers, and he never pretended otherwise. So, I have memories of him at large meetings of Jesuits, drawing overlapping circles on the board to make some big point about organisations and I don't think he knew where it was all headed. But it didn't worry him. He trusted his instinct. And he was right. He made a real contribution to helping us to take on changes that were absolutely necessary,

He was great with younger Jesuits. I doubt very much if I myself would still be a Jesuit had it not been for the support, encouragement and challenge of Paddy. I know that is true of others who were with him when we were in Rathfarnham going to University. Before his time as superior, young Jesuits were meant never really to mix with other students in College. God knows what that could lead to. Paddy changed all that – he allowed us to do our own exploring, because he believed deeply that exploring was a large part of what human beings are about. He allowed us to grow as human beings, to test our vocations, to see where it was that God was really calling us. He opened up possibilities for us to explore. That mattered a lot.

In 1981 Paddy moved to Northern Ireland. He was the one who set up JINI (Jesuits in Northern Ireland) and during his time as Provincial he had made a major effort to open a house there. He succeeded when Cardinal O'Fiach gave us permission to open the community in Iona in Portadown. Ask any of the older people in the local estates in Portadown and they will remember “Wee Fr. Doyle”. Paddy had to deal with local Church people, with ecumenical encounters, with political difficulties and with local people, and he did all that - as far as I could see - without making enemies. I can think of the night that the police fired 135 plastic bullets into a local crowd, the night they put an Orange parade up the road having banned it a few hours beforehand, and decisions had to be made about how to respond to these and other events. On all these occasions Paddy was passionate about justice, but he was also wise. He was able to think things through, to look at the wider consequences, to recognise that no one side had all the right or all the wrong, that it was important to think about future relationships.

My biggest memory of him, though, was of him with local people. I remember going out one evening and seeing him with one man who was a great talker. Four hours later Paddy was still there, still listening, still involved, still caring.

One of the locals said to me: "You could learn from Paddy what it means to be a Christian”. They really felt his loss when he moved to start the new community in Belfast in 1988.

This was also was a difficult task for him because he had to work at getting the community accepted in the diocese and by the local clergy. There also he got involved with groups of local people, especially with CLC, which was something very dear to his heart. At the heart of community was coming together to work out what they were being called to do by the Lord.

The joint British-Irish Tertianship, which he started with Ron Darwen, was another important new venture. It helped the two Provinces to work together. It trained young Jesuits. And because there were three communities of young Jesuits, from many parts of the world, in different parts of Northern Ireland, it made an impact on local people, and helped young Jesuits to learn from them how to become Jesuits.

Paddy was always committed to ecumenical work and he was a strong supporter of the Irish School of Ecumenics.

In 1994 illness struck – a hard, harsh illness that impaired his memory, at times his ability to read, and at times his speech. It gradually got worse. Yet during that time, more than ever, he showed an extraordinary serenity. He was always able to smile at people, tell them that he hadn't a clue of their names – no change there - he had always been bad at names, and then start communicating deeply with them.

My more recent memory of Paddy was seeing him in Cherryfield where he would – with great difficulty – often end up saying something similar to what he had said many times before: “You are there, and I am here. And I am connected to you, and you are connected to me, and we are all connected with everyone in the whole world”. It didn't come out like that. The words came with groping effort, with hesitancy, but always with the serene smile. Then at the end he would say something like: “The whole thing is a mystery, a complete mystery. But it is going to be great, absolutely great - I am sure of that”.

Noel Barber Remembers (the Novice 1954-1956):
On October 194 1954 I was the first novice into the refectory after evening meditation. There was one person there at the end of the Novices' long table: a small elderly man - he turned out to be all of 32 years. It was the new novice we had been told about who had an MA in Physics and had worked in industry in England. Br. Doyle, as we got to know him, was quite unlike most of us, who had entered straight from school. However, we did have other older novices, among them Neil O'Driscoll, an army officer, but they were younger than Paddy by several years. I remember Paddy Gallagher engaging him in detailed discussions about Physics and his experience in England; another novice, long left us, questioning him endlessly on the possibility of England's conversion back to the true Faith. Paddy was affable, unassuming, gentle, with an unforced superiority that was not sought but readily conceded and taken for granted by all. Never did he show the slightest irritation at the pettiness of the novitiate regime though he must have felt it. Fortunately we had Donal O'Sullivan as Master of Novices, whose magnanimity mitigated that pettiness and would have been particularly helpful for the 'older' novices, Paddy acted from time to time as Donal's driver and this entailed days in Dublin and afternoons on the loose in the big city while the great man went about his business.

I wonder how adolescent we appeared to him and what he made of our almost unnatural seriousness. Whatever he thought, he never gave the slightest indication that he was out of sympathy with anything in the Novitiate, not even the unpredictable interventions of the Socius, Arthur Clarke. His adjustment to the boarding school regime of Emo seemed perfect. Given his subsequent history, I suspect, however, that he smiled inwardly and took some of what was on offer with a pinch of salt.

Senan Timoney Remembers (the Mungret Prefect 1965-1967):
To follow directly in another's footsteps is to get a first hand impression of so much of one's predecessor's activities. Three times in life I followed Paddy - first in 1967, after he had been Prefect of Studies in Mungret for two years, and later in Portadown in 1988 after he had pioneered the return of the Jesuits to the North, and, finally, in 1994 when he set up our house in Belfast in 1988.
Looking back I can see how much he was an agent of change. In Mungret he set about the provision of Science Laboratories and a different regime of study for senior students in their final year. In Portadown he managed to insert the Jesuit ethos in a non-threatening way among the people of all sides who didn't know what to expect; and in Belfast his task was to direct a Jesuit way of proceeding in response to a situation which combined welcome with restriction.

Paddy's gentle nature might suggest contemplation rather than activity but that was not the case. As I read the documents of GC 35 I realise how much Paddy in his relatively short Jesuit life anticipated much of their spirit – especially Decree 3 - Sent to the Frontiers.

Gerry O'Hanlon Remembers (Rathfarnham Rector 1967-1971)
I first met Paddy in 1967 when I arrived as a Junior in Rathfarnham Castle just as he took over as Rector. He was a breath of fresh air: opening all kinds of then closed doors to us in our Jesuit lives as College students (I was given permission to play rugby at UCD), but always with the kind of wisdom and prudence which avoided a populist, overly-permissive approach (I was told I could play matches on Saturdays but not go to mid week practice sessions, in case my studies suffered; a glorious period of a year playing for UCD 3rd B's followed!).

That same wisdom was available to me when I went through a long period, during my time at Rathfarnham, of wondering should I really be a Jesuit at all. About once a month, for well over a year, Paddy listened patiently, completely unfazed, suggesting various strategies for arriving at a decision. I always remember that, in the end, he suggested Easter Sunday as a deadline for decision. I duly trooped up to his office on that Easter Sunday, my heart in my boots, to tell him that I still could not make up my mind. I was afraid he would be annoyed, fed-up at my indecision and what seemed to me like the waste of all his time. Not a bit of it: he was calm, said that while deadlines can be helpful they didn't always work, better not to force, it will come...and it did, about 3 months later, when I wasn't thinking consciously about the matter at all, like an apple falling from a tree. He was such a good father-figure.

He had great intellectual curiosity and ability, without at all being an academic. His musings about Jesus Christ as Everyman, the way we are all, everywhere and from every age, linked to him, so that ultimately to know Christ is to know every man and every woman – these were not the common currency of Christology in those pre-anthropological, pre-interfaith dialogue days. Some of these musings were, if I remember correctly, written up with the help of Des O'Grady as an article for an Irish theological journal.

There was something a little unconventional, even anti establishment characteristic of Paddy's deep humanity which I found very attractive. He was a loyal Catholic and a happy Jesuit: but his obedience was always thoughtful and his belonging was never exclusive of wider interests and loyalties. A great man, a great Jesuit.

I found it touching and inspiring to meet the Paddy Doyle of Cherryfield years. Forgetful and struggling for words, he still radiated that lively curiosity and trustful serenity characteristic of the whole of his life and expressive of his deep faith.

Kennedy O'Brien Remembers (the Provincial 1975-1980):
Paddy Doyle was Provincial when I joined the Society in 1975. I met him first during the interview process. This focussed entirely on my interests, my sporting career at Coláiste Iognáid, my enjoyment of English at school, and my love of nature (including some discussion of fishing Lough Bofin, a small lake just outside Ouchterard; I was delighted that Paddy could be as enthusiastic as myself about this little lake).

After the interview Paddy walked to Milltown Park with me, and having shown me to my room, handed me his key to the front door. He asked me to take particular care of this key; he had already lost one, and thought it unlikely he would be given another.

After supper at Eglinton Road later that evening, recognizing that I was no expert on the geography of south Dublin, Paddy got into his little Toyota and led the way to Kenilworth Square where I was due to have a psychological assessment. I was, needless to say, astonished by the level of personal care taken of me by the Provincial; I felt deeply respected despite my schoolboy status.

Another memory that comes to mind was Paddy's arrival at Manresa the evening that Conall O Cuinn and I took vows. It was my father who commented afterwards how impressive it was to see how Paddy, as Provincial, moved about among the other Jesuits without fuss, almost unnoticed, and very obviously a “first among equals” rather than someone who expected to be afforded special treatment in recognition of the dignity of his office.

Declan Deane Remembers (Portadown Superior 1980-1988):
I soldiered with Paddy Doyle for 7 years in Iona, Portadown. Whenever I come across Kipling's line - “(If) you can walk with kings, nor lose the common touch”, I think of Paddy Doyle. Not that we had kings crossing our threshold at Iona, but there was a constant stream of learned people from many disciplines who came to pitch their tent on the notorious Garvaghy Road. Paddy could hold his own, with a considerable degree of dogmatism, on virtually every topic from history to nuclear physics to politics to philosophy to theology. But we knew that his real delight was to sit down before the fire in our neighbours' houses, debating whether the new fireplaces were superior to the older ones or whether the “Wheaten rounds” on sale up the town were the equal of those dispensed by Jerry in the Spar. Basically, everyone in Paddy's life was treated like royalty.

Paddy had an instinctual knowledge of human nature. He knew what made people tick. Example: shortly after I arrived in Iona, a delegation of the local women showed up, presumably to vet me. I offered them tea, but they declined. I tried again and got the same response. Soon Paddy arrived and rounded on me saying, “Why did you not offer them tea?” I replied, “I did, twice”. With a twinkle in his eye he scolded me, “Did you not know you must offer three times?” Whereupon tea was served all round, and a lesson learned.

It was Paddy's extraordinary hopefulness that I now remember most. When things seemed at their bleakest in Northern Ireland, he refused to be downcast. “They'll soon have to sit down and talk, it could happen any day now”, he'd say. To me it seemed the Troubles could go on for five hundred more years. Thank God he was right, and I was wrong.

More on his hopefulness: it extended to the weather. This was a touchy point with me, who am an acute sufferer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). But for the Irish climate, I would still be living happily in the bosom of Prov. Hib. So there was many a morning when I would greet Paddy gloomily with some comment on the frightfulness of the day. He would “Tsk, tsk” reproachfully, pull aside the curtains, draw on his cigarette and point to the sky: “I'm certain I can see a little patch of blue”. In later years when he was prostrated by his stroke, I often thought of that remark as I joined the many pilgrims to his little room in Milltown and later in Cherryfield. His good humour was indestructible, his hopefulness intact. Alone among us all, he could discern that little patch of blue and knew it would win the day. Lux eterna luceat ei.

Brian Mac Cuarta remembers (Belfast Superior 1988-1992):
It was an evening in February 1988. The scholastics were on a mid-term visit to Belfast. The house had recently opened. We were all gathered in the large lounge of the Jesuit house, overlooking the street and the waterworks, enjoying a buffet meal. Suddenly the cry went up “Some is trying to break into one of the cars!” Without a moment's hesitation, Paddy, then aged 66, rose from his chair, and moved like lightning down the stairs, and onto the street. His presence scared the culprits, and he gave chase, before returning to the gathering.

Ron Darwen Remembers (Tertian Director 1992-194):
My memories of Paddy Doyle are of a very warm and deeply spiritual human being When I think of him my mind always goes back to the community room in Brookvale where, late at night, he would be sitting chatting with Herbert Dargan, cigarette in hand pontificating on the state of play in a snooker match.

He was a man who made friends easily. I was always impressed by the many different kinds of people who came to see him and treasured his friendship. It is true that you always had to give him the leeway to take off on one of his latest scientific theories but he always came down to earth, and was willing to get stuck into the nitty-gritty of life.

I count my days in Northern Ireland among the happiest I have spent in the Society. It was Paddy who set the tone of the house, and made it feel like a home. He did not fuss. The atmosphere he helped to create was warm and friendly yet deeply spiritual. He was insistent that we met regularly for prayer and sharing every Thursday morning. We listened to one another. He always made sure that we were heard. I count it a great privilege to have worked with him as a co-tertian instructor

It was always an inspiration in his later days to visit him in Cherryfield. He would never remember my name but the smile on his face when the penny dropped made the visit worth while. Paddy Doyle, like his great friend Herbert Dargan, was a great man and an inspiring Jesuit.

Colm Lavelle remembers:
I find it fascinating looking at Paddy's curriculum vitae. Most of the tasks he was given in the Society were things for which, in spite of his years of study, he had little preparation, and into which he entered exceedingly well. His vision was not burdened by preconceptions, but carried by the spirit and respect for those around him. He was always accessible. To enter into discussion with him was always a pleasure, whether or not you agreed with him before or after. He was always an alert listener.

In spite of being by nature a philosopher, he was a great lover of people. Was he driven primarily by his love and interest in people or by his love of ideas, or by vision? Was it a capacity to see in the dark, to recognise and work for the possible, or into the future to recognise the Lord's call into the unknown? He was not afraid of uncertainty.

My memory of him in his later years in Milltown during his ill health was that there was always a quiet serenity and humour - even after his move to Cherryfield, that he was glad to be back with old familiar faces and places in Milltown. He was always a grateful patient. Just occasionally in the last weeks, he was frustrated by the feeling that he did not know where he was or what was going on - however this would not last with the help of those caring so well for him.

It was my experience that in his last months or year the old love for discussion and exploring things was as alive as ever, but that you had to fish around for a while to find what roads were still open to traffic and those that were blocked by landslides caused by his stroke or other troubles. In many ways it was a question of trying to show him the patience and respect for his current thought processes which he had always shown to others.

For those friends from Ulster and elsewhere who could not often visit him, it must have been very painful to find him so helpless. But they readily recognised that he was happy to be with them, as they were with him, and that he knew them, whether or not he could name them. He was certainly showing us all how to be ready, and how to walk forward with confidence to the Kingdom prepared for us.

Tom Layden Remembers:
I first met Paddy Doyle just before Easter 1975 in Clongowes during his visitation as provincial. I was a sixth-year student seriously thinking about entering the Society. His low key, self-effacing approach immediately put me at my ease. Though aware that I was in the company of a man who was wise and had broad life experience, I felt treated as if I was an equal.

My next meeting with him came three years later when I was trying to come to a decision about when I should actually enter the novitiate. Some friends were saying to me that I should decide to either join straight away or else give up on the idea of vocation. I did not feel comfortable in either of these options. I have a clear memory of meeting with Paddy in his office in Eglinton Road. In the course of a conversation that helped me to adopt a more relaxed approach to my situation, he made a comment about the mystery of vocation. He said to me “you never know with a vocation. It could all become clear in a year's time. Or it might take ten years”. In my case it would become clear in a year's time. But his words had the effect of giving me a sense of freedom to be led in the Lord's time. There was no pressure to decide straight away. This was enormously liberating for me at the time. And Paddy was the Provincial who admitted me to the Society when I joined in 1979.

My last sustained contact with Paddy was in the summer of 2006. The Belfast house was undergoing refurbishment and I spent most of the summer in my sister's house in Carrickmines. I got into the pattern of attending the Cherryfield Mass on a regular basis. Paddy's benign presence at the Mass and at the subsequent cup of coffee is one of the cherished memories I have from that time. There was that characteristic gentleness, lack of fuss and absence of self-preoccupation which I found refreshing. That freedom of spirit in Paddy I had first encountered in Clongowes over thirty years earlier was still there and I was greatly edified by the way in which he was able to surrender and let go of the past and simply be present to the people in Cherryfield.

Oliver Rafferty Remembers:
Over the years I spent a couple of summers at Portadown and became a member of JINI. Paddy was a considerate chairman of JINI and despite my status as a lowly scholastic he always encouraged me to have my say at meetings. I did not, however, really get to know him until I went to live in Belfast in 1988 when the house there was first opened. Paddy subsequently told me that the Irish Province had asked for me to be loaned to the Belfast house for its first years. The Irish province had produced three 'heavy weights for those early years, Paddy himself, Herbert Dargan and Finbarr Lynch and then there was me.

It was an exciting time and Paddy steered the community through those early days with a mixture of patience, latitudinarianism and steely determination. Herbert Dargan once told me that when he was tertian instructor not one of the tertians had a bad word to say about Paddy as provincial. I think he was at his best when dealing at that macro level. In day-to day decision- making, in a small house with different and competing personalities, his grasp on details was not always comprehensive. There could be flashes of temper but these quickly subsided and so far as I could tell he never held grudges and was the most tolerant and forgiving of individuals. Paddy was a kindly and compassionate man with an immense capacity to listen and was unbendingly supportive to those who had difficulties or problems of any kind.

Paddy was very much a man of faith. The search for God came naturally to him and he had an unaffected piety. He was also something of an iconoclast, in a gentle way, and attributed this to a sceptical disposition he inherited from his father. He sat lightly to what he considered the more overweening demands of ecclesiastical authority. He was, however, no rebel, either religiously or politically.

Although in no way an academic or indeed not even especially widely read, he had a genuine philosophical turn of mind. He thought deeply about people and situations and was as interested in ideas as he was in individuals. It was a sorry sight to see him in his declining years when a once vigorous mind was reduced merely to periodic recollections of personalities, situations and events.

Kennedy O'Brien Remembers:
I was privileged to experience the British-Irish Tertianship, in Belfast, under Paddy and Ron Darwen. The image comes to mind of Paddy, relaxing with his post dinner whiskey one evening, discussing the simple beauty of “chaos theory”. For him “finding God in all things” was not a lofty ideal; it was the everyday experience he shared enthusiastically with anyone who would take the time to listen.

Doyle, William, 1811-1874, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1218
  • Person
  • 31 December 1811-05 April 1874

Born: 31 December 1811, County Kilkenny
Entered: 17 November 1851, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final Vows: 02 February 1862
Died: 05 April 1874 Xavier College, New York, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

Driscol, Michael, 1805-1880, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1223
  • Person
  • 07 May 1805-04 March 1880

Born: 07 May 1805, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1839, St Mary’s, Lebanon, KY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1844
Final Vows: 15 August 1850
Died: 04 March 1880, Fordham College, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis Province (NEB)

Drolet, Francis K, 1916-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1224
  • Person
  • 21 November 1916-30 March 2000

Born: 21 November 1916, Elmhurst, Queens NY, USA
Entered: 30 July 1934, St Andrew on Hudson NY - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 22 June 1947
Final Vows: 15 August 1950
Died: 30 March 2000, Bronx NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis Province (NEB)

by 1979 came to Milltown (HIB) working in CLC

Duffy, Hugh P, 1936-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/827
  • Person
  • 14 September 1936-28 April 2017

Born: 14 September 1936, Phibsboro, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 01 February 1974, Della Strada Community, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 28 April 2017, St James’ Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1970 at Auriesville NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1971 at New York NY, USA (NEB) studying
by 1980 at Bronx NY, USA (NYK) studying
by 2004 at Bronx NY, USA (NYK) working
by 2011 at Seattle University ORE, USA (ORE) teaching

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Hugh Duffy – ‘a gentle Jesuit’
Fr Hugh Duffy SJ died in St James’s Hospital on Friday 28 April 2017, aged 80 years old. Born and raised in Dublin, Hugh won a senior cup rugby medal with Belvedere College SJ and entered the Jesuits in 1954. He spent several years in Limerick as a teacher and lecturer. He did his Doctoral degree in English in the United States and he worked in parish ministry and as a visiting professor there. Brian Grogan SJ gave the homily at his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 3 May.

Fr Grogan said about his friend and classmate, “This man was more there than the average man. He was able to reveal gold to other people”. He fondly remembered when Hugh went on to do his doctoral training after four bachelor degrees during a time when the Church was struggling to adapt to the times. His PhD thesis explored a fresh following of faith in a God who infinitely loves.

Regarding his life as a teacher, “Hugh struggled to liberate his students from destructive images of God. He had a passion for the genuine liberation of the human heart. He wanted people to know that they are loved and appreciated beyond words”. And he taught thousands of pupils in thousands of classes over his lifetime. A friend once noted: “He was a pet; he had soft eyes”. Fr Grogan also thanked his family for sharing Hugh with his Jesuit companions.

Referring to the Jesuit’s decline in health where he moved from autonomy to dependency, Fr Grogan remarked that “He did not yield to dark moods. He was humble and patient, and he offered his suffering for the Church and the world”. The Gospel for the funeral mass depicted Jesus asking his disciple Peter if he loved him, then commanding him to look after his flock. Fr Grogan imagined Hugh answering wholeheartedly, “Yes, I love you, Lord”.

“And so, Hugh found that dying is safe because God is safe, and all restricting images melt away. In his transfigured body, he’s able to dance and sing, and sing and dance, without a stick. And I think that laughter and merriment will be a large part of his contribution to the cosmic party.”

Damien Burke, assistant archivist in the Province, was also at the funeral mass. Hugh helped Damien in his work, identifying Jesuits from earlier days whom Damien would not have known. The very night before his stroke, Hugh was working with Damien on a pamphlet from Belvedere College SJ. “We were discussing a flyer for a 1953 production of the Mikado in which Hugh had a part – he was in the chorus. He was his usual lovely self, a kind and gentle Jesuit, and I really enjoyed working with him.”

A large number of Hugh’s family were in attendance including nieces and nephews who returned from many different countries. His nephew Ian spoke movingly about him. He said he would have made a great father so it was all the more inspirational that he had dedicated his life to the Church. And he raised a laugh when he talked about Hugh’s love of America and how he drove right across the continent from one coast to another – adding, “probably very slowly, but he did it!”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Scoil Colmcille, Dublin; Belvedere College SJ

1956-1959 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1959-1962 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1962-1965 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1965-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1969-1970 Monroe, Auriesville, NY, USA - Tertianship at Our Lady of the Martyrs
1970-1971 Rice High School, NY, USA - Studying for MA and MEd at Columbia University
1971-1979 Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Dooradoyle - Teacher; Transition Year Co-ordinator
1979-1980 All Hallows High School, Bronx, NY, USA - Doctoral studies in English at Columbia University
1981-1982 Fordham University, NY, USA - Doctoral studies in English
1983 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, San Francisco, CA, USA - Parish Work
1983-1985 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; 6th Form Master
1985-2002 Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Dooradoyle - Head of & Lecturer in English Department, Mary Immaculate College
1994 Chair English Department & Lecturer in English at Mary Immaculate College (UL)
2002 Sabbatical
2003-2004 St Thomas the Apostle, Hepstead, New York, NY, USA - Parish Work
2004-2012 Seattle University, Seattle, WA, USA - Visiting Professor in English and Theology
2012-2017 Leeson St - Assistant Chaplain in Cherryfield Lodge

Dwyer, Gregory, 1819-1888, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1242
  • Person
  • 02 February 1819-22 June 1888

Born: 02 February 1819, Cloonygormican, County Roscommon
Entered: 09 November 1854, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 02 February 1865
Died: 22 June 1888, Sault-au-Récollet, Montréal, Québec, Canada - Missions Canadiensis (CAN)

Ealy, Martin, 1830-1897, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1247
  • Person
  • 11 November 1830-09 July 1894

Born: 11 November 1830, Ballinruan, County Wexford
Entered: 24 March 1855, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 15 August 1865
Died: 09 July 1894, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Early, James, 1832-1908, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1248
  • Person
  • 25 July 1832-10 May 1908

Born: 25 July 1832, Drumshambo, County Leitrim
Entered: 15 July 1855, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 15 August 1865
Died: 10 May 1908, St Andrew on Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Egan, Eamon, 1923-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/139
  • Person
  • 04 July 1923-11 August 1973

Born: 04 July 1923, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Leuven, Belgium
Died: 11 August 1973, New York NY, USA (in a drowning accident)

Part of Milltown Park community, Dublin at time of his death.
Died in boating accident in New York;
by 1959 at Louvain (BEL M) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 48th Year No 4 1973
The Province was well represented by Irish Jesuits at the memorial Mass held for Fr Eamon Egan at the parish where he had been on supply prior to his tragic death. Brian Grogan reports that the clergy and parishioners turned out in large numbers, and that the homily preached by the pastor emeritus was most eloquently delivered. Numerous tributes were paid to Fr Eamon, indicating the place he had gained in the hearts of many, though he had been with them only a brief while.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary :

Fr Eamon Egan (1923-1973)

Shortly before he left for the United States in July of this year Fr Egan said to a friend that now that he was fifty he must think about reorganising his life. A fortnight later he was dead. What he might have done in the years which he could reasonably have expected to lie before him is now, of course, a matter of futile speculation. The fact is that a freakish accident carried off some one who had already served his Province and, indeed, his fellow countrymen well; who was at the height of his powers and, to all appearances, seemed to have much more to give.
The circumstances of his death were almost grotesque, if for no other reason than that it is, at this moment, almost impossible to determine them precisely. What we know is that he was drowned by a freak storm off Rockaway Point, Jamaica Bay, New York Harbour. All the other occupants of the boat were rescued. What happened to Fr Egan is unsolved, but the most likely (and merciful) explanation is that he was knocked unconscious; for, though not a good swimmer, he could swim.

Eamon was the son of Robert Egan, the first news editor of The Irish Press. He was born in Dublin in 1923. He was sent to school at Scoil Mhuire, Marino where he attained a grasp of Irish which was eventually to bear fruit in a first class degree in UCD. He finished his secondary education at Belvedere. In 1941 he entered the noviciate at Emo Park. There then followed the usual sequence of studies : Rathfarnham, where he distinguished himself as a debater; Tullabeg, where he again distinguished himself in the, now defunct, disputations (circles and menstrua); teaching in Belvedere and Galway; theology in Milltown. He was ordained in 1955.

After his tertianship in Rathfarnham, Eamon was assigned to Tullabeg to teach rational psychology. However, it was decided that he should first acquire a doctorate, so he was sent to Louvain for two years, which ultimately extended to three. He returned to Tullabeg in 1961, his doctorate still unfinished, and began to teach philosophy.

In 1963 the Visitor closed Tullabeg as a house of philosophy and Eamon, joining the ranks of displaced persons, found himself in Milltown. In 1964 he was appointed to teach philosophy in Mungret. This was something which he took to with all his heart, the work and atmosphere being congenial. When the Institute of Philosophy and Theology was set up in Milltown he became a member of the staff and taught, with great success and flexibility, courses in the history of ancient and medieval philosophy and the philosophy of man (formerly rational pyschology).

While in Milltown he began to come more and more into contact with the outside world. He was invited to teach foundation courses in philosophy at Maynooth and did so with great success. He became the guiding figure in the Irish Philosophical Circle which included philosophers from Trinity College and Queen's, Belfast, when, in its early days, it was threatened with extinction. Thanks to Fr Eamon’s astute advice the Circle not only survived but emerged into tranquil waters as the Irish Philosophical Society of which, at his death, he was the chairman. In the enormously successful Milltown lectures he was one of the most popular lecturers and chairmen.

Among the subjects of these lectures he was assigned some facets of Père Teilhard de Chardin's much discussed thought. Eminently a perfectionist his own exacting standards impelled him to seek an intimate acquaintance with Père Teilhard's work. He shared the reserve of the Society generally towards his author's ideas but he was more sympathetic possibly more understanding, to them than most. With his exceptional sense of impartiality he was able to present them in such a way as to be recognised as a key exponent in the Teilhard debate.
More important, he came increasingly to be a spokesman on Marx to Marxist groups as an informed but not, again, un sympathetic critic. He was also a member of an ecumenic group that met once a month.

There were occasions when he appeared positively perverse but his endearing ingenuousness and honesty, pursuing truth quocum que duxit, and the humorous, to the observer, hesitancy that betrayed his sensitiveness won instant condonation for his ebullitions. It may be admitted he had not yet attained that equipoise that the years which alas were not to be would give. Dolor atque decus!

In spite of his intellectual ability and success as a lecturer Eamon Egan published very little. That is not unusual in the Irish Province, but in Fr Egan’s case it was due to a paralysing self depreciation. He was incredibly diffident. After delivering a brilliant lecture or course of lectures, which would have more than satisfied most other people, he would be genuinely dissatisfied, That is not to say that his lectures could not be unsatisfactory; at times they went over the heads of his listeners and at other times he tended to debate with himself in public, but in most cases his dissatisfaction was totally unfounded.

He was most scrupulous about giving his students the effort and time he believed they deserved. Indeed, his attitude to life in general verged on the scrupulous. He would reproach himself for laxity in circumstances where others might not be aware that there was any problem of conscience.

To those who have lived and worked closely with Fr Egan over the years his sudden death has been a shattering blow and his loss is likely to be more rather than less keenly felt a stime goes on. In varying degrees this loss will be felt within the Province, particularly among the younger members, and in the wider circle of those who had come in contact with him. Though in years he was middle-aged, in mind he was not only young but he had that elasticity which can compass the problems and aspirations of the present time. He was a man for this season. They are not numerous. His loss is therefore all the greater.

We add an appreciation from The Irish Times of August 22nd; we sincerely thank the editorial staff for their courtesy in allowing a reproduction :

“Many of us even outside his immediate family circle felt in expressibly bereaved as we met to render our last respects to Father Eamon Egan, who had died in a boating accident outside New York at the age of 50. At the Mass for him in St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin, which preceded the interment, a lovely service instinct with Christian hope and faith and love. Father Doyle, Rector of Milltown Park, where Father Egan taught philosophy, spoke for us all in recalling his gentleness and sensitivity, his kindness and integrity.
Eamon can, I think, have had no adequate idea of the affection and regard with which he was held by those who knew him. By some miracle, he had come through untouched by a pretension, all too common among clerics, however cloaked. Never gauche, he was diffident.

His thoughtfulness for others could sometimes become anxious, and occasionally fretful, concern, yet he was too firmly grounded in the Christian faith to allow that to govern his thought or conduct for long. For a man capable of identifying with so very many different sorts of people, his own life was in ways curiously patterned and predictable. He could at times seem conservative to a fault; basically, however, he was courageous and well balanced, refusing (just to take a few instances) to be over impressed by Lonergan, on the one hand, yet still very typically, on the other hand, showing himself warmly if critically appreciative of his controversial fellow-Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin.

His characteristic attitude was open-hearted and generous, and he did good almost by stealth. Those of us privileged to know him loved his shy smile, his patience, his friendly humanity, his intellectual honesty, his refusal to impose a particular interpretation or conclusion on anyone, And may I say, as one not of his communion, how deeply I appreciated the naturalness with which he brought us, his friends, to God in occasional simple acts of wor ship. Prayer to him was like breathing.
In iothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn. Ba de bhunadh Bhaile Átha Cliath Éamon, ach bhí Gaeilge aige, agus i nGaeilge a labhraíodh sé le mo leithéidse i gcónaí nuair a bhímís i dteannta a chéile.

Ba bhall de Chumann na Sagart é. Canadh 'Ag Críost ag Síol' ag an Aifreann an lá a cuireadh é. Sin rud ba dheas leis."

Risteárd Ó Glaisne

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1974


Father Éamonn Egan SJ

Fr Éamonn Egan, who died so tragically in New York harbour last Summer, was a man, to put it simply, that it is good to remember. Most writers of obituaries face the dilemma of trying to tell the truth and yet be kind to the one who has passed away. But with Éamonn Egan no such problem arises. For he was a very unusual man, pos sessing two qualities that rarely go together, an ice-clear mind and a tender heart. People admired his mind, so quick to see a problem, utterly fair in argument, always seeking the truth, but they loved the heart, so sensitive to the feelings of others, and identifying totally with them, especially in times of trial.

It was his power of clear thinking, articu lated so fluently, that made him a great teacher of philosophy both at Mungret and Milltown Park. He was the centre of the philosophy school in Mungret during the early 1960s and he won the unlimited admiration of the philosophers, not all of whom would have been satisfied with anything less than the best. I remember him often saying that the standard there was higher than at the Jesuit philosophy school in Tullabeg, where he had been a professor until its closure. It was never clear to me whether this remark was intended as a compliment to Mungret or a slight to Tullabeg! It is only fair to add that Eamonn never felt quite at home, teaching in the secondary school division of Mungret. He was a man destined for success, amongst minds more mature than is normal, or perhaps desirable, in the schoolboy world.

I once went on holiday with him, when we were both in Mungret. It was in one of those modest seaside boarding houses that flourished and indeed still flourish, in the west of Ireland. The hostess never adver tised, but the same families, very pleasant, but by no means unsophisticated, came there every year. In a matter of days; Eamonn was the most popular man in the house. This was, in part, due to his much admired talent for painting, but above all to his charm of manner, which was the outward expression of his natural feeling for people. He was so lacking in conceit, that when I pointed out his social success, he seemed both astonished and annoyed.

Those Mungret men now working as priests all over the world who had the privilege to be his students, will, I know, never forget him. I am certain that they are united in sympathy with his relatives and countless friends in Ireland, who still mourn such a tragic loss. May he rest in peace,


Egan, James, 1814-1892, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1252
  • Person
  • 10 May 1814-19 January 1892

Born: 10 May 1814, Birr, County Offaly
Entered: 13 September 1855, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 02 February 1866
Died: 19 January 1892, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Fitzpatrick, John, 1832-1880, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1306
  • Person
  • 13 July 1832-31 October 1880

Born: 13 July 1832, Blackditch, County Wicklow
Entered: 21 August 1857, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1865
Final Vows: 15 August 1878
Died: 31 October 1880, Fordham College , NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Gaffney, John B, 1827-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1516
  • Person
  • 21 June 1827-14 January 1908

Born: 21 June 1827, Granard, County Longford
Entered: 14 August 1850, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Professed: 21 February 1866
Died: 14 January 1908, St Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Garvey, Jeremiah, 1794-1875, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1350
  • Person
  • 01 January 1794-28 July 1875

Born: 01 January 1794, Shandrum, Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 01 July 1845, St Mary’s, Lebanon, KY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final Vows: 25 March 1857
Died: 28 July 1875, Xavier College, New York, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

Haggerty, Gerard, 1910-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1401
  • Person
  • 25 August 1910-23 September 1986

Born: 25 August 1910, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Entered: 01 February 1930, St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 21 June 1942
Final Vows: 21 November 1977
Died: 23 September 1986, Thomastown, County Kilkenny - Neo-Eboracensis Province (NEB)

This man died in Ireland from NYK Province

Hanrahan, Nicholas, 1831-1891, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1407
  • Person
  • 21 October 1831-09 April 1891

Born: 21 October 1831, Templeshanbo, County Wexford
Entered: 12 September 1853, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1861
Professed: 15 August 1873
Died: 09 April 1891, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Harrison, Henry, 1652-1701, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2332
  • Person
  • 1652-01 January 1701

Born: 1652, Antwerp, Belgium
Entered: 07 September 1673, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1682
Final Vows: 02 February 1691
Died: 01 January 1701, Maryland, USA or at Sea - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1684 In MAR CAT mentions him with Thomas Hervey, in the New York Mission.
1690 MAR CAT records him as in Ireland
1695 Left Rome for Loreto to take the place of Philip Wright there as English Penitentiary 28 April 1695
1697 Reappears in MAR CAT, but seems to have been sent again on some commission, as CAT 1700 says that “he was on his way, but nothing had then been heard of him”.
1701 MAR CAT records his death, without mentioning day or place.

◆ CATSJ A-H has Has been a missioner in Watten, America, England and Ireland

◆ In Chronological Catalogue Sheet

◆ The English Jesuits 1650-1829 Geoffrey Holt SJ : Catholic Record Society 1984
RIP c 1701, place not recorded - perhaps lost at sea before that date.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
HARRISON, HENRY. All that I can collect of him is, that he died in 1701, set 49. Soc. 28.

Heelan, Patrick A, 1926-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/766
  • Person
  • 17 March 1926-01 February 2015

Born: 17 March 1926, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Fordham University, The Bronx, New York, USA
Died: 01 February 2015, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1950 at St Louis University MO, USA (MIS) studying geophysics
by 1960 at Münster, Germany (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1962 at Franklin Park NJ, USA (MAR) studying at Princeton
by 1963 at Leuven, Belgium (BEL S) studying
by 1966 at Fordham NY, USA (MAR) teaching

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

RIP: Fr Patrick Heelan SJ
Fr Patrick Heelan died in Cherryfield Lodge on 1 February. In one of the many entries online, he gives a succinct account of his life and work: I am a Jesuit priest, a theoretical physicist and a philosopher of science. I was born in Dublin in 1926, and studied theoretical physics, philosophy and theology in Ireland, Germany and the USA. I moved permanently to the USA in 1965. In my studies in theoretical physics I was fortunate in having been supervised by three Nobel Prize winners: Schroedinger in Dublin during the war, Wigener in Princeton and Heisenberg in Munich, all of whom were among the founders of quantum physics. I am grateful for having had such a wonderful life as a priest and a theoretical physicist.
Patrick learned his love of mathematics in Belvedere, and looked forward to becoming a Jesuit scientist. During his first spell in USA he won a doctorate in geophysics by devising mathematical formulae to enable seismographs to distinguish between natural earthquakes and seismic activity from nuclear explosions. What he called his first conversion was the experience of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, which remained a crucial resource for him through his life. In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University, before retiring, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield in 2014. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews.
In 2005 Patrick wrote a memoir which fills in the factual features of his life, structured round five conversion points. It is meaty but not easy reading, concerned as it is with quantum theory and the perception of space. Here are the five conversion points, each followed by its date and location:
The role of Ignatian discernment: 1951: Wisconsin Lonergan: transcendental method: 1957: Tullabeg Consciousness’ role in quantum physics: 1962: Princeton Van Gogh’s pictorial geometry: 1966 Fordham
Space perception and the philosophy of science: 1982: Stony Brook
These five stepping stones still omit much of Patrick’s range of interests. His seminal work on Van Gogh’s paintings reflected a broad and sharp-eyed knowledge of European art. He explored “Music as a basic metaphor and deep structure in Plato” in a paper that showed familiarity with studies of music’s origins and structures. At the end of his life he was deep into a serious study of Islam. A friend compared Patrick to a high Renaissance Florentine prince, a polymath at home in the full range of arts and sciences, illuminating wherever he cast his attention.
In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University, before retiring, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield in 2014. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews and his friends.

Georgetown salutes Fr Heelan
in Pat Coyle

Fr Patrick Heelan SJ’s death has been well noted by Georgetown University, Washington, where he spent so many years and did so much good work as academic and as administrator. The current President, Dr. John J. DeGioia, has written to the university community as follows:
February 11, 2015
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
It is with great sadness that I share with you that Rev. Patrick A. Heelan, S.J., a beloved Georgetown administrator, professor and member of our Jesuit community, passed away earlier this month.
Fr. Heelan came to our Georgetown community in 1992 as Executive Vice President for the Main Campus before becoming the William A. Gaston Professor of Philosophy in 1995. As an administrator, Fr. Heelan helped to guide our community through a difficult financial period with an unwavering dedication to our distinct values and a vision of long-term excellence. In his role, he oversaw changes to the structure of the administration and strategic investments in our community to better advance our mission and meet the needs of our growing student population. He was also deeply dedicated to our policies of need-blind admissions and our commitment to meeting full need in financial aid, seeing them as cornerstones of our University’s future success. Fr. Heelan’s leadership strengthened our community in so many ways and was integral to bringing us to where we are now.
In addition to his contributions as a leader, Fr. Heelan was a renowned physicist and a philosopher, whose extensive scholarship sat at a unique intersection of what he called “the hermeneutic philosophy of science”—or the study of how we make meaning from scientific observation. His scholarly research spanned disciplines, including theology, philosophy, psychology and physics. His many scholarly contributions included publications on spatial perception, quantum mechanics and human consciousness and drew upon the intellectual tradition of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Bernard Lonergan.
After retiring from Georgetown in 2013, Fr. Heelan returned to his native Ireland for the duration of his life, where he passed away surrounded by loved ones earlier this month.
I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing, and I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences to the many faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of our Jesuit community who had the chance to work with him.
Should you wish to express your condolences, please direct notes to: Irish Jesuit Provincialate, Milltown Park, Sandford Road, Dublin 6, Ireland.
Please join me in expressing our deepest sympathy to the friends, family and many lives that were touched by Fr. Heelan’s kindness, leadership and good will.
John J. DeGioia

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 159 : Spring 2015


Fr Patrick (Paddy) Heelan (1926-2015)

17 March 1926: Born Dublin
Early education at Belvedere College SJ
7th September 1942: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1944: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
1944 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Studying Maths & Maths/Physics at UCD
1948 - 1949: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1949 - 1952: St Louis, MO, USA - Studying for PhD in Geophysics at St Louis University
1952 - 1954: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy; Research Associate at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
1954 - 1955: Clongowes - Regency: Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1955 - 1959: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1958: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
1959 - 1960: Westphalia, Germany - Tertianship at Münster in Westphalia
1960 - 1961: Bronx, NY, USA - Fullbright Fellowship post Doctorate Studies in Physics at Fordham University
2nd February 1961 Final Vows at Fordham University, Bronx, NY, USA
1961 - 1962: St Augustine's Parish, Franklin Park, NJ, USA - Fullbright Fellowship post Doctorate Studies in Physics at Palmer Laboratory, Princeton University
1962 - 1964: Louvain, Belgium - Studying for PhD in Philosophy of Science at Catholic University of Louvain
1964 - 1965: Leeson St - Lecturer in Maths & Maths/Physics at UCD; Assistant Prefect University Hall; Research Associate at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
1965 - 1970: Bronx, NY, USA - Assistant Professor (later Associate Professor) of Philosophy at Fordham University
1968: Visiting Professor of Physics at Boston University
1970 - 1992: Stony Brook, NY, USA - Professor of Philosophy, Chair of Department of Philosophy, Dean of Arts and Sciences at State University of New York
1972: Acting Vice-President, Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean of Arts & Sciences; Professor of Philosophy
1975: Vice President for Liberal Studies
1990: Dean of Humanites & Fine Arts
1992: Present Emeritus Professor
1992 - 2013: Washington, DC, USA - Executive Vice-President for Main Campus; Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University
1995: William A Gaston Professor of Philosophy
2013 - 2015: Milltown Park - Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Fr Patrick Heelan was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in June 2013. He settled in well and was very content as a member of the Community. In recent months his condition deteriorated, and he died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge on Sunday 1st February 2015. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

In 1958 Archbishop McQuaid laid hands on Patrick as he knelt in the Milltown Park chapel to receive the sacrament of ordination. It would be fair to say that we, his peers, revered Patrick (the long form will be used here, though he was Paddy to his peers; in USA, where he settled in 1965, he was unhappy with the overtones of Paddy). By the time of his ordination he was already a seasoned scholar, with a Master's in maths from UCD, a rigorous apprenticeship with Schroedinger in the Dublin Institute of Higher Studies, and a doctorate in geophysics from St Louis. Even at that stage he had already worked in two of the seven universities he was to join (UCD, St Louis, Louvain, Fordham, Princeton, Stony Brook, Georgetown).

What mattered more to him was what he called his first conversion, when he gained an insight into the role of discernment in Ignatian prayer. This was the practice of assessing, during a time of peace and recollection, the spiritual authenticity of one's thoughts, feelings and desires; a new level of self-awareness and interiority. It remained with Patrick as a resource through the ups and downs of his life.

You might think it was mostly ups. He routinely got first honours in exams (with one explosive exception when J.R. McMahon, then Rector and Professor of Canon Law in Milltown, awarded Patrick a Fail mark in Canon Law, with the aim, it was said, of giving him a useful experience of failure). God, on the other hand, was generous to young Patrick. He was born into a stable home in Dalkey, with an aloof father and a remarkable warm and gifted mother to whom he was always close. He had an older brother, a successful lawyer and financier, and Esther, who he said was all you could look for in a young sister.

Patrick himself was generously endowed, with a brilliant mind, and a healthy body. He was not athletic, but was never sick, never in hospital till old age. He was hugely responsive to beauty, whether in mathematics (”I liked maths because it was clear, logical, beautiful and unassailable”), in music, especially Bach and Mozart, in flowers and in visual art. He loved his friends, though in his early years he described himself as a selfish introvert. On top of that he had excellent schooling, first in Belvedere, and then with formidable third-level mentors. He sought God in the created world; his search focussed particularly on how we perceive that world, and give it meaning,

Patrick was quickly in demand for third-level posts, but as a Jesuit under obedience he experienced the limits to his freedom. He was at first dismayed when he was commissioned to spend his travelling studentship in geophysics rather than his beloved maths. He was being used; superiors fingered him for the management of the worldwide network of Jesuit seismographs. The US army used and surreptitiously funded him to find a way of distinguishing natural earthquakes from nuclear explosions. The Russians translated his doctoral thesis for the same reason, and claimed the pirated version as a triumph for the Leningrad Acoustical Institution. The Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, sought his services to teach neo-scholastic philosophy to seminarians.

So Patrick was used by the Jesuits, the Pentagon, Russian scientists, the Archbishop of Dublin, and no doubt several others. In face of this he became not angry but wise. Without losing his joie de vivre he recognised and welcomed the down-sizing of his ego. A written comment from his later years suggests his use of discernment in his development: "I came to experience my life in the Jesuit order, not as a career to be established, but as a story always under editorial revision and reconstruction, continuously discontinuous, yet with persistent Catholic and catholic threads and an interiority that tended to be affirmative and to bring, as was promised in the gospels, rest to my soul.”

In three issues of Interfuse in 2005-6, Patrick wrote Le petit philosophe, a 3-part memoir which fills in the factual features of his life, structured round five conversion points. It is meaty but not easy reading, concerned as it is with quantum theory and the perception of space. Here are his five conversion points, each followed by its date and location:

  1. The role of Ignatian discernment: 1951: Wisconsin
  2. Lonergan: transcendental method: 1957: Tullabeg
  3. Consciousness' role in quantum physics: 1962: Princeton
  4. Van Gogh's pictorial geometry: 1966: Fordham
  5. Space perception and the philosophy of science: 1982: Stony Brook

These five stepping stones still omit much of Patrick's range of interests. His seminal work on Van Gogh's paintings reflected a wide and sharp-eyed knowledge of European art. He explored “Music as a basic metaphor and deep structure in Plato” in a paper that showed familiarity with studies of music's origins and structures. At the end of his life he was deep into a serious study of Islam. A friend compared Patrick to a high Renaissance Florentine prince, a polymath at home in the full range of arts and sciences, illuminating whatever he gave attention to.

In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University. He lived through the inevitable power struggles of academic life, especially in Georgetown, where he worked hard at the reform of structures.

In 2014 he retired, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much-loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews. He was 88 years of age, and in his 73rd year as a Jesuit. He wrote of himself: “In my studies in theoretical physics I was fortunate in having been supervised by three Nobel Prize winners: Schroedinger in Dublin during the war, Wigener in Princeton and Heisenberg in Munich, all of whom were among the founders of quantum physics. I am grateful for having had such a wonderful life as a priest and a theoretical physicist”.

Paul Andrews

Interfuse No 114 : Summer 2002


Patrick Heelan

A homily delivered by Patrick Heelan, on September 7, 2002, in St. Ignatius Chapel of Holy Trinity Church, Georgetown.

At the age of 11, I was enrolled as a student in Belvedere College in Dublin, Ireland. It was my first encounter with the Jesuits. Not many years before, another fellow Dubliner, James Joyce, had a similar encounter with the Jesuits at roughly the same age at Clongowes Wood College, the Jesuit boarding school. He later moved to Belvedere College, my school. Even at that early age Joyce was a sophisticated observer of the Jesuits. In his Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Joyce tells of his early encounter. Under the name of Stephen Daedelus, he recounts his reverie during a Latin class taught by Fr. Arnall, SJ. Fr. Arnall had been angry, “in a wax”, as he says, because the whole class had missed the declension of the word “mare”, the Latin word for “sea”. I will quote this piece because the narrator could easily have been me when I first encountered the Jesuits; it began with a reflection on Fr. Arnall's being “in a wax”.

“Was that a sin for Fr. Arnall to be in a wax? Or was he allowed to get into a wax when the boys were idle because that made them study better? Or was he only letting on to be in a wax? It was because he was allowed, because a priest would know what a sin was and would not do it ... hmm! BUT if he did it one time by mistake, what would he do to go to confession? Perhaps, he would go to confession to the Fr. Minister of the Jesuit community. And if the minister did it, he would go to the rector: the rector to the provincial: and the provincial to the general of the Jesuits. That was called the order ... hmm! He had heard his father say that they were all clever men. They could all become high up people in the world if they had not become Jesuits. And he wondered what Fr. Arnall and Paddy Barrett would have become, and what Mr. McGlade and Mr. Gleeson would have become, if they had not become Jesuits (Mr. McGlade and Mr. Gleeson were scholastics at the time; I knew Fr. McGlade as a priest and a great teacher.) It was hard to think WHAT, because you would have to think of them in a different way with different coloured coats and trousers and with beards and moustaches and different kinds of hats”. (p. 48)

There was already a sophisticated awareness, even in the eleven-year old, of the reality of sin and confession, and of what the Oxford English Dictionary calls “jesuitry'; also he knows of the high regard people had for the worldly abilities of Jesuits - but notes that the clerical uniform was an obstacle to the imagination. If only they dressed “in different coloured coats and trousers, wearing beards and moustaches”. There was a certain prophetic character to this last phrase - Jesuits today often dress “in coloured coats and trousers and wearing beards and moustaches”, but no one these days wears hats, not even priests!

At the end of his schooling in Belvedere, Joyce was invited to join the Jesuits, but he turned it down because he felt, mistakenly, I think, that the Jesuits frowned on the Eros of beauty -- but Stephen admitted that in his case the Eros of beauty had led him astray from the path of – well! - let us say good Jesuit behaviour. However, as for me, I did not have these challenges or reservations, but knowing something of the history of Jesuit accomplishments in natural science, I accepted the invitation, for I wanted to be a Jesuit scientist. Sixty years ago to a day, on September 7, 1942, I entered the Jesuit Novitiate at a Paladian Villa once owned by the Earls of Portarlington, then called St. Mary's, Emo, Co. Leix, to become, as I then thought and hoped, a Jesuit scientist.

Let me now draw down the spiritual lesson from the gospel reading (In. ch. 9). In the gospel story the blind man was changed by bathing in the waters of Siloam, but at first this only gave worldly sight to his eyes; he came to see only the world around, a splendid sight to see as he saw it for the first time in his life, a world of different people in their various coloured costumes. What did he think of Jesus, his benefactor? The great scholar Raymond Brown says he probably thought of him as just an ordinary miracle worker - not that being an ordinary miracle worker was a small thing. But it took events – like challenges from the Pharisees, parents, and bystanders – to make him see the spiritual realities underlying the opening of his eyes. Only when his spiritual eyes were opened did he come to recognize Jesus as God's presence in the world as a fully human person.

The theme of my homily then is that I am the blind man; I was washed in the waters of baptism; at first, like the blind man, I too only saw the business aspects of the world. Like the blind man, I came to see the spiritual context of human life and labour only by being challenged by events in the world and by its institutions. Reflecting on the other anniversary that we memorialize at this time, I recall that this is one of the frightening lessons of 9-11!

Returning, however, to my own story: the Jesuit part of my training was not easy; it consisted in adopting a certain kind of askesis, or spiritual practice, founded upon the Exercises of the founder, St. Ignatius. This was fundamental to the Jesuit life. I'll come back to this later. And then came science.

My scientific career began well at University College, Dublin, and at the School of Theoretical Physics of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. During World War II, this latter was a haven for refugee European scientists from Germany and Central Europe. I studied there under Erwin Schrödinger, one of the founders of the quantum theory, and John Synge, a famous cosmologist. Later I was to study quantum field theory and elementary particles under Eugene Wigner at Princeton, and came to know and correspond with Werner Heisenberg of the Uncertainty Principle fame. In 1964 I wrote a book about Heisenberg, which was accepted as a doctoral dissertation in philosophy at the University of Leuven.

But my first Jesuit assignment in 1949 was to study earth science, particularly seismology. As it turned out, my pursuit of a scientific career was terminated when I was told to move from earth science and physics to philosophy. You must understand that the context of decision making within every Jesuit life includes both worldly and religious dimensions. The story of a Jesuit's life is always a dialogue with the world around, a kind of spiritual “reading' of the worldly environment, called the “spirit of discernment,' within the context of that practiced way of life characteristic of the founder, St. Ignatius. Like the great spiritual practices of old such as Stoicism and Epicureanism, Christian spiritual practices, like the Jesuit practices, were the practices of a certain philosophical way of life - the human side – that linked up with the primacy of Christian faith -- the religious side.

