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Barrett, D Cyril, 1925-2003, Jesuit priest, art historian, and philosopher

  • IE IJA J/561
  • Person
  • 09 May 1925-30 December 2003

Born: 09 May 1925, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, ST Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 30 December 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) studying
by 1963 at Mount Street, London (ANG) studying
by 1964 at Church of the Assumption, Warwick (ANG) studying
by 1973 at Warwick University (ANG) teaching
by 1993 at Campion Hall, Oxford (BRI) teaching

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Barrett, (Denis) Cyril
by Patrick Maume

Barrett, (Denis) Cyril (1925–2003), Jesuit priest, art critic and historian, and philosopher, was born Denis Barrett in Dublin on 9 May 1925 (Cyril was his name in religion). He was the son of Denis Barrett, the last assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. His mother died of cancer when he was aged three, and his father subsequently remarried; the two marriages produced four sons and a daughter. Young Denis grew up at the family home in Booterstown, south Co. Dublin; his relationship with his stepmother Evelyn was close and affectionate. The family background was well‐to‐do catholic with some landed gentry elements which might have been described as ‘castle catholic’ but which offered scope for self‐expression, often eccentric; like several of his ancestors, Barrett was noted for charm, eccentricity, and intellectual brilliance.

He was educated at Killashee school in Naas, at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and at Clongowes. He joined the Jesuits in 1942, underwent a Thomist training in philosophy at the Jesuit college in Tullabeg, and studied theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. The Jesuits recognised and encouraged his academic vocation, and his career took advantage of the wide latitude allowed to an imaginative Jesuit in pursuance of his vocation. He studied Latin and history at University College Dublin (the latter discipline, as taught by John Marcus O’Sullivan (qv), had a strong philosophical component, and Barrett recalled being introduced to political philosophy by studying Rousseau as being thrown in at the deep end) and graduated with a first class BA in 1947. After a year studying anthropology and the role of myth at the Warburg Institute, Barrett began a peripatetic teaching career, including three years at Clongowes, three years teaching psychology at Tullabeg, and a period at Chantilly (France). He also studied theology at Milltown Park. Barrett was ordained priest in 1956 and took his final Jesuit vows in 1960. He undertook advanced research in philosophy at the University of London, receiving a Ph.D. in 1962 for a dissertation on symbolism in the arts.

In 1965 Barrett was one of two founding members of the philosophy department at the University of Warwick, where he was successively lecturer (1965–7), senior lecturer (1967–72) and reader (1972–92). Shortly after his appointment to Warwick he established his reputation, first by editing a well‐received selection of papers by innovators in the philosophy of art and criticism, Collected papers on aesthetics (1965), then by persuading the notoriously reluctant Wittgenstein estate to allow him to publish a collection of notes by three students of Wittgenstein of the philosopher’s remarks on aesthetics, psychology and religion. Lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief (1966) offered new perspectives on Wittgenstein’s aesthetic and religious interests, whose extent had barely been realised, and became the basis for an extensive critical literature.

Barrett maintained his involvement with Wittgenstein throughout his career, summing up his views in Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief (1991). He maintained that the gap between Wittgenstein’s early and late views had been exaggerated; the importance Wittgenstein attached to value remained constant and the Tractatus logico‐philosophus, widely seen as an exercise in positivism, was in inspiration a document of moral inquiry. He did not call himself a Wittgensteinian (he was sceptical of the concept of philosophical discipleship) but was influenced by Wittgenstein in his eclectic preference for addressing disparate problems rather than seeking to build an overarching system, and in his interest in the nature of perception.

The mature Barrett held the Wittgensteinian view that religion could not be stated in propositional terms (i.e. as a set of beliefs) but can only be experienced as a way of life, though Barrett also maintained that this did not entail relativism between such ways; real belief was required. This view would have been seen as heterodox by large numbers of Christians throughout the history of Christianity (including some of Barrett’s contemporaries) but was part of a wider reaction within twentieth‐century catholic theology against what were seen as excessively mechanical and rationalistic forms of neo‐Thomism and of a desire to rediscover the approach of the early church fathers based on the view that reason might illuminate faith from within but could not create it where it did not exist.

Barrett disliked clerical politics and what he saw as the intellectual narrowness and social conservatism of the church hierarchy. He was hostile to the neo‐orthodoxy of Pope John Paul II; his comment in a public venue on the day of the pope’s attempted assassination by Mehmet Ali Agca (13 May 1981), that the greatest fault of ‘that bloody Turk’ had been not shooting straight (Times, 15 Jan. 2004), was occasionally cited by more conservative catholics as symbolic of the perceived deterioration of the Jesuits after the second Vatican council. Barrett’s friends recall, however, that despite his pleasure in flouting what he regarded as petty‐fogging rules and the constraints of his calling, he maintained a deep personal faith in God and was a valued and compassionate confessor and adviser; beneath his questing was an underlying simplicity.

He was a champion of various schools of modern art, particularly Op Art (in 1970 he published one of the first significant books on this form of abstract art, which uses optical illusions to focus the viewer’s attention on the process of perception). He was a regular visitor to eastern Europe where he combined religious activity with encouragement of those artists who were resisting official pressure to conform to Soviet realism; his trips were financed by eastern bloc royalties from his own publications (which could not be transferred into western currencies) and the profits from smuggling out disassembled artworks as ‘agricultural implements’. He also helped to mount several art exhibitions to popularise favoured trends, and established extensive (and hard‐bargained) relationships with London dealers. He played a significant role in building up Warwick University’s art collection, and at various times donated forty works from his own collection (including items by Bridget Riley, Micheal (Michael) Farrell (qv), and Yoko Ono) to the university. Barrett’s fascination with kitsch led him to produce a paper, ‘Are bad works of art “works of art”?’ (Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, vi (1973), 182–93), inspired by some of the religious art he encountered at Kenilworth Priory, Warwick. (Barrett’s answer was a qualified Yes.)

He did much to popularise modern art in Ireland through his frequent contributions to the Jesuit quarterly review Studies (he was assistant editor for a year in the early 1950s, and throughout his subsequent career wrote and reviewed for the journal on a wide range of topics) and other journals such as The Furrow and Irish Arts Yearbook. He produced a widely respected catalogue of nineteenth‐century Irish art (Irish art in the 19th century (1971)), and with Jeanne Sheehy (qv) contributed two chapters on the visual arts and Irish society to A new history of Ireland. VI. Ireland under the union, II. 1870–1921 (Oxford 1996) and an account of twentieth‐century art to A new history of Ireland. VII. 1921–84 (Oxford 2004). He also published monographs on the artists Micheal (Michael) Farrell and Carmel Mooney.

Although his flair for teaching and disputation was celebrated on campus, Barrett, like many old‐style academics, lacked administrative aptitude and in his later years at Warwick he was irritated by the increasing bureaucratisation and quantification of higher education. In 1992 he retired from Warwick to Campion Hall, the Jesuit college at Oxford, where he organised an exhibition of its art holdings, used the Latin‐language procedure in applying for a Bodleian reader’s ticket, and was a frequent visitor to the rival Dominican hall, Blackfriars. At Campion Hall he continued to work as a tutor, though he maintained that leisure (expansively defined as ‘life lived to its fullest’) was the proper end of human life and the proper state of mankind; he devoted as much time to it as possible.

He was a world traveller (wont to describe some of the ricketier charter planes he encountered as ‘Holy Ghost Airlines’), a gourmet cook who loved to entertain guests, a convivial drinker, and fond of betting on horseraces; he regularly attended the Merriman summer school in Co. Clare with his friend the broadcaster Seán Mac Réamoinn (1921–2007). He was a voluble critic of the provisional IRA. At the time of his death he was working on an analysis of the morality of war (he was always critical of the view that a just cause justified any means), a philosophical autobiography My struggles with philosophy, and a revision of the Spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. He also wrote poetry inspired by his reactions to the cancer which was killing him. Cyril Barrett died in Dublin on 30 December 2003.

Ir. Times, 10 Jan. 2004; Times (London), 15 Jan. 2004; Independent (London), 25 Feb. 2004; https://warwick.ac.uk/services/art/teachinglearningandresearch/onlineexhibitions/cyrilbarrett/

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Cyril D Barrett (1925-2003)

May 9th 1925: Born in Dublin
Early education at Kiliashee, Naas, Co.Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorks. and Clongowes
Sept. 7th 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1953: Clongowes - Prefect and Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
July 31st 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1959: Leeson Street - Minister, Asst. Editor Studies
1959 - 1960: Tullabeg - Prof. Psychology; Subminister
Feb. 2nd 1960: Final Vows
1960 - 1961: Tullabeg -Prof. Psychology; Minister
1961 - 1964: London - Postgraduate Studies (History of Philosophy), London University (PhD)
1964 - 1965: Chantilly, France - Lecturer in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Warwick University - Lecturer in Philosophy
1966 - 2003: Milltown Park
1966 - 1967: Dean of Philosophy; Prof. Philosophy at MI
1967 - 1972: Senior Lecturer in Philosophy - Warwick U.; Reader / Visiting Lecturer - Milltown Institute
1972 - 1992: University of Warwick - Reader in Philosophy
1992 - 2002: Oxford - Tutor in Philosophy
2002 - 2003: Milltown Park - writer
Dec. 30th 2003: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Fr. Barrett was diagnosed as suffering from cancer in Autumn 2003. Despite a brief remission his health deteriorated steadily. He was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on Christmas Day. There he died on the morning of Dec. 30th 2003.

Obituary from Times of London, January 15, 2004:

Dinner with Father Cyril Barrett - and you would dine well with this accomplished cook, even if in somewhat chaotic surroundings – was an intellectual feast composed of unpredictable ingredients. A man of huge charm, voracious curiosity and lively humour, he made an open house of his great learning. It was a place that offered inspiration and discovery to those who stepped across its threshold, at the University of Warwick where he taught philosophy for nearly three decades, in Dublin and London, or on his adventurous travels on a Jesuitical shoestring. (Holy Ghost Airlines, he would joke about the dodgier charter flights to dodgy destinations.) As an experimental new university in the mid-Sixties, Warwick attracted, and was attracted by, his interdisciplinary and questing cast of mind. Barrett was as authoritative on Op Art as he was on Wittgenstein's aesthetics.

Inducted almost straight from school into the Society of Jesus but, wisely, given free rein to pursue his strong academic vocation, Cyril Barrett found his reference points as writer, critic and lecturer in philosophy, aesthetics and a lifelong engagement with religious meaning; but he branched outward in multiple directions. He could discourse as intriguingly on hot racing tips, the samizdat blue films circulating in Cold War Central Europe (about which he was alarmingly well informed), kitsch or even knitting, as he talked about medieval aesthetics, Kierkegaard or Picasso. The most unclerical of priests, his faith was deep yet never unquestioning, just as the intellect that made him a renowned philosopher and art critic was tempered by the intensity of his inner spiritual dialogue.

Denis Cyril Barrett was born in 1925 in Dublin, to the sort of horse-and-hounds family that throws up, as it did with his great-uncle Cyril Corbally, such eccentric luminaries as champion croquet players. But this was independence-era Dublin, with its charged politics. His father Denis, the last Assistant Commissioner of the pre-1922 Dublin Metropolitan Police and the first of the Garda Siochana that replaced it, was to resign out of disgust with de Valera's brand of nationalism and the virulence of the IRA – a disgust always shared by his son. His mother died when he was three, and he was brought up by his adored stepmother Evelyn.

His early trajectory was conventional, from Ampleforth to a first in History and Latin at University College, Dublin, and thence to licenciates both in philosophy and in theology before ordination. How little these disciplines were to confine him was demonstrated by his doctorate, on symbolism in the arts, and a subsequent year studying anthropology and the role of myth at University College, London and the Warburg Institute, His large body of books and essays was to be almost equally devoted to modern art --- where his influence was enormous and Europe wide -- and to philosophical studies.

As a philosopher, Barrett became celebrated for publishing, in 1966, a selection of student notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief -- a small corpus out of which has developed a massive secondary literature and which has profoundly influenced aesthetics and theology. All his formidable persuasive skills were put to the test in gaining the consent of the notoriously possessive executors; Wittgenstein declared that "only aesthetic and conceptual questions” really gripped him, but without the Barrett enterprise, few would have known for many years of his grapplings with the former, or indeed with religion.

A quarter of a century later he gave his own considered account of Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief, arguing that his views on value developed but did not change. Wittgenstein, he maintained, held that seeking to inculcate moral principles, and teaching religion in propositional form, is contrary to the true nature of ethics and religious belief - a position he endorsed. But he resisted the influential misinterpretation according to which Wittgenstein held religious belief to be nothing more than a way of life according to a picture. Belief is involved. The “picture” of Judgment Day is more than a mere picture or exemplar; it is a picture to live by, and there are better and worse such pictures; Wittgenstein “was no more a relativist than any reasonable person can avoid being”.

While never a Wittgensteinian, and indeed hostile to the notion of philosophical discipleship, he certainly learnt from him, and in aesthetics this influence came out in at least two ways. First, in his preference for tackling particular problems and clarifying ideas, over constructing elaborate theories, and secondly in his engagement with the interconnections between aesthetics and psychology, expressed most notably in his pioneering work popularising and explaining Op Art, both in books and by organising exhibitions. As an art critic he was wide-ranging and formidable -- his catalogue of 19th-century Irish Victorian Art is a classic of its kind - but also creative. He was a driving force in establishing Warwick University's art collection, and in cultivating understanding of modern art in Ireland. “Are bad works of art ‘works of art’?”, he asked in an influential essay; his suitably nuanced answer was that they may well be.

Jesuits, avowedly and by direction, are deeply involved in the world's affairs - and the greatest of them are mavericks. To someone of Barrett's catholic interests, impatience of convention and detestation of intellectual narrowness, Catholicism can be a hard master. Like many Jesuits down the centuries, Barrett made no attempt to disguise his chafing at the Vatican's hierarchical politics and social conservatism - going so far as to declare on the day of the attempted assassination of the Pope, in a bellow that filled a London restaurant, that “the only thing wrong with that bloody Turk was that he couldn't shoot straight”. The religious affairs correspondent of The Sunday Times, seated at a nearby table, turned beetroot.

Yet Barrett could readily assume his priestly guise and, in that capacity, was a compassionate and subtle counsellor and eminently practical moralist, ultimately convinced of the intelligence as well as the goodness of the Holy Spirit and able to instil that belief in others.

Academic politics bored Barrett at least as much as the priestly variety, and the world of league tables, research assessments and other bureaucratic rigidities even more. He left Warwick in 1992 for Campion Hall, Oxford, with some relief, striding into the Bodleian and demanding (successfully) to use the Latin language procedure for registering for a reader's ticket,

He continued writing to the very end of his life, back in Dublin, and was working in the last weeks on books and articles ranging from the morality of war to the limits of science, as well as writing poetry and rewriting the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Barrett would, however, have described this as the pursuit of leisure, which for him was “not a trivial pursuit”, and nothing to do with idleness, but, rather, “life lived to its fullest”.

Work was necessary for survival, he wrote, but “It is not an end in itself. Leisure is. It is the end, the goal, of human life, the proper state of man” -- which is why the quality of leisure matters. There are echoes here of Aristotle, even of St Augustine's idea of entering the holy Sabbath of God. But Cyril Barrett's genius was to draw the classical forward into the present; to cite one of his aphorisms, “philosophy may be perennial, but it is not static”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2004

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, who died on December 30th, 2003 aged 78, was a philosopher and art critic of international renown. He had his first direct encounter with philosophy as a student at University College Dublin, through Prof Marcus O'Sullivan's treatment of Rousseau. Philosophy, he would later remark, was a matter of learning to swim by diving in at the deep end but, he cautioned, the deep end of Rousseau's political philosophy was not to be recommended.

He wrote in “Studies” on subjects ranging from Picasso to Kierkegaard. His first book on Wittgenstein, dealing with aesthetics, psychology and religious belief, was published in 1966. Twenty five years later, he published Wittgenstein on Ethics and Religious Beliefs, a mature exposition of the questions that engaged him as a philosopher.

He played a major role in fostering an appreciation of modern art in Ireland. He was a member of the committee of ROSC that provided a showcase for the work of leading international artists. A regular contributor to “Art Monthly”, his publications include a study of op art and monographs on : Michael Farrell and Carmel Mooney. He contributed a section on art in the 20th century to the most recent volume of “A New History of Ireland” (2003).

Denis Cyril Barrett was born on May 9th, 1925, in Dublin, the son of Denis Barrett and his wife Lily (née Kearney). His father was assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the family lived in Booterstown. His mother died when he was three and his father later remarried. His early education took place at Killashee, Naas, Co Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and Clongowes Wood College. In 1942 he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1956, taking his final vows in 1960.

He studied arts at UCD and in 1947 secured a first class honours in Latin and History. Having studied philosophy at Tullabeg, Co Offaly, he taught for three years at Clongowes. He spent the next three years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Following a year as assistant editor of “Studies”, he taught psychology at Tullabeg. He completed a PhD at London University in 1964 and afterwards caught philosophy at Chantilly, France, and at the University of Warwick, where he remained until 1992. Retirement from Warwick brought him to Campion Hall, Oxford, as a tutor for 10 years. Throughout this time he was a visiting lecturer at Milltown Park.

At the time of his death he was in the process of writing a philosophical memoir with the working title “My Struggles With Philosophy”. In it he addressed the question of understanding other philosophers whose views are alien, not only to one's own thought but also to the precepts of common sense.

A man of many parts, he was a world traveler, a gourmet cook who liked to entertain and he had the knack of picking a winner on the racing page or at an occasional race meeting. He also enjoyed attending the Merriman Summer School with his friend, Seán Mac Réamoinn. But, as his colleague, Father Bill Mathews, said at his funeral Mass, “At the centre of it all, I believe there was in him a very simple faith in God and in the goodness of God”.

Predeceased by his brother Matthew, he is survived by his stepmother Evelyn, brothers John and Father Francis, and sister Eve.

Courtesy of The Irish Times

Bathe, William, 1564-1614, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/913
  • Person
  • 12 April 1564-17 June 1614

Born: 12 April 1564, Drumcondra Castle, Dublin
Entered: 14 October 1595, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1602
Final vows: 02 December 1612
Died 17 June 1614, Madrid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Mother was Eleanor Preston
Studied Humanities in Ireland, Philosophy at Oxford and Theology at Louvain
Was heir to Drumcondra Castle. Writer, Musician and Spiritual Director
Died as he was about to give a retreat to the court of Philip II of Spain
“Janua Linguarum” edited 20 times and in 8 languages

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of John, a Judge and Eleanora née Preston
Heir to Drumcondra Castle
Writer; Musician; Spiritual Director; Very holy man
Studied Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy partly at Oxford and partly with his Theology at Louvain.
Admitted to the Society at Courtray (Kortrijk) by BELG Provincial Robert Duras, and Entered at Tournai
(Interesting mention is made of him in Irish Ecclesiastical Record March 1873 and August 1874.)
After completing his studies he was made Rector at Irish College Salamanca
He died at Madrid aged 50 just as he was about to give a retreat at Court of Philip II
His “Janua Linguarum” was edited about twenty times and once in eight languages.
(cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” who enumerates his writings)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Elder son of John, of Drumcondra and Eleanor, née Preston, daughter of the third Viscount Gormanston.
He entered on his higher studies at Oxford but was prevented from graduating by the Oath of Supremacy. During his time at Oxford when he was still only twenty, he published ‘A Brief Introduction to the true Art of Musicke’. A Brief Introduction to the skill of Song' appeared a few years later. To these publications as well as his family's intimacy with Perrott, Lord Deputy of Ireland, William owed his reception at the court of Elizabeth 1. Eventually he renounced his inheritance in favour of his brother and determined to become a priest.
Studied for three years at Louvain before Ent 1595 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent to complete his studies at St. Omer and Padua and was Ordained priest c. Summer 1602.
1602 He was now named secretary to Mansoni, Papal Envoy to Ireland but the Irish defeats at Kinsale and Dunboy rendered Mansoni's Embassy superfluous. By early Spring 1603 he was in Spain. There were many requests for him to return to Irish Mission, but he remained in Spain until his death in at Madrid 17 June 1614.
He was the valued spiritual director of the Irish College, Salamanca and it was there he wrote in collaboration with Stephen White and others his “Janua Linguarum” which appeared in 1611. This book went into many editions in various European languages including English. The English version, which in turn went into many editions, was shamelessly pirated without reference to Bathe's authorship.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bathe, William
by Seán P. Ó Mathúna

Bathe, William (1564–1614), diplomat, author, and Jesuit, was born in Drumcondra castle on Easter Sunday 1564, son of John Bathe (d. 1586), Irish solicitor general, chancellor of the exchequer, and grandson of James Bathe (qv), chief baron, and Eleanor Bathe (daughter of Jenico Preston, 3rd Viscount Gormanston, and Catherine Fitzgerald, sister of Thomas Fitzgerald (qv), ‘Silken Thomas’). He was educated privately in Dublin and at St John's College, Oxford; he left before graduation, probably on grounds of conscience. In 1589 he registered in Gray's Inn, one of the four inns of court in which candidates for the Irish bar were required to study. He attended the courts of Elizabeth and Philip II before commencing the study of theology in Louvain (1592), and entered the Jesuit order in Courtrai (1595). He acted as intermediary for O'Neill (qv) during the early stages of the nine years war. After ordination he was appointed adviser to Ludovico Mansoni, legate, later to Ireland. They reached Valladolid in December 1601 but did not proceed further after the fall of Kinsale.

Bathe never returned to Ireland. Two long letters written in June 1602, in Irish Jesuit archives, indicated keen support for fresh forces massing in northern Spain to free Ireland a jugo haereticorum (‘from the yoke of the heretics’). He maintained periodic contact with the court of Philip III. A brother, Sir John Bathe (qv), deeply respected in Old English circles, assumed the role of religious spokesman for his class for more than a quarter of a century; he too visited the Spanish court. A younger brother, Fr Luke Bathe, headed the Capuchin mission in Ireland in the 1620s and was a renowned preacher. William Bathe was spiritual director to expatriate students in the Irish College, Salamanca. He founded a sodality, ‘Congregación de pobres’, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the poor of that city, and gained a wide reputation for conducting retreats and days of recollection in monasteries and seminaries. He died suddenly in June 1614 while holding a mission for government personnel in Madrid.

His Brief introduction to the true art of music, published in 1584 while he was a student in Oxford (reproduced by Colorado College of Music Press, 1979), and A brief introduction to the skill of song (1596; new ed. by Boethius Press, 1982), were among the earliest printed texts in English on the theory of music and song, and highlighted the ambiguities in mutation from one hexachord to another in a melody with a range of more than six notes. Aparejos para administrar el sacramento de penitencia (1614) reflected his pastoral work. His main claim to fame, however, was Ianua linguarum (1611) with its long preface on linguistic theory. At least thirty editions of this work were published. The most elaborate, A messe of tongues (London, 1617), Ianua linguarum silinguis (Strasbourg, 1629), and Mercurius quadrilinguis (Basel and Padua, 1637), included English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, and German versions. He used short pithy sentences in parallel columns to enable mature students to learn several languages simultaneously. He allowed no repetition of the 5,300 different items of lexis. His multilingual presentation was adopted by Ian Amos Komensky for his Janua linguarum reserata series. Bathe's first cousin, Christopher Nugent (qv), 14th Baron Delvin, used a small number of colloquial phrases in parallel Latin, Irish, and English columns in his Primer of the Irish language for presentation to Queen Elizabeth (1562). The primer followed a system used by English-born wives in the Kildare household to learn Irish from the early fifteenth century. As such the method predated the Aldine Press and the Adagia of Erasmus.

E. Hogan, Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894); S. P. Ó Mathúna, An tAthair William Bathe, C.I, 1564–1614: Ceannródaí sa Teangeolaíocht (1980); id., ‘The preface to William Bathe's Ianua Linguarum (1611)’, Historiographia Linguistica, viii, no. 1 (1981); id., William Bathe, S.J., 1564–1614: a pioneer in linguistics (1986); id., ‘William Bathe, S.J., recusant scholar: “weary of the heresy” ’, Recusant History, xix, no. 1 (1988), 47–61

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-5/

JESUITICA: First musical textbook
The first musical textbook in the English language, A brief introduction to the true art of musicke (1584), was the work of William Bathe, born in County Dublin, who became a Jesuit
in 1596. A genuine polymath, he had by that stage already taught mnemonics to Queen Elizabeth I, presented her with a harp designed by himself, and studied at Oxford, Gray’s Inn and Louvain. He invented a simple form of musical notation (presently being researched in Trinity by Sean Doherty), and as a Jesuit wrote a seminal book on linguistics, and was an important pioneer in popularising the Spiritual Exercises.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Bathe 1564-1614
William Bathe was born on April 2nd 1564 in Drumcondra Castle, the grounds of which is the present day asylum for the male blind, now in the charge of the Brothers of Charity.

He was a fairly close relation of Elizabeth I of England. As a young man he was sent as a personal messenger to the Queen by the Viceroy of Ireland. He became a great favourite of hers and used amuse her greatly by his skill in playing all kinds of musical instruments. He also entertained her by teaching her mnemonics.

His skill in music was both practical and theoretic. He invented a “harp of new device”, which he presented to the Queen. He also wroteb a treatise called “A Brief Introduction to the True Art of Music”. His name was also renowned for his famous book “Janus Linguarum”, a method of learning Latin or any foreign language, which ran into hundreds of editions iun most European languages, and held its place as a teaching method for centuries.

But his greatest claim to fame, and his merit in the sight of God was, that having spent some years at Oxford with no little distinction, being such a favoutite of Elizabeth, with a glorious career in front of him in the world, he returned to Ireland, surrendered his rights to his father’s extensive estates and entered religion. He became a Jesuit at Tournai in 1596.

He spent 19 years of most usefiul work in the Society, working in the Irish Colleges on the continent. Inspite of repeated requests, and his own desire, he was not released to work on the Mission in Ireland.

He died with a great reputation for sanctity in Madrid on June 17th 1614, at the early age of 50 years.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BATH, WILLIAM, a native of Dublin. After studying at Oxford he grew weary of heresy, and retiring to the Continent entered the Novitiate at Tournay, in 1596. When he had finished his studies at Padua, he was ordered to Spain, and appointed Rector of the College of his Countrymen at Salamanca. To the regret of all who knew his merits, he was prematurely taken off by illness at Madrid, on the 17th of June, 1614, aet. 48. He has left :

  1. “An introduction to the Arte of Music”. 4to. London, 1584.
  2. “Janua Linguarum”, 4to. Salaman ca, 1611.
  3. “A Spanish Treatise on the Sacrament of Penance”. N.B. This was edited at Milan by F. Jos. Cresswell, in 1614. 4. “Instructions on the Mysteries of Faith, in English and Spanish”. F. More in p. 112 of his Hist. Prov. Angl. has inserted a letter of F. W. Bath, in praise of F. Person’s “Christian Directory”.

Brigham, Henry, 1796-1881, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1538
  • Person
  • 23 June 1796-26 May 1881

Born: 23 June 1796, Manchester, England
Entered: 07 September 1813, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 01 June 1822, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Final Vows: 15 August 1837
Died: 26 May 1881, St Stanislaus College, Beaumont, Berkshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

in Clongowes 1818/9 - Theol 2

Felix Henry Brigham
Ordained at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, on a Saturday within the octave of Pentecost 1822, having studied Theology at Clongowes

Browne, Henry Martyn, 1853-1941, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

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

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Henry Browne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

Browne, Liam, 1929-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/825
  • Person
  • 18 August 1929-26 October 2017

Born: 18 August 1929, Kilmainham, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1964, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 26 October 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1963 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/liam-browne-sj-much-loved-missionary/

Liam Browne SJ – a dedicated missionary
Irish Jesuit Fr Liam Browne SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin on 26 October 2017 aged 88 years. His funeral took place on 31 October at Milltown Park, Ranelagh followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. The Dubliner spent much of his early priestly life on various missions in Zambia, before returning home to work at various places in Ireland in 1974. Below find the homily at his funeral mass given by Fr John K. Guiney SJ.
A dedicated missionary
We remember and celebrate a long and eventful life of Liam Browne.
He was born in the Rotunda on 18th August 1929 and brought up in Kilmainham Dublin, went to CBS James’s St... and entered the Jesuits at Emo Park on 7th September 1946, was ordained in Milltown Park on 28th July 1960, and took his final vows at Chikuni in Zambia on 2nd February 1964.
Four of the 12 companions who took first vows with him in Emo are with us still: John Guiney, John Dooley, and Jim Smyth... MJ Kelly who is living in Lusaka, Zambia.
To say Liam had a rich,varied and eventful life is an understatement. He worked in Zambia, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, was Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital and Marlay Nursing Home and all through was constant in his research on the Chitonga language and culture. He went to God peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge last Thursday at 4pm.
A common theme of Liam’s life was his desire and wish to be close to ordinary people and to understand their cultures and ways of life. In an interview with the Irish Jesuit Mission Office he expressed his desire to become a Jesuit and priest in this way: “to help people and to enable them to experience Christ’s forgiveness and he noted the great influence on his vocation of his grandmother Susan Waldron.
When Liam arrived in Zambia in 1954 he plunged himself into learning the local language Chitonga in the diocese of Monze. He was not only interested in learning a language but set about researching the culture of the people, looking at what makes them tick – trying to understand seeing how culture/religion/faith are interrelated.
His work in the study and preservation of Tonga culture was similar to the work of another renowned student of Tonga culture – Frank Wafer who founded the Mukanzubo Kalinda Cultural Centre in Chikuni. They did so much to record, store and document traditional proverbs, dance, songs, customs and rites of the community. Liam did what every effective missionary does; he fell in love with the people he was called to serve – the Tonga people and culture.
Liam was the go to person for scholastics/young volunteers, learning the language and entering a new culture. He was the person to induct them into Tongaland. Colm Brophy as a scholastic in Zambia in 1969 recounts: “I was anxious to acquire a knowledge of Chitonga. So I asked the Provincial, John Counihan, to send me to a place and to a person who could help me do that.
“In 1969 I was posted to Chilala-Ntaambo (‘the sleeping place of the lion’), a metropolis of remoteness... because I knew it was remote and that I would be living with a man who was very fluent in the language – Liam Browne.”
Liam, he remembers, would spend a lot of his time researching the Chitonga language and culture. He would go around various villages with his tape-recorder interviewing mainly elderly people.
Chilala-Ntaambo was frontier missionary land in the 1960s.
It wasn’t an easy life for Liam there as parish priest. There was no solid Catholic community. The place was new. For Sunday Mass only eight or ten people would turn up mainly from two families. He was ploughing a lone furrow.
Liam continued to work in missionary frontiers in the Fumbo and Chivuna parishes and in 1973 took a break to study cultural anthropology in Campion Hall, Oxford under the guidance of the renowned Professor Evans Pritchard.
Liam then published some of his research on the initiation rites of the Tonga people but fell foul of at least one influential Tonga political leader who felt that secrets of their culture was not for public reading. He was not allowed to renter the country.
Two years ago while visiting Monze I met his mentor and friend in Zambia – the great cultural anthropologist of the Tonga people Barbara Colson who worked with Liam.
She was full of admiration for the work and research of Liam and admitted that Liam’s kind of research is now prescribed reading for students of the Tonga culture in every African library. A real joy for Liam in latter years was The Tonga-English Dictionary that Liam had started in the 60s and was finally completed and published by Frank Wafer just 3 years ago.
Liam returned to Ireland in 1974 and from then to 1989 he went to work in Ballyfermot and began to build firstly a temporary and then a permanent Church with the people and with the able assistance of the Daughters of Charity and especially Sr Cabrini.
His friends in Cherry Orchard still remember him as a man of great kindness and compassion. They remember his outreach to the most needy, his wisdom in counselling people and also his ability to plan, budget and look ahead even when the share budget of the diocese was small. Amongst Liam’s talents was wood work and he loved making things; much of the design and wooden fixtures and paintings were done by Liam in the Churches he built.
Those who knew Liam in Zambia and Ireland remember him as good-humoured, generous and who loved music especially jazz.
His friends also remember Liam as a man who shot from the hip, spoke his mind with a bluntness that could put people off. He had a certain distrust of superiors and people in authority, sometimes with well founded reasons. However, once he had got it out of his system, he got on with things and remained on good terms with all whom he encountered.
Perhaps the phrase ‘he got on with things’ sums up the greatest characteristic of Liam’s life. Liam was a man always available for mission and when the mission he really loved, Zambia was suddenly interrupted – it must have been a heartbreak for him, but he moved on without complaining to the new missions on the home front.
At the end of his life Liam shared with his friends. I am glad I did what I did when I could. He had few regrets. Once he decided that Cherryfield Lodge nursing home was the best, he moved and had the highest regard to all who cared for him there.
He was indeed always ready for a change and recognised in the wisdom of the ancestors that there is a time and a season for all things under the sun. On Thursday last a final time had come; he surrendered in peace to his maker in the presence of his sister Monica.
Finally, a word of thanks to two great missionary families: the Browne’s and the Cassidy’s. Liam’s niece Susan shared with me that as a child she saved up her pocket money for the missions. Monica helped out Tommy Martin for years with cake sales and raffles for the missions and coincidentally two weeks ago we got a letter from a Zambian PP, from that very parish that Liam founded 50 years ago with the help of his family and friends saying hello to Liam.
It reads:
My name is Fr. Kenan Chibawe, parish priest of St. Francis Xavier parish in Chilalantambo, Monze in Zambia. Our parish was officially opened in 1967 by Fr Liam Browne. This year on 28th October, we are celebrating 50 years or Golden Jubilee of the growth of the Catholic faith that was planted by the Jesuit missionaries in particular Fr Brown and the Late Fr Norman McDonald SJ. We would have loved to see Liam here but maybe his age may not allow him to travel. People still remember these priests in our parish.
We too remember and celebrate Liam’s life with the people of Zambia, Cherry Orchard, his former colleagues alive and dead in the Vincent’s and Marlay chaplaincies. We pray for and with Liam in his adopted language Chitonga:
Mwami leza kotambula muzimo wakwe kubuzumi butamani, which means in our own language, Ar dheis dei go raibh an anam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :
As in “Jesuits in Ireland” : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/571-liam-browne-sj-a-dedicated-missionary and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/238-interview-with-fr-liam-browne

Fr. Liam Browne, born in 1929 in Rotunda, Dublin, can easily sum up why he wanted to be a priest: ‘to help other people’, particularly by allowing them to ‘experience Christ’s forgiveness’. Fr Browne had been encouraged in his calling by his grandmother, Susan Waldron, who raised his brother, his sister, and himself after the death of his mother. He had first become interested in the Jesuits after attending a retreat with his school, James’ Street Christian Brothers, and was attracted to missionary work because of the possibilities it offered for helping others abroad.
Fr. Browne left Dublin as a young scholastic bound for Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) to work with the Tonga. Although direct flights now link London and Lusaka, in the 1950s it took three days to reach the Zambian capital by air. Despite the distance and the difficulty, Fr. Browne recalls his first year in Africa as the happiest of his life: ‘it was the happiest time because I was doing exactly what I wanted.’ He spent this first year acclimatising, learning the language, and immersing himself in Tongan culture. His greatest consolation, or most rewarding experience, was learning the language and speaking to the Tongan people about religion. He spent his time with the Tonga working in the mission station and at Canisius College, the Jesuit-run boys’ school, and served in Zambia for a total of thirteen years (three years as a student, and ten as an ordained priest). It is clear that Fr. Browne immensely enjoyed his time in Africa: his only desolation in mission was the frustration of waiting for the rains to come, with October standing out as ‘the most dreadful time of the year’!
Fr. Browne became fascinated with Tongan culture, and with the broader field of social anthropology. He had been able to study Zambezi culture thanks to work by Elizabeth Colson, an American anthropologist who had begun studying the Tonga through the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute. In between postings, he had the benefit of spending a year at Campion Hall, Oxford, studying under Professor Evans-Pritchard at the Institute of Social Anthropology. He states that this training was ‘invaluable’ to his work in Zambia, and recalls Evans-Pritchard (a legend in anthropological circles) as an ‘outstanding’ scholar. Fr. Browne went on to write a detailed study of the Tongan way of life; studies such as these were useful not only in providing a record of Tongan custom, but also for instructing new missionaries about their host culture.
Although life in Zambia was very different to life in Ireland, Fr. Browne never experienced a ‘culture shock’. His entire philosophy was based around being open and receptive to Tongan culture, and he didn’t ‘allow himself the luxury of being shocked’ by unfamiliar practices. ‘I felt you should be open. I was convinced you needed to know the people’s language and customs- if you didn’t know that then you were really clueless! The prevailing view was that you had everything to give and nothing to receive, but I didn’t believe a word of it.’ He argues that this openness is the secret to success in both missionary work and in anthropology: ‘there is a Jesuit saying that one must go in another’s door in order for that other to come out of your door...You need to be receptive.’
Because missionaries had been working in Zambia since 1896, the Tonga were not tabula rasa when it came to the Christian message. However, Christianity still needed to be culturally located: ‘What I believe is that you have to make an effort to understand the people; that will determine your approach to preaching Christianity. To preach in a way which people will understand, you must preach in terms with which they are familiar.’ When asked if African Christianity differs from European Christianity, Fr Browne replies that it does so ‘as much as Africa differs from Europe’. Some interpretations of Christianity were more Pentecostalist than Catholic, but the Tonga were generally a receptive people who took the Christian message to heart. Indeed, Fr. Browne argues that the Zambian mission housed some of the holiest people one could ever hope to meet. In his own words, it takes ‘a hell of a long time to build a Christian culture’: given this, the fact that Christianity has become rooted in African culture in only a few generations is astounding.
However, there were areas in which the acceptance of Catholic doctrine was somewhat superficial. Although the Irish tendency is to assume that we can separate the ‘religious’ from the social or the economic, life among the Tonga shows that this is not the case. For example, polygamy was common amongst Tongan men, even those who were Christian. Converts knew that this went against Biblical teachings on marriage, but because polygamy was seen as an economic rather than a moral practice, they did not view it in the same way that their Irish missionaries did. There were also some issues of cultural ‘translation’: because the Tonga are a matrilineal people, it was somewhat difficult to promote a patrilineal religion such as Christianity, with its emphasis on Father and Son. Fr. Browne argues that new converts always tried to live the Christian life; like all Catholics, however, this was a work in progress.
Political agendas have always been a part of the mission process, and this was equally true for Jesuit missionaries in Zambia. Although race relations in Zambia were significantly less strained than those in South Africa or Zimbabwe, there were still tensions between white and black populations. However, Fr. Browne believes that a distinction was made between white government officials and white missionaries. Missionaries, unlike government officials, made an effort to assimilate into the local culture: they had to, after all, if they were to have any success. Because they were not familiar with Zambezi culture, white government officials misunderstood local power relations. For example, they would treat one man as local headman despite the fact that he was not seen as such by his would-be subjects. This was a mistake which was avoided by missionaries, who had learnt (through living with them) that the Tonga valued democracy and the ability to compromise or broker peace far more than an abstract colonial understanding of power; as the Tongan saying goes, ‘anyone can call himself a chief, but it doesn’t mean we have to obey him’! Headmen tended to be European appointees. Further, Christian missionaries were respected because they had opened schools. Although the British government had claimed that education was important, they had only introduced primary schools, and it was left to religious organisations to open schools for secondary education.
The mission station also benefited the community by distributing basic medical supplies. The Sisters of Charity ran a small bush hospital, and the mission distributed pills, tonics, supplies for cuts, etc. With the nearest hospital 35 miles away, and high rates of infant mortality, this proved a very useful service. The parents of sick children would go to great lengths to prevent their premature deaths. Fr. Browne recalls a woman who decided to begin the 35 mile walk to the hospital in the middle of the night so that her sick baby could get access to medical treatment; although she was eventually persuaded to wait until morning, when she could be driven there, this incident demonstrates the very real danger of having a sick child in the bush.
The mission station is now run by local recruits rather than Europeans. Fr. Browne is ‘delighted’ to see local people running the mission, and has high hopes for Zambia’s future. He believes that the Catholic Church can act as a unifying force in Africa today, because this is the message of the liturgy. Although the mission station is now largely run by African priests and nuns, there is still a role for Irish Catholics to play. Fr. Browne speaks highly of volunteers who give up their time to work in Zambia. He gives a particularly glowing report of a couple from Derry, who taught at the Catholic girls’ school for six years. The children grew up with their parents’ students, and Fr. Browne laughs as he recalls their daughter being taught to dance by the African girls.
If there is an overarching theme around which to organise Fr. Browne’s narrative, then surely it is that of being open and receptive: ‘Be ready to learn. If you go in with a full head, thinking you know everything, you’ll learn nothing.’

