O'Dwyer, Thomas, 1873-1942, Jesuit priest

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O'Dwyer, Thomas, 1873-1942, Jesuit priest

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  • Toddy O'Dwyer

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08 September 1873-27 November 1942

History

Born: 08 September 1873, Barronstown, County Tipperary
Entered: 09 September 1892, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 27 November 1942, St Vincent's Hospital Fitzroy - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Patrick’s College Melbourne, Australia at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Younger brother of James O'Dwyer - RIP 1925
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1896 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency1898
by 1910 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas O'Dwyer, brother of James, was educated at Clongowes, Ireland, 1887-92, and entered the Society, 7 September 1892, at Tullabeg. He was a junior at Milltown Park, 1894-95, studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1895-98, did regency at Xavier College, 1898-1903, and at St Patrick's College, East Melbourne, 1903-05, studied theology at Milltown Park, and did tertianship at Linz, Austria. 1910-11.
O'Dwyer returned to Australia in 1911 and was sent to St Patrick's College, where he was prefect of studies from 1913, and rector for a year 1918-19, Then he was appointed rector of St Ignatius' College, Riverview, until 1923. He also taught and organised the senior debating. After a rest in 1924, he went to St Patrick's College, where he was prefect of studies from 1924-31, and rector from 1931-42. He was a consultor of the vice-province, 1935-42. He died suddenly in office very shortly after saying Mass one day.
“Toddy” as he was affectionately called, was a very well liked man, gentlemanly, straight and kind, a fine scholar, and a good teacher of history He was a founder and secretary of the Catholic Teachers' Association in Victoria, 1925-42. His gentle nature was much more suited to St Patrick's College than to Riverview. People liked and respected him as a priest of great simplicity and sincerity, kindness and charity. Above all he was most unobtrusive, yet a hard worker.
He was a deeply spiritual man, and spent hours visiting patients at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, and hearing confessions on Saturdays. Like his brother James, he was unable to
pay people compliments, but he was courteous in his praise of others. Unlike James who was compulsive and full of energy Tom was hesitant in beginning any new undertaking, but always gave a sympathetic hearing to plans for developments .
Being a sensitive man, he was deeply affected by the early death of his Jesuit brother James. Even more tragic was the assassination of his other brother, Sir Michael, by a fanatical Indian student, Udharn Singh, 13 March 1940, in Caxton Hall, London, for the massacre at Amritsar, 13 April 1919, while he was Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab. Over 379 protesters were killed and 1,200 wounded. The “Massacre” was officially condemned, and many Indians considered Michael a tyrant.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943
Obituary :
Father Thomas O’Dwyer SJ
Fr. O'Dwyer died as Rector of St. Patrick's College, Melbourne on 27th November. As appears from a cable sent his brother in Barronstown, Co. Tipperary, by William O'Dwyer, Flemington, he had celebrated Mass that morning (Friday), got a stroke after breakfast, received the Last Sacraments while perfectly conscious, and then died.
Born at Barronstown as the youngest of a large family of sons on the Feast of Our Lady's Nativity, 1873, he was educated at Clongowes, where his elder brother James was already a Jesuit master. He entered the Society at Tullabeg' on 7th September, 1892, and on the completion of his philosophy at Valkenburg began his career as teacher in Australia to which he was to devote some forty years of his life.
Returning for theology to Ireland, he was ordained priest in 1908, and after his tertianship at Linz in Austria he was for a year Minister in Clongowes. He resumed work as master in Australia the following year. With the exception of four years as Rector of Riverview College, Sydney, the remainder of his life was spent at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, 1919-'23, as teacher, prefect of studies, and since I931 Rector. He was brother of the late Sir Michael O'Dwyer, Governor of the Punjab, who met his death in London under tragic circumstances some years ago.
Fr. James, the famous educationist and Rector for many years of the Xavier College, Melbourne, pre-deceased him in 1925.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 2 1943
Australian Vice-Province

From a letter of Fr. George O'Neill, Werribee, Melbourne. dated 29th November, 1942 :
This Vice-Province never before got such a painful shock as it has received in the absolutely sudden death of Fr. Thomas O'Dwyer (Rector of St Patrick's College Melbourne) On last Thursday I was chatting with him and he seemed all right. This morning (Saturday) he was laid in earth amid deep and widespread mourning, the grief of his Community at St. Patrick's being specially notable. He had been doing all his work up to the last. It would appear, however, that two or three months ago. he had consulted a. doctor and had been warned that he was not quite safe in the matter of blood pressure. On Wednesday night he was phoned to by the Mercy Nuns at Nicholson St where he acted as daily chaplain, asking him to say Mass early for them as the Coadjutor Archbishop was to say Mass there at 7.l5 or 7.30. He agreed. and made the early start next morning. The time came for his breakfast in the Convent parlour while the Archbishop was finishing Mass, but when the lay-sister came in after a time she found Fr. O'Dwyer lying on the ground and vomiting. He tried to reassure her, but she ran to the Rev. Mother and they phoned for a doctor who came at once. He saw that the situation was serious and that the last Sacraments should be given. Then the Cathedral (not far off) was called up and presently the Adm. came along with the Holy Oils. The Archbishop, who had meantime finished his Mass, came on the scene and anointed Fr. O'Dwyer, having previously given him absolution for which he was still conscious. The Provincial (from Hawthorn) also arrived. Then an ambulance was got and took the dying man to St. Vincent's Hospital where he died at 9.30 am. We are accustomed here to funerals rapidly carried out, so it was not strange that all was over in the following forenoon. Some 100 priests were present , an immense crowd of boys and girls, and of the ordinary faithful, and the two archbishops. Dr. Mannix spoke some happy words with much feeling.

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

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O'Dwyer, Thomas, 1873-1942, Jesuit priest

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Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931 (1865-1931)

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Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931

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O'Dwyer, Thomas, 1873-1942, Jesuit priest

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Australian Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1931- (1931-)

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IE IJA MSSN/AUST

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Australian Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1931-

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O'Dwyer, Thomas, 1873-1942, Jesuit priest

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IE IJA J/1898

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