The Jesuits are an institution that from the time of its founder, took on the world, teaching both worldly and sacred knowledge or more accurately, they adopted ways of living that are both in the world, worldly, while being spiritually attuned according to the practices of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Some may find this paradoxical. Monks live in closed monasteries and behind high garden walls all the time; they have little or no contact with the world. Religious orders older than the Jesuits, such as the Dominicans and the Franciscans, live in tight supervised communities and sally forth only to meet the world for pre-planned sessions of preaching, prayer, or charitable work The Jesuits' special mission, however, has been to promote worldly and spiritual life together, not separately. That is a complex, difficult, and paradoxical project. Like all spiritual projects, however, this is a deeply human social project but also marked by personal and social decision making requiring a special spiritual training, or askesis. This is the charism of the Jesuit way of life, of living in the Company, or Society, of Jesus.

To return to my own story: I was assigned to become a Jesuit scientist, like so many other Jesuit scientists of the past. But it did not work out the way it was originally conceived. My first assignment was to work with the great Jesuit seismologist, Fr. Macelwane at St. Louis University, with the intention possibly of taking charge of the great worldwide Jesuit network of earth science observatories established at Jesuit schools everywhere and linked globally. This was a unique network of its kind and had been in existence for over a hundred years. But in 1954, two years after my doctorate in geophysics, the U.S. Government put billions of dollars into the International Geophysical Year. This moved the earth sciences far beyond where they were. It was done mostly for military purposes to monitor underground nuclear test activity and to track underwater nuclear powered naval craft in the great oceans of the world, and much of the new research was top secret. In a short time, the Jesuit global seismological network became redundant and as a consequence there was no longer any need within the Jesuit Order for experts in this field. I then entered the field of high energy physics at Princeton University under the mentorship of Eugene Wigner, one of the original founders of the quantum theory. But this, too, was soon interrupted, when the Faculty of Philosophy at University College, Dublin, requested that I be assigned to teach the philosophy of science. This required further training, which took me to the University of Leuven, Belgium, where I finished a book on Werner Heisenberg's physical philosophy.

And so, at the age of 38, I began my first serious teaching job. This was in the physics department at University College, Dublin, as professor of relativistic cosmology, waiting for an appointment to philosophy. There followed my one and only - and most satisfying - job teaching science! But in the middle of my first year, I received an invitation from Fordham University in New York, to go there to teach my new specialty, the philosophy of science. I then began in 1965 a new career in the philosophy of science.

But further challenges were to follow. Five years later, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, was given the mission to become a great research university, to become, as it was then said, an 'instant Berkeley. Out of the blue, it invited me to become chair of the philosophy department, and to begin a doctoral degree program in philosophy. In a few years, Stony Brook became the leader in continental philosophy in the US with vast public funding and with the full backing of the administration. A few years after the successful establishment of that program, I was invited to become Vice President and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook. After the establishment of the Staller Fine Arts Centre, I was recalled to administration as Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts. I spent 22 years in all at Stony Brook. Then in 1992, on the invitation of Fr Leo O'Donovan, then President of Georgetown University, I left secular public higher education and re-entered the domain of private Catholic and Jesuit higher education, as the person responsible for the Main Campus of Georgetown University.

You might want to know how I experienced secular higher education in a top research public university. In retrospect, I have to say that I found extraordinary respect for one who was, oddly, both a priest and a Jesuit. Of course, being also a card carrying scientist did help a lot. Catholic friends in higher education have since said to me: 'You must have horror stories to tell about the secular values of public education. Not really! Academic life in both the public universities and the Catholic universities is much the same - commitments to social justice, public responsibility, and “What's new!” are not much different in the practical order. The big difference is in the limitations of public discourse and the public practices of life. Religious language and ritual are absent; motivations are expressed in terms of human rights, professional ethics, and other secular humanistic doctrines - or without further definition, the pursuit of excellence! My frustration was mitigated by the discovery that many of the values we know as Christian values have by now migrated beyond the Church, they are no longer challenged but taken for granted as due to humanity and human society. I asked: How did this come about? I think the reason is that universities grew up under the Christian umbrella before they came to shelter themselves under the shadow of the state, and they carried much of the Christian tradition with them.

I often found beneath the surface a hidden quasi-religious commitment clothed in secular and human rhetoric. I came to feel sure that Jesus would not condemn these people. Many, both Jewish and agnostic, were like Nicodemus, or like the blind man emerging from the pool of Siloam, they shared the vision of Jesus, but they had not been challenged in such a way as to recognize the divine presence that he represents in the world.

My years at Georgetown University have also been a challenge and a gift. I am so happy that we celebrate religious rituals, and that religious motivations and spirituality can be spoken of, and are needed and heeded by many students and faculty without interfering with the usual and expected academic standards of the disciplines. It is so comforting to be in a community where the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are known and used to promote a way of life that gives spiritual sight to the business of the world. Since the time of Stephen Daedelus and of my youth, changes have taken place: Jesuit priests now go round in different coloured coats and trousers, [even some with beards and moustaches.' And in doing so they are affirming a world vibrant - Yes! - with divine life....

Interfuse No 125 : Autumn 2005


Patrick A Heelan

‘Le petit philosophe’
My family tells me – usually with good humored teasing -- that, when I was baptized, my godfather, a lawyer and a philosopher of sorts, looked at me in the cradle bemused, and said, “Le petit philosophe!” Recalling who the “philosophes” were, it could have been an ironic comment on the promises just made on my behalf but, if it was intended as a prophetic statement, this is where my “evangelium” should begin!

When I was young, I lived with my family in a pretty seaside town, Dalkey, on the South side of Dublin – once the home of George Bernard Shaw and today of U2's Bono. It was then about one and a half hours commute by bus or train to and from my Jesuit high school, Belvedere College, on the North side of the River Liffey. Consequently, neither before nor after school did I have the companionship of other Belvederians, nor indeed much other young companionship. As the second son, I was eclipsed by my brother, Louis, who seemed to have a large circle of friends and colleagues, boys and girls, which I did not have. I enjoyed reading, mathematics, music, home carpentry, and the company of my mother. She had come from Antwerp, Belgium as a young girl during the first World War, to study English and accountancy, and she stayed in Dublin after the war, met my father in Dalkey and married him. I had a younger sister – still living - and an older brother - now gone. My sister was a good junior partner. She tried hard to keep up with her brothers but sadly she was derided for being a girl! She was the first among us, however, to become a doctor, a real M.D. She married a dentist, and devoted her life to raising a large family and serving on Catholic medical boards. My brother became a cautious lawyer; also raised a large family; worked in venture capital investment, including the film industry; and was a lifelong active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for helping the indigent. My father was a senior civil servant, an economist, fluent in French and German, aloof, given to three hobbies - rose gardening, musical composition and, after retiring, the translation of theological works from the German - even some from Karl Rahner, S.J. I was an introverted and selfish kid.

At Belvedere, I had good math teachers. I liked math because it was clear, logical, beautiful, and unassailable, and, as I thought, did not require company. Mathematical physics seemed to me to be the true model of all authentic knowledge of the world. My attitude towards the world was abstract and aloofly contemplative. This attitude was only to be confirmed by my scientific, philosophical, and theological education in the Jesuit Order - until wisdom made its entrance.

What follows is the story of several conversions, each connected with unplanned zigs or zags, contingent events from which, by divine grace - for how else explain it? -- an intelligible narrative emerged that was accompanied by - or eventually brought - wonder and joy, as well as “rest to my soul.' The frustrations along the way were met with unexpected gifts of help, from people, some living and some now dead, too numerous to name. Some will be mentioned in the following narrative. Among them is St. Ignatius Loyola whose Spiritual Exercises were indispensable; Bernard Lonergan, S.J., whom I had the privilege of knowing personally though only in a small way, whose books, Insight and Method in Theology found their way to me at crucial moments of transition. With the help of them and many others on the way, I came to experience my life in the Jesuit order, not as a career to be established, but as a story always under editorial revision and reconstruction, continuously discontinuous, yet with persistent Catholic and catholic threads and an interiority that tended to be affirmative and to bring, as was promised in the gospels, rest to my soul.

UCD and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (1944-48)
Now for some particulars! In 1942, at the age of 16, I joined the Jesuits, directly from high school. I knew that I was joining a society that respected science and mathematics, and looked forward to a possible Jesuit career in the sciences. Spiritually, I was no more than a cultural Irish Catholic who felt comfortable with the way of life of the Jesuits he knew. An eventual career in the sciences seemed to be confirmed by my early university studies as a Jesuit in mathematics and mathematical physics (BA, 1947; MA, 1948, all with first-class honors) at University College, Dublin (UCD). In 1948 I was awarded a fellowship in Mathematical Physics to study for a doctorate wherever in the world I could find a perch.

The years of my mathematical studies in Ireland coincided with the chaotic post-war years in Europe during which the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies offered hospitality to many émigré European scientists. I was privileged then to be able to attend seminars given by very eminent theoretical physicists at its School of Theoretical Physics in Dublin. Among those resident there at the time were Erwin Schrödinger and John Synge, both mathematicians famous for their work in General Relativity and Cosmology. Relativistic Cosmology explained gravitation as due to curvatures of four-dimensional space-time related to the presence of physical masses in space time; these warp the geometry in ways not compatible with Euclidean geometry. But as a classical theory, it is clear, logical, elegant, deductive, and mathematically unassailable. These descriptors also fitted Schrödinger's own teaching, the elegance of his style, and what he expected of others. It set the tone for his students among whom I was happy to be counted.

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies with its School of Theoretical Physics was founded by Eamon de Valera, the Prime Minister of Ireland during those years, who was a mathematician. I remember being told, when I was small, that only seven people in the world understood Einstein's Theory of Relativity and that de Valera was one of them. Wanting to belong to this small group, I took courses with Schrödinger and Synge. From Schrödinger I came to understand that the General Theory of Relativity did not support the 'relativism' of truth; to the contrary, it was founded on constancy, invariance, and symmetry, as befitted the rational design of Him whom Einstein called the “Old One”. Einstein's motto was, “Der Herrgott würfelt nicht' - God does not throw dice!” It was carved above the fireplace of his office in the old Palmer Laboratory of Princeton. It was Einstein's challenge to Heisenberg and to quantum mechanics. At this time, I felt I was with Einstein.
One class episode with Schrödinger opened my mind to a new way of thinking about human consciousness. He spoke about the foundations of mathematics and cosmology in the intuition of non-Euclidean geometrical spaces. Since the dominant scientific and philosophical view before Einstein was that real Space as intuited by our imagination was necessarily Euclidean, a fundamental principle of both mind and body had been breached and needed to be re-studied at all levels of relevance.

The notion that cosmology forced us to imagine curved three- and four-dimensional spaces that can be both finite in size and yet have no boundaries grabbed me in a profound way and gave me a new concern, with consciousness and its role in psychology, physics, philosophy, and spirituality.

In 1948, my final year at UCD, I won a prestigious Fellowship (called a Travelling Studentship) that paid for doctoral studies abroad anywhere in the world. I was sent to pursue doctoral studies at St. Louis University as a junior Jesuit scholastic. My provincial wanted me to study geophysics and seismology. Why seismology? And why at St. Louis? In the late 1940's, the Vatican Observatory managed several scientific research programs besides astronomy. Among them was an international network of seismological stations not just at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, but at Jesuit colleges around the world. The Director of the Vatican Observatory in 1948 was Father Daniel O'Connell, SJ an Irish Jeşuit. He spoke to my Provincial and, much to my chagrin, requested that I be sent to study geophysical seismology at St. Louis University, a Jesuit university that had a special Institute of Geophysics.

The Director at that time of the Institute of Geophysics at St Louis University was Father James Macelwane, SJ, a scientist of considerable fame. He worked closely with the oil exploration industry and the Pentagon. Under his direction, my assigned research project: was to find a means of telling from seismic records whether a seismic disturbance was of artificial or natural origin. This involved finding a correlation between the seismological signatures of underground disturbances and their source. Being, like Schrödinger, a mathematical physicist, and not at all an experimental physicist, I transformed the practical problem into a mathematical one. I studied no records, but instead, using simplified assumptions, I looked for solutions of the elastic wave equations that seemed to define the problem. My research was supported by the US military though I did not know this until much later, for its real purpose was to find the seismic key to monitoring underground nuclear tests (for a retrospect, see, Broad, W. New York Times, 2005). In response to the great success of Soviet science with the launching of Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite, in 1957, Russian scientific papers began to be translated into English. To my great surprise a copy of my doctoral papers appeared in 1961 – as translated from the Russian complete with the identical mathematical typos that appeared in my papers - seemingly attributed to the Leningrad Acoustical Institute. Following the major U.S. Federal government investment in geophysics during the International Geophysical Year (1957-58), the Jesuit Seismological Network folded, and there was no longer a potential job in seismology for me with the Jesuits.

Conversion #1: Insight into “discernment” in Ignatian prayer
My first breach with the orientation towards mathematics as the preferred instrument of reason occurred while making the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with other scholastics, I think in the sutnmner of 1951, in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The retreat master was Father Charles Hertzog, SJ. For the first time, I had insight into the role of 'discernment in Ignatian prayer. I had made many retreats before this, but the meaning of discernment had escaped me. This is the practice of assessing, during a time of peace and recollection, the spiritual authenticity of one's interior thoughts, feelings, and desires, as they emerged into consciousness against the background of faith in and love for the crucified and risen Jesus. I don't any longer recall how spiritual discernment was presented by Fr. Hertzog, but the impact on me at that time was certainly due to his expositions and my deep need for something of that kind. It breached a barrier in my consciousness that brought about a 'conversion' event. After that time, I began to notice and take seriously how people and events came to me. They came differently from before now they seemed to carry messages for concem, invitations to new tasks, either as providers of peace and consolation, or as warnings against involvement, and so on. This brought about a new level of self-awareness and interiority that challenged the anonymous, often self-serving habits, practices, and conventions of the unconscious self. I was not yet curious about the cultural origins of that unconscious self, but a route was opened that had not been there before.

I returned to Ireland in 1952. My science studies had to be put aside for eight years. I spent two years in philosophy, one in regency teaching, four in theology- my ordination was at the end of my third year in 1958 - then after theology there was Tertianship, a final spiritual and pastoral year (1959-60) that I spent in Münster, Germany. My studies in philosophy were done at the Jesuit School of Philosophy, in the farming community of Tullamore, Ireland. My theological studies were done at the Jesuit School of Theology, Milltown Park, in a suburb of Dublin. Jesuit seminary philosophy made little mark on me; it did not have the clarity, elegance, and explanatory function - nor even the empirical outlook – that I was used to in science, and it seemed to me also at the time that its insights were anonymous and lacked the joyful and sublime moments that might have saved it from irrelevance. There was one notable exception, the course on sacred scripture at Milltown Park, which introduced us to the historical, archaeological, and literary studies of biblical texts.

In the middle of my theological studies, I was summoned to the Provincial's office nearby, and was told that the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, wanted me to be assigned to teach philosophy at UCD. The Faculty of Philosophy at that time served almost exclusively the seminarians of the Archdiocese. But there was agitation from a group of lay students to open the philosophy curriculum to modern topics such as the philosophy of science. The Dean and Professors of the Faculty, all priests of the Dublin Archdiocese, persuaded the Archbishop of the need to make this possible. I, however, had no knowledge of this situation and was at a loss to know how I came to be chosen for this job. I was shocked at the Archbishop's proposal and my consideration of it gave me no joy. Aware that the Archbishop was not a patient listener to contrary advice, I, nevertheless, dared, like Job in the Old Testament, to argue with the Almighty! I represented that I was not competent to teach the philosophy of science because I found little joy in the subject and because my scientific training was badly in need of an upgrade for such a task after so many years away from science. The Archbishop's reply came to me from my Provincial: “Tell Patrick Heelan to read a good book!” He made no suggestion, however, as to what book I should read.

Conversion #2: Lonergan's transcendental method of Insight
As it happened, Bernard Lonergan's Insight, was published in the summer of 1957. It hooked my interest from the start, perhaps because it began with mathematical examples. I found it exciting, and it gave me great joy. I found it intensely illuminating with respect to philosophical method. It seemed to me to describe correctly the role of intuition in mathematics as well as the role of experience in concept and theory formation. It gave me notions, such as transcendental method, intentionality, assessment, interiority, empirical residue, that expanded my mind with pleasurable excitement. After finishing the book, I lent my copy to Fr Eamonn Egan, a brilliant young Jesuit who professed philosophy. He read it through, from cover to cover - and, it is said, that he neither ate nor slept during that time and was found lying on the floor of his room exhausted, three days later. Others at Milltown Park also read Insight and their excitement led to the formation of a Lonergan caucus or “fan club” at Milltown Park that has continued to the present day, The Archbishop was right, I needed a good book ... and the good book had found me!

Course notes on De Methodo Theologiae (in Latin) were also being passed around from courses Lonergan gave at the Gregorian University in Rome. They were early versions of what later became his Method in Theology, which appeared in 1972. I also noted the coherence between Ignatian discernment and Lonergan's notions of interiority and authenticity. That summer I had my second “conversion” - to a better understanding of the kind of human cooperation that divine grace needed when working for the Kingdom of God in today's scientific culture.

Lonergan's approach to philosophy was his discovery in Aquinas of an account of human knowing that was based on the recognition of (what is called today) transcendental method. A transcendental process is one that affects all human processes, 'transcendental' being the Kantian term for “a priori, universal, and necessary”. Lonergan's transcendental method went beyond Kant and described a sequence of four functions (processes) that operate sequentially and recursively in the process of all human inquiry. They are: 1. experiencing, 2. understanding, 3, judging, and 4. decision-making. The four functions operate on experiencing and from this draw their objective content. Their actions are recursively used again and again to review, revise, update, confirm or drop. This recursive use is called hermeneutical since each use shapes some aspect of meaning: the first produces perceptual meanings (related to descriptive concepts); the second produces theoretical meanings (related to networks of mutually related phenomena); the third, produces judgments of truth/falsity (after evidence is assessed), and the fourth and final phase produces practical action (related to human values and sensibility). A cycle of the four functions is called a transcendental hermeneutical circle (or spiral).

This new way of thinking changed the emphasis of my thinking from the mathematical to the practical, from the world as object to the interiority of the inquiring subject's engagement with the world, and from formal language to descriptive language. I began to see these recursive interior processes as the source of all human and cultural development in historical time and the natural sciences as the domain in which the embodied character of transcendental hermeneutical method is most clearly to be seen.

This new start in philosophy convinced me all the more that I needed to update my physics and learn more philosophy. So I applied for a Fulbright Fellowship to Princeton University to do post-doc work in quantum field theory. My application was accepted. Much to the chagrin of the Archbishop, however, I requested that my two years in the United States be followed by two years at the University of Leuven (Louvain), Belgium, to study the philosophy of science. I believed I could with luck finish a doctorate there in two years.

Conversion #3: Role of Consciousness in Quantum Physics
After a few months of preparatory work at Fordham University, I went on to Princeton arriving there around Christmas, 1960. My experience at Princeton was, indeed, mind blowing. The Princeton physics department at that time was probably the best physics department in the world! I worked with Professor Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Laureate and one of the founders of the quantum theory, and Fr Matsuo Yanase, SJ, a Japanese Jesuit physicist who was soon to become the President of Sophia University, Tokyo. Wigner was Hungarian, Jewish by birth and Lutheran by faith. He had been trained in chemical engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. He had a very keen sense of both the empirical and the technological side of science. Ironically, Wigner occupied Einstein's old office in the Palmer Lab with the famous inscription I already mentioned. I soon switched my allegiance from Einstein to Heisenberg, and from General Relativity to Quantum Theory.

Einstein loved the objective order of geometry where everything had its determinate time and place. This is characteristic of classical physics - roughly all physics with the exception of quantum physics - where it is assumed that theoretical terms in physics exist and have determinate properties independently of any engagement with human culture, with observers or their instruments. Classical objects are thought to be, using Lonergan's phrase, 'already out there now real,' that is, present beyond human culture and history and in principle independent of human filters. Such a view tends to see the world entirely in material terms. Wigner's view was that the only evidence we can rely on is given in experience. Experience, however, involves contingency and risk, for what is observed is observed through many human bodily, instrumental, and linguistic filters. None of these filters can sift incoming signals with infinite precision and, as the quantum theory predicted, some of these filters are mutually incompatible. The question that most quantum physicists and philosophers of science found troubling is the epistemological one: What CAN a physicist know absolutely about the real world? - which is probably unanswerable. Wigner, however, changed the basic question to an ontological one (Wigner 1967, 171-184): What IS knowing in quantum physics? This was the same move that Kant, Lonergan, Husserl, and Heidegger had made. Wigner in an interview towards the end of his life said: “My chief scientific interest in the last 20 years has been to somehow extend theoretical physics into the realm of consciousness consciousness is beautifully complex. It has never been properly described, certainly not by physics or mathematics”. (Szanton 1992, p. 309).

At the end of my Fulbright Fellowship in the Fall of 1962, I went directly to Leuven, to begin my doctoral work in the philosophy of science. It was natural then for me to focus my research on the problem of objectivity in Heisenberg's quantum mechanics and the role of consciousness in measurement.

Leuven (1962-4) and Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity (65)
I arrived at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in September, 1962, to begin work towards a PhD in the philosophy of science. There was no philosophical program there in the field of the natural sciences, but only in logic and the social psychological sciences. The Institut Supérieur de Philosophie was, however, the home of the Edmund Husserl Archives, brought there by Fr HL Van Breda, OFM, a Franciscan priest, who in 1939 with great personal risk had saved Husserl's papers from confiscation and destruction by the Nazi regime in Germany. My mentor was Professor Jean Ladrière, a brilliant and most beloved logician and mathematician, whose interests included Husserl and the social sciences. During this time, I studied the principal published writings of Husserl. Husserl was a trained mathematician. From 1901 to 1916, he taught philosophy at the University of Göttingen in what was then called the Faculty of Philosophy, which included Natural Philosophy. Among its faculty were also the mathematicians and physicists who were responsible for the early 20th century revolution that committed mathematics to the service of physics. Aquinas, Kant, Lonergan, Husserl, and Martin Heidegger, provided the resources I used to study the philosophical questions I brought from Wigner's Princeton. I read all of Heisenberg's published papers up to the time of my writing, visited with him several times at the Max-Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, and discussed with him what I found unclear in his presentations. I found him most cordial and open, and our relationship continued after I left Leuven until his death in 1976. I defended my dissertation in 1964 and received the grade of félications du jury, 'which is the highest honors. I was told by my good friend and Heidegger counsellor, Fr. Bill Richardson, S.J., of Boston College, that it was an invitation to prepare for a faculty appointment at Leuven.

My dissertation was published under the title: Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity: A Study of the Physical Philosophy of Werner Heisenberg (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1965). I will refer to it below as QMO. Of QMO, Heisenberg wrote in the personal letter to me (dated November 10, 1970): “I very much enjoyed reading your book. Precisely the connection between a description of the historical development and a very careful philosophical analysis seems to me to be a felicitous foundation for the reader being able to really penetrate into quantum theory and its philosophy”.

QMO has been widely read and, until recently, was part of the history of science curriculum at Oxford. Some years ago, I was happy to learn that parts of it were being read at the elite Dalton School in New York City in a seminar for the best and brightest among New York high school seniors.

The thesis of the book sustains Wigner's point that there is in quantum physics the emergence of a distinctively new and explicit role for subjectivity at the moment when a datum observation is made. By 'new', I mean 'absent from classical physics. By 'explicit,' I refer to a conscious discrimination between two types of discourse, 1) theoretical (model) discourse and 2) empirical (fact) discourse. Facts occur only in appropriate practical horizonal situations. By horizon/horizona! I mean the practical situatedness of an event - here, a measurement event in a laboratory environment. The principal (but not exclusive) function of a horizon is to specify the space/time and momentum/energy variables. In classical physics, all such horizons are assumed to be mutually compatible. This compatibility breaks down in quantum physics, where cross-correlations exist between data taken in different complementary horizons, for example, the space/time horizon and the momentum/energy horizon are 'complementary. The choice of horizon is controlled by a free decision of the measuring subject. Wigner took this dependence of 'what is factual' on 'what humans have chosen to measure to be evidence of the presence of a human interpretative (and cognitive) role inside the new physics that is absent from classical physics. He saw this as evidence for the existence of an immaterial factor within human consciousness that plays a role in the practice of the new physics.

Much of my later work was inspired by Wigner's problem and the desire to understand it better. In doing so, I read deeply about the biological, historical, and cultural origins of the four functions that in Lonergan's account, constitute the transcendental core of human conscious living. I asked: How did they come to be structured the way we find them today? and How do they operate within the contexts of history, culture, and religion? In the light of Wigner's view that quantum physics implies a role for human consciousness, I began to think that it might be possible to describe the individual embodied human being as a Quantum MacroSystem (CMS).

Return to the USA (1965)
I returned to Ireland from Leuven in the mid-summer of 1964, ready to teach the philosophy of science at UCD in the Fall of that year. Earlier that year I had received some telephone calls from Ireland telling me that there was a crisis brewing about what I would teach in the Fall, but the cause of the crisis was not mentioned. Arriving back in Dublin, I found that I was not listed among the Faculty of Philosophy, but among the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Physics, assigned to teach the graduate course in General Relativistic Cosmology. It was some time before I learned what had been going on in the last few feverish months while I was completing and defending my philosophy dissertation. I was told that the Jesuit professors at UCD had voted – no doubt with others - to give the Chair of Medieval History to someone other than the Archbishop's candidate for that position. The Archbishop then pressured the university to appoint the Archbishop's candidate to a Chair of Medieval Philosophy in the Faculty of Philosophy, and to assign to him the budget line that up to that time was being kept for me. As part of the deal, I was given a position in the Department of Mathematical Physics. I was encouraged, nevertheless, to offer a course in the philosophy of science but only for science students, but I was told that the course would not be listed among courses in philosophy. When I asked why, the reason given me was to ensure that my name would not be put forward as a candidate for Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy when the present Dean retired. The Archbishop had his own candidate for that position. My Provincial had no option but to acquiesce in this matter. The students thought otherwise, however, and showed their disapproval by briefly occupying the office of the Dean of Philosophy.

And so le petit philosophe plus the 'good book that was sent his way “to clear his path” returned for the time being at least to be un petit scientifique hastily boning up on material learned sixteen years earlier at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. But destiny was to win out!

Broad, W, 2005. “Listening for Atom Blasts, but Hearing Earthquakes”. New York Times, January 18, 2005.
Heelan, P. 1965. Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity: A Study of the Physical Philosophy of Werner Heisenberg. The Hague: Nijhoff.
Szanton, A. 1992. Recollections of Eugene P Wigner as told to Andrew Szanton. Plenum Press.
Wigner, E. 1967. Symmetries and Reflections. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Hogan, Michael, 1835-1903, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1455
  • Person
  • 31 December 1835-28 November 1903

Born 31 December 1835, Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Entered 28 March 1852, Montréal, Québec, Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed 02 February 1866
Died 28 November 1903, St Andrew on Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEV)

Hogan, Walter B, 1912-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1456
  • Person
  • 24 October 1912-16 September 1991

Born: 24 October 1912, Philadelphia PA, USA
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboiracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 18 June 1944
Professed: 02 February 1949
Died: 16 September 1991, Baltimore MD, USA - Philippine Province (PHI)

by 1963 came to Wah Yan Hong Kong (HIB) working 1962-1967

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

Note from Herbert Dargan Entry
He freed Fr John Collins for fulltime social work, set up “Concilium” with Frs Ted Collins, John Foley and Walter Hogan. he also set up CMAC in 1963. He sent Fr John F Jones for special training in Marriage Life. He also sent Fr John Russell to Rome for training in Canon Law. he was involved with rehabilitation of discharged prisoners and he visited prisons.

Kain, Joseph, 1822-1897, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1491
  • Person
  • 22 December 1822-06 May 1897

Born: 22 December 1822, Magerafelt, County Derry
Entered: 12 August 1853, Montréal, Québec, Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 15 August 1863
Died: 06 May 1897, St Ignatius, Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Keane, Edmund, 1916-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/624
  • Person
  • 28 July 1916-11 May 2000

Born: 28 July 1916, Ballina, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 11 May 2000, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1949 North American Martyrs, Auriesville NY USA (NEB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Fr. Edmund Keane, writes 27th September, from Oour Lady of Martyrs Tertianship, Auriesville, New York :
“On the eve of the Long Retreat (it begins this evening) I write to commend myself in a special manner to your Holy Masses and prayers. Auriesville certainly affords all the exterior aids for a faithful retreat : peace, coolness, and the wide open-spaces so welcome after the heat and hurried tempo of New York, and one can depend on the weather to behave. After four weeks Fr. Kent and I are now well settled into the Tertianship, and both are in good health, D.G. The house is very comfortable and well appointed, food excellent, and surroundings from a scenic point of view very beautiful. In all there are 43 Tertians, of whom only about 8 hail from Provinces other than American, so there are no language difficulties. Fr. Keenan is our Instructor, and I am glad of the opportunity of spending a year under his direction.
Yesterday, the Feast of the Matryrs was marked by special celebrations, and during the day the number of pilgrims that flowed in through the Shrine must have been over 10,000. Solemn High Mass coram Episcopo (Most Rev, Dr. Gibbons of the Albany diocese) in the Coliseum at noon, preceded by a procession into it of various bodies, the Knights of Columbus, The Order of Alhambra and the A.O.H., etc. A sermon was preached by Fr. Flattery, Director of the retreat-house. The celebrant, deacon, subdeacon and M.C. were Filipino, Canadian, Italian and Dutch respectively Tertians). Supply work comes round about every third week : one regular week-end call brings us a distance of 150 miles, and so we are armed with the faculties of three dioceses - New York, Albany and Syracuse. Some hospital work, too, may likely fall to my lot, such work, apart from its value as an experimentum, should be rich in experience ..."

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

From Fr. R. Ingram, Holy Family Rectory, 1501 Fremont Ave., South Pasedena, Cal., U.S.A. :
“I have just missed a trip to the Marshall Islands and Hawaii. Shell Ox Co. is sponsoring a world-wide experiment op gravity observations to be taken simultaneously at many different stations. We had arranged a party to take the observations in the Pacific, they were to be made every 1 hour, and the Navy had agreed to co-operate by flying the personnel and instruments to the locations. But an automatic recorder was perfected by La Coste (the designer of the ‘gravy-meter’) and off he went alone. God bless American efficiency! Instead of flying across the Pacific a party of us have charge of the observations for the Los Angeles region. We hope to get a lot of information.
I plan to leave the West for St. Louis at the end of July. I sail for Ireland with Frs. Kent and Keane on 7th September”.
(Fr. E. Kent has been acting as Assistant Chaplain in City Hospital, New York.)

◆ Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2000


Fr Edmund (Eddie) Keane (1916-2000)

28th July 1916: Bom in Ballina, Co. Mayo
Early Education Private school in Ballina and at Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1938 - 1941: Tullabeg, studying Philosophy
1941 - 1943: Belevedere - Teacher, H.Dip in Education
1943 - 1944: Mungret College - Teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park - studying Theology
30th July 1947: Ordained at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949: Tertianship at Auriesville, New York
1949 - 1951: Leeson Street - Assistant Editor “Studies” and Editor “Irish Monthly”
1951 - 2000: Gonzaga College - Teacher until 1991 when he retired from teaching. He continued to be active as Writer, Spiritual Director (SJ), etc.

Father Keane played golf and tennis until an advanced age. Even after a hip operation in recent years he went back to golf. His health was failing and he moved to Cherryfield Lodge in March while awaiting a bed in the hospital. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on the 20th April last. There had been a gradual deterioration in his health, so his death was not unexpected. The community were glad to have a vigil with him on the evening before he died. He died peacefully before 10 a.m. on 11th May, 2000.

The following obituary appeared in The Irish Times shortly after Fr. Keane's death ...

Eddie Keane - known with much more affection as “Neddie” to generations of Gonzaga students - lived a long and an ordinary life which will almost certainly be forgotten. Fame asks of its candidates the proofs of ego and the protocols of conquest, and neither in any way interested this very benign, bookish man who taught classics in a quiet secondary school through a half century of planetary atrocity and apocalypse.

In fact, he was so self-effacing that most of us discovered his background in Ballina only by reading the death notice which his community placed in a newspaper, and so self-possessed that the other possibilities of his apostolate - the prestige of service overseas, say, or of academic ambitions as a classicist - didn't distract him for a moment from his daily obligations as a mentor and a friend to multitudinous middle-class kids cogging Xenophon and Virgil from their inky, broken-down textbooks.

Eight and nine-year-olds who served Eddie's Mass - the old Tridentine rite of Pius V in the little scented oratories of the priests' house - won't have forgotten that familiar kindness of his at the far end of their schooldays, when bewilderment over the black-letter and the red-letter Latin of the altar-server's laminated sheet would cause the affectionate face to turn, smile, and set right, as the smells of breakfast rose up from the kitchens and oriental blossom drifted across the tennis courts. And, by the same token, 18 and 19 year olds who participated in the late 1960s in the new vernacular Mass of Paul VI won't have forgotten the period after the Council, years of turmoil and resurgence, the glory days of the Jesuits under their second Ignatius, Arrupe the Basque, as the order re-invented itself in the name of liberation theology and the preferential option for the poor, when Father Keane was still there with Catullus in one hand and the Psalter in the other, trying to twin Jerusalem and Athens, the Graeco-Roman idea and the Judeo-Christian ideal.

This was no small achievement. When the Lord scolds Saul on the road to Damascus in the Acts of the Apostles, he does so with a quote from Euripides. But to the fundamentalist mind (Eddie would probably red line the phrase as oxymoron) classical civilisation is a pagan place, while to the humanist sensibility scriptural culture, because of its association with the institutional church , is usually barbaric. To one splendid Ignatian companion, however, the two belonged together as the blackboard and the chalk, so that he could speak in a senior classroom, after prayer at the start of the session, of the homosexual organisation of the fifth-century Greek army or of bisexuality in antiquity, at the time when either dispensation was a criminal activity in the Irish state and when the dislike of the gay individual was as pronounced and as pathological as the dislike of the Roman Catholic clergy is today.

Asked by a boy in the senior school what he most looked forward to after his death, he said: "I want to spend my first thousand years talking to Sophocles". (Did he know that the dramatist's Antigone had been called the fifth gospel by Simone Weil?) And again, preaching to a packed congregation in the school chapel at midnight mass on Christmas Eve, the feast of the incarnation, he declared: “Because of what we are celebrating here tonight. I am speaking to a gathering of immortals”.

Some of his former students are still fearful that eternal life and immortal life may not be the same thing. More of us again have given up altogether on the hereinafter. But Edmund Keane was a scholar and a very gentle man and I leave the adjectivity in his hands. In an ordinary and ordained life he taught us all, men and boys, that continuity is a form of constancy, that constancy is an act of fidelity, and that fidelity is the behaviour of love. I hope that he wept tears at the sight of heaven, just as he wept on the marble steps of the Propylaea on the Acropolis in Athens in 1965 and cried out among the tourists: "How beautiful! How beautiful!"

His articles appeared in the Sacred Heart Messenger and not in Concilium; his parish work during the summer adjournments was in Britain and not in Bolivia; but his dedication, on the long gravel drive to the long millennium, to the two discredited creeds of the Jew and the Greek - to the Way, the Truth and the Life on the one hand and to the true, the Good and the Beautiful - was a threshold and a turning point to the students he guided.

Now he has entered, more deeply than ever before, the society of Jesus.

Aidan Matthews

Interfuse No 106 : Autumn 2000


Joe Brennan

Father Edmund Keane was born on July 28th 1916 and died in St. Vincent's Private on 11th May 2000. His primary education was in his home-town. He went to Clongowes for his secondary education where he was an above average student, good at games, particularly tennis. He matriculated in 5th year and entered the Society in Emo in September 1933.

He did a Classics degree in UCD, gaining first-class honours. He was an exceptionally bright student and had no difficulty in putting either Greek or Latin words to the popular tunes of the day or songs from Gilbert and Sullivan or other operettas.

This ease in the Classics was evident to his students in Gonzaga in a teaching career of 40 years. To a professional ease was added an enthusiasm for the intellectual and linguistic challenge Greek and Latin demand. A past pupil, Aidan Matthews, wrote of him in an obituary in the Irish Times:

“... he was so self effacing that most of us discovered his background in Ballina only by reading the death notice which his community placed in a newspaper, and so self-possessed that the other possibilities of his apostolate - the prestige of service overseas, say, or of academic ambitions as a classicist - didn't distract him for a moment from his daily obligations as a mentor and a friend to a multitudinous middle-class kids cogging Xenophon and Virgil from their inky, broken-down text-books”.

His own course of studies took the normal course; Philosophy in Tullabeg, two years regency in Belvedere, one in Mungret, Theology and ordination in Milltown. He did his tertianship in Auriesville, New York, and particularly enjoyed the chance to ski, skate and play ice-hockey, once again showing his natural athletic abilities.

For two years he was in Leeson Street as assistant Editor of Studies and Editor of the Irish Monthly. In 1951 he went to Gonzaga where he remained for almost 50 years. He founded the Classics Department there, but also helped in many other fields, especially rugby, and above all, tennis. In a fitting tribute to his contribution to Gonzaga, a group of past pupils have commissioned the renewal of the College courts with a savannah-grass surface as a memorial to Eddie and his contribution to Gonzaga.

In more recent decades he had developed a pusillus grex on Sunday mornings in the Domestic Chapel. His insights were greatly valued. In the words of one of the most regular members he was “holy, intelligent, very well informed and obviously a scholar. He was very kind and possessed a very natural dignity”.

In community he made a tremendous contribution to recreation. His joy with words and word-plays, his interest in current affairs, his enthusiasm for all forms of sports meant that all benefited from his wit and wisdom. Yet in all of this he was basically a reserved man, rarely sharing his religious insights. While no stoic or sophist - he could be devastatingly critical of the 'culture' of the classical world - he did not believe in wearing his heart on his sleeve.

While the boys might not know of his Mayo origins, the community knew of his pietas. He was proud to bring his cousin, President Mary Robinsion, to visit the house. He delighted in the company of his nephews and nieces, especially Dillie Keane, the well-known founder of “Fascinating Aida”. As one of his nephews wrote; “To us he was so constant, such a rock of good sense, kindly and humorous, that we will miss him greatly”.

Many of his past-pupils speak highly of him. He kept up a correspondence with many of them. One writes: “I was one of those who corresponded over the years with Father Keane. I have kept all his letters and agree with you that they were all minor works of art, carefully crafted and full of information and insightful analysis, as he would have wished. I shall be doubly sure now to safeguard them”.

His reputation with the lay staff was particularly high. While he had his natural reserve, he was open to all. They found him “extraordinarily civil”, with a positive attitude to all. Many enjoyed his play with words and responded to it. But behind it all they knew him to be “a dedicated priest and don”"

For many years he wrote a most popular article in the Messenger, “If you see what I mean”. They were a perfect demonstration of learning worn lightly. Yet they had a deeper purpose behind them, as the title implied. Clearly in all his work this balance of the sacred and the profane was something which he did naturally, though greatly aided by grace. This balance was expressed by Aidan Matthews in his obituary:

“His articles appeared in the Sacred Heart Messenger and not in Concilium; his parish work during the summer adjournments was in Britain and not in Bolivia; but his dedication, on the long gravel drive to the long millennium, to the two discredited creeds of the Jew and the Greek - to the way, the Truth and the Life on the one hand and to the true, the Good and the Beautiful - was a threshold and a turning point to the students he guided.

Now he has entered, more deeply than ever before, the society of Jesus."

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2000


Edmund Keane SJ

Eddie Keane - known with much more affection than stringency as “Neddie” to generations of Gonzaga students lived a long and an ordinary life which will almost certainly be forgotten. Fame asks of its candidates the proofs of ego and the protocols of conquest, and neither in any way interested this very benign, bookish man who taught classics in a quiet secondary school through a half-century of planetary atrocity and apocalypse.

In fact, he was so self-effacing that most of us discovered his background in Ballina only by reading the death notice which his community placed in a newspaper; and so self-possessed that the other possibilities of his apostolate--the prestige of service overseas, for example, or of academic ambitions as a classicist-didn't distract him for a moment from his daily obligations as a mentor and a friend to multitudinous middle-class kids cogging Xenophon and Virgil from their inky, broken-down textbooks.

Eight and nine-year-olds who served Eddie's mass - the old Tridentine rite of Pius V in the little scented oratories of the priests' house - won't have forgotten that familiar kindness of his at the far end of their schooldays, when bewilderment over the black-letter and the red-letter Latin of the altar-server's laminated sheet would cause the affectionate face to turn, smile, simplify, and set right, as the smells of breakfast rose up from the kitchens and oriental blossom drifted across the tennis courts. And, by the same token, 18- and 19 year-olds who participated in the late 1960s in the new vernacular Mass of Paul VI won't have forgotten the period after the Council, years of turmoil and resurgence, the glory days of the Jesuits under their second Ignatius, Arrupe the Basque, as the order reinvented itself in the name of liberation theology and the preferential obligation for the poor, when Father Keane was still there with Catullus in one hand and the Psalter in the other, trying to twin Jerusalem and Athens, the Greco-Roman idea and the Judeo-Christian ideal.

This was no small achievement. When the Lord scolds Saul on the road to Damascus in the Acts of the Apostles, he does so with a quote from Euripides. But to the fundamentalist mind (Eddie would probably red-line the phrase as an oxymoron) classical civilisation is a pagan place, while to the humanist sensibility scriptural culture, because of s association with the institutional church, is usually barbaric. To one splendid Ignatian companion, however, the two belonged together as naturally as the blackboard and the chalk, so that he could speak in a senior classroom, after the prayer at the start of the ses sion, of the homosexual organisation of the fifth-century Greek army or of bisexuality in antiquity, at a time where either dispensation was a criminal activity in the Irish state and when the dislike of the gay individual was as pronounced and as pathological as the dislike of the Roman Catholic clergy is today.

Asked by a boy in the senior school what he most looked forward to after his death, he said “I want to spend the first thousand years talking to Sophocles”. (Did he know that the dramatist's Antigone had been called the fifth gospel by Simone Weil?) And again, preaching to a packed congregation in the school chapel at midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the feast of the Incarnation, he declared: “Because of what we are celebrating here tonight, I am speaking to a gathering of immortals”.

Some of his former students are still fearful that eternal life and immortal life may not be the one and same thing. More of us again have given up altogether on the hereinafter. But Edmund Keane was a scholar and a very gentle man, and I leave the adjectivity in his hands. In an ordinary and ordained life he taught us all, men and boys, that continuity is a form of constancy, that constancy is an act of fidelity, and that fidelity is the behaviour of love. I hope that he wept tears at the sight of Heaven, just as he wept on the marble steps of the Propylaea on the Acropolis in Athens in 1965 and cried out among the tourists: “How beautiful! How beautiful!”

His articles appeared in the Sacred Heart Messinger and not in Concilium; his parish work during the summer adjournments was in Britain and not Bolivia; but his dedication, on the long gravel drive to the third millennium, to the two discredited creeds of the Jew and the Greek-to the Way, the Truth and the Life on one hand and to the Truth, the Good and the Beautiful on the other—was a threshold and a turning point for the students he guided. Now he has entered, more deeply than ever before, into the Society of Jesus.

Aidan Matthews

Kelly, James, 1935-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/858
  • Person
  • 15 November 1935-07 December 2019

Born: 15 November 1935, Dalystown, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 10 September 1981, Luján, Argentina
Died: 07 December 2019, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1969 at Jerusalem, Israel (PRO) studying and teaching
by 1974 at Larkspur. CA, USA (CAL) parish and teaching
by 1975 at Millbrae. CA, USA (CAL) parish and teaching
by 1975 at Auriesville. NY, USA (NYK) making Tertianship
by 1976 at San Francisco. CA, USA (CAL) working and studying
by 1977 at Quito, Ecuador (ECU) teaching
by 1978 at Arica, Chile (CHL) teaching
by 1979 at Asunción. Paraguay (PAR) and Buenos Aires, Angentina (ARG) teaching
by 1992 at Genoa. Italy (ITA) writing

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Putting the priestly ministry First: James Kelly SJ
At the funeral Mass for Fr James Kelly SJ, celebrant Fr Bill Callanan SJ respected the wishes of the deceased and refrained from delivering a eulogy. James’s “frequently expressed desire” for this, Bill explained, did not derive from a false humility. He explained: In my view it stemmed rather from James’ deeply felt sense of his priestly ministry, and of the central place held by the preaching of the Word of God in it. All too often, in James’ view, in funeral allocutions the preacher places his or her main emphasis on the merits or demerits of the deceased. This approach has often resulted in dwelling on the biographical details of their life history, singling out their successes and lauding their accomplishments. The result tended to be that little time was given to the message of the gospel which related most directly to those present, – What is the meaning of death for the Christian? Faithful, then, to James’s wishes, Bill’s homily took the Gospel reading about the resurrection of Lazarus and reflected on the meaning of death for the Christian, especially under the sign of hope in the resurrection. You can read the full homily here » A few words of biography – and indeed of eulogy – are in order. A Westmeath man by birth and upbringing, Fr James became something of a citizen of the world in the course of his Jesuit life. After entering the Society in St Mary’s, Emo, in Co Laois, he studied Classics in UCD and Theology in Milltown Park. But shortly after his ordination at Milltown Park in 1968 he began an itinerant academic career, studying and lecturing in Biblical studies in various parts of the world. He firstly studied scripture at the École Biblique in Jerusalem, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and then the Franciscanum in Rome. Over the following years he lectured and did parish work in various Californian cities before, in 1977, beginning a lengthy period, mostly as a lecturer in Scripture, in Latin America. He worked in Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina during this time. After his return to Ireland in the mid-1980s, James lectured in biblical languages in the Milltown Institute, but he also spent periods as a writer in Genoa, Italy.
In all of this active life of scholarship, James took very much to heart the call to bring the good news to all who came his way. He had a deeply apostolic vision of priestly life. In all respects he was a good scholar, a fine priest, and a faithful Jesuit.

Early Education at Ballinagore NS, St Jarlath’s, Tuam, Co Galway; St Finian’s, Mullingar, County Westmeath

1956-1959 Rathfarnham - Studying Classics at UCD
1959-1962 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1962-1965 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1965-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1969-1974 Jerusalem, Israel - Studied Scripture at École Biblique; Studies and Lectures at Pontifical Biblical Institute; Prepared for STD at Franciscanum (Jerusalem and Rome)
1974-1975 Larkspur, CA, USA - Assists in St Patrick’s Church
1975-1976 Millbrae, CA, USA - Assists at St Dunstan’s; Lectures one course at University of San Francisco
1976-1977 San Francisco, CA, USA - Parish work and Studying Spanish at Saint Veronica’s, Alida Way
1977-1978 Quito, Ecuador - Lecturer in Scripture at Catolica Università del Ecuador
1978-1979 Arica, Chile - Courses in Religion at Arica Antofagasta
1979-1980 Asunçion, Paraguay & Gesu Nazarone, Corrientes, Argentina
Mendoza, Argentine – Pastoral Work at Residencia, San Martin (Summers)
1980-1983 Asunción, Paraguay & Buenos Aires, Argentina - Lectures in Scripture in Asunción, Paraguay; Lectures for half year in Collegio Maximo de San José,Buenos Aires, Argentina
1983-1992 Milltown Park - Teacher of Hebrew & Greek in Milltown Institute; Chaplain in Milltown Parish, Dublin
1992-1996 Genova, Italy - Ministers in Church; Writer at Chiesa del Gesù
1996-1998 Gardiner St - Writer (6 months in Gardiner St; 6 months in Genoa, Italy)
1997 Orlando, FL, USA - Assists in Parish at St James Parish (3 months)
1998-2005 Crescent Church, Limerick - Assists in Church; Director of Sodalities BVM & St Ignatius
1999 Teaches Italian (adults) at Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Dooradoyle; Writer
2003 Assists in Church; Teacher of Hebrew to adults;
2005-2019 Milltown Park - Teacher of Biblical Languages at Milltown Institute; Writer

Kelly, Joseph A, 1931-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/778
  • Person
  • 27 May 1931-05 December 2008

Born: 27 May 1931, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, Loyola University, Chicago IL, USA
Died: 05 December 2008, Jersey City, NJ USA

Based at St Malachy’s West 49th St, New York NY, USA at the time of death

Youngest Brother of Bob Kelly (ZAM) - RIP 2005 and Michael Kelly - RIP 2021

by 1966 at Cornell, Ithaca NY, USA (BUF) studying
by 1967 at Loyola Chicago (CHG) studying
by 1969 at St Peter’s College, New Jersey NJ, USA (NEB) working
by 1995 at St Malachy’s, New York NY, USA (NYK) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

“Some people become priests because they love God, some because they love talking about God, and some, like Fr Joe Kelly, because they love people.” Joe had moved from Dublin to Jersey City in 1968, and worked in particular with students, and later actors – he played a Catholic priest in City Hall with Al Pacino. The crowds who attended Joe’s funeral in Jersey City, and the memorial Mass in Milltown Chapel, showed the affection he inspired, and the impact he made during his 59 years as a Jesuit.
Celebrating the Pastor of Broadway
Fr. Joe Kelly SJ served for years on the Boards of the Broadway Association, the Times Square Alliance, and the Mayor’s Midtown Citizens Committee. He was also the
beloved Parochial Vicar of St. Malachy’s, The Actors’ Chapel, and was responsible for having the section of 49th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway named “St. Malachy’s Way”. He was a much-sought-after speaker and a friend to all. To honour him for his tireless work and his wonderful contributions to the Times Square neighbourhood and the entertainment community, his caricature will hang with the “greats” on the wall at Sardi’s, a well-known Broadway restaurant. The picture will be unveiled at a cocktail party on Wednesday, May 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 139 : Easter 2009


Fr Joseph A (Joe) Kelly (1931-2008)

27th May 1931: Born in Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Early education in CBS, Tullamore (St. Columba's Classical College)
1948 - 1949: Studied engineering at UCD
7th September 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1951: First Vows at Emo
1951 - 1954: Rathfarnham - English Literature and Language at UCD
1954 - 1957: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1957 - 1960: Gonzaga - Teacher
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
31st July 1963: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1965 - 1967: Cornell University & Loyola Chicago, USA - Sociology
2nd February 1967: Final Vows
1967 - 1968: College of Industrial Relations - Lecturer
1968 - 1993: St. Peter's College, Jersey City, USA -
1968 - 1973: Chaplain
1973 - 1988: Director of Campus Ministry
1988 - 1993: Senior Development Officer
1993 - 2008: St. Malachy's Church, 49th Street, New York City -
1993 - 2003: Parochial Vicar
2003 - 2008: Assisted in the Church
2008: St. Peter's College, New Jersey
5th December 2008: Died in hospital in New Jersey, USA.

When Fr Joe Kelly died in New Jersey, many of his friends wanted to speak and write about him. Rather than a conflated obituary, here are three distinct voices with their memories of Joe: his brother Michael who spoke at the funeral Masses in Jersey City and Milltown Park; his close friend Roddy Guerrini; and a eulogist from the congregation of St Malachy's, the Actors' Chapel in New York.

The Joe of Surprises

From Fr. Michael Kelly's homilies at Joe's funeral Masses at St. Peter's College, New Jersey, and Milltown Park, Dublin
When going through Joe's things at Saint Peter's College (Jersey City) a few days after he died, I came across the book by Father Gerard Hughes, The God of Surprises. On the fly-leaf Joe had written: “This is my favourite book. If ever you find it lying round make sure it gets back to me”. Well if Joe loved the book The God of Surprises, I am quite certain that the God of Surprises in Person loved and got a great kick out of the Joe of surprises!

Joe never failed to surprise us. He surprised everybody in 1949 when he gave up engineering studies at University College Dublin to join the Jesuits. He surprised even himself in the positive way he influenced the boys at Gonzaga in the late 1950s, when he was the first Jesuit scholastic to teach there. His extensive theological understanding surprised me in Milltown Park where fate in the person of a formal Visitor to the Irish Province appointed me to be one of his theology examiners. It was my feeling that he surprised (and greatly relieved) our mother and father by staying the course to ordination, tertianship and thereafter. He surprised Saint Peter's in Jersey City, and later Saint Malachy's on Broadway, by his stunning success as Director of Campus Ministries, pastor, homilist, counsellor, and ever in-demand baptiser, solemniser of marriages, support in time of stress and grief, and (like his namesake, Joseph of Arimathea whom we heard about in the Gospel) burier of the dead.

And his death was a surprise, something totally unexpected. Though he had been having heart and circulatory problems for quite some time, he seemed to be coping with these. But on Friday 5th December things were different. That day he was leaving Saint Malachy's and changing back to Saint Peter's where he had served for 25 years. He got to his new home early in the afternoon but complained, as he had done earlier in the day, of chest pains and overwhelming tiredness. Late in the afternoon he was taken to hospital where the authorities said they would keep him under observation for a few days. As the evening wore on, they had to give him a whole bunch of IV drips and other medical supports. But in between times he was in good form, spoke to many friends on his cell-phone, was making arrangements for the coming weekend, and asked a few close friends to come and keep him company. After chatting with these for some time, he fell into a quiet sleep and a few minutes later his friends saw that his monitor had changed from blips to a straight line. In his sleep, Joe had just slipped away into the arms of the God he loved and served so well. There was no pain, distress or trouble, but great peace and calm, and for this we must, in one of his own favourite expressions, praise and thank God.