1948-1951 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 Chikuni, Zambia - Regency at Canisius College, learning Chitonga
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962-1963 Oxford, UK - Diploma in Social Anthropology at Campion Hall
1963-1964 Monze, Zambia - Parish Priest at Sacred Heart
1964-1965 Chikuni, Zambia - Teacher at Canisius College
1965-1972 Chivuna, Zambia - Parish Work at Chivuna Mission
1968 Parish Priest at Chilala-Ntambo, Pemba
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 Working in Parish at Fumbo
1972-1973 Chisekesi, Zambia - Studying Language and Social Anthropology at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training
1973 -1974 St Ignatius, London, UK - Studying Social Anthropology at London University
1974-1989 Gardiner St - Parish work in Dublin Diocese at Ballyfermot
1982 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (26/03/1982)
1986 Parish Ministry at Blessed Sacrament, Cherry Orchard, Dublin
1989-2017 Milltown Park - Historical Research and Writing
1993 Chaplain at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2000 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Rathfarnham, Dublin
2009 Research in African Studies
2014 Praying for the Church and Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Clancy, Finbarr GJ, 1954-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/842
  • Person
  • 14 November 1954-15 July 2015

Born: 14 November 1954, Dunlavin, County Wicklow
Entered: 26 September 1979, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Ordained: 25 June 1988, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 2011, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died; 15 July 2015, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1989 at Campion Oxford (BRI) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/born-teacher-never-forgot-students/

A born teacher loved by his students
The first anniversary of the death of renowned Jesuit theologian Fr. Finbarr Clancy SJ was on 15 July. The following is an extract of a personal tribute paid to Fr. Finbarr by Fr. D. Vincent Twomey, Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, a colleague of Finbarr’s in patristic studies, at the end of Finbarr’s funeral Mass on 18 July 2015. Finbarr died following a short illness and is fondly remembered by his fellow Jesuits as well as his many colleagues and friends. He had lectured at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and was formerly Professor of Theology at the Milltown Institute.

I got to know Fr Finbarr, when he and his confrère, Fr Ray Moloney, joined the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in 1994, two years after Finbarr had completed his DPhil in Oxford. He was teaching at the time in Milltown. Later I invited him to teach the seminarians in Maynooth. His first paper to the symposium was an introduction to his thesis on St Augustine’s understanding of Church. Over the course of the following twenty-one years, he never missed a meeting and delivered several scholarly papers either at the ordinary meetings of the symposium during each academic year or at our triennial international conferences.

What strikes me is how his earlier life-experiences all coloured his scholarship and enabled him to discover treasures that others had failed to notice. His training as a scientist enriched the way he researched his topics and the care he took in his presentation. His erudition, which he wore lightly, was evident in all he wrote. He was familiar not only with Scripture and with the Greek and Latin thinkers, pagan and Christian, who formed Western civilisation, but also the Syriac and the early Irish Christian writers, who are often neglected. And he could illuminate one or other point with a reference to some literary classic. Typical was a paper he wrote for the last Maynooth International Patristic Conference in 2012 on ‘The pearl of great beauty and the mysteries of the faith’. Patristic studies, to which Fr Finbarr devoted all his free time, when he was not involved in teaching or administration in Milltown, is not concerned with what is passé, but with what is ever new. The excitement of discovering such pearls, such richness, expressed itself in Fr Finbarr’s teaching, when he offered his students the results of his own labour of love. He was a born teacher. His students loved him. One former seminarian wrote to me on hearing of his untimely death: he was a gentleman both in his lectures and outside them – and he never forgot his students.

His life-long concern for the poor and marginalised was reflected in a major paper on the Cappadocian Fathers, who are generally studied primarily for their profound theology of the Holy Trinity. By way of contrast, Fr Finbarr highlighted their care for the poor. His last public lecture, on 5 May in Maynooth under the auspices of the St John Paul II Theological Society, was, fittingly, devoted to the topic: ‘St John Chrysostom on Care for the Poor’.

His love of gardening, which he inherited from his father, and his interest in botany can be seen in the quite extraordinarily rich paper read at the International Conference held in conjunction with Queen’s University, Belfast and devoted to the topic of Salvation. Fr Finbarr spoke on ‘Christ the scented apple and the fragrance of the world’s salvation: a theme in St Ambrose’s Commentary on Ps 118’. In his paper, he showed how, in contrast with the fruit from the tree of life in the garden of Eden, good to eat and pleasing to the eye but bringing death and decay, Ambrose ‘teaches that the story of salvation concerns the gracious invitation to inhale the fragrance of the world’s redemption emanating from the scented apple, Christ, the fruit that hangs on the cross, the tree of life. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 33:9)’.

Perhaps his most spiritually inspiring paper was that read to the Oxford Patristic Conference commemorating the outbreak of Diocletian’s so-called Great Persecution in AD 303. It was entitled: ‘The mind of the persecuted: “Imitating the Mysteries you celebrate”’. Here his own priestly spirituality found eloquent expression as he showed how martyrdom – bearing witness to Christ, even to the point of death – was not only made possible by sharing in the Sacrifice of Christ on the altar but that the martyrs themselves were existential realisations of the mystery of the Eucharist. The liturgy was Fr Finbarr’s passion. At the end of April last, he invited me to join in the Clongowes liturgy, involving some 450 pupils and some fifty parents in the new Sports Hall, which. I gathered later, bore the distinct imprint of his own theology and aesthetics. It was quite magnificent. He told me, not without a sense of justified pride and genuine pleasure, that he and his colleague and friend Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes, gave weekly talks on the liturgy to as many as 100 students each Thursday from 9.00 to 10.00 and that, what’s more, the students seemed to enjoy them. They too will greatly miss him.

The Eucharist was at the heart of Fr Finbarr’s life and theology, as it was for his first scholarly love, St Augustine, because it is at the heart of the Church. Likewise, as a Companion of Jesus, Scripture was his deepest inspiration, which he read through the eyes of the Church Fathers. He once gave a paper on the apt topic: ‘Tasting the food and the inebriating cup of Scriptures: a heme in St Ambrose’s Psalm Commentaries’.

When Fr Finbarr hosted a special meeting of the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in Clongowes on the 2 May last, he drew our attention to the motto of the school over the entrance: Aeterna non caduca. These sentiments, he informed us, were echoed by St Columbanus, as he himself would demonstrate that morning in his paper to the Symposium, in effect a trial-run for the Oxford Patristic Conference which he had hoped to attend in August. According to him, ‘Columbanus loved to contrast the transience of things temporal and earthly with the permanence of things eternal. The thirsting human soul, like a pilgrim in a desert land, longs to be dissolved and be with Christ. The reward of the soul’s pilgrimage is the vision of things heavenly face to face’. I conclude with what seems a fitting quotation from St Columbanus’s song De mundi transitu, which Fr Finbarr once quoted: ‘Joyful after crossing Death / They shall see their joyful King: / With him reigning they shall reign, / with him rejoicing they shall rejoice ...’ May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse No 161 : Autumn 2015 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2015

Obituary

Fr Finbarr Clancy (1954-2015)

14 November 1954 : Born in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow.
Early Education at Dunlavin NS, Clongowes Wood College SJ & Trinity College Dublin
26 September 1979 Entered Society at Manresa House, Dollymount,
25 September 1981: First Vows at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
1981 - 1983: Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1983 - 1985: Belvedere - Regency: Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at TCD Dublin
1985 - 1988: Leinster Road - Studying Theology at Milltown Institute
25 June 1988: Ordained at St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St, College Dublin
1988 - 1992: Campion Hall, Oxford, UK - Doctoral Studies in Theology
1992 - 1996: Milltown Park - Lecturer at Milltown Institute; Pastoral Work
1996 - 1997: Belfast, Co Antrim - Tertianship
1997 - 2014: Milltown Park - Lecturer at Milltown Institute; Pastoral Work
1999: Invited Lecturer in Theology at Pontifical University, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co Kildare
2000: Co-ordinator of Evening Programmes in Theology at Milltown Institute
2001: Senior Lecturer in Theology at Milltown Institute
2004: Director of Evening Programmes in Theology at Milltown Institute
2006: Associate Professor of Theology, Pontifical Faculty, Milltown Institute; Rector of the Pontifical Athanaeum, Milltown Institute
2011: Acting President of Milltown Institute; Rector Ecclesiastical Faculty
2 Feb 2011: Final Vows at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
2013: Sabbatical
2014 - 2015: Clongowes - Lecturer in Theology at Pontifical University, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co Kildare and at Loyola Institute, Trinity College, Dublin; Librarian

Finbarr suffered a serious heart attack on 3 July and was admitted to the Mater Hospital for treatment and recovery. He had a number of operations to stabilise and improve his condition, but unfortunately the damage from the initial episode was too compromising. Having happily received visitors in recent days and been in good form, he was not able to sustain a second attack and died in his sleep in the early hours of 15 July. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

At Finbarr's funeral, Fr Provincial, Tom Layden, preached the homily, of which the following is an edited version.

My memories of Finbarr go back to our days in the noviciate 1979 1981. I especially remember the weeks we spent together in Lent 1980 in the Morning Star hostel, helping the staff to provide meals and shelter for the homeless men who resided there. I recall his great kindness to the men and his great desire to respect their dignity and do all he could to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
Each evening we would pray Compline, the office of Night Prayer, together. At one point, we would pause to look back over the day and, after some quiet moments, share the day's ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures. It was in those moments of faith sharing that he and I came to know each other at a deep level. He could speak easily about each day's journey from the perspective of faith. In those reflections we encouraged and strengthened each other. Often in his sharing he would mention his family and how important they were to him. He would speak of his late father, who had died two years earlier. I recall him telling me about his father saying to him the last time they spoke before his death, as Finbarr was bringing his Trinity research to its conclusion, Don't worry'. Those words, echoing what Jesus says in the Gospel, 'Let not your hearts be troubled', stayed with Finbarr. He certainly saw his father's words as encouraging him to trust in God. He was concerned about his mother living by herself in Dunlavin. Her letters, phone calls and visits always brought him joy and encouragement. This remained the case until she went home to the Lord in 2000.

We served together some years later in Belvedere College, where we were teaching before going to theology studies. Finbarr went there the year ahead of me, so, when I arrived in 1984, he knew his way around the place and was able to explain to me how things were done in the Jesuit community and the school. He was a model teacher. Always so carefully prepared, he knew each of his students and took a personal interest in them. He was a most efficient and knowledgeable sacristan. Above all, he was a simply a good companion. At the end of my first year, he and I went on holiday in the Burren. It was a rare treat to be introduced to such an interesting landscape by a botanist who could point out the various flowers to me. I saw his great knowledge but also the great joy he found in sharing that knowledge with me.

He had great appreciation of the gift of God's beauty reflected in creation. He noticed that beauty, observed it and attended to it. Later, after doctoral studies in Oxford, specialising in St Augustine's theology of the church, he returned to the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology, where he taught up until last year. The same meticulous preparation, careful planning and attention to detail that had been evident in the classroom in Belvedere characterised his classes in the lecture rooms in Milltown. And also that same personal interest in the students. He had a clear sense of where each one was at in their learning and wanted to help them to move to the next stage. He found joy in seeing the students making progress.

As well as care for the students, he also showed care for his colleagues on the faculty. This was especially the case in his years as Rector of the Ecclesiastical Faculty and as Acting President. The community of teaching, research and learning in the Milltown Institute mattered greatly to him. He wanted to support colleagues. In recent days one of those colleagues commented on Finbarr's ability to show interest and give personal support, even when he did not himself agree with the line being taken. He would sometimes attend a talk where the position adopted would be different to the one he was known to hold. He would come up at the end, express appreciation and point out elements he had liked in the presentation. There was in him a tremendous loyalty to his colleagues and a capacity to remain friendly with people, even when he did not agree with their views. Echoes here of the Gospel words about “many rooms in my Father's house”.

The liturgy was always the centre of his life. I recall the lovely altar cloths he made in Belvedere in the 1980s, with different colours for the liturgical seasons, the purifiers and lavabo towels well laundered by his own hand, and the artistically created Advent wreaths. He knew that the visual helps us in our openness to the transcendent. His scientist's eye noticed things and gazed upon them. This was also reflected in how he would decorate the sanctuary for the Masses celebrated at the time of Institute conferring ceremonies.

Many of us will miss Finbarr's gifts as a homilist. His homilies consisted of well-crafted reflections, containing little gems from the Fathers. We heard them even on days when there was no designated celebrant and he ended up leading us, a clear indication that he prepared carefully for each day's Eucharist. The Lord had blessed him with a great sense of reverence, reverence for the holy mystery of God and for the things of God. That reverence was not just confined to chapel and sanctuary. Finbarr, while himself a fine scholar with two doctorates, was always at home in the company of people in ordinary situations. He loved helping out in parishes (in Clane in the past year and in many Dublin parishes in his years in Milltown). He found the Lord among the people in everyday life. He had a sense of our triune God nourishing him through them. He had great awareness of them as carriers of God's goodness.

He delighted in being able to make theology available to the people in parishes. He wanted these treasures opened up for them. One of my memories in recent years was his kindness in driving home the staff who had been working serving at dinners in Milltown. He was always ready to hop in the car and bring someone home, no matter how late the hour or how inclement the weather,
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of himself as the way, the Truth and the Life. He is the way that leads to the Father. He is the Truth who sets us free. He is the Life that has overcome death. It was Finbarr's deepest desire to be a companion of this Jesus, to walk his way, to serve his truth, to share his life and carry on his mission. This he did as priest and Jesuit in library and classroom, in church and chapel, in caring for the garden and in looking after the details of administration.

In the past year, he was teaching in St Patrick's College Maynooth and in the Loyola Institute in Trinity College. I told him earlier that I was very happy that he was involved as a theologian in the training of the priests of tomorrow in the seminary and in teaching theology to lay students in a secular university,

Coming back to Clongowes in the past year was a homecoming. Clongowes had been the cradle of his Jesuit vocation. He loved the grounds. He also got involved as a theologian in the school, especially in preparing the students for the Sunday liturgies and in the liturgies themselves. There was also a homecoming in going back to teach in Trinity College, where he has been a botany student in the 1970s. And then there was the final homecoming of the early morning of 15th July, when he left us to return to the Lord, the Lord who had gone ahead himself and prepared a place reserved for him.

At the end of Mass, Finbarr's friend and colleague, Professor Emeritus D. Vincent Twomey SVD, paid a personal tribute from the viewpoint of a colleague in patristic studies. This is part of his address :

I got to know Fr Finbarr when he and his confrère, Fr Ray Moloney, joined the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in 1994, two years after Finbart had completed his DPhil in Oxford. He was teaching at the time in Milltown. Later I invited him to teach the seminarians in Maynooth. His first paper to the symposium was an introduction to his thesis on St Augustine's understanding of Church. Over the course of the following twenty-one years, he never missed a meeting and delivered several scholarly papers either at the ordinary meetings of the symposium during each academic year or at our triennial international conferences.

What strikes me is how his earlier life-experiences all coloured his scholarship and enabled him to discover treasures that others had failed to notice. His training as a scientist enriched the way he researched his topics and the care he took in his presentation. His erudition, which he wore lightly, was evident in all he wrote. He was familiar not only with Scripture and with the Greek and Latin thinkers, pagan and Christian, who formed Western civilization, but also the Syriac and the early Irish Christian writers, who are often neglected. And he could illuminate one or other point with a reference to some literary classic. Typical was a paper he wrote for the last Maynooth International Patristic Conference in 2012 on The pearl of great beauty and the mysteries of the faith'. Patristic studies, to which Fr Finbarr devoted all his free time, when he was not involved in teaching or administration in Milltown, is not concerned with what is passé, but with what is ever new. The excitement of discovering such pearls, such richness, expressed itself in Fr Finbarr's teaching, when he offered his students the results of his own labour of love. He was a born teacher. His students loved him. One former seminarian wrote to me on hearing of his untimely death: he was a gentleman both in his lectures and outside them - and he never forgot his students.

His life-long concern for the poor and marginalized was reflected in a major paper on the Cappadocian Fathers, who are generally studied primarily for their profound theology of the Holy Trinity. By way of contrast, Fr Finbarr highlighted their care for the poor. His last public lecture, on 5 May in Maynooth under the auspices of the St John Paul II Theological Society, was, fittingly, devoted to the topic: “St John Chrysostom on Care for the Poor”. His love of gardening, which he inherited from his father, and his interest in botany can be seen in the quite extraordinarily rich paper read at the International Conference held in conjunction with Queen's University, Belfast and devoted to the topic of Salvation. Fr Finbarr spoke on “Christ the scented apple and the fragrance of the world's salvation: a theme in St Ambrose's Commentary on Ps 118”. In his paper, he showed how, in contrast with the fruit from the tree of life in the garden of Eden, good to eat and pleasing to the eye but bringing death and decay, Ambrose “teaches that the story of salvation concerns the gracious invitation to inhale the fragrance of the world's redemption emanating from the scented apple, Christ, the fruit that hangs on the cross, the tree of life”. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 33:9).

Perhaps his most spiritually inspiring paper was that read to the Oxford Patristic Conference commemorating the outbreak of Diocletian's so-called Great Persecution in AD 303. It was entitled: "The mind of the persecuted: “Imitating the Mysteries you celebrate”. Here his own priestly spirituality found eloquent expression as he showed how martyrdom - bearing witness to Christ, even to the point of death - was not only made possible by sharing in the Sacrifice of Christ on the altar but that the martyrs themselves were existential realizations of the mystery of the Eucharist.

The liturgy was Fr Finbarr's passion. At the end of April last, he invited me to join in the Clongowes liturgy, involving some 450 pupils and some fifty parents in the new Sports Hall, which. I gathered later, bore the distinct imprint of his own theology and aesthetics. It was quite magnificent. He told me, not without a sense of justified pride and genuine pleasure, that he and his colleague and friend Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes, gave weekly talks on the liturgy to as many as 100 students each Thursday from 9.00 to 10.00 and that, what's more, the students seemed to enjoy them. They too will greatly miss him.

The Eucharist was at the heart of Fr Finbarr's life and theology, as it was for his first scholarly love, St Augustine, because it is at the heart of the Church. Likewise, as a Companion of Jesus, Scripture was his deepest inspiration, which he read through the eyes of the Church Fathers. He once gave a paper on the apt topic: "Tasting the food and the inebriating cup of Scriptures: a heme in St Ambrose's Psalm Commentaries'.

When Fr Finbarr hosted a special meeting of the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in Clongowes on the 2 May last, he drew our attention to the motto of the school over the entrance: Aeterna non caduca. These sentiments, he informed us, were echoed by St Columbanus, as he himself would demonstrate that morning in his paper to the Symposium, in effect a trial-run for the Oxford Patristic Conference which he had hoped to attend in August. According to him, “Columbanus loved to contrast the transience of things temporal and earthly with the permanence of things eternal. The thirsting human soul, like a pilgrim in a desert land, longs to be dissolved and be with Christ. The reward of the soul's pilgrimage is the vision of things heavenly face to face!” I conclude with what seems a fitting quotation from St Columbanus's song De mundi transitu, which Fr Finbarr once quoted: Joyful after crossing Death:

They shall see their joyful King:
With him reigning they shall reign,
With him rejoicing they shall rejoice ...

May he rest in peace.

Clarke, Richard, 1839-1900, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1049
  • Person
  • 25 January 1839-10 September 1900

Born: 25 January 1839, London, England
Entered: 15 July 1871, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1878
Professed: 02 February 1887
Died: 10 September 1900, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Rector of Campion Hall, Oxford at the time of death

by 1890 came to UCD to lecture in Classics

Clear, John B, 1922-2009, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/768
  • Person
  • 13 September 1922-21 September 2009

Born: 13 September 1922, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 21 September 2009, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1974 at Oxford, England (ANG) working
by 1986 at Reading, England (BRI) working
by 1989 at North Hinksey, Oxfordshire (BRI) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 142 : Winter 2009

Obituary

Fr John Clear (1922-2009)

13th September 1922: Born in Dublin
Early education Stanhope St. Convent and CBS Richmond St.
6th September 1941: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1943: First Vows at Emo
1943 - 1946: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Crescent College - Teacher
1951 - 1952: Clongowes - Prefect
1952 - 1956: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained at Milltown Park
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Loyola House - Minister
3rd February 1958: Final Vows at Loyola House
1958 - 1961: Gardiner Street - Church work; Sodality
1961 - 1968: Emo - Mission staff
1968 - 1969: Rathfarnham - Mission staff
1969 - 1971: Tullabeg - Mission staff
1971 - 1973: Rathfarnham - Mission and Retreat staff
1973 - 1978: Holyrood Church, Oxford, England - Parish work
1978 - 1985: Rathfarnham -
1978 - 1981: Mission and Retreat staff
1981 - 1983: Mission and Retreat staff; Asst. Director Pioneers
1983 - 1985: Asst. Director Retreat House; Asst. Director Pion.
1985 - 1986: Reading - Parish Ministry; Asst. Editor Messenger
1986 - 1990: Oxford -
1986 - 1988: Parish Ministry
1988 - 1990: Parish Priest
1990 - 1991: St. Ignatius, Galway - Parish Curate; Spiritual Director, Our Lady's Boys' Club
1991 - 1998: Dooradoyle -
1991 - 1996: Subminister; Asst. Treasurer; Asst. for John Paul II Oratory; Asst. in Sacred Heart Church
1996 - 1997: Minister; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian
1997 - 1998: Treasurer; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian; Asst. Minister
1998 - 2002: John Austin House - Pastoral work; Vice Superior; Assistant Hospital Chaplain
2002 - 2009: Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
4th August 2009: Fr. Clear was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home on from the Mater Hospital following a short illness. His condition deteriorated very quickly.
21st September 2009: Died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge

Brian Lennon writes:
John died early on Monday 21st September 2009 at the age of 87. His health had gradually declined over the past few years. He was beginning to lose his memory, Over the summer he had a few bouts of confusion and pain. He spent some time in hospital in the Mater and Vincent's in Dublin. Eventually inoperable cancer was diagnosed and he arrived in Cherryfield on 4 August, where, like so many, he got great care.

He was born in Dublin on 13th September 1922 and educated by the Christian Brothers at O'Connell's School, North Richmond Street, Dublin. He went to Emo in 1941, so was a Jesuit for 68 years. He went through the normal course of studies and then spent 21 years working in parishes and 19 on the Mission staff. Hearing confessions was very important to him, especially in the years he spent in Gardiner St. since 2002 right up to the year of his death. It was a natural apostolate for him because he had great kindness. He told me once that in his parish work he always involved lay people, and - extraordinarily - he never had a row with any of them.

At different times he was based in Emo, Rathfarnham, Tullabeg, Oxford, Reading, Galway, Limerick, Loyola and John Austin House, as well as Gardiner St, from 1958 to 1961 and then again since 2002.

He wrote a lot: pamphlets on “Mary My Mother”, “Elizabeth of Hungary: Princess, Mother and Saint”, the “Japanese martyrs”, and “Lily of the Mohawks - Kateri Tekawitha”, the first North American saint. He also wrote many articles for the Pioneer and other journals.

My memory of him is of someone with a great sense of humour. I sometimes teased him about not attending events like Province Days and also polluting his room and the whole corridor with his infernal pipe smoke, to all of which he would respond with a deeply satisfied belly laugh. He had no airs or graces and he had a natural way of relating to people. He had a very simple view of life with a great devotion to Our Lady. He was deeply grateful for even the smallest things one did for him.

When his remains were brought to Gardiner Street there were several Sisters of Charity present. Two of them knew at least seven other sisters who traced their vocation to meeting John. One of them said: 'He showed me my way to God', a pretty good obituary for anyone. There must have been a lot of others in those 21 years in parishes and 19 years on the Missions who would say the same thing, but these are the stories that we other Jesuits may be the last to hear about.

He took an interest in what was happening around him. He was a great reader. One of the topics that fascinated him in recent years was research on DNA pools, showing where we have all come from, and that all of us all over the world are much more closely related to each other than many might like. He would always check out new publications by Jesuits.

He had a great friendship with some families, and loved to go back to Oxford to visit them. One of them told the story of John giving out to a young three year old, Daniel, by telling him that he was “too bold”, to which the young man responded that he was not “two bold”, but “three bold”.

He was a great swimmer in his young days. His brothers say that they coped with his leaving home for Emo with a certain amount of delight because they had more room in the house, and they suggested also that John, the eldest, was a bit correct and rule bound at that stage. They danced on his bed when he left, something they would not have had the nerve to do while he was still there. By the time he had grown old gracefully he had certainly lost any stiffness.

He died on the feast of St Matthew. The tax collectors were bad apples: not only did they rob people with little money, they also collaborated with the foreign occupiers who polluted the holy places. The fact that Jesus had fellowship with them by eating and drinking with them was deeply scandalous to the Jews, and understandably so. The meal in Matthew's house may have taken place after Matthew's conversion, but others there were surely not converted. But that did not stop Jesus eating with them. Calling Matthew to follow him was worse.

It's a feast that is appropriate for John's own day of entry into eternal life. He too reached out to people in trouble, and the cause of the trouble was never a block for him. He has now gone to join Matthew and the other tax collectors, and many of those with whom he walked during his ministry. He will also join the Pharisees, whom he knew are in each one of us. May he rest in peace.

Connolly, John William, 1779-1818, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1091
  • Person
  • 1779-05 September 1818

Born: 1779, Ireland
Entered: 31 August 1807, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1810, Stonyhurst
Died: 05 September 1818, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1812 Succeeded Charles Leslie at the Oxford Mission. He died there from a rupture of a blood vessel 05 September 1818 aged 39. He was buried in the old chapel of St Clement’s, Oxford, where a small tablet was erected to his memory.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONOLLY, JOHN. This Irish Father succeeded Rev. James Leslie at Oxford, in the autumn of 1812, but was cut off in the prime of life, on the 5th of September, 1818. A small Tablet in the Chapel states that the mortal remains of Rev. John William Conolly are deposited there - that he had been the Incumbent from 1812, to 1818, and that he was aged 39 years at the date of his death.

Darlington, Joseph, 1850-1939, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/43
  • Person
  • 05 November 1850-18 July 1939

Born: 05 November 1850, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Entered: 10 July 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1889
Final vows: 15 August 1897
Died: 18 July 1939, Linden Convalescent Home Blackrock, Dublin

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

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

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Darlington, Joseph
by Bridget Hourican

Darlington, Joseph (1850–1939), Jesuit and academic, was born 5 November 1850 in Wigan, Lancashire, second son of Ralph Darlington (occupation unknown). He matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford (2 December 1869) and graduated BA (1874) and MA (1876), after which he took orders in the Church of England. At Oxford he had been profoundly influenced by the leaders of the anglo-catholic movement, and, because of his advocacy of certain catholic doctrines, had to resign his parish. After a summer spent wrestling his conscience in the Rhineland, he was received into the catholic church in 1878, and came to Ireland as tutor to a catholic family in Tralee, Co. Kerry, where he met and was influenced by the Jesuit Isaac Moore. In 1880 he entered the Irish Jesuit noviciate and in 1885 was on the staff of UCD, teaching Latin and Greek and acting as assistant prefect of studies. He spent the rest of his career in UCD.

Appointed dean of studies and university examiner in English literature in 1890, he was for the next nineteen years (until the absorption of the old college into the new UCD) ‘the linchpin of what was at times a somewhat ramshackle conveyance’ (Gwynn, 36). He was professor of English until 1901, when he transferred to the chair of metaphysics (1901–9). Idiosyncratic, energetic, and a talented organiser, he was famous for his involvement with every phase of college life, and his concern for students’ welfare. His mannerisms – staccato speech, brisk rubbing of hands – became legendary, as did his perpetual refrain ‘Capital! Capital! Just my idea!’, which signalled his propensity to agreement. His eccentricity, pliancy, and good nature are illustrated by two stories that found their way into a number of memoirs: when a student informed him he was to be married, Darlington allegedly replied: ‘Just the very thing, just the very thing, I was about to do the same myself’; and when John Marcus O'Sullivan (qv) applied for a chair in philosophy, Darlington asked if he had any other subject, and on hearing that he had studied history in first year, said ‘Capital! Capital! You apply for history.’ O'Sullivan did, gained the professorship, and proved a great success. Darlington's students set traps to get him to agree indiscriminately and so contradict himself – possibly he played along, as he had a droll sense of humour. Most appreciated his interest in their welfare and his ‘almost miraculous power of radiating his own cheerful optimism’ (Howley, 504), but this view was not shared by his most famous student, James Joyce (qv), who immortalised him as the dean of studies in Portrait of the artist as a young man (1916). Joyce's dean is indeed brisk, chatty, interested, and courteous, but he is also unsaintly, with pale, loveless eyes, a hard, jingling voice, and a face like an unlit lamp. In one of the book's most famous scenes, his querying of a peculiarly Irish word makes Stephen Dedalus reflect bitterly on Ireland's subordination to Britain. Other students, however, thought Darlington the best assimilated of the English Jesuits in UCD – ‘though he had English eyes, he wore Irish spectacles. He could see our point of view and agree with it’ (Howley, 501–2). Later in life he was a strong supporter of Sinn Féin.

Darlington published little – most notable was probably The dilemma of John Haughton Steele (1933), a biography of the convert son of the Rev. William Steele (qv). An exponent of the theory that Shakespeare was catholic, he wrote between 1897 and 1899 a number of articles on this subject in the Irish Ecclesiastical Review, the Irish Monthly, and the New Ireland Review. His contribution to the history of the college, A page of Irish history (1930) was droll and lively, exhibiting his excellent memory for detail and grasp of the absurd. It was with characteristic humour that he suggested the volume be called ‘Whigs on the Green’, after the political tendency of UCD president William Delany (qv), SJ. Outside the college he played an important role as director of the Archconfraternity of St Joseph in Ireland and as editor of its newsletter, St Joseph's Sheaf. This confraternity, founded in France, focused on educating young priests. A Galway woman, Olivia Mary Taafe (qv), set up the Irish branch and persuaded Darlington to become involved. Shortly after the first issue of St Joseph's Sheaf (1 April 1895), Darlington was transferred to England for his tertianship (the year's course required before the taking of the final Jesuit vows) and his colleague, Fr Henry Browne (qv) took over the editorship, but Darlington remained involved with the society until 1923 and contributed regularly to the newsletter.

On the establishment of the NUI (1909) Darlington stepped down as dean and professor but was put in charge of Winton House and later University Hall, students' halls of residence, where he continued to work until a few years before his death in Dublin on 18 July 1939, aged 88.

Arthur Clery, Dublin essays (1919), 54–6; Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: the story of University College Dublin 1883–1909 (1930); IER, xlii (July 1933), 109–10; Ir. Independent, 19 July 1939; John Howley, ‘Fr Joseph Darlington, S.J., 1850–1939: an appreciation’, Studies, xxviii (1939), 501–4; Alumni Oxonienses; J. F. Byrne, The silent years (1953), 33–5; Aubrey Gwynn, ‘The Jesuit fathers and University College’, Michael Tierney (ed.), Struggle with fortune: a miscellany for the centenary of the Catholic University of Ireland, 1854–1954 (1954); Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1982); Thomas J. Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany S.J. 1835–1924 (1983); J. Anthony Gaughan, Olivia Mary Taafe, 1832–1918 (1995)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

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

Irish Province News 14th Year No 4 1939

Obituary

Father Joseph Darlington

Father Joseph Darlington died at Linden Convalescent Home Blackrock, on the 18th July. His health and his memory had been failing for some years-he was almost 89 when he died - but his sunny and unselfish cheerfulness remained to the very end undimmed, and made everyone who had to do with him his friend.

He was born in Wigan in 1850, and educated at Rossall School, and at Brasenose College, Oxford. When at Oxford he came in touch with the leaders of the Anglo-Catholic movement, and was profoundly influenced by their ideas. He decided to take Orders in the Church of England, but before doing so he spent a year or more at the seminary which the Anglo-Catholics had established at Cuddesdon, in order that clerics might have some more instruction and training in their duties than were required for a University Degree. He always retained a strong and affectionate regard for his colleagues and teachers of this period. I remember someone saying in his presence that these “Ritualists were only interested
in externals. vestments and incense and candles and so on is not so," said he (it must have been almost the only instance in which he was ever known to contradict anyone) “I knew these men well, I was one of them, We wondered why it was that when we preached Catholic doctrines, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence, the power of the Sacraments, and so on, nobody listened to us, while the Catholic churches. in which these same doctrines were preached, were crowded, We went to see, and we saw that everything in the Catholic Church, the vestments, the lights, the altar decorations, the pictures and statues, all spoke to the people of the supernatural and divine meaning of the doctrines. So we went and did the same.
His father, a well-to-do lawyer, secured for him a prosperous living, and his prospects in the Church of England were rosy. But his advocacy of Catholic doctrines brought him into conflict with his flock, who reported him to his Bishop. The young parson defended his beliefs, and the Bishop replied with much kindness : “I will not argue with you about the truth of your ideas. But I will put this to you - you are being paid a salary to teach the doctrines of the Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles. And the doctrines you are teaching, whether true or not, do not seem to answer to that description.” Whereupon the young divine promptly resigned his benefice, and prepared to face the world penniless.
Not long after this he was received into the Church, and obtained a position as tutor in an Irish Catholic family. He had already, at the time of his reception, offered himself to the Society, but he was then too recent a convert to be received at once. It was largely the impression made upon him by Father Isaac Moore, S.J., that decided him to enter the Irish Province, which he did in 1880, two years after his reception into the Church.
Not very long before, while he was still in the Ministry of the Church of England, a colleague had said to him : “I can't go on as I am. I must be either a Jesuit or a Cowley Father.” Darlington had answered, horrified at the danger his friend was running : “Put the idea of being a Jesuit out of your head. That is a temptation straight from the devil! ” So the friend became a Cowley Father, and remained one to his death, having in the meantime written one of the best books in English on the Spiritual Exercises.
After his novitiate he did three years Philosophy at Milltown Park, and was assigned in 1885 to University College, which Father W. Delany was struggling valiantly and with success to put on its feet. He helped in the teaching and studied for a degree in Philosophy. He was already M.A. of Oxford, but he took his B.A. in the old Royal University in 1886 and his M.A. in 1887, the latter with First-Class Honours and a special Gold Medal. Then he went to Louvain for Theology, and after his ordination returned to University College. Here he remained, with the exception of his Tertianship at Chieri, until the Royal University ceased to exist, in 1909. He was, one may say, the mainspring of the College, and its wonderful success during those twenty years was more due to him, probably, than to any other one man. He was Professor of English first and of Philosophy afterwards, and Prefect of Studies the whole time. His energy was unremitting, and he had a wonderful power of taking a real personal interest in every person and thing he had to deal with. He was not a great organiser, but every teacher and every student knew that he had in Father Darlington a personal friend to whom he could turn in any difficulty or trouble, and who would spare no trouble to help him. His kindness was unbounded. Apart from his duties at the College, every student in Dublin who had got into trouble with his parents or with his scholastic superiors, or even with the police, turned to him as a matter of course, and never in vain. Not only was he helped, but he was made to feel that by appealing for help he had conferred a great favour on Father Darlington.
During these years, too, and indeed until in the last days his feebleness made it impossible, he helped numbers of non-Catholics to find their way into the Church. They came to him, sure of a sympathetic and understanding listener. His habit of agreeing with practically everything one said was a source of amusement to his friends, but it had a solid basis, and it served him well when dealing with the difficulties of others. His principle was that, just as there is an element of good in everyone, so there is an element of truth in almost every statement; and his plan was to seize on that and build upon it. A Protestant said to him once: “If I knew what is in the Blessed Sacrament, I think I could become a Catholic”. He replied: “You don't know, and neither do I. But Our Lord said, 'This is My Body,' and I believe Him. And if He says anything to me about it on the Last Day, I shall say, I didn't know what was there, but You told me it was Your Body, and I believed You.” That difficulty was settled. Another time an Anglican, engaged to a Catholic girl, explained that in his view the Church had three branches, the Romani, the Eastern, and the Anglican. "And now," said Father Darlington, “ suppose a bird is sitting on a branch of a tree, and he sees his mate sitting on another branch, what does he do? “Hop over beside his mate, of course”. This principle of fastening on what is good and true in any person or statement, and working on that, is of course entirely accord ing to the mind and practice of St. Ignatius. But what above all else gave Father Darlington the remarkable power he had over souls in trouble or difficulty was his absolute self-forgetfulness and self-devotion ; that he was, in fact, so completely a man of God.
When the National University was founded in 1909, he did not apply for a chair. So it fell out that of all the Professors of the old University College (not due for superannuation), he, who had done more than any of the rest to make the new College possible, was the only one not to figure in its Faculty-list. He devoted himself to the students at Winton House and afterwards at University Hall, with the same generous energy that he had shown at Stephen's Green for so many years.
He was Spiritual Father to the Community for something like thirty years. His exhortations were often a delight to listen to for their freshness of outlook and presentation. I remember the first one he gave, in Stephen's Green, He was the most genuinely humble of men, and really felt for the Community, condemned to listen to such a person as himself. He did not say this in so many words, but he told us that the Spiritual Father was appointed for the humiliation of the Community. “Among the Fathers of the Desert”, he read out of his manuscript, “it was the custom, for the humiliation of the Community, to appoint its most stupid member as Spiritual Father - and we have only to look around us to see that the same heroic practice still obtains in all its pristine vigor”.
His whole life was generously given to God and his neighbour and he has left a fragrant memory to his many friends. May he rest in peace (M Egan SJ)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Darlington 1850-1939
According to Fr William Delaney, Fr Joseph Darlington was the mainspring of the old Royal University and its success during those years 1889-1909, and indeed this was due in no small way to him. His energy was unremitting and he had a special gift of a personal interest in every person and thing he had to deal with, from his duties at the College, every student in Dublin who had got into trouble with his parents or scholastic superiors, or even police turned to him in a matter of course, and never in vain.