But the thing that bowled us over most of all, Joe's family on this side of the Atlantic, was the flood of people, thousands of them from New York and Jersey City, talking of the way Joe had touched their lives and crying warm tears because he had left them. We knew that Joe was a good priest, but we didn't realize how good until we saw the outpourings of love and grief, heard the testimonials, and shared the tears of some of the thousands for whom he was so significant.

Perhaps in some ways we tended to think of him as Joe the rebel, Joe the “irreverent reverend”, or in the words of one of his close friends, as Joe the Catholic anarchist. And certainly he could be a rebel, and was critical and irreverent whenever he encountered pomposity, sham, formalism, heavy-handed clerical bureaucracy, putting rules and regulations before people, using religion to enslave instead of to set free. In this he identified wholeheartedly with the Jesus he so dearly loved who scorned the pomposity, the nit picking, the ritualistic ways and the oppressive religiosity of many of the religious leaders of his time. Joe was the same. There was no side to him and he had no time for legalism or sham in today's church. He loved pomp and circumstance and good acting in the theatre, but he had no time for anything like this in the church or for anything that might make it harder for people to experience how greatly God loved them.

Mention of the theatre reminds us of Joe's very extensive work throughout the theatre world, from front stage to back stage, and the enjoyment, strength and encouragement that he in his turn got from the support of the theatre community. And it is really marvellous to hear that his friends from the theatre world are considering a celebration to remember him, to be held in a Broadway theatre some time in the New Year.

Messages have poured into St. Malachy's website testifying to Joe's dedication as a great and concerned pastor who always tried to ensure that all should be for the best with each individual whom he contacted. Let me share with you something from two of them.

The first is from Steven Kelly who acknowledges that his lifestyle is one that is not accepted by the Catholic Church but states that because of Joe he is an active Catholic and very comfortable in being one. Steven goes on: “I can remember when our church would publish the name of the priest saying the next week's Mass. They had to stop doing that because people would only go to the Mass that Father Joe was celebrating.... I know he is in a better place ... but it's not fair to all of us remaining. He will be in my heart and head for as long as I live”.

The second comes from Charles Michel, who calls himself “an old-time member of the St. Malachy's Family”. Charles wrote:
There has been a lot of talk recently about guys named Joe. “Joe” has come to stand for any regular guy who is identified with the job he does. He and his job are almost one and the same. He does his job well because this is a natural extension of who he is at his core. This was never truer than it was for "Joe the Priest”. Of all the clergy I have ever known, I cannot think of a more priestly one than Father Joe Kelly.
And here is why ... Some men become priests because they love God. Some men, especially Jesuits, become priests because they like to think about God. And some men become priests because they love to wear robes and pretend they are God!

But Joe Kelly was a priest because he loved PEOPLE. And for him loving people WAS loving God. And since he lived in a world full of people every relationship in his life was a prayer. He didn't need to fall to his knees to commune with The Almighty. He just needed to pour a glass of good wine for a friend, cook him a gourmet meal, and tell the best story ever into the wee hours of the night. ... Father Kelly knew God because he knew Susan and Paul and Margie and Sam. He saw God in the face of everyone he knew. He did not look up to heaven to see God. Instead, on countless occasions, he found God across the dinner table and he would simply say to him or her, Isn't this a good Cabernet?”

This past Sunday one of St. Malachy's long-time parishioners shared with me her last conversation with him. Joe had said to her, “The only thing I now know is that God is love. Everything else - all rules, all the theology, all the struggle, all the guilt - is meaningless”.

Again I see how near he was to the Lord Jesus, the great lover of people, who always gave pride of place to people and their needs, no matter how exhausted he was, his heart going out to them, especially if they were in trouble or seemed harassed or dejected. And that's how it was with Joe.

And Joe identified closely with the Lord in another significant way. Both of them loved feasts, banquets, celebrations, parties – Jesus to the extent that he was criticized as being a drunkard and a glutton, Joe to the extent that, as Charles said in his message, he could so easily find God across the dinner table and make it possible for others to do the same. For Joe, every celebration, every meal with friends, was the literal fulfilment of the promise made in tonight's First Reading, that God would prepare a banquet of fine wines, of food rich and juicy, and would wipe away the tears from every cheek and take away the mourning veil covering all peoples. Even in the most desolate moments, Joe's exuberant humour, vitality, wit, and interest in finding God, brought out the presence of God in every meal and gathering, not only as the God of Surprises, but also as the God of gentle healing, rejoicing and laughter. Certainly, he found God more easily and much more surely in a glass of Chateau-neuf-de pape than in any document dealing with infallibility-de-pape! And surely this comes out in the last photo taken of him on 3rd December, just two days before he died, celebrating a meal at Ciro's Restaurant in New York with Sister Peggy and some of the other stalwart women who supported him not only as a priest but also as a person whose health situation was dicey.

And let us remember that it is through a Eucharist that we are celebrating Joe tonight. And the Eucharist is a meal, a feast, a celebration - just what Joe loved. Our Eucharist is a joyful celebration with the great Master of festivities, Jesus Himself, and we find it enriching and fulfilling and a great happiness to be here.

Alongside his deep love of God and his extensive love for everyone as a child of God (recall our First Reading tonight, “We are all children of God, though we still don't know what we are to be in the future”. Joe had an extraordinary love for all the members of his many families, his natural family here in Ireland and those who became his family in New York and Jersey City.

We were a very united family, seven of us and our parents, though we were dispersed all over the place. Like myself, Joe would have heard our mother saying, “It breaks your father's heart and mine to see you going away, and yet we are glad that you are all living far from one another, because that way we know you will stay close and will not be quarrelling”. How right she was! We never knew squabbling or bickering or falling out. Coming back home, whether to Tullamore, or Newbridge or Blackrock, was always wonderful for Joe and all of us, with great reunions all round and great celebrations. Joe idolized our father, and I'm sure this helped him experience what it meant to be loved by God as Father, And our father in Tullamore worshipped the ground Joe walked on, even to the extent of refusing to let himself die until he became aware that Joe was at his side. This great warm bond between us was what Joe wanted to re-create as he tried to strengthen the union and harmony in the families of his countless friends, students and parishioners.

Joe also had a powerfully strong love for the Jesuits, the Society of Jesus to which he belonged for more than 59 years. Just one illustration of that. Going through his personal effects last week, we came across a notebook clearly marked "private". At first we were going to put it with papers to be shredded. But earlier we nearly did the same with an envelope containing a thick wad of dollars, thinking it was an old diary. So although some things remain private even in death, I thought I'd better have a quick look at the private notebook. I flicked through the pages, and what did I find? Not a single dollar! Nothing, in fact, except blank pages with just a few thinly scribbled ones at the beginning. One of these, dated August 2002, read: “I don't know how I can ever be grateful enough to my Jesuit colleagues at America House, for all the support, encouragement and boundless love they have always given me. I could never have got on without them”. This was for his own eyes only, but it shows how much it meant to him that he was a Jesuit, a member of the Society of Jesus, the Society of love. The Jesuit Community at America House, and in earlier years the Jesuit Community at St. Peter's College, were his lifeline, the umbilical cord that bound him in love and unity to his fellow Jesuits there and to his Jesuit brethren across the world.

We were indeed proud of Joe as a first class Jesuit and an excellent priest. And Oonagh and I remain very, very proud that he was our brother.

And one last thing before we end. Joe was always very close to Ed Williams of Tullamore. They were a real Jonathan and David pair in modern times. By an extraordinary coincidence, this very day of Joe's memorial Mass, 15th December, is the first anniversary of Ed's death. The bond that united these two in life was too strong to be broken by death. But perhaps I shouldn't have said "coincidence". This was no coincidence. It was the God of Surprises, dearly loved as a Person and a book by both Ed and Joe, who brought them together again. When Joe would visit Ed in Tullamore, one of Ed's daughters would pop her head into the room where Ed was sitting and announce, “The God of Surprises is at the door”. I'm sure that when Ed realized last week that Joe was at the door of heaven he would have welcomed him ecstatically and proudly presented him, the Joe of surprises, to the God of Surprises.

When the Old Testament prophet Elijah was taken up to heaven, his follower Elisha threw Elijah's cloak over his shoulders and became a great and powerful prophet in his place. May Joe's mantle of love of God and family, loyalty and love for the Society of Jesus, joy in celebration, honesty, integrity, compassion, concern for every child of God, and joy in all God's goodness, fall on the shoulders of each one of us so that our lives may help every one we deal with to encounter the surprise and the joy of God and to recognize with Joe that in the final analysis the only thing that has meaning is that God is love.

Roddy Guerrini, for many years Joe's contemporary in the Jesuits:
I think I knew Joe Kelly fairly well. We were friends as novices and continued to communicate well all our lives though separated by distance. The funeral homily is accurate. I'll add some comments to it.

Joe was highly intelligent and sensitive to people and circumstances, what you might call the signs of the times. He would hate to be called an “intellectual”, thinking the word smacked of superiority to others or conceit of self. Those who considered themselves 'intellectuals', he would think phonies or poseurs. Consequently he never talked above peoples' heads or talked down to them. But he was a fast learner in any field he engaged. In Theology he and I repeated every evening for one hour. It was all the theology I needed for the ad grad. Joe was a gifted mimic and could take off the professors and make the dullest lecture a comedy performance. In addition he had a photographic memory and hearing once was all he needed to retain the material, a great help to me who didn't always pay attention. We developed a vocabulary of our own, code words that stood for whole theses. In exam I would hear Joe's voice in my head repeating our wild theology, and answer with a straight face in the conventional way. It made theology a very agreeable experience.

Joe is portrayed in the homily a good listener. This is fair comment but omits mention of the cost. He took many problems on himself and suffered much stress as result. Often I would suggest “detach a little”. It was not in his nature. To detach seemed like “not caring”. I do believe that this 'involvement' harmed his health and took some joy out of his life.

Eulogy in Saint Malachy's Church, Broadway (The Actors Chapel):
Joe Kelly was a lover and a love. He was a lover because, as his brother, nephew and friend said at his funeral mass, he loved God and he loved people and he loved bringing God to people. He was a love because he was a warm, caring, compassionate dynamo, with an unparalleled sense of humour and such a deep humility that you just couldn't help but love him. He walked the walk – “What you do unto others, you do unto me”.

He always remembered the forgotten. Even when he was feeling weak, he managed to visit the elderly, the sick and the dying. Years ago, he had a friend who had a relative in prison. When he would visit him, the man would tell him how much he hated prison food and would love to have veal scaloppini. So, as only Joe would do, the next time he visited him, he went with a veal scaloppini sandwich wrapped in foil and plastic and strapped to his leg.

Agnes Sheehy and Michael Kelly were married on April 13, 1919 in Tullamore, County Offaly Ireland. They had 7 children, four boys and three girls; Joe was the youngest. Three of the boys became Jesuit priests: two of them served in Africa and Joe ended up here in the U.S. (lucky for us). He entered the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus at the age of 18. He was not a proud man, but he was proud of that S.J. after his name. He always took his orders in his stride, and in his early days he was assigned to be a beekeeper. He learned to love it and became quite an expert on bees and honey (and you thought he was just an expert on wine).

While studying at University in Ireland, he had to prepare a paper that was sent to Oxford for review and then he had to have a personal meeting with his reviewer, who just happened to be JRR Tolkien. During their meeting, Tolkien told Joe about a book he was currently working on called “The Lord of the Rings”.

After graduation in 1954, he became an English teacher in Ireland, and his students still love him to this day. Many have kept in touch all these years, have brought him back to Ireland to baptize and marry their children and have visited him here in NY. In 2002 they had a special dinner in Ireland to honor him. Joe was an avid bird watcher and was passionate about literature, poetry and music. He could recite entire passages from Shakespeare and frequently a poetic quote would pop out of his mouth. He had no favorite poet – he loved them all.

He left Ireland in 1965 with a heavy heart to come to the U.S. to study labour relations at Loyola in Chicago and in Cornell in NY, but ultimately he fell in love with America.

As head of Campus Ministry at St. Peter's College in Jersey City, he started the “How To Club”. He would bring the students into New York City to go to the theatre and opera, and took them to fine restaurants and taught them proper etiquette and “how to” order food and wine.

He loved opera and Gilbert & Sullivan. In fact, he usually sat there mouthing the words to the songs because he knew them all. He loved theatre. About a month ago, he called me one night and said, “I just have to share this with you – I just had the most incredible night on Broadway that I have ever had”. Phil Smith had taken him to opening night of Billy Elliott and they sat behind Elton Jon, with Mayor Bloomberg in the row behind them. Pity that they have no idea how lucky they were to be sitting so close to such a great man.

I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him on a number of projects for St. Malachy's so I could see him in action first hand. We worked for a whole year on the centennial dinner that was held in January 2003 and many, many hours were spent writing the keepsake journal with St. Malachy's history that was given out at the dinner, Because he was so well loved in the community, people generously responded to him and ultimately $250,000 profit was made at that dinner.

Through his tireless efforts, there is now a “St. Malachy's Way” sign at the corner of 49th Street and Eighth Avenue. He jumped through many hoops to finally get the approval and a wonderful street-naming ceremony was held in June 2003, complete with a Proclamation from the Mayor declaring June 10, 2003 “St. Malachy's Day”. He was beaming - he loved St. Malachy's and one of his dreams became a reality that day.

Aside from being active in the church, Joe was a valued and well-respected member of the community, serving on the Broadway Association, on the board of the Times Square Alliance and was appointed by the Mayor to the Mayor's Midtown Citizens Committee. The Catholic Church couldn't have asked for a better person to represent them in the secular world because everyone loved Joe Kelly and he brought a humanity to the church which attracted people from all faiths.

Joe Kelly was a friend to all, from the famous to the forgotten. He lived life to the fullest, gave unselfishly of himself, touched more lives that he could have ever imagined, and always held fast to his love of God.

I would like to close with a quotation from one of his homilies in 2001:

Years ago there was a play, a great musical here on Broadway. It was called “La Cage Aux Folles” and included a song called “The Best of Times”.
The best of times is now.
What's left of summer but a faded rose?
The best of times is now
For tomorrow, well, who knows?
Who knows?
So hold this moment fast
and live and love as hard as you know how.
And make this moment last because the best of times is now.

Then he went on to say,
“Our Lord himself said it a long time ago in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Take today for today. Today's troubles are enough. Leave tomorrow. Leave the end of the world, leave all of that – leave even our own death in the hands of a loving and a compassionate God’.”

Joe Kelly did just that – he lived and loved as hard as he knew how. How lucky are we to have had him in our lives.

Interfuse No 162 : Winter 2015


Fr Joseph Kelly (1931-2008)

In the years before he died in Jersey City in December 2008, I seldom met my brother Joe. But almost every time we managed to meet he would at some point say to me, “Michael, when I'm dead and buried no one will remember me”. Little did he know how wrong he was! Within two years of his death, the Broadway Association was instrumental in having his “caricature” hung in the renowned Sardi's Restaurant in New York, along with the greats of the theatre, film and entertainment industry. This was in recognition of the unique pastoral relationship Joe had developed with the Broadway community-actors, choristers, theatre staff - as their special friend and priest-on-call. A year later, Mary Higgins Clark, the “Agatha Christie” of American detective fiction, dedicated her novel I'll Walk Alone to Joe's memory, with the words:

Always a twinkle in this Jesuit's eye
Always a smile on his handsome face
Always faith and compassion overflowing his soul
He was the stuff of which saints are made
When all heaven protested his absence
His Creator called him home.

Some time later, in December 2013, St. Peter's Jesuit University in Jersey City dedicated to his memory a new chaplaincy unit, The Joseph A Kelly SJ Office of Campus Ministry, so that, in the words of the University President, his legacy and love could be experienced by the entire St. Peter's community, including those who never had the good fortune of knowing him personally.

Now Joe is once more being remembered in Times Square in the heart of New York where every day throughout the month of July 2016 one of the huge billboards or “signages” will recall his name, “in memory of a wonderful priest”.

At the time of his death, one of Joe's theatre-world friends wrote: “Some men become priests because they love God. Some men, especially Jesuits, become priests because they like to think about God. .... But Joe Kelly was a priest because he loved people. For him loving people was loving God. And since he lived in a world full of people, every relationship in his life was a prayer. He didn't need to fall to his knees to commune with the Almighty. He just needed to pour a glass of good wine for a friend, cook him a gourmet meal, and tell the best story ever into the wee hours of the night”.

How better could he be remembered? Thank God that the memory of a dedicated Irish Jesuit survives in New York, in St. Malachy's (the Actors’ Chapel), on Broadway, in Sardi's and in the chaplaincy unit at St. Peter's Jesuit University and the annual university walk which he instituted to gather funds to provide international food assistance. Joe, if this is what you mean by saying that no one will remember you after you are gone, let every one of us live so that we can be “forgotten” in a similar way!

Michael J Kelly

Kelly, Patrick, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/779
  • Person
  • 21 February 1920-04 May 2012

Born: 21 February 1920, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 04 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1986 at Chicago (CHG) studying
by 1987 at Roosevelt NY, USA (NEB) working
by 1989 at Sunland-Tujunga CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012


Fr Patrick (Paddy) Kelly (1920-2012)

21 February 1920: Born in Limerick
Early education at Salesian Convent and CBS, Limerick
7 September 1937: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1942 - 1945: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1945 - 1947: Belvedere College - Teacher
1947 - 1951: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1950: Ordained priest in Milltown Park
1951 - 1952: Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle
1952 - 1953: Chikuni College, Zambia - Language school
2 February 1953: Final vows at Chikuni College
1953 - 1955: Kasiya Mission
1955 - 1959: Chikuni - Teacher in Secondary School and Teachers' Training College
1959 - 1960: Charles Lwanga - Teacher training
1960 - 1962: Chikuni - Manager of Schools
1962 - 1969: Mungret College - Teacher
1969 - 1985: Crescent College - Teacher
1985 - 1988: New York - Prison Chaplain
1988 - 1992: California - Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
1992 - 1994: SFX, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
1994 - 2002: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Assisted in the Church, Librarian
2002 - 2012: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
4 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr. Patrick Kelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 27th January 2012. He had got unsteady and it was feared he would have a fall. He settled in very well. It was only in the last few weeks that he looked gaunt and passed away quietly on 4 May 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary Liam O'Connell and Michael J. Kelly
Paddy Kelly was born in Limerick in 1920 where his family lived in Patrick Street. He remained steeped in the history and lore and the sporting traditions of his native city. His father manufactured boots and shoes, and also wooden clogs for the large numbers working in the bacon factories in the city, and when Limerick expertise was needed to set up bacon factories in Russia, he exported these clogs as far as Russia, Paddy lived during eventful times.

When he was very young, both the mayor of Limerick and the former mayor were murdered near Patrick Street by Black and Tans, and theIrish civil war deeply divided his native city.

Paddy had two brothers and three sisters, and every year they spent the summer months in a lodge in Kilkee. There is a photograph from one of these outings of Paddy as a four year old, complete with a large sand shovel, surrounded by his parents and family and ready to make his mark on the world. Throughout his life as a Jesuit Paddy returned to spend time at Kilkee with his mother, and his sisters and brothers, and they have happy memories of the life and fun he brought to these holidays.

In his final years in Sexton Street CBC in Limerick Paddy did a retreat with Fr. Mackey SJ, who was famous for encouraging Jesuit vocations. Afterwards they remained in correspondence and four days after the declaration of World War II, on 7th September 1939, Paddy left home at the age of 17 to go to the Novitiate at Emo. The 19 young novices who entered then were to live through a time of emergency and rationing that was to last for several years after the war ended. One of the other novices was Brendan Barry who had been educated with Paddy in Sexton Street CBC. The writer, Benedict Kiely, also belonged to their year, and he recorded his impressions of Emo in his novel There was an Ancient House.

After Emo, Paddy completed an Arts degree in UCD in 1942, and after Philosophy at Tullabeg, Tullamore, he spent two years in Belvedere as a teacher and sports coach and while there he obtained the Higher Diploma in Education. He was ordained in Milltown Park in 1950.

While in Tertianship in 1951-52, Paddy was assigned to the Chikuni Mission, the mission territory in present-day Zambia that Father General had committed to the Irish Province in 1949. When he arrived with others on 31st August 1952, Paddy was a member of the third large contingent from the Irish Province who took up work in the Chikuni Mission and among the first to travel there by air. At that time, the work of the Mission across an area about the size of Ireland was still in its infancy and faced the enormous challenge of a shortage of human resources, not just for strictly evangelical work, but for all those other aspects that constitute life in virtually virgin mission territory. It's no surprise, then, that the records show that on 6th August, less than a week after his arrival, Paddy spent the whole of his first Saturday in Africa loading a lorry with bundles of thatching grass, or that a few weeks later he and Norman MacDonald spent some days building a teacher's house in one of the out-stations. This kind of active involvement with what had to be done on the ground was characteristic of Paddy, who seemed happiest when doing things, developing things, getting his hands dirty, and talking all about it afterwards. Again and again, the records speak of things that Paddy did - shooting a hawk, getting a reluctant grinding mill to work again, celebrating the day of his final vows by being a member of the community football team that scored a 2-1 victory over the boys at Canisius College.

As with other newcomers, Paddy spent a large part of his first months learning the local language, ciTonga, under the able guidance of Bob Kelly. While necessary for all who were working at Chikuni Mission, this was especially important for Paddy who was appointed in August 1953 as Assistant Parish Priest at Kasiya, a mission sub station which had been established about two years earlier some 40 kilometres from the central Chikuni Mission. Here he was to work alongside Fr. Maurice Dowling, one of the earliest Irish Jesuits to go to the Chikuni Mission. The fact that Kasiya is now a well-established parish, with about 15,000 Catholics and ten outstations, is a tribute to .. what Paddy and his successors were able to accomplish there.

On completion of two years of fruitful parochial work, Paddy was transferred to the Mission's central education apostolate - Canisius College which at that time comprised both the full range of secondary schooling and a two-year teacher training programme. Paddy's work was principally in the latter, in the areas of religious education, English and mathematics. That he was moved in this way from a successful and - to him congenial – directly evangelical ministry to that of education bespeaks the tensions that existed in the Chikuni Mission (and indeed throughout the Society in its long history) between educational and other apostolates, with the human resource demands of school provision frequently taking precedence over what many perceived as the more Kingdom-oriented work of direct evangelisation and parochial ministry. But as a true and loyal Jesuit, Paddy threw himself into his new sphere of activities and was to remain in these for the following five years. Being a teacher educator, he was one of those who accompanied John Counihan, John Fitzgerald, Charlie O'Connor and others who moved from Canisius College to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teachers College in 1959.

But just a year later, apostolic needs and the shortage of personnel saw Paddy being moved to another responsibility, this time as Manager of Schools for all the Catholic primary schools that fell under Chikuni Mission. The maintenance and development of these schools, ensuring school supplies, the posting of teachers and their accommodation, and fostering the development of new schools all became part of Paddy's job. And given his nature it was a job in which he revelled. He showed a child-like delight in facing the challenges of long journeys over difficult terrain, of getting building and other supplies to locations where there were no roads or bridges, of being firm but courteous with local headmen about the importance of having their own school, of mobilising community support in making bricks, drawing sand, and maintaining buildings, and of making sure that the appointed teachers actually turned up for duty and did teach.

Throughout the decade in which he so generously served the people within the area of the Chikuni Mission, Paddy remained very true to himself – always good-humoured and good-natured, generous in responding to requests, forthright in manner, sometimes very blunt in approach and expression, and yet always very private about himself as a person and what motivated him. He is well remembered as a loyal and faithful Jesuit, a deeply spiritual man who downplayed what he felt might be extreme expressions of his spirituality, always anxious to do more (though seemingly never concerned about being more) and always a good companion. He served Zambia's people well and they were the losers when circumstances brought about his return to Ireland in 1962 and the commencement there of almost a quarter century of teaching ministry.

In 1962 Paddy returned to Ireland to minister in Mungret College, where he taught History and Geography and was in charge of the Study Hall. Paddy was by nature an optimist, and visiting parents who met Paddy regularly received glowing accounts of how their son was doing. Unfortunately these assessments often had to be revised downwards when the same parents met with other less optimistic teachers. Paddy's nick name in Mungret was Gazebo - a gazebo being an exotic outdoor garden house, a place for resting and shelter, and Paddy lived up to this description, as he was a breath of fresh air in the lives of many of the students.

In 1973 when the closure of Mungret College was announced, Paddy and other teachers from Mungret transferred to the new Jesuit Comprehensive School at Dooradoyle. To this day the Crescent students remember Paddy with a mixture of amazement and affection. In Crescent he was nicknamed 'Ned' after the Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, who did things his own way, and I think that this was a tribute to Paddy's originality and independence.

At Crescent Paddy became one of the founder members of the new Geography department. At this time when the syllabus was expanded to include more Geology and Human Geography, and Paddy's colleagues at Crescent never ceased to be amazed at the breadth and depth of his knowledge. He pioneered Geography Field

Trips and he became an expert on the Burren region in Co. Clare. He was also a great collector of valuable Geography books and of rocks, and he guarded them well. One day a group of teachers thought that they would build a Sun Dial, and began to wonder how. Paddy left the discussion briefly and returned with a book on 'How to make Sun Dials'. And his name - Paddy Kelly SJ – was written across the front of the book, in big black marker lettering, in case somebody dared not to return it to him.

Everybody he taught remembers Paddy's wonderful turn of phrase. Latecomers were warned not to 'shilly shally. In congested corridors between class periods, to the amusement of all, Paddy encouraged good order by booming out “file fast past fat fools”, or “hurry up you meandering tortoises”,

I have plenty of other pictures of Paddy: setting out on a Saturday morning from Dooradoyle on foot on a 20-mile-round walking trip to the Clare Hills; constructing unusual-looking but very comfortable garden seats; painting everything in sight; planting trees and daffodils, and cutting grass; fixing anything that was broken with carefully guarded tools; nodding during a conversation and saying "you're perfectly right and being positive and encouraging; sitting outside the back door in the evening, smoking his pipe, and looking the picture of contentment.

In 1985, at 65 years of age Paddy retired from teaching at Crescent, and left Limerick to work for a few years in the Prison Service in New York as a Chaplain, and then in a parish in Los Angeles, before returning to Gardiner Street and the Sacred Heart Church in Limerick, and finally to the Community in Milltown Park where he lived happily for ten years. In Gardiner Street some people did not care much for the added prayers and commentary he added to the liturgy, but many people loved the outgoing way in which he celebrated Mass. His Jesuit colleagues remember his optimism. There is a story that one morning in Gardiner Street, at breakfast Paddy was just too optimistic and charitable about everything, and an exasperated brother Jesuit remarked “Paddy you are so positive that you would speak well of the devil”, to which Paddy replied. “Indeed I would - he's a very hard worker”.

Paddy was often great fun, but he was serious too, and serious about things that he did not easily talk about, serious about his faith and his commitment to the Eucharist, nourishment from God for our journey, and especially as we prepare for the journey into the unknown. Two months before he died, Paddy moved to Cherryfield Lodge, and he knew that this part of his joumey was coming close. This was a time of special grace and acceptance for him. He was most thankful to the staff at Cherryfield, to the Rector and Milltown community, and to family and to old friends who stayed in touch. He died peacefully in Cherryfield on 4 May 2012.

Kelly, William, 1931-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/559
  • Person
  • 01 October 1931-21 August 2000

Born: 01 October 1931, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 21 August 2000, Staten Island, New York NY, USA

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

by 1966 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000


Fr William (Billy) Kelly (1931-2000)

1931, Oct1st: Born in Limerick
Early education at St. Ignatius College, Galway.
1949, 7th Sept: Entered the Society at Emo
1951, 8th Sept: First vows at Emo
1951 - 1954: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1954 - 1957: Tullabeg - Philosophy
1957 - 1960: Coláiste lognáid, Galway - Teacher
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park - Theology
1963, July 31st: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1965 - 1968: Rome - Studied Canon Law
1968 - 2000: Professor of Canon Law at the Milltown Institute; working at the Dublin Diocesan Marriage Tribunal
2000, Aug 21st: Died Staten Island, New York

Billy suffered from angina and had heart surgery a number of years ago. He spent part of his summer each year on supply in a parish in the U.S.A. It was while he was there that he suffered a heart attack and died at Staten Island on 21st August 2000.

Michael Hurley SJ gave the homily at the funeral mass for Fr. Billy Kelly, at Milltown Park on Monday September 4 2000...

Euge, euge!

My reason for making the unusual choice of the parable of the talents (Mt 25:14-17, 19-23) as our gospel reading this morning is precisely because the text I wanted to have for my homily occurs in it and not just once but twice. Some of you will have noticed that I shortened the passage and omitted all reference to the servant who received one talent and buried it, hid it in the ground. I did so of course because I didn't want us distracted with questions about the meaning of the parable as a whole, much less with questions about the treatment of the servant who had received the one talent. I wanted us to concentrate and focus all our attention and interest on those great, glorious evangelical words which I am taking as my text: Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord, come and share the joy, the happiness of your Lord.

I can think of no more appropriate words for this occasion. These were surely the words which the choirs of angels and the whole court of heaven were singing on Monday afternoon last - and it was probably in the afternoon about 3 o'clock rather than in the evening about 8 o'clock - when Billy made his surprised entry. As we'll be reminded once again at the end of this Mass, the funeral liturgy explicitly invites us to imagine the angels and saints leading and escorting and welcoming Billy into paradise, into the holy city, to the bosom of Abraham, to the supper of the Lamb, to meet our Lord and his Mother, to sit down at table with them at the banquet feast which is heaven. Figuring prominently of course among the welcoming party will have been Billy's father and his mother to whom he was particularly devoted especially as he was an only child; and Billy's favourite saints but he was so private a person that we don't know their names and also his favourite Jesuit friends who have gone before him to prepare a place for him. Some of these however we do know. Denis Flannery will certainly have been in the front row, Denis, Billy's contemporary and missionary in Zambia on whom he lavished such tender loving care the year before last in Cherryfield when Denis was dying; and Dicky Butler, his headmaster when he was a young Jesuit scholastic in Galway( 1957-60). Dicky was so kind that Billy broke the strange resolution he made after his mother's death; never to visit Galway again . When Dicky died he did go back to attend the funeral. Dicky, it is not perhaps inappropriate to recall, was a fellow conservative. He did read The Tablet but only, as Dicky himself would tell you good humouredly, to find out what they were up to in the enemy camp!

But what were the angels singing on Monday afternoon- and what are they still singing? Well what I hear them singing and what I invite you to hear are the words of my text from Matthew's gospel: 'Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord, come and share the joy of thy Lord'. All the words of this refrain are of course important but the first are of some particular interest, especially if we consult the Latin and Greek versions which the angels will surely know and with which many of you will be quite familiar. The “Well Done” of the English version is of course “euge” in the Latin and “eu” in the Greek. So in the Greek and the Latin the first word of the Scripture text for my homily this morning is none other than the first syllable of that dreaded word 'eulogy': dreaded at least in the context of a funeral liturgy not only by canonists and bishops and by Billy himself both personally and professionally because he was so completely self effacing, he had so sadly convinced himself he didn't deserve any praise or recognition.. But that of course was in his previous earth-bound existence when the thought of a eulogy especially by the likes of me would have appalled him. In heaven however life is changed; he no longer sees as in a glass darkly. An evangelical, heavenly eulogy is different. And all we on earth are trying to do this morning is what we do every day at mass : joining our voices with those of the angels, joining in their hymn of praise, in their eulogy of God and his blessings and his gifts which of course is what all our merits and talents and all Billy's merits and talents really are.

Billy was greatly loved and widely loved. He was a charmer and everyone was very fond of him. Mgr Gerry Sheehy rang me on Tuesday afternoon to express his sympathy. “Billy”, he said, “Billy was loved here in our place. We were devastated at the news of his sudden death”. Mgr Sheehy was speaking about the offices of the Marriage Tribunal in Archbishop's House here in Dublin. Billy worked there most Fridays of the year. In between the perfectionist in him agonised over judgements he had to prepare: he was so careful and painstaking and he laboured under the handicap of not being able to type and finding it difficult to put pen to paper - writing was never his forte.

Billy was certainly a good and faithful servant of his Lord' in the work of the Marriage Tribunal. But what Mgr Sheehy said about the Marriage Tribunal was of course reechoed here in the Milltown Institute. The death notice in the staff room spoke tenderly of Billy as “a dear friend as well as colleague and in the first reading from the Book of Wisdom the Registrar, feeling like all of us the grievous loss which Billy's death is and finding it difficult not to identify with the 'unwise, was clearly making her own both personally and officially their sentiments about Billy's death “looking like a disaster”.

Billy had taught canon law here since 1968. It was not the subject he would personally have chosen for specialisation had he been given the choice. But he wasn't, and being an obedient as well as a faithful servant of his Lord he accepted and made himself an expert in this forbidding, despised field. After doing doctoral work in Rome he became a competent and devoted teacher here. He was always well prepared for class and at a critical period in the Church's history when canon law was in disrepute he succeeded in engaging the interest and indeed the affection of his students many of whom are here present today. He was a popular teacher especially with his non-Irish, his foreign students.

In the Milltown Institute Billy was also the founder and first director of the Spiritual Studies Programme and outside the Institute he was much in demand for consultancy work. So very many of Billy's professional colleagues and students past and present are sadly but also happily joining in the angels' refrain: Well Done Good and Faithful Servant.

Voices from the USA and elsewhere join the chorus too, Every Summer for the past 17 years Billy has done a supply in the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Staten Island, New York. The Pastor reports that the appearance in the parish in mid June this year of another visiting priest raised fears that Billy was not coming this time and a deluge of callers to the Presbytery were greatly relieved to hear their fears were in vain. On Saturday the former pastor, Bishop Ahern, was to have presided at a funeral mass in the parish but was prevented at the last minute. The present pastor Mgr Francis Boyle presided instead and, preaching the homily, spoke in glowing terms of the esteem in which Billy was held. I had the opportunity of speaking on the phone with the Pastor and with the parish secretary, Rosemary: they both spoke very highly of Billy. Rosemary was probably the last person to see him alive - on Monday about 1 p.m. in a local store buying, I'm afraid, the inevitable : cigarettes! She had offered him a lift back to the presbytery but he declined, preferring to walk. Rosemary and all in the Blessed. Sacrament parish of Staten Island happily join the angelic chorus as they sing to Billy: Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.

What about the Milltown Park Jesuit Community? Billy lived here from 1960 to 1964 while he studied theology and incidentally had to suffer me as one of his teachers. Then after his tertianship as it's called in the Jesuit curriculum vitae jargon and after doctoral work in Rome Billy came back to live here again while he carried on his teaching and consultancy work in the field of canon law. No man is a hero to his valet; no Jesuit is a hero in his own community. But like the Marriage Tribunal and the Milltown Institute and the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Staten Island we too can truly say: Billy was well loved here. We too join with the angels in saying: 'Euge, eu , well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of our common Lord'. Billy will be sorely missed here in the Milltown Park community for his kindness, his readiness to listen, for his shrewd advice, for his outspoken honesty, for the spirited exchanges he loved to stimulate. His death leaves a void, a void which can never be filled.

What became very clear to us here in the community, what today's congregation confirms is Billy's huge capacity for friendship, his wide circle of friends lay and clerical, men and women.. He was of course a man of broad interests (particularly well informed on world affairs) and of exquisite taste---not least in music. More significantly however he was utterly generous in giving his time, his gifts, his expertise, in giving himself to others, face to face or on the phone. He was generous - some of us thought to a fault. He spent hours and hours, days and days helping people in trouble, extricating them from the difficult situations in which their own imprudence or the entanglements of canon law had got them involved. His personal compassion and his professional epieikeia combined to make him a great benefactor. He spent himself and was spent for others.

But Billy's most remarkable and most endearing gift was what I would call his magnanimity: his capacity to put people themselves first, to put their isms very much in second place if any place at all. This magnanimity, as I saw and experienced it, is a spiritual gift analogous to that of forgiveness. In principle forgiveness enables us to love the sinner, the offender without ever condoning the sin, while indeed hating the sin, the offence. This is of course much easier said than done and as a result much more often said than done. Billy's magnanimity was somewhat similar to forgiveness: it meant he could have close friends whose views he did not share, whose views indeed he rejected. He didn't suffer fools gladly but he could and did suffer gladly some of us who differed from him. It is said of St John (St Polycarp tells the story) that he fled the baths in alarm one day on finding the heretic Cerinthus there. “Let us flee”, John is said to have cried out. “let us flee lest the baths collapse since the enemy of truth is here”. Unlike St John - in this at least - Billy had no fear that the community quarters here in Milltown would collapse because I was there and others like me who differed from him. Billy and I coexisted amicably and indeed affectionately, if at times furiously. He was no great ecumenist and he had no great love for Northern Ireland. He would never visit there though he did once allow himself to be driven through to get the boat at Larne. But despite my ecumenism and despite my concern for reconciliation in Northern Ireland, despite what he was prone to see or affected to see as my ecumania or my Protestantism and unionism, Billy and I remained good friends! It is with great sadness but also with great happiness that I join the angelic chorus as they sing their evangelical, heavenly eulogy: Euge, serve bone et fidelis-well done good and faithful servant, well done, Billy, come and share the joy of our Lord.

Those who make the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius hear Christ in the meditation on the Kingdom addressing them in these words: 'It is my will to conquer the whole world and all my enemies. Therefore whoever wishes to join me in this enterprise must be willing to labour with me, that by following me in suffering, he may follow me in glory”. Billy made these Spiritual Exercises and that meditation which comes at the beginning of the Second Week. He heard that call and answered with great generosity wishing indeed with God's help to 'distinguish himself in the service of Christ his Lord and King. But he heard the call not just once away back in 1949 when he made his first Long Retreat with Donal O'Sullivan as a Jesuit novice in Emo . He heard it daily ever since and answered it - less emotionally perhaps but no less generously. So the angelic chorus which sang him into heaven on Monday were simply indicating the fulfilment of the promise made by Christ the King: Billy having followed him in labours and in suffering as a Jesuit for fifty one years would now follow him in glory; would now share his joy, his peace : “Well done, good and faithful servant... Come, take possession of the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (cf Mt 25:34).

Michael Hurley, SJ

Kenney, Peter J, 1779-1841, Jesuit priest and educator

  • IE IJA J/474
  • Person
  • 07 July 1779-19 November 1841

Born: 07 July 1779, Dublin
Entered: 20 September 1804, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 04 December 1808, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Final vows: 16 June 1819
Died: 19 November 1841, Professed House, Rome, Italy

Superior of the Jesuit Mission in Ireland : 30 September 1812- 28 September 1817; 29 September 1821- May 1830;
Visitor to Maryland Mission : 1819 - 1822; 14 November 1830 - 1833;
Vice-Provincial: April 1834 - May 1836;
Vice-President Maynooth College : 1813 - 1814;

Peter Kenney was an Irish Jesuit credited with restoring the Society of Jesus in Ireland after their suppression, as well as with establishing several colleges and devoting much of his life to the education of youth.
There were seventeen Jesuits at the time of the suppression in Ireland. No longer members of the Society, they were forced to act as diocesan priests. One of these last remaining Jesuits, Fr Thomas Betagh, taught children of poor families in Dublin. One of his students was Peter Kenney, the son of a coachmaker. Sponsored by Betagh, Kenney entered Maynooth College. From here he travelled to Palermo in Sicily to continue his religious training, as Sicily was allowed to maintain its branch of the Society of Jesus. Here in 1808 he was ordained as a priest.
Kenney travelled back to Ireland in 1811, the same year that Fr Betagh, the last remaining Jesuit in Ireland, died. Kenney arrived intent on re-establishing the Jesuits in his home country. Using money that had been put aside by the previous Jesuits, he bought Castle Brown in 1813. This would become the site of a new Jesuit school, Clongowes Wood College, which opened the following year. In 1818 a further school was opened in Tullabeg, Offaly. Tullabeg College was originally planned as a noviciate for the Society but became in time a proper college.
In 1822 Kenney travelled to America to visit the missions. In Missouri he met Jesuit farmers and was appalled that they owned slaves, ordering them to set their slaves free. Back in Ireland, Kenney and three others founded the Jesuit Church of St. Francis Xavier in Dublin after the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 was passed. For his remaining years, he continued his work across Ireland, both as a preacher and as an educator, until he passed away in 1841, worn down by constant toil and travel.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” : :
Early education in Humanities at Carlow and Stonyhurst. Father Betagh was the first to discover his abilities. Priests used to go listen to him teaching Catechism while he was an appretice coach-builder. Betagh and O’Callaghan, ex-Jesuits, sent him to Carlow College, and he was loudly applauded by fellow students, and even the venerable President. In the Novitiate - as per fellow Novice Father Postlethwaite - he was asked to leave the Refectory pulpit by Father Charles Plowden, as the Novices interrupted their meal as they were spellbound and astounded by his exordium. At Stonyhurst, he distinguished himself in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
He completed his Higher Studies and Theology at Palermo, where he defended his theses of Divinity with applause, and was Ordained there. In a letter from the Procurator General to Father General, he calls him “l’incomparabile Kenny”. Father Angolini writes to Father Plowden from Palermo in 1809 “in the public disputations vel maxime excelluit P Kenny”. In 1810 he says “P Kenny excellit supra omnes; dona habet ingenii, virium, zeli animarum, activitas et efficaciae in agendo simulet prudentiae vere insignia. Deus illum ad sui gloriam Hibernorumsque Missionis incrementum conservit”. Father Provincial writes in 1810 “P Kenny ingenio pollet prompto et acri”, and again in 1811 “P Kenny acerrimi et ingenii, studiique amans, ut optimam de se spem faciat. Tum religiosum colit disciplinam, ingenio ipse nimis vivido, quandoque judicii, sui tenacior apparet”.
1811 Sent to Ireland in November, and served at the Chapel of St Michan, Dublin, the ancient Residence of the Society. He was vice-President of Maynooth for a short while at the request of Archbishop Murray, and his portrait is preserved there.
1815-1817 Destined by Providence as an instrument to revive the ancient Irish Mission SJ, he was joined by four Fathers and several Scholastics from Stonyhurst, and was Superior until 1817. He bought Castle Brown, or Clongowes Wood Co Kildare, and took possession 04/03/1814 and opened it as a school on 15 May 1816, himself being the Rector.
1819 He was sent as Visitor to the American Mission SJ, and returning again to Ireland, was declared Superior of the Mission, 27/08/1822, and its first Vice-Provincial, in its being erected into a Vice-Province in 1829. He remained Vice-Provincial until 1836.
1830-1833 He was again sent as Visitor to the American Mission SJ, where he rendered signal services, and in July 1833, published the General’s Decree for constituting the American Mission into a Province, installing Fr William McSherry as its first Provincial. During his years in America, he was constantly Preaching and Confessing, kept diaries of his travels, and had a very extensive correspondence with people of all ranks and conditions. His Retreats and Sermons were spoke of by Priests fifty and sixty years later, and long eloquent passages quoted with enthusiasm.
Tullabeg, and St Francis Xavier’s Residence Dublin are principally indebted to him for their foundation and erection.
Recommended by medical men to winter in warmer climates, he made his way to Rome with great difficulty, and died at the Gesù of an attack of apoplexy aged 62. He is buried at the Gesù. (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS). Archbishop Murray of Dublin was overwhelmed with grief at his passing, and considered him a national loss. He and the other Bishops celebrated High Mass and said the Office for the repose of his soul.
He tried several times to write the history of the Irish Mission. Of his own life, short sketches have been written in Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS and Foley’s Collectanea, as well as Mgr Meagher in his “Life of Dr Murray” and by Father Hogan in some numbers of the Limerick Reporter.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His mother was said to have been a woman of remarkable piety and high intellect. She trained him in piety. he soon proved himself an apt scholar of virtue. Even as a young boy, he joined one of the sodalities for young men, which, in spite of Penal times, were flourishing in Dublin at the time. Their custom was to gather after nightfall, say prayers together and listen to a pious reading. It was Peter’s custom to regularly give ferverinos to his young companions which moved them so much, and even the priests - encouraged by Father Betagh - would stop to listen to him. This was a forerunner perhaps of his reputation later on as one of the foremost English speaking pulpit orators of his day.
1802 he was at Carlow College studying Logic and Metaphysics, and here too, his oratory was highly thought of, as it was usual for the students to preach in turn to each other. A famous talk he gave was on “The Dignity of the Priesthood” which was met with applause, even from the Superior.
1804 He went to Stonyhurst and completed his Noviceship. After First Vows he remained and studied Mathematics and Physics. His health troubled him, especially his eyes, and his Superiors decided to send him to a milder climate in Sicily for Theology. He duly completed his Theology to much acclaim and graduating DD (document of record of achievement from the University of Palermo preserved at Clongowes).
After Ordination he offered some support to Irish and English soldiers stationed at Sicily. At the same time, the King of Sicily was anxious to give refuge to Pope Pius VII, and Cajetan Angiolini SJ was commissioned to negotiate the matter with the Pope. He chose Peter Kenney as his assistant. The Pope refused to leave Rome.
1811 he left Sicily for Ireland. On the way he spent some time at Malta, ministering to English soldiers there. His name remained for a long time in fond memory.
1812 He arrived in Ireland to begin his long and fruitful career. The timing saw a Catholic Church beginning to emerge from the strictures of Penal Laws, though they were still in force.
He is described as the “foundation stone” of the Restored Society in Ireland. Father Betagh had just died the previous year, and since he was so beloved, Kenney was received with open arms by the Archbishop and priesthood in Dublin. He quickly earned a reputation as a great Preacher, and on all the great occasions, was called upon, including the funeral of the Archbishop and the Jubilee of 1825. He was then asked by Maynooth College, supported by the Archbishop to become the President. He accepted, only on condition that the Archbishop should be declared President, and he the Vice-President, but only for one year. His real desire was to found a Jesuit College.
1814 He purchased Clongowes. The money used to purchase it had been carefully handed down from the time of the Suppression. The College opened that year, and students flocked from all parts of the country. Due to overcrowding, a fever broke out at the College, and it had to be disbanded for a while.
1817 He left Clongowes to Bartholomew Esmonde, and took his place in Hardwicke St, Dublin, and he remained working there until 1819.
1819 Fr General Thaddeus Brzodowski entrusted the task of Visitor to the new Maryland Mission to Peter Kenney. It was a difficult task, but his work was approved of by all.
1821 He returned to Ireland, and initially back at Hardwicke St, but was then appointed Rector of Clongowes again, and later Mission Superior. This was a difficult period for the Church in the country, and some focus was on the Jesuits, with the old accusations of intrigue etc, being spoken of to the point where a petition was sent to Parliament by a group of zealous Irish Protestants asking that measures be taken to check the dangerous machinations of the Jesuits. Kenney’s diplomatic skills, particularly among influential Protestants in the Kildare area resulted in Lord Leinster moving a counter petition, suggesting the opposite, and this position was supported in the Irish press. Nonetheless, the Government set up an inquiry on the influence of the Jesuits, and Peter Kenney was summoned before the Chief Secretary and Privy Council. Again his skills won the day and the admiration of the Council which had summoned him.
1829 He went to a General Congregation, and there it was announced that Ireland would become a Vice-Province, and he the first Vice-Provincial. He was again sent as Visitor to American Provinces, and achieved much in that position, to the point where there were efforts to keep him in the US.
1833 On his return, his health was beginning to suffer, to the point that he found it difficult to be about, but he nonetheless stuck to his task to the end. He ran a Provincial Congregation in 1841 and he was even elected himself as Procurator of the Vice-Province to go to Rome. In spite of appalling weather conditions which made travel very difficult, especially for one in such health, he made the journey, but once in Rome succumbed to a fever. He is buried in the Gesù in Rome.
News of his death was issued at Gardiner St, and vast crowds assembled there in sorrow. The Archbishop wrote of the great loss to the Society and Church, in a letter of condolence. Many clergy and bishops attended his funeral, and a similar memorial event at Maynooth.
He was a man of exceptional powers as an administrator and Superior. In addition, he was known as a remarkable Preacher.
Note on excerpts from Mgr MacCaffrey, President Maynooth, “The Holy Eucharist in Modern Ireland” at the International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin 1932 - Book of Congress p 160 :
“There is not wanting evidence to indicate that even in the lifetime of St Margaret Mary (Alacocque) devotion to the Sacred Heart found many warm adherents in Ireland, and amongst them ...Blessed Oliver Plunkett. But whatever about individuals, the first Sodality of the Sacred Heart in Ireland of which we have an authentic record was founded at Maynooth College in the year 1813 by the eminent Jesuit Father Peter Kenney, Vice-President of Maynooth and founder of Clongowes. This new Society was regarded as important and so dangerous that it was denounced in English newspapers and reviews, was warmly debated in the House of Commons, and was even deemed worthy of investigation by a Royal Commission. But that Father Kenney’s work bore fruit in spite of much hostile criticism is proved by the fact that when years later Pope Gregory XVI granted an extension of the Mass of the Sacred Heart to Ireland, he did so, as he says, in consequence of the great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that prevails in that Kingdom.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Kenney, Peter
by Patrick Maume

Kenney, Peter (1779–1841), Jesuit priest and educationist, was born in Dublin, probably at 28 Drogheda Street, on 7 July 1779, the son of Peter Kenney, a businessman, and his wife, Ellen (née Molloy). He had one sister (who became a nun) and a much older brother (possibly a half-brother by a previous marriage of his father). Kenney attended schools conducted by the former Jesuit Thomas Betagh (qv), who became his principal mentor, at Saul's Court and Skinner's Row; after being briefly apprenticed to a coach-maker, he became Betagh's assistant in his schools. In 1799 Kenney took a leading role in the foundation of the first Young Men's Confraternity in Dublin.

On 6 June 1801 Kenney entered St Patrick's College, Carlow, to study for the priesthood. He was one of a group of young men who had their fees paid from the residual funds of the Irish Jesuit mission (administered by Irish former Jesuits) in return for a commitment to enter a revived Society of Jesus. The Jesuit order had been suppressed by the papacy in 1773, but survived unofficially in Russia. In 1801 the holy see granted official recognition to the Russian province of the order and allowed Jesuits elsewhere to attach themselves to it. Former Jesuits in England took advantage of this dispensation to reestablish the English province of the society under the jurisdiction of the vicar general in Russia, but the legality of this remained uncertain until the formal restoration of the society in 1814.

In September 1804 Kenney went to Stonyhurst College, Lancashire (founded 1794), to undertake his novitiate. He was recognised as an outstanding student, particularly in theology and philosophy. After developing asthma and eye problems he was sent to Palermo in April 1808 to complete his studies. This also allowed him to take his vows with the surety of being recognised as a Jesuit by church law, since the society had been formally reestablished in the kingdom of Naples in 1804. Shortly after his arrival Kenney served as interpreter on a secret and unsuccessful mission to persuade Pope Pius VII to leave French-occupied Rome and place himself under the protection of British forces in Sicily. Kenney received his tonsure and minor orders in June 1808, was ordained deacon and subdeacon in November, and received priestly orders on 4 December 1808. He carried on his studies at the Jesuit college in Palermo (completing them in April 1811, though he did not receive a degree for technical reasons), while ministering to catholics in the British garrison, despite obstruction from their superior officers.

Kenney returned to Ireland in August 1811 as acting superior of the Jesuits’ Irish mission (whose independence from the English province he successfully asserted). He ministered in Dublin with three other newly admitted Jesuits, and rapidly acquired a reputation as a calmly eloquent preacher. For the rest of his life he was much in demand as a preacher of charity sermons and as principal speaker on major ecclesiastical occasions; the Maynooth professor Patrick Murray (qv) compared his style and eminence as a pulpit orator to those of Daniel O'Connell (qv) as a public speaker. Between August 1812 and 1813 Kenney acted as vice-president of Maynooth at the insistence of Daniel Murray (qv), co-adjutor archbishop of Dublin, who had been asked to serve as temporary president. Kenney appears to have undertaken most of the administrative duties because of Murray's other commitments, but his principal impact was as a spiritual guide and retreat leader to the seminarians.

In 1813 Kenney used much of the money inherited from the former Irish Jesuit funds to purchase Castle Browne House, Clane, Co. Kildare; in summer 1814 this opened as Clongowes Wood College, which became the most celebrated school run by Irish Jesuits. In managing the new school and overseeing the implementation of the traditional Jesuit curriculum, Kenney showed himself a capable organiser. At the same time he lobbied against calls by ultra-protestant politicians for the passage of new anti-Jesuit legislation, acquired a chapel in Hardwicke Street, Dublin (from which Gardiner Street church and Belvedere College later developed), and negotiated the purchase of the site of the future Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg, near Tullamore, King's County (Offaly).

In September 1817 Kenney (whose career was punctuated by lamentations over the burdens of leadership and expressions of desire to devote himself to pastoral work) resigned as rector of Clongowes and superior of the mission. The acceptance of his resignation was encouraged by tensions among the Irish Jesuits, which were aggravated by his frequent absences owing to other commitments. He spent the next year and a half at the Jesuit chapel in Hardwicke Street, adding to his lifelong reputation as a skilled (though perhaps somewhat strict) confessor to all classes of penitents and a leader of retreats.

In April 1819 Kenney was appointed visitor to the North American Jesuits. As a preliminary, he took his four solemn vows as a fully professed Jesuit on 16 June 1819 and sailed on 31 July, thereby avoiding an attempt by the secular clergy of Kerry to secure him for their vacant bishopric. During his first mission to America (September 1819 to August 1820) Kenney reorganised the struggling Jesuit college at Georgetown, and reported on the financial and pastoral problems created by the American Jesuits’ badly managed slave plantations in Maryland. His Irish and continental experience enabled him to mediate effectively between older European-born Jesuits and their native American confreres (who combined ignorance of Europe with pride in republican institutions). Evading efforts to nominate him for the sees of Philadelphia and New York, Kenney returned to Europe in August 1820 to participate in the election of a new Jesuit general and report to the general congregation on the state of the order in America.

Kenney returned to Ireland in 1821 and in 1822 was reappointed to the rectorship of Clongowes and the leadership of the Irish Jesuits (whose status had been raised to that of a vice-province in 1819) [This is incorrect Vice-Province 1830; . In this period he experienced tensions with Bishop James Warren Doyle (qv) on such issues as Jesuit social aspirations and the perceived desertion of parish clergy by penitents seeking lenient Jesuit confessors. He testified before a royal commission on Irish education and advised Edmund Ignatius Rice (qv), Mother Mary Teresa (Frances) Ball (qv), and Mary Aikenhead (qv) on drawing up the constitutions of their nascent religious orders. He later experienced tensions with Aikenhead and Rice over disputes within the Irish Sisters of Charity and the Christian Brothers.

In 1830 Kenney was relieved of his offices at his own request and thereafter the positions of Clongowes rector and vice-provincial were separated. But this respite was brief as he was promptly sent on a second mission to America as temporary Jesuit superior as well as visitor. On this visit, which concluded with his receipt and formal promulgation of the Vatican decree constituting the Maryland Jesuits a full province, covering much of the eastern United States, he implemented further reforms in Georgetown, reclaimed a church formerly run by the Jesuits in Philadelphia, and visited the Jesuit mission in Missouri, which had been founded by Belgian Jesuits in 1823 with the intention of evangelising the indigenous population. In Missouri he greatly raised the standing of the Jesuit college at St Louis, which became the first university west of the Mississippi, and attempted to diminish the harsh discipline exercised by the local superiors. His support for the continuing independence of the Missouri mission from the Maryland province was one of the achievements that mark his two visitations as a watershed in the development of the American Jesuits and, by extension, of the whole catholic church in America. His memory was revered among his American brethren for decades.

After his return to Ireland in September 1833 (having refused the bishopric of Cincinnati on health grounds) Kenney was reappointed vice-provincial in 1834, but stepped down in 1836 as he was no longer able to combine this role with his pastoral duties as superior of the Gardiner Street community, where the Dublin Jesuits had moved when their new church was constructed in the early 1830s; the Hardwicke Street chapel became the site of a school, which later moved to Belvedere House. Kenney remained superior at Gardiner Street until 1840, though he was now suffering from heart problems complicated by asthma, overwork, and obesity. In this period he strongly supported Archbishop Murray's acceptance of the national schools, writing to Rome in rebuttal of the position of Archbishop MacHale (qv).

In 1840 Kenney was relieved of his superiorship, having asked permission to spend some time in southern Italy for the good of his health and to undertake historical research on the history of the Irish Jesuits. He reached Rome in October 1841 but died on 19 November 1841 of a stroke, his condition exacerbated by poor medical treatment; he was buried at the Jesuit church of the Gesù in Rome. Kenney was a significant force in the nineteenth-century revival of institutional Irish catholicism, the key figure in the revival of the Irish Jesuits, and an important presence in the American church; but perhaps his greatest influence was wielded through his labours in pulpit and confessional, which led Archbishop Murray's eulogist to call Kenney ‘the apostle of modern Dublin’.

Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); Patrick J. Corish, Maynooth College, 1795–1995 (1995); Thomas Morrissey, As one sent: Peter Kenney SJ 1779–1841, his mission in Ireland and North America (1996); ODNB

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: Going multi-denominational
In founding Clongowes, Fr Peter Kenney told Sir Robert Peel that he intended to establish a lay school for education of Protestants as well as Catholics. Jesuits had made such moves before. In 1687, with royal sponsorship, they opened a school in the Chancellor’s House in the Royal Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh. It lasted only a year, but its prospectus is an object lesson in the virtues of religious tolerance and educational opportunity. Its book of rules begins with the welcome news that the scholars shall be taught gratis; nor shall they be at any farther charges or expenses than the buying of their own pens, ink, paper and books. The prospectus was copied in founding other Jesuit schools, and remains instructive today. Read more “Although youths of different professions, whether Catholics or Protestants, come to these schools, yet in teaching all, there shall be no distinction made, but all shall be taught with equal diligence and care, and every one shall be promoted according to his deserts. There shall not be, either by masters or scholars, any tampering or meddling to persuade any one from the profession of his own religion; but there shall be all freedom for every one to practise what religion he shall please, and none shall be less esteemed or favoured for being of a different religion from others. None shall upbraid or reproach any one on the account of religion; and when the exercise of religion shall be practised, as hearing Mass, catechising, or preaching, or any other, it shall be lawful for any Protestant, without any molestation or trouble to absent himself from such public exercise, if he please.”
Behind this were agreed moral norms: “All shall be taught to keep God’s Commandments, and therefore none shall be permitted to lie, swear or curse, or talk uncivil discourse. None shall fight or quarrel with one another.”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932

Father Peter Kenney Saves the Scholastic Method

On the occasion of the Congregation of 1829 the Fathers had to deal with the question of the direction of studies, and with the means of bringing the old Ratio Studiorum into line with the requirements of modern times. The principal matter under discussion was the use of the scientific method in dealing with sacred studies. The majority, having completed their studies in seminaries or in lay universities, according to the system then in vogue, showed themselves hostile to the “metodo scolastico” and favored the “metodo dissertivo”.
But Father Kenny, a gifted orator, at that time Superior of the Irish mission, addressing the Fathers, made a spirited and vigorous defence of the Scholastic method. He recalled
how deeply the Church and the Society were indebted to it, how the most distinguished men had been trained on that system, and how the enemies of religion had belittled and assailed it precisely because of its force and perfection. He concluded by affirming that by rejecting the Scholastic method they should not have carried out a work of construction but one of destruction.
All were carried away by the eloquent words of Father Kenny so much so that the Congregation declared unanimously that as in the past, the Scholastic method should remain as a sacred patrimony of the Society, and that the questions of “scientist media” and others commonly held by the theologians of the Society, should be considered as anything but useless and obsolete.
It were difficult to describe with what warmth Father Roothan applauded the eloquent words of the orator, He entertained for Father Kenny such affection and gratitude that he declared him to be a signal benefactor of the Society, and attributed to him the merit of having replaced the Society's true method and, true doctrine in its honoured position. He concluded by saying that were it not contrary to the practices of the Society a monument should be erected to him as a mark of that Society's everlasting gratitude.
The above is taken from a “Life of Very Rev. J. Roothan General of the Society”, written in Italian by Father P. Pirri.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

FR PETER KENNEY SJ (1779-1841)
Just a hundred years ago, on 19th November 1841, Father Peter Kenney, S.J., the founder of the Irish Province of the restored Society of Jesus, died in Rome. Few men played so large a part in the Catholic Renaissance which marked the opening half of the nineteenth century in Ireland. On his death Dr. Murray, then Archbishop of Dublin, said that Rome alone was worthy to be the scene of Fr. Kenney's death; some ten years later Mgr. Meagher, in a sketch of the dead Archbishop's life, called Fr. Peter Kenney the Apostle of Dublin.(1) To-day, one hundred years after his death, Dublin has forgotten almost all but the name of her great Apostle.

Peter Kenney was born a Dubliner on 7th July, 1779, just six years after the Suppression of the Society of Jesus. Of his early years we have no very full record; he was already a young man of twenty-three when he entered Carlow College to begin his philosophy in 1802. While quite a boy he was apprenticed to a coach-builder and spent his days in the work-shop. Like many another ambitious lad he profited by Dr. Betagh's evening school in Saul's Court, off Fishamble Street, and every evening when his work was done he took his place in the old cellar where Dr. Betagh taught his free school, and where, as Dr. Blake, Bishop of Dromore, tells us “three hundred boys, poor in everything but genius and spirit, receive their education every evening, and where more than 3,000 have been already educated”. Dr. Betagh, carrying on the work of his confrère, Fr. John Austin, S.J., rewarded the more diligent of his pupils with a full classical education ; his school in fact did duty for a Diocesan Seminary for Dublin and Meath, and besides Peter Kenney numbered among its pupils Dr. Murray, Dr. Blake, Mgr. Yore and many others who did so much for the Church in the early nineteenth century.
The future Apostle of Dublin early showed his marked talent for preaching. While still an apprentice he used to treat his fellow-workers to versions of the sermon he had heard the previous Sunday. One day his master entered the work-shop and found young Kenney, mounted on a chair, preaching a sermon to his fellows who were gathered round him. “This will never do”, cried the master in a rage, “idling the apprentices! You'll be sure to be at it again. Walk off now; and never show your face here again”. Thus a sudden end was brought to his youthful apostolate and poor Peter's zeal had lost him his job. Much put out by his dismissal he stayed away from the evening school. But Dr. Betagh soon missed him and decided to find out what had happened to him. He feared that there had been some trouble at home, but when he questioned Peter the young lad admitted that he had been trying to preach to his fellow-workers and had been dismissed for his pains. From that day Peter and Dr. Betagh became fast friends. Realising the great zeal and ability of the boy he decided to give him every chance to become a real preacher, and, perhaps if God willed it, he might yet become a worker for Christ in Dr. Betagh's old Society now slowly rising from the tomb. (2)
In 1802 Dr. Betagh sent him to Carlow College to begin his higher studies. Here his powers as a preacher were more appreciated. It was customary for the students to preach in turn before their professors and companions. Young Kenney was chosen to preach On “The Dignity of the Priesthood” and so well did he grip his audience that at the end of the sermon they greeted him with rounds of applause in which the President joined heartily.
On 20th September 1804, he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Hodder near Stonyhurst. Of his noviceship we have little record; his future life seems to point to the thoroughness with which he made it. But once again his powers as an orator proved troublesome. On the authority of Fr, Postlewhite, a fellow-novice of his, we know that he was told to leave the refectory pulpit by Fr. Charles Plowden, his novice-master, as the novices were spell-bound by his sermon and listened to him intently at the expense of their dinner. After his noviceship he studied mathematics and natural philosophy at Stonyhurst with much success. His health, however, became poor, and he suffered a great deal from his eyes. His Superiors thought a change of climate would prove beneficial and so he was sent to Palermo in Sicily to read his course in theology.
In Palermo he quickly made his mark; in a letter of the Procurator General of the Society of Jesus to Fr. Plowden he is referred to as “l'incomparabile Kenney” and even in his first year's theology he is said to have spoken “da maestro”. At the end of his course he defended his theology in a public disputation with great distinction. And yet while working at his theology he found time also for apostolic work. Ordained in 1808 he was shortly afterwards appointed chaplain to the British soldiers in Sicily. The Governor of Malta objected to this and asked him to give up his work among the soldiers. Fr. Kenney replied that as he was ordered by his General to act as chaplain he could not abandon his work unless he received a written order from the Governor to do so. As the Governor was determined to force him to give up his ministry he wrote the necessary order forbidding him to act as chaplain to the troops. Later Grattan raised the question at Westminster; the Prime Minister, Perceval, denied that any such order was ever given. Fortunately, however, the document had been preserved and was forwarded to the Prime Minister by Dr. Troy. As a result Catholic soldiers were from that time given liberty of conscience.
Sicily at this period was occupied by British troops who were defending it for the King of Naples against the French who had already driven the King out of his kingdom of Naples. The Pope, Pius VII, was a prisoner of the French in Rome and a daring attempt to free him was determined upon in which Fr. Kenney was invited to play a leading part. He was told by his Superior to be ready to set sail within an hour's time on a British man-of-war, bound for Civita Vecchia. When the frigate, which was commanded by Captain (afterwards Admiral) Cockburn, reached the Papal port Fr. Kenney remained aboard while his companion Fr. Angiolini went on to Rome to propose to the Pope that he should leave Rome, come aboard the man-of War and sail for England where the British Government were willing to put a residence at his disposal until the French were driven out of Rome. However, the Pope preferred to remain with his stricken flock and so the project fell through. Captain Cockburn was charmed with his two Jesuit guests and was afterwards fond of recounting that he alone of His Majesty's Navy could boast of the honour of being ordered to hold himself and his ship at the disposal of two Jesuits with a view of bringing the Pope to England.

Dr. Betagh died on the 16th February, 1811; he was the last surviving Irish member of the old Society of Jesus. Towards the close of his life his friends often used to say to him: “Oh! Dr. Betagh, what will become of us all when you go to heaven?” To such questionings Dr. Betagh, it is said, always answered : “No matter; I am old and stupid ; but there is a young cock coming from Sicily that will crow ten times as loudly as ever I could”.
Just ten months after his death in November 1811, Fr. Peter Kenney, accompanied by ty. Dinan and Fr. Gahan, arrived in Dublin from Palermo to prepare the way for the new Irish mission of the restored Society of Jesus. He took a house on George's Hill, beside the Presentation Convent which his old friend and former master in Dr. Betagh's classical Academy, Fr. James Philip Mulcaile S.J., had helped to found ; thus the first Residence of the restored Society was in the middle of St. Michan's parish which had been so faithfully served by the Jesuits of earlier times.
Dr. Betagh had succeeded Fr. Mulcaile as Vicar-General of the Diocese and by his great sanctity, learning and zeal had become one of the greatest figures of the Irish Church. Dr. Troy and his clergy were, therefore, doubly warm in their welcome of Fr. Kenney to whom they looked to carry on the Venerable Betagh's work. On his arrival in Dublin in 1811 Fr. Kenney was a young man of thirty-two. Between 5 foot 7 inches and 5 foot 8 inches in height he looked a good deal taller because of his large build and his majestic bearing. His face was not regular, though some of his features were very fine; his forehead noble, his eyebrows massive, his eyes most brilliant and piercing, though winning, his mouth and the under portion of his face full of strength, it up at times with a sweet smile. Though his limbs were irregularly formed yet few seem to have noticed this so carried away were they by the sweeping effect of his strong personality. Richard Lalor Sheil wrote this description of him ; “His rectilinear forehead is strongly indented, satire sits upon his thin lips, and a livid hue is spread over a quadrangular face the sunken cheeks of which exhibit the united effects of monastic abstinence and meditation”. (3)
Fr. Kenney lost no time in getting to work; preaching, hearing confessions, giving missions, all these he undertook and with great fruit. He was not long in Dublin, however, before the Archbishop, Dr. Troy, and his co-adjutor, Dr. Murray, began to beg of him to take on the Presidency of Maynooth. For many reasons Fr. Kenney was slow to accept this responsible position, in the end he consented to act as Vice-President for one year during which time Dr Murray was to act as President. Writing to the Archbishop in October, 1812, Fr. Kenney pointed out : “Nothing could be more foreign to my intention and to the wishes of my religious brethren than a situation in Maynooth College. I, however, yield to your Grace's desire and opinion that in my actual circumstances, the greater glory of God may be more effectually procured there than in my present situation, Your Grace's anxiety on this head is now removed, since I promise to go for the ensuing year, provided a duty more directly mine does not necessarily call me thence before the expiration of that time. I must, however, earnestly request that if your Grace meet in the interim with a person who would accept the proposed situation I may be allowed to spend in the humble domestic library of George's Hill, not as yet arranged, the hours that I can spare from missionary labours”. (4)
The Archbishop was glad to have Fr. Kenney's services even for a year and he had every reason to be delighted with his prudent and skilful rule which was most fruitful in the fervent spirit of piety and study and in the exact observance of discipline which he instilled into the students. His memory has long been held in grateful and kindly memory in Maynooth where his portrait hangs in the Students' Refectory. Besides his year of office he had frequent contacts with the College in later years giving retreats to the Students and to the Priests from time to time. While Vice-President he proposed points for meditation to the students regularly and these were eagerly copied down and continued to circulate in Maynooth for many years afterwards. I have one copy-book of these meditations before me as I write these lines. Dr. Patrick Murray, the great Maynooth theologian, in some MSS. reminiscences of Fr. Kenney, published after his death, in 1869, states : “The first trace of his (Fr. Kenney's) luminous and powerful mind I saw was in some MSS, meditations which he composed during the short period of his holding the office of Vice-President in Maynooth November, 1812 November, 1813), and copies of which were handed down through some of the College officials. It was in the second or third year of my course (I entered College at the end of August, 1829) that I was fortunate enough to obtain the loan of a copy of some of these meditations - how I now utterly forget. But I remember well that I was quite enchanted with them; they were so different from any thing I had up to that time seen. I transcribed as many of them as I could—they were given me only for a short time-into a blank paper-book which I still have in my possession”. (5)
Fr. Kenney's reluctance to remain longer than a year in Maynooth was due to his anxiety to establish as soon as possible a Jesuit College for boys. The Fathers of the old Society had always believed that the day would come when the Society would once more flourish. To provide for this new dawn they had carefully husbanded the resources of the old mission and these with some legacies and the accumulated interest now amounted to the goodly sum of £32,000. With this capital behind him Fr. Kenney began to look about for a suitable home for his new College. The Jesuit tradition had been to have their schools in the cities or near them, and from this point of view Rath farnham Castle seemed a good site. However, it was thought that it would be more prudent not to open a Jesuit school so near Dublin Castle. Fr. Kenney wrote to Dr. Plunkett, the Bishop of Meath, about his plans and the difficulties in the way; the following is part of Dr. Plunkett's reply, dated 25th January, 1813 :
"My dear and Rev. Vice-President,
Having been so long honoured with the very obliging letter you were so good as to write to me, I cannot suffer the bearer, Mr. Rourke, who is going to place himself under your care, to withdraw from us without a line of thanks for your late communication. I have been educated in this kingdom by the pious and amiable Mr. Austin. afterwards in a seminary ever attached to your Society, the seminary in Paris which gave you the venerable Mr. Mulcaile. I naturally feel a most sincere desire of seeing your revival commence amongst us in one shape or other, as soon as circumstances will allow. That a combination of such favourable circumstances approaches rather slowly I am not surprised. Few great undertakings advance fast to maturity ; obstacles of various kinds stand in the way. Active zeal is a powerful instrument well calculated to remove them, but must be accompanied with patience, prudence, caution and foresight. Dunboyne Castle, for the reason you mention, cannot be thought of at present; it is perhaps, also, too near Maynooth. Balbriggan, as to situation, would suit you better, not however, without considerable expense. I mean the house at Inch. I saw it some years ago. No striking idea of it remains in my mind. A convenient extensive building would appear there to great advantage. To the price or rent asked for the ground I should not very much object; we pay here higher for chosen spots of land. I should prefer purchasing if it could be done. Building, whatever advantages might attend it, would be tedious. There are in this county a few ancient mansions, some one of which your cordial friend Mr. Grainger, my most excellent neighbour, thinks ere long may be disposed of. It would afford you every thing desirable. Divine Providence is perhaps preparing a place of this sort for you. Your friends in England are, perhaps, waiting to be informed that such a place is attainable. It would, I humbly imagine, be worth waiting for. In the meantime your actual highly respectable occupations do not estrange you from your vocation ; out of your own sphere scarcely could they be more con formable to it. I am inclined to think that the esteem and respect entertained for you in the College, and the reputation you there and throughout the kingdom enjoy, have a closer connection than is apprehended with the designs of the Divine Founder of our holy religion. It has at times occurred to me that the Capital would be the situation most advantageous for your principal residence; because the means of cultivating learning, and kindling the fire of the true religion, which the Saviour of the world came to spread on earth, abound chiefly in great cities. ...” (6)
Towards the close of the same year, Fr. Kenney decided that the Wogan Browne's family seat, Castle Browne, formerly known as Clongowes Wood, would provide a suitable home for the first College of the Society. Details of the purchase were hardly fixed before the alarm that the Jesuits were plotting against the Government went abroad. Fr. Kenney was summoned before Peel, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, to explain his position. Dr. Corcoran, S.J., has printed an account of part of this interview in The Clongowes Record to which we also refer the reader for a full account of the early years of Clongowes, whose history is inseparably linked with that of Fr. Kenney. The following less well-known account of the interview from Lord Colechester's Diary will show how good a match Fr. Kenney was for Peel.
“May 29th, 1814 : Peel called by appointment. Talked over the Church fermentation about Quarantotti's letter and Dr. Kenney's foundation of the school of Clongowes Wood, late Castle Browne. Kenney's conversation with him asserting the £16,000 to be his own funds, though how obtained he refused to disclose and that when his vow of poverty was objected to him in bar of his being the proprietor of such funds he said that his vow was simple not solemn. (7) To all questions he generally answered by putting some other question instead of giving an affirmative or negative. He admitted that he was in early expectation of two Jesuits from Sicily, Wolfe and Esmonde, whose fathers and brothers respectively had been hanged in Ireland as traitors, and that he proposed to employ these two men as Professors in the College. (8)
Despite the refusal of the Protestant Bishop of Kildare to grant a licence for the new school and the lively interest of Dublin Castle in all his proceedings, Fr. Kenney opened Clongowes in May, 1814; by December, 1816, there were 200 pupils in the house. Fr. Plowden, S.J., of Stonyhurst wrote in October of that year: “I must tell you that the most heartfelt comfort which I have enjoyed these many years comes from Mr. Simpson's report (which fills Stonyhurst) of the excellent arrangements, order, progress, and success of your new establishment. It shows what one intelligent and active man can achieve”. (9)
The boys in Clongowes both then and later always called him "”he great Kenney”; his Sunday instructions were indescribably impressive, according to some of his pupils; he seems to have been able to grip their attention completely and to have won their confidence as the kindest of fathers. He loved talking to boys and engaging them in discussions. On one occasion probably after his return from America, “he was heard to give a brilliant exposition of the American constitution, which he very much admired, and he unconsciously delivered for twenty minutes before a large company what might be called a masterly statement that would have carried the admiration of any Senate - all were amazed and enchanted”.
Besides being Rector of Clongowes he was also Superior of the Irish Mission. Plans for a Residence in Dublin and for a novitiate occupied his attention but did not prevent him from satisfying the constant demand from Bishops and priests for retreats, missions, sermons and advice. In a short account like this his varied activities can only be barely indicated, but the reader will easily gather from their mere mention how closely Fr. Kenney was bound up with the life and development of the Irish Church. In February, 1815, Mary Aikenhead and her companion Mother Catherine Walsh returned from the Bar Convent in York to begin, under Dr. Murray's direction, the founding of the Irish Sisters of Charity. In all his plans for this new institute Dr. Murray constantly consulted Fr. Kenney, and when in September 1815, he had to return to Rome to give the opinion of the Irish Bishops on the Veto question he entrusted the care of the infant Congregation to Fr. Kenney. In September, 1817, Fr. Kenney preached on the occasion of the first public clothing of novices of the new Congregation; taking as his text the words of St. Paul : Caritas Christi urget nos (2 Cor. 7 v14) - “The Charity of Christ urgeth us”. From that day to this the text of that sermon has been used as the motto of the Irish Sisters of Charity. Later on Fr. Kenney introduced Fr. Robert St. Leger, the first Rector of the College of St. Stanislaus, Tullabeg, to Mother Aikenhead; in Fr. St. Leger, Fr. Kenney gave to the new Congregation a staunch and learned friend, to whom the Sisters owe their Rules and Constitutions which he modelled on those of St. Ignatius. (10)
The only criticism levelled against Fr. Kenney was that he was inclined to take on too much work. And yet in this matter of accepting extra work, though Superior of the Mission, he consulted his brethren. Fr. Aylmer records in his diary : “The letter from Mr. Kenney on the 3rd was to desire the opinions of Frs. Ferley, Butler and Aylmer with regard to his preaching a charity sermon in Cork at the request of the Bishop, Dr. Murphy, and, consequent to his accepting that of Cork, another in Limerick. The two former were of opinion that both ought to be accepted; the latter said that he did not entirely agree with them, because he thought that Fr. Kenney's frequent absence from the College, where he had so often declared that all were too young and not to be depended upon, was highly injurious. As to the propriety of preaching both sermons, Mr. Kenney himself could alone determine, as he alone knew the circumstances and situation of affairs”. (11)
Fr. Kenney seems to have followed Fr. Aylmer's opinion and to have declined the sermons but in so gracious a way as to win this reply from Cork : “Your apology (for not preaching for the Poor Schools) was calculated to produce a different effect from what you intended, for the more the Committee heard of it, the more they seemed eager to hear yourself”. However his over-activity was soon forgiven him for, if we may anticipate a little, Fr. Plowden wrote to him when on visitation in America in 1820 :
“The General, or rather Fr. Rosaven remarks as an inconsistency, that while you governed Clongowes complaints used to arrive of your conduct, and that now all Clongowes re-demands you loudly, as indispensably necessary for the support of the Irish mission”. (12)
Before Fr. Kenney left Ireland to make his first Visitation of the Maryland Mission in July, 1819, he had founded besides Clongowes, the Jesuit Residence attached to Hardwicke St. Church and the College at Tullabeg, but we shall have to reserve details of these foundations for some other occasion.

The new Mission in Maryland needed help in its difficult task of reorganisation and Fr. Kenney's great skill as an administrator, coupled with his prudence and discretion, made him ideally suited for the difficult position of Visitor. During the few months he remained in the United States he did excellent work the full fruits of which he was to witness ten years later when Fr. John Roothaan sent him to make a second visitation of the Mission in 1830. Though absent from Ireland for less than a year on this first visitation he was greatly missed. Fr. Plowden writes to him on September 24th, 1819 : “You are much missed and wanted in Ireland. As soon as I heard of your being elected by the diocesan clergy Co-adjutor to Dr. Sughrue (Bishop of Kerry), I wrote to Rome to engage our friends to frustrate the measure by every means in their power. We know now that the Lord Lieutenant has publicly notified that the election of Mr. Kenney to a bishopric is disapproved of by the Government. What a dreadful man you are! It seems your conference with Mr. Peel terrified the Ministers. All this makes me smile....” (13)
But the bishopric of Kerry was not the only honour which Fr. Kenney had to take steps to avoid; later on we shall see how anxious the American bishops were to have him as a confrère. Even now on his first visit to the States many influential people were anxious to keep him there. He wrote to Fr. Aylmer from Georgetown on October 5th, 1819 :
“I arrived at New York on the 9th ult. Matters are not so bad as they were made to appear. The General has been more plagued than he ought to have been.
All parties seem glad that a visitation has been instituted by the General.
I assure you that I have not the least intention or wish that you should take any measure to prevent the success of the Archbishop's efforts. In strict impartiality, after contrasting the wants of this country with my obligations to the Irish Mission, I have resolved to guard cautiously that religious indifference that leaves the subject sicut baculum in manu senis. Were I at my own disposal, I should think it almost a crime to return from any motive of affection or attachment to those comforts and sympathies which I shall never enjoy outside Ireland.
Were a man fit to do no more than catechize the children and slaves he ought to consider his being on the spot, by the will of God, a proof that it is most pleasing to God to remain amongst them, and so sacrifice every gratification under heaven to the existing wants of Catholicity, I shall not even lift my hand to influence the General one way or the other, because I am unwilling and unable to decide between the claims of the Irish Mission and the wants of this, when I am myself the subject of discussion”. (14)
However Ireland was not to be deprived of so valued a son and in the following August (1820) he returned to Dublin. On his arrival he took up duties as Superior of Hardwicke Street; in the next year he was reappointed Superior of the Mission and Rector of Clongowes. His work in Clongowes has been treated of elsewhere, and so here we shall give it scant mention; there were many worrying moments when the old outcry against the Jesuits was raised again, and it took all Fr. Kenney's influence and tact to avert the storm.
It was during this period between his American visitations that Fr. Kenney's greatest work as a preacher was done. On almost every big occasion he was invited to fill the pulpit. Thus he preached the panegyric of Dr. Troy in 1823, the consecration sermon of Dr. Crolly in 1825, the first appeal for the Propagation of the Faith ever preached in Dublin, and the great Jubilee of 1826. Dr. Murray opened the Jubilee on 8th March, 1826, in the new Church of the Immaculate Conception (the Pro Cathedral). Every day for a month Fr. Kenney addressed the faithful with commanding eloquence which achieved the most astonishing conversions. Mgr. Meagher tells us that the confessionals were crowded almost without interruption by unprecedented multitudes. On the first morning of General Communion the Pro-Cathedral presented a spectacle such as Dublin had never before witnessed. The Church was packed to overflowing and every member of the vast congregation received Holy Communion. At the conclusion of the ceremonies Fr. Kenney led the people in a renovation of their Baptismal vows. Beholding the sight that met him as he ascended the pulpit he“burst forth into such strains of jubilation and thanksgiving, as made his overflowing audience almost beside themselves, while with uplifted hands and streaming eyes they literally shouted aloud their eternal renunciation of Satan and his works”. (15)
Dr. Patrick Murray, the Maynooth Professor, has left us his opinions of Fr. Kenney's powers :

“Fr. Kenney aimed not at the ear or the fancy but through the understanding at the heart. Not to steal it; he seized it at once and in his firm grasp held it beating quick in its rapt and willing captivity. ... The only other orator to whom I thought of comparing him was Daniel O'Connell. I recollect that while both were yet living I remarked in a conversation with a very intelligent friend on Fr. Kenney's great powers that he was ‘the O'Connell of the pulpit’. My friend not only agreed with me but expressed his surprise that the resemblance had never occurred to himself. The reason it did not occur to him was, no doubt, that ordinarily men do not think of searching for such comparisons out of the species; but set off pulpit orators against pulpit orators as they set bar orators against bar orators, and parliamentary against parliamentary.
Overwhelming strength and all-subduing pathos were the leading, as they were the common, characteristics of these two extraordinary men. I say nothing of clearness, precision, and those other conditions which must be found in all good composition, whether written or spoken, and especially in oratory addressed to the many; without which all seeming or so-called eloquence is mere hurdy gurdy clattering. Also I say nothing of O'Connell's inimitable and irresistible humour. There are undoubtedly certain occasions on which this talent may be exercised in the pulpit. But Fr. Kenney, if he possessed it, never in the least degree displayed it. I never saw a more serious countenance than his was on every occasion of my hearing him. Not solemn, not severe, but serious and attractively and winningly so. There he stood - or sat as the case might be - as if he had a special commission direct from heaven on the due discharge of which might depend his own salvation and that of every soul present. Indeed so deeply did he seem to be penetrated with the importance of his sacred theme, so entirely did the persuasion of that importance display itself in his whole manner that his discourses appeared to be the simple utterances of what his heart and soul had learned and digested in a long and absorbing meditation before the crucifix. That they were often in fact such utterances I have no doubt whatever ; one instance of this I once, by mere accident, happened to witness with my own eyes.
In another point he also strikingly resembled O'Connell. He never indulged in those poetic flights of mere fancy which delight only or mainly for their own sake. Imagination, of course, he had and of a high order, too; otherwise he could never have been a true orator. But it was imagination subservient not dominant; penetrating the main idea as a kindling spark of life, not glittering idly round about it; the woof interwoven with the warp not the gaudy fringe dangling at the end of the texture. You will find none of these poetic flights to which I allude, in Demosthenes, or Cicero in Chrysostome or Bourdaloue; and where they are found in modern orators of high name they are blemishes not beauties. Of course, too, he had great felicity of diction, which is equally essential - using the very words and phrases which above all others exactly suited the thought and set it off in its best light, so that the substitution of any words would be at once felt as an injury like the touch of an inferior artist covering the delicate lines of a master....
Fr. Kenney, like O'Connell, attained the highest perfection of his art which consists in so appearing that no. one ever dreams of any culture or art having been used at all, according to the hackneyed phrase summae artis autem celare artem. So perfect was O'Connell in this respect that though I heard him very often in the winter of 1837-8 and the following years it never once entered my mind to suspect that he had ever given any great attention to oratory as an art; his delivery always appearing to me spontaneous and unstudied as are the movements and prattle of a child. It was only after his death that I learned from some published memorials of him, and was at the time surprised to learn, that in early life he had taken great pains in forming his manner, and in particular that he had marked and studied with care the tones and modulations of voice for which the younger Pitt was so famous. Fr. Kenney, like O'Connell, hardly used any gestures. His voice was powerful and at the same time pleasing, but I I do not ever remember to have heard from him any of those soft pathetic tones sometimes used by O'Connell which winged his words to the heart and the sound of which even at this distant period still seems to vibrate in my ears.
Fr. Kenney was eminently a theological preacher, and this too without the slightest tinge of that pedantry and affectation always so offensive to good taste, but particularly so in the pulpit. Indeed he was the only preacher I ever heard who possessed the marvellous power of fusing the hardest and most abstruse scholasticisms into forms once imparted to them clearness and simplicity and beauty without in the least degree lessening their weight and dignity.....” (16)

Dr. Murray was not alone in thinking Fr. Kenney an outstanding orator. One old bishop used to recall the over mastering tenderness and vehemence of his apostrophes to the crucifix, which he delivered with streaming eyes on some occasions ; this same bishop declared that his vivid recollection of Fr. Kenney's preaching had made him unable to relish any other preacher however eminent, even Fr. Tom Burke himself. Fr. Aylmer, who was an effective preacher, used to say that his greatest humiliation was to have to preach from the same altar steps from which Fr. Kenney had electrified the congregation on the previous Sunday, So packed was the church when he preached that the congregation overflowed out on to the street; his following numbered all classes. It is said that Grattan used to admire his eloquence greatly and used to attend his sermons at Hardwicke Street.
As this account of Fr. Kenney's career has already grown too long we can make no mention of Fr. Kenney's close connection with the Presentation Convent on George's Hill. We must, however

Kent, Edmond, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/478
  • Person
  • 09 June 1915-08 November 1999

Born: 09 June 1915, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, College of Industrial Relations, Ranelagh, Dublin
Died: 08 November 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

??Brother of James Kent; LEFT from Juniorate 1930; both at Clongowes?

by 1949 North American Martyrs Retreat House, Auriesville NY USA (NEB) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Kent, Edmond
by David Murphy

Kent, Edmond (1915–99), Jesuit priest and economist, was born 9 June 1915 at 15 Rostrevor Terrace, Rathgar, Dublin, son of Pierce Kent, civil servant and later commissioner of the board of works, and Mary Catherine Kent (née Connolly). Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Kildare, he entered the Society of Jesus at Emo on 7 September 1933, taking his first vows in September 1935. He lived at the Jesuit community in Rathfarnham 1935–9 while studying economics at UCD. In 1939 he moved to Tullabeg, where he studied philosophy, before returning to Dublin, where he studied theology at Milltown Park (1944–8). Ordained priest on 30 July 1947, he spent his tertianship (1948–9) at Auriesville, where he completed further studies in social sciences.

Returning to Dublin, he became assistant-director at University Hall (1949–52) while also teaching extramural classes in economic science at UCD in a diploma course for trade unionists. He had long been interested in the trade union movement and was often criticised by members of the Federated Union of Employers, who accused him of being too left-wing. In fact his convictions were firmly based in his Christian faith. He once remarked: ‘I honestly believe that we can have no industrial peace unless people are living truly Christian lives' (Interfuse, no. 104, 29). The Jesuit order had founded (1946) an education programme for workers, and Kent spent a period in New York observing Jesuit initiatives in the labour colleges there. On his return to Dublin, he worked as a lecturer in the newly founded Catholic Workers College (est. 1951), later renamed the National College of Industrial Relations. Teaching trade unionism and acting as prefect of studies, he had a great impact on students and union officials, helping them formulate and present their cases in the Labour Court.

In 1969 he moved to the Jesuit community at Leeson St. and, although he still continued to lecture at the Catholic Workers College, gradually moved away from his trade union activity. He took over as director of the Messenger office (1969–89), and several of his colleagues thought that he would find the transition difficult. He threw himself into his new work with enthusiasm, however, travelling around the country promoting the Messenger while also giving seminars on devotion to the Sacred Heart. Preaching in numerous parishes around the country, he also conducted seminars at the adult education centre in Birmingham. He later served as chaplain at St Vincent's private hospital in Dublin (1983–9).

In his later years he suffered from failing eyesight and had a bad fall (1989) while visiting Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit retirement home in Dublin. On his release from hospital he became a permanent resident there, taking care of the home's accounts and reorganising its library. He died at Cherryfield Lodge, 8 November 1999, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery.

Ir. Times, 20 Nov. 1999; Paul Leonard, SJ, ‘Father Kent and the Messenger Office’, Interfuse (Jesuit in-house publication), no. 104 (2000), 29–33; Interfuse, no. 105 (2000), 21–4; further information from Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Tommie O’Meara Entry
Fr .Eddie Kent did him a great service by supplying him with books of varying interest for him, spiritual, Irish and so forth. Dormant interests were awakened and life surely was made a little more bearable; concelebrated Mass with other ailing Jesuits in Cherryfield and the many daily rosaries also helped him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949


Fr. Edmund Keane, writes 27th September, from Our Lady of Martyrs Tertianship, Auriesville, New York :
“On the eve of the Long Retreat (it begins this evening) I write to commend myself in a special manner to your Holy Masses and prayers. Auriesville certainly affords all the exterior aids for a faithful retreat : peace, coolness, and the wide open-spaces so welcome after the heat and hurried tempo of New York, and one can depend on the weather to behave. After four weeks Fr. Kent and I are now well settled into the Tertianship, and both are in good health, D.G. The house is very comfortable and well appointed, food excellent, and surroundings from a scenic point of view very beautiful. In all there are 43 Tertians, of whom only about 8 hail from Provinces other than American, so there are no language difficulties. Fr. Keenan is our Instructor, and I am glad of the opportunity of spending a year under his direction.
Yesterday, the Feast of the Matryrs was marked by special celebrations, and during the day the number of pilgrims that flowed in through the Shrine must have been over 10,000. Solemn High Mass coram Episcopo (Most Rev, Dr. Gibbons of the Albany diocese) in the Coliseum at noon, preceded by a procession into it of various bodies, the Knights of Columbus, The Order of Alhambra and the A.O.H., etc. A sermon was preached by Fr. Flattery, Director of the retreat-house. The celebrant, deacon, subdeacon and M.C. were Filipino, Canadian, Italian and Dutch respectively Tertians). Supply work comes round about every third week : one regular week-end call brings us a distance of 150 miles, and so we are armed with the faculties of three dioceses - New York, Albany and Syracuse. Some hospital work, too, may likely fall to my lot, such work, apart from its value as an experimentum, should be rich in experience ..."

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

From Fr. R. Ingram, Holy Family Rectory, 1501 Fremont Ave., South Pasedena, Cal., U.S.A. :
“I have just missed a trip to the Marshall Islands and Hawaii. Shell Ox Co. is sponsoring a world-wide experiment op gravity observations to be taken simultaneously at many different stations. We had arranged a party to take the observations in the Pacific, they were to be made every 1 hour, and the Navy had agreed to co-operate by flying the personnel and instruments to the locations. But an automatic recorder was perfected by La Coste (the designer of the ‘gravy-meter’) and off he went alone. God bless American efficiency! Instead of flying across the Pacific a party of us have charge of the observations for the Los Angeles region. We hope to get a lot of information.
I plan to leave the West for St. Louis at the end of July. I sail for Ireland with Frs. Kent and Keane on 7th September”.
(Fr. E. Kent has been acting as Assistant Chaplain in City Hospital, New York.)

◆ Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2000


Fr Edmund Kent (1915-1999)

1915, June 9: Born in Dublin.
Early education: Clongowes Wood College.
1933, Sept 7: Entered the Society at Emo.
1935, Sept 8: First vows at Emo.
1935 - 1939: Rathfarnham, studying Economics at U.C.D.
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg, studying philosophy.
1942 - 1944 : Mungret College, teaching.
1944 - 1948 : Milltown Park, studying theology.
1947 30th July: Ordained priest at Milltown Park,
1948 - 1949: Tertianship at Auriesville, and Social Studies.
1949 - 1952: University Hall, Asstd. Director and giving extra mural courses at UCD & Catholic Workers' College (NCI).
1952 - 1954: Milltown Park, Dir. Catholic Workers' College.
1954 - 1969: Catholic Workers' College, Minister, Prefect of Studies, Lecturer in Trade Unionism, etc.
1969 - 1989: Leeson St., Lecturer at C.I.R. (NCT); Messenger Office: in charge of sales and promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart
1983 - 1989: Chaplain, St. Vincent's Private Hospital.
1989 - 1999: Cherryfield Lodge, Treasurer and assistant Province Archivist for some years, Writer.

Father Kent first went to Cherryfield Lodge for lunch. But while taking a walk around the grounds, and with impaired eyesight, he fell on a high wall and had to be hospitalized. He returned to Cherryfield Lodge as a convalescent and then remained on as a permanent resident. At first he did the books and then reorganized the library. Gradually he lost his sight and became increasingly infirm.

He died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge on 8th November 1999.

May he rest in the peace of Christ.

The following obituary appeared in the Irish Times, Saturday, November 20th, 1999

Father Edmond Kent SJ, who died in Dublin on November 8th, played a seminal role in establishing and moulding the ethos of the National College of Industrial relations (formerly known as the Catholic Workers' College), to which many leading figures from the Irish trade union movement - past and present - and some top business men are indebted for their tertiary education.

The son of a senior civil servant, who became a Commissioner of the Board of Works, he was sent to Clongowes Wood College, the Jesuit school and afterwards entered the Order's novitiate at Emo at the age of 18.

Unusually for the time, he was asked to study for a degree in economics - the norm for Jesuit students was to take a degree in a subject that they could go on to use as teachers. He focused on agricultural economics for his master's degree - taking “the dual purpose cow” for his thesis.

As early as 1938 - and again in 1946 - the General Congregation of the Jesuit order directed that a Centre of Information and Social Action be set up in all its provinces, including Ireland. The catalyst for this was the papal encyclicals on social teaching, Rerum Novarum (1891) and Quadragesimo Anno (1931). The essential philosophy was based on the need for "strong democracy" as the way to bring about reconstruction of the social order.

Worker education was to be the key ingredient. Father Kent was sent to New York for a year to find out what his fellow Jesuits were doing in the labour colleges there. He returned to teach aongside Edward Coyne SJ, on the social and economic science diploma course for trade unionists at UCD. It is significant, however, that the Catholic Workers College did not open its doors before 1951. This would suggest that the Jesuits were motivated much less by anti-communism in the Catholic ethos of the time than by Alfred O'Rahilly of UCC, for example, who had set up a similar diploma course for workers in Cork in 1946.

Father Kent had an impact from the start on students and trade union leaders alike. He shared a real empathy with and concern for workers, motivated by the belief that people should be enabled to assert their just rights, regardless of status or social class: the establishment of the Labour Court in 1946 meant that union representatives had to be articulate in presenting their members' cases.

It was an ethos that did not endear Father Kent to the upper echelons of the Federated Union of Employers who regarded the Jesuit ground breaker as being much too left wing. He never saw himself as being anything other than orthodox, however.

His was the “mustard seed” in those early years that gradually helped to create a vibrant and educated industrial relations environment in the Republic, over the following decades, culminating in the current era of social partnership - as the college went on to cater for both sides of industry. The NCIR continued to be run by the Jesuits until 1988 when it became a company limited by guarantee.

Fr Edmund Kent: born 1915, died November 1999

Kerr, John B, 1919-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/220
  • Person
  • 06 April 1919-28 February 1978

Born: 06 April 1919, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 28 February 1978, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1975 at Canisius College, Buffalo NY, USA (NEB) Marriage Encounter◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 2 1978

The sudden death of our parish priest, Fr Jack Kerr, came as a great shock. Although he had been parish priest here for only a little over two years, he had achieved a great deal, and had endeared himself by his kindness, generosity, and openness to all. His work in the parish, his involvement in Marriage Encounter, the Charismatic Movement, and the Samaritans, brought him very many friends not only here in Galway, but elsewhere as well. This was evident in the huge number of Mass cards for him, and in the very large attendance at his funeral.
His remains were removed from the Residence to the Church on the evening of March 2. The Assistant Provincial, Fr Joseph Dargan, was present. Immediately afterwards Fr Jack's cousin, Fr Frank Kerr, a diocesan priest from Clones, Co. Monaghan, said the public evening Mass for him.
On Friday, March 3, over forty priests concelebrated at his funeral Mass, and many more were in the congregation. The chief concelebrants were the Provincial, Fr Patrick Doyle, the Rector, Fr Robert McGoran, and Fr Frank Kerr. The former Bishop of Galway, Dr Michael Browne presided. The present Bishop, Dr Eamonn Casey was unavoidably absent, as he was confined to the house after a severe dose of the flu. In his sermon, Fr McGoran paid fitting tribute to Fr Kerr and his work.
To Fr Jack's sister and brother and his many relations our sincere thanks.

Crescent College Comprehensive
At the moment of writing, the very sad news has reached us of the death of Fr Jack Kerr SJ, former Chairman of the Board of Management. Few did more for the new Crescent than Jack did. From the preliminary planning stages in the 1960's right through his period of active chairmanship up to 1974 the school could not have had a better friend and champion. In very difficult moments his support of the school administration and his genuine concern for the well-being of pupils and staff was of incalculable importance: with humour and great humanity he helped to unify diverse elements in the new Board of Management structure and to ensure that the over-all good of the school was served with dedication and competence. Jack Kerr brought joy and laughter to so many that his death is felt in a very personal way: to have known him, worked and laughed with him was a bonus to life. May he experience everlasting joy. On Monday, March 6th, the members of the Board of Management, staff and pupils will join in offering Mass for his eternal happiness and peace.

Obituary :

Fr John Kerr (1919-1978)

The Province received an unpleasant shock when it heard of the death, on February 28th, 1978, of Father John Kerr. Father Kerr had not yet completed his sixtieth year, so that his sudden death was a serious loss to the Province in which Jesuits of the most active years of life are becoming alarmingly small in number.
Father Kerr was born in Dublin on April 6th 1919. He was educated at O’Connell’s School and entered the Noviceship in Emo on September 7th, 1936. He completed all his studies in Ireland and was ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin, on July 28th 1948. He pronounced his Final Vows at Belvedere College on February 2nd 1954.
Father john Kerr spent the years 1950-1960 in the Irish Messenger Office, Belvedere; and after a year at Manresa he spent a year in Tullabeg as Professor of Metaphysics, and Minister (1961 1962), He was Rector and doctor of Philosophy in Mungret College 1962-1968, and Rector in Belvedere from 1968-1974,
Father John Kerr spent the year 1974-1975 studying “Marriage Encounter”, at Canisius High School, Buffalo.
From 1975 to his death in February 1978 he lived in St Ignatius college, Galway, where he was Promoter of “Marriage Encounter” and where he was Parish Priest of the Church.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1978


Father Jack Kerr SJ

Those who knew Fr Jack Kerr during the years he lived in Belvedere first as National Director of the Sodalities of our Lady and later as Rector must have been deeply shocked by the news of his sudden death on the last day of February this year. Those close to him knew that he had not been well for some time - he had been in hospital twice undergoing treatment for angina - but there did not appear to be reason for undue alarm. He had just returned to Galway after a period of recuperation in Dublin when he took ill and died within an hour.

Fr Kerr had many gifts which were given ample scope to develop in the various posts he held in the Society of Jesus. Shortly after ordination, he was: made national Director of the Sodality, a post he held for eleven years. Then followed six years as Rector of Mungret College, Limerick, after when he came to Belvedere as Rector in 1968. In 1974, he went to the United States to gain experience of Marriage Encounter, which was growing in importance both in the States and in Ireland. The following year, he returned to Ireland and was sent to Galway as Parish Priest of St Ignatius parish and to initiate Marriage Encounter in the West of Ireland.

His six years as Rector in Belvedere were years of achievement: they were also years which saw the growth of many close friendships with a host of people connected with Belvedere. Fr Kerr brought to fruition the preparatory work done by a number of previous Rectors with the building of the new school block, the gymnasium and the swimming pool. It was due to his energy and devoted hard work that the Covenant Scheme was launched, which over the years has done so much to meet the very large costs of building and maintaining the complex. It was he also who was responsible for buying the land at Nevinstown, which may well prove of great value to the College in the years to come.

Those who were associated with him during those years might well have considered that his outstanding gifts were organisational: he had a shrewd business sense, an ability to grasp complex details and great energy and drive. But this was only one aspect of his character: more important for his work as a priest and as a Jesuit was the quite unique gift he had for relating to people. He had always possessed great humanity, warmth, sympathy and understanding. There are many connected with Belvedere, I know, who can vouch for this ability of his to comfort and strengthen in times of bereavement and distress. But it was in the last years of his life during his time in Galway that these gifts really came to flower: his life appeared to take on an added quality. In a short period of two and half years, he affected many people in quite an astonishing way and his death has left a void in their lives. He made people believe in thernselves; he made them feel special; he healed them emotionally and spiritually; he helped them to forgive themselves; he gave them a spirit of joy. He accepted them for what they were with all their faults and failings, just as he accepted himself with his own weaknesses. And this attitude to people was a mirror to of his attitude to God: for him, God was a Father who knew his failings and yet loved him and loved all of us. As a result of contact with him, people developed an attitude of more joyful trust in the Lord.

We offer our sincere sympathy to his sister and brother and his other relations and friends who feel his loss deeply; and we pray that God our Father may take Fr Jack back to Himself to the peace and joy which will be his forever.


Keys, Michael, 1826-1901, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1535
  • Person
  • 08 July 1826-06 June 1901

Born: 08 July 1826, Athy, County Kildare
Entered: 18 September 1858, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 15 August 1869
Died: 06 June 1901, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Lee, William M, 1915-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/509
  • Person
  • 07 December 1915-04 June 1992

Born: 07 December 1915, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 09 October 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 04 June 1992, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Bill went through the usual studies of the Jesuits, was ordained in 1947 and after tertianship was posted to Limerick. Plans were then afoot to send Irish Jesuits to what was then Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). Bill conceived a keen desire NOT to go there. He was just settling down in the Crescent when he received a letter telling him to get a medical check-up with a view of going to Northern Rhodesia. The Irish Jesuits had been asked to help out their Polish colleagues there. So in 1950, nine Irish Jesuits sailed from Ireland, including Fr Bill.

For many years, Fr Zabdyr had moved out from Chikuni, his base, in order to set up elementary schools in various places. In 1951, two of these places (Kasiya and Chivuna) became new mission stations. Kasiya was set up by Fr. Bill Lee in 1951, the year after he arrived in the country. Later in December, he was joined by Fr J Gill. A letter from Fr Bill to Fr Zabdyr dated 17 June 1951 reads:

‘I have been in “permanent residence” here since the beginning of May, more or less, and will continue so for the future. I am busy building my Mission-station and it is going fairly satisfactorily. A space has been cleared in the bush, foundations are down, a well dug in the river, and grass for thatching cut and piled. After that, things will go smoothly as far as I can foresee. Somewhere near the end of July the house will be finished as far as I can do it this year. I may have to wait until later for cement to make proper floors. lt will be a two-roomed house, with a small kitchen near it. In the meantime I have a class going each evening for Christians who have not married in church’.

When Fr Gill arrived and a 250cc motorbike was available, Fr Gill looked after the station and set out to visit the centres of Christianity within a radius of up to 30 miles. Bill was transferred to Fumbo and later to Chikuni where he taught and was Spiritual Father to the African Sisters. He was also, for a time, secretary to the Bishop of Lusaka.

Having spent seven years in Zambia, he returned to Ireland to Gonzaga College for 30 years, teaching physics etc. up to 1987. The remaining five years of his life he spent at University Hall and at 35 Lower Leeson Street. He died in St Vincent's Hospital on 4th June 1992.

Bill came from a large Waterford family and was distinctive among them, ‘he alone of the 10 children greeted orders with “Why” and all information with “How do you know”? and he always enjoyed a good argument as much as other children enjoyed a party. He endearingly retained these characteristics to the end’. He loved discussion and debate but his kindness, good humour and generosity were no less noticed and appreciated. He was a good teacher and had a marvellous rapport with his students who really loved him. He was a colourful member of his community, enjoying the interchange and contributing much to it. He always had a sense of wonder. As he watched a fellow Jesuit perform some simple 'magic' tricks, he would be enthralled and laugh.

In pastoral work he was most successful, if somewhat diffident. Indeed he was suspicious of those who trafficked in certainties. Nor was he one for laying down an inflexible code of behaviour. He accepted people as he found them and in whatever circumstances they were in. He was keen to help them to make sense of their lives in their own way and to give their own meaning to their lives. He never entertained the idea that he could solve all people's problems but he did try to help others to live more easily with those human and religious problems that everyone experiences and that are beyond solution in this life. He was especially good with those whose faith was fragile, whose link with the Church was tenuous or whose practice was spasmodic. He himself lived happily with questions unanswered and problems unsolved but with the absolute certainty that the day would come when he would get his answers and solutions.