On retiring from the Royal University he became Spiritual Father in Leeson Street, an office he held for thirty years, giving exhortations that were a delight to the community.

He was born a Protestant at Wigan England in 1850, and while in Oxford came under the influence of the Oxford Movement. He took Orders in the Anglican Church, but entered the Catholic Church in 1878, becoming a Jesuit two years later.

He died at the ripe age of 89 on July 18th 1939.

Finn, Daniel J, 1886-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/150
  • Person
  • 24 March 1886-01 November 1936

Born: 24 March 1886, Cork City
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 January 1919, Zakopane, Poland
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 01 November 1936, London, England

Part of the Holy Spirit Seminary community, Aberdeen, Hong Kong at time of his death.

by 1910 at Oxford, England (ANG) studying
by 1914 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Zakopane, Poland (GALI) working
by 1920 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Presentation Brothers College Cork. While still underage he won first place in Ireland in the Preparatory Grade, 1896, against over 2.600 competitors, securing 90% all round in his subjects. He was presented with a large gold medal and chaired through the College by his school fellows. Two years later he came second in the Junior Grade, winning four first composition prizes in Latin, French, German and Italian. He obtained a First Class Exhibition in his Middle and Senior Grades, while still underage, and in the Middle Grade, a gold medal for first place in three modern languages. During these years he also showed special devotion to Our Lady, and was noted for a certain gravity and cheerfulness of disposition, which he never lost.

He Entered the Society under Michael Browne in 1902 at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg
1904-1907 He remained at Tullabeg for his Juniorate.
1907-1909 He was sent to Rathfarnham Castle and University College Dublin gaining a BA in Archaeology.
1909-1910 He taught the Juniors at Tullabeg and went to St John’s College Oxford, where he gained a Diploma in Archaeology, and working under Sir Percy Gardner.
1910-1913 He was sent to Clongowes for regency, teaching Bookkeeping, Latin and Greek. His lectures to the community at this time on the great works of painting and sculpture were much appreciated.
1913-1917 He was sent to Innsbruck for Philosophy, and while there he learned Hungarian and some Slavic languages. His first sermon was in Irish on St Brigid, and while there he continued his interest in art and archaeology. Then because of the Italian entry into the war he was banished from the Tyrol and went to Kollegium Kalksberg close to Vienna, and he began Theology there in private, and gaining a sound knowledge of Hebrew.
1917-1920 He joined the Polish Theologate at Dzieddzice in Prussian Silesia. As a result of a severe cold here he contracted TB and was sent to the Jesuit residence at Zakopane, a famous health resort. He was Ordained there on 24 January 1919, in order to have consolation of dying a Priest. However, he was able to return to Ireland at the end of June that year, after spending the winder of 1919-1920 at Petworth Sussex in England.
1920-1922 He was sent to Australia and completed his Theology studies there and made Tertianship at Loyola Greenwich, whilst at the same time teaching the Juniors.
1922-1926 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview as a Teacher and Prefect of Studies. Here he was remembered for swimming in the baths, rowing on the river in the Gladstone skiff of a four, or throwing himself into a production of the Passion Play. Meanwhile, he taught one boy Japanese. During his time in Riverview he volunteered for the Japanese Mission, but he was diverted by Superiors to the Hong Kong Mission.
1926-1928 He resided in Hong Kong, engaged with the language and was employed at the University as a lecturer in pedagogy
1928-1931 He was in Canton in charge of the studied at Bishop Fourquet’s Sacred Heart School. There he also began the study of Chinese archaeology. He also translated several volumes of “Researches into Chinese Superstition” written by Fr Henri Doré SJ.
1931 He returned to Hong Kong he was appointed Spiritual Director of the Seminarians, Professor of Church History, and also a Lecturer in Geography at the University. In addition he found time for the research for which he would be chiefly remembered - his archaeological research in Lamma Island and other regions around Hong Kong which greatly enhanced the reputation of the Church in the Far East.
He represented the University and the Government at an International Congress in Manila and Oslo in 1936. His paper at Oslo was entitles “Crucial Doubts about the Most Important Finds in the Hong Kong Region”. At this same time he also managed to have published thirteen articles in the Hong Kong “Naturalist” entitled “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island 1932-1936”
1936 he left Dublin for the British Museum on October 05, to continue his reading and discussion of the prehistoric specimens he had brought home with him. He was engaged in this work up to the 10th when he developed a carbuncle which indicated a general blood infection. He was transferred to hospital on the 16th, where despite expert treatment he failed to respond and he died.

He carried his learning lightly, and he laughed amusedly at the pedantic and ponderous. He was extremely humble, unassuming and simple, though a man of intense intellectual concentration and power for work. He was gifted with a strong robust character that knew no temporising or equivocation. His literary gifts were of a high order, as appeared from the little that was left in the way of letters written during his first years in China. He was an extraordinarily fine linguist, speaking Chinese, Irish, Latin, Greek, French, German, Polish and Japanese.

His early death saddened both his Jesuit and scientific colleagues.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Daniel Finn, S.J.
(1886-1936)
By Thomas. F. Ryan SJ

The news of Father Finn’s death came as a shock to all who knew him even by name, and it was a painful blow to those who knew him personally. He was one of those rare characters that are equally conspicuous for qualities of heart and of head, and among all who came in contact with him his genial disposition will be as well remembered as his brilliant intellect. His death is a loss to science and especially to Hong Kong, and it is particularly tragic that he should have died abroad while on a scientific mission, representing both the Government and the University of Hong Kong.

It is close on forty years since I first met Father Finn, and I can still remember the first occasion on which I heard his name. It was at the first distribution of prizes which I attended at school. As a new boy and a very diminutive member of the lowest class, I listened with awe to the Headmaster’s account of the successes of the year, and I can recall his attitude and the tone of his voice as he told how one Daniel Finn found himself in a very enviable dilemma after his first public examination - he had to choose which of two gold medals he would accept. He had qualified for two, one for being first in Ireland in whole examination, and the other for being first in modern languages, but even in those amazing nineties when gold medals were awarded so liberally, no student in this examination could receive more than one. I forget which he chose, but I remember that the Headmaster fully approved of it - as headmasters always do on such occasions.

It was not long before the “Daniel” of the Headmaster’s speech gave place to “Dan.” Three years is a considerable gap between school-boy ages and to me Dan Finn was one of the Olympians, but he was a very cheerful divinity and was as much a hero to the smaller boys as if he were a proud athlete who never passed an examination. He never changed much in appearance from what he was as a boy. He was of the same build then as later, short and sturdy, with the same quizzical look about his eyes, and the same pucker of the lips, and the same odd angle of the head when he was hesitating about something. He grew careless about his clothes as the years went on, but as a boy in Cork forty years ago he was neatness itself, and the wide white collar above the Norfolk coat of those days was always spotless. He took no active part in games, but his best friend was a prominent athlete, and at school football-matches he was constantly to be seen on the touchline, leaning on the shoulder of some companion, and talking incessantly.

He had many family sorrows during his school-days, but they left no scars, and his good-humoured disposition never varied. His success in studies was phenomenal. It was commonly said of him in our school-days that he got first in every examination for which he sat. I am sure that this was an exaggeration, but it cannot have been very far from the truth. He was the only boy I remember whose photograph was hung in the school immediately after he left it. It was put over the fireplace in my classroom, and as we sat around the fire before class or during recess, remarks were often made about him.
“Where is he now?” someone asked one day.
“He is gone to be a Jesuit,” someone else answered.
That was the first time that I heard of anyone I knew becoming a Jesuit.

After a few years he began his University studies in Dublin, and before long the name of Rev. D. Finn, S.J., began to head the lists of examination results. As a boy he had taken up modern languages - French, German and Italian - for no other reason than that the school which we both attended cultivated them particularly. At the University he took up classics, and it was classics that formed the basis of the wide culture that was afterwards his. His entrance into classical studies was almost sensational, for after six months study of Greek he won a scholarship and first place in Greek and Latin in the University entrance examination. First with first-class honours in every examination, and every scholarship within reach, would be a correct summing up of this university career.

Recording examination successes is a monotonous thing, and in the case of Father Finn the less said about examinations the better if a proper estimate of him is to be given. He hated examinations. The humdrum work which they demanded was nauseating to him, and it was fortunate that preparation for them demanded such little effort on his part. He was always at his best when off the beaten track. I remember once meeting him in a country place when he was resting after a bout of examinations. He had a geologist’s hammer in his hand and was off to a railway cutting to look for fossils. The byways of the classics soon interested him. He stopped his first reading of Homer to make a model of a trireme, and a very ingenious model it was, with the oars made to scale and of a much more reasonable length than some antiquarians suggested. A year later he had developed a new theory for completing the friezes of the Parthenon, and he beguiled a number of people into adopting statuesque poses and allowing themselves to be photographed to demonstrate his theory. I have a vivid recollection of the sheepish look of a village shoe-maker who found himself dressed in a trousers and a long red curtain, standing on one leg and holding his arms at unnatural angles.

Whenever he seemed on the point of demanding a return to modern clothes and village dignity, Father Finn used tactfully to interject a remark about his splendid muscles, and so secure a continuance of the pose for another photograph.

On being awarded a Travelling Studentship from the University in Ireland, Father Finn went to Oxford, and from his time his classical studies were carried on more and more in museums rather than from books. His reading indeed was then as at all times, enormous, but he was by nature an explorer in unusual spheres and henceforth his reading was mainly a background for his explorations. In Oxford he devoted himself to the writing of a thesis on the colouring of Greek sculpture. It won him the highest praise, and one of the professors excused himself from the usual examination on the plea that the reading of the thesis showed that the writer know more about it than he did. When he returned to Ireland the first thing that he did was to look up the Greek professor in Dublin who had whetted his interest in archaeology and suggest to him that they should start some excavations on the hill of Tara.

A few years teaching classics in a secondary school followed. These were undistinguished years, for preparing boys for examinations was emphatically not Father Finn’s strong point. But he interested some of his cleverer pupils in all kinds of strange branches of study, and years later many men acknowledged their indebtedness to him for an interest in intellectual pursuits which they would otherwise never have had.

When it was time for him to go abroad to do further studies I received a letter from him. I was then in Italy and he wanted to know if it would be good for him to go to study in Rome, as was suggested. His idea was that an alternation of lectures in philosophy and visits to museums would be better than whole-time philosophical studies. But before my reply reached him it was decided that residence in a German-speaking house would be most useful for his future studies in the classics. So he was sent to Innsbruck, in the Tyrol. This decision, with which he was delighted, was to prove a fateful one for him.

In the December before the war broke out I was passing through Austria and met him in Innsbruck. I was bewildered by the number of new interests that engrossed him. Munich was near enough for an occasional visit to its museums and picture-galleries, but now the social movements in Germany and Austria had begun to attract him, and Austrian folk-lore was tugging at his attention too. He had always been a student of art, and his special leaning was towards Gothic architecture and Gothic sculpture, and he found time to give considerable time to it in Innsbruck. There was a problem here, too, to attract him, and I was not many hours in the town before he had me standing beside the Emperor Maximilan’s tomb while he expounded his theories about the identity of the famous figures surrounding it.

In the following summer the war broke out and Fr. Finn, from being among friends, became a stranger in a hostile land. Though the Austrians treated the alien residents with all that courtesy in which they excel, yet war is war and conditions were hard. At first things were not so bad, he was allowed to continue his studies, and all that was demanded was that he should report regularly to the police authorities. Then he had to do hospital work; then supplies began to run low - then his health gave out. The remaining years were difficult ones. An effort to get permission for him to leave the country did not succeed. But within the possibilities of wartime conditions he was treated with every consideration. He was moved from place to place, to countries that have since changed their names, and after some time in Lower Austria, in Hungary and in Czechoslovakia he was sent finally to Poland, where he could continue his studies. He was fond of Poland, and spoke more of it than of any of the other countries in which he lived. He learned the Polish language and a certain amount of Russian. It was in Poland that he was ordained to the priesthood.

After the war he returned to Ireland sadly broken in health. He had developed tuberculosis, and the only hope of saving his life was to go to a drier climate. He went to Australia and there he made a rapid recovery. To anyone who knew him in Hong Kong it would seem fantastic to suggest that he was a delicate man, but it is true that his health was never the same after the period of semi-starvation which he had gone through in the last years of the war, and it was only by adopting a special diet that he could keep going. The diet was not an attractive one, but he certainly kept going.

In Australia he became Prefect of Studies in Riverview College, near Sydney, and there as usual he continued his interest in all kinds of side issues. It was one of these latter that eventually brought him to the East. There were some Japanese pupils in this College, and in order to be able to help them in their studies Father Finn began to study Japanese - a language more or less never worried him. Inevitably he soon became interested in Japanese antiquities, and before long he was in communication with some fellow-Jesuits in Japan.

There is a Jesuit University in Tokyo, directed by German Fathers, and when they found that a man of Father Finn’s standing was interested in things Japanese, they declared at once that the place for him was Tokyo, and they made demarches to get him there. After some negotiations everything was arranged, and he left Australia on a boat that was to bring him to Japan. That was in the beginning of 1927.

Then happened one of those things that people say happen only to Jesuits. When the ship was on the high seas and Father Finn was immersed in his Japanese studies, a wireless message came to him, telling him that he was not to go to Japan after all, but that he was to get off at Hong Kong and go no further. It had happened that between the time that arrangements were made for him to go to Tokyo and the end of the Australian school year, when it would be possible for him to start, it had been decided that some Irish Jesuits were to come to Hong Kong, and it was felt that this colony had first claim on the services of Father Finn. So, a little bewildered by the unexpected change that blew all his plans sky-high, Father Finn landed in Hong Kong in February, 1927. He was then forty-one years old.

It happened that during his years in Australia his position as Prefect of Studies in a large college had brought him a good deal into educational circles and aroused his interest in pedagogical matters. As interest for him found expression in deep study, he set to work to master the theory of education. In a few years whatever he had to say on matters connected with education was listened to with respect, and when he was leaving Sydney there was public expression of regret that New South Wales was losing a leading authority on education. Hong Kong at that time was looking for a substitute for Professor Forster, to take his place as Professor of Education in the University while he was on leave, and the result was that Father Finn was only a few days in the Colony when he was asked to take the position, So his connection with the Hong Kong University began.

Always a conscientious worker, Father Finn took the greatest care to do his work in the University in a way that was worthy of his position, and this was little short of heroic on his part, for, having come to China, his one desire was to go as deeply and as quickly as possible into the new field of antiquities that was open to him. He found time to begin the study of Chinese, however, but it was not until his temporary occupancy of the professorship was at an end that he was able to devote himself with all the intensity that he desired to his new studies. But he was not long free, and his next move was to Canton, where he taught, and later directed, the studies in the Sacred Heart College. Here his colleagues had an opportunity of seeing the way in which he worked, for, while most of his day was given to work in the classroom, he managed at the same time to give from five to seven hours each day to the study of Chinese. He made rapid strides in the language and, though he never acquired a good pronunciation, he learned to speak fluently Cantonese and some other local dialects and to read Chinese with such ease as is rarely acquired by a foreigner.

From that time forward Chinese antiquities occupied every moment that was free from his regular duties. When he spent some time in Shanghai, part of it was given to translating some of the Recherches sur les Superstitions en Chine, by P. Doré, S.J., and in whatever house he lived in Hong Kong his room soon took on the appearance of a museum. There was never any such thing as leisure time in his programme-study of one kind or another filled every available moment. He worked with great rapidity. He got to the “inside” of a book in a very short time, and every book that he read was a work of reference to him ever after, for at a moment’s notice he seemed to be able to trace any passage or any illustration in any book that he had read. In the few years that he had it was remarkable how much ground he covered in Chinese antiquities. On this subject his reading extended to practically every work of note in English, German and French, and to a considerable number of books also in Chinese and Japanese-for he had worked hard at Japanese when he realized that it was necessary for his antiquarian studies. His appointment as Lecturer in Geography in the Hong Kong University revealed another side of his interests, for it was only when his name came up in connection with the position that it was realised how fully abreast he was of modern methods of geographical study, and how detailed, in particular, was his knowledge of the geography of China.

His interest was gradually converging on archaeological research in Hong Kong when an accidental circumstance threw him right into the midst of it. He was living in the Seminary at Aberdeen, and one morning, about five years ago, he crossed the creek in the early morning to go to say Mass in the Convent of the Canossian Sisters in the village. As he climbed up from the sampan he saw a pile of sand being unloaded from a junk by the shore. His eye caught a fragment of an arrow-head in the sand. He picked it out, put it in his pocket and went on. But on his return an hour later he stopped to examine the sand, and found that it came from an archaeologist's gold mine, for within a short time he found several other interesting stone fragments and a few pieces of bronze. He questioned the men who were still engaged in unloading it, and found that it came from Lamma Island out in the bay. Further inquiries revealed that the work was being done under Government authority, and the sand was being removed rapidly by shiploads. To him this was vandalism and tragedy combined. He knew already from the work of Professor Shellshear and Mr. Schofield how important were the archaeological remains to be found around Hong Kong, and how illuminating they might be in their relation to many of the unsolved problems of pre-history, and here he found valuable evidence of the past being used to build walls and make drains. He had to act at once if he was to do his part for science and Hong Kong, he got through preliminaries as quickly as possible and within a week he was excavating on Lamma Island.

The results exceeded all expectations. To the uninitiated the stones and bits of earthenware which he handled so reverently were a disappointing result after hours of digging in the glaring sun, but to him and to others that were able to read their message, they were keys to unlock new storehouses of knowledge of the past. He now began to communicate his discoveries to scholars in other lands, and their interest was manifest. The Government of Hong Kong was alive to the importance of this new field of research and it gave a grant towards the expense connected with it. Henceforth Father Finn’s big interest in life was the archaeology of Hong Kong.

It would seem as if all his previous life was a preparation for these few years. Up to this time one might have said of him that he was taking too many things in his line of vision and that he would have done better if he had concentrated on some one branch of study. He had in him the capacity to do really great work in some one direction, but the multitude of his interests made him just a man of encyclopaedic knowledge when he might have been a specialist of eminence. But now all the jigsaw elements of his previous studies seemed to fall together and to make the essential background for his work in an almost unexplored branch of science. His classical training, his long study of classical archaeology, his scientific interests, his close study of history and geography, his knowledge of art-these were all essential to him now, but they could only be utilised because he possessed the archaeologist's flair that made him know what to seek and how to interpret, and gave his work in this field the character of genius. He enlarged the field of knowledge in this particular branch of archeology, even though, as he claimed, his work in it had hardly begun. His numerous articles in the Hong Kong Naturalist, ably illustrated by his esteemed friend Dr. Herklots, and the collection of objects excavated by him are all that remain as a record of his work. What he might have done if he had been spared for a few years more we can only surmise. It is the possibility of great achievement that makes his death so tragic.

And what of the man behind the student and the scholar? I have told of him as a well-liked boy even though of a class rarely conspicuous for popularity. As a man, among his Jesuit associates and with his few other friends, he was known and will always be remembered for his delightful disposition and perennial good humour. I am sure that no one who ever came into contact with Father Finn ever found in him a trace of conceit. The mere suggestion of it is ludicrous to anyone who knew him, and when any were led by ignorance of his own particular field of research to be critical of its utility, he was never provoked-even in their absence-to anything more than a good-humored sally. His wide interests embraced the work of all his companions. He knew what interested each one, and he was genuinely interested in it too. In everything he was always ready to help those who wanted his assistance, and much as he deplored the loss of a moment of time, he gave it unstintingly when the need of another claimed it. His thoughtfulness and sympathetic kindness made him a friend of all who knew him, and it is those who were associated with him most closely that will miss him most.

When writing of a priest-scholar it is often thought enough to add a paragraph at the end stating that, of course, this scholar was also a priest, and that he was all that a priest should be. To do so in the case of Father Finn would leave the picture of him very incomplete. His life was essentially that of a priest and religious devoted to science and scholarship rather than that of a scholar who happened to wear a Roman collar. The principles that moulded his life were visible in his attitude towards every duty assigned him and every branch of his study. If at any time, for any reason, he had been told to drop whatever work he was doing and turn to something completely new, he would have done it without question at a moment’s notice. Everyone who knew him realised that. From the moment he came to China he regarded himself as a missionary. His work was to spread the knowledge of God’s Truth, and he was ready to do it in any way that came within his scope. He did it abundantly by his example alone, and the testimonies about him since his death show that this influence of his example extended over a far wider field that he would ever have imagined.

In June, 1936, he left Hong Kong to attend an Archaeological Congress in Oslo. His report there on the work in Hong Kong attracted wide attention. Invitations poured in on him-to go to various centres of learning in Europe and America, to join in excavations in many lands. He was able to accept only a few, for he had already arranged to join in some research in the Malay Peninsula next spring. But he visited Sweden, Denmark and France, and then made a brief visit to his native Ireland. From there he went to London, to study in the British Museum. While in London he was attacked by some kind of blood poisoning-the result, he believed, of something he contracted in his archaeological work in Hong King, but who can tell? The doctors could not trace the source of the infection, but it proved fatal after a month’s illness.

When the news of his death came to Hong Kong it was felt as a personal sorrow by those whose sympathy he would have valued most. Poor boat-women on the sampans at Aberdeen wept when they were told it, and little children on Lamma Island were sad when they were told that he would not come back. It was the welcome of such as these that would have pleased him most if he returned; it is their regret at his death that most reveals to us his real worth. May he rest in peace.
The Irish Jesuit Directory and Year Book 1938

From Milan to Hong Kong 150 Years of Mission, by Gianni Criveller, Vox Amica Press, 2008.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaelogical Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He excelled at school in modern languages, being awarded Gold medals for French, German and Italian. He did a brilliant thesis on the colouring of statues by the ancient Greeks.
1913 He was sent to Innsbruck Austria for Philosophy. There he took up a keen interest and fascination in Austrian folklore.
1931 Chinese antiquaries absorbed him when he taught at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He made a study of the deities and statues of the Aberdeen boat people, ad then he sent these to the Lateran Museum in Rome. In the 1930s he lectured also at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in Geography.
1932 While teaching Theology and Scripture at Aberdeen he came across a fragment of an arrowhead in sand brought from the south western shores of Lamma Island. He traced the source and found stone fragments and bronze pieces along with pottery fragments. This led to his writings on the Pre-Han and Stone Age history of the South China coast, which at the time was new to the archaeological world. He was a pioneer in archaeology in Hong Kong

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Dan Finn SJ :

  1. “Researches into Chinese Superstitions," by Rev. H. Doré, SJ (Shanghai - Translated into English by Father D. Finn, S.J.
  2. Vol IX : Taoist; Taoist Personnages, 1931 - pp xx + 227, 76 plates
  3. Vol X : Boards of heavenly Administration, 1933 - pp ix + 179, 39 plates (Both published at Tusewei Printing Press, Shanghai)
  4. A booklet : “Some Popular Indulgences Explained” - Messenger Office
  5. A series of articles on “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island” - They appear in the Hong Kong Naturalist (Quarterly), From Vol. III, Parts 3 and 4, Dec. 1954, up to current issue.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 1 1937

Father Daniel Finn

Following so soon on the loss of Father Lyons, the unexpected death of Father Finn in a nursing home in London on Nov. 1st comes as a tragic blow to the Province and the Hong Kong Mission. Had he been allotted the normal span of life he would in all human probability have emerged a savant of the first order. He died just as he was winning a European reputation through his archaeological discoveries in China.
Born in Cork city, 24th March, 1886, he was educated at the Presentation College. When still under age he won 1st Place in Ireland in the Preparatory Grade, 1896, against over 2,600 competitors, securing 90 per cent all round in his subjects, and was awarded by his school a large gold medal, and was chaired through the College by his school-fellows. Two years later he came second in the Junior Grade, winning four first composition prizes in Latin, French, German and Italian. He got first-class exhibitions in Middle and Senior Grades, while still under age and, in the Middle Grade, a gold medal for first place in the three modem languages.
In these youthful days he had a wonderful and outspoken devotion to Our Blessed Lady and was noted for a certain gravity and cheerfulness of disposition which he never lost.
He began his noviceship in Tullabeg 6th September, 1902, remained there for two vicars' juniorate, during which he won 1st Place in the Classical Scholarship Examination (Royal University) and then went to College Green, where he began the study of Archaeology. After getting his B.A. degree he was sent for a year to Tullabeg to teach the juniors. In 1909-10 he studied Archaeology at Oxford, and secured a diploma in that subject. For the next three years he was a master at Clongowes. He could scarcely be pronounced a successful teacher on Intermediate lines and was given other classes. In them, with a number of other subjects, he taught book keeping with characteristic zest and humility. The delightful lectures he gave to the Community during these years reveal an astonishingly detailed acquaintance with all the great works of painting and sculpture.
He began his philosophy at Innsbruck in 1912, and during the three years acquired a certain fluency in Hungarian and in three at least of the Slav languages, keeping up his knowledge of Irish all the time. His first sermon in the refectory on St. Brigid was preached in his native tongue. His first loves, art and archaeology were by no means neglected.
in July 1915, in company with Father Halpin, and with the writer of the present lines, he alas banished from the Tirol by the War authorities, on Italy's entry into the struggle, and went to our College at Kalksberg near Vienna, where he began theology in private. While there he acquired a profound knowledge of Hebrew.
In 1917 he was able to join the Polish theologate at Dziedzice in Prussian Silesia. It was here, as a result of a severe cold he contracted consumption and was sent to the Jesuit Residence at Zakopane, a famous health resort. He was ordained on 24th February, 1919, in order to have the consolation of dying a priest.
However, he was able to return to Ireland at the end of June, and after spending the winter of 1919 at Petworth, when he continued his study of theology, he was sent to Australia. At Loyola he did his “third year”, and spent another year teaching the Juniors, getting completely rid of his delicacy. His chief work in Australia was done as Protect of Studies at Riverview 1922-26.
During that period he volunteered for the Japanese Mission and, after a splendid send-off from Riverview, set sail. A letter of his to Father Fahy best explains that he landed not at Yokohama but at Hong Kong.
For a year he resided at Hong Kong engaged on the language and employed at the University as lecturer in pedagogy. From 1928 to the summer of 1931 he was at Canton in charge of the studies of Bishop Fourquet's College. Just then things were looking bad, and there was a possibility of martyrdom. It was at Canton he began the study of Chinese archaeology. Returning to Hong Kong he was made spiritual director to the Seminarians, their professor in Church History, lecturer in geography at the University. Notwithstanding all this, he found time for that fine work for which he will be chiefly remembered - his archaeological researches on Lamma island and other regions around Hong Kong, by which he greatly enhanced the reputation of the Church in the Far East. He represented the University and the Government at the International Congress of Manila in 1935. and at Oslo in 1936. This latter was the occasion of his return to Europe, His paper read at Oslo was entitled - “Crucial Doubts about the Most Important Finds in the Hong Kong Region”. The full bearing of his discoveries he had not yet been able with certainty to divine, and herein lies the full tragedy of his untimely death. However, we have an enduring monument of his powers of research in the thirteen articles printed in the “Hong Kong Naturalist”, entitled “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”. They date from December, 1932, to 1936.
On October 5th Father Finn left Dublin for the British Museum to continue his reading and discussion of the prehistoric specimens he had brought home with him. He was engaged in this work up to the 10th when he was attacked by a carbuncle trouble which indicated a general blood infection. On the 16th he was transferred to SS. John and Elizabeth's Hospital, where, despite expert treatment, he failed to put up an effective resistance, and died at 10.10 am. on Sunday, 1st November, having received Holy Viaticum for the last time about an hour before his death. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery on 3rd November.
Father Dan carried his learning lightly. He laughed amusedly at the pedantic and ponderous when he met them, he was extremely humble unassuming and simple, though a man of intense intellectual concentration and power of work. He was gifted with a strong, robust character which knew no temporising or equivocation. His literary gifts were of a high order, as appears from the little he has left in the way of letters written during his first years in China and preserved in the Province News of that period - in them are best mirrored his character and gifts of imagination and heart, his profound humility, his Ignatian spirit of obedience, his exquisite sensibility, his love of Christ and souls.
We owe the above appreciation and record of Father Finn's life to the great kindness of Father john Coyne, Socius to Father Provincial.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937

Father Dan Finn - Hong Kong Letters
News of Father Finn's death came as a very severe blow. It is unnecessary to say how much the Mission feels his loss. both as a member of the community and as a worker who had won for the Society very considerable honour by his industry and erudition.
Many letters have been received from all sections expressing their sympathy. The following is that received from the Vice Chancellor and Council of the University :
Dear Father Cooney,
There is no need for me to write to tell you how profoundly affected I am by Father Finn's death. Father Finn was a great scholar and his was an all-winning personality. His death is a
severe loss to this University, to this Colony, to China, and indeed to the rapidly disappearing world of scholarship and culture. What Father Finn’s death means to his fellow Jesuits in Hong Kong I can faintly imagine but am totally unable to express. The University Council will, at its next meeting, record a resolution. Meanwhile, on behalf not only of myself, but also of the University. will you please precept my sincerest sympathy.
Yours Sincerely,
W. W. HORNELL

Extract from the minutes of the seventh meeting of the Council held 6th November :
The Council learned, with great regret, of the death of the Rev. D. J. Finn SJ, the University lecturer in Geography, and passed the following resolution - “The Council wished to place on record its poignant regret at the death of the Rev. Father Finn of the Society of Jesus. The Council realises the devoted work which Father Finn did not only for the Colony of Hong Kong and its University but also for the world of scholarship, learning and culture, and is painfully conscious of the loss which his untimely death involves. The Council hereby instructs the Registrar to convey to the Superior and Procurator of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong its profound sympathy with the Mission in its heavy loss. The Council will be grateful if the Superior would convey to the members of Father Finn's family the assurance that the University shares with them the affliction of their bereavement.” The members indicated the adoption of the resolution by standing in silence.

On 7th November there was a Sung Office and Solemn Requiem Mass at the Seminary. The Bishop presided at the special invitation of the Italian Fathers, who said that they regarded Father Finn as “one of their own priests,” a Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral on 26th November. Amongst those present were His Excellency, the Governor of Hong Kong, the Vice-Chancellor and Professors of the University, and many friends, both Catholic and non-Catholic. The newspapers gave a full account with the title “Tribute paid to Jesuit - Governor attends Requiem Mass for Father Finn” “Indicative of the high esteem in which Hong Kong held the late Rev. Daniel Finn, S.J., who died in Europe three weeks ago, was the big attendance of distinguished non Catholic mourners who attended the Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul in the Catholic Cathedral this morning. Among them was His Excellency the Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott, who took his seat with Sir William Hornell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, near the impressive catafalque” etc.

Father Finn's last letter to Father Cooney, dated London, 10th October, ran :
“Here I am enjoying myself as usual. Most days at the British Museum from I0 am. to 5.30 pm. l have developed some boil trouble which I am getting a local doctor to overhaul. I suppose it will be nothing.”
At the Mass the Seminarians. from Aberdeen formed the choir. Father G. Bvrne preached a short panegyric.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Daniel Finn 1886-1936
Fr Daniel Finn, a native of Cork, entered the Society in 1902. With his University studies over, he went to the continent for his philosophical and theological studies.

In 1919 he returned to Ireland in poor health, and for this reason he was sent to Australia, where for seven years he was Prefect of Studies. He was on his way to Japan in 1926 when notified of his attachment to the Hong Kong Mission. Here he turned to what was really the big work of his life, for from his University days in Oxford he had excelled in Archaeology.

In spite of all his work, travels and successes, he never forgot the primary object of his life – God’s greater glory, and he always had a notable devotion to Our Lady.

He went, on his way to an Archaelogical Congress to in Oslo, when he fell ill in London, and he died there on the Feast of All Saints 1956, being only fifty years of age.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1928

Letter from Father Finn

Dear Mr Editor,
Here I am living this past month under the comforting shadows of a pair of Gothic spires in the heart of a fascinating Chinese city - and I have been too lazy to stir out! I have settled down again to being a school-master-and a very uneventful schoolmaster at that.

It is over a year and a half since I left 'View and since then I have seen many a new sight in China - yet it is always China. There are the full-breasted waterways with their traffic of ill-assorted craft where the Western built steamer hustles about the little sampans or the statelier junks; then there is the setting of the rivers, amid vast fertile alluvial plains, or cutting through crowded. hills. But these rivers have come thousands of miles and they bring down timber, produce, refuse, the living and the dead. Even the very earth itself. On them live people in their hundreds of thousands, even millions, who never quit them; their boats are their homes. I have only to walk two short streets to reach the Canton Bund, and there I can see one of the most characteristic sights of all China. It is a long quay beside the water-way that runs be tween the City proper and its suburb - Ho-nam. How many miles long, I don't know, but it is a very long way to the Railway station at the one end and it is over a quarter of an hour to Shameen at the other end, and this latter we count as near, All that long stretch is lined thick at both sides with craft, mostly small things, a little bigger than a Lane Cove fisherman's boat, but covered over for about half the length by a tunnel-like cover of matting. Down towards Shameen, every day when the Hongkong steamer comes in, there is a sudden scattering of these like the disturbance of an ant's nest, when the big river-boat makes for her berth. At places these boats merely cater for the pleasures of the Cantonese, and on them you can have meals-music-opium perhaps, but far more interesting are the other boats that earn a hard-won livelihood as passenger or cargo boats.

On board you can see all the members of a family, from the grandfather and grandmother down; all of them work. You will see an old woman at an oar, and on her back is strapped one of the newest members of the family. whose neck seems to be made of rubber, to judge by the case with which he sleeps amid all sorts of movements to which his head bobs about. The younger limbs of the household who can crawl about or walk for themselves are usually clad in full costumes of sun-tanned skin with a little crust of dirt to deepen it. Perhaps a charm hangs about the neck, but almost certainly a gourd or a kind of wooden drum will be hanging about the waist, with perhaps a bell tied at the child's ankles; still more cautious parents have a light rope tying their valuable offspring to some post.on board; such methods help to lessen the inevitable risk of tumbling overboard. A further stage of boyhood hops in itself for a swim in the yellow brown water, but that is not yet and it needs no precautions. Domestic animals dogs, cats, hens, pigs, are equally carefully guarded against the useless process of getting into the water.

Life is lived in all its stages on board: sleep at night on a mat-spread floor and completely under a padded quilt; the meals of rice with scraps of fish and vegetables - all washed down with tea - are cooked in an ingenious kitchen-well on board, and often eaten under the oar-handles in very movement. But it was the rowing that interested me. Here, I said to myself, is the solution for 'View. They have a style - of course it is not for outrigged racing boats - but it is a “style”. They row facing the direction in which the boat is going--and only in difficult currents do they need a steersman aft; they row standing and they fling their weight on to the long oar or sweep when it is fairly deep; the oar handle is then as high as their heads. To secure their rhythmic swing of the body, there is a definite scheme of foot-work, resembling, too, that of the Chinese carpenter as he uses his long saw with a similar movement. Now, actually the youngsters of four, five and six have got that body swing and foot-work by imitating their father and mother in play before ever they can contribute to the driving force of the boat. Hence the lesson! Put your “Eight”
into the boat from say four years of age - let them pick up “style” while they are young! The Prefect of Studies would be happier later on.

The social life of these people reproduces the life on land. They have their floating shops, mostly for comforts or food things, cakes, fruit, cigarettes, and wonderful brews; they have their beggars afloat in their own tubs; they have religious rites for marriages and deaths with the same squealing music and the droning chants; they have magic decorations in red with the fascinating characters; they probably have the wise-acres, who will write letters for them or tell their fortunes. Even just as you see men and women on the road ways tugging huge loaded trucks (where we are accustomed to see only draught animals at work), so you will see the boat people towing from the bank their boats up some river. against a heavy current. I don't know whether they have schools afloat; usually the people know enough characters for ordinary purposes - but there is no place for a library. We hope later to get into closer touch with these people when we have our place at Aberdeen (Small Hong Kong); perhaps then, we shall have to rig up a floating church. Up in the Shanghai Mission, however, they get such Catholics to bring their boats in groups to certain churches situated convenient for them.

But what is the use of all this writing? One must leave half the scene untouched. The accompaniment of unending chatter, of warning shouts, of abuse at times, of bumping boats, of creaking oars, the yelling in emergencies, the monotonous two-note chant of the coolies loading or unloading cannot be produced in ink. The heat, the glistening perspiration, the strange smells - tobacco being one and joss sticks another - the streams of rickshaws moving along the Bund, the thick current of white or black clad pedestrians, the big buildings and their green, red or blue signs with gold characters; you cannot get all in the picture if you want the Canton Bund on paper.

Now you see how long it takes me to get finished once I start with one thing here in China. So I must jettison all the notes I wrote on the back of your letter. I then intended to make “a short article” (your words) on the Hongkong New Year (Chinese) Fair which comes about the end of January; if anybody wants to get something distinctive let him come himself and see its booths, its crowds, its varieties. or again, if I were to start on Zi-ka-wei Shanghai with its Ignatius Church and College, I should take pages to tell you of the Communion rails crowded daily and of the Corpus Christi procession, wonderful displays of Chinese Catholicity. No Sydney man would feel homesick in Shanghai - but of its European flavour I shall not waste space. Personally, I prefer the Chinese town with its three-century-old Church (which has been in one interval a pagoda), its quaint tea-house in a gold fish pond, its temple with a stream of men worshippers. But there I am again! I seem to discover bits of myself in different places - -a library in Zi-ka-wei, ruins in Macao, unbroken quiet in the rice fields of Tai Wan or the snug village of Wong Tung, art at Tsat-Shing-Ngam, sea and hill at Hongkong, mediaevalism at Wai Chan - and I love to rehandle the fragments. And yet - and yet - the Riverview fragment still gets mixed up with the others, and somehow blends with the scheme. If Riverview but helps with prayer, it will fit in perfectly.

Yours,

DJF.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1936

Obituary

Father Daniel Finn

A cable announcing the death of Father Daniel J Finn SJ, on November 2nd, arrived as the Alma Mater was due to go to press. It is fitting that some account, how ever inadequate, should appear of a remarkable man and one to whom Riverview owes much,

Memories of a quarter of a century's friendship call up many varied scenes, some lived through together, others known from delightful letters and from reminiscences in later years - a Greek class in Clongowes (Ireland) clustered round Mr Finn's desk while he expounded the glories of Greek architecture and sculpture and coinage, as a change from reading Euripides and Thucydides; Mr Finn in his shirt sleeves arranging the Greek antiquities in the University museum in Dublin; revelling in the beauties of the mountain scenery and the historical associations of the Tyrol; teaching youthful Grafs and Freiherrs in Vienna; adventures in the midst of great battles on the Polish-Russian frontier during the war; at Riverview, swimming in the baths, on the river in the Gladstone skiff or in a four (Joe Alagna and other small boys of the time will remember coxing on these occasions); throwing himself heart and soul into the production of the Passion Play; then years later at Hong Kong, lecturing to Chinese students; with his gang of coolies excavating on Lammas Island; in his museum expatiating on the significance of the prehistoric pottery and arrow heads and rings he had discovered, or hunting in the glorious confusion of his room to find some notes on the ancient Chinese constellations.

Fr Finn was born in Cork just fifty years ago, After a brilliant career at Oxford, where he acquired a reputation in Greek archaeology, he taught for some years at Clongowes. In 1913 he went to Innsbruck to study philosophy and was interned in Austria, and later in Poland, during the war. For some time he taught at the College of Kalksburg, Vienna, then was sent to the college of Hieruf in Poland. This college was the chief building for many miles around, and, during the fierce battles that raged there, was used as headquarters by Russians, Austrians and Germans in alternation as the tide of war ebbed and flowed. Fr Finn was not ill-treated - that is not the Austrian way. He was not put in prison or in a concentration camp. Nevertheless, the privations he underwent, in common with the rest of the population, undermined his health so seriously that the doctors did not give him long to live. He went to the Carpathian mountains, where he studied theology and was ordained very soon, so that he might die as a priest. However, he was able to leave Austria in 1919, though quite broken in health.

He came to Australia in 1920, and in time his health was completely restored. During his five years as Prefect of Studies at Riverview (1922–1926) he got through an amazing amount of work. Many Old Boys will recall with gratitude now much their education owes to him. In addition to the ordinary routine of teaching and work as Prefect of Studies, he maintained a number of other activities. Each year saw a play excellently staged, due largely to his untiring exertions (as Mr. Harry Thomas testifies)—Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, and, culminating triumph, the Passion Play in 1925.

A boy wanted to learn Japanese. Father Finn agreed to teach him. That was the overt reason why he undertook the study of Japanese. The main reason was not known until later.

For some years Fr Finn had been interested in missionary work in Japan. From a close friend of his, a German Jesuit, who worked for years in Tokyo, he obtained detailed information about the tasks and prospects of Catholic missions in Japan. He was fired with the desire to devote his life to helping on the conversion of Japan. The difficulties of the work, about which he had no illusions, did not deter him. The first of these difficulties, the language, he tackled vigorously in the intervals of his work at Riverview. When he had mastered it sufficiently, he obtained leave from Father General to transfer himself to the Japanese mission and sailed for Tokyo at the end of 1926.

At Brisbane a cable from the General reached him to say that the Irish Jesuit Province had been commissioned by the Pope to undertake a Mission in Hong Kong, and that his services would be wel comed there. Father General realised, however, that it would be hard, after lab ouring for years to prepare himself for work in Japan, to abandon that work and start all over again on the extremely difficult Chinese language. Accordingly, Father Finn was left perfectiy free to go on to Japan if he thought well. He left the ship forthwith and took the next boat to Hong Kong.

On arrival at Hong Kong he was at once offered a temporary chair in the (State) University. Later on he was given a regular professorship there. He acquired a profound knowledge of Chinese, and in particular of ancient Chinese characters (incidentally, he already spoke Irish, Latin, Greek, French, German, Polish, Japanese). He has produced several learned volumes on Chinese religion and mythology. The branch of learning which owes most to him during these years is archaeology. His thorough training under expert archaeologists, his wide learning and real flair for the subject were given adequate scope. He carried out systematic excavations on Lammas Island, near Hong Kong. One day each week was spent on this island, directing the operations of some thirty coolies which the Government put at his disposal. He made many important discoveries, and seems to have opened up a whole new phase in the prehistory of Southern China.

In Hong Kong, Father Finn lived in the Seminary in which the Irish Jesuits educate for the priesthood Chirese students from all Southern China: He did his share in this work of training.
This year he went to Norway to attend an archaeological congress. Apparently he died while still in Europe, but no details have reached us so far. The results he achieved in the short space of not quite ten years in Hong Kong gave promise of a truly remarkable output had he been granted the normal span of life. Talents and labours and labours were devoted unstintingiy to the service of God. For that he has earned his reward, but the Chinese mission and the learned world are the losers by his early death. His learning was tempered by modesty, humour and charm, and friends in many parts of the world will mourn his loss.

D O’C SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1937

Obituary

Father Daniel Finn SJ

The Irish Province of the Society of Jesus was deprived of one of its ablest members by the death of Father Finn on 1st November last. Although he was not at school at Clongowes, he spent three years here as a master (1910-13) and during that time the boys knew him as a man of extraordinarily varied interests with a particular flair for archæology and a deep enthusiasm for the study of Greek and Roman antiquities. He wrote several articles for “The Clongownian” in which he described the Clongowes Museurn and gave an exhaustive account of some classical coins in the collection.

At the National University he specialized in Classics, and won distinctions innumerable. Afterwards he went to Oxford to write a thesis on the colouring of Greek sculpture, a work that brought him the highest praise from the professors there. He began theology in Austria, but owing to the outbreak of the Great War he was transferred to Hungary and finally to Poland. Through this period, his genius in mastering languages enabled him to add Polish and Russian to his knowledge of French, German and Italian, in all of which he had been proficient since his schooldays. However, on his return to Ireland, it was found that he had contracted tuberculosis, and the only hope of saying his life was to go to a drier climate. Accordingly he went to Australia and spent some time in Riverview College as Prefect of Studies. But here he became interested in Japanese antiquities, and the staff of the Jesuit University of Tokyo hearing of him obtained permission to have him transferred to Japan. It was while he was on his way there that he got orders to change his destination for Hong Kong where the Irish Jesuits were just starting a mission.

In this seemingly fortuitous way he came to be living in a land teeming with relics of bygone ages. With the kind assistance of the Government, he carried out extensive excavations on Lamma Island close at hand, and made numerous valuable finds. His reports on the new field of discovery won world-wide attention at the Archælogical Congress held in Oslo last year, which he attended as the representative of the Government and University of Hong Kong. It was shortly after the Congress, when he was working in the British Museum that he began to suffer from some curious type of blood-poisoning of which he died within a month.

The fifty years of his life had been years of unceasing toil, not merely as a student and archæologist, but also in his later years as a priest and missionary. No more fitting tribute could be paid him than that at the Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul offered in Hong Kong, the congregation numbered people of all classes; HE the Governor, University officials, merchants, boat-women and little children: a truly representative gathering of many who esteemed him as a friend as well as a scholar. RIP

FitzSimon, Henry, 1566-1643, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1297
  • Person
  • 31 May 1566-29 November 1643

Born: 31 May 1566, Swords, County Dublin
Entered: 13 April 1592, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1596, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 04 October 1610
Died: 29 November 1643, County Kilkenny

Parents Nicholas FitzSimon and Anne Sedgrave
Cornelius Lapide was a fellow Novice
Studied Humanities at Manchester - being an MA before Ent
Studied 3 years Philosophy 1 year Theology at Pont-á-Mousson
Studied 3 years Theology at Louvain
1596-1597 Taught Philosophy at Douai - gave the Bollandists the Life of St Feichín and other MS
1603 Tertianship at Tournai
Then 4 (or 20?) years as Military Chaplain at Castris
1608-1611 Called to Rome regarding Irish Mission and remained there till 1611. Then sent back to Douai for 5 years writing and confessing
1619 at Liège and 1625-1628 at Dinant
1625 published at Frankfurt a 12 mo on Philosophy of 704pp. It appears that he was an SJ from “Palface” and that such was not a real name - was it a Holy word? Or was it “Fitzsimon” or “White” or “Kearney”? P396 shows he professed at Douai. Hogan thinks it is “Fitzsimon” (Foley "Collectanea" p 524)
1630 To Ireland (7 years, 2 free, 5 captive)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Sir Nicholas, Kt and Senator of Dublin, and Ann née Sidgreaves
Early education was at Manchester School, and then matriculated at Hart’s Hall Oxford, 26 April 1583. He then studied for four years at at Pont-à-Mousson, graduating MA, followed by some months at Douai in Theology and Casuistry, and received Minor Orders.
He was received into the Society by the BELG Provincial Manaereus and then went to Tournai.
After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for Theology and was a pupil of Father Lessius there. He also taught Philosophy for a while.
1597 At his own request he was sent to the Irish Mission. His zeal soon led to his arrest in 1598.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Sir Nicholas and Anna née Sedgrave
Early education was in England and he matriculated to Oxford - though unclear if he graduated there.
He drifted into or was enticed into Protestantism, becoming a convinced one. In 1587 he went to Paris where he met the English Jesuit, Darbyshire, who reconciled him to the Church. He then went to study at Pont-à-Mousson where he graduated MA, before Ent 13 April 1592 at Tournai
After First Vows he studied Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 1596
1597 Initially he was sent to teach Philosophy at Douai. However, as an Irish Mission was under consideration Henry was chosen to be part of this venture, and duly arrived at the end of 1597. He was based roughly in the Pale, and established a reputation for zeal and success in arresting the growth of Protestantism, and in encouraging the Catholics of the Pale to stand firm in their allegiance to the Catholic Church. His most powerful weapon in this ministry was the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin.
1599-1603 Arrested in December, 1599 he was imprisoned in Dublin Castle at the end of May 1603. Even from his prison cell his influence was felt and he debated theology with bitter opponents of the Church such as Ryder and Hanmer who visited him in prison.He was released and then deported back to the GALL-BEL Province.
1603-1608 He was based at Douai and for five years was an Operarius, a Military Chaplain and a Writer, as well as making his Tertianship.
1608-1611 Sent to Rome to advise on Irish Mission affairs.
1611-1618 He was sent back to Douai and continued his earlier ministries of Writing, Military Chaplaincy and Operarius
1618-1620 He was sent to follow the same ministries at Liège
1620-1623 At the outbreak of the Thirty Years War he left Belgium to minister to Irish soldiers in the Imperial Army (Hapsburgs), and was with them until 1623
1623-1631 Was at Dinant, and by 1628 had served twenty years as a Military Chaplain
1631 He sent to Ireland after a thirty one year exile. Over the preceding decades he repeatedly sought permission to return, but the Mission Superior (Holywood) decided that Fitzsimon's return if discovered by the Government could only jeopardise if not ruin the works of the Irish mission. On return he lived at Dublin as Confessor and Preacher until the surrender of Dublin and expulsion of priests. After a difficult time he eventually arrived in Kilkenny, where he died 29 November 1643

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

Fitzsimon, Henry (1566–1643), Jesuit priest and controversialist, was born on 31 May 1566 at Swords, Co. Dublin, son of Nicholas Fitzsimon, merchant, and alderman of the city of Dublin, and Anna Fitzsimon (née Sedgrave), one of the Sedgrave family of Killeglan and Cabra, Co. Dublin. She was related to Henry Ussher (qv) and James Ussher (qv), both of whom were later Church of Ireland primates. Henry Fitzsimon's paternal grandfather was Sir Knight Fitzsimon.

In 1576 Henry went to England for his education, where he converted to protestantism. He studied grammar, rhetoric, and humanities in Manchester for four years, and on 26 April 1583 he matriculated for Hart Hall, Oxford. By 1587 he had moved to Paris, where he carried out further studies. He also encountered an English Jesuit, Fr Thomas Darbyshire, and after instruction from him, reconverted to the catholic faith. Entering the university at Pont-à-Mousson, he studied rhetoric and philosophy, graduating MA (1591). Further theological studies followed, both there and at Douai, and, taking minor orders, he was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Tournai (April 1592). He completed his noviciate in Tournai and in June 1593 he went to Louvain to complete his theological studies, where he associated with prominent counter-reformation theologians such as Dr Peter Lombard (qv) and Fr Heribert Rosweyde. Appointed as professor of philosophy at Douai, he also began to collect manuscripts with the intention of writing a history of Ireland.

In 1597 he was sent to Ireland at his own request as a member of the first Jesuit permanent mission to the country. He travelled in the company of Fr James Archer (qv), who was being sought by the English authorities, and this made life extremely dangerous for him. Nevertheless, he concentrated his work in the Dublin area, where the greatest efforts were being made to convert the local population to the protestant faith. He began preaching in public, often to large crowds, and was successful in reconverting many catholics who had converted to protestantism. Touring the county of Dublin, he called on prominent catholics, exhorting them to remain loyal to their faith. A catholic nobleman also gave him the use of a house, which he converted into a chapel where he celebrated high mass. The atmosphere in Dublin was so tense at the time that many men came armed to mass, determined to resist any attempts to arrest them.

Fitzsimon was a flamboyant character by nature and rode around the city and county with three or four retainers. Openly hostile to the government's religious policy, he was arrested in 1599, and in many ways his imprisonment served to enhance his public status. Many protestant divines came to his cell to debate points of religion and it soon became known that he was more than a match for them. Among those who debated with him were Dr Luke Challoner (qv), Dean Meredith Hanmer (qv), Dean John Rider (qv), later bishop of Killaloe, and an extremely young James Ussher (qv). These debates resulted in further written exchanges. In January 1601 he sent a manuscript to Dean Rider entitled ‘Brief collections from the Scriptures, the Fathers, and principal protestants, in proof of six catholic articles’. Rider published an answer to this manuscript in 1602 entitled A caveat to Irish catholics. Fitzsimon in turn replied to Rider's Caveat in a manuscript, which he sent him in 1603, Rider publishing his pamphlet Rescript in response to this in 1604. These exchanges only served to create a friendship between the two men, and Rider not only later acknowledged Fitzsimon's superior debating skills, but also began to send him food, drink, and other comforts. Among those who petitioned for Fitzsimon's release was Hugh O'Neill (qv), and in March 1604 James I signed an order that he be freed. In June 1604 he left Dublin and travelled into exile on the Continent.

He spent periods in Spain and Flanders, and in 1608 travelled to Rome. Most of his publications date from this time and he established himself as one of the most erudite minds of the counter-reformation. In 1608 he published A catholick confutation of Mr John Rider's claim to antiquitie and a calming comfort against his Caveat etc., which was printed in Rouen as a last exchange in his debate with Rider. Attached to this publication was another pamphlet, An answer to sundrie complaintive letters of afflicted catholics. By 1611 he was also writing an ecclesiastical history of Ireland, ‘Narratio rerum Ibernicarum’, which, if ever completed, was not published. Later publications included The justification and exposition of the divine sacrifice of the masse (Douai, 1611) and Britannomachia ministrorum in plerisque et fidei fundamentis, et fidei articulis dissidentium (Douai, 1614), a defence of catholic doctrines and a refutation of theories of reform. In 1619 he edited Catalogus sanctorum Hiberniae, published in Liège.

In 1620 he travelled to Bohemia as a chaplain to the forces of Emperor Ferdinand II, later publishing a history of the campaign using the pseudonym ‘Constantius Peregrinus’. He volunteered to return to the Irish mission and travelled in 1630 to Ireland, where he resumed his work among the poor of Dublin. After the outbreak of the 1641 rebellion, he was condemned to be hanged on suspicion of being involved with the rebels. He spent his last years on the run from government forces, finally reaching the relative safety of the confederate camp in Kilkenny. Worn out by work and hardships, his health finally broke and he died in Kilkenny on 29 November 1643.

His papers and writings have remained a focus of interest for historians of the period. Edmund Hogan (qv), SJ, included many excerpts from his papers in his publications on Henry Fitzsimon, and in 1881 edited a collection of Fitzsimon's papers, publishing them under the title Diary of the Bohemian war. This included Fitzsimon's An answer to sundrie complaintive letters of afflicted catholics under the new title Words of comfort to persecuted catholics. There is a large collection of Fitzsimon's papers in the Jesuit archives in Dublin.

Webb; Allibone; Edmund Hogan, SJ, Life, letters and diary of Father H. Fitzsimon (1881); id., Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894), 196–311; Dictionary of catholic biography; James Corboy, SJ, ‘Father Henry Fitzsimon, SJ’, Studies, xxxii (1943), 260–66; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); information from Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, of the Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962
FATHER HENRY FITZSIMON SJ 1566-1643

Henry Fitzsimon was born at Swords on the 31 May 1566. His father Nicholas, a Dublin alderman and an eminent merchant of his day, was the son of Sir Knight Fitzsimon. His mother was Anna Sedgrave or Edgrave, and he was related to Henry and James Ussher, both of whom where afterwards Protestant Primates of Armagh, At the age of ten Henry Fitzsimon went to England, where he lost the (faith) and became a zealous Protestant. On the 26 April 1583, he matriculated as a member of Hart's Hall, Oxford. It is not known how long he remained here; but after a few years we find him in Paris, where according to himself he was “so farre overweening of my profession, that I surmised to be able to convert to Protestancie any incounter whosoever ..... At length by my happiness I was overcome by F.Thomas Darbishire ane owld English Jesuit long tyme experienced in the reduction of many thowsands to the Catholic religion”.

After his conversion in 1587 he went to the University of Pont-à-Mousson, where he studied rhetoric and philosophy, becoming. a Master of Arts in 1591. On the 15 April 1592, he entered the Society of Jesus, Having spent only fifteen months in the novitiate of Tournai, he was sent to Louvain in 1593 to finish this theological studies, where he had already begun before his entry into the Society of Jesus. Here he made such great progress, under the able supervision of the famous Fr Lessius, that in a short time he was appointed professor of philosophy at Douai. Here also he made the acquaintance of Fr Rosweyde, the pioneer of the future Bollandist Fathers, and Dr Peter Lombard. In his writings he frequently recalls these two scholars as having been intimate friends. At this time, already interested in Irish history, he says that he “ransacked all the libraries in his way for our country's antiquities, and found a hand-written life of St Patrick in the library of our college at Douai”. He remained at Douai until his return to Ireland towards the end of 1597.

To appreciate the value of Fitsimon's work in Ireland, we must review briefly the political and religious state of the country at the end of the sixteenth century. The Reformation in Ireland during the sixteenth century - i.e., under the Tudor dynasty from Henry VIII to Elizabeth - was primarily a political movement. Not until the advent of James I, was any real attempt made to establish a Protestant mission all over the country. Ireland had been saved from undue religious persecution because the English could not exert political control except in or about Dublin and in some of the other towns. But the results of the Nine Years' War changed the whole aspect of the situation. In 1603 Ireland lay at the feet of her conqueror. Never before was there such an opportunity for propagating the reformed doctrines. It was in these years, so crucial for the Catholic religion, that the Jesuits of the first permanent Mission in Ireland arrived. Among them few had wider influence than Father Henry Fitzsimon.

Although Fitzsimon was imprisoned after the first two years, the result of his work was lasting. During that short period he had visited most of the influential families of the Pale. He has been particularly active in the City of Dublin, where he knew the brunt of the battle was borne. Every Sunday and feast-day he said Mass in the city and preached at least one sermon. On week-days he travelled into the country and visited the houses or the gentlemen of the Pale. His exhortations to remain steadfast in the Faith were generally successful and he converted to a more fervent life several who had grown remiss in the practice of their religion.

One instance typical of his work will suffice to give some notion of the nature of his activities. Describing the actions of the Dublin Council prior to the death of Elizabeth, he says: “A sudden and violent persecution burst upon the Catholics. By order of my Superior (Fr Holywood), I confirmed the chief men of the city by letters of consolation, by messages and by many other ways. The other fathers also performed their duty with increasing care and with ardent zeal and devotion”. But unfortunately the Catholics had not been well instructed in the doctrines of Faith and therefore might easily be duped by the reformers. In several parishes in Dublin the people were ordered to attend the Protestant Services, but all refused. Finally, a number of the inhabitants were summoned to appear before the magistrates. Fr Fitzsimon visited them all personally and instructed them before the meeting. In his own words “all stood firm, rejoicing that they were deemed worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus”. This victory strengthened the Catholics in the other cities of Ireland.

Of his work in Dublin we have an interesting account from the pen of Fr Hamill, a secular priest. Writing on the 25 December 1598 he says: “As the Catholics increased daily, Fr Fitzsimon thought it well to erect a chapel in the house of a nobleman, at which the faithful night assemble. He got the hall lined with tapestry and covered with carpets, and had an altar made, which was as handsome and as elegantly furnished and decorated as any altar in Ireland. In this chapel Fr Fitzsimon celebrated High Mass, an event which was phenomenal in the Dublin of the time”. Fr Hamill, referring to his apostolate, says: “He converts hundreds to the faith. Not to speak of others who have returned to the Catholic Church in Dublin, one hundred persons, who last communicated according to the Protestant fashion, this year received instruction, reconciliation, confession and communion for the good father”. For two years he worked incessantly and indeed most successfully to stem the tide of reform, but his good fortune did not last long. In November 1599, he was captured by the authorities and imprisoned in Dublin Castle.

Had Fitzsimon devoted himself solely to the active ministry of preaching and administering the sacraments, his main work would have ended here and his period of imprisonment would interest us both little. But his apostolate was more varied, and his most notable achievements lay in another field. As a controversialist he scarcely had an equal during his time in Ireland. On his arrival in 1597 We find him issuing challenges to all comers. Like St Paul, he excalimed that he himself had been defiled with almost the very same errors which he now sought out and refuted. “Why do I spend”, he says “so precious time and so much pains? Only to confound my errors and to do satisfaction to truth and religion which I impugnated. This also was the cause that, for two years after my return to Dublin, I was burning to dispute with the ring-leaders of the Reform - I wished it even, for this reason alone, that where my error had given disedification, my condemnation of error might wipe away the stain”.

His imprisonment did not put an end to his controversial activities. On the contrary it seems that it increased his opportunities for disputing with the reformed leaders. Prison life in Ireland at this time was not always a pleasant experience, as anyone will understand who peruses the accounts left of the suffering of Father David Wolfe or Archbishop Creagh. Fitzsimon himself gives us a description of his life during these days and of the hardships he had to endure. “From the time the Spaniards landed (September 1601) care was taken that I should be kept in the closest confinement, and be deprived of books and of every comfort that might alleviate the monotonous misery of prison life. By employing the most savage keepers he (the Governor of the prison) can find, by flogging some for being over-indulgent to me, by dismissing eight of them on that ground alone, and by suborning false witnesses against me, he shows the excess of his hatred against the name we bear (Jesuits) and the end we have in view”. It is a remarkable fact that, before he left the prison-cell, Fitzsimon had made a fast friend of the governor, Yet in spite of these hardships Fr Fitzsimon never ceased to carry on the work of the apostolate. The Protestant historian Wood, speaking of him at this time, says that he was the most able defender of the Catholic religion in Ireland. In prison he was always eager for the fray, and he compared himself to a bear tied to a stake waiting for someone to bait him.

It is interesting to note that Hugh O'Neill, on hearing of Fr Fitzsimon's imprisonment, demanded his instant release. He threatened even to renew hostilities with the government if his request was not granted, saying: “Wherefore as ever you think, that I shall enter to conclude tieher peace or cessation with the State, let him be presently enlarged”. But he added that he was “no more ‘beholden’ to him than to an Irish Catholic that is restrained in Turkey for his religion”. The precise reason for O'Neill's antagonism to him is not clear. Some authors infer that Pitzsimon had no sympathy for the Irish in their effort to withstand by force of arms the efforts of the English to conquer the country. But there is no evidence for these assertions, and all we can say is that Fitzsimon's primary interests lay not in matters of state or politics, but as far as possible in purely spiritual affairs, his love for Ireland rests not merely on such meagre proofs as his desire to write her history and, as an exile, to forward her religion, but above all, as we shall see later, it is shown by his longing to return to a country wherein he knew that death would surely be his destiny if only he were once more captured by the authorities.

During his imprisonment Fr Fitzsimon had controversies with many of the Protestant ministers, including the most outstanding men in the Dublin of the time. Among these were Dr Challenor, Dean Meredith Hanmer, James Ussher and Dean Rider. To assess the moral value of this work, we need only recall the great advantage secured by the reformers in Germany - and by Luther in particular - on account of the lack of outstanding supporters of the Catholic cause. The history of the Catholic Church in France in the eighteenth century evinces the same defect. And we need only glance back over the history of the sixteenth century in Ireland to understand the vital necessity to the Catholic Church of able defenders of the Faith. Fr Fitzsimon fully realised the inestimable advantage that would accrue to Catholics by the overthrow of the most prominent of their opponents. He saw that what the Catholics most needed was leadership. He would seek out their enemies, therefore, and refute their false doctrines, thus strengthening his own people in their Faith.

The language Fitzsimon used in the disputations might be considered unbecoming or even vulgar in our age, but such was the in language of controversy of the time. That he has no personal enmity for his opponents is shown by the extraordinary number of them whom he converted. Even the gaoler, who had been so antagonistic to him, became a Catholic before Fitzsimon was released. Hanmer too, as we shall see, became his friend and never molested him again. Fitzsimon was too good-humoured to be easily upset by criticism and too disinterested in his work to take personal offence at every slight indictment.

Of his encounter with Challenor, Fitzsimon gives us a short account. “As I knew the Protestants considered Challenor as one of their champions, I challenged him. He refused to have any dealings with the Jesuits, because they were disliked by his sovereign. This was an excuse created by his cowardice ...” When Challenor failed, Hanmer, nothing daunted, accepted the challenge. He had already written against Edmund Campion and was esteemed very highly by the reformers. Fitzsimon, with his usual candour, gives us an account of their meeting. “Dean Meredith Hanmer.... came with many high people to my prison. As he remained silent, I, trusting in the goodness of my cause undertook to defend what was weakest on our side and to attack what seemed strongest on theirs”. But Hanmer, unable to uphold his side, yielded and, from that time forward, refused to debate on controversial subjects with Fitzsimon. It is typical of the latter that after their dispute he should make friends with his discomfited rival. Hanmer, on his part, was not ungrateful, as we learn from Fitzsimon, who in a time or great need received from his former adversary a barrel of beer, a sack of flour, and the use of his library.

His next opponent was James Ussher, who was appointed Archbishop of Armagh later. Even at the age of fourteen Ussher had shown signs of genius. At that time he had already made a careful study of Ancient History, the Scriptures and the Meditations of St Augustine. Soon afterwards he made an extensive study of Latin and Greek authors, became interested in polemics, and was eager to read all the Fathers of the Church from the earliest tines up to the Council of Trent. Whether Ussher really understood what he had read is extremely doubtful. But at least the vast learning that he had attained - superficially or otherwise we cannot discuss here - incited him to undertake the defence of the reformed doctrines against anyone who would dispute with him. He visited Fitzsimon in prison and had several discussions with him. Finally Ussher sought a public disputation, which Fitzsimon refused. Many writers, following Elrington, hold that the Jesuit shirked a trial of strength with this brilliant young man of eighteen. But even the Protestant historical Wood is of opinion that Fitzsimon grew weary of disputing with Ussher, as he probably saw that further argument was futile. Even though we admit the talent of Ussher, yet when we compare the age, experience, and theological training of the two, we prefer to accept the statement of Wood, which in fact is corroborated by a letter or Fitzsimon himself. In it he says: “Once indeed a youth of eighteen came forward with the greatest trepidation of face and voice. He was a precocious boy, but not of a bad disposition and talent as it seemed. Perhaps he was greedy of applause, Anyhow he was desirous of disputing about most abstruse points of divinity, although he had not yet finished the study of philosophy. I bid the youth bring me some proof that he was considered a fit champion by the Protestants, and I said that I would then enter into a discussion with him. But as they did not think him a fit and proper person to defend them, he never again honoured me with his presence”. Even a cursory glance through Fitzsimon's writings is enough to convince one of his vast erudition, his prodigious knowledge of Scripture and the Classics, and his innate ability to turn an argument against an opponent.

Fitzsimon's final encounter was with Dean Rider, who later was appointed Bishop of Killaloe. Rider himself provoked the disputation but once Fitzsimon had accepted the challenge, he lost heart and kept postponing the ordeal. Finally Rider was forced to admit of his adversary “that in words he is too hard for a thousand”. Fitzsimon remained in prison for five years, but during that time he defended the Catholic cause with such success that, at the end of the period, he could sincerely declare that the reformers in Ireland were “clouds” without water, wafted by the winds: they are autumn trees, barren and doubly dead”. On the 5 April 1604, Fitzsimon gave an account of his five years' imprisonment. “I have been five years in prison, and I have been brought eight times before the Supreme Court... The Governor of the prison has been my deadly enemy.... At present they deliberate about driving me into exile... this is dearer to me than anything else in this world except death for the Faith”. Soon after this he was released and banished from the country.

For the next twenty-six years Fitzsimon worked on the Continent. Many of his written works belong to this period, and he attempted even a History of Ireland, which unfortunately is not extant. He was chaplain to the Emperor in the Bohemian Campaigns of 1620 and was an intimate friend of the greatest generals on the Austrian side. Little is known of his activities during these years, but in 1630 he was sent back to the Irish Mission. He was then about sixty-four years old. From casual references here and there we can gather that age had not damped his zeal or enthusiasm. In 1637 it was reported that he was in good health for his years (he was then seventy-one) and that he still preached and heard confessions. In 1660 his contemporary Fr Young wrote a sketch of his life where we find a description of his last years.

In the winter of 1641, Fitzsimon then about seventy-five years old was condemned to be hanged. In company with many other Catholics he fled to the Dublin mountains, where he sought shelter in a shepherd's hut, Even at this time he did not remain inactive, but went from house to house instructing the children of the poor and administering the sacraments. At last, worn out by fatigue, and hardship, he was taken to the quarters occupied by the Irish army - probably at Kilkenny. There he was entrusted to the care of his religious brethren, but in a few months he was dead. The date of his death is uncertain, but it was probably the 29 November 1643. Writing of Fr Fitzsimon, Fr Young says that heresy feared his pen, and that Ireland admired and loved him for his piety and for the great gifts of nature and grace with which God had endowed him.

Fr. Fitzsimon's end was marked with a note of tragedy and even of apparent failure. An outlaw on the hills, he died far from the scene of his constant toils. Probably no priest had done more for the Catholics in the Pale than he had. No opponent had ever encountered him and gone away victorious. Yet, despite all his controversies, he had very few personal enemies. “By his death” says Wood “the Catholics lost a pillar of the Church, being esteemed a great ornament among them, and the greatest defender of religion, and the most noted Jesuit of his time”. From these facts it is clear that Fitzsimon played a large part in the Catholic counter-reformation in Ireland.

Perhaps, before concluding this brief sketch of the life of Fr Fitzsimon, it might be well to refer to his literary activities. He was one of the most voluminous writers of the time. Two of his books were written in refutation of the theories put forward by Dean Rider, whom we have already mentioned. These are “A Catholic Confutation of it, M John Riders clayne of Antiquitie” and “A Reply to M Riders Postscript!” These and another book, “An Answer to certain complaintive letters of afflicted Catholics for Religion”, were printed at Rouen in 1608. The latter has been edited by Fr Edmund Hogan, SJ, under the title of “Words of Comfort to Persecuted Catholics”. It gives a description of the persecutions which Catholics had to endure at the beginning of the seventeenth century in Ireland.

His next book was a treatise on the Mass. Printed at Douay in the year 1611, it is entitled “The Justification and Exposition of the Divine Sacrifice of the Masse, and of al rites and Ceremonies thereto belonging divided into two bookes”. In the words of Fitzsimon, his first book treats of “controversies and difficulties, and devotion belonging to the Masse”, while in the second book “the first masso in the missal is justified, and expounded for all and everie parcel thereof”. This treatise, which contains almost 450 pages, displays remarkable intimacy with Sacred Scripture and with the writings of the Fathers of the Church.

The next work we know of is entitled “Britannomachia ministrorum in Plerisque et Fidei Fundamentis, et Fidei articulis Dissidentiunt”. Divided into three books it contains a defence of Catholic doctrines and a refutation of the theories propounded by the reformers. In 1619 Fitzsimon edited at Liège the “Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae”, which has been annotated by Fr Paul Grosjean, SJ, in "Feil Sgribhinn Eoin Mhic Neill”. The “Bohemian Campaign” he published in 1620 under the pseudonym of “Constantius Peregrinus”. This work is really a diary written during the wars in Bohemia. He also published another work, in connection with this campaign, under the title of “The Battle of Prague”. After his return to Ireland in 1630, Fitzsimon was so harassed by persecution that no opportunity was given him for further literary work.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Henry FitzSimon 1566-1643
Our ablest and unsurpassed controversialist was Fr Henry FitzSimon. He was born at Swords County Dublin on May 31st 1566 of wealthy and prominent parents. These latter, dying when Henry was young, he was brought up a Protestant.

He got his early education at Manchester, and studied later at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was converted to the Catholic faith in his infancy by Fr Thomas Derbyshire in Paris. He retained one relic of his Protestantism, an aversion to holy water. One morning however, on his way to Mass, having a violent pain in his thumb, he plunged it into the Holy Water font, and was instantly cured.

In 1592, at Tournai, he entered the Society, and he came to Ireland with Fr James Archer in 1597. Most of his work was carried on in the Pale. He displayed a fearlessness in the face of Protestants in Dublin, which in the opinion of his Superior, almost amounted to recklessness. For example, he set up a chapel in the house of a nobleman, and had High Mass celebrated with a full orchestra, composed of harps, lutes and all kinds of instruments, except the organ. The like had never been seen in Dublin for years, and hundreds flocked to the ceremony. Most important of all he founded the Sodality of Our Lady, the first in Ireland.

Arrest followed in 1599 and he was lodged in Dublin Castle. But “stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage” was certainly true of him. He held conferences in prison with the leading Protestant divines, Challenor, Ussher and Dean Rider. On the naccession of James I, he was released and banished to Spain.

In Spain he did trojan work for the Irish Colleges from 1604-1630. In that year he returned to Ireland. In the Confederate War, he was forced to take to the Dublin hills, where he ministered to the people for a year. Finally, overcome by old age, exposure and hunger, he collapsed, and being conveyed to Kilkenny, in spite of tender care, he died on November 29th 1643.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
FITZSIMON, HENRY, was born in Dublin, in 1567,his Father was an eminent merchant. He was matriculated at Hart’s-hall, Oxford, 26th April, 1583. Nine years later, at the age of 25, he associated himself to the Society of Jesus at Douay. Under the instructions of the great Lessius, he soon was qualified for the chair of Philosophy, which he filled for several years. An ardent zeal for Religion urged him to solicit his return to his native Country; and I find that he reached Dublin late in the year 1597. Here he gave abundant evidence of commanding talents as a Preacher, of a fearless spirit and unbounded charity. Strange to say, he ventured to have a solemn High Mass, performed with great variety of musical instruments a sight that Dublin had not witnessed for Forty years before : and he also instituted a Sodality or Confraternity in honour of the B. Virgin Mary. But he was at length apprehended and detained in prison for five years, during which period, at eight different times, he was brought into Court; but was always remanded. Soon after the Accession of K. James, great interest was made for his discharge, and alter much negotiation, he was hurried as an exile on board a ship bound to Bilboa, without being allowed to take leave of his friends. Before he left the jail, he had reconciled many to the Catholic Church, and during the voyage his zeal produced the happiest effects among the crew and passengers. On the 14th of June, 1604, he landed at Bilboa. Rome, Liege, and the Low Countries admired his devotion to the labours of his Ministry : it was his pleasure and delight to visit the sick, to attend the infected, to assist prisoners and persons condemned to death; but his heart panted to re-enter the field of hardship and danger in his beloved and afflicted Country; and at last Superiors allowed him to follow his own inclinations. Like the giant he exulted to run his course : and the fruits of his industrious activity everywhere appeared in the numerous conversion of heretics, and in the strengthening of Catholics in practical religion. The Civil and Military Authorities marked him out for vengeance. In the winter of 1612, in the darkness of the night, he effected his escape from Dublin. Winding his way through sequestered woods and dells, he took up his quarters in a wretched cabin that he found in a Morass, where he was safe from those who hunted after his blood. Though exposed to the pitiless storm, and suffering every privation, this blessed Father never lost his serenity and elastic gaiety, and was always ready to administer consolation to others. But this Winter campaign broke down his constitution. Removed to a place of comparative comfort, he was treated by his brethren with the most affectionate care and charity; nature however was exhausted, and after a short illness, full of days and fuller of merits, he passed to never- ending rest, with the name of Jesus on his lips, on the 29th of November, 1643, or as another account has it, on the 1st of February, 1844. “By his death the Roman Catholics lost a pillar of their Church, being esteemed a great ornament among them, and the greatest Defender of their religion, in his time”. Wood’s Athenae. Oxon, vol. II. p. 46. This eminent writer left to posterity,
1 “A Calholic Refutation of Mr. John Rider’s claim of Antiquity”. N.B. This Rider was Dean of St. Patrick, and subsequently appointed to the See of Killala.