Pulmonary fibrosis was what took him in the end. Actually he had planned to visit Zambia with his sister in the autumn of the year he died but the Lord had other plans for him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 75 : Christmas 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995


Fr Bill Lee (1915-1992)

7th Dec. 1915: Born, Waterford
Early education: Christian Bros. Schools, Waterford up to Matriculation
9th Oct. 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
1936 - 1939: Juniorate, Rathfarnham
1939 - 1942: Philosophy at Tullabeg
1942 - 1943: Teaching at Clongowes
1944 - 1948; Theology at Milltown Park
1947: Ordained
1948 - 1949: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1957: Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). Having studied the language, he served in Kasia, Fumbo, Chikuni, etc.
1957 - 1987: Gonzaga, teaching Physics, etc. (In 1981 he took a sabbatical in the U.S.A.)
1987 - 1989: University Hall - adj. Prefect; also keeper of Records, Milltown Institute
1989 - 1991: 35 Lower Leeson Street, Minister in 1990. Assistant Registrar at Milltown Institute and teaching Latin
4th June 1992: Died at St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

William Lee, known to his family as Willie and to his Jesuit brethren as Bill, was bor in 1916 in Waterford where he spent most of his youth. He was one of ten children of whom Sheila, Teddy and Peggy survive and to them we offer our sincerest sympathy. They will miss him terribly. Our sympathy also to his nephews, nieces and other relatives amongst whom he was greatly beloved and in whom he took a keen and warm avuncular interest. Within the family he is remembered as being distinctive: he alone of the ten children greeted all orders with “Why?”, all information with “How do you know?” and enjoyed an argument as other children enjoyed a party. He endearingly retained these characteristics to the end. He was educated in Waterpark College by the Christian Brothers whom he held in the highest esteem and of whom he had the happiest memories. As a student, he was most capable, a voracious reader and utterly stubborn in refusing to leam or study any thing that did not capture his interest. Attempts to break this habit by carrot and stick proved fruitless.

He had little or no contact with Jesuits until a Fr. Mackey descended on Waterpark College to give the boys a retreat. It appears that this man was a famous recruiting sergeant for the Jesuits in the '20s and '30s and he added Bill to his list. Bill's parents received the news that he was to join the Jesuits as a sign of lamentable judgement. After all he had acquired a good position in the bank, and if he was thinking of the priesthood or religious life, did he not know the Franciscans, the diocesan priests and the Christian Brothers? So why join the Jesuits of whom he knew nothing? Characteristically, the more his parents opposed it, the more Bill warmed to the idea. He cut the argument short one day, by getting on his bike in Waterford ad cycling to Dublin. He arrived at Leeson Street to meet Fr. Mackey. Just as the good father was extolling the virtues of the religious life in general and those of the Jesuits in particular, Bill, tired out by his joumey, fell fast asleep. When the startled priest discovered the reason for this, he was suitably impressed and sent Bill to the Provincial with a strong recommendation. By the time Bill returned to Waterford, he had, more or less, signed on. The family's disappointment at his decision was mitigated by the conviction that he would soon be sent home from the Jesuit novitiate. They did not put a tooth in it: they told him that the Jesuits, of all people, would not put up with his incessantly asking, “Why?”, “Wherefore?” and “How do you know?”. However, Bill proved not to be one of nature's natural martyrs. He reserved his taste for robust debate for his fellow novices, one of whom reported that going out with Br. Lee for a discussion was like walking across a mine field. However, if Bill made his mark as a lover of debate and discussion, his kindness, good humour and generosity were no less noticed and appreciated.

After the novitiate, he began his studies that he greatly enjoyed, obtaining a good honours degree in Arts, and then in Philosophy in Tullabeg, and completed what was then known as the long or higher course in Theology. He was ordained in 1947, Between Philosophy and Theology he showed great promise as a teacher in Clongowes and The Crescent. His theological studies left him with an abiding interest in the subject. For him, theology was not merely an academic or intellectual interest. He read it seriously as a means of making sense of his beliefs and convictions. If in latter years his reading tended to concentrate on Schillebeeckx, Kung and the more unorthodox theologians, this reflected his moderate esteem for orthodoxy. He completed his formation with tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle. Plans were afoot to send some Irish Jesuits to what was then Northern Rhodesia. Bill conceived a keen desire NOT to go there, was greatly relieved not to be sent and in these circumstances found a posting in Limerick quite attractive. He was just settling down comfortably to life in the Crescent when he received a note from the Provincial's assistant telling him to get a medical check with a view to going to Northern Rhodesia.

He went in 1950. He was one of the pioneering group, and experienced all the difficulties of establishing the mission. He built a mission station physically with one or two others, taught, spent some time as secretary to the Bishop and picked up a touch of malaria.

He returned to Ireland in 1957 to teach in Gonzaga, which was founded as he was leaving for Africa. He joined a gifted staff that was conscious that the school was doing something new in Irish education. He appreciated the refreshing and innovative ethos of the place but was critical of the role of science in the curriculum. He rightly considered that it did not enjoy a sufficiently central place in the new school and that science should be at the heart of 20th century liberal education. He persuaded the authorities to permit him to go to the USA for six summers to obtain a degree in Physics. He set up the science department in Gonzaga, initially in a loft over converted stables, and introduced a demonstration course in science. This was hardly ideal but was all that resources allowed. Over the years he was joined by excellent teachers and science gradually assumed a central place in the curriculum but by the time the splendid new science wing was built he had retired. However, he was certainly the founding father of the now flourishing science department in Gonzaga.

He was a very good teacher, albeit with a short fuse at times and with less than an unerring way with experiments. He had a marvellous rapport with his students by whom he was much beloved. He was deeply interested in his subject, and had broad intellectual interests that enabled him not merely to teach but to educate.

Bill, however, was appreciated for what he was, rather than for what he did: humane, kindly, tolerant and unpretentious. There was about him something difficult to define but palpable to experience; one did not relate to him as a teacher or a cleric. He did not, as many clerics do, give the impression that he was fulfilling a role or assuming a function. He was very much the human face of the clerical and religious life. He was immensely popular in the staff room and was a colourful member of the community life. He was clubable, enjoying and contributing much to community life. He had his own style. He seemed to “sniff” the general drift of conversation and then assume a position against the commonly held view. The more vigorous the argument, the more pleased he seemed to be. While some found his style more attractive than others, it was salutary for those who took themselves too seriously.

He left Gonzaga in 1987 after 30 years and moved to University Hall and then to Leeson Street while working in The Milltown Institute as Bursar, Assistant Registrar and teacher of Latin, To his colleagues in Milltown he was a popular and lively companion. He was Minister for a year in Leeson Street in addition to his tasks in Milltown and was always ready and happy to supply in the Barrett Cheshire Home where he had the affection and respect of the residents.

In pastoral work he was most successful, if somewhat diffident. He was not one for passing on certainties. Indeed, he was suspicious of those who trafficked in certainties. Nor was he one for laying down an inflexible code of behaviour. He accepted people as he found them and in whatever circumstances they were. He was keen to help them to make sense of their lives in their own way and to give their own meaning to those lives. He never enter tained the idea that he could solve peoples' problems but he did try to help people to live more easily with those human and religious problems that we all have and that are beyond solution in this life. He related well to the dedicated and practising Christians in the Teams of Our Lady who so much appreciated him. The presence of the residents of the Barrett Cheshire Home, who went to so much trouble to be at his funeral, reflects their appreciation of a man who unostentatiously and uncondescendingly con veyed his understanding of those whom providence left gravely disadvantaged. He was especially good with those whose faith was fragile, whose link with the Church was tenuous or whose practice was spasmodic. He was helped in dealing with such people by his awareness that Faith and its consequences are a gift and so he tended to be more surprised by their presence than by their absence. He himself lived happily with questions unanswered and problems unsolved but with the absolute certainty that the day would come - and for him it has - when he would get his answers and solutions. However, should they turn out to be the orthodox ones, he will, I suspect, be bitterly disappointed.

About a year ago, the pulmonary fibrosis that was to prove fatal was diagnosed. This restricted his activity greatly, and consider able damaged his quality of life. The signs were there for all to see. The work in Milltown became a little too much for him. He frequently and uncharacteristically absented himself from community recreation. He went to his sisters on Fridays and Sundays armed with a video as the effort to keep up his usual rate of conversation waned. But he retained his spark and interest in life. He had acquired a second hand computer shortly before going into hospital and was happily working on it when he got his fatal attack. He had planned to visit Zambia this Autumn with his sister Peggy and generally was looking forward rather than looking back.

We will miss his colourful manner, kindly personality, and gen uine goodness but he has left us the happiest memories of a good life lived to the full.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1992


William Lee SJ

I am very pleased to have been asked to write about Fr William Lee. But I shall refer to him simply as Bill, for that was his name among his religious colleagues. The boys, I know, used to call him Willie behind his back with a sense of daring: they may be slightly deflated to learn that this was the form of William by which he was known among his own family.
When I received the news of Bill's death, along with a great sadness came the relieving thought ‘Now, at last, he knows all the answers!'

Bill was always noted for his questioning spirit. His was always a curious mind, in the Latin sense of the word. Everything was of interest to him and he wanted to know everything about it. But then, Alistair Cooke says ‘Curiosity is free-wheeling intelligence', or, in the words of Samuel Johnson, 'It is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect!'
This, I think, was one of the qualities that made him an exceptional teacher, a stimulating companion and a great asset to community life.

He loved a good argument. I, a purveyor of the classics, could see in him a touch of Socrates who, with his famous maieutic method, could lead his adversary first into a confession of total ignorance and then be opened to the truth. Bill, of course, was always conscious of that salutary admonition of St Ignatius - that, when a Jesuit argues “it is not to get the upper hand, but that the truth may appear'. Or haven't you noticed it?

He and I always kept up a good-natured rivalry. It was science versus the classics. But, really, it was a rather uneven contest, for while I was almost completely ignorant of matters scientific and had little interest in them, Bill was no mean Latin scholar. He could quote his lines of Virgil and Horace with the best and, towards the end of his life, was actually teaching Latin for a time in the Milltown Institute.

There was a memorable summer (1974) when we went together on a trip to Greece. As we visited the great sites. - the Acropolis, Delphi, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Knossos — his thirst for answers was insatiable. I recall with some amusement how once, in Athens, he remarked on the crowds that gathered every evening in Omonia Square. There were large groups of men engaged in earnest and vociferous discussion. The natural conclusion (for him) was that they were talking politics - a scene that would have brought joy to the heart of old Socrates who encouraged people to dialogue on the real essentials of life and the eternal verities. Great, however, was his disillusionment when Bill discovered that they were merely arguing about the soccer results of the day.
Surprisingly enough, Bill's university degree was not in physics or any science subject, but in English and history. When he came to teach in Gonzaga in 1957, though already more than competent, he worked hard to prepare himself for the task of being the College's one and only science teacher for many years. Besides attending courses in Dublin and Cork he spent many of his early summers in the US plundering the brains and know-how of the Americans at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Universities of Kentucky, Fordham, Notre Dame and Colombia. There he studied such diverse subjects as physics, chemistry, electronics and geology.

Thus he equipped himself superbly as a teacher who could introduce into Gonzaga a physics course that would be in line with modern developments and requirements. In 1962 he was President of the Irish Science Teachers' Association, Editor of their magazine in 1966 and Public Relations Officer in 1971.

Bill was Editor of the first three issues of The Gonzaga Record (1985-87). The first and second issues contain his succinct and invaluable 'History of Gonzaga College 1950-85'. In it was a section entitled “The Introduction of Science Teaching' wherein he gives the reasons why there was no place for science in the original curriculum and describes how the subject made a tentative beginning in 1959 as a sort of gentleman's demonstration course. He recounts how the facilities gradually improved - from the humble beginnings in the upper room in the lower yard (until recently the Music Room) to a pre-fab. structure that, erected in 1972, was eventually replaced, in 1983, by the present well-equipped specialist science block. Now that we have it,' he wrote in his editorial of 1987, ‘one wonders how we did without it.' One wonders even more how he did without it, for, alas! Bill himself never enjoyed the luxuries of this building. Having reached pensionable age in 1981 he withdrew from the classroom and never looked back.

However, in spite of the limitations of a mere demonstration course and the below-par facilities, many of his pupils did him great credit, not only in examinations but also at the annual Young Scientists' Exhibition. Notable among these were Lothar Enders, Leslie Daly, Peter Duggan and John David Biggs.

I could have adjudged Bill, even a priori, an excellent teacher. He had this earnest, patient way of explaining difficult things simply, lucidly, logically. What's more, he gave everyone he talked to his full attention, taking quite seriously even the most stupid question. Had I been, e'en briefly, a 'fly on the wall' in one of his classes, I could have observed what went on, but had to settle for a few words with some of his past pupils. Somehow I had expected to extract from them some special insider information - personal idiosyncrasies, funny incidents, the stuff of legend. I was, in a way, disappointed. They all - as past pupils will — suggested that they had been the bane of his life, but remembered him with deep affection and gratitude and no-one had an unkind word to say of him. There were memories of occasions when the experiments went a bit wrong, of the odd prank, but nothing of epic proportions. When I asked what special measures he took to maintain discipline, one answer was that his main weapon was a wide smile which could, in turn, register pity, reproval or encouragement.

Bill would be highly amused at any mention of his sporting proclivities or achievements. But I should like here to record that, on his arrival at Gonzaga, he humbly undertook the office of Gamesmaster for about three years. Reffing rugby, umpiring cricket and organising sports was really not his scene, but, as in everything else, he did a whole-hearted job. I remember, with a touch of awe, the first time he took part in the cricket match between staff and boys and revealed himself as a fast bowler of some merit, though with a strong tendency towards involuntary bodyline. He possessed, too, a meagre and poverty-stricken collection of golf clubs with which he once got his name on the Veterans' Trophy at the Annual Jesuit Golf Outing. The clubs, incidentally, were left-handed, and yet he was right-handed in most things else. This ambidexterity was, perhaps, a physical expression of his ability to argue from both sides of any question.
It is fitting that this account of Bill should confine itself mainly to his years as teacher in Gonzaga. Were I writing a wider appreciation I would have much to say about him as a spiritual man, a zealous religious and about his role as guide, counsellor and friend to so many people. Here, at least, I might recall that before his coming to Gonzaga in 1957 he had worked as a pioneering missionary in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) for some seven years: among his souvenirs from this period was a touch of malaria. Along with his science he taught religion in the classroom and did his share of counselling. In holiday time, apart from his attendance at many courses, he was often engaged in pastoral work especially in the US and in England. In 1981 he made a tour of the Holy Land.

For many years there was a regular Sunday Mass in the college chapel. Bill's homilies, I know, were greatly savoured. He always had a fresh and original angle. A Gonzaga mother was talking to me about this recently and she recalled a little story he told about a boy who had some scruples about reading in bed because his parents had told him to put the light off as soon as he turned in. (Ah for the days when disobedience to parental instructions was regarded as at least an imperfection!) Anyway, this boy confided his unease to Bill. “What I do”, he said, “is to leave the bedroom door open and by a system of mirrors draw the light from the corridor onto the pages of my book”. Far from condemnation, Bill had nothing but commendation for such ingenuity and scientific know-how. I wonder was this homily on Luke 18, 8?

Bill left Gonzaga in the summer of 1987. His first appointment was to University Hall, Hatch St, where he acted as Assistant Prefect; at the same time he was Keeper of the Records in the Milltown Institute. Thence he moved, in 1989, to the Jesuit residence in Leeson St where for a time he was Minister while he still commuted daily to the Milltown Institute, now as Assistant Registrar. But soon his health began to deteriorate. He was hospitalised on 24 May, 1992, with pulmonary fibrosis, and died peacefully in the early hours of 4 June. He was 76.

Jesuits working in Dublin are usually buried from St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St, but circumstances did not so allow. Gonzaga was the next obvious choice but its chapel had already been reserved for another ceremony. And so, his Requiem Mass was concelebrated in Milltown Park, and I can't help thinking that Bill must have felt a little heavenly glee in having his obsequies presided over by Father General himself and in upsetting the timetable drawn up for a Meeting of the whole Jesuit Province.

Our deepest sympathy to all his relatives and friends. We, his confrères, miss him sorely.

Edmund Keane SJ

Lockington, William, 1871-1948, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1586
  • Person
  • 26 February 1871-10 October 1948

Born: 26 February 1871, Ross, South Island, New Zealand
Entered: 02 June 1897, Loyola, Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 10 October 1948, Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1901 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1902 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1911 at St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 24 January 1917

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Raphaël Gennarelli Entry :
Father William Lockington invited him to Australia from Naples for his health. He died at Sevenhill a few years after his arrival.

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

Note from Arthur (Frank) Burke Entry
He feel foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on morning during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.

Note from George Byrne Entry
He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors.. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior Willliam Lockington, he remained longer than expected.

Note from Edward Carlile Entry
He was a convert from Anglicanism at the age of 25, as a result of the preaching of William Lockington, and was 28 years of age when he entered at Loyola Greenwich

Note from John Carpenter Entry
When the Superior of the Mission - William Lockington - visited Lester House, Osterley, London, he impressed three seminarians, John Carpenter, Laurence Hessian and Hugo Quigley. All three joined the Austraian Province.

Note from James Farrell Entry
He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview. The Rector there at the time was William Lockington and he tried to take him in hand endeavouring to effect a cure, and not entirely in vain.

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University onlne :
Lockington, William Joseph (1871–1948)
by G. J. O'Kelly
G. J. O'Kelly, 'Lockington, William Joseph (1871–1948)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1986

anti-conscriptionist; Catholic priest; school principal

Died : 10 October 1948, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

William Joseph Lockington (1871-1948), Jesuit priest, was born on 23 February 1871 at Ross, New Zealand, eldest of eight children of Elisha Lockington, carpenter and later sawmiller from Derbyshire, England, and his wife Mary, née Canfield. Elisha had migrated to the Beechworth, Victoria, goldfields in the 1850s, moving to Ross in 1862; Mary, a milliner, had arrived in New Zealand from England in 1868.

After primary education at the Convent of Mercy, Hokitika, William at 14 became a pupil-teacher at Ross and at 18 head-teacher of the public school at Capleston; his wide reading and retentive memory, talent for music and passion for physical exercise made him a highly esteemed schoolmaster. He was also a well-known racing cyclist. On 2 June 1896 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Greenwich, Sydney, where Aloysius Sturzo, the former superior of the Australian Jesuit communities and then master of novices, disseminated a feeling for internationalism and concern for the poor. Lockington subsequently studied at Tullamore, King's County, Ireland, in Jersey, Channel Islands, and at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England. He taught at The Crescent College, Limerick, Ireland, in 1902-07 and undertook his tertianship at Milltown Park, Dublin, and Poughkeepsie, New York. Ordained in July 1910, he returned to Ireland to assist at Milltown Park in the training of novices and tertians in 1911-13. A course of his lectures, published in 1913 as Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigour and reprinted and translated several times, illustrates his continued emphasis on physical fitness. His admiration for Ireland resulted in his book, The Soul of Ireland (1919).

Recalled to Australia in 1913, Lockington worked as parish priest at Richmond, Melbourne, until his appointment in 1916 as rector of St Patrick's College, East Melbourne. In 1917-23 he was superior of the eleven Australian Jesuit communities; in addition to overseeing four secondary colleges, one seminary and six parishes, he helped to establish Newman College at the University of Melbourne and a seminary at Werribee, Corpus Christi College, for the training of priests from three States.

During this period in Victoria, Lockington gained a reputation as controversialist in the tradition of William Kelly. This partly sprang from his association with Archbishop Mannix whom he drilled in oratory, requiring him to practise declaiming from one end of the cathedral grounds to the other. Lockington was described by a colleague as 'the best platform orator in Australia'. His topics covered religion, temperance, education and the plight of working people; many of his addresses were published. He worked hard to further the growth of the Australian Catholic Federation and was regarded by the Protestant press as a principal in the 1917 anti-conscriptionist 'Jesuit scare'. In 1916 he founded the Catholic Women's Social Guild (later, Catholic Women's League). With Mannix presiding, he was a key speaker in the federation's mid-1917 lecture series which drew a Melbourne audience of thousands; his accusations of sweated labour in confectioners' establishments occasioned debate in the Legislative Assembly. In 1921 the town of Lockington was named after 'the noted author, preacher and lecturer'. His most famous panegyric was yet to come—that for Marshal Foch at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, in April 1929.

Lockington was headmaster of St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, in 1923-32. Despite the Depression, he resumed a massive building programme, halted since 1901, to complete the main features of the college. He promoted religious music, drama and physical vigour; open-air dormitories bear his stamp. After 1932 he undertook parish duties at Toowong, Brisbane, until 1936 and at Richmond and Hawthorn, Melbourne, until 1947. He was a committee-member of the Catholic Broadcasting Co. and, particularly on Archbishop Duhig's urgings, gave numerous retreats and lectures.

On his way to one such retreat, Lockington died in Brisbane on 10 October 1948. One of the best-known Catholic priests in Australia, and to Mannix 'the friend of half a lifetime', he was buried in Nudgee cemetery.

Select Bibliography
U. M. L. Bygott, With Pen and Tongue (Melb, 1980)
Jesuit Life, no 7, Dec 1981
Lockington papers (Society of Jesus Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne).

◆ Jesuits in Ireland
Some 200 km north of Melbourne, Australia, is a town called Lockington, one of the few towns called after a Jesuit, Will Lockington (1871-1948). He was a tough West Coast New Zealander whose wide reading and retentive memory, talent for music and passion for physical exercise (he was a well-known racing cyclist) made him a highly esteemed schoolmaster – he was Principal of a local school at 18, and later, as a Jesuit, Headmaster of St Ignatius College, Riverview for nine years. He was a lifelong friend of Archbishop Mannix whom he drilled in oratory, requiring him to practise declaiming from one end of the cathedral grounds to the other. During his ten years in Ireland, he taught in Crescent College, studied in Tullabeg, and published “Bodily health and spiritual vigour”, a book well ahead of its time.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Lockington, the eldest of eight, received his early education in New Zealand with the Sisters of Mercy at Hokitika. He had no formal secondary education, but the pupil-teacher system appealed to him from the first.
He became a teacher in 1891 and was appointed headmaster of the school at Capleston, a school with about 80 children. He joined in the activities of the local community, played the violin at entertainments and acted in dramatic productions. By 1896 he had decided to join the Jesuits as a brother.
He joined the noviciate at Greenwich, Sydney, 2 June 1896, aged 25. During his noviciate the novice master, Aloysius Sturzo, convinced him to become a priest and so he took his vows as a scholastic in June 1898.
After a year of Latin and Greek in Sydney, he was sent to the Irish juniorate at Tullabeg. He found these studies too difficult, and never matriculated. He was sent to Jersey for
philosophy, and also studied French. However, he only stayed a year, and was sent to Stonyhurst, England, to complete his studies. He became a powerful force in community life, gave lectures on New Zealand, played in the orchestra, helped with plays, and was a promoter of games and sport.
Next he taught at the Crescent College, Limerick, 1902-07. He conducted a choir, and helped produce musicals. He was reported to be a good teacher, and was prefect of studies, 1905-07. He fell in love with Ireland, and later expressed that affection in his book, “The Soul of lreland”.
In 1907 he went to Miiltown Park for theology, and was ordained, 26 July 1910. He did tertianship at Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1911 he returned to Ireland as socius to the master of novices at Tullabeg, and it was during this time that he wrote his more celebrated book, “Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigor”. The work, developed out of a course of lectures he gave to the tertians, reflected Lockington's spirituality - religious life implies a total dedication of oneself to the love and service of God and one's fellow human beings, and that body was included as well as soul.
He was sent back to Australia in 1913, was briefly at Xavier College, and in 1914 was made superior at St Ignatius' Church, Richmond. He was to remain a superior until 1947. He was rector of St Patrick's College in 1916, and at once made plans for its renovation and extension.
However, the next year he was appointed superior of the Mission until 1923. Newman College and Corpus Christi, Werribee were negotiated at this time. It was during these years that he became a national Church figure, lecturing, preaching and giving retreats from Brownsville to Perth, and in New Zealand. He was a powerful preacher, long and loud. His topics included religion, temperance, education and the plight of working people. He even had a town in Victoria named after him in 1921.
He did well to make the name of the Society of Jesus acceptable to the parish clergy in the country, and became a good friend of Dr Mannix, the archbishop. They were both fighters and thought alike on most issues One of their joint ventures in 1917 was the “National Foundation Stones”, a series of seventeen lectures, three of which were given by Lockington. Twenty thousand attended the last lecture given by Mannix at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Lockington had two important qualities, his passion for social justice and his deep sympathy for women. in 1916 he founded the Catholic Women's Social Guild. He valued the contribution women could make to the Church and society.
When his term as Mission Superior ended, he was appointed Rector of Riverview in October 1923 for eight years. Some believe that he built the College from a small school into a “Great Public' school”. The main south front was then not much more than half finished. He completed the main front and the first bays of the east wing. Open air dormitories bear his stamp. He also pulled down the old wooden hall and the original stone cottage.
Internally, he reformed the choir and the performance of the liturgy. He revived the tradition of drama. He was not a popular rector, but respected, trusted and even revered. He never stood on his dignity, as he did not need to. He played handball with the senior boys, and worked with axe or crowbar, pick or hammer. He had no time for mere ceremonial. He was simple and straightforward. All during this time he continued preaching, lecturing and giving retreats.
In 1932, aged 61, he went to Brisbane, to the parish of Toowong. Here he continued his usual round of retreats, lectures and sermons. One lecture lasted one hour and 25 minutes. It was in Brisbane that he developed angina and expected to live a quieter life. He recovered sufficiently to become parish priest in 1933, and in 1936 was appointed parish priest of Richmond, Melbourne. Here he remained until 1947, and at 76, returned to Toowong. However, his heart gave out and he died in the midst of a visitation of religious houses for the archbishop. He was buried in Nudgee cemetery.
He was not a man of great intellect or learning, but he made the best use of his talents. He cared little for reputation, for his own dignity for pomp or circumstance of any kind. He could be overbearing. He was not a good organiser. He had too much contempt for public relations. Yet for all this he was a man totally developed, body and soul, and totally dedicated to Christ, a man, wholly man, Catholic and Jesuit, all for God's greater glory

Note from Arthur (Frank) Burke Entry
He fell foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.

Note from George Byrne Entry
He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors.. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.

Note from Edward Carlile Entry
He was a convert from Anglicanism at the age of 25, as a result of the preaching of William Lockington, and was 28 years of age when he entered at Loyola Greenwich

Note from John Carpenter Entry
When the Superior of the Mission - William Lockington - visited Lester House, Osterley, London, he impressed three seminarians, John Carpenter, Laurence Hessian and Hugo Quigley. All three joined the Australian Province.

Note from James Farrell Entry
He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview. The Rector there at the time was William Lockington and he tried to take him in hand endeavouring to effect a cure, and not entirely in vain.

Note from Thomas Forster Entry
When William Lockington embarked on his building programme in 1928, he used Thomas as clerk of works with excellent results. His sudden death from a stroke was a severe blow to Lockington.

Note from Michael O’Brien (ASL) Entry
He did not take kindly to Charles Fraser shooting his cows in the rose garden, nor in William Lockington showing him how to do his work. One recreation he enjoyed was to attend meetings of the Irish in Sydney, details of which he kept close to himself.

Note from Hugo Quigley Entry
He was enrolled at Osterly, the house for “late vocations” conducted by the English Jesuits to prepare students for entry into various seminaries. There, with John Carpenter and Laurence Hession, he answered the appeal of the then superior of the Australian Mission, William Lockington, for men willing to volunteer for the Society in Australia.

Note from Jeremiah Sullivan Entry
The province liked him more than either his predecessor, William Lockington, or his successor, John Fahy

Note from Vincente Guimera Entry
Vincente Guimera entered the 'Society in 1890, and after studies and some teaching, he was sent to New Guinea in the 1920s to help find a solution to the problems in a mission that had been acquired from die German Franciscans. The superior general asked the Australian superior, William Lockington, to settle the matter, and he sent Joseph A. Brennan to New Guinea. They closed the mission and gave it to the SVDs. Three Spanish Jesuits then came to Sydney briefly and stayed at Loyola. Guimera subsequently lived and taught at St Aloysius' College, 1924-25

Note from Gerard Guinane Entry
Gerard Guinane was only sixteen when he entered the Society at Tullabeg, and following early studies he was sent to Riverview in 1926. He taught in the school, was prefect of the study hall and, for a while, was assistant rowing master. He was very successful as a teacher and highly regarded by William Lockington.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
From 23 to 27 August, Riverview celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its foundation... The College was founded in 1880 by Fr. Joseph Dalton, He was “wisely daring enough” to purchase a fine property on Lane Cove from Judge Josephson, The property consisted of a cottage containing eight or nine rooms with substantial out offices, and 44 acres of land, at a cost of £4 500. 54 acres were soon added for £1 ,080, and an additional 20 acres later on completed the transaction. This little cottage was the Riverview College of 1880. The modesty of the start may be measured by the facts, that the founder of Riverview, and its first Rector, shared his own bed-room with three of his little pupils , and when the College played its first cricket out match, it could muster only ten boys to meet the opposing team. By the end of the year the number had increased to 15.
In addition to Fr. Dalton's, two other names are inseparably connected with the foundation of Riverview. The first is that of His Grace, Archbishop Vaughan, who invited the Jesuits to Sydney, formally opened the College and gave the Fathers every encouragement.
The second is the name of the great Australian pioneer, the Archpriest Therry. “One hundred years ago”, says one account : “Fr Therry was dreaming of a Jesuit College in Sydney... and when he went to his reward in 1865 he gave it a special place in his final testament”. Fr Lockington called Frs. Dalton and Therry the “co-founders” of Riverview, and added
that it was the wish of the latter to see Irish Jesuits established at Sydney.
An extract from the Catalogue of 1881 will interest many. It is the first time that Riverview is mentioned as a College in the Catalogue :
Collegium et Convictus S. Ignatius
R. P, Josephus Dalton, Sup a die 1 Dec 1879, Proc_ Oper
P. Thomas Gartlan, Min, etc
P. Joannes Ryan, Doc. 2 class. etc
Henricus O'Neill Praef. mor. etc
Domini Auxiliairii duo
Fr. Tom Gartlan is still amongst us, and, thank God, going strong. Soon a brick building (comprising study hall, class rooms and dormitories) wooden chapel, a wooden refectory, were added to the cottage, and in three years the numbers had swelled to 100, most of them day-boys.
The first stage in the history of Riverview was reached in 1889, when the fine block, that up to a recent date served as the College, was opened and blessed by Cardinal Moran.
The second stage was closed last August, when, amidst the enthusiastic cheering of a great gathering of Old Boys, the splendid building put up by Fr. Lockington was officially declared ready to receive the ever increasing crowd of boys that are flocking into Riverview. The College can now accommodate three times as many students as did the old block finished in 1889. Not the least striking part of the new building is the Great Assembly Hall erected by the Old Boys as a memorial to their school-fellows who died during the Great War.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Fr. William Lockington (1871-1897-1948) – Vice Province of Australia
Tho' born in New Zealand in 1871 Fr. Lockington came of English stock, his father being a former scholar of St. Paul's, London who after his conversion emigrated to New Zealand as a young man. Fr. Lockington was a primary teacher before entering the Society at the age of 26. He made his novitiate at Greenwich under Fr. Sturzo and studied rhetoric at Tullabeg. He made his philosophy at Jersey and Stonyhurst and taught at the Crescent from 1902 to 1907. He studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1910. He made his tertianship in St. Andrew-on-Hudson in the U.S.A and on his return to Ireland was Socius to the Master of Novices and Minister at Tullabeg. In the autumn of 1913 he returned to Australia and was Superior of St. Ignatius, Richmond and St. Patrick's, Melbourne from 1914-1917 and in the latter year was appointed Superior of the Mission of Australia, a post he held till 1923 when he became Rector of Riverview, Sydney. From 1932 to 1936 he was Superior of the Brisbane Residence and from 1937 to 1937 of St. Ignatius, Richmond. He was the author of “The Soul of Ireland” and “Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigour”, and a popular retreat director and as a preacher was in the first rank of pulpit orators in Australia. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949
A further notice of Fr. W. Lockington reached us in February, drawing attention to the remarkable fact that two Archbishops preached panegyrics at his obsequies. Archbishop J. Dhuhig of Brisbane preaching in the Church of St. Ignatius, Toowong, Brisbane on October 12th, called him a militant priest in the best sense of the term," and compared his spirit with that of SS. Paul and Ignatius.'' Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne preaching in St. Ignatius Church, Richmond on 21st October paid tribute to him as the “friend of half a lifetime- as preacher and director. A manly, zealous, broadminded, big- hearted Jesuit has gone to his reward”, said His Grace, “may God deal gently with his noble soul”.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1932

Father Lockington

Eight years of unparalleled progress and a new school; there you have a retrospect of Father Lockington's term of office at Riverview. That he had had little association with the College prior to assuming the reins of government was, strangely enough, a very distinct gain to the school; being unfamiliar with the past he was free to concentrate the whole of his broad vision on the future. He read the destiny of Riverview at a glance, and compared it with the state of the College as he found it. To him the discrepancy was all the more striking. Those who have been for any length of time associated with the Old Riverview would have easily been lulled into a contentment with the established order of things, a contentment, not altogether inexcusable, but only too apt to dim one's view of the future. Father Lockington was altogether free from such a prejudice; he therefore refused to adapt the ideal to existing conditions, but rather made it his purpose to impress on the school in indelible characters the seal of its destined development.

Father Lockington forthwith drew up plans; being essentially a man of action, plans as such meant nothing to him unless he could see his way clear to carry them out; he was gifted besides with indomit able courage, hence it was that his bold schemes materialised.

The completed front facing south is his most valued addition to the permanent structure of the College. It is built to correspond exactly with the Refectory wing: the same architectural features carried out in carefully selected ornate stone; the whole presenting an appearance of stateliness, beauty and stability unrivalled anywhere.

Father Lockington has justified in a very signal manner the wisdom and foresight of those old pioneers who designed a college appropriate to so magnificent a site. The interior of the new wing is his own design: the open-air dormitory is the finest of its kind; the Senior Study is spacious, bright and well-aired, and the MemoriaỈ Hall on the ground floor worthy of its purpose.

Whether the additions were intended to meet the demand for increased accommodation, or new pupils were attracted by these, the fact is that during the late Rector's term the school rolls were exactly doubled. If we may be permitted to express our own opinion, we have no hesitation in saying that Father Lockington's personality was the main factor in this remarkable increase. The Chapel was found to be too small: it was extended in two directions and the interior suitably decorated,

These substantial changes, pointing as they do to the part Riverview is destined to play in the scheme of Catholic education in NSW, inspired a most generous benefactor to erect the present Community wing. Thus in a mere handful of years the original school has spread its handsome lines to its full length along the river frontage and now faces the city on the eastern side.

These are the changes that mark the period of Father Lockington's stay at Riverview; they are a lasting memorial to the indefatigable labours of one man wholly animated with zeal for the glory of God.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Lockington (1871-1948)

One of the best remembered of former masters at the Crescent, was a native of New Zealand and had been a trained primary teacher when he entered the Society in his twenty-seventh year. He pursued his higher studies with the French Jesuits in Jersey and later in Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1910. Father Lockington spent his regency at Sacred Heart College, 1902-07. He was an efficient and kindly master who won the affection and respect of his pupils. He fell in love with this country and wrote a widely popular book entitled “The Soul of Ireland” for which the late G K Chesterton wrote the preface. As a teacher, Father Lockington brought original ideas to his classroom - or were his ideas so really original? They could be summed up in the adage “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano”. Idlers and sleepy boys, according to Father Lockington, were not so many culprits to be dealt severely with. Rather, he considered, they were the victims of badly run-down physique. So, he was a strong believer in the parallel bars and physical jerks for stirring the dormant into awareness of their responsibilities. So, the hours after class were devotedly given to helping the backward. Shortly after his return to Australia in 1913, Father Lockington was appointed rector of St Patrick's, Melbourne. From this post he was summoned to the higher responsibility of superior of the Australian Jesuit Mission, an office he discharged with tact and efficiency from 1917 to 1923. He was afterwards rector of Riverview and until his last years held other positions of high responsibility. To these onerous duties, he found time for an enormous number of retreats and occasional sermons and until the end was esteemed one of the finest preachers in Australia.

MacDonnell, John Charles, 1814-1852, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1625
  • Person
  • 12 July 1814-14 January 1852

Born: 12 July 1814, Killarney, County Kerry
Entered: 01 July 1846, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 14 January 1852, Fordham College, New York, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)

MacNulty, Patrick, 1809-1869, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1643
  • Person
  • 02 July 1809-11 September 1869

Born: 02 July 1809, Drumgooland, County Down
Entered: 12 November 1847, Fordham College, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 15 August 1859
Died: 11 September 1869, Fordham College, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

MacShea, William, 1828-1853, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/1644
  • Person
  • 15 February 1828-18 May 1853

Born: 15 February 1828, Ballyshannon, County Donegal
Entered: 19 July 1851, Montréal, Québec, Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Died: 18 May 1853, Fordham College, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)

Maher, Michael, 1860-1918, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/238
  • Person
  • 29 April 1860-3 September 1918

Born: 29 April 1860, Leighlinbridge, County Carlow
Entered: 2 October 1880, Manresa, Roehampton, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final profession: 2 February 1898, St Beuno's, Wales
Died: 3 September 1918, Petworth, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ David Murphy. "Maher, Michael". Dictionary of Irish Biography. (ed.) James McGuire, James Quinn. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Maher, Michael (1860–1918), Jesuit priest, philosopher, and psychologist, was born 29 April 1850 in Church St., Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow. Educated at the school of Mr Conwell in Leighlinbridge, he later entered the Jesuit college at Tullabeg, King's Co., where his uncle, Fr William Delany (qv), was serving as rector. He studied for a BA while at Tullabeg, eventually obtaining his degree from London University, to which Tullabeg was then affiliated.

In October 1880 he joined the English province of the Society of Jesus, entering its school for novices at Roehampton. On completion of his noviciate (1882) he began studying philosophy, and on obtaining his degree was appointed a philosophy lecturer at Stonyhurst College (1885–91). He took an MA in philosophy and economics through London University, graduating in 1887. Alongside philosophy he studied psychology and in 1890 published Psychology: empirical and rational, which was immediately recognised as a comprehensive textbook, well written and showing intellectual sophistication. It became a standard text in a number of universities, especially catholic universities, in both Europe and America; by 1918 it had run to nine editions and remained a key text until the 1930s.

Ordained at St Beuno's, north Wales, in September 1894, he spent some time in France before returning to Stonyhurst, where he again taught philosophy (1896–1903). In 1900 he was awarded a D.Litt. by London University for Psychology: empirical and rational. Appointed as superior of the Jesuit seminary at Stonyhurst in 1903, he later served as an examiner for the RUI (and subsequently for the NUI) and, from 1914, for the University of Edinburgh. In failing health, he went into semi-retirement in 1917 yet still tried to undertake some duties as a university examiner. He died 3 September 1918 at Petworth, Sussex.

While his best-known publication was Psychology: empirical and rational, he also wrote articles for the Dublin Review, the Month, and the original Catholic encyclopaedia. He later published Tationis Diatessaron (1903) and English economics and catholic ethics (1912).

John J. Delany and James Edward Tobin, Dictionary of catholic biography (1962); Catholic University of America, The new catholic encyclopaedia (1967), ix, 77; William Ellis, ‘Father Michael Maher’, Carloviana, no. 36 (1988–9), 27–8; information from Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ Carloviana No 36, 1988/89

“These great men in the great universities of the world have bowed down and paid tribute to the intellectual supremacy of our boy from Leighlin”

Father Michael Maher
Compiled by William Ellis

Michael Maher was born at Church Street, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow on April 29, 1860. He attended the famous school of Mr. Conwell which had produced so many scholars of
Church and State. Among his school companions were the brothers, Patrick and John Foley who served the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin so well, Patrick as Bishop and John as
President of St. Patrick's College, Carlow.
At an early age Michael went to the famous Jesuit school of Tullabeg, Co. Offaly which was then under the rectorship of an uncle of his, the famous William Delaney, S.J., LLD. While attending that school he attained a B.A. degree from London University to which Tullabeg was then affiliated.
On October 2, 1880 he joined the English Province of the Jesuit Order at Roehampton. He began his philosophy course in 1882 and on its completion in 1885 he was appointed to the lay philosophers' staff at Stonyhurst College where he remained until 1891. During this time he took his M.A. degree in Philosophy and Economics from London University (1887).
Fourteen years after joining the Jesuits, Michael Maher was ordained at St. Beuno's College in North Wales, on September 23, 1894. After ordination he spent some time in France.
1896 saw him back in Stonyhurst lecturing to lay philosophers once again until 1903. In 1903 he became superior at St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, the Jesuit house of studies in
philosophy for young members of the Society.
In 1890 Michael Maher published his first edition of Psychology, a publication which he revised and updated nine tires before he died. He also contributed many articles to journals and magazines, including Dublin Review, The Month, Catholic Encyclopaedia.
It was his work in Psychology that was to bring him into the front ranks as a brilliant writer. The following extract is from an appreciation published at the time of his death in The Nationalist & Leinster Times :
“Several editions of his book were called for and each edition was revised and brought more up-to-date in view of the ever-widening sphere of modern psychological literature. The second edition, published in 1900 entitled “Psychology Empirical and Rational” was practically a new book and has gained for the author a world-wide reputation in this special
branch of scholarship. So prominent were the merits of this book that the Senate of the London University conferred on its author the Doctorate of Literature without any further test.
When it is known that this coveted distinction was conferred only ten times since the University of London was established... As a rule the reports of University examiners are very brief, and confidne themselves to a bald statement that such a candidate 'had qualified' or 'attained 'sufficient marks'.
In regard to Father Maher the examiners report that he had submitted as thesis a work entitled “Psychology Empirical and Rational”, and that in consideration of the special excellence of this thesis they recommend that the degree of Doctor of Literature be conferred on him without any further examination”. The examiners further report:- “The author is a good psychologist and a philosophical thinker of independent judgment; his criticisms prove the author to be a man of acute powers of mind, both in his special subject of Psychology and in the larger questions of Epistemology and Metaphysics, which the plan of the work includes.”
The writer of the appreciation continues:- “The foregoing statement was signed by Professor Stout of Oxford and by Professor Alexander, Victoria University, Manchester. These great men in the most famous universities of the world have bowed down and paid tribute to the intellectual supremacy of our boy from Leighlin." "Is not this something of which the people of Carlow, and the people of Leighlin, and above all the friends and relations of Father Maher may feel justly proud. He was a great scholar, a profound thinker, a brilliant writer, a veritable mine of intellectual wealth which was always at the service of the great cause of sound Christian education to which he had devoted his life. Let it be a comfort to his
many friends to remember that he has done a great work, the good effects of which will survive after we have all passed away."
Among the many posts that Father Maher held were, Examiner for the Diploma in Teaching for the Royal University of lreland, and on the foundation of the National University of Ireland he retained the same position.
During the last years of his life, Father Maher suffered from indifferent health and had to retire from active ministry. His Mass on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1917 was to be his last until the same Feast in 1918 when he was allowed to offer Mass again. On August 24 he celebrated his last Mass, for the next day he was confined to bed. He received the
Last Rites on the 27th.
Father Maher longed to die, and asked those around him to pray that he might do so, and hoped to be in Heaven for the feast of our Lady's Nativity, to whom he obviously had a great devotion. His prayers were answered for he died at Petworth, Sussex, England on September 3, 1918.
On Monday, September 23, 1918 an Office and Requiem Mass was celebrated for the repose of his soul in his native Leighlinbridge. Celebrant of the High Mass was Very Rev. James Coyle P.P. and among the large number of clergy present were his school companions. Most Rev. Dr. Patrick Foley, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin and Very Rev. John Foley, D.D., President St. Patrick's College.
Sources : Letters and Notices, a Jesuit publication, The Nationalist & Leinster Times; Rev. T. G. Holt,S.J., Archivist English Province of the Society of Jesus, Harnlyn Dictionary of dates and anniversaries.

◆ Letters and Notices January 1919

Father Michael Maher - died at Petworth September 3rd, Second Notice

The graduate students of Fordham University, New York have written to the Rector of Stonyhurst to offer to the Fathers of the English Province their profound sympathy on the death of this greatly esteemed Father and to express the high estimate of his abilities and work entertained by all Catholic educationists in America. The following letter was addressed to Father Delaney SJ (Fr. Maher’s uncle) by the President of University College, Dublin, Sept. 8, 1918 : “I have just heard of the lamented death of Fr. Michael Maher, and I hasten to offer you my deepest sympathy in the great affliction which you have sustained. Fr. Maher seemed a year or two ago when coming to the University Examinations so well and active that one could hope for him many further years of fruitful labor, and continued distinction in that high domain of Catholic Science in which he had taken so great a place. Now that he has passed to his reward, many will remember with pride the one intellectual work which won him universal recognition, but I am sure that there will be joined to it by those who came into personal contact with him the memory of a sweet and lovable personality, modest and rare. That is the impression which I formed in my meetings with Fr Maher and in which I shall always regard his memory. With deepest sympathy my dear Fr. Delany, I am, yours very sincerely, Denis J. Coffey

◆ The Clongownian, 1919


Father Michael Maher SJ

School Days
Father Michael Maher, who died last August in the South of England, was born in 1860 at Leighlin Bridge, Co. Carlow. He was sent to Tullabeg in 1871. After a short period there he was sent to Mount St Mary's Jesuit College, near Chesterfield, in England, Thence he returned to Tullabeg in 1876 to complete his studies. During this second period he passed in successive years Matriculation, First BA, and Second BA of the London University. At both colleges he was noted in three ways: first, as an ardent student constantly to be seen with a book in his hands, secondly, as a good cricketer - he was on the Elevens - and thirdly, as a very popular boy. A Tullabeg schoolfellow writes of him : “My general recollection is that he was always genial, good-natured, full of the milk of human kindness and utterly lovable. He was probably the most popular chap of my time”. And other testimonies to the same effect might easily be quoted. He always remained very attached to Tullabeg, and often spoke in later years about the old days there. One of his happiest days was certainly our Centenary in 1914 when he came to Clongowes to renew the old links with the survivors of his Alma Mater.

Early Years as a Jesuit
In 1880 he entered the novitiate of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, at Roehampton, near London. In 1885, after a brilliant course of study, he began at Stonyhurst College his work as a Professor of Philosophy. He took his London MA degree in that subject in 1887, and wrote the work which gained him a wide reputation, his Psychology, about which something must be said presently. He was ordained a priest in 1894. Two years later he resumed his work as Professor, a work which continued till 1903. Meanwhile, he had, in 1900, taken out his D Litt degree in the London University.

His “Psychology”
The first edition of this important work, which gained for the writer the MA degree of the London University, appeared in 1890. A new and enlarged edition in igoo gained for him his Doctorate. It was declared by the authorities of the University to be “of such special excellence as to justify the exemption of the author from further test”. His book has since passed through many editions and has become a standard text book, used the world over, and that not in Catholic schools alone. Besides his “Psychology” Father Maher published in 1893 “Tatian's Diatessaron”. He contributed to the “Catholic Encyclopædia” and wrote various articles for periodicals.

Superior and Educationist
In 1903 Father Maher was appointed Superior of the House of Studies, at Stonyhurst, in which all the members of the English Province and not a few of the Irish Province of the Jesuits pass several years. It is no more than the simple truth to say that all who lived under him left Stonyhurst with the kindliest memories of him, memories of many a kind act and of ever ready helpfulnes. He was always approachable, always cheerfully encouraging and friendly. During this period he interested himself in a very special way in education. Already he had for some time been Examiner in Education to the Royal University of Ireland, a position which he continued to hold in the National University till 1917. He taught Pedagogy in Stonyhurst, and at the time of his death was engaged on a work on that subject.

Last Years
In 1914 Father Maher was appointed to a position in Edinburgh, and about a year later his health began to break down. Every thing was done to reestablish it but he never fully rallied. The end came while he was at a sanatorium near Petworth in the South of England. There on September 3rd, 1918, he died a holy death, repeating the holy names until within a few moments of his last breath.

Those who have had the good for tune to make a retreat under Father Maher know that he was a man of deep spirituality and most earnest convictions. Those of the Irish Jesuits who knew him in Stonyhurst can testify to his deep and unalterable love of Ireland. The appreciation of his personality we have thought it well to leave to one in whom long and intimate acquaintance but deepened love and veneration.


Father Michael Maher SJ - A Personal Appreciation

It is not easy to put into a few words all that one would like to say about a friendship, intimate, unbroken, unclouded, which ex tended over a quarter of a century, yet that is what, by the courtesy of the Editor of this magazine I am asked to do in connection with the late Father Maher whose death must have made a gap in the lives of many though in none more so than in mine. We shall not look upon his like again, for it is rare to find such intellectual powers as he possessed con joined with the child-like simplicity and faith, the absolute modesty, the complete self-abnegation which were so completely his. Nor could anyone be in his company even for a brief period without recognizing his deep and essential holiness. His true life was not spent in this world.

I first made his acquaintance when he was Superior of St Mary's Hall at Stonyhurst, a place which it seems difficult to imagine without him, so perfectly was he adapted to it not merely by learning and expository power - both of which he possessed in no ordinary measure - but by a singular power of engaging and capacity for retaining the interests and affection of young men. However, it seemed good to his superiors that he should leave that place and go on the Mission in Edinburgh. As it turned our, it was an unfortunate choice, for the blighting blasts of that home of the east wind took effect on lungs predisposed to weakness and eventually led to the illness to which he has recently succumbed. I cannot think that, of his own choice, he would ever have left his beloved St Mary's, but he accepted the change with perfect willingness and a good heart and often wrote to me of the interest which he felt in his pastoral work - into which he threw himself wth a quite a characteristic ardour - and especially in his ministrations to the sick and wounded soldiers in hospital.

Then ill-health necessitated his abandonment of this sphere of action and he found himself relegated to the sanitorium of the English Province of the Society at Burton Hill, Petworth, Sussex, where, though none of us thought it at the time, he was to spend the remainder of his days. There, in fact, he died on September 3rd, tenderly cared for by Father McAleer SJ, himself a medical man, of whose constant kindness Father Maher was never tired of writing.

Father McAleer - carrying out a wish of my friend expressed a short time before he died - telegraphed to me the news that he was no more, and has since written, saying among other things : “Just after I finished saying the prayers for the dying and for the departing soul, he gave up his soul to God. He was conscious almost to the last moment, praying most fervently”. He was able, I am told, to say Mass daily from August 15th to 25th. Then his condition became too serious and he had to take to his bed. His great desire was to celebrate the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady in Heaven, and we may reverently hope that he experienced that joy.

Father Maher was so simple in his ways that, I think, many forgot what a learned man he was. His “Psychology” is a recognised text book - perhaps the best in existence - the world over, and it is by that that those who did sot know him personally will best remember him. No one, however, could really estimate the extent of his knowledge and, far more, his deep thought, who was not, as I was, for many years in constant correspondence with him on all sorts of difficult questions. Through his great and unfailing kindness everything which I have written which in any way touched upon religious or philosophical questions was submitted to his judgment, and what those writings, such as they are, owe to his criticisms and suggestions no one but he and I knew and he would never allow me to tell; nor can any one, but a novice like myself in such topics, know the sense of confidence given by the certainty that nothing would be i allowed to pass his careful scrutiny which might afterwards be susceptible of adverse criticism. The constant burden of his letters when returning MSS. or proofs was “Please do not think of mentioning my name”. I had to content myself with making general acknowledgment except in one case, which was so characteristic that it will bear mention, When writing a book on Vitalism (What is Life?) I found - as all must do - great difficulty in connection with the question of the vital principle or entelechy and the so-called “Law” of the Conservation of Energy, a difficulty which has never been met, and perhaps never can be met upon purely physical lines. Father Maher, then at Stonyhurst, took the trouble to write a short treatise for that is what it was on the subject, and sent it to me with directions that I was to do exactly what I liked with it. I could not possibly incorporate in my book such a statement without full acknowledgment and so I inserted it, giving the name of the treatise in a footnote, though as a matter of fact it never had been and, I think I am right in saying, never has been independently published. I may also now say, with grateful acknowledgment, that a large part of the chapter in my book, “The Church and Science”, relating to the vexed question of the creation of man's body, was written by him and inserted verbatim from his MS. He was good enough to do this during a stay at St Beuno's, and after careful consideration of the matter with his brethren in that place, but he would not allow me to mention his name. I think his death relieves me of the obligation of silence.

During his long illness I had many letters from him all breathing the same spirit of submission to the Will of God. I could quote many affecting passages but am writing away from home and many letters which I have preserved. In one of these he told me an interesting story of his joining the Society of Jesus, and incidentally I may say that I never learnt why he, an Irishman born and bred, joined the English and not the Irish Province. He had a great desire to join the Society, but his mother's circumstances - she was a widow - made it doubtful whether he ought not to remain in the world and work for her support. With that heroic courage characteristic of so many Irish Catholic mothers, she utterly refused to allow him to make the sacrifice and insisted on his following his vocation, saying that God would provide for her. Her faith was rewarded, not merely by an improvement in her circumstances, though that too was the case, but by seeing her son become an ornament to a Society which has had miany great and learned sons, but none more loved and venerated by those who really knew him than the man whom I, at least, shall never cease to mourn.

Bertram C A Windle

Mahony, Michael J, 1859-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1662
  • Person
  • 29 September 1859-13 March 1936

Born: 29 September 1859, Ballylooby, County Tipperary
Entered: 09 September 1886, Frederick MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained 28 June 1898, Woodstock College, Maryland USA
Final vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 13 March1936, New York NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

by 1899 came to Milltown (HIB) studying

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1936


Father Michael Mahony SJ

Early in March the news. of Father Mahony's death reached Mungret. Though the venerable scholar had passed the three score and ten limit yet his passing came as a surprise. He had been with us for our Jubilee in 1932 and his intellectual vigour and upright carriage gave one the impression that he would labour for many another day in the lecture halls he loved so well.