  1. “Reply to Mr. Rider s Postscript”.
  2. “An Answer to certain Complaintive Letters of afflicted Catholics for Religion”.
    All these were printed in a 4to. Vol. Rouen, 1608.
  3. “The Justification and Exposition of the Divine Sacrifice of the Masse, and of all Rites and Ceremonies thereto belonging”. 4to. 1611, pp. 356. I think printed at Douay.
  4. “Britannomachia Ministorum in plerisque et fidei fundamentu a Fidei Articulis dissidentium”. 4to. Douay, pp. 355.
  5. “Catalogus Sanctorum Hiberniae” Svo Liege, 1619, pp. 117.
    This was appended to the Hibernice sive Antiquioris Scotiae vindicia adversus Thomam Dempsterum, an 8vo. printed at Antwerp, 1621. Its author adopted the initials G. F.

Gallagher, Michael Paul, 1939-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/841
  • Person
  • 25 August 1939-06 November 2015

Born: 25 August 1939, Dublin
Entered: 08 October 1961, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 23 June 1972, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows; 02 February 1978, University Hall SJ, Dublin
Died: 06 November 2015, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Raised in Collooney, County Sligo
Part of the Loyola, Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1964 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying
by 1966 at Heythrop, Oxford (ANG) studying
by 1969 at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore MD, USA - studying
by 1986 at Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical
by 1991 at Bellarmino, Rome, Italy (DIR) Sec to Congregation for Unbelief
by 2001 at Gesù, Rome, Italy (DIR) teaching at Gregorian

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/death-of-fr-michael-paul-gallagher-sj/

Death of Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Fr Michael Paul Gallagher SJ died last night (Friday 6 November) in St Vincent’s Private Hospital, just after the anointing of the sick and prayers with three Jesuit friends. He had been ill for some months. He was a native of Colooney, Co.Sligo. He received his secondary education at Clongowes Wood College. After joining the Jesuits he did special studies in Renaissance literature in Oxford, Michael Paul was a renowned lecturer and author of books on faith and contemporary culture. He lectured in English in UCD for over ten years in the 1970s and 80s before going to Rome, where he lectured in theology in the Gregorian University. He was also a valued contributor, for many years, to the well-known Jesuit publication The Sacred Heart Messenger. His latest article on ‘The Prospect of Dying’ is in the current issue. Shortly before his death he recorded a series of short videos for the Jesuit Guide to Making Good Decisions. He also wrote the text for an online Advent Retreat, shortly to be published on the Jesuit prayer website Sacred Space and on the Pray-As-You-Go podcast prayer website of the Jesuits in Britain. His book Into Extra Time, an account of his path of faith through illness, will soon be published by Darton, Longman and Todd/Messenger Publications. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/the-long-learning-of-love-m-p-gallagher-rip/

‘The long learning of love’
Jesuits, family and friends have been paying tribute to Michael Paul Gallagher SJ, who passed away on Friday 6 November. His friend and fellow Jesuit Donal Neary presided at the reception of his remains in Milltown Park Chapel on Monday evening. He spoke of the contribution Michael Paul made to the many people with whom he came in contact including the students he taught in University College Dublin who felt free enough to call in for coffee and a chat with him. So too did their parents who were often concerned that their beloved children were losing their faith. Michael Paul, he said, would reassure them that the love and concern they had for their adult children was the real lasting kind of support their children needed as they struggled with important questions of doubt and faith. He said his first book Help My Unbelief, published in 1983, made a real impact on the cultural landscape as a substantial contribution to the understanding of issues of faith in modern times. On Tuesday at 11am a large number of people filled the pews in Milltown Chapel, where Michael Paul had requested his funeral mass take place. (Listen to the mass here). They were invited by the main celebrant Jim Culliton SJ to “engage in celebrating the life of an extraordinary man, a man of great intellect, heart and warmth”. He said even inevitable death, (for Michael Paul was terminally ill and knew he was dying) was awful, raising many troubling questions. But the answers came, he said, when he thought about the kind of life Michael Paul lived, the reflections he offered in his writings and lectures, the impact he made in the courses and retreats he gave. “He was a fiercely loyal servant of all those whom he loved, fiercely proud of his Sligo roots, and proud of being an Irish Jesuit.”
In the homily Bruce Bradley SJ, spoke of the man he first met in 1962. He said he was someone who was gifted in “intuiting and imagining the horizons of others, inviting them in turn to share his”. He said the renowned author “did not take himself too seriously but he was aware and quietly proud of some of his own gifts and accomplishments”, adding with a smile, “Perhaps with just some of the small harmless vanity you occasionally meet with in an only child”. He said Michael Paul was impressive in how he faced his impending death with “clear-eyed courage and a lack of self-absorption”.

He book-ended his tribute with a moving story about his final meeting with Michael Paul just two weeks previously to the day. Having spent some precious time together and as he was leaving, he accompanied Michael Paul to the community chapel at mass time. Michael Paul dipped his hand in the holy water font and made the sign of the cross on his own forehead. “Then in a spontaneous gesture I will never forget, the made the same sign of the cross on my forehead too.” And he quoted from some of his final writings or ‘fragments’ as he called them, published in The Sacred Heart Messenger, where Michael Paul described his life as “The long learning of love”, adding, “ When I am close to death there may be weakness and distress. But I hope then to have the freedom to surrender into the arms of God so dying can be a prayerful letting go.” His three Jesuit friends (Donal Neary, Jim Culliton and Liam O’Connell) who were with him when he died peacefully at 11 pm on Friday, all attest that this is exactly what they witnessed, a dying that was indeed ‘a prayerful letting go’.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/messenger-of-wonder-and-wonderful-messenger/

Messenger of wonder and wonderful messenger
Early in his rich and varied teaching career, the gifted Irish Jesuit, Fr. Michael Paul Gallagher, who died last Friday (6th November 2015) at the age of 76, used to give an introductory course to students of English literature in University College Dublin. At a certain point, he liked to write these three intriguing words on the blackboard: “ha”, “aha”, and “ah”. He made his students sit up and think by claiming that these three strange sounds stood not only for the three basic approaches toward literature, but also for the three fundamental stances toward human life as a whole. He asked them not to fall into the trap of arriving too quickly at judgments, to be careful not to rush hastily into uttering a smug and even contemptuous “ha”, before they even took the trouble to experience and understand things properly. He then pronounced the second sound – “aha” – with a rising rhythm, to make audible the moment when we understand something. He told them how college was meant to be full of these “aha” moments, as they learned new things and discovered new insights. But, then, looking solemnly at his audience, Fr. Michael Paul would warn them not to become so excited by their “aha” moments that they ended up stifling the deepest and most central experience of all – the experience of wonder, the “ah” experience. Michael Paul Gallagher brought a liberating “ah” of fresh air to individual Irish people, to the Irish Church, and, later, through his work in the Vatican and at the Pontifical Gregorian University, to countless students and Catholics from around the world. He was a messenger of wonder and a wonderful messenger of God. He had an uncanny gift for helping people to reach the threshold of wonder in their lives, to get in touch with their deepest hungers and desires. He invited them to open new doors into the mystery of themselves, and to discover a God who was much more loving than they had dared imagine.
Born in 1939 in the village of Collooney, County Sligo [born in Dublin, raised in Sligo], he credited it with shaping his feelings and imagination, and was always grateful for the stability and roots this village world gave him. Precisely because it was such a reassuring anchor, it gave him the leeway to broaden his horizons as time went on. At the age of twelve he was sent to the Jesuit boarding school Clongowes. From there he went to UCD, and after finishing his degree in English and French literature, was awarded a grant from the French government to study at the University of Caen Normandy from 1960 to 1961. The year in France was a turning point in his life. Although the Second Vatican Council would only open in 1962, there was already great excitement and new life palpable in French Catholicism. Michael Paul met young French Catholics who were passionate about their faith, who read the Bible, prayed in nearby monasteries, and invited notable French philosophers and theologians to address them. He also met significant numbers of agnostics and atheists for the first time in his life. Over the course of many long conversations that went on late into the night, he found he had a gift for explaining faith in a new and fresh language, not the technical jargon of abstract arguments, but the living poetry of personal discovery.
After returning from Caen, he entered the Jesuits, with a sense that he was being called to help people discover the wonder of faith in a world where unbelief was in the ascendant. When he completed his two- year novitiate, he was sent to Oxford to study Renaissance literature. While there, he began to realize that despite the distance some of his fellow students felt from faith, the language of poetry opened up for them an avenue into wonder and their inner experience. Over the years ahead, he began to form the conviction that doctrine alone was not enough to speak to people; like Jesus, who used parables, Michael Paul found himself drawn to an imaginative presentation of faith, drawing on the resources of literature.
From his Jesuit formation, Michael Paul learned how to find and trust the hidden poetry in himself, and this skill enabled him in his turn to help others to liberate their human depths. He realised that his surface self was driven toward performing and being successful. From childhood onwards, he had wanted to do well and make his parents proud of him, and so excelled in academic studies as well as drama and debating. But as well as this “performer” side to himself, at a deeper level he felt at home with the wonder of being a “child”, he was happy to trust his feelings, to allow himself to be playful, and to reach out to others without pushing himself to perform in order that they would like him. He made a sustained and conscious effort to live out of the deeper level of himself. When he became aware of surface desires and immature responses, he knew he was out of tune with himself. He picked up the warning signs through a certain sense of dissatisfaction and emptiness. He countered this gnawing surface self by re-tuning into the deeper and more serene wavelength inside, where he lived from a satisfying rootedness together with a great openness of vision. Because his experience of prayer and discernment taught him to be aware of the dangers of this false, performing, “impressing everyone” side to himself, he was particularly well equipped to help others go beyond the surface self and find that deeper peace to help them negotiate the challenges of life.
Michael Paul was ordained to the priesthood in 1972. Afterwards he continued to lecture in English at UCD, and also researched the phenomenon of atheism and how churches and pastoral workers were responding to it. As a result of this research he became the first Roman Catholic ever to be awarded a doctorate in theology by Queen’s University, Belfast.
In 1974 he published a controversial article, “Atheism Irish Style”. At a time when the general consensus held that Irish Catholicism was in a thoroughly healthy state, Fr. Michael Paul alarmed many by suggesting that it was actually dying a slow death. He claimed that Irish Catholics (most of all young Irish Catholics) were becoming increasingly disillusioned with many of the externals of church life – religion taught impersonally or in an authoritarian manner in school, dull Sunday rituals, and boring sermons. Although a huge emphasis was placed upon attendance at Mass, the actual practice of it was spiritually impoverished with little prayerfulness, no sense of living worship, and no real attempt to create a human community. The article and subsequent talks and interviews generated huge discussion and debate.
Less than 10 years later, in 1983, he published his first, and most famous book, Help My Unbelief, aimed at readers who were bewildered at why God was becoming so unreal for them. His focus was not on intellectual arguments for or against God, because he did not believe this was where the real story was. He concentrated instead on dispositions and basic attitudes. He was wise enough to know that people do not make decisions about faith upon purely rational grounds. Our decisions for or against faith generally involve a strong sense of how we feel about ourselves and life. He gave the example of a college student who came into his office to discuss an essay, but suddenly announced in an aggressive tone, “I’m an atheist, you know.” When Michael Paul ignored this declaration, and continued to give him feedback on his essay, the student asked, “Isn’t it your job to convert me?” Michael Paul responded, “I wouldn’t dream of converting anyone in that tone of voice”, and went on to say that faith was so precious to him that he would not even consider indulging in a useless argument about it. But if the student were willing to listen, he would be more than happy at some other time to explain what faith meant for him. Sure enough, the student returned a few days later. He spoke about this and that for a while, before suddenly announcing, “I suffer from asthma.” And then he went on to share how asthma had destroyed his childhood because it had cut him off from other people, made him ashamed, and angry at God and at life. This story taught Michael Paul something crucial: behind many aggressive denials of faith (“I’m an atheist”) there can be a much less aggressive reality of hurt and disenchantment (“I suffer from asthma”).
In 1990, Michael Paul was invited to work in the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non- Believers. Five years later he began teaching theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he later became Dean of Theology as well as Rector of the large “Bellarmino” community of Jesuit graduate students. Despite his teaching and the big burden of administration, he somehow found time to write, give talks, and listen to many young individuals, helping them to enter into a space of freedom they often did not know they had. In terms of his own writing, he began to see himself more and more as a “translator”, translating the insights of major theologians into a language that honest, educated, non-specialised searchers could understand. Michael Paul read through countless books in a way that was faithful to those who hadn’t the time or energy to read such books. He tried to carry out his academic work in tune with Christ’s compassion for all seekers and searchers.
When Michael Paul was hit by cancer for the second time in January 2015, he was faithful to his lifelong practice of applying the lessons he learned from his own struggles for the benefit of others. He reflected upon his illness and wrote down his reflections. His final book, about his own journey through cancer, Into Extra Time, is due to be published soon. In this month’s Sacred Heart Messenger, he has an article called “The Prospect of Dying”. Its final paragraph encapsulates the graced imagination that always enabled Fr. Michael Paul Gallagher to see seeds of hope in what at first looks like a burnt-out desert:
“The outer process of dying may be frightening, but do I really want to stay here forever? If I listen to my heart, I know I am made for more life than I can imagine. When God’s promise overcomes my fears, what St. Paul calls the ‘last enemy’ becomes an unexpected friend.”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.
This article was published in The Irish Catholic, 12th November, 2015

https://www.jesuit.ie/books/wisdom-at-the-crossroads/

Wisdom at the Crossroads
Author: Thomas G. Casey SJ Publisher: Messenger Publications

Wisdom at the Crossroads: The Life and Thought of Michael Paul Gallagher SJ follows the journey of this gifted Jesuit priest, theologian, author and educator from the simplicity of an Irish rural childhood to the more complex world he soon encountered. That changing world prompted him to think deeply about the question of faith in our times, the effects of a shifting culture on our perceptions, and the challenge of unbelief and atheism as it manifests itself today. It illuminates Michael Paul’s rare gift – both in personal conversation and in the written word – of helping people to move from a detached consideration of faith to an awareness of what was deepest in their own hearts, for it was from that hidden layer of wonder that he believed the journey of faith could unfold.
The early part of the book covers the first forty years of Michael Paul’s life. This includes a description of his hometown of Collooney in Co. Sligo which the Jesuit was able to recall most vividly upon a return visit with Italian friends many years later. He attended Clongowes Wood College SJ in his early years and studied at UCD and in Caen, France, as a university student. After entering the Jesuit novitiate, Michael Paul studied poetry in Oxford and philosophy in London. Some of his other key experiences during these years included lecturing and further studies; the Charismatic Renewal; work in Kolkata; and the formation of young Jesuits.
Later, Fr Gallagher’s direct dealing with unbelief is explored culminating in the Jesuit’s first and most famous book, Help My Unbelief, aimed at readers who were bewildered at why God was becoming so unreal for them. He continued to write many books including Faith Maps which outlined how three dimensions of faith – the institutional, the critical, and the mystical – correspond to the three ages in life – childhood, youth, and adulthood. He pondered where people were at in terms of the dimensions and ages, encouraging them to ask searching and critical questions about their faith.
Michael Paul loved the culture of the theatre and cinema, but more importantly he appreciated culture as ‘the set of meanings and values that informs a way of life’. In this regard, he spent a year in Latin America where he befriended a seminarian named Eliseo who showed him that faith was not a private matter between God and himself; it was something that was alive in a shared way. Furthermore, although Michael Paul didn’t personally experience Irish Catholicism as repressive, he was aware that for many people of his generation it was associated with a petty vision, confined largely to external rules and narrow moralism. He was in touch with the culture of the people.
Of the seven chapters in this book, it would be worth referring to the sense of wonder in chapter five. Michael Paul loved to communicate the experience of wonder, the ‘ah’ experience to his many students. The author notes that he had a disarming gift for helping people to reach the threshold of wonder in their lives. On one occasion, Fr Gallagher spoke with a former student who struggled to believe in a God who was out of touch with his new passion for science. As the conversation continued, the former student began to think that he wasn’t as far away from faith as he had imagined. He began to wonder about faith in a fresh way, a on to others.

https://www.jesuit.ie/books/into-extra-time-2/

Into Extra Time
Author: Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Publisher: Messenger Publications
Michael Paul Gallagher’s book, ‘Into Extra Time – Jottings Along The Way’, is an account of his path of faith through illness and facing death. In Michael Paul’s own words from the preface:-
“The opening words of the Introduction spoke of my path towards death as highly probable. Now several months later death is certain, a question of months. The story of treatment, remission and then return of more than one zone of cancer is told in the second section of this book. As time has gone on, I often wondered why I was publishing such a personal narrative. It started as a diary for myself, trying to explore my experience of illness. Then I began to think it could be of help to others. But I also fear it could inflate my own fairly ordinary adventure, and I ask forgiveness from those who may find it too self-centred or too pious. It tries to tell the story of a believer going through stages of cancer. If it offers some spiritual light on others in such times of struggle, that justifies it for me. ”
Michael Paul Gallagher SJ died on 6 November 2015.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 162 : Winter 2015

Obituary

Fr Michael Paul Gallagher (1939-2015)

26 August 1939 : Born in Dublin. Raised in Collooney, Co. Sligo.
Early Education at Collooney NS; Clongowes Wood College SJ; UCD
8 October 1961: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
9 October 1963: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
1963 - 1965: Oxford, UK - Studying for B Litt at Campion Hall
1965 - 1967: Chipping Norton, UK - Studying Philosophy at Heythrop College
1967 - 1968: Loyola - Regency: Lecturer in English at UCD
1968 - 1969: Baltimore, MD, USA - Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins University
1969 - 1975: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
23 June 1972: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
1973: Lecturer in English at UCD; Doctoral Studies in Theology at QUB
1975 - 1978: University Hall - Vice Superior; Lecturer in English at UCD
1976: Tertianship in Bangalore, India
2 February 1978: Final Vows at University Hall, Hatch Street, Dublin
1978 - 1986: John Sullivan, Monkstown – Doctoral Studies; Co ordinator for Atheism; Lecturer in English at UCD
1980: Rector of John Sullivan House
1981: Province Consultor; Assists in Tabor
1986 - 1987: Sabbatical in Latin America
1987 - 1990: Rutilio Grande - Superior; Lecturer in English at UCD; Formation Delegate; Co-ordinator for Atheism
1990 - 1992: Bellarmino, Rome, Italy - Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-believers
1992 - 1993: San Saba Parish, Rome - Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-believers
1993 - 1995: Gesù, Rome, Italy -- Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-believers
1995 - 1999: Leeson St – Faith & Culture Apostolate; Writer; Lecturer in Theology at Gregorian, Rome (Sem I)
1999 - 2000: Loyola - Faith & Culture Apostolate; Writer; Lecturer in Theology at Gregorian, Rome (Sem I)
2000 - 2009: Rome, Italy - Writer; Professor of Fundamental Theology at Gregorian University
2005: Dean of Theology at Gregorian University
2009 - 2015: Bellarmino, Rome, Italy - Rector; Emeritus Professor of Fundamental Theology at Gregorian University
2015: Loyola - Writer

On a visit home for a conference in January 2015, Michael Paul realised that he needed to see his doctors again, as he was feeling unwell. So began another battle with cancer, and following various treatments, he enjoyed a good period of remission through the summer months. He remained in contact with his wide circle of friends and continued to write. In September further treatment was required, which did not agree with him, and he entered a period of palliative care. He became quite unwell and went into St Vincent's hospital on Monday, 2 November. His condition deteriorated through the week, and on Friday he began to fade significantly. He died very peacefully on Friday night in the presence of his community and some Jesuit friends, having just received the Sacrament of the sick.

In memory of Michael Paul - A letter of thanksgiving

Brendan Staunton

Dear Michael Paul,

You were a Renaissance man who understood the modem world. The world Vatican II addressed as a friend, not a foe, in Gaudium et Spes; a first in the history of 21 Councils. You too, being a child of Vatican 2, moved from the ad intra to the ad extra, married them, and generated fresh faith.

You played brilliantly many a role: teacher, lecturer, writer, spiritual director, retreat giver, administrator, Vatican delegate, Dean of Theology, Jesuit Superior and Rector, formation work, film critic. I could go on, but you were not only a role. Your mission included many friends and family with whom you shared the joys and sorrows, the griefs and anxieties. Your loss will be felt by many for a while to come.

We go back a long way: as a young and naive philosophy student you invited me to give a talk in University Hall, on culture. I shrink now recalling the shallowness of my reflections then. But a seed was sown, and this year alone I spoke on Faith and Culture to the Down and Connor priests in Dromalis; the Tuam Diocesan priests and bishop in Westport; at Dublin's Culture Night in the Pro Cathedral.

Also spoke at the Hopkins festival in Newbridge and attended the Hopkins weekend in Oxford. Your lectures in UCD on Joyce still bearing fruit! And how you opened up Joyce's humorous observations, lively language and bittersweet memories of Jesuit Schools. When we talked after the Hopkins weekend, memories of your time in Oxford were evoked, and how we laughed at the academic follies.

I recall fondly your time with us as Tertians in Tullabeg. I shredded all my notebooks two years later, except four pages of your wisdom sayings. I recall now off the top of my head,”priests today need to be bi-lingual”. Spirituality and Psychology; Art and Spirituality, Faith and Culture; Poetry and Theology. Newman's thinking on Imagination a constant, key theme for you, from which I benefited hugely.

Writing this, the day following your death, after teary phone calls, the sadness is with me still. The memories are so warın though. Especially the times you helped me find the words for growing pains crying within me. (A gift I also received from another Gallagher, Cormac.)

Most memorably, an evening walk around the Pantheon, when you bought a particular coffee to be brought home to Donal Neary. That night, you spoke to me about Charles Taylor, who hit the nail on the head. I may have been "flourishing", but a lack lingered. I had grown beyond “psychology”, after 30 years in a psychoanalytic world; London and Klein, Dublin and Lacan. And more than ten years on the couch. Still appreciate Freud for the genius he was, but the Ignatian ideal was into something more. Our talk that night returned me to a Spiritual Director, and a retrieval of formal prayer that had been neglected. The Martha had forgotten the Mary; doing good and avoiding God. Sure, I still prayed, vocal prayers, petitionary prayers, prayers of praise, liturgical prayer, but very little time given to tuning in the Holy Spirit praying within me. That indwelling presence that echoes unconscious, manifested in dreams. “I think where I am not”. You loosened that bond for many, as Tom Casey's exarnple in his glowing Irish Catholic tribute shows; the student declaring himself an atheist, and it emerging from the way he was listened to, that his asthma suffering was there.

Remember you saying the “Jesuits were founded in bed”?! The Ignatian genius was to take his subjectivity seriously, attending to the emotional vicissitudes he was experiencing while recovering from his wound. (What we now call Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), He was ahead of his time, embracing pagan humanism.

You were such a great host in the Bellarmino. Your flowing fluent Italian was beautiful - brought out the poet in you - as was your care for all your Community, over a hundred students and staff from four continents. And yet you had time for me, with your listening attitude and ability not to understand too quickly. Remember some of our anger in Tertianship? Your insight has stayed with me: “spiritual maturity is accepting not being understood by Authority”! (Later I learned you heard that from Kolvenbach, who got it from Gabriel Marcel?)

I was chuffed when you told me the title of a recent book, Faith Maps, came to you as I talked about the story of painting as a map and metaphor to contextualise faith, for the generation of our nephews and nieces, for whom Tridentinism was so uncool. For people who think Vatican II is the Pope's summer residence! Or for young people who think the four evangelists are John, Paul, Ringo and George!! I recall your enthusiasm when we first heard Bridge over troubled waters": "first song in the history of pop music that sings of desire more than need”, reaching out to an other.

I was delighted you came to my golden jubilee and 70th birthday last May in Gonzaga, where we were ordained. And so good to meet you at Bill Mathew's jubilee last month too. Little did we know on that joyous occasion what lay ahead for you. I can't imagine the pain of these last three weeks. Your legacy will last, I've no doubt about that: verba volant, scripta manent!
And now I imagine you enjoying the company of Rahner, Lonergan and Von Balthazar. You saw early on that their theological style was a function of their historical period. You now too are seeing face-to-face the vision of Gods' glory. And no one deserves that more than you. It is so consoling to know you will be praying for me and us.

I don't forget all the hidden goodness of your good life. Did you not write Joe Dargan's 'Our Mission in Ireland'? Put Joe's sociological prose into English!

Your life was an open book, and hidden with Christ in God. Yeats County certainly bore fruit from UCD to the Greg, and for this I thank you and God for you. You are now, to quote a hero of yours, the Bard of Avon, “one of precious friends, hid in death's dateless night”.
And the light you shone is truly a holy one. You were a spiritual master for our season, where “symbols clashed”, and the unrecognised presence of culture was recognised by you, and shown to be a friend rather than the foe of faith.

You once quoted Merton to me: “our greatest fear is a fear of depth”. Ignatius is proud of you! You found God in culture. Thanks to Newman and the other giants you identified with through your generous and open response to your Jesuit calling. Would I be reviewing films for the Messenger now, had you not pioneered that work for Studies?
LDS.
In Xto,
Brendan

Messenger of wonder and wonderful messenger

Tom Casey

Early in his rich and varied teaching career, the gifted Irish Jesuit, Fr. Michael Paul Gallagher, who died on 6th November at the age of 76, used to give an introductory course to students of English literature in University College Dublin. At a certain point, he liked to write these three intriguing words on the blackboard: “ha”, “aha”, and “ah”. He made his students sit up and think by claiming that these three strange sounds stood not only for the three basic approaches toward literature, but also for the three fundamental stances toward human life as a whole.

He asked them not to fall into the trap of arriving too quickly at judgments, to be careful not to rush hastily into uttering a smug and even contemptuous “ha”, before they even took the trouble to experience and understand things properly. He then pronounced the second sound – “aha” – with a rising rhythm, to make audible the moment when we understand something. He told them how college was meant to be full of these “aha” moments, as they learned new things and discovered new insights. But, then, looking solemnly at his audience, Fr. Michael Paul would warn them not to become so excited by their “aha” moments that they ended up stifling the deepest and most central experience of all - the experience of wonder, the “ah” experience.

Michael Paul Gallagher brought a liberating “ah” of fresh air to individual Irish people, to the Irish Church, and, later, through his work in the Vatican and at the Pontifical Gregorian University, to countless students and Catholics from around the world. He was a messenger of wonder and a wonderful messenger of God. He had an uncanny gift for helping people to reach the threshold of wonder in their lives, to get in touch with their deepest hungers and desires. He invited them to open new doors into the mystery of themselves, and to discover a God who was much more loving than they had dared imagine.

Born in 1939 in the village of Collooney, County Sligo, he credited it with shaping his feelings and imagination, and was always grateful for the stability and roots this village world gave him. Precisely because it was such a reassuring anchor, it gave him the leeway to broaden his horizons as time went on. At the age of twelve he was sent to the Jesuit boarding school Clongowes. From there he went to UCD, and after finishing his degree in English and French literature, was awarded a grant from the French government to study at the University of Caen Normandy from 1960 to 1961. The year in France was a turning point in his life. Although the Second Vatican Council would only open in 1962, there was already great excitement and new life palpable in French Catholicism. Michael Paul met young French Catholics who were passionate about their faith, who read the Bible, prayed in nearby monasteries, and invited notable French philosophers and theologians to address them. He also met significant nurnbers of agnostics and atheists for the first time in his life. Over the course of many long conversations that went on late into the night, he found he had a gift for explaining faith in a new and fresh language, not the technical jargon of abstract arguments, but the living poetry of personal discovery.

After returning from Caen, he entered the Jesuits, with a sense that he was being called to help people discover the wonder of faith in a world where unbelief was in the ascendant. When he completed his two year novitiate, he was sent to Oxford to study Renaissance literature. While there, he began to realize that despite the distance some of his fellow students felt from faith, the language of poetry opened up for them an avenue into wonder and their inner experience. Over the years ahead, he began to form the conviction that doctrine alone was not enough to speak to people; like Jesus, who used parables, Michael Paul found himself drawn to an imaginative presentation of faith, drawing on the resources of literature.

From his Jesuit formation, Michael Paul learned how to find and trust the hidden poetry in himself, and this skill enabled him in his turn to help others to liberate their human depths. He realized that his surface self was driven toward performing and being successful. From childhood onwards, he had wanted to do well and make his parents proud of him, and so excelled in academic studies as well as drama and debating. But as well as this "performer" side to himself, at a deeper level he felt at home with the wonder of being a "child”, he was happy to trust his feelings, to allow himself to be playful, and to reach out to others without pushing himself to perform in order that they would like him. He made a sustained and conscious effort to live out of the deeper level of himself. When he became aware of surface desires and immature responses, he knew he was out of tune with himself. He picked up the warning signs through a certain sense of dissatisfaction and emptiness. He countered this gnawing surface self by re-tuning into the deeper and more serene wavelength inside, where he lived from a satisfying rootedness together with a great openness of vision. Because his experience of prayer and discernment taught him to be aware of the dangers of this false, performing, “impressing everyone” side to himself, he was particularly well equipped to help others go beyond the surface self and find that deeper peace to help them negotiate the challenges of life.

Michael Paul was ordained to the priesthood in 1972. Afterwards he continued to lecture in English at UCD, and also researched the phenomenon of atheism and how churches and pastoral workers were responding to it. As a result of this research he became the first Roman Catholic ever to be awarded a doctorate in theology by Queen's University, Belfast.

In 1974 he published a controversial article, “Atheism Irish Style”. At a time when the general consensus held that Irish Catholicism was in a thoroughly healthy state, Fr. Michael Paul alarmed many by suggesting that it was actually dying a slow death. He claimed that Irish Catholics (most of all young Irish Catholics) were becoming increasingly disillusioned with many of the externals of church life – religion taught impersonally or in an authoritarian manner in school, dull Sunday rituals, and boring sermons. Although a huge emphasis was placed upon attendance at Mass, the actual practice of it was spiritually impoverished with little prayerfulness, no sense of living worship, and no real attempt to create a human community. The article and subsequent talks and interviews generated huge discussion and debate.

Less than 10 years later, in 1983, he published his first, and most famous book, Help My Unbelief, aimed at readers who were bewildered at why God was becoming so unreal for them. His focus was not on intellectual arguments for or against God, because he did not believe this was where the real story was. He concentrated instead on dispositions and basic attitudes. He was wise enough to know that people do not make decisions about faith upon purely rational grounds. Our decisions for or against faith generally involve a strong sense of how we feel about ourselves and life.

He gave the example of à college student who came into his office to discuss an essay, but suddenly announced in an aggressive tone, “I'm an atheist, you know." When Michael Paul ignored this declaration, and continued to give him feedback on his essay, the student asked, “Isn't it your job to convert me?”: Michael Paul responded, “I wouldn't dream of converting anyone in that tone of voice”, and went on to say that faith was so precious to him that he would not even consider indulging in a useless argument about it. But if the student were willing to listen, he would be more than happy at some other time to explain what faith meant for him. Sure enough, the student returned a few days later. He spoke about this and that for a while, before suddenly announcing, “I suffer from asthma”. And then he went on to share how asthma had destroyed his childhood because it had cut him off from other people, made him ashamed, and angry at God and at life. This story taught Michael Paul something crucial: behind many aggressive denials of faith (“I'm an atheist”) there can be a much less aggressive reality of hurt and disenchantment (”I suffer from asthma”).

In 1990, Michael Paul was invited to work in the Holy See's Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers. Five years later he began teaching theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he later became Dean of Theology as well as Rector of the large “Bellarmino” community of Jesuit graduate students. Despite his teaching and the big burden of administration, he somehow found time to write, give talks, and listen to many young individuals, helping them to enter into a space of freedom they often did not know they had. In terms of his own writing, he began to see himself more and more as a "translator”, translating the insights of major theologians into a language that honest, educated, non-specialized searchers could understand. Michael Paul read through countless books in a way that was faithful to those who hadn't the time or energy to read such books. He tried to carry out his academic work in tune with Christ's compassion for all seekers and searchers.

When Michael Paul was hit by cancer for the second time in January 2015, he was faithful to his lifelong practice of applying the lessons he learned from his own struggles for the benefit of others. He reflected upon his illness and wrote down his reflections. His final book, about his own journey through cancer, Into Extra Time, is due to be published soon. In this month's Sacred Heart Messenger, he has an article called "The Prospect of Dying". Its final paragraph encapsulates the graced imagination that always enabled Fr, Michael Paul Gallagher to see seeds of hope in what at first looks like a burnt-out desert:

“The outer process of dying may be frightening, but do I really want to stay here forever? If I listen to my heart, I know I am made for more life than I can imagine. When God's promise overcomes my fears, what St. Paul calls the 'last enemy' becomes an unexpected friend.”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal

◆ The Clongownian, 1980

Interview : Young People and the Faith Today

Father Michael Paul Gallagher SJ

Clongownian
Fr Gallagher you have been working for about a dozen years now in University College, Dublin in the English Department, and you have had contact with students throughout those years and as far as we can make out you have been specializing and doing some research in “unbelief” and various responses to "unbelief. What are your general impressions now of the new generation and of their relationship with traditional faith?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Well, first of all, I don't think people have changed all that much. I think what has changed is the context in which they live and the environment in which faith has to be discovered and decided and committed, In fact, I would put much emphasis on the fact that in our new condition, faith won't happen, faith won't be passed on just passively or easily. More and more its going to be a decision against the tide. I am talking now about the kind of young people I have been seeing in UCD, as you mentioned, for many years; I don't think they have changed all that much. The change lies rather in the pressures that are on them, the pressures that come from a whole transformation in life style, in expectancies. It's the whole change of Ireland in the past twenty years from a largely rural and stable society to an increasingly urban, complex, modern and pluralist society and the young people are obviously the ones that this affects most. I don't, in fact, feel at all despairing about the faith. I think it is conventional faith that is in danger, but then conventional faith, just as conventional and no more than that, was never perhaps worth very much anyway.

Clongownian
What exactly do you mean by that? Are you saying that the faith that many of the parents have is shallow or merely conventional?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Oh! No. Don't get me wrong on that one. I am saying that growing up in the 1980's is very different from growing up in the 1950's. Let me put it in an image. Let me borrow the image from the Gospel, the parable of the Sower. Our Lord talks there about planting the seed, the seed of faith. And let's say that if in the 1940's or 30's, it was enough to plant the seed of Faith 2 inches down in the ground and it would grow and it would come to maturity even and real fullness; that 2 inches down won't do anymore. One will need, to keep the metaphor, at least 4 inches down. It needs to be sown twice as deep because the conditions above the ground, so to speak, are now stormy in a way that they were not before; because we are living with
an accumulation of influences that are undermining faith and it is as well to be conscious of them. I am not suggesting that we lament them: I am not suggesting for a moment that one goes around be moaning our new affluence or bemoaning the fact that we have a more complex society. It has come and it is here to stay and it is a most futile exercise to hope to put the clock back, but I am saying in this new more complex environment, a merely conventional faith that might have been good and might have survived under the old conditions, will now be shown to be incapable of surviving through, what I am calling, the stormier conditions of nowadays.

Clongownian
But if I may return to the point, you still seem to be implying that it is a merely conventional faith that would have survived say in the 40's.

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Well, perhaps, I am if you push me, and I don't think I would be altogether alone in saying that much of what passes for faith, Mass going and so on, may not be the fullness of the Catholic and Christian tradition. There was a marvellous pastoral from the Irish Bishops last St Patrick's Day called “Handing on the Faith in the Home”; I am quoting them now; they put things pretty strongly. “Are we adults going through our lives with ideas about religion more suitable for primary schoolboys and schoolgirls than for modern adults?” I think that question is very real. I think that I come across many people of my generation, I'm just forty exactly, who have children who are going to primary school and who themselves are very devout Catholics, but quite unable, to quote St. Peter from the New Testament, "to give an account of the hope that is in them”. I think that is a serious lack. I think that very many people of my generation have not thought much about their faith since school days and, more importantly still, they have not experienced their faith since school days and, more importantly still, they have not experienced their faith at any great depth or newness or freshness since schooldays. I put a good deal of emphasis on the experience side of it, meaning what one might get in a Retreat or in a Marriage Encounter or in any form of a renewal of faith with others in the various ways which have become very popular in recent years.

Clongownian
Are you saying then that there is a kind of a gap between the parents in their understanding of religion and the teenagers; let's focus in on them, in what they are asking or seeking in religious matters?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Yes, very much so. There is a serious gap there and if I may refer back to that same Pastoral Letter it once again puts it pretty strongly. It talks about the reaction of teenagers in rejecting the religion of their parents and says that it should make the parents conscious of the need to close the gaps between their devotions and their lives, between their prayers and their behaviour. As it puts it, "between their Sunday christianity and their Monday to Saturday living”. And again, this same Pastoral of the Bishops is very accurate, at least to judge from my own experience of students, in that it says quite strongly that the gap between parents and young people is a gap about different expectancies of faith. They say, for instance, that young people have become cynical about words and are impressed only by deeds. Now their parents tend to hold on to the right words, saying the right thing about God. And the Pastoral takes the opposite line, saying in a very blunt expression that the biggest obstacle to Christian Faith today is not intellectual doubt, but quite simply the unchristian life style of so many of us who think we are good Christians.