Ml Mahony was born at Ballylooby, Cahir, Co Tipp., on September 29th, 1860. The career of teaching, to which he devoted his whole life and in which he : was such an outstanding success began at an early age for at the age of eighteen he was Monitor in the National Schools and in 1880, when in obedience to a higher call he entered the Crescent, he was already a qualified teacher, drawing the princely salary of £35 per annum.

He was the first student to enter Fr Ronan's school in Limerick and he was wont to tell how he got in some hours before the others who formed the pioneer band. He has therefore been regarded. always as the eldest-born of the Apostolic School and Mungret has always followed . his career with particular interest. He was prefect at the Crescent house and later on when the school was changed to Mungret. Ml Mahony was prefect of the Seminarians and, after taking his BA degree in 1885, taught for a year. In 1886, he entered the novitiate of the Maryland Province at Frederick, with his lifelong friend, Terence Shealy. With that date begins the long preparation and silent formation that was to bear such a rich harvest in later years. Having completed his philosophy and his regency in the college's of Maryland Province, we find him next at Woodstock where he was ordained in 1898. His last year of theology was spent at Milltown Park and brought, to his sensitive heart, the great consolation of being able to say Mass for his parents in the home of his boyhood.

Back once more in the States he was engaged in various colleges till in 1911 he was appointed to the chair of Philosophy in Fordham University. The connection lasted till his death with the exception of one brief interval when in 1932 he visited Ireland for the Eucharistic Congress and came to Mungret for the Jubilee, During his short stay with us he lived again those distant days and visited once more the scenes of his youthful escapades. The Chapel, the study hall, the dormitories, all spoke to him of experiences that were engraven on his memory. One incident, small in itself, showed the simple soul and childlike piety of the great scholar. Entering the dormitory, where fifty years before he had been prefect of the Seminarians, he found where his old cubicle stood; he went down on his knees in prayer and kissed the time-worn boards; it was a sacred spot for it was there he got the vocation that he cherished so. dearly. His reminiscences were full of love for the past and for those that helped to direct his young footsteps to the Altar. Yet he was no “laudator temporis acti” for he never tired of telling of the kindness of his friends across the sea. Superiors who so gladly procured him the privilege of seeing his native land once more; kind friends, who saw to it that he lacked nothing that generosity could procure and the students of Fordham University, “ninnies” and all, who made the evening of his life so pleasant.

Fr Mahony had spent more than a quarter of a century at Fordham and the April number of the Fordham Monthly is dedicated to him and his labours. From it we take the following:

The ever increasing numbers of Fordham students who have gone forth from her halls during the past quarter of a century or more, and who were privileged to have had Father Mahony as a teacher, will, with one voice, proclaim his greatness and his enduring influence. (Rev Fr Hogan SJ (President).)

In the same number, Fr Betowski, AB, one of his pupils, and now Professor at Dunwoodie, says : “Unrelentingly he drove towards the seriousness of understanding principles: Meditating upon the directive value of eternal verities, there was an apostolic echo in his voice as he said : ‘My dear young men, if I could get this truth into your minds so that you would understand it and be guided by it, I would be willing to lay down my life’. All his devotions led up to the Blessed Mother and culminated in Christ, while his untiring search for causes invariably ended in the contem plation of the First Cause, God”.

“He had a heart of gold, a kind word, a ready clasp of the hand and a smile for everyone”, is the testimony of Justice Glennon of the Supreme Court of New York.

Marquette University had honoured Fr Mahony by conferring on him the degree of LLD in 1930 ; Fordham had made him her own; his Alma Mater had made him her guest of honour in 1932, there was but one degree waiting, the one Father Mahony prized most - I’ll get my next degree in heaven”.

Mallen, James, 1830-1912, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1665
  • Person
  • 01 July 1830-13 April 1912

Born: 01 July 1830, Bunlahy, County Longford
Entered: 10 June 1853, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 02 February 1864
Died: 13 April 1912, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Maxwell, Joseph RN, 1899-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1682
  • Person
  • 07 January 1899-19 September 1971

Born: 07 January 1899, Taunton MA, USA
Entered: 07 September 1919, St Stanislaus, Yonkers, NY - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 20 June 1932
Final vows: 03 February 1947
Died: 19 September 1971, Ybbs, Austria, Ybbs, Austria - Novae Angliae Province (NEN)

by 1966 came to Leeson St (HIB) working

McCarthy, Jeremias, 1894-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/728
  • Person
  • 30 April 1894-27 July 1968

Born: 30 April 1894, Stourport, Worcestershire, England
Entered: 07 September 1910, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1930
Died: 27 July 1968, St Joseph’s, Robinson Road, Hong Kong - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1926 came to Milltown (HIB) studying
by 1940 came to Hong Kong (HIB) working 1940-1967

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father McCARTHY Jeremias

At noon every Saturday for the past eleven years the Editor of this paper lifted the phone and spoke for a few minutes to a voice coming from a flat in Robinson Road. On the following Monday morning with unfailing regularity a typewritten page was delivered to the Sunday Examiner office; the weekly editorial had arrived.

To the deep regret of the staff of the Sunday Examiner and of its readers this time-honoured procedure will never be repeated: for Father Jeremiah McCarthy, S.J. our editorial writer died at 2:45pm last Saturday afternoon at the age of seventy-four.

Father McCarthy was a man of many talents; a distinguished theologian, he began his missionary work in Hong Kong twenty-nine years ago as Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the Regional Seminary for South China at Aberdeen; he held a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from Oxford University and as a war-time refugee in Macao he turned his knowledge to good use by devising substitute fuels to keep the local power supply in operation.

When the war was over Father McCarthy returned to his post at the Seminary and began his connection with the Agricultural and Fisheries Department with whom he developed a method of drying and preserving fish and experimented in the increased use of natural and artificial fertilisers.

After some years in Cheung Chau Island as Superior of the Jesuit Language School he returned to Hong Kong, joined the staff of the China News Analysis and began the long association with the editorial page of this paper which despite declining health continued up to the week of his death.

Father McCarthy wrote over five hundred editorials for this paper; and as we look through the files at the variety of subjects covered we can only marvel at the range of intelligent interest of which this one man’s mind was capable. Moral, liturgical, social, political, international and local problems were subjected in turn to his keen analysis and the conclusions recorded in the elegant, economical prose of which he was a master. Freshness of approach, clarity of though and expression, and a deeply-felt sympathy for the poor, the suffering and the oppressed - these are the marks of the writer, as well as of the man and the priest, whose comments on the passing scene stamped this page with a character of its own.

The staff of the Sunday Examiner, and of the Kung Kao Po where Father McCarthy’s editorials appeared in translation, has lost a most valued and faithful collaborator and friend.

May God reward his earthly labours with the blessing of eternal refreshment, light and peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 2 August 1968

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He arrived in Hong Kong from the English Province in 1939 and went to teach Dogmatic Theology at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.

During WWII, as a refugee in Macau, his Masters Degree in Chemistry enabled him to devise substitute fuels to maintain the local power and water supplies going.
After the War he returned to Aberdeen and began an association with the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, developing methods of drying and preserving fish.
Later he joined “China News Analysis”, enhancing its reputation. During these years he also wrote weekly editorials for the “Sunday Examiner”, over 500 of them, on a wide range of topics. His comments on local affairs especially were often quoted at length in the Hong Kong daily press.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

◆ Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Jeremiah McCarthy of the Hong Kong Mission writes from the U.S.A, where he is examining possibilities of setting up an Institute of Industrial Chemistry in Hong Kong :
New York, 23rd September :
“I have spent some time at Buffalo and Boston and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Professors there were most kind, and I learnt a good deal. I expect to be here for a month or six weeks, visiting factories and Colleges in New York. I met Fr. Ingram at Boston. He was doing some work at Harvard. I have heard from several sources that he had a great reputation at Johns Hopkins. I went yesterday to the Reception for Mr. Costello at Fordham and the conferring of an Honorary Degree. Cardinal Spellman was there. In his speech Mr. Costello avoided politics, except to say that the Government would stop emigration altogether, save that they would still send priests and nuns wherever they might be required. Most of the speech was taken up with a very graceful tribute to the Society and its work. He referred to the debt of Ireland to the Society in times of persecution, and again in modern times, and hoped to see an extension of our work in schools and Colleges in Ireland. The address was broadcast”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Fr. Jeremiah McCarthy arrived at Cobh from New York on 7th December and is spending some time in the Province, before resuming in England, his study of technological institutes, prior to his return to Hong Kong.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 4 1968
Obituary :
Fr Jeremias McCarthy SJ (1893-1968)
Fr. Jeremias McCarthy, a member of the English Province who to the joy and lasting advantage of all Jesuits working in Hong Kong was ascribed to the Irish Province in 1939 for work in Hong Kong, died in Hong Kong on 27th July, aged 74.
He was born on 3rd April 1893 at Stourford, Worcestershire, where his father, a civil servant, was then stationed. Some of his early years were spent in Co. Cork, Ireland, but he returned to England and was educated at St. Francis Xavier College, Liverpool. He entered the English Province noviciate in 1910. (Two of sisters later became Columban Sisters.) After philosophy in Stonyhurst, he taught for four fondly remembered years in Beaumont. He also spent three years at Oxford, taking an M.A. degree in Chemistry and thus equipping himself for unforeseeable work, valuable but bizarre. After two years of theology in St. Bueno's, he transferred to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained on 31st July 1926. After his tertianship he taught in various schools in the English Province for eleven years and was solemnly professed in 1930. In 1939 he applied to the General for work in a mission country and Fr. Ledochowski ascribed him to the still small Hong Kong mission in April of that year. He was warmly welcomed in Hong Kong, where several of the little band of Jesuits had known him in his scholasticate days. His unmistakable intellectual distinction and originality made him a very valuable addition to the mission; but he looked so frail that many must have wondered how long he could stand up to the strain imposed by the Hong Kong summers. He was thin, looked older than his years and was bent forward by a spinal affliction. Time was to show that this apparent physical frailty was largely an illusion. He may have suffered but he made no show of it. For almost three decades he was to labour at an astonishing variety of tasks, defying not only the Hong Kong summer, but the hardships of the Japanese capture and occupation of the colony and, in his last years, a complication of organic ills. Three days before his death he was still vigorously doing work that would have appalled many a younger man. For his first three years in Hong Kong he taught dogmatic theology in the Regional Seminary for South China. In 1942 he went to Macao, where the Hong Kong Jesuits were opening a school for Portuguese boys whose families had fled from occupied Hong Kong. This school won a special place in Fr. McCarthy's affection : the boys were, and have always remained, grateful for the help given them in a time of great hardship. The school did not occupy all his energies. Macao, cut off from the rest of the world, was short of nearly everything, so Fr. McCarthy, the best qualified and most ingenious chemist in the territory, quickly set about providing ersatz substitutes for the ungettable imports - everything from petrol to cosmetics. As a mark of appreciation, the Governor of Macao decreed that vehicles using the evil-smelling McCarthy substitute for petrol should not pass within nose-shot of the Jesuit school. In later years new arrivals in Hong Kong would be shown a lump of the McCarthy soap substitute, hard and gritty but beyond price in days when no other soap was to be had. Morale had to be kept up in Macao, so Fr. McCarthy and the other Jesuits joined the more vigorous citizens in organising debates and lectures and helping to provide through the local press a substitute for the intellectual sustenance normally fetched from abroad. Macao in those years of isolation was a little world on its own where every local crisis and dispute was avidly discussed by the whole population. In post-war years Fr. McCarthy had an inexhaustible fund of stories of the strange doings of those days including the great debate on the use of Chinese or Western style in the rebuilding of a church lavatory, and his own five-minute suspension for publishing an article expounding the views on evolution later contained in Humani Generis - as he was leaving the episcopal chamber the bishop said “I lift the suspension”. After the war he returned for a year to his work in the seminary, after which he went to Europe for a much needed rest. He was next asked to explore the possibility of setting up an institute of industrial chemistry in Hong Kong. This scheme proved abortive, but his next venture was fruitful. At the request of the government of Hong Kong he toured Europe and America investigating methods for making compost from what is politely described as night soil. It is scarcely necessary to say that the more ribald Jesuits of the many countries he visited were less mealy-mouthed in describing this novel form of apostolate. Fr. McCarthy's rather donnish appearance and fastidious diction added to the joke.
Having completed his work on nightsoil, he was asked by the government to act as technical adviser on fish-drying part of a large-scale reorganisation of fisheries, which was one of the most valuable works undertaken by the government in its post-war effort to rebuild and enrich the life of the colony. This work brought him into close contact with probably the ablest young government servant in Hong Kong, Mr. Jack Cater, who became one of Fr. McCarthy's closest friends, visited him frequently, sought his advice on such matters as the organisation of co-operatives, and was to rank almost as chief mourner at Fr, McCarthy's funeral.
About this time Fr. McCarthy was appointed rector of the language school. Surprisingly enough this appointment did not prove altogether happy. It was known that he had been an independent minded scholastic and, though in his late fifties (and looking older), he was on terms of unforced equality with most of the younger priests in the mission; yet he found himself unable to make easy contact with those in their twenties. There was relief on both sides when his rectorship was terminated after a couple of years. On their return to Hong Kong after ordination, those who had failed to understand him in their scholastic years came to cherish his rewarding friendship.
From his earliest days in Hong Kong, he had been known as a writer of concise, lucid and pointed English. Bishop Bianchi of Hong Kong was always eager to make use of this gift, frequently asking him to draft pastorals, messages to his diocese and other important documents. The bishop always showed great trust in Fr. McCarthy's judgment knowing that this faithful scribe would nearly always convey his ideas exactly and in a form palatable to and easily assimilated by the recipients. The bishop also had the happy certainty that Fr. McCarthy would not repine if on occasion his drafts were not used.
Another seeker of his pen was Fr. (now Mgr.) C. H. Vath, then editor of the Sunday Examiner, the Hong Kong diocesan weekly. At Fr. Vath's request, Fr. McCarthy wrote a long series of articles on Christian doctrine, which were studied eagerly by teachers of religious knowledge. Fr. Vath also invited Fr. McCarthy to become the regular leader writer for the Sunday Examiner. This task out lasted Fr. Vath's editorship. For over a dozen years-right up to the last week of his life-Fr. McCarthy wrote a weekly editorial, often pungent, always carefully pondered and lucidly expressed. The secular papers frequently reproduced and commented on leaders dealing with economic or sociological topics, and echoes of these leaders could often be discerned in later discussions or in government action. At least one was quoted in the House of Commons, These leaders gave the paper an influence out of all proportion to its circulation. The McCarthy touch will be sadly missed. It will probably be impossible to find anyone able to combine the patience, readiness, skill and erudition that went into his leaders week after week, year after year.
For the last eleven years of his life he was mainly engaged in work for the China News Analysis, (the authoritative and highly expensive) weekly analysis of the Chinese Communist press and radio published by Fr. L. Ladany, a Hungarian member of the Hong Kong Vice-Province. Fr. McCarthy acted as procurator, relieved the editor of the difficulties inseparable from writing in a foreign tongue, and wrote articles based on the editor's research. This was not glamorous work - the days of the nightsoil apostolate were over but it was essential work and was done with unfailing exactness and punctuality.
The large number of religious at his funeral was a tribute to spiritual help given by Fr. McCarthy. In community life he was not ostentatiously pious, but he was exact in religious observance, as in all other things, and he was notably kind. His admirable book Heaven and his domestic exhortations were the most striking manifestations of spirituality that his fundamental reserve allowed him to make. These exhortations were revealing, deeply interesting, full, original without striving for originality and provocative of further thought. He was frequently urged to publish them, a suggestion that he seldom or never accepted. Enthusiasm for one's domestic exhortations is a tribute rarely paid in the Society. It was paid to Fr. McCarthy.
Frail as he looked, he was very seldom ill. Early this year, however, he had to go to hospital and was found to be suffering from grave heart trouble and certain other ills. He resumed work as soon as possible. On Thursday, 25th July, having completed a day's work, he fell and broke a thigh while saying his Rosary in his room, and it was some hours before he was able to call the attention of another member of the small community in which he lived. He was suffering grievously and an immediate operation had to be carried out, despite the precarious state of his heart. He never recovered consciousness and he died on Saturday, 27th July.
The funeral Mass was concelebrated by his Provincial, Fr. F. Cronin, his Superior, Fr. Ladany, and one of his closest friends.

McGrath, Fergal P, 1895-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/453
  • Person
  • 18 November 1895-02 January 1988

Born: 18 November 1895, Dublin
Entered: 06 October St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1927, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1931, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 02 January 1988, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for a BA in French and German as a Junior

by 1918 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1929 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1945 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying
by 1949 Fordham, NY USA (NEB) making Tertianship

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925
We may mention here a school story recently published – “The Last Lap.” Its author is Mr. Fergal McGrath, SJ. The book, which was mostly written while the author was a scholastic in Clongowes, has had an enthusiastic reception. The Reviewer in the " Ecclesiastical Review " writes of it : “It is a splendid boys' story. Probably neither Fr. Finn, or Fr. Spalding nor Fr. Boylan has told any better”.

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
Mr Fergal McGrath's “Last Lap” has been translated into Spanish. Much difficulty was experienced in finding Spanish equivalent for such phrases as : “getting his eye in”, “the calculating pig”, etc,

Irish Province News 10th Year No 2 1935
Works by Father Fergal McGrath SJ :

  1. “The Last Lap” - Pub. Benziger Bros., N. York and the Talbot
  2. “L'Ultima Tappa” - Italian translation of the above by Father Celestine Testore, S.]., , pub. Marietta, Rome, 1929
  3. “Adventure Island” - Pub. Benziger Bros., N. York and the Talbot Press, Dublin, 1952. School edition pub by Talbot Press, 1954, sanctioned by Board of Education for Higher Standards of Primary Schools.
  4. “Un Drama en Irelande” - French translation of above by M du Bourg. Pub. Editions du Closer, Tours, 1934
  5. “Christ in the World of To-day” - Pub. Gill & Son, 1933 (Lenten Lectures on the Sacred Heart)
  6. “Mother Catherine McAuley” - (Biographical sketch contributed to The Irish Way) Pub. Sheed & Ward, 1932
  7. “The Beefy Saint” - Pub. Irish Catholic Truth Society (a story for boys)
  8. “Canon Hannigan’s Martyrdom: - Pub. Irish Messenger Series, (A story of Irish clerical life)
  9. “The Catholic Church in Sweden” - (Edited) English C.T.S
  10. “Stories of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart” - (In collaboration) Irish Messenger Series, “Tenement Angel”.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Fr. Fergal McGrath sailed from Cobh on 24th September for New York ; he will be lecturing in Fordham University in the coming year.

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 2 1988


Fr Fergal McGrath (1895-1913-1988)

Born in Dublin [on 18th November 1895) and educated in Clongowes (1908 12], Fergal McGrath was so dedicated to the Society, which he joined in 1913 on 6th October, after taking First Arts in UCD), that it is impossible to imagine him in any other way of life. He was very proud of his family, particularly of the involvement of his father, Sir Joseph McGrath, in the development of Irish university education, and as he became in his turn the patriarch, his love for the younger generations was evident in the quiet, almost shy, allusions which he made to his nephews and nieces.
Having taken a BA at University College, Dublin [1917], and studied philosophy in both Stonyhurst (1917-'8] and Milltown Park (1920-'2], he taught in Belvedere (1918-'20] and Clongowes [1922-24] before beginning theology at Milltown in 1924. [He was ordained a priest on 31st July 1927.] Fr Fergal's tertianship was made at 's Heerenberg in the Netherlands, which was then a house of the Lower German Jesuit province. He found that tertianship dragged a bit towards the end and he was happy to return to Ireland and to Rathfarnham as Minister of Juniors in 1929. Fr Fergal became Rector of Clongowes in 1933, at a very important phase in the growth of the school, and remained in office until 1941, when he went to Gardiner street as Superior. Four years of study in Oxford, where he took a D. Phil., Occupied his years until 1948 and he spent a further year studying education at Fordham university in New York, Returning to Ireland, Fr Fergal was made Rector of St Ignatius, Galway, where he remained until 1953. Leaving the West, he moved to Leeson street as a writer and spiritual father, until he began his last superiorship as Rector of Rathfarnham in 1961. From 1967 to 1972, he lived at Loyola House. Leeson street was his final Jesuit home. Fr Fergal was Province Archivist from 1975 until 1986, but remained Custodian of the strongroom, dealing with researchers and with many written queries until he went to hospital early in December 1987. He died on 2nd January 1988.
Fergal McGrath was a writer, a Jesuit superior, a good friend to many people all over Ireland, with a vast correspondence and with an interest in everything. He could write scholarly books, short stories, novels of school life and many pamphlets and newspaper articles. He wrote with the same care and precision which he brought to everything he did.
There was no haste, but much prudence. He once said, rather unnecessarily, to somebody who knew him very well '”s you know, I'm a cautious man'” He gave himself heart and soul to any task assigned to him.
Blessed with a very strong constitution and with what seemed to be an inherent ability to avoid stress, Fr Fergal was remarkable in his adherence to a personal daily routine. He had great respect for his fellow Jesuits and found it hard to say anything even remotely harsh about anybody. Most of his experiences as a superior seemed to have been happy, but he never discussed any of the difficulties which must have cropped up in those years, such as the hardships incur red while building at Clongowes and the unease at being a superior in formation during what are known as the 'turbulent' 1960s. In a life which lasted for 92 years, there were obviously disappointments and 'might-have-beens', but Fr Fergal never referred to them. He was quite free from resentment and never wasted time by cultivating hurts. He recognised that the past had not been perfect and, with complete trust in the Lord, got on with the task in hand. This attitude made him a surprisingly free person, because first impressions could be of a man bound by many self-imposed rules.
It was this inner freedom, combined with his respect for others, which drew so many people to him. The person to whom he probably felt closest all his life was a man who died almost fifty-five years before he himself did - Fr John Sullivan. A biography was one sign of his devotion to Fr John's cause; another was his slide-show, of which there were both long and short versions. I remember a conversation in which he made an unconscious slip by referring to “St John Sullivan” and went on talking, unaware of how much he had revealed in that brief anticipation of the Church's judgement. He also did tremendous work for the Cause of Mother Mary Aikenhead.
Despite the long and very slow decline in his energies, Fr Fergal's last years in Leeson street were undoubtedly some of his happiest. As his long daily walk along the Stillorgan road was gradually reduced to a stroll in the back garden, as he became more and more grateful for the lift in the house, he gave the impression of great happiness, because he felt himself among a group of brothers in the Lord, who both cared for him and esteemed him. He lived to become the longest-serving member of the Province.
There were many changes in the Society which Fr Fergal accepted, but which he hardly understood and of which he did not fully approve, but here, once again, his obedience and his deep sense of commitment as a religious took him across hurdles at which he might have fallen. Fr Fergal was intelligent and was a liberal in the Edwardian sense of the word. Patience was one of his strongest suits and stood him in good stead on many an occasion when he might have been driven wild with exasperation, as when unpunctual scholars kept him waiting for hours after they were due to examine documents in the archives.
His radio was a prized and well-used object. Even at 92, Fr Fergal found that a session with his clarinet was a good way to relax and he never felt called to make major adjustments for the television era. His devotions took up an increasingly large part of his day and it was obvious that he was very close to the Lord. In somebody so accomplished, so well known that he received an honorary doctorate from UCD as recently as 1982, there was a profound vein of humility, as I discovered one morning when he amazed me by asking for my advice about some point in the Divine Office.
We worked together in the archives for several years. Having known many of the men whose papers are preserved in the Leeson Street strong-room, he was an invaluable source of advice. No question from me was made to seem silly, no letter from any enquirer was too demanding to merit his full attention.
I treasure casual remarks Fr Fergal made, such as “I don't remember Fr X, but I do recall the old men talking about him” or his stories about mishaps during a juniorate villa at Monkstown, Co Dublin, during the first world war. He spoke little about his own accomplishments, such as his classical learning and his good command of Irish, but he did pass on jocular pieces of advice, such as a piece of consolation he had been given in 1933, when somebody told him that “being a rector isn't too bad - there are even whole days when you'll forget that you're a rector at all”.
A quick glance around his room told the story of Fr Fergal's life better than any biography. His chimneypiece was lined with photographs of his family, of fellow Jesuits and of the present Pope. There was one small bookshelf and, piled beside it, boxes of papers relating to Fr John Sullivan. His wardrobe contained a few, well-worn clothes and his Jesuit gown hung on the back of his door. The attention of any visitor would be drawn to the most prominent object in the room: a desk, laden with letters from all over Ireland and abroad, with books which he was reading as possible material for the refectory and with a Latin Office-book placed close to his armchair.
Fr Fergal's last illness was mercifully brief. His sense of humour showed itself to the end, as he responded to a plea not to die in 1987 and thereby destroy the Province's death-free record for that year. When I last saw him, the day before his death, he was sleeping peace fully, his face serene. A well-lived life was drawing to its earthly close. It was a life in which many people were blessed with his friendship and I am very grateful for having been one of them.
Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ

Fr Fergal McGrath: Incomplete bibliography of his works
“Adventure Island “(Dublin and New York, 1932). “Tenement Angel and Other Stories “(Dublin, 1934). “The Last Lap “(Dublin, 1925; Italian translation “L'ultima Tappa”, Turin "and Rome, 1929; French translation “Au Dernier Tour”, Paris, (no date).
“The Consecration of Learning”: lectures on Newman's Idea of a university (Dublin and New York, 1962). “Education in Ancient and Mediaeval Ireland” (Dublin, 1979). “Newman's University: Idea and Reality” (Dublin, 1951). “The university question” in “A History of Irish Catholicism”, vol. V, pp. 84-142 (Dublin, 1971).
Christian doctrine: Christ in the world of today (Dublin, 1933). Life in Christ (Dublin, 1957).
Biography: Father John Sullivan, S.J. (Dublin, 1941).
Biographical articles:
“Catherine McAuley” in “The Irish Way”, edited by F.J. Sheed, pp. 244-'62 (London, 1932). “The conversion” in “A Tribute to Newman”, edited by Michael Tierney, pp. 57 83 (Dublin, 1945). “The Background to Newman's Idea of a University” in “The Month”, July-August 1945, vol. 181, no. 946, pp. 247-'58.
“Father John Sullivan SJ” (Dublin, 1942). “Newman in Dublin” (Dublin, 1969). “Youth Guidance” (Dublin, 1944). “James A Cullen SJ : A modern Apostle of the Sacred Heart” (Dublin, 1980).

◆ The Clongownian, 1988


Father Fergal McGrath SJ

A life-span of ninety-two years, almost all of it in active life, would fill a long chronicle. Fergal McGrath’s was particularly full, not just because of his health and longevity, but more because of his talents and fidelity to his Jesuit priesthood.. His associations with Clongowes are especially strong, and the most important of them are almost impossible to chronicle, because they consist of friendships with hundreds of Clongownians, scattered across Ireland, Europe and beyond, who will remember this large, kindly, courteous and always interested friend as an important part of their lives.

A photograph of Fergal's father used to hang in the Rogues Gallery in Clongowes, a respectable Victorian figure: Sir Joseph McGrath. He had been a teacher in the old Tullabeg College, later became co-secretary with Sir James Creed Merridith of the Royal University of Ireland and subsequently of the National University of Ireland, and in this latter capacity he was knighted by what in retrospect can be seen as a dying British administration. Fergal did not often talk about his father, but his own identity was different. He was a strongly patriotic Irishman, committed to his country and its language, and without the animosities that could have marred another son of a knighted father. He took pains to learn Irish well, and used it when he could; so he was at his ease as Rector of an Irish-speaking school, Galway's Coláiste Iognáid, in the early 1950s.

He was educated at Belvedere and, from the age of 14, at Clongowes; after First Arts in University College, Dublin, he entered the Jesuit noviceship, and later studied modern languages, then philosophy, then theology. As soon as he finished his Jesuit training, with a tertianship in Germany, he was loaded with responsibility: the charge of Jesuit scholastics in Rathfarnham, then Rector of Clongowes, Superior of Gardiner Street Church and community, Rector of Coláiste Iognáid in Galway, and later of Rathfarnham Castle.

Fergal carried these burdens with a genial ease, but paid a price for them. He worried about his charges and spent endless energy preparing, planning and providing. It was as a prudent and promising young man that he was appointed to succeed Fr George Roche. The Clongowes he took over in 1933, and ruled for eight years, carried what then seemed a crippling debt. In the climate of the Economic War, money was short to a degree we can hardly imagine. Pupils, the main source of revenue, were scarce, and with World War II became scarcer. The contractor of the New Building had gone bankrupt. The college was not insured against this contingency, and had to take over the management of construction, and all through the thirties and early forties, suffered from a pressing and sometimes mounting debt to the banks which coloured all administrative decisions.

His last two years in Clongowes were overshadowed by the war in Europe, with all the fears and uncertainties it brought. Fergal organised (through the scholastics) a fire brigade for contigencies. He saw a tide of refugees from England rise and ebb, leaving him with many empty beds and financial worries.

He once remarked that he went to Clongowes full of enthusiasm as an educator, loving the scope that the job seemed to offer; but soon found that all his energies were used in surviving. He was a slim man of 37 when he went to Clongowes, but the burdens of responsiblity and a sedentary job turned him into the portly figure we later knew. He tried in vain to reduce it. He was a modest eater, and well into his eighties he walked, and swam, and on holidays played consistent golf. His two splendid schoolboy stories, “The Last Lap” and “Adventure Island” show what an active, dreaming boy there was inside the adult frame. He wrote them in odd moments of enforced leisure, one in a convalescence from a long flu in the twenties, the other in spare moments when in charge of the Jesuit juniors. He relished the memory of a happy and carefree youth with its limited anxieties. Adult life as a Jesuit had for him few carefree moments.

Despite his worries, he was much appreciated in Clongowes, especially by the ten scholastics who constituted the most active and talented part of the teaching staff, and whom he supported and fathered in the kindest way. To the parents he was always accessible and understanding, generous in remitting fees in cases of bereavement or hardship, energetic in helping past pupils on their first steps in life. He never forgot Clongowes, though his last residence there ended nearly fifty years before his death. He would never miss a Clongownian funeral, and maintained an enormous correspondence with past pupils and parents who became his warm

Fergal's friendships were in many ways his greatest achievement - and he was a man of considerable achievements. He kept his friendships in good repair by visits and cor respondence. They were planned, as every thing in his life was planned. He would delicately invite a fellow Jesuit to chaperone him on visits to widows or spinsters. He would bring his clarinet to play duets with an aging bachelor, a former collegaue. When, in Galway, Bishop Michael Browne's mother died, Fergal agonised over whether it would be appropriate for him to approach the formidable old prelate with his sympathies. He made the move, and found that he was almost the only one to have ventured near the isolated and sorrowing bishop, who was deeply moved by Fergal's humanity. Here as elsewhere, Fergal's moves were for other people's sake, not for his own.

The others whom he befriended were from every part and condition in the country. Fergal knew the taste of poverty from his experiences of the thirties, and he responded positively, not just in individual acts of kind ness, but interested himself too in the struc tures of society. He initiated the Social Study weekends which brought all sections of industrial and agricultural society to Clongowes for seminars of a high quality in the mid-thirties. He gave much energy to the Clongowes Housing Project, providing flats for the needy in Blackhall Place; and also to the Clongowes Boys' Club.

Apart from these concerns, Fergal gave innumerable retreats and lectures, many of the latter focussed on Fr John Sullivan, of whom he wrote the biography as well as a popular pamphlet. On coming to Clongowes he inherited the aura of John Sullivan, and he did more than perhaps any other man to convey to the public the impact of John's saintliness.

The public obituaries of Fergal spoke of him in that most ambiguous phrase, as “a distinguished educator”. He was indeed a sound scholar, well equipped for the task with languages, patience, a broad educa tional background in his youth, and an extraordinarily methodical approach to work. His study of Newman's University was a major work of lasting value, the fruit of four happy years of research in Champion Hall, Oxford, then in its palmiest days.

When Fr Tim Corcoran vacated the Chair of Education in UCD, Fergal's wide educational experience and high reputation made him a likely candidate for the position, It is said that Chancellor Eamonn De Valera, at the meeting to appoint the new professor, asked: “Is Father McGrath not interested?” But Fergal had withdrawn his interest rather than contest the chair with Tim Corcoran's assistant, W Williams, who he felt had prior claim on it, and whose late application was unexpected. Instead he spent a year as visiting professor in Fordham University, his only transatlantic excursion, but one that he remembered with warmth and happiness.

Fergal was a conservative and cautious man to the end. In 1987 he wrote to a friend marvelling at her word-processor, but preferring still to tap away at a typewriter he had bought secondhand in 1933. He did not enjoy the major changes in the Church and in Irish Jesuits in the last two decades. The disruption of traditions and the loss of voca tions disturbed him - he was quite upset when the present writer grew a beard in the early seventies, and correspondingly relieved when the growth was shaved off. But he never became angry, bitter or vociferous. He reflected beautifully his master Newman's definition of a gentleman; one who never willingly inflicts pain. He was trusted to the end by all his brethren, whom he served to his ninety-third year as keeper of the Province archives. May one conjecture that what he must particularly enjoy in the Beatific Vision is “Deus Immutabilis”, in whom there is no shadow of change, who wipes all tears from our eyes, and has lifted all burdens and anxieties off Fergal's broad back.


McGuire, Daniel J, 1918-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1719
  • Person
  • 07 May 1918-27 June 1997

Born: 07 May 1918, Murroe, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1937, St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained: 18 June 1950
Final vows: 15 August 1954
Died: 27 June 1997, Philadelphia PA, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

by 1952 came to Rathfarnham (HIB) making Tertianship

McKillop, Kenneth, 1890-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/292
  • Person
  • 06 February 1890-27 October 1945

Born: 06 February 1890, Goulburn, Sydney, Australia
Entered: 20 June 1915, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1932
Died: 27 October 1945, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Older brother of Colin - RIP 1964 and Cousin of Donald - RIP - 1925 and Saint Mary

by 1927 at St Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie NY, USA (MARNEB) making Tertianship
by 1928 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Kenneth McKillop, brother of Colin, studied and practised law as a solicitor after leaving Riverview, before he entered the Society at Tullabeg, Ireland, 20 June 1915. After his juniorate and philosophy at Milltown Park, 1918-21, regency was at Clongowes and theology at Milltown Park, 1922-26. Tertianship followed at Poughkeepsie, St Andrew of Hudson, 1926-27. He spent 1927-29 studying moral theology in Rome.
Returning to Australia in 1929, he professed moral theology at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, until 1941, after which he went to Riverview as spiritual father to the students. In 1937 he attended the Australian Plenary Council as canonist to the archbishop of Melbourne and was also secretary of one of the sub-committees.
He was a very big, genial, kind man - slightly scrupulous. He had ill health for some years, maybe breaking down from the strain on a rather sensitive person who had professed moral theology for so long. He felt the responsibility deeply He took very seriously whatever task his superiors asked him to undertake. He was most patient during his years of ill health.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Solicitor before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Obituary :

Fr. Kenneth McKillop (1890-1915-1945)

Fr. Kenneth McKillop made friends so easily and clove to them so loyally that nearly everyone who knew him here will feel his death as a personal bereavement.
He was born in Goulbourn, New South Wales, on 6th December, 1890. He was educated at Riverview and, after his qualification as a solicitor, practised for two years in Sydney. When he decided to join the Society, in order to gain a little travel experience he asked and obtained leave to come to Tullabeg for his noviceship. When he arrived here on 6th June, 1916, we novices were somewhat awe-stricken at the sight of this massively built postulant with the strong and intelligent features and the prestige of membership of one of the learned professions. But awe vanished when he became a novice and talked to us and we found only modesty, gentleness, and a love of fun. One story he told us illustrates the latter. He had been walking on a country road in Spain (I think) when he saw some men drinking around a table outside an inn. They had only one bottle with a thin spout to it, and each one in turn tilted it above his head without touching the spout and directed a stream of wine into his mouth. After a moment's pause Mr. McKillop took his place at the table and presently
had the bottle in his hands. But so unpractised was he that he split the wine all over his face and retired amid howls of laughter, theirs and his own. One needed to know him some time before one realised that his character was fully as strong and intelligent as his features declared. Often in conversation or public disputation his slight air of diffidence would cause one to overlook the acuteness of what he was saying. Later still one realised the deep earnestness of his spiritual life.

After his noviceship he spent one year at Rhetoric, and then went to Milltown Park for philosophy. Then he spent a year at Clongoves, where he proved, as anyone would expect, to be an outstanding success with boys. I remember him once at Greystones, at the request of two worshipping Clongowes youngsters, giving them an exhibition of his wonderful powers of swimming and diving. He returned to Milltown for theology and was ordained there in 1924 by Dr. Mulhern. Bishop of Dromore. He did his tertianship at Poughkeepsie, U.S.A. During it he was chosen with three other fathers to give an important mission at the Church of the Nativity of Our Lady in Philadelphia We heard (but not from him) that the mission was a great success. After his tertianship he went to the Gregorian University for a biennium in Moral Theology and Canon Law. There he won honour for this province just before his friend, our present Fr. Provincial, followed him to increase it. On his return to Australia he became Professor of Moral Theology and Canon Law at the Regional Seminary, Werribee, near Melbourne. After occupying this chair for eleven years the incurable heart trouble that caused his death made itself evident in him. He was then sent to his old school, Riverview, as spiritual father to the boys, where he spent three years before the end came. The end of his life was the crown of a great achievement. He had several distinguished relatives. His brother, Fr. Colin McKillop, is the Province Procurator in Australia. He was a close relative of the late Fr. Donald McKillop, S.J., a former superior of the Daly River Mission to the aborigines, and of the latter's sister, the far-famed Mother Mary McKillop, Foundress of the Sisters of St. Joseph, an Australian congregation that has done notable work for the Church. Fr. T. Walsh delivered the oration at the graveside of Fr. McKillop. A few days after Fr. McKillop's death his brother Archie, a doctor, died suddenly after an operation. He had been in good health and was present at Fr. Ken's funeral.

McNamara, Timothy, 1817-1887, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1732
  • Person
  • 01 February 1817-08 September 1887

Born: 01 February 1817, Butlerstown, County Waterford
Entered: 06 September 1857, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 15 August 1868
Died: 08 September 1887, Montréal, Quebec, Canada - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Part of the Xavier College, New York City, NY, USA community at the time of death

McQuaid, Patrick, 1827-1885, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1734
  • Person
  • 17 March 1827-09 October 1885

Born: 17 March 1827, Glaslough, County Monaghan
Entered: 06 June 1854, Sault-au-Récollet, Montréal, Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1865
Professed: 15 August 1875
Died: 09 October 1885, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Part of the Boston College, Boston MA, USA, community at the time of death

Brother of John McQuaid (MARNEB) - RIP 1904

Morahan, Michael J, 1914-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/527
  • Person
  • 18 November 1914-03 November 1992

Born: 18 November 1914, Shantalla, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 17 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 19 March 1946, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeed, Hong Kong
Died 03 November 1992, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, County Mayo

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

by 1975 at Palmer City AK, USA (ORE) working
by 1988 at Greenlawn, Long Island NY, USA (NEB) working
by 1979 at Monterey Park CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: The flies of Ireland
Only one Irish Provincial has had a genus of flies called after him. In 1937 Fr Larry Kieran welcomed Fr Hermann Schmitz, a German Jesuit, to Ireland, and he stayed here for about four years, teaching in Tullabeg and doing prodigious research on Irish Phoridae, or flies. He increased the known list of Irish Phoridae by more than 100 species, and immortalised Fr Larry by calling a genus after him: Kierania grata. Frs Leo Morahan and Paddy O’Kelly were similarly honoured, Leo with a genus: Morahanian pellinta, and Paddy with a species, Okellyi. Hermann served Irish entomologists by scientifically rearranging and updating the specimens of Phoridae in our National Museum. He died in Germany exactly fifty years ago.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 74 : Autumn 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995


Fr Michael Morahan (1914-1992)

18th Nov. 1914; Born, Shantalla, Galway.
Early education: Patrician Brothers and St. Mary's College, Galway,
17th Sept. 1932: Entered the Society at Emo
1934 - 1937: Rathfarnham Castle, studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - studied Philosophy
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park - Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1945 - 1946: St. Ignatius, Galway, Sodality work
1946 - 1961: Hong Kong
1946 - 1947 : Regional Seminary, teaching Scripture
1947 - 1948 : Studying Chinese
1948 - 1950 : Social Work
1950 - 1951 ; Regional Seminary, Minister
1951 - 1957: Prefect/Spiritual guide, Wah Yan College
1957 - 1961 : Social Service Officer, Hong Kong Police
1961 - 1973: College of Industrial Relations - Chaplain at Kevin St. Technical College.
1973 - 1975: Alaska - Parish work
1975 - 1978: New York - St. Francis of Assisi Church
1978 - 1992: Parish work at Monterey Park, California. Also part-time Chaplain at Knock,
Died in Knock 3rd Nov. 1992:

After 60 years in the Society of Jesus, Fr. Michael Morahan died suddenly on November 3rd, 1992. The end came unexpectedly in his beloved Knock, where he collapsed in mid-moming, and after being brought to Castlebar hospital, he died from a burst aortic aneurysm at 5.30 that afternoon. He was attended at the end by his close friend Fr. Dave Fitzgibbon from Knock who related that his last few words were to ask for his Jesuit crucifix which he held in his hands as he died. My he rest in peace.

Fr. Michael was bom near Barna pier on 18th November 1914 and he related how as a youngster he set out one evening on the sea in a washtub to row to America. Luckily he was rescued at that stage and he did not reach his goal until much later. The family soon moved to Shantalla, Galway, and Michael attended school at the Patrician Brothers primary school and later at St Mary's College secondary school. During this time, he served Mass at St. Ignatius' church, and in 1932 he joined the Jesuits at Emo, Co. Laois.

Michael studied Arts at UCD, Philosophy at Tullabeg and then would normally have gone to regency in one of the schools. However, it was 1940 and his wish to go to Hong Kong could not be granted because of the war. He went straight to Theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained in July 1943. After his tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, he was sent to Galway in 1945 to do sodality work. In 1946 he finally arrived in Hong Kong aboard an RAF plane and went to the regional seminary where he taught scripture for a year.

The years in the seminary awoke in Michael a great desire to foster vocations and throughout his life he asked and encouraged many young men to join the society and the secular priesthood. He left many letters and cards from priests across the world who were grateful to him for this encouragement, and so his own world-wide mission is still being carried on.

In 1947, Michael took a full year to study Cantonese which he learned well, and this was to be extremely important in his future work. He did a lot of social work in the fishing village of Aberdeen in Hong Kong where a huge number of people lived on the water. He was involved in organising the people as a community, getting new fire and safety regulations into practice on the boats, starting the first primary school for the children, saving the local cemetery from being moved to the mainland, getting the first football field for the community, and I'm sure many other occurrences. He became known as the “King” or the “Mayor” of Aberdeen and was very warmly welcomed back much later even when he had been gone from Hong Kong for 20 years.

Michael's father had been an RIC sergeant, and it was probably arising from this that Michael's great interest in the police and their work arose. In Hong Kong, the rank and file police spoke little English which was the language of the officers. As the seminary was near to Michael, he began to visit and gradually to work with the rank and file police. These men frequently lived in atrocious conditions and there was great fear that many would be open to bribes and gifts from the communists in exchange for spying and working for them. Michael worked hard for them, even to the extent of taking out a trader's license, which he gave to a police widow when she was unable to get one for herself. Later, in 1957, at the request of the Police Commissioner, Michael was appointed Social Service Officer for the Hong Kong Police. He was so well remembered for his great work and his personality that a FAX arrived after his death bearing condolences from the present Commissioner of Police in Hong Kong.

Michael also linked up with the police when he was in New York from 1975-78, and he was a chaplain to the Los Angeles police during the last few years, giving a number of retreats and days of recollection.

In Hong Kong, Michael also served as minister in the Regional Seminary and as prefect and spiritual guide in Wah Yan College in Kowloon. Here he produced a number of plays and Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and organised teacher training seminars for a number of years. He left many friends in Hong Kong and from all accounts had a very fruitful ministry indeed.

Due to a very bad ulcer on his ankle which refused to heal and which he had until he died, Michael came back to Ireland in 1961 and for twelve years worked as chaplain in Kevin Street College of Technology. During this time, he lived at the College of Industrial Relations, and he used to claim that he kept his notes in Chinese so that they would be absolutely confidential! He also gave many retreats and tridua around Ireland.

In 1973, the wanderlust came again and he headed off to Alaska to serve as pastor for two years in the parish of Tanana at the junction of the Tanana and Yukon rivers. He used to speak of the tremendous cold (minus 60 Celsius) in the winter and the difficulty of travelling to his other church which was a hundred miles away. He appeared on skis, on motor-sleds, on dog-sleds, and in aeroplanes. He gathered the children and adults who had not been confirmed or received their First Holy Communion and had them write to invite the bishop to perform the ceremonies.

In the twenty-four hour darkness of winter, he wrote of the dan ger of cabin-fever, and with a group of others, he founded a Shakespearian Society where they read and discussed a play each week. Again in Alaska he left many friends and invites to return.

From Alaska, he moved to a parish in New York for three years and in 1978 he began his twofold apostolate in Los Angeles and Knock. Each January, he flew to Los Angeles (sometimes with a month in England or New York) to the parish of St Thomas Aquinas where he worked in the church and particularly with the Chinese community. He also taught religion in grade school and took great joy in the children and the letters and prayers they would write for him. He returned to Ireland each July and would work at the Shrine in Knock from August to December 8th.

Michael was a very cheerful and outgoing man who loved meet ing people. He made friends in his work and on his travels, on buses and planes, in trains and by giving lifts in his car. He often wrote in thanksgiving for the tremendous reception he used to get from his many friends. And he kept contact with a great number of them, particularly with a number of priests and seminarians. He had friends in many places particularly on Mweenish Island near Cama in Connemara. He kept up his Irish and his Cantonese andyou never knew which language or poem he would come out with next. For he loved poetry and the natural beauty of the world. His photographs and his letters were full of the wonder of the marvel lous sights he had seen throughout the world and he chuckled when he told of having a genus of insect named after him. A Jesuit biologist, Fr. H. Schmitz S.J. from Germany discovered this minute bug, which looks like a household flea and is only a few millimetres long, in the mountains of the Belgian Congo and named it “to honour my earlier assistant Fr. M. Morahan of Hong Kong”. The genus is of the sub-family Metopininae and is called “Morahania palliata”

And for all his travel and his work in the latter part of his life which was outside the traditional institutions of the Society he was very committed to his Jesuit vocation and his Jesuit brothers. He was very conscious of being sent on his mission by the provincial and loved to retum periodically to his Jesuit community. An operation last January and the death in February of his last brother John knocked a lot out of him, but still he delighted in his work and was looking forward to returning once more to Los Angeles in 1993.

But he was proudest of all of the work going on in Knock and of the great friendship and welcome he received there from the cler gy. He felt the work was hard but tremendously worthwhile and I think that if he was to choose where he would die it would proba bly have been in Knock. He will be missed a lot by the people there and by his family and community in Galway. But people will mourn for him throughout the world recognising in him a man of goodness and a man of God..

Ár Dheis De go raibh a anam!


Moylan, John, 1938-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/750
  • Person
  • 01 March 1938-26 November 2012

Born: 01 March 1938, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1969, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 September 1985, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 26 November 2012, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at Chantilly, France (GAL S) studying
by 1971 at Auriesville, NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1972 at St Gregory NY, USA (NEB) studying
by 1996 at Berkeley, CA, USA (CAL) studying

Moylan, William, 1822-1891, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1778
  • Person
  • 24 June 1822-14 January 1891

Born: 24 June 1822, County Armagh
Entered: 14 November 1851, Montréal, Québec, Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 14 January 1891, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Murphy, Henry, 1831-1870, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1797
  • Person
  • 24 November 1831-05 October 1870

Born: 24 November 1831, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Entered: 19 May 1855, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1866
Died: 05 October 1870, Brooklyn, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

1870 Tertianship at Drongen, Belgium

Murtha, Roger, 1831-1855, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1810
  • Person
  • 01 July 1831-18 February 1855

Born 01 July 1831, County Cavan
Entered 26 August 1852, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Died 18 February 1855, Sault-au-Récollet, Montréal, Québec, Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)

Nash, Michael, 1825-1895, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1816
  • Person
  • 29 September 1825-06 September 1895

Born: 29 September 1825, Whitechurch, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 April 1844, St Mary’s, KS, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 18 August 1859, Paderborn, Germany
Professed: 15 August 1865
Died: 06 September 1895, St Joseph's Troy, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

O'Connor, Jeremiah, 1841-1891, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2362
  • Person
  • 10 April 1841-27 February 1891

Born: 10 April 1841, Dublin, Ireland
Entered: 30 July 1860, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Ordained: 1874
Final Vows: 15 August 1880
Died: 27 February 1891, St Ignatius and St Laurence O’Toole, Park Avenue, New York NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

1890-1891 Superior and Parish Priest St Ignatius and St Laurence O'Toole, Park Avenue, New York NY, USA

O'Connor, William, 1825-1870, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1886
  • Person
  • 01 July 1825-25 December 1870

Born: 01 July 1825, Gurtnahoe, County Tipperary
Entered: 23 June 1855, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 15 August 1865
Died: 25 December 1870, Fordham College , NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

Ranahan, Patrick, 1825-1903, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2027
  • Person
  • 15 March 1825-12 August 1903

Born: 15 March 1825, County Monaghan
Entered: 11 February 1857, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 15 August 1868
Died: 12 August 1903, St Andrew on Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Ronayne, Maurice, 1828-1903, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2067
  • Person
  • 02 April 1828-04 March 1903

Born: 02 April 1828, The Dower House, Ashford, County Wicklow
Entered: 12 September 1853, Amiens France - Franciae province (FRA)
Ordained: 1859
Final vows: 15 August 1869
Died: 04 March 1903, Fordham College, NY, USA - Marylandiae Ne-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Shanahan, Edmund, 1836-1902, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2107
  • Person
  • 03 April 1836-25 May 1902

Born: 03 April 1836, Moyne, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1857, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Final vows: 02 February 1868
Died: 25 May 1902, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Part of the Georgetown College, Washington DC, USA community at the time of death

Shannon, David, 1831-1874, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2109
  • Person
  • 12 March 1831-16 July 1874

Born: 12 March 1831, Dromore, County Down (Ballykelly, County Derry)
Entered: 16 May 1856, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 16 July 1874, Fordham College, New York, NY, USA - Neo-Eboracensis-Canadensis Province (NEBCAN)

Shealy, Terence J, 1863-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2112
  • Person
  • 30 April 1863-05 September 1922

Born 30 April 1863, Kilbehenny, Mitchelstown, County Cork
Entered: 04 September 1886, Frederick MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained 28 June 1898, Woodstock College, Maryland USA
Final vows: 15 August 1903
Died 05 September 1922, St Vincent’s Hospital, Brooklyn NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

part of the Kohlman Hall, New York NY, USA community at the time of death

by 1899 came to Milltown (HIB) studying

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1898

Our Past

Father Terence J Shealy SJ & Father Michael Mahony SJ

Rev T J Shealy SJ, and Rev M J Mahony SJ, were ordained at Woodstock, Md., on June 28th. Both were among the small band of pioneers who laid the first foundation of the Apostolic School in the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, and were afterwards in the first batch of Apostolic students sent forth from Mungret.

Born at the base of the grand old mountain, Galtee-more, near Mitchelstown, and brought up amid its scenes of wilde grandeur and beauty, Terence J Shealy entered the Apostolic School in Limerick on September 4th, 1880. When Mungret passed into the hands of the Society, he read there a very successful course in Arts, and graduated in 1885. During most of his time in Mungret he was employed in the responsible office of prefect of the seminarists and lay boys, and besides reading for his University examinations, he taught a class, for two or three hours a day during the last two years of his course. After getting his degree, he taught the Matriculation class for a year, and finally, in 1886, entered the noviceship of the New York province of the Society of Jesus.

On finishing his philosophical studies in Woodstock, he taught poetry in Fordham College, New York, and afterwards taught poetry and rhetoric in Holy Cross College, Worcester, Mass. It was in the latter college that Mr Shealy's rare gifts as a master became conspicuous. The literary taste which he imparted to his pupils and the magical influence which he exerted over them were alike remarkable.

We have before us copies of the “Acroama”, published in 1892, and of the “Eutropius”, published in the January of 1895, and newspaper accounts of the representation of the “Sibylla”. The Acroama was originally a class journal which Mr. Shealy, then professor in the Holy Cross College, Worcester, started in the autumn of 1892, to stimu late the literary ambition of his class. The beautiful volume before us is merely a souvenir edition, containing a short poetic extract from each contributor to the Acroama, with a portrait of each member of the class, accompanied by a racy epigram touching off some salient point in his character...

To Father Shealy belongs the credit of being the first master in the United States to attempt an original Greek play. His “Eutropius”, written in Greek, and constructed after the model of an Attic tragedy, created a sensation in the learned world of the States.

“Sibylla”, Father Shealy's next venture, is an original Latin play, in which the pagan King of Erin sends his chief bard to Rome to investigate the Sybil's prophecies about the Virgin and Child.

This play also was publicly represented bythe students of Father Shealy's class, and was highly praised at the time.

After the usual term of teaching, Mr. Sbealy went in 1895 to Woodstock, to enter upon his theological studies. There he was this year raised to the sacred dignity of the priesthood.

Father Shealy is now completing his course of theology at Milltown Park, Dublin.