Clongownian
Where do you see the gap there?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
The gap lies partly in the fact that a slightly older generation, now in their middle years, are content with a certain obedience to a tradition, a certain holding on to doctrine that they were taught. They are not asking the same kind of questions as the young people are. The young people want something on the level of experience, some thing on the level of commitment where the older people were content with something that was more to do with authority. There is a real gap here. I think many of the parents, if they reflect a little bit, are themselves suffering from a certain malnutrition. Malnutrition as I learned in the East is not starvation; it is a hidden hunger that one may not always recognise. I think many of the people in the parents' generation may have hungers on the level of spiritual searching, and also on the level of clarification of their understanding of the faith. And if they allow those hungers to go unsatisfied for years and years, they will find themselves unable to communicate what is genuinely very valuable for them. Now the young people start, as it were, from the other end. They start from themselves, their experience, their searching and they ask that the message of Christianity through tradition, through the Church, through revelation speaks to them relevantly, Relevance is a big word for them. "It bores me” they say about Mass. They talk about it not meaning anything to them.. Whereas the parents may go through a period of boredom, but it is not quite the same crisis, because they are approaching the whole thing from a different standpoint.

Clongownian
Fine! Let's focus in on that question of Mass, because I think it is a real problem for many parents. What do you say to a student who comes to you and says “I am not going to Mass anymore”?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Well! That is something that happens very frequently to me. In fact, I am not at all surprised when a student tells me he is not going to Mass. I feel in Ireland perhaps our greatest strength could be our greatest weakness, Our greatest strength is the fact that we have an immensely strong fidelity to Sunday worship at Mass together. It could become our greatest weakness if we become complacent about it and if that becomes the only expression our faith has. It's meant to be the crown of a Christian life; it's not meant to be the one and only expression of a Christian life. So that I tend to say to people, “are you doing anything else, have you any other expressions of your attempting to follow Christ?”And generally I find that they either have or have not. If they have, then I would put the emphasis on that. If, for instance, a student says to me “well I try to help people, I belong to an organization that helps the old people or that collects money for the Third World and I believe in Christ, although he is not a very real figure for me, but it connects up what I believe Christianity to be”. Then I would emphasize that, reflect on the meaning of that, see if that can't be in some way strengthened, deepened, broadened and used as a springboard for a greater integration of faith. If they say to me '”well, no I don't believe at all or its pretty well gone out of my head or the whole idea of faith is eclipsed for me and I don't go to Mass either”, then I say “no wonder, because you have nothing to bring to the altar”. That is not blaming them, it is simply stating a fact. “No wonder you are bored at Mass, if you have nothing to bring from the rest of your life”.

Clongownian
So you are saying that it doesn't matter if one does not go to Mass, that the Sunday observance is not all that important?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Once again, no. I am not saying that; that would be going too far. What I am saying is that Mass on its own is not the fullness of a Catholic life. That Sunday practice on its own is not enough to be a mature life of faith today.

Clongownian
What else do you want then, as well as Sunday Mass?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
I want what I may call Sunday supplements, not the news .paper kind, but let me call them that. As well as Mass, I would want some dimension of stillness, some dimension of scripture and some social commitment, three S's if you like. A dimension of stillness: under that heading I would put any kind of effort at prayer, at an interior life, at taking one's search and hunger for God seriously, whatever form it may take. But I think every single one of us, if we are to go against the tide of the superficial society in which we are growing up, every single one of us has to protect our consciousness. There is a kind of pollution of consciousness going on in modern society, and just as with the pollution of the rivers, one has to have protection. The protection is some form of inwardness, some form of stillness, some form of prayerfulness. That dimension needs to be there in each life. If it is not, then the faith will be, to that degree, immature.

Clongownian
Are you saying that people should keep saying their prayers and that all will be well?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
I think I am probably saying more than just say your prayers. I am talking about prayer rather than prayers. I am not against saying prayers, but there is something deeper and I think more people are called to it than they perhaps realise. To pray is to relax into the reality of being loved. I would want people to find ways, different for each individual, perhaps, of relaxing into God's presence with them and within them. And from that period of stillness in God's presence to be able then to love from him and from a deeper part of themselves. I think we live on the surface unless we move and keep growing through a lifetime in some form of personal prayer.

Clongownian
What about the other dimensions that you said were important?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
Well the others were scripture and the social dimension. I mean under scripture I would take the whole area of understanding the faith. People are terribly ignorant, say of the New Testament, even at University. I come across very few students who know the difference between Ezekiel and Ephesians. I ask myself what the secondary schools are doing in this respect and indeed, may I be naughty and remark that I think that a good study of St. Paul, the man and his meaning and message, would be a great deal more relevant to maturity of faith, than studying Gaudium et spes or other Vatican Council documents, which I don't think speak to people very profoundly. They are good documents, but I don't think they are as important as scripture and I find people are very ignorant of scripture, and that religion time in school has been wasted, I would say, on what is less important. So I am asking that both the young people and their parents keep growing in their understanding of faith.

That is the second dimension which I call scripture. The third dimension is what I call the social dimension, and this is relatively new in the emphasis that we must put on it today. The link between faith and justice is being realised in a new form today, mean ing that I cannot say I believe in God and not allow it to change the way I live, the way I want society to be and the way I want the world society also to be. But to be a Christian is to be committed to changing the world towards justice for all and indeed of questioning one's own life style in this respect.

Clongownian
Why do you single out those dimensions and may I ask how you put them together?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
I single out those dimensions of the community worshipping on Sunday, which is very important, and often the centre of our belonging to the Church. Secondly, the contemplative inner dimension. Thirdly, the dimension of understanding the revelation of Christ and its meaning. Fourthly, the social dimension of how we live it, trying to change society. I see those four dimensions as a map of maturity of faith. I see it as leading to a decision to be committed to Christ in these various ways, within the Church, in prayerfulness and inwardness in a relationship with him and in how one lives. And I see faith today as needing a decision; one cannot drift into faith any more. The tide is too much against it, and so a maturity of faithi needs that kind of integration of those various dimensions if it is to be living and growing through a lifetime.

Clongownian
Can we come back to the point about Mass then? How does that fit in?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
That fits in, I think, fairly simply into that map. It is one crucial and important expression, but there are three more and at least three more that are equally important.

Clongownian
And how does this effect the belief and unbelief of young people?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
I am saying that young people are under the pressure of a whole host-of negative influences and they will need a greater fullness of faith to survive than did their parents.

Clongownian
And what can the parents do? Are you saying they should be educating their children by talking scripture to them or what?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
No, I wouldn't envisage it quite like that. The relationship is more important than the content. I have yet to come across an un believer in all my years of dealing with students, the real total un believer, who had a good relationship with believing parents and who had some experience of prayer since childhood. Put that negatively, if you want. A bad relationship with parents and an absence of experience of prayer seem to be a formula for creating a nominal faith or the possibility of unbelief and drift away from faith. But I would put much emphasis, as indeed that pastoral did, on handing on the faith, on the relationship in the home. That document says very strongly that the greatest service parents can give their children is to spend time with them and to have a good relationship with them. And it also says that homes that are filled with supposed religion, but empty of love, simply turn people off religion. I think there is a deep truth here. It's not so much that parents are asked to be forever talk ing to their children about God, but that young people do experience God through the whole atmosphere and through the values of the home. This is one thing.

Clongownian
Is that the whole story then, just have a good relationship?

Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
No! That's not quite the whole story. I think the parents need to recognise their own needs. It's not as if they were fully mature Christians by simply going to Mass and living relatively good lives. The parents also need to be growing in inwardness, in understanding and in some challenge to their life style. If the parents put a full stop to their practice of the faith, then they will be passing on an im mature faith. If they are content with less than the full map of faith, that I have been suggesting, their children will see faith as something less than its true reality. So as well as putting a great emphasis on the relationship as primary, I would also be saying to the parents that they too need to be seeking out ways in which to protect their own faith and to foster it, so that it grows. Because it is not, it is not as if the parents were not being challenged by the adverse and superficial forces in our society today. The parents also need to find new forms of prayer, new ways of understanding their faith and new ways of commitment and of living it. They live in the same world as their children. They just happen to be older, therefore, a bit more secure in themselves, but that does not mean that they should be complacent and stop growth.

Clongownian
Fr Gallagher, thank you very much.

◆ The Clongownian, 1988

A Month in Paraguay

Father Michael Paul Gallagher SJ

Paraguay is seldom in the news here. In many ways it is a small and forgotten coun try, not least because it is ruled by the longest-lasting dictatorship in Latin America. In recent years a proud but tragic moment of its history was highlighted in the film “The Mission”. In May 1988 it was the last Latin American country to receive a Papal visit. For a regime that calls itself officially Catholic, many of the speeches of the Pope proved embarrassing. From the moment of his touching down in Asuncion, he began a strong defence of individual rights and called for participation by all in the building of a new society. He advocated a 'moral cleaning-up of the nation', which he described as 'a form of social organisa tion in which some people subject others, for their own advantage, to the rule of the strongest'. Since May there has been evidence of a clamp down on dissidents from among the Church. One Spanish Jesuit, Fr Juan de la Vega, was taken away by unidentified police and found across the border in Argentina. The Archbishop of Asuncion described this act as a 'shameful kidnap' and went to the extreme measure of suspending some acts of religious worship on the feast of the Assumption, the date on which President Stroessner was entering into his eighth term of office. This article gives one person's summary of the background to these tensions in Paraguay, as glimpsed in a one-month visit in 1987.

April 1987 will remembered as important in the history of Paraguay, at least for the government announcement that after more than thirty years in force, it was lifting the state of emergency or “estado de sitio”. This measure, which had always been religiously renewed every six months, gave headlines, but during that same month of April other less reported but significant events took place in Paraguay and they will be the focus of this article.

Ever since he came to power in 1954, it has been the custom of General Alfredo Stroessner to give a lengthy address at the opening of parliament on the first of April each year. 1987 was no exception. His car arrived at the congress building surround not only by motorcycle and horse guards but accompanied by van loads of heavily armed soldiers. His address to the government party deputies (Colorado members, many of them sporting the red colour that gives them their name) and to diplomats (including the papal nuncio in a white cassock) lasted the best part of a hundred minutes.

The content of the 1987 speech was fairly standard. Much of it was taken up with figures of expenditures, products and road works. There were less ideological statements than on many previous occa sions. In a country which had seen the clos ing down of the major opposition newspaper ABC Color in March 1984 and the Radio Nanduti (due to “atmospheric” interference) at the end of 1986, the only reference to this area was a warning not to confuse 'freedom of expression with freedom to defame' or to express 'antisocial impulses'; the general also criticised “newspapers drenched in pessimism”. There was by now the customary self-praise of the regime as a 'genuine democracy' and a “friend of the ballot box”, a country where “the people are the soul and the brain of our democracy”. Yet about a fifth of the Paraguayan people'are in fact in exile in Argentina and it is well known that to get a good job in the civil service and even more so in the army, one has to be able to prove that all one's immediate relatives are members of the Colorado party. Hence 40% of the population are officially members of that party and many of them believe its rhetoric. Their fidelity is their ticket to minor favours of all kinds, such as a bed in hospital or getting through the red tape of some official permission. With most of the Liberal opposition party in exile, the elections every five years are of interest only to see what wing of the Colorado party has most influence.

Since one of the definite attractions of the dictatorship has been the version of social and political stability it has provided, Stroessner's speech included plenty of reference to the tragedies of Paraguay's long history of turmoil before 1954. There were forty four presidents in the eighty five years before his coming to power, and that period included the terrible War of Triple Alliance which killed some 90% of the male popula tion, Hence Stroessner's old boast- 'we have put behind us completely the times of an archy and backwardness. There is peace and order under the rule of law, there is no terrorism nor any serious social or political crisis'. This is a familiar message echoed again and again each evening at 8.30 when La Voz del Coloradismo takes over practically all radio stations for a special pro-. gramme. The exception is the church-run Radio Caritas which is itself often the object of attack in this broadcast as an 'instrument of the left and of terrorism'. This nightly propaganda programme makes free and fre quent use of the word “communist” to dismiss international critiques of the Stroessner regime: “there will be no communism in Paraguay: we live in peace”. It also indulges in personal and bitter attacks on individuals especially in the world of communication and the church.

The President's speech contained only one and somewhat solemn reference to the Catholic Church”

The national government, inspired by the Christian and patriotic roots of our people, always offers its collaboration to the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, the official religion of the State.

All this is a rhetoric that conceals more than it reveals, because this longest dictatorship in Latin America seems to be entering one of its several phases of tension with the Church in Paraguay

These few pages aim only to show how the blandness of General Stroessner's reference to Catholicism was undermined by other words and deeds even within that same month of April, and that as Paul Lewis claimed in his scholarly study of Paraguay under Stroessner t

Gill, Henry V, 1872-1945, Jesuit priest, scientist and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/17
  • Person
  • 08 July 1872-27 November 1945

Born: 08 July 1872, Cabra, Dublin City
Entered: 17 April 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1906, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 27 November 1945, St Vincent's Nursing Home, Dublin

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

Younger brother of Frederick Gill - LEFT 1928

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1896 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1908 at Oxford England (ANG) studying Science
by 1910 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 2nd Royal Irish Rifles BEF France

◆ Jesuits in Ireland https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/a-sparrow-to-fall/

A sparrow to fall
Damien Burke
A BBC Northern Ireland documentary, Voices 16 – Somme (BBC 1 NI on Wednesday 29th June, 9pm) explores the events of 1916 through the testimony of the people who witnessed it and their families. Documentary makers and relatives of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle were shown his letters, postcards and personal possessions kept here at the Irish Jesuit Archives. In the 1920s, Alfred O’Rahilly used some of these letters in his biography of Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Afterwards they were given to Willie’s brother, Charles, and were stored for safekeeping in the basement of St Francis Xavier’s church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1949. In 2011, they were accessioned into the archives. Fr Willie Doyle SJ was one of ten Irish Jesuits who served as chaplains at the battle of the Somme (1 July- 18 November 1916): seven with the British forces; three with the Australian. Their letters, diaries and photographs witness their presence to the horror of war.

Fr Henry Gill SJ, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles (11 July 1916):
Just a line to say I am still alive. We are of course, as always, “in it”...I have been in, and I feel I know more than I want about shells of all sizes and conditions. It is a horrible and squalid business. Trenches full of mud with bodies of dead Germans and British lying unburied all along. Please God it will end soon, and that we may be able to forgot it all as quickly as possible. Gill was tasked with writing to relatives of soldiers who had been killed. These letters followed a pattern, where the following were mentioned, even if false: a quick death, little suffering and recent reception to the sacraments. He only lived a few minutes after he was shot and can have suffered but little pain, He always went to Confession and Holy Communion before an attack, now you may therefore be at ease about him. The letter was written by Gill to Maggie Duffy of Belfast in September 1916. Her husband, John Duffy was killed at the battle of the Somme in July 1916. Your Husband lived a good life and died a Hero’s death, that will not make your sorrow less, but it will help you to bear it in resignation to God’s will, Who, does not even a allow a sparrow to fall without his Providence

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Henry Gill SJ, on leave on 10 November 1918 wrote:
In the mean time I had made arrangement for a trip of the greatest possible interest to myself. I was to be motored to Chaumout to get the train to Paris...and on the way I was to pay a visit to Domremy the birthplace of Joan of Arc. I looked forward to this visit with great pleasure. I had set out from Rouen, where the Saint was put to death, to begin my work at the front, and now after almost four years I was to visit her birthplace, and her Basilica, and to have the opportunity of making a pilgrimage to thank her for her protection during these years. For I had set out under her patronage. Fr Gill physically survived the war, but mentally, would suffer from what we call today post-traumatic stress, but in his time, was called nerves.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
Fr Henry Gill has received a communication from the President of the French Republic thanking him for distinguished service during the late war.

Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931
Rathfarnham :
Our Minister, Fr. Henry Gill, has had the honour of being elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Obituary :
Fr. Henry Gill (1872-1890-1945)
Fr. Henry Gill died very peacefully in St. Vincent's Nursing Home at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 27th, whilst Mass was being offered for his intentions by two or three of the Community, at Leeson Street, He had been ailing for the past six months with an internal trouble which was diagnosed as cancer of the liver, but he was mercifully spared any acute pain, and it was only in the last few days of his life that his heart began to show serious signs of weakness. Indeed he took an active interest in the routine of daily life throughout his illness, and three days before his death was still able to correct final page proofs of a small “Life of Saint Joseph” which he had written during the past year. At the foot of the last page of these proofs he wrote in a hand that was shaky, but still legible : “Saint Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death, pray for us”.
Fr. Gill was born at Roebuck House near Dublin on July 8th, 1872. He lived to be the eldest surviving son of the late H. J. Gill, formerly a member of the Irish Party and head of the well-known publishing firma of Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son, Ltd. His grandfather had been Lord Mayor of Dublin, and Fr. Gill was a staunchly loyal son of the city of Dublin throughout his long life. He was educated at first in a small day-school at No. 6 Harcourt Street, where Newman had formerly opened one of his Houses for resident students of the Catholic University. From this preparatory school Henry went to Clongowes, where he remained until the summer of 1889. He then spent some months as a student at old University College on St. Stephen's Green, and did not enter the novitiate until April of the following year. In later life he used to tell a humorous tale of the downcast young citizen of Dublin who journeyed by train and car to the Tullabeg of those far off days. His vocation, so he would argue, was a clear instance of the triumph of God's grace over every natural inclination! After two years in the Bog, Henry came back to the city and spent the next three years and a half at Milltown Park, where he was beadle of the Juniors and attended lectures at the old College in Mathematics and Science. Thence he went to Louvain for his Philosophy, 1895-8, where he was brought into contact with professors who were eager to explain traditional principles of philosophy in terms of modern science. On his return from Louvain Mr. Gill spent the next five years in the Colleges (Limerick, Galway and Clongowes), but gave little promise at this time of the distinctions that were to come to him in later life. He was indeed curiously unable to teach a straightforward class, even in his own favourite subjects, though he was later to display an exceptional gift for the exposition and quiet criticism of scientific principles. From 1903-7 he studied Theology in Milltown Park, and was ordained there by Archbishop Walsh on July 18th, 1906.
Fr. Gill was then granted permission by Fr. Conmee to study the Physical Sciences at Cambridge for the next two years. Professor J. J. Thompson was then organising the Cavendish Laboratories as a centre of world-famous scientific research, and Fr. Gill had the good fortune to be associated for a time with some of the men who were later to make history in the development of modern Physics. He never lost the memory of those happy days; and when his old Professor published his autobiography in 1936, Fr. Gill reviewed it in Studies under the well-chosen title : “Brave Days at Cambridge”. He was a student of Downing College, but resided in St. Edmund's House where he had the late Most Rev. Dr. McNulty, Bishop of Nottingham, as his friend and fellow-student. Fr. Gill's own interests were centred at this time on the problems of seismography, and he read a paper to the British Association in 1913 in which he put forward an ingenious theory to explain the distribution of earthquakes in time and space. He was also keenly interested in the development of Wireless Telegraphy - then in its initial stages - and was accustomed to give popular lectures in Dublin on this and kindred subjects. He attended many of the later annual meetings of the British Association, and was frequently invited to preach at some Catholic church during its sessions.
After his period at Cambridge Fr. Gill was sent to Tronchiennes in Belgium for his Tertianship. He was then stationed for three years in Belvedere, until he came to Rathfarnham Castle as its first Spiritual Father in 1913. A year later came the First Great War, and Fr. Gill. was one of the first to send in his name to Fr. Provincial as volunteering for work as Army Chaplain. His offer was accepted, and he spent the next four years in the trenches of Flanders, with no more interruption. than the customary short leaves from active service. Those who remember his visits to Rathfarnham during these intervals will recall the impression of a man who seemed strangely ill-assorted with military life. Yet the plain truth is that both officers and men of the regiment to which he was attached (Second Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles) were devoted to him, and the gallantry with which he responded to every claim on his services during those four grim years of trench warfare is attested by the double award of Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order. One officer who was with him throughout those four years and who was present at his funeral spoke with real emotion of his memories. “He seemed like a lost soul wherever you met him”, was his comment, “but he was always there when wanted, and was afraid of no man”. His unfailing sense of humour and his great gifts of companionship made him a special favourite with the officers mess. But, to the end of his days, he was in touch with some of the men who bad served under him, and their letters revealed the same genuine affection for their old ‘Padre’.
After the war Fr. Gill came to University Hall for five years, where he assisted Fr. George Roche and Fr. Wrafter in their work for the students of University College, and was also able to continue for a. time his former research-work. But his vitality had been much lessened by the long experience of the war-years, and he soon abandoned active research-work. . He went as Minister to Belvedere College in 1923. Here he spent the next seven years, and became a very loyal Belvederian. He was then transferred as Minister for one year to Rathfarnham Castle. The last change came in 1931, when he joined the Leeson Street Community as their Fr. Minister and later as Spiritual Father. For the last fourteen years of his life it is no exaggeration to say that Fr. Gill's kindly personality and the stimulus of his conversation made community life a joy to many of his brethren. He was also, for many years past, a regular contributor to Studies, The Irish Monthly and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record. His contributions to the latter were published in book form in two small volumes entitled “Jesuit Spirituality” (1935) and “Christianity in Daily Life” (1942), both of them full of his characteristic common sense. A selection of the many essays on scientific topics which he had contributed to Studies, Thought and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record was issued by Messers. Gill and Son in 1943 under the excellent title “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”. It was at once most favourably received both in England and Ireland. In the United States the impression made was so remarkable that Fordham University. undertook to produce a special American edition of this work, which was issued some months before Fr. Gill's death. He also published in 1941 a short biography of the celebrated Jesuit physicist, Fr. Roger Boscovich, which was no more than a brief sketch of a more ambitious work which he had planned for some years past, but was unable to complete owing to his failing, health. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Gill 1872-1945
Fr Henry Gill was born at Roebuck House Dublin on July 8th 1872, son of HJ Gill, former Irish Party Member of Parliament, and head of the publishing firm, Gill’s O’Connell Street Dublin.

Henry was educated at Belvedere College and entered the Society in 1890, after a short period as a student at ‘6 St Stephen’s Green. In the course of his studies he displayed remarkable talent in science, and consequently, after his ordination, he was sent to Cambridge for tow years to study under Sir J Thompson.

On the outbreak of the First World War, he volunteered as a chaplain and served throughout the whole course. After the War he resided at University Hall for 5 years, and finally after various periods as Minister in various Houses, he settled down in Leeson Street for the rest of his life as Spiritual Father and writer.

He was a regular contributor to “Studies”, the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” and the “Irish Monthly”. His published works include : “Jesuit Spirituality”, “Christianity in Daily Life”, “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”. The latter book is still a favourite and enjoys a steady sale in the United States. He also published a biography of the celebrated Jesuit physicist Fr Boscovitch.

He died on November 27th 19456. He was a deeply religious man, with a remarkable sense of kindly humour, and his sayings at recreation and his stories are still recounted to the younger generation.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1946

Obituary

Father Henry Gill SJ

On Nov 27th, in St Vincent's Nursing Home, died very peacefully, Fr Henry Gill SJ. He was well known to many Belvederians and his passing means for them the loss of an esteemed friend.

From 1909-12 he was on the teaching staff here, and was also Director of the BVM Sodality. Then again from 1923-30 he was Minister, Director of the Sodality of the Holy Angels, and of the Conference of St Stanislaus. Those who were here during those years will well remember him for his kindly humour and deep spirituality.

A man of great gifts, and one who used them well and carefully, this quiet, unassuming man had a busy and an active life. After his earlier studies at Louvain, he studied at Cambridge from 1906-08, under Prof J J Thompson, at the Cavendish Laboratories.

Then came the Great War, and he was one of the first to volunteer as a chaplain. The war record of this quiet man will come as a revelation to many. He received, during these four years, the double award of DSO and MC, and his unfailing serise of humour and quiet gifts of companionship made him a special favourite with the men.

Still another side of his work was to be revealed in his later days - in his writings. He had been for many years quietly contributing to Studies, The Irish Monthly and The Irish Ecclesiastical Record. His contributions to the latter were published in book form in two small volumes entitled “Jesuit, Spirituality” (1935), and “Christianity in Daily Life” (1942), both of them full of his characteristic common sense. A selection of his many contributions on scientific subjects was issued in 1943 under the title, “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”. Three days before his death, he corrected the final proofs of a small “Life of St. Joseph”. At the foot of the last page of these proofs he wrote in a hand that was shaky but still legible, - “St Joseph, patron of a Happy Death, pray for us”.

It was a fitting ending to a life which was to be crowned by a happy death. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1946

Obituary

Father Henry Gill SJ

Henry Gill was the second of the six sons of Mr H J Gill, JP, MA, head of the publishing firm of M H Gill & Son of Dublin. Katharine Tynan Hinkson wrote a delightful account of her friend Mrs Gill and of the family life at Roebuck House; it showed from what a good source was derived the charm which Fr Henry's many friends always found in him. All the boys went to Clongowes, and during the last two decades of the 19th century the name “Bottles” was in familiar and affectionate use; its origin, according to the legend, had something to do with the relation between a gill and a pottle, two antique measures of capacity which we were supposed to know something about.

Henry left Clongowes in 1889, and entered the novitiate at Tullabeg the following year, hating it but feeling he had to do it. Having to do it, he did it thoroughly, and after a very few years the stamp of the Society on him was unmistakeable. Fortunately, while it deepened the spiritual side of his character, it did not destroy or even diminish his exquisite sense of the comical, a source of continual surprise and delight to those he lived with.

After the usual round of studies and teaching, he was ordained at Milltown Park in 1906. During his studies he had shown particular aptitude for Physics, and as a Scholastic he read a paper (I think to the RDS), embodying the results of some ingenious research work. After his ordination he went to Cambridge, where he worked in the Cavendish Laboratory under J J Thomson and took his MA degree. It was the beginning of a new era in Physics, inaugurated chiefly by Thomson's theories and experiments. Fr Gill was profoundly interested, then and later, and his interest found expression in a number of articles in various journals. These articles formed the core of his book, “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”, which appeared in 1943, and which was warmly received in England and America. An American edition was sponsored by Fordham University.

In 1913 he expounded to the British Association a new theory of the origin of earthquakes, which he supported by some very striking experiments. But in 1914, as soon as the war began, he offered his services as a chaplain, and served through the whole war. He was awarded the MC and the DSO, besides various foreign decorations; officers and men in the battalion to which he was attached testified to his heroic courage and devotion and his unfailing gaiety in the worst circumstances. I spoke to him once of this. He said: “Well, one made the offering of one's life at Mass in the morning, and then it didn't matter”. His deepest and most real interests were the eternal ones.

These interests found expression in his books, “Jesuit Spirituality”, “Christianity in Daily Life”, and “St Joseph”. This last was the theme of his meditation during the last two years of his life; indeed he finished it on his death-bed, and the invocation at the end, St Joseph, “patron. of a happy death, pray for us”,' was written by him just two days before he died, Death found him as cheerfully ready as life had always found him. May he rest in peace.

M F Egan SJ

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Henry Gill (1872-1945)

A native of Dublin and a member of the well-known publishing family, was educated at Clongowes and entered the Society in 1890. He pursued his higher studies at University College, Dublin, Louvain, and Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1906, and Cambridge University. He spent one year of his regency at the Crescent, 1898-1899. Father Gill showed little aptitude for teaching in spite of his splendid intellectual gifts. He volunteered for a chaplaincy in the first world war and was many times decorated and mentioned in despatches. He wrote much on scientific subjects for learned reviews and was the author of three widely read spiritual books: Jesuit Spirituality, Christianity in Daily Life, St. Joseph.

Gleeson, J Philip, 1910-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1369
  • Person
  • 04 April 1910-24 February 1969

Born: 04 April 1910, Glebe, Sydney, Australia
Entered: 04 February 1930, Loyola, Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 15 August 1947
Died: 24 February 1969, Beckenham, London, England - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Campion Hall, Oxford, England community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931
Died whilst on Sabbatical in UK

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Gleeson, John Philip Berchmans (1910–1969)
by Peter Steele
Peter Steele, 'Gleeson, John Philip Berchmans (1910–1969)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/gleeson-john-philip-berchmans-10311/text18247, published first in hardcopy 1996

Catholic priest; school principal; theological college teacher

Died : 24 February 1969, London, Middlesex, England

John Philip Berchmans Gleeson (1910-1969), Jesuit priest and educationist, was born on 4 April 1910 at Glebe, Sydney, son of native-born parents Edward Lawrence Gleeson, grazier, and his wife Mary Ann Elizabeth, née Fitzpatrick. Philip was educated at Xavier College, Kew, where he was captain (1929) and distinguished himself at sport. In 1930 he entered the Society of Jesus, at Greenwich, Sydney, and in 1932-35 studied philosophy at Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne. He completed a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Melbourne in 1934 (although he did not graduate until 1950), and then taught at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, and at the new St Louis school in Perth. Four years study of theology followed at Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney. Ordained priest on 8 January 1944, he pronounced his final vows as a Jesuit on 15 August 1947.

In 1946 Gleeson went to Newman College, University of Melbourne, as dean and college tutor in philosophy. He remained there until 1949, when he travelled to Oxford to study philosophy at Campion Hall. Renal illness hampered his work, but he obtained a B.Litt. (1951). After visiting Europe, he returned to Melbourne and in 1952 became the first Australian-born headmaster of Xavier College.

In December 1953 Fr Gleeson was appointed rector of Newman College. He was happiest and most effective during his eight years there. A careful and financially stringent administrator, he made provision for maintenance, renovation, and further building at the college, including the Kenny wing. He succeeded in greatly increasing student numbers. Gleeson had a close acquaintance with individual students, and was intent on their personal flourishing, although he was almost other-worldly, often uneasy in company and upheld traditional discipline. Not all students appreciated the fact that 'his idealism was conveyed with . . . earnestness and singlemindedness', but he could not be denied respect.

Twice called to be acting provincial superior of the Jesuits in Australia, from 1962 to 1966 Gleeson was rector of Campion College, the Jesuit house of studies at Kew; he was concurrently tutor at Newman and treasurer of the Australian Jesuit province. In 1967 he went to the Provincial headquarters at Hawthorn, while continuing his tutorial work and the giving of spiritual direction. He had become ill with cancer, and he was hospitalised intermittently. Next year he seemed to be recovering so well that he accepted an offer to study once again at Oxford. He died of cancer on 24 February 1969 at Beckenham, London.

Gleeson was one who made the most of his gifts. Except when ill, he was uncommonly vigorous. He was a good driver, but a reckless speedster. Short, close-knit, prim and brisk, he had a precise mind and was quick-witted, and he worked very hard all through his adult life. His inclinations were in part polemical, but his deepest commitment was religious, and he was much in demand for religious retreats. A 'sharp, alert man of action with too much energy for long-term planning or change', he relished minimising chaos and magnifying order.

Select Bibliography
G. Dening and D. Kennedy, Xavier Portraits (Melb, 1993)
Newman Magazine, 1985.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Philip Gleeson was educated at Xavier College, Kew, where in his final year he was captain of the school and captain of football and cricket, and a real leader among his peers. He entered the Society at Loyola College, Greenwich, 2 April 1930, and during that time showed the qualities that characterised him : unusual application and energy in doing whatever he had to do, an easy acceptance of responsibility, a certain toughness and austerity in his spiritual life, constancy and regularity in praying, and great equanimity.
After one year of his juniorate at Greenwich, he began his second year of juniorate and completed philosophy at Loyola College, Watsonia, 1934-37. His pass course in French at The
University of Melbourne was so good that he was offered an honours course, which he completed Regency was at Riverview, 1938, and St Louis School, Perth, 1939-40, where he was one of the pioneers.
He studied for the long course in theology at Canisius College, Pymble, 1941-44, and tertianship was at Loyola College, Watsonia, 1945. During his studies he rarely took more than
the obligatory minimum of recreation, but was an excellent community man: even-tempered good-humoured, tenacious but generally unruffled in argument, joining readily in community enterprises.
His first posting after studies was to Newman College, 1946-49, as minister and dean of discipline, as well as lecturer in philosophy He spent two years at Campion Hall, Oxford, Eng
studying modern philosophy. He did not gain the doctorate as renal illness hampered his work, but obtained the B Litt in 1951. After visiting Europe, he returned to Melbourne, and was appointed the first Australian born rector of Xavier College, Kew, 1952, before going to Newman College as rector in 1953. Here, he lectured in apologetics and philosophy. He was also a province consulter 1952-68.
University people experienced Gleeson as a man who approached life with optimism enthusiasm and willingness to become involved. He was seen as a most vital and complete person
deeply loyal to his ideals, people and institutions that merited his support. Highly intelligent, and deeply concerned and knowledgeable about an enormous range of aspects of life, he was capable of grasping with lightning incision, matters that most people could handle only ponderously. He was intense, dynamic and singleminded.
He was a prolific letter writer. He initiated a building programme that included the Kenny wing, at Newman College that virtually doubled the capacity of the college. He was well read and enjoyed his priestly ministry especially giving retreats. He said Mass with obvious devotion. He loved sport, and enjoyed winning. He played tennis until his health prevented it. He knew students by name, and enjoyed their company. They in turn respected his humility kindness and thoughtfulness.
Twice called to be acting provincial superior of the Jesuits in Australia, from 1961-66, he was appointed rector of the university scholastics at Campion College, Kew. He was also prefect of studies, bursar, province bursar, and continued to tutor in modern philosophy at Newman College, as well as teaching the history of philosophy at Loyola College, Watsonia. When his term of office expired in 1966, he was posted to the provincial residence for two years, continuing his work as province bursar and consulter, and lecturing at Newman College. It was during these last few years that he developed the cancer that caused him much distress, and whose treatment caused him additional pain. However, he bore his sufferings with great courage and cheerfulness. He went to Oxford, England, for a sabbatical in 1969, but became ill and died there. He was a very spiritual man, hard on himself and on others as a superior, but a delightful companion and most kind in all personal dealings. He was a very fair superior, upheld all the Society rules and customs, but guided the scholastics on how to combine the life of the secular academic with the dedicated religious. He combined traditional Jesuit piety with academic respectability. He warned the scholastics about “the natural tendency to ease off spiritual - to become too completely involved in secular study and secular life”. He believed that there were two most necessary virtues for a Jesuit - to be perfect in your obedience and to become ever more men of prayer. Gleeson found the changes of Vatican II very difficult, especially in the liturgy, but he tried to enter into its spirit. He did not believe that the changes meant that the Church was trying to make life easier for religious. He retained his belief that religious essentially should live “out of the world” to do God's work among people. He was a man more at home with a spirituality of the cross than that of the resurrection.
As rector of Campion College, the scholastics found him rather strict and old fashioned, as he seemed to want to run the college as his own juniorate some thirty years before had been. But he was open to representation and made some adjustments and concessions to the Vatican II Church. He was always willing to listen, and always acted decisively when he saw the wisdom of the arguments. Notwithstanding these qualities, Gleeson was a highly respected man, most gifted and hardworking. His only recreation in later life was to play a little tennis and watch Australian Rules football, supporting his team, Hawthorn.
His early death was a great loss to the province, not only for his considerable gifts, but because these were integrated by a strong interior life, which, in spite of his being comparatively reticent about such matters, made itself known to those who lived with him. For all his rather restless activity he was quite obviously a man of prayer, and the contrast drew attention to what otherwise might have gone unnoticed - his dependence on prayer in his decision making and in the direction of his enormous energy. Short, close-knit, prim and brisk, he had a precise mind and was quick-witted. A “sharp, alert man of action with too much energy for long-term planning or change”, he relished minimising chaos and magnifying order.

Note from Vincent Johnson Entry
He moved on to help the province procurator, Philip Gleeson, at Campion College, Kew.

Grene, Martin, 1617-1667, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1388
  • Person
  • 1617-02 October 1667

Born: 1617, County Kilkenny
Entered: 1638, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: c 1646, Pont á Mousson, France
Final Vows: 23 November 1654, London
Died: 02 October 1667, Watten, Belgiumm - Angliae Province (ANG)

Novice Master Angliae Province (ANG)

1645-1646 In 4th year Theology at Pont á Mousson, not yet a priest
1646-1647 A Priest. Prefect of Philosophers at Rheims
1648-1649 Not in CAMP Catalogue
Is Called “Hibernus” in ANG Catalogue 1639

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of George and Jane née Tempest - who had retired to Kilkenny from their native land (England?) due to persecution. Older brother of Christopher.
1655 Serving on the English Mission at St Mary’s, Oxford district
Appointed Novice Master and Rector at Watten and he died there 02 October 1667
He rendered good service in collecting materials to assist Fr Bartoli in history of the English Province
(cf his biography and literary works in “Records SJ” Vol iii pp 493 seq, where two letters from him to his brother are printed.; de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” for his literary works)
(cf note by Fr Morris inserted in Foley’s Collectanea and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS regarding a relic of the “Crown of Thorns” and it’s connection with Martin Grene)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GRENE, MARTIN (for so he spells his surname). How he should have been passed over by Dodd is surprising. According to F. N. Southwell, p. 586. Bibliotheca, &c., and Harris, p. 158. writers of Ireland, this learned Father was born of English parents in the Kingdom of Ireland : but we prefer the authority of the Provincial’s returns of 1642 and 1655 expressly vouching for his being a native of Kent. He was, however, born in 1616 : after studying Humanities in St. Omer’s College, he was aggregated to the Society in 1638, and whilst serving the English Mission, was promoted very deservedly to the rank of a Professed Father, 3rd of December, 1654. During the twelve years that he cultivated this vineyard, he endeared himself to his spiritual children and acquaintance by his discreet zeal, unaffected piety, and varied talent and erudition. Recalled to Watten to take charge of the Novices, he shone like a pillar of light before them by his experience in a spiritual life, intimate practical knowledge of the Institute of their Holy Founder, extraordinary sweetness and affability of temper, and his superior literary attainments. His lamented death took place at Watten, on 2nd of October, (not 30th of September, as Harris translates the Postridie Cal Octobris of p. 586. of F. Nath. Southwell’s Biblioth.) 1667. aet. 51, leaving behind him the reputation of an eminent Classic, Historian, Philosopher, and Divine. We have from his pen,

  1. “An account of the Jesuites Life and Doctrine”," a small 8vo. of 149 pp. Printed in London, 1661. This admirable book was a great favorite with James II. In a letter of F. James Forbes, Superior of his brethren in Scotland, addressed on the 10th of April, 1680, to the General, John Paul Oliva, I read as follows, “Cum obtulisscm Serenissimo Duci Eboracensi libellum ad obiter tantum legendum, qui jam a multis annis a quodam Patre Green, Anglico idiomatc fuerat scriptus, in quo egregie Instituti nostri, Vitae et Doctrinae rationem reddit, ejus lectione adeo Princeps ejusque Conjux tenebantur, ut voluerint mihi, unicum quod habcbam, exemplar reddere, asserentes, se velle curare, ut tam praeclarum opusculum, et hisce praesertim temporibus adeo necessarium, typis iterant mandctur”. We hope to see a new edition of this valuable work.
  2. “An Answer to the Provincial Letters” A translation from the French, but with considerable improvements of his own, and with a brief history of Jansenism prefixed.
  3. “Vox veritatis, seu Via Regia ducens ad veram Pacem”. His brother I think, Francis Green, translated this Latin Treatise into English, and printed it at Ghent in 24mo., A.D. 1676. He had also a volume of his Church History of England ready for the Press, when death arrested the progress of his labours.
    To his well stored mind F. Dan. Bartolis in his “Inghilterra”. (Folio, Rome, 1667) was indebted for information on English Catholic affairs.