Most heartily do we wish Father Shealy many a long year of holy work in the Society of his choice. May he ever remain an honour to his country and to his alma mater.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1906

Letters from Our Past

Father Terence J Shealy SJ

Father Shealy writes from New York :

How I should like to give you a long account of my experience in the St Louis Exhibition. I assure you it was inost valuable and most varied. I had to do with all the educational systems of the world, and with many of the educators. Well, I shall not begin description, for it would take a long article, and I cannot afford the time at present. I may say, however, that I never received so much honour and courtesy and deference in my life. I had to exchange views with and co-operate with a body of eminent scholars - mostly all Protestants and nearly half European - and they were most generous in their appreciation of my services. Not, indeed, because of any personal merit of mine, but rather because of the Society I represented

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1921

Letters from Our Past

Father Terence J Shealy SJ

Through the courtesy of Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ, we publish extracts from a letter sent him concerning the wonderful work being done by one of our most distinguished past students, Fr Terence J Shealy SJ.

Overbrook, Pa. USA, 1-12-20

I have read in the “Irish Messenger” the suggestionis from friends, and also of the zealous efforts of the late. Fr Wm Doyle SJ, towards. the establishment of retreats for the laity. To me it is a great pleasure to be able to say a word in favour of such retreats, For two years I have been present at the annual week-end retreats for laymen in the arch-diocese of Philadelphia, which are held at St Charles' Seminary. I have been edified beyond words by the grand spirit shown by the devoted lay men from all walks of life.

For several years the Rev T J Shealy, of Fordham University, NY, has been conducting retreats for laymen. at Staten Island. Some years ago a large house and plot of ground was purchased for this purpose, and to-day he has a regularly established retreat centre with a week-end retreat for at least fifty inen for nine months of the year. Each week Fr Shealy, although he is Dean of the School of Law and Sociology at Fordham, finds time to conduct a retreat from Friday evening till Monday morning. From Staten Island the good work has spread, and from a tiny mustard seed it has grown to a big tree. In 1913 the late Mr J Ferrick, a prominent businessman of Philadelphia, proposed the holding of retreats in Archdiocese. With the approval of Archbishop Prendergast, and with the generous aid of Mgr Drumgoole, Rector of St Charles Seminary at Overbrook, the seminary was chosen as the place of retreat. Two retreats were held in 1913. About one hundred and fifty men made the retreats. Lawyers, doctors, 'school-teachers, politicians - in fact, men from every walk of life - made up, and still make up the list. This year Overbrook was taxed to its capacity when over five hundred men made their retreat under the guidance of Fr Shealy.

Two years ago the movement received a new impetus when the late Mr J Ferrick and Mr J Sullivan, now the President of the Retreats in Philadelphia, made a tour of the principal cities of the USA to make the movement better known. They met the Bishops and talked with them on the subject, and their response was very gratifying. To-day the result is seen when cities like Pittsburgh, Pa, Toledo, Ohio, and Albany, NY, have their own retreat houses where retreats are held throughout the entire year. We hope at no distant date that Philadelphia will also have its retreat home, provision for which has been made in the will of Mr Ferrick. Nor has Philadelphia confined its retreats to its own people. This year at Overbrook, we had men from remote Western cities, and one even from the far-off land of New Zealand, This gentleman, by the way, was a non-Catholic. Judging by what he said at its close, we feel satisfied that the right spirit is back of the movement. We have many non-Catholics at each retreat, and the result is shown in the many conversions, and even if there were not conversions at least an amount of bigotry is removed; Nor are our retreats confined to men of more mature years, we have boys of the age of sixteen making them.

Throughout our Archdiocese, too, in our boarding schools for young ladies, retreats for women are held each year during June, July, and August. In New York City there are also regularly established retreat houses for women; one such is the Cenacle of St John Francis Regis.

Every day we bave new proofs of the salutary effects among the laity. To the devoted sons of St Ignatius is due everlasting gratitude for the unselfish interest they have taken in the welfare of the people in the establishment of houses in which they can spend some time thinking over the one great truth of our holy Faith-save your immortal soul.

The above letter encloses a cutting which relates how Mr M Joyce of Oswego, NY, having made retreats at Staten Island, wished his friends to have the like advantage, Remembering the tale of Mahomet and the mountain, he resolved to bring the retreat to Oswego. The use of a hotel at Mexico Point, on Lake Ontario, being obtained, retreats were given in 1919 and 1920. The extract states that at the closing exercises the retreatants felt reflected in their souls something of the gorgeous beauty and the peace of God that surrounded them in the wilderness of Mexico Point.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1923


Father Terence J Shealy SJ

Last September one of the very earliest and certainly one of the most distinguished of the past pupils of the Apostolic School, Rev T J Shealy SJ, was called to his reward.

The writer of the present sketch has a very vivid recollection of Terence Shealy as a student at Mungret, just forty years ago. He was then a stalwart, athletic young fellow from the country, who immediately attracted attention by strongly-marked features, brilliant eyes and coal-black hair. He was very animated in conversation, while every feature showed expression and life. He was a man of strong convictions and none too tolerant of the views of others. Hence, although respected for his earnestness and transparent sincerity, and admired for his intellectual abilities and high ideals, he was never specially popular with his companions. Still he was acknowledged by all to be generous and unselfish, and was known to be a staunch and faithful friend. Even then he was a brilliant and forceful speaker with great persuasiveness. Altogether, young Shealy was one whose rugged strength of character, deep earnestness and brilliant parts marked him out as one fitted by nature to influence others, and make his mark in life: he did not squander his talents or allow them to lie idle.

A native of Carragane, Co. Tipperary, near Mitchelstown, T Shealy was one of the small band of pioneers that formed the first beginnings of the Apostolic School in the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, He came to Mungret with the others, when at the opening of the latter College, in 1882, the Apostolic School was transferred thither. He was afterwards, in 1886, one of the first batch of Apostolic students sent out from Mungret after the completion of their course.

T Shealy graduated in Arts in the NUI in 1885; but he was not one of the type who do brilliantly in written examinations. After getting his BA degree he taught for a year in the College. On leaving Mungret in 1886 he entered the Noviceship of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus. Already in the “Mungret Annual” a short sketch has been given of Fr Shealy's distinguished record as a teacher in Fordham College, NY, and afterwards in Holy Cross College, Worcester (Mass). These years were distinguished by the public presentation given by the students under the inspiration of Mr Shealy, at one time, of a Greek play called “Eutropius”, and later of a Latin play called “Sibylla”. After his ordination in 1897, Fr. Shealy spent a year at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he completed his Theological studies. Apparently one of the main reasons why his superiors accorded him the privilege of returning for a year to Ireland was to give him an opportunity of visting his aged mother, whom he revered and loved with an almost romantic affection. Some few months previously, on the occasion of his first Mass, Fr Shealy had written a very beautiful little poem voicing the sentiments of his mother away in Ireland and unable to see him offer the Holy Sacrifice, a privilege for which she had yearned for thirty years. This poem, which is entitled “From my Mother in Ireland for my First Mass”, was published in the American “Messenger” in 1898, and has been repeatedly reprinted in many Catholic papers in Ireland and America.

A few years after his return to America we find Fr Shealy, though still comparatively young, chosen as Educational Commissioner for the State of New York at the St Louis World Exposition. During those years, too, he be cane noted as a preacher of remarkable eloquence and power. When the Law School was commenced at the Fordham University, New York, Fr Shealy was appointed as its first Dean; and he filled the Chair of Professor of Jurisprudence for many years. The organisation of the school was due in large part to him.

Fr Shealy's great life-work, however, for which he was well know and esteemed through out the Catholic world of America, and for which his name will probably find a permanent place in the history of the Catholic Church there, was the establishment of the Spiritual Retreats for Laymen. This work he began in 1909, and the first Retreats were held at Fordham College during the summer vacations of that year. The work gained such approval from the Ecclesiastical authorities, and was so evidently aclapted to meet the needs of the time that its success was assured from the beginning. So great were the numbers of men wishing to follow the Exercises that a permanent house specially devoted to the purpose had to be requisitioned. During that year the retreats were held at Manresa Island, South Norwalk (Conn). In April, 1911, Fr Shealy was enabled by generous contributions from friends of the Retreat movement to purchase a small estate at Staten Island in the suburbs of New York City. Since that time these Retreats were given every year from April to December under Fr Shealy's direction. The house can accommodate only about sixty men at a time; but, as the retreats go on continously for nine months, more than two thousand men inake the spiritual exercises there in the course of the year.

From New York the retreat movement quickly spread to other centres in the United States. Where no buildings are yet set apart for that special purpose, colleges or diocesan seminaries are utilised during the summer vacations when the students are away; and there large numbers of men spend a few days in uninterruptect silence, prayer anal meditation, under the direction of the Fathers of the Society. At St Charles' Seminary, Overbrook (Pa), Fr Shealy limself for the past nine years gave every year two retreats, at each of which nearly two hundred retreatants made the Exercise. At other places, such as Malvern (Pa.), special houses have been built for the purpose.

It would be difficult to describe the love and enthusiastic affection which Fr Shealy inspired among the men who followed the retreats under his guidance; and it is impossible to estimate the far-reaching effects the retreats produce in the lives of the inen themselves, and the members of the whole civil community whom these mnen afterwards influence. Since Fr Shealy's death funds are being put together under the caption of the “Shealy Memorial Building Fund”, to erect at Staten Island, which has been the parent house of the American Retreat movement, larger and more commodious buildings at an estimated cost of about £40,000.

In connection with the retreats, a Laymen's League and a School for Social Studies have been founded in New York. These works, also, which are still flourishing, owe their existence and success in large part to Fr Shealy's energy.

Fr Shealy's health had been failing for some time, owing principally to the continual strain of his busy and crowded life. “Far better to wear out than to rust out”, he used to say; and he followed that principle in practice. · The end came rather rapidly, and his happy death occurred at St Vincent's Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, on September 5th, 1922, at the comparatively early age of 59 years. He had been Director of the Staten Island Retreat House for thirteen years and had finished the last retreat he conducted eight days before his death.

During these years some 386 retreats had been given there, most of which Fr Shealy himself directed. His unexpected death aroised quite an “enthusiasm” of sorrow and regret, especially among his numerous spiritual children of the Catholic laymen of New York, by whom he was loved and venerated in an extraordinary degree RIP

Sheerin, Thomas M, 1831-1909, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2120
  • Person
  • 14 January 1831-08 September 1909

Born: 14 January 1831, Ardstraw, Omagh, County Tyrone
Entered: 22 November 1847, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Ordained: 1860
Final vows: 02 February 1869
Died: 08 September 1909, St Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Younger brother of James Sheerin (MAR) - RIP 1854

Stack, Daniel J, 1884-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2144
  • Person
  • 07 September 1884-15 January 1959

Born: 07 September 1884, Dromcolliher, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 June 1917, Woodstock College, MD, USA
Final vows: 02 February 1921
Died: 15 January 1959, Loyola High School, Los Angeles, CA, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1904; TAUR to CAL : 1909; CAL to ORE

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 3 1959
Obituary :
Fr Daniel J Stack (1884-1959)

(From the Oregon- Jesuit, March 1959)

Rev. Daniel J. Stack, S.J. suffered a stroke at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, California, on 13th January, 1959 and died two days later of a cerebral haemorrhage.
Fr. Stack was widely known in the Northwest, where he served as assistant pastor at St. Leo's Parish, Tacoma, WA., 1930-2 and at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Missoula, MT., 1932-3, and where he was pastor both at St. Stanislaus, Lewiston, Idaho, 1933-6, and at St. Aloysius, Spokane, WA., 1936-40.
Fr. Stack was born at Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick, Ireland on 8th September, 1884. He attended Jesuit schools in Limerick and entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Ireland on 6th September, 1902. From there, he transferred to the Novitiate at St. Andrews-on-the-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to continue for the mission work on the Rocky Mountain Missions. He taught school at Spokane and Seattle, Wn., for a number of years and on 28th June, 1917, was ordained to the priesthood at Woodstock College MD. The ten years after his tertianship were spent in teaching at Seattle, Spokane and Santa Fe, California.
In 1943 Fr. Stack was assigned as a teacher at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, a position he filled until 1948, when he became an assistant at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Hollywood. Ill health in 1955 led to his return to Loyola High School, where he was assigned as spiritual father for the community and confessor for several neighbouring convents.
Fr. Stack has three sisters living in Ireland, Sr. M. Stanislaus, Sr. M. Aloysius and Sr. M. Celsus. A fourth sister was overtaken by death as she was about to enter the religious life. Three of his five brothers were priests and all are now deceased, the last, Fr. James Stack, C.Ss.R. having died in Ireland in 1958.
Fr. Daniel Stack was a member of that now dwindling band of pioneers from foreign shores who volunteered for apostolic labours on the old Rocky Mountain Missions. He and those hardy veterans of the past founded the missions, schools and parishes which have been handed on to the Society. We owe them a debt of great gratitude.

Ts'ai Chung-hsien, Francis Xavier, 1907-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2192
  • Person
  • 30 October 1907-01 June 1997

Born: 30 October 1907, Yokohama, Japan
Entered: 07 September 1927, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 30 May 1940
Final vows: 02 February 1943
Died: 01 June 1997, Bronx NY, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)

by 1950 came to Aberdeen, Hong Kong (HIB) working

Tuohy, David G, 1950-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/860
  • Person
  • 10 February 1950-31 January 2020

Born: 10 February 1950, Newcastle, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1967, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 27 June 1981, Galway Cathedral, Galway
Final Vows: 03 December 1994, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 31 January 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1981 at Fordham NY, USA (NYK) studying
by 1990 at St Joseph’s,Philadelphia PA, USA (MAR) teaching 1 semseter
by 1991 at Austin TX, USA (NOR) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

An authentic Jesuit academic
Gonzaga chapel was packed for the funeral Mass of David Tuohy SJ, which took place at 11 am on Monday 3 February 2020. David died peacefully, after a short illness, on the morning of Friday 31 January, just over a week before his 70th birthday. It was an occasion marked by hearty laughter, profound sadness, and deep prayer.
David’s family, fellow Jesuits and many friends were joined by members of the Church of Ireland community including Archbishop Michael Jackson and the Reverend Anne Lodge.
David had indicated some wishes for his funeral. He chose the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus as the gospel reading and his long-time Jesuit friend David Coghlan SJ as the main celebrant and homilist.
It was not the first time that David had asked his Jesuit friend to preach on the Emmaus gospel as David Coghlan explained. “In 1994 when he was taking his Final Vows as a Jesuit David asked me to preach on this gospel and what he wanted me to emphasise was how Jesus, by explaining what he was about, transformed the misguided vision of the two –“Our own hope had been”... In his work with educational leaders, he engaged with them very seriously on what their vision was, what their values were and how they would be actualized in their trust or school structures and educational processes.”
In his opening remarks of welcome, David Coghlan said that during the six months of his illness David spoke constantly in terms of an image from St Luke’s gospel, where the friends of a sick man climb on to a roof of a house and taking off the tiles, lower their friend, who is on a stretcher, down through the ceiling to place him in front of Jesus to be healed. “As David received cards, messages, and reports of love and prayers, he spoke of how he understood that those who were praying for him were holding the ropes and lowering him down to Jesus,” said David. “He was very moved by the prayers and support he was receiving from all over the world. Sometimes he’d apologise for being in bad form, especially when was feeling sick, and in my helplessness, I’d say that there was no need to apologise as I was merely holding the ropes.”
And anyone who spoke at both David’s removal and funeral, including the Jesuit Provincial Fr Leonard Moloney SJ, also attested to the fact that the prayers or presence of his fellow Jesuits, from at home or abroad, throughout his illness was a true source of comfort and support for David – in particular, his Jesuit contemporaries and the Leeson St community. Mary Rickard, Rachel O’Neill and all the staff of Cherryfield nursing home and St James’ hospital were also acknowledged for the wonderful care they gave him in his last months.
David Tuohy was a native of Galway and was schooled in Coláiste Iognáid SJ. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1967 at the age of 17 and was ordained in Galway in 1981. He did his primary degree in botany at UCD under Professor Johnny Moore SJ.
He became a teacher, the first of many careers, and taught in Coláiste Iognáid and Belvedere College. He completed his doctorate in NUI Galway in 1993 and took a post lecturing in UCD, before moving to NUI Galway in 2000. He resigned from that post several years later and became an educational consultant. According to David Coghlan in his homily », David’s time in these universities was foundational and shaped the work he would subsequently go on to do with teachers, school principals, educationalists, and doctoral students.
“His energy and output were enormous,” said David, referencing “the consultancy work with individual schools, boards of management, religious congregations, educational trusts, of which his pioneering work with Le Chéile stands out, research for the Dept of Education, work in Africa with the Loreto sisters, with the Church of Ireland, The Marino Institute, school of nursing... The list is extensive.”
At the end of the Mass, Leonard Moloney SJ also mentioned David’s expertise at board meetings where he as Provincial needed support when complex issues would arise. “David had to give me the odd kick under the table at some of those meetings,” he quipped.
David was also the author of numerous books, articles, and ground-breaking research and reports. His book on Denominational Education and Politics: Ireland in a European Context, published in 2013, was widely acclaimed. His work as an educationalist spanned the continents of Africa, Australia, America, and Europe. He was “an authentic Jesuit academic in the Jesuit intellectual tradition of education in his heart and in his practice,” according to David Coghlan, who added that the central theme of David’s whole apostolic enterprise was “values, leadership, and Catholic education.”
In later years, around 2011 David began working with the Church of Ireland on a number of substantial projects that have borne fruit in the form of key initiatives for giving vigour to Church life in Ireland. He developed a deep friendship with Archbishop Michael Jackson and the Reverend Dr. Anne Lodge. On 1 October 2017, he was made an ecumenical canon in the Church of Ireland.

David Coghlan in his homily told a story that underlined the importance of this ecumenical work for his friend David. “Last week in his dying days when he was telling me again what he wanted me to say at this Mass, and from an apparent sleeping state, he opened his eyes, stretched out his arm and grabbed me to remind me to be sure to mention his ecumenical work.”
In his address at the end of the Mass, Archbishop Michael Jackson certainly did not forget to do just that. In 2015 David was asked by Archbishop Jackson to take part in his Come&C project (“come and see”). This involved facilitating parishioners in Dublin and Glendalough who had taken part in a survey on mission, commissioned by the Archbishop. Over 80% of these parishioners had responded to the survey. They then came together to reflect on it and to plan for the future in terms of a commitment to discipleship in their local parishes, inspired by the gospel vision.
David subsequently co-authored Growing in the Image and Likeness of God, with Maria Feeny which grew out of this work. The book explored discipleship and the five ‘marks of mission’ within the Anglican communion.
Archbishop Michael Jackson spoke about this project in his address at the end of the funeral Mass. “We in the Church of Ireland dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough have so much for which to be thankful on this day of thanksgiving for the life of David Tuohy,” he said. “Because David transformed. He transformed our rather insufficient and inert understanding of our Anglican identity, in which we slumbered somewhat, by taking the five marks of mission of the Anglican communion and bedding them in our psyche and in our spirit.”
Noting that the power to simplify complex concepts was one of David’s key gifts he added, “Forevermore we in Dublin and Glendalough will remember the five marks of mission as the five ‘T’s, that came ready- made from the pen of Dr. Tuohy: Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform, Treasure. And so will the Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom he presented them!”
There was of course more to David than his impressive academic career, As David Coghlan pointed out, he had a wonderful, quirky sense of humour. He often accepted the offer of a gin and tonic by remarking, “I feel a bout of malaria coming on so I need the quinine!” He could turn his hand to anything, according to David, and that included cooking, writing biblical meditations, co-producing musicals, coaching rugby, rowing and show jumping. “And who remembers how he trained to be a soccer referee and was certified by the FAI and had the referees’ black outfit, whistle and notebook?”, David asked adding wisely, “As a player, I wouldn’t have dared give him any backchat!”
David’s entire life was underpinned by a deep connection to his family, his sister Ann, his brother Paul and all the many nieces and nephews around the world with whom he made contact. Paul pointed out in his address at the end of the service that David had probably married or baptised all of the family gathered for his funeral Mass.
Archbishop Michael Jackson finished his tribute to David by saying, “I will miss him terribly, and I have no doubt that many others will also,” a sentiment echoed in the closing words of David Coghlan’s homily. “When the pain and awfulness of today has transformed into the warm and lovely memory of someone beloved, then we may be hopeful, be appreciative of who David is for us and we may let into our hearts the transformative love that God offers us. But that may not happen easily today.”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Discipleship in ‘the great cathedral of creation’
David Tuohy SJ was the invited preacher at the ordination of four Church of Ireland Deacons, on Sunday 18 September, in Christ Church Cathedral. Archbishop Michael Jackson presided at the ordination of Deacons, Tom O’Brien (St Mary’s, Howth), Rebecca Guildea (Zion Parish, Rathgar), Stuart Moles (St. Patrick’s, Greystones) and Anne Lodge (Raheny Parish). David had conducted a two day retreat for the Deacons in September, in Manresa Jesuit Centre for Spirituality in Clontarf, Dublin, and is involved in ongoing accompaniment of participants in the Anglican Church’s Mission programme, Come and See.
In his homily, he said that the four ordinations challenged everyone present to reflect on their own call to discipleship and the journey it entails. “The first dimension of our journey is inwards, to the depth of our own being, to let God touch and transform our human weakness.” Referencing the first reading in the liturgy – the call of the prophet Isaiah – he continued, “Isaiah saw God in the glory of His heavenly kingdom. We see him in the great cathedral of His creation. Our familiarity with the word of scripture directs us to the drama of God’s presence in our world and our lives. Our discipleship seeks the wisdom that goes beyond the superficial to the drama of God loving and caring for us. We let God open up a sense of wonder that captures our minds and our hearts.”
We are never alone on the journey of discipleship and sharing with a community of believers, all with their differing gifts, marks the second dimension of discipleship, he continued. But this part of the journey can be fraught, with individualism and eogism threatening the harmony of unity. “Our world is characterised by different tyrannies,” he said. “The tyranny of majorities who demand conformity from others in order to preserve their own privilege; the tyranny of minorities who demand special treatment in a way that undermines others. We are flooded with media images that portray irreconcilable differences between communities and individuals caught up in a selfish pursuit of excess privilege,” he said. This being the case, true discipleship, following the example of Christ, “requires a language that speaks of hope, reconciliation, mutual understanding and community in a new and creative way.”
For the follower of Jesus, this language also entails action. And the action, as modelled by Jesus, is of compassionate service. As well as looking after the needs of the poor, the sick, the homeless, the prisoner, David said the disciple of Jesus is also called to challenge a life strangling and pervasive fundamentalism.”To-day, there is a need to engage with the fundamentalism of science, and to let the religious imagination engage with new discoveries in cosmology, medicine and the social sciences, where it will find a creative and loving God. There is the need to engage with the fundamentalism that values the human person only as an economic unit of production, giving rise to the exclusion of certain groups from sharing in a society’s wealth. There is a political fundamentalism that seeks to exclude all aspects of religion from public debate. The call of service is to open people’s minds to the way some philosophies and structures can oppress, impoverish and dis-empower both those who hold these philosophies and their victims, as well as reaching out and ministering to those victims.”
He concluded by acknowledging how the ordination of the four deacons was an encouragement to all present. “As they take on a new role of journeying with and serving the community, we are invited to pray for them. Above all, we are invited to give thanks for their generous response to God, and to give glory to the God who continues to call all of us to work with Him in building up his Kingdom.”
All four Deacons had taken part in the the Mission programme that David is involved in leading. Participants reflect on the Anglican Church’s five marks of Mission and seeing how they apply concretely today in the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. Those marks are: Tell (Preach), Teach (Nurture friends and newcomers), Tend (Look after with loving care), Transform (the unjust structures), and Treasure (enable and look after God’s creation).
David says that as a Jesuit, being part of this journey with people exploring Mission in the Church of Ireland, has given him a new insight into different ways of organising Church and engaging with Church. “And I’ve found the female clergy and female lay participation with Synods very affirming of the faith of all the people and their lives in a Christian community.”

A Galway farewell
The Month’s Mind Mass for David Tuohy SJ took place in St Ignatius Church, Sea Road Galway (see photo) on Sunday 29 February 2020. David was a native of Galway who lectured for a time in Galway University, and a large crowd, including some of his fellow Jesuits from Dublin, came to mark his passing on Friday 31 January this year. After Mass, all were invited to the Jesuit Community house for tea and sandwiches.
The celebrant and homilist was Martin Curry SJ, also from Galway and a life-long friend of David’s. He told the congregation that it was precisely in the neighbourhood in which they were gathered, right beside Coláiste Iognáid, that David realised he was called to be a Jesuit, and that he was ordained in that very church in June 1981.”Whatever thoughts David had when he joined about what he might do as a Jesuit,” said Fr Martin, “he certainly never imagined the fantastic achievements that he completed in his 53 years.”
Read the full homily below.
The Trumpet Shall Sound
It is very fitting that the Gospel today for Saturday of 1st week in Lent is the call of St Matthew by Jesus. Because it was in this neighbourhood of Coláiste Iognáid and Galway that David recognised his own call to become a Jesuit. He joined the novitiate in 1967, just after school. And he was in fact ordained in this Church by Bishop Eamonn Casey in June 1981.
Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans and as such was an enemy of the Jewish people of his time. David was an ordinary student at the Jes and took part in lots of activities in the school. He spent a lot of his life working in schools and became an expert in the management of schools and educational theory.
We remember his great work with very many groups in the country and in Africa, his time lecturing both in UCD and in NUIG, but perhaps one of his greatest achievements was the setting up of the Le Chéile Trust, where he brought together 11 congregations at first, later 14, and formed them into a legal trust to preserve their ethos and identity as the number of religious diminished to near zero.
The patience and expertise needed to bring all those groups together was enormous. Recently David was trying to set up a similar trust for the Jesuit schools in Ireland, but he was taken from us before that could be finished.
Whatever thoughts David had when he joined about what he might do as a Jesuit, he certainly never imagined the fantastic achievements that he completed in his 53 years. I won’t repeat his history – that was very adequately done by Fr. Coghlan at the funeral. I would like to remember the motivation underlying David’s work throughout his life.
He was really in touch with God, particularly through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. He didn’t talk about it too much, but hearing him expound on his ideas and reflecting on his more recent work with the Church of Ireland you could begin to see the lively faith-base from which he worked. God was with him, and while we sometimes didn’t recognise it, we knew that David’s thinking and energy was coming from a really deep source, which was God’s friendship and grace. This was very eloquently recognised by Archbishop Michael Jackson in his words at David’s funeral.
David’s incredible understanding of difficult concepts, whether in education, spirituality, legal issues, financial issues, or lots of other things, left most of his fellow Jesuits swimming in his wake. Sometimes he couldn’t understand why we were so slow, and it brought out a bit of his impatience, but that didn’t interfere with his friendship and his ability to continue to reach out.
He faced the prognosis of terminal cancer with great courage. They were words nobody wants to hear said to themselves by the consultant, but he didn’t avoid them. He looked the issues squarely in the face – although that was very very difficult – and he decided how to manage the time he had left. A few days before he died, I was with him and we talked about his funeral and the arrangements he wanted.
I was reminded of an incident that happened here in the Jesuit community about March 1975. It was Saturday afternoon, and there was nothing major happening, as we were both in our rooms next door to each other on the top floor of the house. I had found a trumpet in Fr. Sean Mallin’s room and I spent about an hour trying to get a sound out of it. Suddenly, I got a clear blast from it, and there was a huge crash from next door! My door flew open and an amazed David stood there, having just fallen out of bed, laughingly asking what the hell was going on. I reminded him of that just before he died, and we said that now another trumpet was blowing – calling him to the next life. He smiled even through the pain of it all, but he didn’t try to avoid what was going to happen.
It is a month now since his funeral, and the immediate sadness has diminished somewhat. David spent his life telling people about God and his goodness, and the promises he made to each of us – that we would reach eternal happiness with him when the time came. David’s time had come, and we now pray that the happiness promised him will be fulfilled.
We often hear people say that when they die, they hope that they leave the world a better place than it was when they came into it. We can certainly say that about David – we are all better for having known and having shared life with him. And so are thousands of other people as well.
We pray that his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed will rest in the peace and joy of Christ forever.
Martin Curry SJ

Exploring Jesuit Humanism
Conscience, competence, compassion and commitment, not solely as conventionally understood, are the key characteristics of a Jesuit humanism for today, according to Jesuit educationalist Dr David Tuohy SJ.
David Tuohy was the keynote speaker at an education conference in St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin, on Thursday 22 January. It was organised by the Irish Jesuit 1814-2014 Restoration Committee as part of their ongoing activities marking the 200th anniversary of the Jesuit Restoration.
The event was chaired by historian and broadcaster Dr John Bowman. David’s talk, entitled ‘Learning to Love the World as God Loves It: Jesuit Humanism In Education’, was responded to by Dr Anne Lodge of the Church of Ireland College of Education, and Mr Gerard Foley, Headmaster of Belvedere College SJ. All of their talks feature in this podcast.
In his lecture and Powerpoint presentation, David explored the Renaissance foundations of Jesuit humanism, the impact of the enlightenment, suppression and restoration of the Jesuits, and the present modern-day challenges to this Jesuit humanism which underpins Jesuit education.
The lecture unfolded the richness and depth of a Jesuit humanism rooted in the Ignatian vision of each human being as created by God and invited to co-create the world with him. This entails an inward developing of the gifts and talents of the individual (the student) as well as an outward orientation of sharing the fruits of the flourishing talents in the love and service of God and others.
This vision has ramifications for the role of the teacher which cannot simply be that of imparting knowledge to a vacant vessel. Rather and analogous to a good Spiritual Director, the teacher shares knowledge and fosters the assimilation of that knowledge in each individual as food for their intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth and development. The teacher is a ‘compass’ for rather than a ‘dispenser to’ the student.
The historical vicissitudes of half a millennium exact their own pressures on any such vision. David explored this impact on the evolution of the vision right up to the present age. Geo-political alliances today are based almost entirely on economic considerations and the experience of authority has been well and truly superseded by the individual’s authority of experience. These challenges notwithstanding, Jesuit schools and colleges are thriving today. The Jesuit humanism based on Ignatius vision of God’s love for the world and its peoples is as necessary today as at any other time in its challenging history.
In her response Dr Anne Lodge, of the Church of Ireland College of Education, highlighted the importance of the way a Jesuit education really fostered the talents, worth and uniqueness of every single student. In terms of a philosophy of education this student-centred approach which values the goodness of each person was not always the dominant vision. She said that when the Jesuits were counter-cultural they were at their best and she noted that today’s culture often put a skewed emphasis on measurable outcomes for students simply summed up as points in the leaving. The counter cultural vision of Jesuit education was therefore much needed.
Gerard Foley, Headmaster of Belvedere College SJ, outlined some of the ways Belvedere students exemplified in practice the theory being talked about. He spoke about the students’ engagement with homeless people in the annual sleepout. He cited the story of one young student who was teaching English to a migrant as part of a joint project with the Jesuit Refugee Service. After a number of weeks he said he’d changed his whole perspective on economic migrants. Mr Foley told the story of the teacher who was sowing a roof-garden on top of the college. “Without ever mentioning God, he’s been teaching the students about the care of the earth, the power of the seed, the beauty of creation”.
In conclusion he referred to Jim Culliton SJ, a former deputy headmaster of Belvedere who used to stand in the corridor and say to the parents he met, “Celebrate the child you have, not the child you hoped to have”.

David Tuohy, SJ

David Gerard Tuohy was born in Dublin on 10th February 1950 to Matt Tuohy and Peg Power. He grew up in Galway and attended Colaiste Iognaid. He entered the Jesuits novitiate in Emo on 7th September 1967, completed a degree in botany in UCD in 1973 while living in Rathfarnham Castles (the province juniorate), studied philosophy in the Milltown Institute (1973-5), taught in Colaiste Iognaid (1975-77), where he attained the H. Dip. He studied theology in the Milltown Institute (1977-81). He was ordained deacon in the Jesuit church in Galway by the Bishop Eamon Casey, Bishop of Galway on 24th February 1980 and ordained priest, also by Bishop Casey, on 27th June 1981, after which he studied for aeducational administration in Fordham University New York. Over the next few years he taught in Belvedere College (1982-85), worked as a parish chaplain in a parish in Tallaght (1985), taught in Colaiste Iognaid (1985-90), lectured in NUI Galway (UCG as it was then, 1990) and in Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia (1990-1, 1991-2). In between the two periods in Philadelphia, he did his tertianship in Austin, Texas in 1991 under the direction of Joseph Tetlow. He pronounced his final vows on 3rd December 1994 at Loyola, Eglinton Road. Dublin. While a lecturer in UCG (1992-1993) he completed his doctorate in education in 1993 and took a post in UCD (1993-2000), from which he moved to NUI Galway in 2000. He resigned from that post in 2006 and became an educational consultant. During his tenure in UCD he lived in the Milltown Park community (1993-95), and with the foundation of the Dominic Collins community at 129 Morehampton Road in 1995 he was resident there until 2000. After his resignation from NUI Galway he returned to the Dominic Collins community (2006-2017). He spent a sabbatical (2010-11) in Boston College and in Jerusalem. With the immanent suppression of the Dominic Collins community he lived in SFX, Gardiner St (2017-9) and moved to St Ignatius, Leeson St in 2019. He was diagnosed with cancer in August 2019 and after a troubled five months died on 31st January 2020.

While his tenure in the Education Depts of UCD and NUI Galway were relatively short, they were the base from where he shaped generations of teachers and school principals, facilitated school staff days and supervised research dissertations. He taught courses in educational administration and led summer schools for school principals. His book, School Leadership and Strategic Planning (ASTI) went through two editions, the first edition being launched by the then Minister for Education in 1997.

It was after his retirement from his university post to become an educational consultant that he flourished. His energy and output were enormous. He engaged in consultancy work with individual schools, boards of management, religious congregations and educational trusts. His outstanding achievement in this regard was his pioneering work with Le Cheile. A group of small religious congregations each of which had one or two schools wished to form a common trust for their schools. Over several years David facilitated these congregations’ leadership to create a common vision and he led them through the multiple legal complexities of creating the trust as a company, framing a constitution, property ownership, decision making structures and so on. He became company secretary and organised board meetings and AGMs. To date Le Cheile comprises the schools of fifteen religious congregations and fifty-three schools.

He was a prolific writer. His books include, The Inner World of Teaching (Falmer Press, 1999, later translated into Polish), Youth 2K: Threat or promise to a religious culture? (2000, Marino Institute of Education), Leading Life to the Full: Scriptural Reflections on Leadership in Catholic Schools (Veritas, 2005), and his masterpiece, Denominational Education and Politics: Ireland in a European Context, published in 2013. He authored numerous commissioned research reports across a wide range of educational topics for: The Department of Education, The Loreto Education Office, The Marino Institute, The Church of Ireland Education Office, The Loreto sisters in Uganda, Alexandra College. The topics of these reports covered: new programmes at second level, of non-curricular school policies in a school development planning context, the applied Leaving Cert, teacher development, boarding schools, parental values, secondment and the provision of education for refugees in northern Uganda,. He published articles in educational journals: Studies, Irish Educational Studies, The Furrow, Educational Management and Administration and Oideas, and book chapters and delivered papers at conferences, in Ireland, UK, Finland and Australia. He reviewed books on education created podcasts.

He was hoping that if his illness was prolonged and not too debilitating, he would return to a book project on art and education on which he had been working. Before his illness he was working on the constitutions of an Irish Jesuit educational trust where he was bringing his knowledge of the philosophy of Jesuit education, framed as Jesuit humanism, and his experience of establishing educational trusts together.

His work with the Church of Ireland Education Office extended into work with the united dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and a friendship with Archbishop Michael Jackson. He led a project on developing discipleship in the diocese and co-authored its outcome, Come & C (Messenger Publications, 2019). He was appointed an ecumenical canon of Christchurch Cathedral and preached at the diaconate ordinations in Christchurch. Archbishop Jackson spoke warmly about David’s work in the archdiocese at David’s funeral and co-presided (with the provincial) at the prayers of commendation.

What of David Tuohy the Jesuit and man?
David was an authentic Jesuit academic in the Jesuit intellectual tradition of education in his heart and in his practice. Jesuit documents describe Jesuit scholars as apostles and that the intellectual life is apostolic even when it appears to be secular. The previous Superior General, Fr Nicolas, emphasised the need for Jesuits in the intellectual apostolate to be men of humility, abnegation and patience, free from desires for personal advancement and of competitive rivalry. He referred specifically to the ‘ministry of research’, which he said that Jesuits who teach in higher education should also be involved. He stated that ‘no field can be excluded a priori from the ministry of research: philosophy and theology, but also the sciences dealing with life, human and social science, physics etc’. It was out of this vision and his internalisation of the Jesuit educational tradition that David lived and worked. The central theme of his whole apostolic enterprise was values, leadership and Catholic education.

Underpinning all his work was an incredibly rapacious mind. His ability in maths and statistics was awesome. In his work with the Le Cheile Trust he grasped the legal complexities and was well able to take on the legal profession. Indeed he could challenge any professional. Woe betide a sloppy builder or workman or even a solicitor!

He could never resist a puzzle - sudoku, crossword, jigsaw. He could turn his hand to anything. He organised and supervised building construction, administered the practical running of communities, kept community accounts, mastered legal and insurance complexities and wrote biblical meditations. He co-produced musicals, coached rugby and rowing. He seemed to understand the complexities of every sport – rugby, soccer, baseball, cricket, gridiron. As a junior he trained to be a soccer referee and was certified by FAI and had the referees’ black outfit, whistle and notebook. He was an accomplished cook and he organised the menus and cooked the dinners at Jesuit gatherings.

As a person he was full of love, fun, making and keeping friends easily. He was deeply attached to his immediate and extended family across the world – being in regular contact, visiting them and officiating at their baptisms, weddings and funeralsm,. He researched his family’s history and constructed complex family trees. He enjoyed his pleasures: visiting art exhibitions, fishing with his cousin, playing golf, attending symphony concerts and Agatha Christie murder plays.

David’s journey was not always easy. He could get trapped easily into a cycle of anger and pessimism. Some working relationships were fractious, especially with some superiors. He could be very intolerant of what he perceived as incompetence, narrow thinking and people’s inability to understand structures and roles. Some special projects and work did not develop as he had hoped due to this.

The final few months of his life were very difficult as he fluctuated between periods living in the community with reasonable health and being in hospital with infections and in Cherryfield Lodge (the province nursing home). Over his dying few months since his cancer was diagnosed, he spoke constantly in terms of an image from St Luke’s gospel (5: 17-26). In this gospel story, a group of a sick man’s friends wanted Jesus to heal him, but because the house in which Jesus was speaking was so crowded, they climbed onto the roof, took off the tiles and lowered their friend down through the ceiling in front of Jesus. As David received cards, messages and reports of love and prayers for him, he spoke of how he understood that those who were praying for him were holding the ropes and lowering him down to Jesus. He was graced with a strong faith as his treatment stopped and he grew weaker. He died in Cherryfield Lodge 31st January 2020 a week before his 70th birthday.

David Coghlan SJ

Veale, Joseph, 1921-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/584
  • Person
  • 07 March 1921-11 October 2002

Born: 07 March 1921, Drumcondra, Dublin / Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 01 December 1977, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 11 October 2002, St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, County Dublin

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

by 1963 at Fordham NY, USA (NEB) studying

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Veale, Joseph (‘Joe’)
by Bobby McDonagh

Veale, Joseph (‘Joe’) (1921–2002), Jesuit priest and teacher, was born 7 March 1921 in Dublin, younger of two children and only son of William J. Veale, civil servant, and Mary Veale (née Mullholland), both of Dublin. After primary education at St Patrick's national school, Drumcondra, Dublin, and secondary education at CBS Synge St., Dublin, he entered the Society of Jesus 7 September 1938. He studied arts at UCD (1940–43), philosophy at Tullabeg (1943–6), and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin (1949–53), where he was ordained as a Jesuit priest on 31 July 1952, spending his tertianship at Rathfarnham (1953–4).

Veale taught at Belvedere College, Dublin (1946–9), and at Gonzaga College, Dublin (1954–72). As a teacher of English and religion, he was central to the conception and development of Gonzaga College as a school with exceptional academic standards, in which the emphasis, in practice as well as theory, was on education and expression rather than on examinations. He was the founder and inspiration of the school debating society, An Comhdháil. While working as a teacher, Joe Veale wrote several influential articles about education which were published in Studies, as well as a number of articles in the Irish Monthly including a number on literary criticism. His article ‘Men speechless’ (Studies, xlvi (autumn 1957)), which set out his philosophy and vision of education, was widely influential. During his years as a teacher he also made an important contribution to the recasting of the national English curriculum for secondary schools. However, his principal contribution as a teacher, and probably his most enduring significance, was where he would have wished it to be – in the classroom itself. A teacher of exceptional insight, ability, and dedication, he inspired in a generation of pupils a capacity for independent thought. His rare understanding of language, and his skill in using it, equipped a great many of his pupils with a greater ability than they could otherwise have had to analyse the spoken and written word, to evaluate ideas, and to express their thoughts effectively.

From 1972 to 2002 he was based at Milltown Park, where his activities included study, research, lecturing, and spiritual direction. He became an authority on the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius, which he directed in Ireland, Britain, and the United States. He lectured on spirituality at the Milltown Institute, gave retreats and conferences in many countries, and was widely regarded as an exceptional spiritual director. From 1976 to 1985, and again from 1986 to 1988, he was director of Jesuits in their tertianship. He spent extensive periods every year at Boston College in the United States.

While based at Milltown Park, he wrote extensively about Ignatian spirituality, including Saint Ignatius speaks about ‘Ignatian prayer’ (St Louis, 1996; published as part of Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits); contributions to three books on the subject; and numerous articles in The Way, Studies, Milltown Studies, Religious Life Review, and The Furrow. In an article (Catholic Herald, 24 Jan. 2003) Anthony Symondson wrote that Joe Veale ‘had a profound understanding of the exercises, went below the surface, and extracted the spirituality from a specific historical interpretation. He emancipated it from an encrusted tradition buried in the nineteenth century and allowed St Ignatius to re-emerge. He strongly resisted the tyranny of ideology.’

Joe Veale also wrote several articles for Interfuse, including ‘Eros’ (no. 102, summer/autumn 1999), and the penetrating and timely article ‘Meditations on abuse . . . ’ (Doctrine and Life (May/June 2000)). He died at Loughlinstown hospital, Co. Dublin, 11 October 2002. Joe Veale's integrity and commitment to seeking the truth in all its paradox and complexity obliged him to have an open mind and encouraged a similar aspiration in very many of those who knew him.

Sunday Independent, 10 Nov. 2002; information from Fr Noel Barber, SJ, rector of Milltown Park, Dublin; personal knowledge

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003


Fr Joseph (Joe) Veale (1921-2002)

7th March 1921: Born in Dublin
Early education in St. Patrick's, Drumcondra. and CBS Synge Street, Dublin
7th Sept. 1938: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham -Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1946 - 1949: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency)
1949 - 1953: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
31" July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1962: Gonzaga College - Teacher
1962 - 1963: Sabbatical year
1963 - 1972: Gonzaga - Teacher
1972 - 2002: Milltown Park
1972 - 1973: Assistant Director of Retreat House
1973 - 1976: Study / Research on Spiritual Exercises; Lecturer at Milltown Institute
1976 - 1985: Study / Research on Spiritual Exercises; giving Spiritual Exercises; Lecturer at Milltown; Tertian Instructor
1985 - 1986: Sabbatical - work in US and Africa
1986 - 1988: Tertianship Director
1988 - 2002: Writer; Visiting Lecturer in Milltown; Directed Spiritual Exercises in Ireland, Britain and the USA
11th October 2002: Died at St. Columcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin

Whilst visiting a friend in Brittas, Co. Wicklow on 27th August, Fr. Joe developed severe abdominal pains. He was brought to hospital, where he underwent an operation to remove adhesions.

He made slow progress after the operation. A week before his death, he suffered a stroke from which he did not recover.

Two reflections on the life of Joe have already appeared in Interfuse (Christmas 2002 and Easter 2003). The following is the homily preached at his Funeral Mass by Noel Barber.

Joe was born in Dublin 81 years ago. He was the younger of two children with a sister who predeceased him. He was brought up in Drumcondra and then in Ranelagh - prophetically, just outside the back gate of what was to become Gonzaga College. He had a lovely memory of his parents: of never seeming to have wanted anything for themselves, of never being elsewhere.

The family were devout, daily Mass-goers and attended the Lenten Sermons in this Church every year. He went to the Christian Brothers' School, Synge Street. He was happy there, performed well, made life long friends, and left with a high regard for the Brothers and for their teaching.

He entered the Jesuit novitiate in September 1938. When he spoke of his years as a Jesuit student, it was clear that they were not particularly happy. He was an introvert, shy, extremely sensitive and did not relish the rough and tumble of community life. He was never the easiest person to live or work with in the community. Be that as it may, throughout his life he obtained his social sustenance not from unselected colleagues but from his chosen friends. Academically, he was excellent. While some may have been superior in intellectual sharpness, in high seriousness he was without equal.

He taught in Belvedere from 1946 to 1949 and was a magnificent teacher. Even eleven year olds sensed something special about him. Those of us whom he then taught can now see that he was not just a teacher doing his task competently and diligently. It was important for him that we should write well, enjoy poetry, grapple with the demands of English grammar: for him these were not mere tasks for 11 year olds, they were the foundations of a humane life. The impact he made on us in those distant days is shown by the number that still kept contact with him. We all carry something of him with us. I still am unable to use the word “very” without a tremor of guilt and without hearing him say, “Very does not strengthen, it weakens the proposition”.

After his Ordination, he was sent to Gonzaga in 1954 where he taught for 18 years. The school was then considered by many, but not by Gonzaga itself, as Belvedere on the south side. It was young, small, perhaps, a little precious. It was a pioneering venture in Irish education, being relatively free from the exam system. As teacher of English and Religion, he honed his pedagogical skills, sharpened his vision and developed his philosophy of education. His commitment to excellence in thought and expression, his insistence on the highest standards, and the breadth and depth of his intellectual interests made him more than a memorable teacher; he was a profound educator. In those years he won many life-long admirers and friends. In the interest of honesty it must be said that his style alienated a few, and he left a casualty or two on the sideline. I had the good fortune to teach under him for three years. I deeply appreciate what he taught me, and have been ever grateful for his encouragement.

He founded and was in charge of the Gonzaga debating Society. The standard of debating was remarkably high. Participation in the society was an education in itself. On one occasion, I attended a debate against Belvedere on the right to join or not to join a trade union. The Gonzaga team was superb; the Belvedere team, unfortunately, did not approach the debate with Veale-like seriousness and was poor. However from the house there rose a young man who made a witty, irreverent and debunking speech that dragged the debate down to a Belvederian level and swung it in Belvedere's favour. Next morning I asked the great man himself what he thought of the debate. A pained look conveyed that my question was inappropriate. Then he said that the brat who had ruined the debate was going to become a Jesuit. The brat, Bruce Bradley, is concelebrating this Mass.

He exercised a national influence on the teaching of English and was largely responsible for reshaping the English curriculum in Secondary Schools. His widely influential article in Studies in 1957, Men Speechless was a masterpiece in which he made the moral case for Rhetoric and distilled his philosophy and vision of education.

In 1972 he left teaching to study Spirituality, seemingly trading agnostic-leaning adolescents for devout religious. He applied his ability, commitment and seriousness to spirituality as he applied them to his teaching. He became an authority on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Igantius, on the Constitutions of the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. He was a highly successful director of Jesuits in their Tertianship, gave conferences and retreats all over the world, was a treasured spiritual director and all the while producing learned articles, all beautifully written. He was a master wordsmith. On Friday, a French review landed on my desk containing a translation of one of his articles.

As a director and counsellor he so cultivated his talent for listening that, it became, with his teaching, his defining characteristic. Many found that listening enormously helpful. I received this letter from a Religious on the day of his death. “Fr. Veale's contribution to the Apostolate of the Spiritual Exercises within my own congregation was immense. His many articles and presentations to audiences around the world bear witness to his wisdom and insight. I am more than grateful than I can state for his friendship, perception, wisdom and encouragement over many years. His interest in the development of my own work in spirituality and theology was a great support. His belief in the work of the Spirit of God within was always life giving". I could quote similar tributes for a long time.

At 81 he was robust and active in writing and directing. I can think of at least two significant recent articles. His room bears witness to work in progress. A small thing, he was making out a new address book. The care that he took with this book was an indication of how much his friends meant to him; I always knew that he meant much to them but in the last weeks the manifestation of this has been overwhelming. The sense of loss expressed by so many underlines the depth of his friendships.

Six weeks ago he walked the strand at Brittas Bay on a beautiful morning with a friend from his Belvedere days, Gerry Donnelly. There is a photo of him taken about an hour before he collapsed. He looks splendid, so young for his years, no sign of the approaching attack. After his operation, there were times when a recovery seemed possible. On several occasions when I visited him, he assured me that he was completely at peace and asked for my blessing. Then came the stroke that swept him away in two days but not without a furious struggle. This was most distressing to observe on that final evening, but how much more distressing it must have been to experience. As so often, the end of life was not splendid, not at all consoling to contemplate. There was the enfeebled body, the confused agitation. These are brute facts but we have to place these facts in the light of Christ's death and resurrection. We believe that when Christ was weakest, most helpless and humiliated, he was at the point of entry into glory. So with Joe Veale; he has moved from his broken state into that place of peace and happiness that was prepared for him from before the foundation of the world. May the good Lord, whom he served so well and at some cost, bless him abundantly.

Interfuse No 114 : Summer 2002


Ross Geoghegan

Ross Geoghegan is Professor of Mathematics at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Author's Note:
I knew Joe Veale and had regular contact with him from the time I was eleven, when he first walked into my classroom in 1954, until shortly before his death in 2002. I also knew his parents slightly as neighbours. In the latter years he would visit my home in Upstate New York - each year for a long weekend. The 2002 visit was to have begun on October 18. I wrote these impressions on the day he died, 11 October 2002. A much shorter version appeared as an appreciation in the Irish Times on November 4, 2002.

In a sense Joe Veale only arrived in the world at the age of 33. Son of a quiet civil servant and a strong mother, he had finished school at Synge Street, and had entered the Jesuits at seventeen. His degree at UCD was in English - he was a contemporary of Benedict Kiely - but as a clerical student in those days his contact with such young literati must have been limited. He taught for three years in the junior school at Belvedere and followed the usual Jesuit studies.

Joe's first assignment was to teach English and Religious Knowledge at Gonzaga, then a new school where the oldest boys were fourteen (a class was being added each year at the bottom as these "big boys" grew up.) Gonzaga was being touted as an experiment in education. It was to follow a modern version of the old Jesuit ratio studiorum. The school would emphasize Latin and Greek over science, and the boys would take the UCD matriculation in their Fifth Year, thus freeing them for more liberal studies in their Sixth. They would not sit for the Leaving Certificate. These were the general ideas of its very little in the way of an educational philosophy behind the plan. It fell largely to him to fill the vacuum.

In his view the main purpose of education was to make people think and ask questions, even dangerous questions, about why things are as they are, how things might be made better, who benefits from the present set-up and who does not. And along with this was the need to be articulate, so that education was also about learning to speak well and write well. Gonzaga was a relatively expensive school and many of the boys came from well-to-do families. While he did not usually challenge the culture and complacency of upper middle class Dublin explicitly, his encouragement of formal and informal debate challenged the boys to think about their own privileged place in society, He was in fact trying to instil broader ambitions than successful entry into professional clubby Dublin life. He wanted these boys to make a difference, to become leaders who would create a better and more just society. Thus he was seen by critics as a slightly subversive teacher. Not all parents liked what he was doing, especially when a few impressionable boys took his ideas overboard. And indeed not all boys liked it. But in that period Joe acquired a cadre of friends among the boys who would remain his friends for life.

Joe always claimed that he saw little difference between English class and Religious Knowledge class. The latter was interpreted broadly: besides the entirely orthodox official curriculum, he introduced sociology and philosophy at a level which was a challenge to teenagers. Since there were no textbooks for this he wrote his own on densely typed foolscap handouts. In English, he was stern, sometimes almost harsh, in his criticisms of the boys' school essays. He supplemented the official curriculum with authors he admired. In the late fifties he was introducing the older boys to Chaucer, Hopkins and T S Eliot, had them read Cardinal Newman on education, V S Pritchett and F R Leavis on style. At the onset of the Lemass period he believed that economics was THE subject to study. J. period he believed that economics was THE subject to study, J. K. Galbraith's The Affluent Society, had just come out and Joe was recommending it to any boys with the stamina to read it.

This had lasting effect in certain cases.

In those formative years Joe made only one foray into public life. An article entitled "Men Speechless" which he published in Studies in 1957 was influential in educational circles. Later he became a leading figure in the Association of English Teachers and he played a role in the reform of the Department of Education's English curriculum, but that was near the end of his teaching career.

By the early seventies he had burned out, and wanted to leave teaching. The system of university entrance was being changed and there would be no room for the liberal Sixth Year at Gonzaga any more. He moved to Milltown Park and found a new kind of work within the Jesuits as a serious student, eventually a scholar, of Ignatian spirituality. His admiration for what was called the caritas discreta of Ignatius was boundless. I remember him using that phrase in a conversation in 1964; it was clear his serious study of Ignatius had already begun by then. Within the specialized world of people - mostly clerics – willing and able to follow the Spiritual Exercises in their full thirty-day form Joe became a famous director. His articles on Ignatian thought were widely read in those circles, and he was in demand for direction, retreat-giving and panel participation in Britain, Africa and North America. For the rest of his life he was abroad for about half of each year. Indeed, in his last ten years Boston College became his second home and the place where he seemed happiest.