Two or three Letters of the Rev. Father to his brother Christopher are now before me.
The 1st is dated 18th of September, 1664. He expresses great anxiety for F. Bartoli’s prosecuting his intended English Ecclesiastical History, and his own readiness to assist “in so pious a design”. In answer to certain Queries, he says “I have the book De non adeundis Haereticorum Ecclcsiis”. It is certainly F. Persons work, and so it is esteemed by all here. It was printed in 1607, and though it have not F Persons name in the front, yet in p. 35, after having delivered his opinion that it is not lawful, he subscribes thus; Ita Sentio, R.P. : and then, in the following page, gives the opinion of Baronius, Bellarmine, and eight other principal Divines, then at Rome, signed by every one.
In the next place, he urges the expediency of consulting and reading the Protestant historians of this country, in order to elicit from the conflicting parties, the precise truth, and to expose error, adding “but that which I conceive most necessary for one who will write our Ecclesiastical History, is the Acts of Parliament, which make the Protestant Creed. They must be exactly looked into by one who will know the state of our Church affairs. For the later Parliaments do change the former. The main point of the Act of 1st of Elizabeth, by which the Queen had power given her to punish all that she should think fit, by any free born subject, to whom she should delegate her power; upon which clause the High Commission Court, and the oath ex- officio were founded : this main clause was repealed by Charles I. and the repeal confirmed lately by Charles II. As also the form of creating Bishops was lately changed by this king : and some other things in the Liturgy have been changed. So that without seeing the last Acts of Parliament, no man can tell what the religion of England is. -And since your departing hence, the Supremacy hath been strangely handled in the Lords House, and power denied the king to dispense in the Ecclesiastical Penal Laws, which, notwithstanding, all his predecessors since Henry the Eighth, practised”.
In the second letter dated Sherborne, 9th of October, 1661, he repeats his willingness to afford his utmost assistance to F. Bartoli : and he says, “There be many very fine things that might be said in that History; but I fear it will be hard to get them together. For it hath formerly been so dangerous in England to keep any writings of that kind, that the greater part is lost, and no memory remains of many gallant actions, save only in the verbal relations of some of our old men”.
In the 3d letter dated 1st of January, 1665, he tells his brother, that he had now returned home about eight days since, from London that to save him trouble, had written in Latin what had occurred to him on the question of going to the Protestant Church, “that if you think it worth seeing, you may shew it to F. Bartoli. For the relation concerning F. Garnet s trial, I have it; but it being very long, I cannot send it in a letter, and yet know not how otherwise to send it. So that I am thinking to compare it with what is in F. More’s book (which now I have) and to write only that which the manuscript doth add, if it add anything considerable. I had once occasion to inform myself of that history, and I found none better than the two books of Eudaemon Johannes, the one “Ad actionem Edonardi Coqui Apologia pro P. Henrico Garnctto”, the other, “Parallelus Torti ac Tortoris”. Though the things be there spread and scattered, yet they are (if collected) very pertinent to clear F. Garnet and ours. For example, among other things this is one; that the Traitors had, amongst themselves, made an oath, that they would never speak of their design to any Priests, because they knew they would not allow of it ; also, that they were specially offended with the Jesuits, for their preaching patience and submission. There are divers other circumstances which manifestly excuse ours. I had a relation made me by one of ours, who had it in Seville, which clearly shows that the whole Plot was of Cecil’s making; but it being only told by an old man, who forgot both times and persons, I believe I shall never make use of it. Yet I have heard strange things, which if ever I can make out, will be very pertinent. For certain, the late Bishop of Armagh (Usher) was divers times heard to say, that if Papists knew what he knew, the blame of the Gunpowder Treason would not lie on them”, and other things I have heard, which if I can find grounded, I hope to make good use of. It may be, if you write to Seville to my brother Frank, he will, or somebody else there, give you some light in this business.

Gwynn, Aubrey, 1892-1983, Jesuit priest and academic

  • IE IJA J/10
  • Person
  • 17 February 1892-18 May 1983

Born: 17 February 1892, Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Entered: 30 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 18 May 1983, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Gwynn, Aubrey Osborn
by Noreen Giffney

Gwynn, Aubrey Osborn (1892–1983), Jesuit priest and academic, was born 17 February 1892 at Clifton, Bristol, England, the second son among six children (four boys and two girls) of Stephen Lucius Gwynn (qv), writer and MP, and his wife and first cousin, Mary Louise Gwynn, daughter of Rev. James Gwynn of Dublin and Bath. Born into an esteemed Church of Ireland family, he was the great-grandson of William Smith O'Brien (qv), the grandson of Rev. Dr John Gwynn (qv), regius professor of divinity at TCD (1888–1907), and the nephew of Edward John Gwynn (qv), provost of TCD (1927–37). On his mother's conversion to Roman catholicism (1902), Aubrey, his brother Denis Gwynn (qv), and their siblings were received into the catholic church at Farm Street, London, and brought up as catholics. Due to the nature of his father's work, much of Aubrey's early life was divided between London and Dublin.

Educated at the Jesuit Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare (1903–8), Gwynn spent a year of private study in Munich before becoming the first student to sign the register at the newly chartered UCD, where he later gained first-class honours (BA, 1912; MA 1915) in classics. When Fr William Delany (qv) admitted him to the Jesuit noviceship in Tullabeg, Rahan (1912), Gwynn intended to join the Chinese mission and work in Hong Kong, but under the guidance of Delany's successor, Dr T. V. Nolan, he entered academic life. After studying for a year at Rathfarnham, he went in 1916 on a travelling studentship to Oxford (Campion Hall), where he was awarded the Cromer essay prize (1917) and graduated B. Litt. (1919). He taught classics and German for two years at Clongowes (1917–19) before spending two years studying philosophy at the Jesuit College, Louvain (1919–21), and a further four years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained at Milltown Park on 24 July 1924 and trained for a final year in Exaten, the Netherlands (1926), then took his final vows in Dublin on 2 February 1929.

Initially employed (1927) as an assistant lecturer in ancient history at UCD, Gwynn replaced Daniel A. Binchy (qv) as lecturer in medieval history on the latter's appointment as Irish Free State minister in Berlin. When John Marcus O'Sullivan (qv) resumed his duties as professor of history in 1932, he was so impressed with the young lecturer's abilities that he had his position made permanent. Sixteen years later, in 1948, Gwynn was appointed first professor of medieval history. Actively involved in the administration of UCD, he was a member of the governing body, dean of the faculty of arts (1952–6), and a member of the NUI senate. He also served as president of the RIA (1958–61).

A pioneering scholar, Gwynn wrote or edited numerous contributions to ancient, medieval, and modern history, on such subjects as Roman education, Archbishop Richard Fitzralph (qv) of Armagh, and Irish emigrants in the West Indies. His many articles, numbering over one hundred, as well as his reviews, which he often initialled P. D. (‘Poor Devil’), were published in various journals, including the Journal of Hellenic Studies, Analecta Hibernica, and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record. As a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission (1943–74) he revived the study and publication of the Calendar of Papal Letters. He was exonerated after being accused, by Regina Zukasiewicz, of stealing her deceased husband's manuscripts (1956). Despite being plagued by bouts of depression, he gained international recognition and an array of awards, among them offers of honorary doctorates from QUB (1964), and TCD (1965) – the second of which he declined. However, Gwynn was not impressed with his honorifics asserting that the only qualifications he required were SJ – alluding to his membership of the Society of Jesus.

Gwynn lived mostly with the Jesuit community at 35 Lower Leeson Street (1927–62), where he was superior of residence (1932–45). A keen supporter of the Missionary Sisters of St Columba and St Joseph's Young Priests’ Society, he helped to establish the latter's civil service branch (1930), advised on the preparing of their constitution (1945), and was editor of their quarterly magazine, St Joseph's Sheaf (1927–49). After he retired from UCD in 1961 he moved to Milltown (1962), where he lectured for two years on church history and tended to the library (1962–6). He remained active, despite failing eyesight, until a fractured femur left him in St Vincent's Hospital; he then moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, where he died 18 May 1983. He was buried two days later, following funeral mass at the Jesuit church, Gardiner Street.

Aubrey Gwynn's private papers, Jesuit archives; file of correspondence between Robert Dudley Edwards and Aubrey Gwynn (1950–68), UCD Archives, LA 22/782–3; F. X. Martin, ‘The historical writings of Reverend Professor Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Medieval studies presented to Aubrey Gwynn, S. J., ed. J. A. Watt, J. B. Morrall, and F. X. Martin (1961), 502–9; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Professor Aubrey Gwynn’, Hibernia (1962), 10; University College Dublin. Report of the president for the session 1961–62 (1962), 72–4; Burke, IFR (1976), 532–3; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Father Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Ir. Times, 21 May 1983, 8; Irish Province News, xx, no. 11 (1983), 348–50, 367–9; Report of the president, University College Dublin 1982–83 (1983), 154; R. D. Edwards, ‘Professor Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Anal. Hib., xxxi (1984), xi; F. X. Martin, ‘Aubrey Osborn Gwynn, 1892–1983’, Royal Irish Academy Annual Report, 1983–4 (1984), 2–6; Clara Cullen, ‘Historical writings of Aubrey Gwynn: addendum’, Aubrey Gwynn, S. J., The Irish church in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, ed. Gerard O'Brien (1992), xiii–xiv; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the person’, Studies, lxxxi (1992), 375–84; Fergus O'Donoghue, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the Jesuit’, Studies, lxxxi (1992); 393–8; Katherine Walsh, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the scholar’, Studies, lxxxi (1992), 385–92

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Recent articles by Fr. Aubrey Gwynn in the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” were the subject of a very flattering notice in the 4 October issue of the 'Times Literary Supplement'. They referred to valuable contributions made by him to the history of the Dublin diocese in the 11th century, and in particular to interesting discoveries about Bishop Patrick of Dublin, whom he proves to have been a monk at Worcester under St. Wulfstain and author of the medieval scholastic poems in one of the Cotton MSS.

Irish Province News 58th Year No 3 1983

Milltown Park
Fr Aubrey Gwynn (†)
Aubrey Gwynn went to his Maker at 6.45 on the morning of 18th May: requiescat in pace! The Province will hardly see his like again. From his childhood days in London at the turn of the century, he could remember great events like the funeral of Queen Victoria, and the celebrations on the relief of Mafeking. Yet right to the end he took an interest in everybody and everything; he was in no way out of touch or out of sympathy with the times; he and the scholastics greatly enjoyed each other's company. Again, he was both a consummate scholar and a zealous, devout priest. In his late eighties he was still contributing learned articles to Seanchas Ardmhacha, and was rarely, if ever, missing from his accustomed spot at community Mass. In his earlier years he had been closely associated with St Joseph's Young Priests Society and the Columban Sisters, and both these bodies have contributed appreciations which are printed below. It is also perhaps worth recalling how well Aubrey succeeded in being on excellent terms with staff at Maynooth College and with members of the Hierarchy. At the funeral, Maynooth was represented by Mons. Patrick J. Corish and Dublin archdiocese by Bishop James Kavanagh: Cardinal 0 Fiaich regretted being unable to attend, owing to the death of his own brother (Dr Patrick Fee).
Aubrey is remembered with great affection by the Milltown Park community (here we are gathering into one many golden opinions) as a Simeon like figure, who redeemed the dignity of old age, never grumbled, complained or criticised, was so full of gratitude for his Jesuit vocation; who forty years ago treated scholastics as adults; the last of the generation of giants. He will continue to be remembered for his patient faith, his independence of spirit, tolerance of change, good humour, conviviality at table, debonair gentlemanliness, desire for life and determination to live, helpfulness and encouragement, graciousness, faithfulness and dedication, simplicity and humility.
One member of the community writes as follows: “Every day for ten years Aubrey concelebrated the Community Mass: at 10 am on Sundays, at 5.30 pm on weekdays in term, at 12.15 pm on weekdays in vacation and on Sundays. This showed an impressive willingness to adapt to different hours - a strength of faith which enabled him really to enjoy such varied styles of worship.
His loyalty to ‘The College’ (UCD, represented at the funeral by Mons. Feichin O'Doherty) showed me that an institution can be served with discrimination, with neither cynical detachment nor bland adoration.
His warm interest in each of us in the community was enormously encouraging - so different from the intrusive questioning by those who want to pigeon hole me for some future use, and different from the inattention of those who seem afraid to make human contact with me even for the length of a meal.
Another member expresses his appreciation in the following words: “I will remember Aubrey as a big man, a man who spanned the centuries and felt at home in many of them including much of our own. I will remember him as a grateful man, grateful to God and to us at Milltown. I will remember him as a lovable man who aged with grace and dignity. Finally I will remember Aubrey the priest, who celebrated the daily Eucharist with us faithfully and with determined step.
A fellow-historian and friend of Aubrey's, Katherine Walsh, who dedicated to him her recent work on Archbishop Richard FitzRalph, wrote from Vienna to the Rector as follows: “Kind friends contacted me by telephone and telegram to break the sad news of the death of Fr Aubrey Gwynn, May I offer through you my deepest sympathy to the community of Milltown Park, also to the Irish Jesuit Province, of which he was for so long a distinguished and respected ornament at home and abroad. My personal sense of loss is great - it was not merely FitzRalph that bound me to him. His personal and scholarly qualities were such that I valued his friendship, advice and encouragement very much. Also my husband Alfred learned to share my very deep affection for him and wishes to be associated in this word of appreciation. Our subsequent visits to Ireland will be the poorer without the pleasure of his great company. Requiescat in pace”.
Mr Brendan Daly of Waterford, who was National President of St Joseph's Young Priests Society from 1975 to 1982, sent the following appreciation: “For over forty years, Fr Aubrey Gwynn played a very important part in the formation and development of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. Space will allow for only a brief mention of the highlights of these activities. From 1927 1949 he was the Honorary Editor of ‘Saint Joseph's sheaf’, the Society's quarterly magazine. During most of this same period, he was also a member of a the Society's governing Council. In 1930 helped to establish the Civil Service Branch, and was its chaplain until 1936. He was also actively involved in the formation of other vocational branches. He advised on the preparation of the Society's 1945 Constitution.
Fr Gwynn gave of himself quietly but building up a Lay Society that its identity, purpose and motivation in the Eucharist and membership of the Mystical Body of Christ. He encouraged greater lay participation in the Apostolate of the Church, and imbued members with those ideals that were subsequently to be voiced in the decrees of the Second Vatican Council. He was a true priest of Jesus Christ who helped many lay people to live their own royal . priesthood. He has helped St Joseph's Young Priests Society to build up a rich heritage - a heritage which it values and shares with many, many others'.
The Vicar-General of the Missionary Sisters of St Columban, Sr Ita McElwain, sent the following tribute: Fr Aubrey Gwynn had a long and happy association with the Missionary Sisters of St Columban. This came about through his relationship with Mother Mary Patrick, formerly Lady Frances Moloney, who was a friend and contemporary of his mother. Mother M. Patrick knew Aubrey from his childhood and followed his career with interest. He, in turn, had a lifelong regard for her, and greatly admired her spirit and courage when, at the age of fifty, she joined the little band of women who were destined to become the first members of the Columban Sisters.
“Fr Gwynn was a regular visitor to the Motherhouse at Cahiracon, Co Clare. On at least two occasions he gave retreats to the sisters there, as well as an occasional triduum of prayer to the to student sisters at the house of studies located at Merrion square at that time. The house at Merrion square was cquired in 1942 when Mother M Patrick was superior-general of the he Columban Sisters and Fr Gwynn superior of the Jesuit house at Leeson Street. Father offered to provide a weekly Mass for the sisters, and this continued He advised on the preparation of the for many years. He came whenever he could and took a keen interest in the sisters studies and in the sisters fully in themselves when they were missioned finds overseas. Especially worthy of note was his invaluable help and support to the sisters doing medical studies: this was at a time when it was quite a departure for sisters to undertake the study of medicine and surgery. Fr Gwynn is remembered by us as a devoted priest and renowned scholar; a loyal friend whose invaluable advice and experience were greatly appreciated by a comparatively young and struggling congregation; a very open-hearted and good-humoured man who kept in close touch with us through all the years of our existence. May his great soul rest in peace”.
The following is the text of Aubrey's last letter to the Columban Sisters: 2nd Dec. 1982.
Dear Sister Maura.
Very many thanks to you all at Magheramore for the splendid bird that was duly delivered here yesterday evening as on so many other happy occasions. And my special greetings to those of your community who may remember me from the old days in Merrion square and Fitzwilliam square. I shall be 91 years old next February, and am beginning to feel that I am an old man.
For the past 21 years I have been very happy here, where everyone young and old about here is very kind. And I am ever more grateful for the many blessings I have received during my 91 years. Blessings on you all at Magheramore, and may Mother Patrick, who was my mother's friend, rest in реаcе.
Yours in Xt, / Aubrey Gwynn, S.J.'
The appreciation by Professor Geoffrey Hand appeared in the columns of the Irish Times on Saturday, 21st May.

Obituary & ◆ The Clongownian, 1983

Fr Aubrey Gwynn (1892-1912-1983)

By the death of Fr Aubrey Gwynn the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus has lost one of its most distinguished and well-loved members.
He was born on the 7th February, 1892, at Clifton, Bristol, where his father, Stephen Gwynn, man of letters, historian, poet and member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, was at that time tutoring in a private crammer's. The Gwynn family were descended from Welsh settlers in Ulster during the 17th century, and were noted for the number of them who entered the ministry of the Church of Ireland. They also had a long and distinguished connection with Trinity College. Stephen's father, Rev John Gwynn, was Regius Professor of Divinity 1888-1917, and author of the great edition of the Book of Armagh, whilst his brother, Edward John Gwynn, was Provost of Trinity 1927-37. But the later generation of Gwynns had a strong infusion of Celtic blood, for Stephen Gwynn's mother was the elder daughter of William Smith O'Brien.
In 1896 the Gwynn family settled in London, where Aubrey attended a private preparatory school. He used to relate how amongst the small pupils was one Harold Macmillan – later British Prime Minister - who in some way made himself obnoxious and was sent to Coventry by his schoolfellows. The head master complained to their parents, with dire results for Aubrey, since at that time his father relied largely for income on his work as reader for the firm of Macmillan. In 1902 Mrs Mary Louise Gwynn was received into the Catholic Church and was followed by her children. Two years later Stephen Gwynn decided to return to Ireland and Aubrey was sent to Clongowes. He was accompanied by his elder brother, Lucius, a promising scholar who died at the age of twenty-nine after a long struggle against tuberculosis, and his younger brother, Denis, later a distinguished biographer and Professor of Modern Irish History in University College, Cork. Whilst at Clongowes, Aubrey already displayed his brilliance. He spent two years in Rhetoric class, winning in the first year the medal for first place in Senior Grade Latin, and in the second year the corresponding medal for Greek.
On leaving Clongowes, Aubrey had a year's private study in Munich and then entered University College, Dublin, becoming a member of Winton House, the predecessor of University Hall, He took his BA degree in 1912 and entered the noviceship at Tullabeg. After the noviceship he studied at Rathfarnham for a year, preparing for the MA and travelling studentship. The two years of the studentship were spent at Oxford, ending with the B. Litt. degree and Cromer Greek prize. Then followed two years teaching classics at Clongowes, philosophy at Louvain, theology at Mill town Park, ordination in 1924 and tertianship at Exaten, Holland, 1925-26.
Father Gwynn's first entrance into the life of University College was in 1927, when he was appointed lecturer in Ancient History. From then on, he was the recipient of one distinction after another. He became lecturer in Medieval History in 1930, professor of Medieval History in 1948, Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1951-56, member at various periods of the Governing Body of University College and of the Senate of the National University, President of the Royal Irish Academy 1958-61. In 1964 he was awarded the honorary degree of D. Litt. by Queen's University, Belfast.
As lecturer and professor Father Gwynn won universal praise. On his retirement in 1962, he was made the recipient of a Festschrift, a volume of essays on medieval subjects, edited by three of his colleagues, J. A. Wal . B. Morrall and F. X. Martin, OSA. The contributions by some twenty scholars from Irish, British, continental and American universities, were evidence of Father Gwynn's reputation outside Ireland. In the Foreword Professor Michael Tierney, president of University College, Dublin, emphasised the esteem in which Father Gwynn was held in his own country.
The essays gathered in this book are a well-deserved tribute to a man who has been a leader in historical work and in general scholarship for more than thirty years ... His unanimous election as President of the Royal Irish Academy was already evident of the position he held in the Irish world of learning... for a quarter of a century he has been the leader and teacher of a band of young scholars, and his pupils have achieved fame outside Ireland in countries where his own reputation had preceded them.'
Reviewing this volume in the Irish Times, another tribute was paid to Fr Gwynn by Professor F. S. Lyons, (later Provost of Trinity College) :
“Perhaps we are still too close to assess the full impact of Fr Gwynn on medieval studies in Ireland. But even now we can recognise that it has been very great. Great not only by virtue of his talents which, rather casually maybe, we have tended to take for granted, great not only because of the extent and quality of his published work, but great precisely through the influence he must have exer ted as a teacher”.
In addition to his constant work as lecturer or professor, Fr Gwynn displayed throughout his life an extra ordinary activity as a writer. Three of his major books are considered to be standard works of their kind, Roman Education from Cicero to Quintilian, Oxford, 1920, The English Austin Friars in the time of Wyclif Oxford, 1940. The Medieval Province of Armagh 1470-1545, Dundalk, 1946. He also collaborated with District Justice Dermot F Gleeson in producing the monumental History of the Diocese of Killaloe, Dublin, 1962. But, in addition, a flood of articles poured out from his pen, or rather typewriter. In the volume above referred to, Rey Professor Martin has listed over fifty of these articles, which are not articles in the ordinary sense, but learned monographs on ancient, medieval and modern topics. And this does not include the book reviews which he contributed steadily over the years to Studies and other learned journals. In this connection, a piece of Province folklore is worth preserving. Formerly book reviews in Studies were signed only with the writer's initials. Fr Gwynn felt that the initials AG were appearing with monotonous frequency, and alternated them with P.D. Asked what these letters signified, he smilingly replied ‘Poor devil'.
Although Fr Gwynn played such an active part in the life of University College, this did not mean that he he was in any way remote from the life of the Province. On the contrary, he was a most loyal and devoted member of it. He was a good community man, always in good humour, interested in the doings of others and ready to put his talents at their disposal. During his long stay in Leeson Street (he was Superior, 1932-'45), he did much to advise, encourage and help our Juniors who were passing through University College. For a considerable period he acted as editor of St Joseph's Sheaf, the organ of St Joseph's Young Priests Society, and enticed to write articles for it, thus giving them a useful introduction to the apostolate of writing. His loyalty to the Society in general was manifested by his constant study of its history, and many his articles dealt with the apostolate of Jesuits in various ages, especially on the foreign missions. Fr Gwynn had a special interest in the missions, and had close links both with our own missionaries and with others throughout the country, notably the Columban Fathers and Sisters.
On his retirement from University College, Fr Gwynn moved to Milltown Park. He lectured for two years on Church History and acted as librarian, 1962-6, but it became clear that he was no longer able for such tasks, and the rest of his retirement was devoted mainly to the revision of his articles on the medieval Irish Church, with the purpose of publishing them in book form. This again proved too much for his failing powers, and his final years were spent as a semi-invalid, consoled by the kindly care of the Milltown community, who came to regard him as a venerable father figure. His ninetieth birthday was signalised with a concelebrated Mass and a supper at which he received an enthusiastic ovation. He was reasonably active to the last until a fall resulted in a broken femur, the effects of which he was unable to recover. After some was weeks in St Vincent's Hospital, he was moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died peacefully on 18th May. His funeral at Gardiner Street was the occasion of a remarkable ecumenical event. It was presided over by BishopJames Kavanagh, representing His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, and some of the burial prayers were recited by Right Rev.George Simms, former Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and of Armagh, whose wife is a cousin of Fr Gwynn.
Fr Aubrey used to relate an incident which occurred when he was studying at Oxford. When the time came to submit part of his thesis to his supervisor, he followed the old Jesuit custom of inscribing the letters AMDG at the top of each sheet. The manuscript was returned to of him addressed to Rev A M D Gwynn, The writer unconsciously hinted at a truth. The familiar letters may not have been Fr Aubrey's initials, but they were most certainly the inspiration of his life.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 30 : December 1983

PORTRAIT FROM THE PAST : FATHER AUBREY GWYNN

Sister Sheila Lucey

A Columban Sister working in the Philippines pays tribute to the life and work of Father Aubrey

I first met Father Aubrey Gwynn in August in 1945, when I was assigned, straight after my profession, to our house of studies at 56 Merrion Square. Even then he had become a kind of Guardian Spirit to our young student sisters - some were studying medicine, others nursing, and I and a companion were taking up arts.

It was through Mother Mary Patrick that our sisters had come to know Father Gwynn. It seems that she had been a friend of his mother's. So, when the Columban Sisters came to Merrion Square in the early 40's a friendship started .which was to last throughout Fr Gwynn's long life.

His special concern was for the young student sisters. It was he who started the tradition of an eight o'clock Mass on Sunday morning, for the Merrion Square community, so that the students could have a longer sleep. He made it clear that there was to be no getting up earlier to study! When he couldn't come himself, he arranged for one or other of his brethren in Leeson St, to say the Mass, In later years, in the late 40's and early 50’s, he came for daily Mass.

Invariably he came for Midnight Mass at Christmas, in his very best attire, a beautifully-cut long clerical dress-coat. That was always a big occasion, and he seemed to enjoy every moment of it. Indeed, he was part of so many community celebrations in those years.

I remember how well he cooperated with all our clandestine preparations for Sister Mary Veronica's Silver Jubilee.

Right from the beginning, I found him a fascinating and stimulating personality, and a warm friend. He took a keen interest in each of us and in our studies. At the end of my first year I was asked to switch from German, as a degree subject, to history, which it was considered would be more useful on the missions. Certainly he made a difficult change easier for me. For two years I was his student. He initiated me into realms of history which were new to me, so I found his lectures valuabie, though I learned more from him outside the lecture-room than inside. Each vacation he arrived over to our house with an armful of books for me to read during the break, and he didn't limit himself to history - he also brought along some critical works on the English writers I was studying.

But it was after I finished my basic degree, and was sent on for graduate studies, that I really got to know Fr. Gwynn. At that time, he was coming for daily Mass, and at least a few times each week I was asked to see him in the parlour while he was having his breakfast, Those breakfast sessions stretched out longer and longer! He was so much of a medievalist that he could enter into all aspects of my MA thesis, on The Ancren Riwle (a medieval rule for anchoresses, which was also a treatise on the spirituality of that kind of life).

Later, when I got into my doctoral thesis, he got even more involved. This was right into his field, because the topic (English Prose Written by Irishmen in the Seventeenth Century) turned out to be as much historical as literary. It couldn't be otherwise in such a century, so full of religious and political controversy. From Professor Hogan I had imbibed a life-long appreciation of seventeenth century Eniglish literature. Now under Fr Gwynn's unobtrusive prodding I discovered for the first time that I had a glimmering of and historical sense after all!

Working on those seventeenth century writings, many of them anonymous, or written under pseudonyms, one had to be something of a literary sleuth. To satisfy" Fri Gwynn the evidence had to be exact and complete. He was a scrupulously honest scholar, and he expected those he worked with to be the same.

I certainly owe it to Fr Gwynn that I was able to persevere with my research and complete my PhD thesis. Theoretically Professor J.J. Hogan was my adviser, but he was an extremely busy person in those years. Besides he wasn't, familiar with the writings I had got into. In practice, Fr. Gwynn was my adviser and strong support throughout the years when I worked on my PhD thesis.

Indeed, many growing points of my life I seem to owe to Fr Gwynn. He it was who first launched me into print. While I was still a student he got me to review a book for Studies, a distinct honour in those days. (in fact, Fr Burke-Savage, the editor, asked that I used a nom de plume because “he didn't want all the nuns in Ireland to be wanting to get into the pages of Studies”. Shades of women's lib!). This was how I earned my first cheque for writing, and no later cheque ever made me feel so proud, (Strictly speaking my payment should have been the book, but Fr Gwynn purchased this for the Leeson St. house).

Another growing-edge of the mind happened when I'r Gwynn persuaded my superiors to allow me to go to Oxford and to the. British Museum in London, so that I could research by topic more thoroughly. Many of the writings. by Irishmen of the seventeenth century survive as very rare books, some indeed as single copies. The British Museum has some of them, others are in Oxford and Cambridge.

Father got quite a thrill out of sending me off on my Grand Tour, and he went to great pains to ensure that my visit would be a success. I went armed with letters of introduction to David Rogers of the British Museum, Fr. Basil Fitzgibbon of farm St.,and the library authorities in Oxford, He wrote beforehand to the Holy Child Sisters in Cherwell Edge, Oxford, where he knew some of the Sisters - his own sister had been a member of the congregation - and enjoyed their hospitality while I was in Oxford.

Of course, I fell in love with Oxford, as he intended me to, and he listened with happy amusement, as I shared my excitement with him on my return. This happened more than thirty years ago, in November December, 1950, yet it is still vivid in my memory. There was I, a young inexperienced person, given a welcome into the fellowship of scholars, and accepted as one of themselves. Ah, the daring and courage of youth!

Thinking back over all this, I believe I have hit on something very basic to. Fr. Gwynn's character, and very important: he helped people to grow. His own standards were high, and he helped others to live up to their highest potential, to a potential they weren't aware of until he pointed it out.

He was, too, a man of great patience and kindness. I'm sure a scholar of his calibre must have had to make many adjustments in trying to understand us young students. But his kindness bridged all distances. He had a genuine respect for others, and he paid: tribute to any gifts a person had, even if still in the bud!

It wasn't all an academic interchange. He had a puckish sense of humour, and those eyes could twinkle even over such daily dilemmas as “the problem of toast and butter: If I take more toast, I'll need another butter-roll, and if I take another butter-roll I'll need more toast to finish it!” At breakfast, one morning in our basement dining-room, I heard my gong ring upstairs. When I emerged at the top of the stairs, there was Fr. Gwynn, with a quizzical look on his face, saying: “How do you expect a fellow to eat his porridge without a spoon?” I had brought him in his breakfas. “You'd better stick to the History!”

Another time - I think it was when I was about to leave on my Oxbridge adventure - Fr Gwynn told me to kneel down for his blessing. Then, as I got up off my knees, he chuckled and told an anecdote about some Irish bishop, who was reputed to have said to his priests: “How did I get this cross on me belly? ... HARD WORRUK, YOUNG MEN, HARD WORRUK!” And he acted it out, standing tall and sticking out his chest.

He had a delightful sense of humour. I wish I could recall other incidents. I remember a letter he wrote shortly after he retired from UCD. He had been offered a chair of Philosophy (or History) in Milltown Park, he said, only to discover it was a sofa he had to share it with Fr. John Ryan!

It was while I was a student in Merrion Square that his father died. In fact, I answered his phone-call telling us the news. His father had been failing for some time - he lived to be a great age - and all the time Fr. Gwynn kept hoping that his father might be given the gift of faith before death. That did not happen I can recall the grief in his voice that morning over the phone. Later he described the funeral for us, saying how strange it felt to be an outsider at one's own father's funeral. As far as I remember, a dispensation had to be got from the Archbishop of Dublin, so that he could attend and, at the graveside, it was the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin who officiated and blessed the remains, while Stephen Gwynn's priest-son stood apart, on the fringe.

The faith; not given to his father, was very precious to him. In those years immediately after his retirement from UCD he got joy and great fulfilment from instructing some young. TCD students, converts to Catholicism. He referred to this in a number of letters written in those years.

It was in such things, and at such times, that the quality of his own spirituality shone through. It was never obtrusive. Yet, when he sensed that a person was anxious, or that obedience was hard, he knew how to say the right thing, or do just what was needed, tactfully, with gentleness and good hunour. He seemed to have a great, yet sensibly balanced, respect for obedience. But it was
his kindness and compassion, a compassion learned through his own suffering, that made him the person he was for others. There was always that the feeling that he too had been through it all.

He was a marvellous person to give anything to. He received as graciously as he gave, and never took a gift for granted. About two years ago I had a letter from him, thanking.me for the gift of a book on Philippine culture. Actually I hadn't been the person who sent it, but I had talked about him to someone who sent him the book as a result of our conversation - Fr. Miguel Bernad, SJ.

During all my years in the Philippines we corresponded a few times each year. Then, while I was in Ireland, from 1970 to 1979 I met him many times, mostly in Milltown Park, but once in the University club. On that last occasion we walked across St. Stephen's Green together - just imagine that!

There were times, too, when I went over to Milltown Park, only to learn that Fr, Gwynn wasn't well and couldn't see visitors. Then I knew that my old friend was deep into one of his bouts of severe depression, and I suffered with him. That finely-honed, brilliant mind, and yet the dark shadow of depression that hung over him so often ...

The last time I saw him, before I left for the Philippines in 1980, he was in great form, and he took some mischievous delight in my reaction to his beard. When I remarked that he looked the spit image of George Bernard Shaw, he said, “Sister Helen (he liked to call me by my old name), I would expect more originality from you!” Then he told me about all the other people who had made the same comparison, including a lorry-driver who had stopped beside him on the road and called out, “I thought Bernard Shaw was dead!” He was really enjoying his masquerade.

In his last letters to me, he told me about his latest and dearest research, the paper he was requested to write for the Royal Irish Academy, on the Mass in Ireland in the early Middle Ages. Much of it was based on a missal that had come to light in recent times. (Am I right?) He spoke of this paper with warmth and enthusiasm, as being the culmination of his life-work. I do hope that his failing eye-sight allowed him to finish this work, so dear to his heart.

I marvel at the courage of this man who, even at the age of ninety, was still using to the full those rare gifts God had given him, and sharing with us the fruits of his long years of reflection and study. I do not know now he died. I hope that his mental faculties were as sharp as ever. It would be poignantly sad if such a brilliant mind were dulled.

I thank God for the gift of this most dear friend, and for all that he has been to all the Columban Sisters.: His death is a personal loss for me. I miss him very deeply.

Hopkins, Gerard Manley, 1844-1889, Jesuit priest and poet

  • IE IJA J/11
  • Person
  • 28 July 1844-08 June 1889

Born: 28 July 1844, Stratford, Essex, England
Entered: 07 September 1868, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1877, St Beuno's, Wales
Professed: 15 August 1882, Manresa, Roehampton, London
Died: 08 June 1889, University College Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1884 came to UCD (HIB)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Cholmeley Grammar in Highgate. He later studied Classics under the famous Dr Jowett at Balliol, Oxford. He had a keen interest in drawing, ever since his aunt introduced him to Layard, and he never ceased drawing and painting, as well as studying Art and Architecture - such as Butterfield, the architect of Keble. He also had a great interest in music, and possessed a lovely voice. He won a school Exhibition, and an Exhibition at Balliol in 1863.
1866 He became a convert under the influence of Jowett and especially John Henry Newman, and two years later Entered the Society.
1884 After an arduous career on the mission in various parts of England, Scotland and Wales, he came to UCD as Professor of Greek. he taught there for five years, and then contracted typhus, and he died there in 1889, buried in Glasnevin.