Many of those whose spiritual lives he directed were nuns, and he developed an acute sympathy, even anger, for the way these women had been treated by the Church. Eventually, this anger extended to the treatment of male religious as well. In the awful scandals of child-abusing priests Joe saw one silver lining: he hoped for the collapse of what he called the "Cardinal Cullen Church" (though he did not wish the collapse to be confined to Ireland). He longed for a different kind of Church - communities of faith rooted in the gospels, caring and alive, respectful of all. He wrote a passionate article in Doctrine and Life two years ago about what the experience of religious life was often like: bleak and loveless. He felt this might explain things which could not be excused, but he blamed the hierarchical, narrow-minded and philistine culture of the Church's leadership, both in Ireland and worldwide, for creating this religious hell. He wrote about “private pain ... loneliness ... isolation ... the desert in the heart ... self-hatred ... rage ... having no say in the disposition of one's own life ... the longing for human contact ... touch ... the ache for tenderness and gentleness”. It puzzled him that this article was received in near total silence - even by most of his fellow Jesuits.

At the core of Joe's later thinking was the importance of reflecting on one's own experience. To a layman this seems obvious but in a different time Joe had to find his way there. He often said that the spiritual training he received as a young man was focused on dogma and method; drawing lessons from one's own experience was considered spiritually dangerous and inadmissible in a man of prayer.

Joe's Catholicism appears to have been wholly centered on Christ and the Mass. Whatever his private prayer life may have been, I cannot remember his ever admitting to any "devotion" - not to a saint, not to the Virgin Mary. (His admiration for Ignatius was not a devotion in that pious sense.) Indeed, as Joe got older he became interested in meditation and spirituality, wherever they were to be found, outside as well as inside Christianity. He held Islam in high regard, especially admiring its public prayer. At a conference in America on the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditation he argued the (unpopular?) view that the gulf between the West and the East was such that “we do not know whether what they are doing and what we are doing are the same or different”. But to Joe the fundamental divide in the world was between those who pray and those who do not. He gleefully described meeting an African Moslem at a party in New Delhi who somehow recognized Joe as another member of that tiny minority who pray - perhaps the only other one in the room.

In his later years Joe enjoyed the little luxuries of food and wine. He invented two cocktails - the Westminster Cathedral and the Westminster Abbey, the second a watered down version of the first. He once told this to Cardinal Hume who appeared either bemused or not amused. For Joe this reaction added to the fun of telling the story.

Joe Veale died at 81, but he never seemed old to his friends. There was always a new idea, a new discovery, a new journey, a new experience. There was so much more he wanted to do.

This was not in the original article but, since I am writing for Joe's fellow Irish Jesuits, I have decided to include it. It's an extract from a letter I wrote to another of Joe's close friends - a contemporary of mine - in September 2000. I'll quote my letter precisely as I wrote it then:

An interesting and enjoyable weekend visit from Joe Veale. He's in great form and excellent health for a man who will be EIGHTY in early March. He was a little more forthcoming, though not much, about a memoir he is writing on what it was like to be a celibate cleric in Ireland :in the thirties and the forties and the fifties and the sixties and the sixties and the sixties and the seventies and the eighties and the nineties” (stet - that's exactly how he put it). Whether the world will get to see this memoir I don't know. He says he'll leave a copy with his Provincial when he dies. The P. can do with it what he likes. I think certain others may get a copy - perhaps one other... Last year I asked him if he would show it to me and was told most certainly not. This year he showed me a two-page extract. Everything with Joe is a bit breathless, and as you can imagine the extract wasn't as shocking as the billing had led me to expect. It was an interesting few paragraphs, not on celibacy itself but on the feeling of self-worthlessness that he experienced as a young man as a result of receiving no praise from his superiors for his efforts as a teacher. I'm talking about his Belvedere days. He admits he developed self-confidence during the years we were taught by him. His written description of what this was like is dignified but rather sad for what it said about the monstrously unloving male institutions of the time. It starts, “I have been asked what could be meant by ‘By the year 1954 when I was assigned to teach in Gonzaga College my feeling of unworth was almost complete’”.

Interfuse No 115 : Easter 2003


Anthony Symnondson

Anthony is a member of the British Province. He wrote this article originally for the Catholic Herald, January 24, 2003. It is reprinted here with permission.

Four of the happiest years of my life were spent in Dublin in 1991-5. I was sent to study at the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Ranelagh and lived in the Jesuit community. Ireland was an entirely new and captivating experience. I regarded myself as a foreigner living overseas in a strange, unfamiliar land and made a resolution never to discuss politics, or jump to simplistic conclusions, and see as much of Ireland as possible.

This is a solipsistic start to a tribute to a valued friend, but Fr Joseph Veale SJ, would have appreciated a context and he did much to make me feel welcome. We occupied rooms on the same corridor and although he was shy and retiring and was rarely to be found sparkling at a haustus, we quickly came to know each other. He was insecure in large groups and sometimes found community life trying. Joe's hallmarks were an attractive and unforced holiness, discipline, humanity, and wide culture. He embodied the spirit of St Ignatius at its best and most authentic.

Joe came from a generation that usually entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus through Jesuit schools. He was born in Dublin in 1921 and was educated at the Christian Brothers' School in Synge Street. He joined the Society at the age of seventeen in 1938. When he taught as a scholastic at Belvedere College his pupils noticed how much kinder and more approachable he was than some others who had come through the system. This was a characteristic that never left him resulted in vocations.

Joe was an inspired schoolmaster and spent eighteen years teaching at Gonzaga College on the South Side of Dublin. He believed that expression was more important than exams, and approached his pupils with high seriousness ameliorated by an interest in the individual. Fr Noel Barber, the Rector of Milltown, who had himself been taught by him at Belvedere, said at his funeral: “As a teacher of English and Religion, he honed his pedagogical skills, sharpened his vision, and developed his philosophy of education. His commitment to excellence in thought and expression, his insistence on the highest standards, , and the breadth and depth of his intellectual interests made him more than a memorable teacher; he was a profound educator”.

Joe believed that the demands of English grammar were not mere tasks but the foundation of a humane life. He contributed to the reform of the Irish Department of Education's English curriculum. I owe him an unexpected debt. Although I had written for years, I was never much good at it. I had composed a dense article for the Irish Arts Review and, after it had been censored by Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, he suggested I showed it to Joe. When it was returned it was transformed, covered in corrections in red ink with helpful notes in the margin, and two pages of analysis showing where I had gone wrong and how it could be improved. It was turned from a tedious slab of detail into prose. I don't know how the spell worked, but from then onwards I realised that I had been taught to write.

In 1972 Joe moved to research and writing in the Spiritual Exercises and the Jesuit Constitutions and he lectured in spirituality at the Milltown Institute. This was not merely an academic exercise but came to embody some of the most valuable work of his life. Joe was a realist and would not undertake tasks that were beyond his powers. If he discovered that he had done so, his professionalism led him to put them aside. He had a profound understanding of the Exercises, went below the surface, and extracted the spirituality from a specific historical interpretation. He emancipated it from an encrusted tradition buried in the nineteenth century and allowed St Ignatius to re-emerge. He strongly resisted the tyranny of ideology. It is planned to found a lectureship in spirituality in the Institute and publish two volumes of selected works in spirituality and culture. They deserve a wide circulation.

Joe was much sought as a friend, confessor, spiritual director and retreat conductor, and he gave the Exercises all over the world. He was an encourager and had the rare gift of investing others with a sense of personal value. But he had few illusions, and wrote and directed with unusual honesty. In a penetrating article published in Doctrine and Life at the height of the abuse scandals in the Irish Church, he controversially lifted the curtain on some diminishing characteristics of the religious life that he had perceived and experienced in his own life and that of others. “Can we imagine, just imagine, what private pain may have been rooted in a complex of loneliness, of isolation, of having no human being to relate to, the desert in the heart, the language of self-denial that twisted into self abasement, the self-hatred, the conviction of worthlessness, the unattended guilt, the rage at being done to, the having no say in the disposition of one's own life, the indignities of impersonal rule, the comfort of dependency that could suddenly reverse into angry rebellion, the living environment that was Spartan, the lack of amenity, the walls denuded of beauty, the 'spiritual' assumptions that dehumanised? And the longing for human contact for touch, for talk, for being listened to, the unavailability of spiritual direction, the ache for tenderness or gentleness?” Only a man open to God could make such admissions. Joe's holiness was forged by the cross. It gave him empathy with others similarly afflicted, and offered hope.

None of this struggle showed outwardly. He enjoyed the theatre and the cinema and could draw metaphysical themes from the unlikeliest sources. He was a delightful companion on expeditions. He looked forward to his annual visits to Boston College where he was eagerly expected. At the end of his life he discovered Africa and India, and was, hopefully, inspired by their vigorous Catholic life. Joe did not grow old. Christ shone through him, and his influence is lasting.

Ward, Eugene A, 1906-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/437
  • Person
  • 15 November 1906-20 January 1976

Born: 15 November 1906, Dublin
Entered: 15 November 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 20 January 1976, Our Lady of Victories, Floral Park, New York NY, USA

Unlce of Séamus - RIP 2011

Early education at O’Connell’s School, Dublin and completed 1st Arts in Commerce at UCD before entry

by 1933 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1973 at Hoylake MA, USA (NEN) working
by 1976 at Floral Park NY, USA (NEB) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Eugene Ward, S.J.

Who taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in the early 1930s, died recently in the U.S.A., aged 69. Even after four decades, some elderly gentlemen will remember the energy and personal interest with which he overwhelmed them long ago.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 13 February 1976

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Obituary :

Fr Eugene Ward (1906-1976)

Eugene Ward will always be remembered by his contemporaries and friends as a man of tremendous energy and of boundless zeal for souls. He was a born organiser. He was one of the group of scholastics who were the last to study Philosophy in Milltown Park before the transfer of the Philosophate to Tullabeg in 1930. During that year in Milltown Eugene was treasurer of the Ricci Mission Unit founded a year or so before by Frs C Daly, N Roche and Dick Harris. Needless to say the Unit proved a marvellous springboard for Eugene's organising activities. When our coming departure for Tullabeg was officially announced, the problem of transposing the Ricci Mission Unit and its effects arose. Eugene, of course, had a master plan. I, the secretary, was sent into Gardiner Street to see Fr Provincial to ask leave to go by car (a most unusual and unheard of thing in those days), in two stages, first to Roscrea monastery on Saturday; stop the night there and proceed to Tullabeg on Sunday, I remember well Fr Fahy’s beetling eyebrows moving up and down as he said to me, “You may go, but only on one condition - that you do not stop there”.
Then followed two happy years in the Bog (Tullabeg). Grim according to modern standards but happy, with our sketches on Feast Days and plays at Christmas; great villa days on Thursdays, out in the boats on the canal and rivers, to Pollagh, Three Rivers, Shannon Harbour and further.
At the conclusion of the Philosophical Course, Eugene put his zeal into practice and departed to our foreign mission in Hong Kong, where he had full outlet for his missionary spirit but for reasons of health (he was plagued all his life with stomach trouble though physically of great vigour), he never returned to the mission after his tertianship in Rathfarnham, For the rest of his hard-working life he was assigned to pastoral work, Retreats and Missions. His spell in Rathfarnham as Director of Retreats easily compared with that of Fr Barrett, the founder. He built up into a very effective organisation the Knights of Loyola, a lay group dedicated to help the Retreat House.
For five years he was operarius in St. Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, where he lived up to his reputation for work and drive as preacher, confessor and director of Sodalities. His talents as Retreat House Director were again called upon in Manresa Retreat House, where he refurbished the old stables and made them into rooms, and thereby increased the accommodation for Retreatants. After Manresa he spent the rest of his life on the Retreat Staff, with special attention to the Apostleship of Prayer, Our Lady's Sodality and the Blessed Sacrament Crusade, the latter which he worked up very effectively in colleges, schools and institutions throughout the country. During these years of ceaseless work, he had at various times serious illnesses sometimes involving surgery, but they never seemed to sap his energy, though in appearance he grew rather gaunt and emaciated. Finally, in 1971 he went to the United States to fill a need of the diocese of Springfield, Mass. He served at the Church of Our Lady of Victory, Long Island, and also teaching Philosophy at the College of Our Lady of the Elms, Holyoke, Mass. Before Christmas he grew mortally ill and died on January 20th, 1976. He was 50 years in the Society and 37 years a priest.
Eugene was first, last and foremost an apostolic priest who spent his life working for souls. It is no mere pious cliché to say of him that he passed to his Maker, a Jesuit full of merit leaving behind him in Ireland, England, Hong Kong and the States very very many who thank God for his help and ministrations.
“Euge, euge, serve bone et fidelis, intra in gaudium Domini tui”.

Ward, Séamus, 1935-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/799
  • Person
  • 31 May 1935-22 February 2011

Born: 31 May 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1975, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
Died: 22 February 2011, St Mary Star of the Sea, Key West, Florida, USA

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

Nephew of Eugene - RIP 1976

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1971 at USF San Francisco, USA (CAL) studying
by 1972 at St Michael’s Bronx NY, USA (NEB) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Seamus Ward RIP
Seamus Ward SJ passed away in Florida yesterday, 22 February. He was staying at St. Mary, Star of The Sea Church, Florida. Earlier, he had had a fall away from the house on 18th February and broken his femur. He was badly shaken and was hospitalised. The doctors advised that he was unlikely to recover. He needed a breathing machine. Fr Conall O’Cuinn, Rector of Milltown Park, and Eoghan, a nephew of Seamus, travelled to the USA on Tuesday 22nd and were met at the airport and taken straight to the hospital. They were waiting for them before removing the breathing machine. There was time for prayers and singing Ag Criost an Siol and Soul of My Saviour. Seamus died very quietly and peacefully about 15 minutes later. May he rest in Christ’s Peace!

Burying Seamie
There was something astonishing about the obsequies of Fr Seamus Ward, whose death was reported in the last AMDG Express. Within the Irish Province he had a low profile,
partly because of his wretched health. He had taught in Bolton Street DIT, and served the Jesuit Refugee Service in Africa. Fr Tom Layden wrote of his “pioneering spirit, inquiring mind and independence of outlook”: a kind man, with an attitude of welcome and encouragement for those around him. He worked out of weakness, a real pastoral asset with which people could identify. His two funerals, one in Florida where he served a parish, the other in Gonzaga chapel, were memorable events, crowded with his kith and kin and friends who loved him and grieved deeply. In death as in life Seamus could spring a surprise.

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


Fr Séamus (Seamie) Ward (1935-2011)

31st May 1935: Born in Dublin
Early education at Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1953: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1955: First Vows at Emo
1955 - 1958: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1958 - 1961: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1961 - 1964: Belvedere College - Teacher
1964 - 1968: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
10th July 1968: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1969 - 1970: Rathfarnham - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
1970 - 1972: Fordham, USA-Studied Sociology; Assisted in Holy Family Parish, NY
1972 - 1974: Rathfarnham - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
1974 - 1978: John Austin House - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
2nd February 1975: Final Vows
1978 - 1979: Campion House - Chaplain in DIT
1979 - 1982: Rathfarnham - Curate in Wicklow parish
1982 - 1985: Dolphin's Barn - Parish Curate
1985 - 1986: Clongowes - Sabbatical year
1986 - 1988: Clongowes - Assistant Librarian
1988 - 1989: Ethiopia - Jesuit Refugee Service
1989 - 1991: Belvedere College - Refugee work: Cairo, JRS Rome and Ethiopia
1991 - 1992: Working with refugees in Sierra Leone and Somalila
1992 - 1994: Working with refugees in Mali
1994 - 2005: Belvedere College - Pastoral care of refugees.
2005 - 2011: Milltown Park - Parish Chaplaincy, USA
22nd February 2011: Died in Florida USA

Fr Seamus was at St. Mary, Star of The Sea Church, Florida. He had a fall away from the house on 18th February and broke his femur. He was badly shaken and was hospitalised. The doctors advised that he was unlikely to recover. He needed a breathing machine. Fr Conall O Cuinn, Rector of Milltown Park, and a nephew of Seamus’, Eoghan, travelled to the USA on Tuesday 22nd and were met at the airport and taken straight to the hospital. They were waiting for them before removing the breathing machine. There was time for prayers and singing Ag Críost an Siol and Soul of My Saviour. Seamus died very quietly and peacefully about 15 minutes later. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Brendan Duddy and Noel Barber
Seamie Ward was one of 8 children. He had 5 brothers and 2 sisters who were at the heart of his life. He had a marvellous relationship with his siblings and with their children. I got to know him during our time in UCD. When I arrived in Rathfarnham, he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. The regime was tight and he found the rules of the house somewhat oppressive but he did not take them too seriously. We all felt that we did not have enough time for study; most of us accepted this state of affairs but he did not. He would put his umbrella over his bedside lamp and read through Troilus and Cressida into the night. Serious would have been his fate had he been caught. While others dutifully made off on bikes on special free days, he usually had other ideas, bringing me on one occasion to the Shelbourne Hotel where his father awaited us and ordered toast in a magnificent silver bowl and coffee laced with brandy.

In days when it was presumed that one had to avoid any reading of material that was not 'wholesome', he had the nerve to borrow Joyce's Ulysses in the ritual brown paper bag which the kind librarian passed surreptitiously under the counter, On more regular lines he introduced me to O'Casey's plays and to Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon. He took a good degree in English, enjoyed the literary delights that were on offer and ignored what was not to his taste. There was an iconoclastic side to him which to some looked as if he saw all authority as authoritarian. There was a shyness which he concealed with a brusqueness that could be disconcerting but he was true gold as a friend. Philosophy in Tullabeg followed where the isolated life did not entirely suit him and literature rather than philosophy captured his interest but doing what was necessary he got through without much effort albeit with little joy but used his time to indulge his literary tastes and to make many excursions, licit and illicit. I then went to Zambia and he to Belvedere where an observer noted that he showed remarkable administrative talents as an assistant to the Prefect of Studies, the formidable Jack Leonard, whose approval and fulsome praise he won. He proved to be a severe disciplinarian and an exacting task master who exercised his authority with a firm hand. However, he won the admiration of the pupils if not their lasting affection. It was noticeable that a number of middle aged men turned up to his funeral – his former pupils from his Belvedere days; they remembered him with something approaching reverence.

His years in Theology were not entirely happy and a contemporary of his considered that his attitude towards authority hardened and he ended up asking to have his ordination postponed to the end of his fourth year. Following his Tertianship in 1968-69 he spent one year in the Dublin Institute of Theology, Bolton Street, before going to Fordham where he took an MA in Sociology. He then returned to Bolton Street where he remained until 1979. I worked with him there and once again he was my mentor and guide. He introduced me to all sorts of people: porters, sweepers, electricians, cooks, his friends in Sean Mc Dermot Street where I became life-long friends with his friends. With these people he was Newman's Perfect Gentleman at ease with all and generous with his time and energy to a fault. He took particular care of foreign students helping them to find their feet. He then spent 3 years (1979-82) as a curate in Wicklow. There he was wonderful with the children, the old folks and with pre-marriage couples. For recreation he took to the joys of sailing, most often with his brother. He moved to Dolphin's Barn in 1982 where he had three not very happy years. He became somewhat restless and spent a few years in Clongowes during which he was unfocused and dispirited.

Then he opened up a new life for himself with the Jesuit Refugee Service from 1988 to 1994. He served in Cairo, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Mali. A person who knew him well in his JRS days commented on his remarkable ability to live in the most austere circumstances, and to accept the hardship and isolation of his assignments without complaint, his great love and devotion to the poor and the weak and the excessive physical demands he made on himself. On the other hand it was noted that for one of his ability and sterling work he lacked self-confidence to a surprising degree and showed that below the surface there could be strong anger which would occasionally flare.

In 1994 he returned to live in Belvedere as a sick man in the grip of severe emphysema but he found a modus vivendi. To avoid the wet, cold Irish winter he began to do supply parish work in California and then Florida where he flourished as he did in Wicklow years before. He devoted himself to the poor and the weak; he gave of his time and people took the chance to pour out their hearts to him and he listened, gave sound advice and became the wise old man.

In the midst of his successful apostolate, he had a fall, went into hospital where, because of his underlying condition, an operation was out of the question. Inevitably he took a bad turn and died quietly and peacefully. As a Jesuit, he was not prominent and was never well known in the Province but despite his difficult middle years and the poor health of his later years he achieved a great deal at the frontiers.

Welsh, John J, 1816-1885, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2237
  • Person
  • 31 December 1816-06 June 1885

Born: 31 December 1816, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 23 November 1849, St John’s College, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 11 February 1860
Died: 06 June 1885, St Vincent’s Hospital, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Part of the St Mary’s, Boston MA, USA community at the time of death

White, William, 1912-1988, Jesuit priest, teacher and counsellor

  • IE IJA J/14
  • Person
  • 02 December 1912-13 July 1988

Born: 02 December 1912, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 13 July 1988, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Christian Brothers School (Carrick-on-Suir) and Mungret College SJ

by 1972 at Manhassett NY, USA (NEB) studying marriage

Prefect of Studies at Gonzaga, College SJ, Dublin: 1950 -1965
Rector of Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin: 1965 - 1971
Director of Marriage Encounter: 1974 - 1982
Superior of Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin: 1985 - 1988

◆ Irish Province News

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

Fr William White (1912-1930-1988)
Fr William White, SJ, who died on July 13 1988, was a native of Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary. Born in 1912, he was educated by the Christian Brothers in the town of his birth and by the Jesuits at Mungret College, Limerick. Known as “Willie” to his family, he was “Bill” to the Jesuits, whom he joined in 1930. After the customary course of studies, interrupted by a teaching spell at Belvedere College, Dublin, he was ordained priest at Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1944.
When Fr Bill was sent back to Belvedere College in 1946, with responsibility for the preparatory school there, he expected to spend many years on the staff, so he was very surprised when the Provincial chose him as one of the four priests who, in 1949, founded Gonzaga College. Fr Bill was Prefect of Studies at Gonzaga from 1950 until 1965, when he became Rector of the college. He had to cope with all the demands of founding and building up a new school, but he never lost his sense of humour, nor his sense of fairness and never forgot any of the boys whom he had taught.
A new career began for him in 1971, when he went to Manhasset, New York, to study marriage counselling and he became one of the pioneers of Marriage Encounter in Ireland, being its director from 1974 until 1982. Apart from his formal involvement, Fr Bill was a counsellor and friend to many troubled people, always ready to give his whole attention to others and with a marvellously warm smile. Many couples, individuals (including many priests and religious) and whole families benefitted from his advice, his prayers and his friendship. His closeness to his own family was an important part of his life and he was an asset to every Jesuit house in which he lived.
Fr White's final assignment was as superior to the Jesuit Order's nursing unit at Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park, where he took up office in 1985. In recent months, it was obvious that his health was failing and he was in St Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park, for tests when he suffered a stroke, In the days between the stroke and his death, Fr Bill was serene, in no pain and with no worries. Even in the last hours of his life, his main concern was the well-being of others.
(Catholic Standard, 22nd July 1988).

In the quartet of Jesuits who founded Gonzaga, Fr Bill White was surprisingly identified as the Brawn, harnessing the energies of Blood (the O'Conor Don), Beauty (blond Fr John Murphy) and Brains (Fr Tim Hamilton, the only survivor). In Bill it was the brawn of the jockey rather than the ploughman. He walked like a horseman, out of his element with nothing between his legs, with a slightly limping shuffle. Though I never saw him on horseback, he seemed to belong there. He mounted his old bicycle like a hunter and rode it habitually between canter and gallop round the steeplechase of Dublin streets. He had a jockey's sense of the final furlong, hurling himself up the Gonzaga avenue just in time for dinner, or on other public occasions keeping the grandstand on its toes until the last moment. Two minutes before the house exams, which were treated with considerable solemnity, teachers, boys and desks would be in chaos until at the last moment Bill would slip into the hall, bundles of papers under his arms, restoring order just in time.
Though he founded the most urban and urbane of schools, Bill brought to it a countryman's sense of reality. He was sensitive to the moods of flesh and blood, a student of form, whether equine or human. In a school that had the reputation of being heady, he was the least heady of men. Do you remember his style of greeting? In a warm and characteristic way it was very physical. Moving towards you with a smile that was always slightly lop-sided, his hands never far from his body so that he came close enough to sense you, almost smell you, he would eye your skin, your colour, the lie of your muscles, the lift or droop of your mouth, so that when he asked “How are you?” it was with the concern of a friend who already surmised your world from the outside and was eager to know how you experienced it from the inside. At that moment, nobody else existed for him, and it is no wonder that so many found him unforgettable. The sense of loss at his funeral was tinged with intensity and often indignation. It seemed that hundreds were feeling: How could the Lord take a man who was so important to me - and to whom I was so important? At the ripe age of three score and fifteen, it still seemed grossly premature.
Bill is said to have been appalled at his appointment to Gonzaga in 1950. His old guru, Fr Rupert Coyle, had trained him to run the Junior School in Belvedere, and fingered him to succeed in the Senior School. He felt himself ill-equipped to launch, albeit in distinguished company, a pioneering educational experiment. He was reflective, wise and supportive, but not an originator - he left that to his talented staff, who always sensed his ungrudging support.
From the beginning he liked to teach the youngest class in the school, to get the measure of them from the start. While his staff gradually shaped a new style and curriculum, Bill was the one who knew the individual pupil, knew the dynamics of his family, sensed where his promise and his limits were. When I wrote school reports with him in the late sixties, I marvelled at his sense of how our words could impinge on the family, to build up or to destroy; how they would affect the depression of a mother, the driving ambition of a father, the vitality of a boy. The document finally put into the envelope was not just an objective assessment, but a communication to a family that was known, with a clear sense of how it would be used.
He ran a tight ship, and wielded the biffer in the fashion of the time, but with a fairness that is still remembered. Two small boys were heard discussing which teacher they liked best. “I like Fr White best” said Peter. “But he biffs you!” protested his friend. “Yes, but that's his duty” said young Sutherland, with that sense of order that makes him a formidable European Commissioner. In fact it was often the wayward who sensed most vividly the largeness of Bill's heart. More than once he stood under the great copper beech on the front lawn calling young X, a fugitive from the classroom, to come down out of that - and X has now joined the forces of law as a thriving solicitor.
To those who have, more will be given, says the Gospel, ironically, and Gonzaga's early pupils were manifestly blessed in the Dublin of their time. Fr White succeeded in saving these fortunate ones from an enervating sense of privilege. He challenged the clever to be more than clever: to be good. It is the task of every teacher, to build up children without pandering to narcissistic illusions, to confront their selfishness without destroying or depressing them, to forge an alliance with the good in them. This was a central theme in Bill's work with boys: to reach the truth in them, and not allow them to take their blessings for granted.
Every school principal knows the four am feeling that there is a serious chink in his armour, some point where the dyke can be breached and chaos break out. Bill's chink lay in the formalities of administration. He ran his files on what we called the deep litter system, then a popular method of poultry farming. Bill dropped letters, application forms, telephone messages, reports, departmental documents to form a carpet, sometimes ankle-deep, on the ample floor of his room. He was confident that he knew where things were, and we marvelled to find that this was sometimes true. But at a time when paper-work was multiplying, and applications for a place in the school were often made from the nursing-home as soon as the baby was identified as a boy, it was inevitable that the deep litter system sometimes let him down, with often painful consequences. In general he was ill at ease with the administrative aids that are now taken for granted: secretaries (he never had one), typewriters, cars, files, computers, VDUs, all the paraphernalia of yuppiedom, that shield one person from another. For him the only essential 20th century appliance (apart from the bicy cle--but his machine was more redolent of the nineteenth century) was the telephone.
If Fr White is ever portrayed or sculpted, it must be with a telephone to his ear, listening, murmuring, reassuring, cheering, and as the minutes lengthen saying: “Goodbye ... goodbye again” (even on one occasion “Goodbye at last”). It was an instrument he could not resist. His car was attuned to pick up a phone's ring from quite a distance, and he would move automatically towards it. It was a symbol of his accessibility that he laid himself open to. In the community we were jealous of his attention, and often saw him exhausted by his unwillingness to protect himself. One remembers him slipping through the Gonzaga hall, summoned to the first parlour by one lady, to the second parlour by another, and to the telephone by a waiting caller - all on the way to dinner, or on another occasion reaching the community house for six o'clock dinner after a working day that began at six a.m., to be grabbed by a parent with the pretty ruthless remark: “I knew I would catch you now; Father”. Others might fume, but not Bill, his face would light up to the visitor and he was listening again.
Not merely listening, but containing. He took bad news on board in a way that metabolised it, made it easier to bear. He could listen to tidings of hopelessness, depression, sickness, estrangement, and by sharing the bitterness, heal some of the pain, though he knew that no practical solution was in sight. When someone remarked on his gift of empathy, he traced it to his father, who he said was much better than he: old Mr White was known in Carrick-on-Suir as the man to contact in the aftermath of some particularly cruel tragedy, a man who would not shrink from the pain but could place himself alongside the sufferers, sharing their cross. As the years passed, Bill moved more and more into work (in Marriage Encounter, and with sick Jesuits in Cherryfield) that engaged his extraordinary gift of compassion.
A dear friend who revered Bill used to speak of the “other dimension” that he revealed: the BMW cruising down the avenue through the February rain gets a wave and smile from Bill White cycling up from a hospital visit or, as Rector, carrying across hot coffee to the staff room for the teachers break; among us as one who serves. His life would not make sense if God did not exist.
His faith sustained him to the end, with a manifestly aching body, but a face that became more radiant and transparent as his health declined. He had resolved as a young Jesuit that if ever there was an apparent conflict between the religious rule and the Gospel, he would opt for the Gospel, which for him was summed up in one or two truths: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” - his favourite phrase from Scripture; and the need to cast out fear, which he saw as the most damaging and pernicious effect of original sin.
We will not run out of administrators, or teachers, or priests. Fr Bill White was more; he was a healer, and the gap he left is still felt with pain by hundreds of friends.
(By courtesy of the Gonzaga Record).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988


Father Bill White SJ

Fr. White was not a past pupil of Belvedere but those who were here in the 40s and 50s will remember him as a scholastic (1939-41) and, in the latter period, as Prefect of Studies in the Junior House (1946-50). He was a man of very unusual goodness and personal quality.

The following appreciation appeared in The Catholic Standard (July 22nd 1988):

Fr William White SJ, who died on July 13 1988, was a native of Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. Born in 1912, he was educated by the Christian Brothers in the town of his birth and by the Jesuits at Mungret College, Limerick, Known as “Willie” to his family, he was “Bill” to the Jesuits, whom he joined in 1930. After the customary course of studies, interrupted by a teaching spell at Belvedere College, Dublin he was ordained priest at Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1944.

When Fr Bill was sent back to Belvedere College in 1946, with responsibility for the preparatory school there, he expected to spend many years on the staff, so he was very surprised when the Provincial chose him as one of the four priests who, in 1949, founded Gonzaga College. Fr Bill was Prefect of Stud Gonzaga from 1950 until 1965, when he became Rector of the college. He had to cope with a demands of founding and building up a new school but he never lost his sense of humour, nor his sense of fairness and never forgot any of the boys whom he had taught.

A new career began for him in 1971, when he went to Manhasset, New York, to study marriage counsellling and he became one of the pioneers of Marriage Encounter in Ireland, being its director from 1974 until 1982. Apart from his formal involvement Fr Bill was a counsellor and friend to many troubled people, always ready to give his whole attention to others and with a marvellously warm smile. Many couples, individuals (including many priests and religious) and whole families benefitted from his advice his prayers and his friendship. His closeness to his own family was an important part of his life and he was an asset to every Jesuit house in which he lived.

Fr White's final assignment was as superior Jesuit Order's nursing unit at Cherryfield Lodge Milltown Park, where he took up office in 1985. In recent months, it was obvious that his health was failing and he was in St Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park, for tests when he suffered a stroke. In the days between the stroke and his death, Fr Bill was serene, in no pain and with no worries, Even in the last hours of his life, his main concern was the well being of others.

At his funeral in Gardiner St Church, Fr Senan Timoney SJ said in his homily:

“He was a great Christian, a great human being. His humanity never suffered because he was Christ like. He was wise and yet not solemn. You can all recall his infectious laugh. He was authentic - there was nothing spurious, nothing artificial about him. He was fully himself. He was that elusive thing a man of God whose scale of values were those of Christ. A graced person, he was gentle. He had time for you. When he was talking to you no one else counted - this whether it was on the telephone or in the parlour. A man of immense compassion and at the same time a shrewd judge of any situation, He was in the words of Fr Pedro Arrupe ‘a man for others’. One phrase I can recall his using quite often - especially if you enquired after his well-being - ‘And now, tell me how are you?'’ He was selfless”.

One of those who cared for him in his last days said: “It was a joy to look after him. He died as he lived - a man for others”.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1988


William White SJ

In the quartet of Jesuits who founded Gonzaga, Fr Bill White was surprisingly identified as the Brawn, harnessing the energies of Blood (the O'Conor Don), Beauty (blond Fr John Murphy) and Brains (Fr Tim Hamilton, the only survivor). In Bill it was the brawn of the jockey rather than the ploughman. He walked like a horseman, out of his element with nothing between his legs, with a slightly limping shuffle. Though I never saw him on horseback, he seemed to belong there. He mounted his old bicycle like a hunter and rode it habitually between canter and gallop round the steeplechase of Dublin streets. He had a jockey's sense of the final furlong, hurling himself up the Gonzaga avenue just in time for dinner, or on other public occasions keeping the grandstand on its toes until the last moment. Two minutes before the house exams, which were treated with considerable solemnity, teachers, boys and desks would be in chaos until, at the last moment, Bill would slip into the hall, bundles of papers under his arms, restoring order just in time.

Though he founded the most urban and urbane of schools, Bill brought to it a countryman's sense of reality. He was sensitive to the moods of flesh and blood, a student of form, whether equine or human. In a school that had the reputation of being heady, he was the least heady of men. Do you remember his style of greeting? In a warm and characteristic way it was very physical. Moving towards you with a smile that was always slightly lop-sided, his hands never far from his body so that he came close enough to sense you, almost smell you, he would eye your skin, your colour, the lie of your muscles, the lift or droop of your mouth, so that when he asked 'How are you?' it was with the concern of a friend who already surmised your world from the outside and was eager to know how you experienced it from the inside. At that moment, nobody else existed for him, and it is no wonder that so many found him unforgettable. The sense of loss at his funeral was tinged with intensity and often indignation. It seemed that hundreds were feeling: how could the Lord take a man who was so important to me -- and to whom I was so important? At the ripe age of three score and fifteen, it still seemed grossly premature.

Bill is said to have been appalled at his appointment to Gonzaga in 1950. His old guru, Fr Rupert Coyle, had trained him to run the Junior School in Belvedere, and fingered him to succeed in the Senior School. He felt himself ill-equipped to launch, albeit in distinguished company, a pioneering educational experiment. He was reflective, wise and supportive, but not an originator — he left that to his talented staff, who always sensed his ungrudging support. From the beginning he liked to teach the youngest class in the school, to get the measure of them from the start. While his staff gradually shaped a new style and curriculum, Bill was the one who knew the individual pupil, knew the dynamics of his family, sensed where his promise and his limits were. When I wrote school reports with him in the late sixties, I marvelled at his sense of how our words could impinge on the family, to build up or to destroy; how. they would affect the depression of a mother, the driving ambition of a father, the vitality of a boy. The document finally put into the envelope was not just an objective assessment, but a communication to a family that was known, with a clear sense of how it would be used.

He ran a tight ship, and wielded the biffer in the fashion of the time, but with a fairness that is still remembered. Two small boys were heard discussing which teacher they liked best. 'I like Fr White besť said Peter. ‘But he biffs you!' protested his friend. 'Yes, but that's his duty said young Sutherland, with that sense of order that makes him a formidable European Commissioner. In fact it was often the wayward who sensed most vividly the largeness of Bill's heart. More than once he stood under the great copper beech on the front lawn calling young X, a fugitive from the classroom, to come down out of that - and X has now joined the forces of law as a thriving solicitor.

To those who have, more will be given, says the Gospel, ironically, and Gonzaga's early pupils were manifestly blessed in the Dublin of their time. Fr White succeeded in saving these fortunate ones from an enervating sense of privilege. He challenged the clever to be more than clever: to be good. It is the task for every teacher, to build up children without pandering to narcissistic illusions, to confront their selfishness without destroying or depressing them, to forge an alliance with the good in them. This was a central theme in Bill's work with boys: to reach the truth in them, and not allow them to take their blessings for granted.

Every school principal knows the four a.m. feeling that there is a serious chink in his armour, some point where the dyke can be breached and chaos break out. Bill's chink lay in the formalities of administration. He ran his files on what we called the deep litter system, then a popular method of poultry farming. Bill dropped letters, application forms, telephone messages, reports, departmental documents to form a carpet, sometimes ankle-deep, on the ample floor of his room. He was confident that he knew where things were, and we marvelled to find that this was sometimes true. But at a time when paper-work was multiplying and applications for a place in the school were often made from the nursing home as soon as the baby was identified as a boy, it was inevitable that the deep litter system sometimes let him down, with often painful consequences. In general he was ill at ease with the administrative aids that are now taken for granted: secretaries (he never had one), typewriters, cars, files, computers, VDUs, all the paraphernalia of yuppiedom, that shield one person from another. For him the only essential 20th-century appliance (apart from the bicycle — but his machine was more redolent of the nineteenth century) was the telephone.

If Fr White is ever portrayed or sculpted, it must be with a telephone to his ear, listening, murmuring, reassuring, cheering, and as the minutes lengthen saying 'Goodbye....goodbye again' (even on one occasion, 'Goodbye at last). It was an instrument he could not resist. His ear was attuned to pick up a phone's ring from quite a distance, and he would move automatically towards it. It was a symbol of his accessibility that he laid himself open to. In the community we were jealous of his attention, and often saw him exhausted by his unwillingness to protect himself. One remembers him slipping through the Gonzaga hall, summoned to the first parlour by one lady, to the second parlour by another, and to the telephone by a waiting caller - all on the way to dinner; or on another occasion reaching the community house for six o'clock dinner after a working day that began at six a.m., to be grabbed by a parent with the pretty ruthless remark: 'I knew I would catch you now, Father'. Others might fume, but not Bill; his face would light up to the visitor and he was listening again.

Not merely listening, but containing. He took bad news on board in a way that metabolised it, made it easier to bear. He could listen to tidings of hopelessness, depression, sickness, estrangement, and by sharing the bitterness, heal some of the pain, though he knew that no practical solution was in sight. When someone remarked on his gift of empathy, he traced it to his father, who he said was much better than he: old Mr White was known in Carrick-on-Suir as the man to contact in the aftermath of some particularly cruel tragedy, a man who would not shrink from the pain but could place himself alongside the sufferers, sharing their cross. As the years passed, Bill moved more and more into work (in Marriage Encounter, and with sick Jesuits in Cherryfield) that engaged his extraordinary gift of compassion.

A dear friend who revered Bill used to speak of the other dimension' that he revealed: the BMW cruising down the avenue through the February rain gets a wave and smile from Bill White cycling up from a hospital visit: or, as Rector, carrying across hot coffee to the staff-room for the teachers' break; among us as one who serves. His life would not make sense if God did not exist.

His faith sustained him to the end, with a manifestly aching body, but a face that became more radiant and transparent as his health declined. He had resolved as a young Jesuit that if ever there was an apparent conflict between the religious rule and the Gospel, he would opt for the Gospel, which for him was summed up in one or two truths: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love' — his favourite phrase from Scripture; and the need to cast out fear, which he saw as the most damaging and pernicious effect of original sin.

We will not run out of administrators, or teachers, or priests. Fr Bill White was more; he was a healer, and the gap he left is still felt with pain by hundreds of friends.

Paul Andrews SJ

Remembering Father White

In 1976, to stimulate interest in the activities of the past pupils' union, a 'Gonzaga Dinner' was advertised in The Irish Times and attracted 100 guests, the largest number that could be accommodated in the dining room of the University Club. There were rumours that an Alternative Gonzaga Dinner had to be convened around the corner in Captain America's for the late applicants. If so, the latecomers missed what for the participants in the real Gonzaga Dinner was the high point of the evening: the few words spoken by Fr White.

Fr White spoke that evening about freedom. I seem to remember some remarks about how much freedom the boys could use!. I seem to remember too that Fr White said that looking back, he could see ways in which it might have been safe to allow a little more freedom in the school than had been the case. But it was not primarily his words that made Fr White's appearance that evening so memorable. It was the sudden explosion of applause that greeted him as he rose to speak. It was heartfelt applause, deliberately prolonged. It had overtones of shared triumph. Fr White, in his person, seemed to represent the contribution of so many teachers, pupils, and parents to the decades of endeavour in Gonzaga. He represented the sense of belonging that each of us seemed to enjoy.

What was the secret of Fr White's enduring rapport with all the boys, and all the families, who were part of Gonzaga? As someone who came to Gonzaga only after Fr White became Rector, and who therefore had direct dealings with him only on a few occasions, I can speak on this subject as a member of the rank-and-file. Even at that distance, it was always clear that Fr White was someone who paid attention to individuals. He knew people by name and he knew what was important in their lives. He was a man with a heart, who by thinking things mattered made them matter. The school's concerns were Fr White's concerns. It was an example of joyful service that like other gentle features of our youthful landscape, we noticed too little.

One personal memory that I do have of Fr White is of the time I sat the entrance examination for Oxford in one of the two sitting rooms on the left off the hallway of the priests' house. Fr White himself was my supervisor. Each morning of the exam he brought me tea and biscuits on a tray, an impish smile of complicity conveying the support of the school - once again one finds it easy to identify Fr White with the school.

The supportive community which Fr White laboured to create in Gonzaga made the school the complement of a good home atmosphere. The certainty of being known and valued, the stability and predictability of school routine, the very high standard of dedication of the staff, were easy to take for granted, as was the absence of bullying and conflict among the pupils themselves. The consistent success of the school in these seemingly small things are a reminder of the truth of William Blake's dictum that he who would do good to another must do so in minute particulars'.

If Gonzaga had a particular intellectual stamp, it was a belief in the value of open discussion. In Fr Joe Veale's English class, we gave our own reactions to the works under study and were warned off potted summaries or appreciations. John Wilson, teaching Spanish, tolerated lengthy excursuses on the bullfight or the Spanish Civil War. In fifth year, in Religious Knowledge class, Fr Cull ran a sort of open forum on the question of whether God existed, with the result that the young university student a year or two later had an acquired immunity to some of the ruder challenges he faced. Whatever else one could say about the doubts of the Gonzaga past pupils on matters of faith, those doubts would never be the mere product of a “generation gap, or a young person's means of escape from a too-rigid authority.

In this sense, the spirit of the school ran counter to the tendency in many parts of Irish life to accept reality as one might accept the absentee landlord: as a force to be obeyed, cajoled, or evaded, but never tackled directly with argument, much less brought to account. It was a great blessing in Gonzaga that we felt free to delve into the truth and that we never felt, as perhaps so many have felt, that probing the causes of things is like tinkering with an unexploded bomb. Gonzaga, like Fr White, was always ready to listen.

I am told by a reliable source within the Jesuit Community that in his years as Rector, Fr White permitted himself only one concession to the flesh. My source discovered what this weakness was one Thursday afternoon in March. The Rector had failed to answer on any of the usual telephone extensions and was located by a search party in front of the television, engrossed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. That was in 1967.

It is only one of the many memories of Fr White that have surfaced this summer wherever Gonzaga people have been together. Everyone has his own story to tell and yet each story blends perfectly with the next and each conversation has a lightness that is surprising considering that the topic of discussion is a death, a departure. Fr White's presence, like the presence in nature that ‘veins violets and tall trees makes more and more', seems still with us.

A few years ago, I was back in Ireland after nine years abroad and found myself confessing to a colleague that gaps and discontinuities had emerged in my relationships with my friends. “The truth is”, my colleague said, “that you never come home”. As we spoke, I realised that there is an exception to that rule, if it is a rule. On each of my Gonzaga friends I could lean as heavily as before, discover the same easygoing acceptance communicated with the same humorous certainty as before. Fr White would have wished it so. Perhaps that is what Thucydides meant when he wrote of good men, that the whole world is their memorial.

Philip McDonagh

An Appreciation

Father White was, in my opinion, the single most important figure in the history of Gonzaga. He was Prefect of Studies for fifteen years from the School's foundation and Rector for six years after that. He and Father Charlie O'Connor, our first Rector, were a perfect team. Fr O'Connor was a stickler for administrative detail and had a real feel for the development of the School. But he was a distant, slightly aloof figure.

Fr White, on the other hand, was hopeless about records and correspondence and other office work; he was a man for the here and now and had a genius with people. He was good-humoured, buoyant and had immense powers of sympathy. The other teachers found him supportive, especially those who were wilting under the strain.

With the boys he had a robust, slightly hectoring way and would not take too much nonsense. “You're only deceivin' yourself, he would say through clenched teeth, simulating exasperation. But he was too sensible to get really annoyed. He had the uncongenial task of dispensing corporal punishment but this did not diminish his popularity among the boys by whom he was known affectionately as ‘Walley'. To not a few of them he became an invaluable counsellor to whom they looked for advice and support long after they had left the school.

He was the kind of man who turned up when he was most needed, generally on his old bicycle which he mounted as if it were a steed. To meet him was always a happy experience. When you were with him, you were all that mattered. But there was more. Beneath the bustle he had the tranquil contentment that goes with deep faith. That was very impressive. He had immense insight into his fellow humans and he used this to serve them. He gave of himself totally and never thought of the cost, let alone count it.

I last met him in Gonzaga at the Mass for Fr O'Connor when he rendered a superb appreciation. Recalling small but significant episodes from those early days he re-captured his subject to perfection. I remember that he concluded by expressing the wish that Gonzaga boys would regard their education as a privilege to be shared, not a property to be defended. It was a characteristically generous thought. He himself had contributed mightily to making it such a privilege. He has left with us the challenge of proving worthy of it and an inspiration and example for applying ourselves to that task.

Charles Lysaght

Whyte, Richard, 1824-1891, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2261
  • Person
  • 17 November 1824-14 July 1891

Born: 17 November 1824, Dunbell, County Kilkenny
Entered: 25 January 1855, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Ordained: 1862
Final Vows:15 August 1875
Died: 14 July 1891, Xavier College, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Came to HIB in 1869 to 1871 at Milltown Park and Clongowes

Wong, Maurice, 1932-1998, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

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

Woods, Brendan, 1924-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/848
  • Person
  • 03 October 1924-28 May 2014

Born: 03 October 1924, Armagh, County Armagh
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 28 May 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1973 at New York NY, USA (NEB) studying

◆ Interfuse No 157 : Autumn 2014 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2015


Fr Brendan Woods (1924-2014)

3 October 1924: Born in Keady, Co. Armagh.
Early education in CBS, Armagh and St. Patrick's College, Armagh
7 September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1952: Clongowes – Teacher
1952 - 1953: Mungret College - Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1972: Clongowes – Teacher
1972 - 1973: New York - Pastoral Studies
1973 - 1989: Milltown Park; Promoting “Marriage Encounter”; Teaching at Gonzaga; Teaching at Belvedere
5 November 1977: Final Vows
1985 - 1989: Director SpExx; Assistant Librarian
1989 - 1995: Campion House - Director SpExx; Assistant Librarian Milltown Park and Manresa
1995 - 1996: Leeson Street - Librarian, Assistant Librarian at Milltown Park; Director SpExx
1996 - 2002: Milltown Park - Assistant Librarian Milltown Park & Manresa
2002 - 2010: Manresa House - Assistant Librarian Milltown Park and Assistant Comm.
2011 - 2014: Milltown Park - Assistant Comm. Librarian; Director SpExx
2011: Resident in Cherryfield Lodge. Praying for the Church and the Society

Brendan settled well into Cherryfield and appeared happy and content. His condition has been deteriorating for some time. He died peacefully on 28th May 2014. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Brendan Woods was an Ulsterman, who spent his Jesuit life in the South; he was a man attracted to solitude, but he entered an apostolic religious order, and thereby guaranteed himself the constant presence of others for nearly seventy-two years. Brendan's Northern accent was not strong, but his upbringing in Northern Ireland, under triumphant and intolerant Unionism, left a deep impression. Very occasionally, Brendan spoke about “What we had to put up with” and he had no sympathy with some Jesuits when, towards the end of the Troubles, they empathised with the fears of Unionists, of whom Brendan said: “They had it all their own way for a long time; they won't anymore; they'll have to get used to it”.

Brendan did not talk about his family, and it was almost by accident that some of us discovered that his sister is a Carmelite nun. He had three brothers, one of whom died the day before Brendan's own death. His friendships were many, including one with a laicised priest working in Dublin as the caretaker of a block of flats. Brendan offered friendship and moral support to a number of 'lost souls', but he never spoke about them; he really did 'do good by stealth.

Community life was never easy for Brendan, and he could seem remote, but in reality, he was warm, witty and quietly supportive. Being so intensely private, he was comfortable expressing his feelings through humour, rather than directly. He could be very perceptive. When Brendan said, of a particular Jesuit, that “He goes around giving retreats to well bred nuns”, he spoke in the light of a major shift in his own life, one that took place after he left teaching at Clongowes in 1972; he had lost interest in any apostolate to the privileged and preferred to work with those who had less money and less security.

Brendan gave many guided retreats at Manresa House, but his greatest satisfaction came from the weeks of guided prayer, usually given as part of a team in many outlying parishes in Dublin. Brendan never learned to drive, so those guided prayer weeks meant long bus journeys, and waits for buses, in all weathers. The effort meant little to him in the light of the reaction of so many ordinary people, as they had their first experience of praying with Scripture and asked “Why did nobody tell us about this before now?” This invigorated and encouraged him, but Brendan, not always a patient man, had no patience at all with one aspect of post-Conciliar religious life: the emphasis on self-improvement. He was impatient with techniques, had no time for the Myers-Briggs Table and regarded the Enneagram as pernicious, being convinced that it was Sufism diluted for Western consumption.

Brendan set very high standards for himself, and never felt that he had met them. He was an excellent teacher at Clongowes and a hardworking assistant librarian at Milltown Park. In neither job did he accept praise, nor feel that he had done well. In even the coldest weather, with only a small radiator for comfort, Brendan worked on the top floor of the Milltown Jesuit Library, cataloguing the collection of books about Ireland, discovering rare pamphlets and taking a special interest in Irish Catholic printers. Being over-cautious, he kept duplicate and even triplicate copies of books, which packed the shelves.

Having had some experiences of book theft, Brendan was a bit paranoid about library security. His love of books, however, meant that even the most tedious library work never seemed to be a chore. When a Jesuit house closed and its library was being cleared, Brendan had a remarkable ability to notice precisely what was lacking in Milltown.

With his a deep appreciation of what it meant to be both Irish and Catholic, Brendan concentrated on the essentials. He had no interest in the disputes about clothes that were so common in Irish Jesuit life in the 1960s and 1970s. Brendan was quick to abandon clerical clothing, and it is doubtful if, latterly, he even owned a Roman collar, but, somehow, there was an indefinable quality about him, so he always looked priestly. Being blessed with a fine head of white hair, Brendan cut a striking figure.

Brendan was quick to appreciate other countries and cultures. He read a vast number of travel books and had a balanced, even sardonic, appreciation of the United States. American crime fiction (to which Americans themselves give the more euphemistic title 'Mystery') was his secret passion and he read many authors long before their fame spread west across the Atlantic.

Marriage Encounter gave him, for thirteen years, a strong link with the United States and had him working closely with Bill White SJ, who was as committed to the work, but was utterly unlike him. Brendan was the organizer, Bill was the inspirer; as in many unexpected pairings, they were a very successful team. Some years before the onset of his own prolonged final illness. Brendan gave up attending Jesuit funerals, because the homily had been replaced by a eulogy, so he had difficulty reconciling what was being said with the reality of the man he had known. His feelings, whether positive or negative, about everything and everybody were strong, but his shyness often made him seem remote or indifferent and was a barrier for many who might have become closer to him. Those who persevered, or who worked with him regularly, discovered his warmth and his compassion.

Brendan's stories were many. Some were based on experience in retreat direction: “If a person on a retreat says that they'd like to meet you after the retreat, for further spiritual direction, you can be assured that you'll never hear from them again!”, in parish supply work, such as the Italian-American parish in New York, where terrified black teenagers returned the chalices stolen on the previous day, because their fence told them that the silverware bore the names of local Mafia families. But was there really an English Jesuit who, in his own retreat talks, used to refer, in his examples for edification, to “a humble Irish lay sister”?

Brendan rose early and prayed often. One year, his entire annual retreat was centered on the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”). Any hints about his own prayer were revealed inadvertently.

As Brendan's memory began to weaken, his brow settled into a permanent frown, which was very distressing for his friends. Everything seemed to worry him, but he was able to sustain a conversation by focusing on the person speaking to him, never on himself. He was not aware that he had celebrated yet another Jubilee in the Society, which was just as well, because he would have striven, with all his might, to avoid it!

Brendan has earned his rest.