Though constantly engaged by both the criticism of Poetry, and composing his own, he never published anything during his lifetime. He sent all his poems to his great friend Robert Bridges, who after his death set about having them published. He exercised great judgement, in terms of timing in the culture, for these publications, allowing only a few at a time, lets they be considered oddities. It was not until 1918 that he decided that they be published in an edition. Only at the publication of the 2nd edition in 1930, and after Bridges’ death, was he considered a master of the art. The publication of Hopkin’s correspondence with both bridges, and later Richard Watson Dixon were very well received. The only disappointment was that the letters from Bridges have not survived, especially when he had written questioning Hopkins about the value of his continuing to write poetry, since we have Hopkins’ tender reply. He in fact valued Bridges’ poetry hugely. In addition his correspondence with Coventry Patmore has also been published. The published correspondences show how ill at ease Hopkins was in the world, but also that faith was the strongest and happiest part of him. (”MT” Irish Independent. March 1935)

“Letters and Notices”
He Ent at Hodder 07 September 1868, and his fellow Novices well recalled his panegyric on St Stanislaus as brilliant and beautiful.
1873 After Philosophy he went back to the Juniorate for Regency. he then went for Theology at St Beuno’s and was Ordained there 1877.
1878 He began life as a Missioner in London, Liverpool and Oxford, showing a great love of the poor and young, and devotion to the Vincent de Paul Society.
1881-1882 He made Tertianship at Manresa Roehampton and took Final Vows there 15 August 1882.
1882-1884 He taught the “secular Philosophers” at Stonyhurst.
1884 Came to Dublin and UCD, having been made a fellow of the Royal University, and he taught Latin and Greek there, and examining the Classics for the Royal. He liked teaching but hated examining. Although he hated it, he was assiduous in his attention to this duty.
Most of his spare time was devoted to literature. He had prepared for publication a work on idioms and dialects in Ireland, and wrote some articles for the “Classical Review”. At the time of his death he was engaged in work dealing with difficult passages in Aristophenes. He read literature extensively, though it was said he would be happy only to have his Breviary. He also composed some fugues, which were well thought of by Sir Robert Stewart, an Irish composer : “On everything he wrote and said, there was the stamp of originality, and he had the keenest appreciation of humour. I think the characteristics which most struck all who knew him were firstly his priestly spirit....and secondly his devotion and loyalty to the Society of Jesus.
A day or two after Low Sunday 1889 he fell ill of typhoid. he was fully aware of the seriousness, but hoped he would pull through. His condition deteriorated seriously on June 5th, and he was attended to with great care by Thomas Wheeler. hearing that his parents were coming from England, he dreaded their arrival, because of the pain it would cause them to see him like this. Once arrived he was happy they had come. He knew that he was dying and asked each day for the Viaticum. On receiving the Last Rites on the day of his death, he was heard to say “I am so happy”. He was then too weak to speak, but seemed able to follow the prayers that Thomas Wheeler spoke, and he was joined by his parents for these.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Hopkins, Gerard Manley
by Patrick Maume

Hopkins, Gerard Manley (1844–89), poet and Jesuit, was born 28 July 1844 at 87 The Grove, Stratford, Essex, eldest of nine children (eight of whom survived to adulthood) of Manley Hopkins (1818–1897), marine insurance adjuster, and his wife, Catherine, or Kate (née Smith; 1821–1920). His parents encouraged their children's artistic interests, inspired by the Ruskinian view that close observation of the natural world was intimately linked to moral perception; Gerard developed a talent for drawing, and two of his brothers became professional artists. His interest in poetry dated from his mid-teens. Hopkins was educated at Highgate School (1854–63), where he was regularly and brutally flogged, and Balliol College, Oxford (1863–7), where he thrived. Here he moved in Anglo-Catholic ritualist circles, whose views went beyond those of his high-church family. He began to practise auricular confession, and his religious faith centred on sacramental belief in the real presence of Jesus in the eucharist. Anglo-Catholic ritualism sometimes had a certain homoerotic element; there is little doubt that Hopkins's orientation was homosexual and that he was troubled by his fascination with the male body. He was a small and slightly built man who suffered from persistent health problems; some acquaintances regarded him as mildly effeminate, but others disputed this.

In the summer of 1866 Hopkins came to believe that the anglican claim to be a part of the one church founded by Christ was untenable; on 21 October 1866 he was received into the Roman catholic church by John Henry Newman (qv). After graduation he taught for two terms at Newman's Oratory school at Birmingham, but then decided to enter the religious life. After making this decision, on 11 May 1867, he burned his manuscript poems, believing them to be a possible obstacle to his religious vocation, but they survive in copies that he had sent to friends. In the ensuing years he continued to keep journals of his observations from nature.

In September 1868 Hopkins entered the novitiate of the English province of the Society of Jesus at Roehampton. In undertaking for the first time the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola he experienced a spiritual crisis (which he later recalled in his poem ‘The wreck of the Deutschland’). It appears that the Ignatian method both exercised his powers of observation (the Ignatian meditant is encouraged to visualise precisely the scenes on which he meditates) and heightened his tendency to morbid introspection and depression. After taking his vows on 8 September 1870 he spent 1870–73 in further training at St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, and 1873–4 teaching classics and English to junior novices at Roehampton. In August 1874 he was sent to St Beuno's College in Wales to study theology; he developed a special devotion to St Winifred, whose shrine is nearby, studied Welsh – a pursuit that combined an interest in prosody with a desire for the conversion of Wales – and continued his observations of nature. He also discovered the writings of the medieval scholastic Duns Scotus, who taught that each individual thing has its own distinct essence, by contrast with the Thomist view that matter is in essence undifferentiated; this accorded with his own view of the physical world as a sacramental medium through which God makes his presence known. Hopkins's aesthetic rejected ‘Parnassian’ regularity and tried to deploy words to bring out afresh the inherent design and energies of the sensual world. His adherence to Scotism, rather than Thomism, which was the officially favoured school, is believed to have hindered his advancement in the Jesuit order. Hopkins made the most of the fact that Scotus – unlike Aquinas – had been a zealous advocate of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which Pius IX had declared binding on all catholics in 1854. On 28 August 1874 he received the four minor orders of doorkeeper, lector, acolyte, and exorcist.

In December 1875 Hopkins was fascinated by newspaper accounts of the deaths of five German nuns, while escaping to America from Bismarck's Kulturkampf, in a shipwreck off the English coast; in response to a casual remark from his superior about the possibility of writing a poem on the subject, he composed an ode ‘The wreck of the Deutschland’, which combines an account of Hopkins's own submission to God with the story of the nuns’ deaths, and hails them as martyrs whose end will hasten the return of England to catholicism. Hopkins was acutely aware of the conflict between the catholic church and temporal powers across Europe; he believed that English civilisation faced imminent disintegration as a long-term effect of the Reformation, and hoped that his poetry might be an instrument of God in the subsequent reconstruction. The ode was completed by June 1875 and submitted to the editors of the Jesuit journal, The Month, who found its metrical and stylistic experiments incomprehensible and turned it down. Hopkins regarded their response not merely as an ordinary rejection but as an expression of official disapproval; after The Month refused a more conventional ode on a shipwreck, ‘The wreck of the Eurydice’ in 1878, he came to realise that his work would probably not be published in his lifetime. He continued to write – though in less complex forms – and to send copies of his poems to a small circle of friends, the most important of whom were Robert Bridges, an Oxford contemporary who became poet laureate and served as Hopkins's literary executor, and the anglican canon R. W. Dixon, a poet who had briefly taught Hopkins at Highgate.

After his ordination to the major orders of subdeacon, deacon, and priest (21–3 September 1877) Hopkins began a period of movement from place to place. He found this profoundly disturbing, though he accepted it in accordance with the Jesuit self-image of soldiers removed from inordinate attachment to their surroundings and willing to go where they were sent without hesitation. He taught at Mount St Mary's College, near Sheffield (October 1877 to April 1878), and was curate at the fashionable Jesuit church in Farm Street, London (July to November 1878) and at St Aloysius’ church, Oxford (December 1878 to October 1879); this experience of appearing as a revenant in the setting of so many fond memories produced a number of poems on transience and mortality.

In October 1879 Hopkins was assigned as curate to St Joseph's church at Bedford Leigh in Lancashire. This appointment saw the start of a period of service in the slums of the industrial north, which the nature-loving southerner found oppressive, particularly after he moved to St Francis Xavier, Liverpool (January 1880 to August 1881). His ornate style of preaching was ill suited to audiences more responsive to the direct style of Father Tom Burke (qv), in whose honour he composed some Latin verses. Hopkins once reduced a dining-room full of Jesuits to laughter by an extended comparison between the shape of the Sea of Galilee and that of the human ear, and he unintentionally scandalised a Farm Street congregation by comparing the church to a cow with seven teats – the sacraments. On a temporary posting to St Joseph's church, Glasgow (August to October 1881), he found ‘the poor Irish’ at Glasgow ‘very attractive . . . though always very drunken and at present very Fenian, they are warm-hearted and give a far heartier welcome than those at Liverpool’. In October 1881 Hopkins began his tertianship at Roehampton, and on 15 August 1882 he took his final vows, after which he was sent to teach at Stonyhurst.

In December 1883 Hopkins was invited to Ireland by Father William Delany (qv), who wished to raise the standard of teaching at University College, Dublin, the remnant of Newman's Catholic University, newly taken over by the Jesuits, and to recruit Jesuit staff whose salaries could be ploughed back into the college. Delany sought several English Jesuits but was able to get only Hopkins (who was regarded as eccentric and expendable). In February 1884 Hopkins was elected to a Royal University of Ireland classics fellowship, which enabled him to take up the position of professor of Greek at University College. His election produced a dispute between Delany and the future archbishop of Dublin William Walsh (qv), who believed that RUI fellowships should be spread among the catholic secondary schools around Dublin and not reserved for University College; there was also some resentment at the importation of an Englishman.

Hopkins, his expectations shaped by Oxford, was dismayed at the low standard of learning and the utilitarian attitude to education found among his pupils, who treated him with considerable irreverence. His English voice and mannerisms grated on colleagues as well as pupils; his closest friend was a Jesuit lay brother debarred from ordination by epilepsy, and he found occasional solace on visits to upper-class catholic families, notably the Cassidys of Monasterevan, Co. Kildare. Scrupulous attention to vast piles of examination scripts intensified his depression; an unfinished ‘Epithalamium’ for a brother's marriage, incongruously centred on an image of nude male bathers, was jotted on an answer book while Hopkins invigilated an examination in 1888. The six ‘terrible sonnets’ of 1885, never sent to friends and found among his papers after his death, are classic expressions of mental desolation and despair. He planned various scholarly projects which were never finished (sometimes hardly begun).

Hopkins was further divided from colleagues and pupils by his political views. The only other English Jesuit in the college, Joseph Darlington (qv), was pro-nationalist. Hopkins was despised as hysterical and effeminate – ‘a merely beautifully painted seashell. I never found any mollusc inside it of human substance’. Although Hopkins believed Britain had done injustice to Ireland in the past, he regarded the methods used by Irish agitators as immoral; he thought home rule was inevitable and should be accepted on the basis of getting the worst over as soon as possible, but he felt a visceral hatred for Gladstone for destroying the empire. Even after the exposure of the Pigott forgeries he continued to believe that Charles Stewart Parnell (qv) had been complicit in the Phoenix Park murders, adding that even if the accusations against Parnell were false they were less libellous than the claim made by William O'Brien (qv) that Arthur James Balfour (qv) deliberately caused the deaths of prisoners. Hopkins contrasted the sincere faith of Irish congregations with what he regarded as their immoral political activities, referring to ‘the unfailing devotion of the Irish, whose religion hangs suspended over their politics as the blue sky over the earth, both in one landscape but immeasurably remote’. Some of Hopkins's most assertively English poems date from his residence in Ireland. A number were encouraged by watching military displays in Phoenix Park – Hopkins was always fascinated by soldiers.

In the middle of 1889 Hopkins contracted typhoid, probably transmitted by the defective drainage system of University College (which was renovated shortly afterwards). This developed into peritonitis, from which he died 8 June 1889 at 86 St Stephen's Green; he was buried on 11 June in the communal Jesuit plot at Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. In subsequent decades Bridges, his literary executor, tried to prepare the ground for the acceptance of Hopkins's work by submitting examples of his poetry to anthologies. In December 1918 Bridges published Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, on which Hopkins's fame is based. His attention to language as a medium led him to be hailed as a forerunner of literary modernism. More recent critics emphasise his Victorianism.

Some accounts of Hopkins see his religious vocation as having provided structure and meaning to his life and enabled his poetic achievement; in this interpretation the dark years in Ireland are seen as a sacrifice offered to God. Other readings see him as fleeing from self-knowledge into an externally imposed discipline, which crippled and ultimately destroyed him; in this view the darkness of his later years reflects a painfully resisted awareness of frustration and futility. To a great extent this dispute reflects disagreement about the truth or falsehood of the faith to which Hopkins devoted his life, and the question of whether suffering is utterly futile or capable of redemption; neither side can deny the centrality of faith to Hopkins’ self-image, nor the intensity of his pain, and both can wonder what greater achievement might have been his had his superiors been receptive to his literary gifts.

Paddy Kitchen, Gerard Manley Hopkins (1978); Robert Bernard, Martin Gerard Manley Hopkins: a very private life (1991); Norman White, Hopkins: a literary biography (1992); Norman White, Hopkins in Ireland (2002)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Gerard Manly-Hopkins 1844-1889
There can be few more remarkable stories in the history of literature than that of Fr Gerard Manly-Hopkins.

Born in 1844 at Stratford in Essex, he received his early education at Cholmeley Grammar School at Highgate. From earliest childhood he showed great talent for drawing and painting. He had an exquisite voice, and music absorbed him. He won an exhibition at Balliol College Oxford in 1863. Here, in addition to his ordinary course, he continued his studies of art, especially architecture. His course as a classical scholar was brilliant, under the famous Dr Jowett.

In 1866, under the influence of Newman, he became a Jesuit, and two years later entered the Society. After an arduous career on the mission in various parts of England, Scotland and Wales, he came to Dublin as Professor of Greek in the newly constituted Uiversity College at St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. There he laboured with success but increasing strain. The drudgery of correcting examination papers gradually wore him down. He was a man who was not vigorously healthy and so suffered more less continually from nervous depression. “It is killing work” he wrote once “to examine a nation”.

As a Theologian, he greatly admired Scotus, owing to the traces of Plato he found there. This leaning involved him in difficulties with his Thomist and Suaresian professors. It has been suggested by some of his many biographers, that he was uneasy if not unhappy as a Jesuit. That charge is easily answered out of his own mouth. To a friend, he remarked one day that he could get on quite happily with no other book than his breviary. Another friend wrote of him “I think the characteristics in him which most struck all of us who knew him were first, what I should call his priestly spirit, and secondly, his devotion and loyalty to the Society of Jesus”.

He contracted typhoid fever and received the Viaticam, and he was hear to murmur two or three times before he actually expired “I am so happy, I am so happy”. He died with his parents at his bedside on June 8th 1889.

He was first and foremost a poet, though he never published any of his poems while he was alive. He bequeathed them all to a friend, Robert bridges, Poet Laureate of England. The latter published them at forst one by one, gradually preparing the public for their originality. The first full edition came in 1918. By the time of the second edition in 1930, Hopkins was accepted as a master of his art, and is ranked as the most revered and influential poet of the second half of the nineteenth century.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 37 : Easter 1985

Portrait from the Past

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS (Province Archives)

Our archives contain menologies of Jesuits who died before the foundation of the Province News (when obituary notices took their place). Here's the piece on our most famous poet.

Born in 1844 at Stratford, in Essex, Gerard Manley Hopkins received his early education at the Cholmeley Grammar School at Highgate. From earliest childhood he showed a great talent for drawing, and his work was distinguished for its marvellous delicacy. His aunt used to read to him of the then recent discoveries of Layard, and they seized on his imagination and he never ceased drawing and painting subjects suggested by them. He had a very exquisite voice, and took great interest in music. This, with art and literature, became his special studies. His originality showed is itself from when he was a child in his objection to practical views on things.

He won a school Exhibition and gold medal in 1862, and an Exhibition at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1863. There he had scope for his brilliant talents, and pursued, with great enthusiasm, in the scant intervals of hard work, his studies of art. Architecture was a branch in which he took deep delight, and he was a fervent worshipper at the shrine of Butterfield, the architect of Keble College. “His conversation was clever and incisive”, writes an old friend, “and perhaps critical in excess. As to the quality of this criticism I thought much at the time - and have thought much since - that it was the best of the kind to be had in England, in places where production and criticism do not, as is the case at Oxford, keep pace. If he had not been the victim of a lengthened and overwrought critical education, which makes men sut jects of an operation, rather that trained instruments for work, Hopkins had all the elements of an eminent artist or literary man. His acquaintance with poetry was extensive, and his judgments differed upon various poets considerably from what most people entertain. When I first knew him he called himself a ‘Tractarian’, on the ground that he believed ‘Tractarian’ doctrine true, and if the Church of England rejected it, so much the worse for the Church of England. His leaving it was not to change, but to give expression to his religious faith. He had no patience with a Catholic plea for beliefs which are not on the surface, at least, of the Articles and Common Prayer Book”.

Gerard passed 1st Class in Mods., and in the June of 1867, 1st. Class in Honours in the final Schools. The late Dr. Wilson, his examiner for ‘Greats’, thought highly of his talents. It was very extraordinary to achieve such success when his mind was pre-occupied by the struggles of conversation.

The views of the Master of Balliol, Dr. Jowett, seem to have contributed towards his abandonment of Anglicanism, and Liddon is said to have expressed regret at his conversion as a serious loss to Anglicanism. He had made his ‘first confession’ to the learned Canon, and he used to say that he never had exceeded the contrition with which it was accomplished.

He entered the Novitiate on September 8, 1868, and his fellow-novices remembered long his panegyric of St. Stanislaus, which was as brilliant and beautiful as it was out of the usual routine of pulpit deliveries. As soon as he had taken his vows, he went to his Philosophy at the Seminary, and returned in 1873 to be Professor of the Juniors. The following year he began his life as a missioner at London, he spent some time also at Oxford and Liverpool, where, as in all places, he showed his beautiful love of the poor and the young, and devotion to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. 1881 - 1882 he made his Tertianship, and took his vows on August 15, 1882 at Manresa. His next two years were spent as Professor to the “Secular Philosophers” at Stonyhurst.

He came to Dublin fron Stonyhurst in 1884, on his appointment to a Fellowship in the Royal University. I have heard from Lord Emly, the Vice Chancellor of the University, that the recommendatory letters presented when he sought election spoke so highly of his character and attainments (especially one from Dr. Jowett, the Master of Balliol, in praise of his scholarship), as to make the Senate most anxious to obtain his services; and Lord Emly at the same time expressed, what is the universal feeling among that body, the loss the University has sustained by his death.

His duties consisted in teaching latin and Greek in the Catholic University College - where he resided - and in examining in classics for the various degrees of the Royal University. The first of these duties he liked, taking much interest in his pupils; but he had a great repugnance to the labour and responsibility involved the preparation of the examination papers, and in subsequently correcting and awarding them marks. Nevertheless, in his scrupulous anxiety to be just and fair, he was accustomed to give to these tasks a far greater amount of care and time than most conscientious examiners would have considered necessary.

He occupied his spare hours, which were not many, in literary work. He had collected and put together, with a view to publication in some work on British dialects, the idioms of the different Irish provinces. He wrote several articles for the “Classical Review”. I do not know how many of them appeared. He was engaged at the time of his death upon a critical work dealing with difficult passages in the plays of Aristophanes, the true meaning of which he believed that he had discovered. He read a great deal of general literature, considering the little leisure time he had, but I have heard him say he could get on quite happily with no other book than his Breviary. He was very fond of music, and composed some “fugues”, which were very much admired by Sir Robert Stewart, Mus. Doc.

On everything that he wrote and said there was the stamp of originality, and he had the keenest appreciation of humour. I think the characteristics in him that most struck and edified all of us who knew him were, first, what I should call his priestly spirit; this showed itself not only in the reverential way he performed his sacred duties and spoke on sacred subjects, but in his whole conduct and conversation; and, secondly, his devotion and loyalty to the Society of Jesus.

A day or two after Low Sunday, 1889, he fell ill of typhoid fever. From the outset he was fully alive to the gravity of his state, and, I believe, never shared the hope that others from time to time entertained - that he would pull through.

During the night of Wednesday, the 5th of June, a serious change for the worse took place in his condition, and when the doctors arrived early next morning, they pronounced his case well-nigh desperate. Father Wheeler, S.J., who attended him all through his illness with affectionate care, told him of his danger, and gave him the Holy Viaticum, which he
received with the greatest devotion.

On hearing that his parents were coming from England, he appeared to dread their arrival, because of the pain it would give them to see him so prostrate; but when the first interview was over, he expressed the happiness he felt at having them with him.

He quite realised that he was dying, and asked each day for the Holy Viaticum. He received it for the last time on the morning of the day of his death, Saturday, June 8, 1889.

The final blessing and absolution were also then given him at his own request, and he was heard two or three times to say, “I am so happy, I am so happy”. Soon afterwards he became too weak to speak, but he appeared to follow mentally the prayers for the dying, which were said a little before noon by Father Wheeler, and joined in by his parents. As the end approached he seemed to grow more collected, and retained consciousness almost up to the moment, half-past one o'clock, when he passed peacefully away. He was buried in the burial-ground of the Society at Glasnevin.

Lavery, Charles, 1670-1725, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1557
  • Person
  • 1670-07 August 1725

Born: 1670, Magheralin, County Down
Entered: 06 January 1698, Bordeaux, France - Aquitaniae Province (AQUIT)
Ordained: 1697, Rome - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1709
Died: 07 August 1725, Dublin - Romanae Province (ROM)

Completed his studies before Ent
1700 At Bordeaux College teaching Grammar
1705 At Xaintes (Saintes) College (AQUIT) teaching Humanities and Philosophy and studying Philosophy and Theology
1706-1708 At Poitiers
1714-1717 At Poitiers Spiritual Father
1717 CAT Good talent, learned and speaks elegantly. It is wished he had greater love of poverty. When on Mission people complained he was irascible and wanting in meekness and humility

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Patrick and Mary of Ulster. Probably a brother of Susan Lavery OSB, a nun, of Dunkirk (Foley’s Collectanea Vol vi p 439)
He was one of James II Demies sent to Magdalen College, Oxford, 1687
Entered the English College Rome for Higher Studies 30 March 1689.
Professor of Philosophy; Eloquent Preacher; Charming in conversation
1708 and 1714 In Ireland (HIB Catalogues)
1717 At Poitiers

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Irish College Rome and was already a Priest 1697 Rome, before Ent 06 January 1698 Bordeaux
1700-1707 After First Vows he taught Humanities at Bordeaux, Nantes and Poitiers
1707-1714 Sent to Ireland and Dublin and worked in the Dublin district.
1714-1717 Sent to Irish College Poitiers as Spiritual Father
1717 Sent to Dublin and worked as an Assistant Priest until his death there 07 August 1725

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Charles Lavery SJ 1670-1717
Fr Charles Lavery was born at Magheralin County Down in 1670. He entered Magdalen College Oxford, as one of James II demie or foundationers At this time great efforts were being made to obtain for the Fathers a firm footing in the University. Although both Christ Church and University College were governed by Catholics, the chief hope was placed in Magdalen, which had been given by the King to his Catholic subjects. In 1688 however, all fifteen demies at the College were expelled. Charles Lavery first went to Rome and entered the English College. He returned to Ireland without taking orders, and he entered the Society in 1697.

He was appointed Professor of Philosophy. In addition, he was an eloquent preacher and a gifted conversationalist. His name is found as having been in Ireland in 1708 and 1714.

He died in Poitiers in 1717.

Lea, Charles, 1545-1586, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1561
  • Person
  • 1545-23 July 1586

Born: 1545, Cloyne, County Cork
Entered: 24 June 1570, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Provine (ROM)
Died: 23 July 1586, Cork

Alias MacMuiris

1574 General Catalogue Aged 27 in Rome 24 June 1570. Made vows 6 months later. Studied 2 years Theology at Roman College (1573-1584). A prisoner on parole and practising medicine. In Ireland was teaching under the Bishop of Cork

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Dr Morris Lea
Educated at Paris, Oxford and Cologne
Taught School in Youghal in 1575
Was imprisoned for the faith; Was a Physician and Surgeon who gave great relief to Archbishop O’Hurley, who in June 1584 had been tortured by having his legs broiled in a fire.
Perhaps he was “Mauritius”
(cf "Hibernia Ignatiana" p28 and O’Sullivan Beare’s “Hist” p 125)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Charles Leae SJ 1545-1586
The fellow labourer of Fr Rochfort in the school at Youghal was Fr Leae.

He was born in Cloyne in 1545. His father was a doctor of medicine, Charles Morris Leae. Charles studied at Paris, Oxford and Cologne, and finally entered the Society on June 24th 1570. Rome was the scene of his activities for some years. Then in 1575 he came to Ireland with Bishop Tanner of Cork,

He taught in the school at Youghal till 1579, in which year Bishop Tanner died. Fr Leae was captured and put in prison in Dublin. Hence he was released on account of his skill in medicine and was allowed a certain amount of freedom to move around the city. He was known by his fathers name Charles MacMorris.

In the course of his official duties he attended Archbishop Hurley after his torture by the English : A worthy priest names Charles MacMorris of the Society, skilled in medicine, found access to the archbishop and treated his wounds with such skill that in a few days, he was enabled to sit up in bed”. Fr Leae continued to work in Dublin for some years after the execution of the Archbishop.

His death in 1586 brought to an end the Second Mission of the Society of Jesus to Ireland.

◆ Rev. Edmund Hogan SJ : “Distinguished Irishmen of the Sixteenth Century” - London : Burns and Oates, Limited, New York, Cincinnati : Chicago, Benzinger Brothers, 1894 : Quarterly Series : Volume Ninety

Father Charles Leae

Father Rochfort's fellow-labourer in Youghal was Father Charles Leae; he was born in the town of Cloyne, co. of Cork, in the year 1545; his father was Morris Leae, a doctor of medicine, and probably the same whom Stanihurst called “Leie a learned and expert physician”. His mother's maiden name was Mary Sheehy or Hickey; he had studied literature from his early years, and was educated at Paris, Oxford, and Cologne. He became a Jesuit in Rome on June 24, 1570; in 1575 he came to Ireland with Bishop Tanner and Father Rochfort, and taught school, and preached at Youghal and in the surrounding districts up to the year 1579, when Dr. Tanner died, after having endured great sufferings in prison for eighteen months. Father Leae remained in Ireland, and was captured and imprisoned, as we may gather from the following narrative, if we remember that an Irishman was very often called after his father's Christian name, and that Charles the son of Morris Leae would be named Charles McMorris. On the 4th of June, 1584, Diarmait O’Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel, was hanged in Dublin for the profession of the Faith. Some days before his execution, his feet and legs were forced into boots filled with oil and salt, and a fire was put under them. The oil heated by the flames, penetrating the soles and other parts, tortured him in an intolerable manner, and “his skin fell from the flesh and portions of the flesh from the bare bones”. There happened to be then at Dublin a priest of the Society of Jesus, named Charles MacMorris, who had much experience in medicine and surgery, and who had been himself confined in prison by the English, but was released on account of the skill with which he had treated some noblemen who were dangerously ill. This Father visited the Archbishop and applied some remedies which gave him great relief. The hideous details of the roasting are confirmed by the State Papers, and must for ever brand with infamy the names of Loftus and Wallop. I lose sight of Father Leae after this; I know not whether he was able to remain in Ireland for some time going about under various disguises, and instructing and consoling the Catholics of that country, or whether he was driven away by the fury of persecution, and was sent by his Superiors to teach in the Continental Colleges - a task for which he was well fitted by his University training. He was certainly dead before the year 1609. I was fortunate enough to find the following entry, written by him in the Roman Novice Book on the 24th of June, 1570 : “I was born in the town of Cloyne, diocese of Cork; my father and mother are dead; my father was Maurice Leae, a Doctor of Medicine, my mother's maiden name was Mary Chihi. From my earliest years I have devoted myself to learning; I have studied one year at Paris, then I went to the University of Oxford, and lastly I have read Logic and Philosophy during three years at Cologne, when I took the degree of Master of Logic and Philosophy. I promise to observe all the rules, constitutions, and mode of life of the Society, and to do whatever the Society shall order. In witness of which I subscribe this with my hand, CHARLES LEAE”. In the same book I found these items : Charles Leae, an Irishman, made his first vows. in the Professed House on January 17, 1571, on the 24th of

Lenan, Patrick, 1561-1621, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1568
  • Person
  • 1561-06 September 1621

Born: 1561, Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 10 November 1596, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: pre Entry
Professed: 1617
Died: 06 September 1621, Dublin Residence, Dublin

Studied Theology before Ent. BA An Oxford graduate, MA of Douai and BD of Louvain. For 6 years a student of Stapleton and Lessius
1600 Not in Catalogue
1616 Catalogue On Irish Mission 14 years Age 60 Soc 17. Consultor on Mission. Strong in health, preacher, talented and zealous, pleasing address. Fit to be Superior. Of a choleric nature. Gifted as a Missioner “in perpetual motion”, a reconciler of enemies.
1617 Age 63 Soc 20. In Ireland
1621 At Poitiers, confined to bed by sickness
1622 In Leinster, Consultor of Mission. Suffering from Apoplexy.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
He was a missioner in Leinster and is mentioned in a letter of Thomas Lawndry (vere Christopher Holywood) to the General, November 1611, and printed in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1874.
The Royal Commissioners in 1615 state :Lennon, a famous Priest, is kept by Nicholas Netterville” (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
He was an accomplished Theologian and Missioner “in perpetual motion”, the great reconciler of enemies.
He was a graduate of Oxford; MA Douai; BD Louvain; for six years a pupil of Stapleton and Lessius - a gifted solid man. (cf Holiwood and Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Studied Humanities at Oxford. Graduated MA at Douai and BD at Louvain, and was already Ordained on Ent 10 November 1596 Rome
1598-1600 After First Vows he studied at the German College
1600 Sent to Ireland and to the Dublin Residence and his work was limited to the city due to his lack of Irish language.
1606 Superior of Dublin Residence, succeeding Richard Field, until his death in office there 06 September 1621

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Lenan SJ 1561-1621
In Drogheda in 1554/5 was born Father Patrick Lenan. He was an accomplished scholar and theologian, a graduate of Oxford, an MA of Douai, BD od Louvain. He was for 6 years a pupil of Dr Stapleton, the great English controversialist, and also had Leonard Lessius as his Professor. He became a Jesuit in 1597, returning to Ireland in 1601.

His work lay mostly in the Pale and in Dublin, where together with Henry Fitzsimon and Barnaby O’Kearney, he was engaged in educating the youth of Dublin.

The Superior Fr Holywood referred to him as a very mature and reliable man and appointed him his Socius. The Royal Commission or Visitation of Dublin, charges Sir Nicholas Netterville as privately harbouring Lenan, a famous popish priest, and others in 1615.

A Proclamation of October 18th 1617 banished all priests from the country and Father Lenan was forced to leave. His subsequent history is unknown, but he died about 1621.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LENAN, PATRICK. With regret I am obliged to confess that I can barely state of this worthy Jesuit, that I find him actively employed in Leinster, in February, 1603, and in February, 1605. I believe he is the person thus reported by the Royal Commissioners in 1615, “Lennon, a famous Priest is kept by Nicholas Neterville”.

MacMahon, Blessed John M, 1560-1594, Jesuit priest and Martyr

  • Person
  • 1560-04 July 1594

Born: 1560, County Clare / Bodmin, Cornwall
Entered: July 1584
Ordained: September 1583
Died: 04 July 1594, Dorchester, Dorset, England (Martyr) - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries John MacMahon and John Cornelius

DOB 1557 Clare or Bodmin, Cornwall of Irish parents; Ent shortly before execution RIP 04 July 1594
Known in England as John Cornelius and of ANG
Born of Irish parents; A man of extraordinary piety; Hanged, drawn and quartered at Dorchester

Studied at Oxford for several years by means of his kind patron, Sir John Arundell, Knight, of Laherne, Cornwall. “Misliking the new religion” he was sent to Rheims, and after a period there some say he entered the English College Rome for higher studies and Theology 01 April 1580. In his second year Theology, he was selected to make the usual Latin oration before the Pope in the Sistine Chapel, on the Feast of St Stephen the proto-martyr. He was Ordained there 1583 and went to England.
After working in England for a few years he was seized at Chideock Castle, Dorset, where he was Chaplain to Lady Arundell, the widow of Sir John, 14 April 1594. He was carried off to London, where he was examined and remanded to Dorchester for trial, and having been condemned to death for the priesthood, was admitted to the Society in prison, before execution 04 July 1594, with his three fellow captives, Thomas Bosgrove Esq, a relative of the Arundells and probably brother of James Bosgrove SJ, John Carey and Patrick Salmon - servants at Chideock.
(cf “Records SJ” Coil IV, and Vol iii pp 435 seq, and Vol vi p141; Foley’s Collectanea)

There is also a long note from Foley’s Collectanea regarding the possibility of finding relics of the Dorset Martyrs, specifically the heads, including those of John Cornelius.)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Blessed John Cornelius (MacMahon) 1557-1594
Blessed John Cornelius, who crowned a life of sanctity with martyrdom on July 4th 1594, was born the only son of Irish parents at Bodmin in Cornewall in 1557.

His parents were not wealthy, but his aptitude for study aroused interest of Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, and he became his patron, sending him to Oxford, then to Dr Allen at Rheims and finally to the English College at Rome in 1580.

He returned to England a priest in 1583 and his first care was to bring back to the Church his widowed mother.

Taking little care of the priest-hunters, he evangelised the Catholics in different places, in all kinds of weather, and mostly in the dead of night. His sanctity gave him power over evil spirits and he was frequently rapt in divine contemplation.

After many vain attempts to capture him, he was finally taken prisoner in March 1594. He was allowed to take leave of his sorrow stricken mother before being taken to London and lodged in the Marshalsea. Here for two months he was subjected to inhuman torture. Finally he was brought to Dorchester for execution. On the evening before execution, he begged leave to be taken to the foot of the scaffold where he spent some time in contemplation.

At two o’clock on the following afternoon, July 4th 1594, he was led forth to the scaffold, with great reluctance it must be said on the part of the judge and executioner, so great an impression his holiness had made on all. Indeed, many petitions were made on his behalf to the Court, but he himself only aspired after eternal life. “Grant me” he cried “Sweet Jesus, that the alone may be the object of my words and actions”.

http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/history/frost/chap5_east_corcabaskin.htm
In MacBrody’s Propugnaculum Catholiæ Veritatis it is stated that John, son of Conor MacMahon, of Knockalocha, by his wife Bridget Brody, daughter of “Darii” Mac Bruodin, of Mount Scot, was invited at the age of ten by his uncle Thomas MacMahon, who was living with the Earl of Arundel, to go over to England and live amongst the Earl’s pages. He was thence sent to Rome to study, and was there admitted into the Society of Jesus. He returned to England afterwards, and was hanged, drawn, and quartered, in 1594.[11]

  1. Brody in mistake states that this M‘Mahon was of Tuath-na-farna.

In Old/15 (1), Old/16, Old/18 and Old/19

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CORNELIUS, JOHN, was born at Bodmin, and became a protege of Sir John Arundell, of Lanheme, commonly called the Great Arundell (as More informs us, p. 165), who kindly defrayed the expences of his education at Oxford. The youth, to keep his conscience, left Oxford for the seminary at Rheims, with the approbation of his worthy Patron, and was favourably received by the incomparable Dr. Allen. With five others, viz. James Lomax, Christopher Southworth, John Tippet, Simon Swinburn, and Robert Charnock, he was sent by Dr. Gregory Martin, and the other Superiors of the House, to the English College at Rome, on 9th February, 1580, who testify to F. Agazzari “omnes nostro judicio idoneos, et ad vestram expectationem aetate, ingenio, moribus ac eruditione convenienter (quantum in nobis erat) electos atque approbatos”. After finishing Theology and receiving Priesthood, F. Cornelius re turned to England in September, 1583. His generous patron on his death-bed earnestly recommended to his wife (Anne, daughter of Edward, Earl of Derby, and relict of Charles the seventh Lord Stourton) the care of his rev. friend. From the pen of her daughter Dorothy Arundell, who afterwards became a Nun at Brussels, and employed him for ten years as her spiritual director, we learn most of the following particulars :
For some time he resided in London with the Arundell family. His fame for dispossessing obsessed persons becoming notorious, the Privy Council decided on apprehending him : a posse of thirty constables had actually invested the house of a Catholic gentleman at Mile End, where F. Cornelius happened to be : he was engaged in writing when apprised of their arrival : with perfect calmness he left his chamber, and passed through the midst of them unheeded, unsuspected, and unmolested.
Lady Arundell and her establishment quitting town for Chidiock Castle, F. Cornelius accompanied them. The fruits of his zeal soon appeared in the reconciliation of above thirty families. But we can be surprised at nothing, when we call to mind his seraphic charity, his uninterrupted union with Almighty God, and his very mortified life. And “he was so famous for his preaching”, says F. Gerard, “that all Catholics followed him, as children do their nurse, when they long for milk”.
This great and good man had for several years cherished a vehement desire of being incorporated with the Society of Jesus, and had applied to the General Aquaviva for admission. In a letter written to that Chief Superior about the year 1592, by F. Hen. Garnet, I read “Joannes Cornelius vir notae pietatis hoc de se asserit paratum se quidem esse in Flandriam ire, si jubeamus - vir vere humilis, pius et sanctus est, et demonibus, terribilis, quippe qui ejus nuper in Exorcismis mire exagitaverit; et ejus apud nostrates existimationis, dignys ut sit qui nostris humeris feratur. Votum Societatis ingrediendae emisit. Vestram Dominationem ed de re consuluit una cum D. Loo,
praestanti jamdudum Martyre. Illc ejusmodi est, ut nullum timeri pericalum posst si tyrocinium differatur et hic admittatur; et praeterea fèrè sem per virit cum uno è nostris”. But his crown was preparing.
From pure benevolence Lady Arundell was induced to employ a miserable pauper in menial offices about the Castle. After some time the man, forgetful of his situation, grew enamoured, in his folly, of her Ladyship’s maid, a most respectable person, and annoyed her with his attentions and proposals. Complaint was made to the chaplain, who seriously remonstrated with him on the impropriety of his conduct. In the spirit of revenge the miscreant determined to betray the Priest, and for this purpose concerted measures with the high Sheriff of Dorset, Geo. Morton, Esq., and two Justices of the Peace, George Trenchard, and Ralph Horsey, Esqrs. Easter Sunday, 31st March, 1594, was fixed upon for the attempt, and for five miles round the castle the paths and roads were guarded with police. Suspicious of danger F. Cornelius said Mass for the family as early as one o’clock that morning, and notwithstanding their intreaties to the contrary, he then hurried away and lay prostrate on the ground, within a thick copse at some distance; the searchers came, but after two days of fruitless labour and expectation, retired dissatisfied and provoked with their informer. Unwilling to expose the family to a repetition of such vexatious visits, and to endanger their property, liberty, and lives, this considerate chaplain proposed to leave Chidiock, at least for some time, but Lady Arundell would not consent, and accordingly he resumed his usual ministry. His return was duly notified to the magistrate by the domestic enemy. On 14th April, the second Sunday after Easter, Cornelius said Mass at 5 o clock, and whilst making his thanksgiving, Mr. Trenchard and his satellites, having rapidly scaled the outer walls, and burst open the castle doors, entered with drawn swords and loud clamours, and dispersed themselves over the house in every direction, Cornelius had time to take refuge in his hiding hole. For five or six hours the search was conducted with eager diligence; but nothing was found except books and ornaments for the altar. The magistrate was then preparing to retire, when he was solicited to continue for some time longer : the faithless servant heading the party to the chamber where the hiding hole was. F. Gerard states, that the breathing or coughing of the Priest was the means indeed by which he was found out and apprehended; but unquestionably attention to the spot had been directed by the traitor. On forcing the secret entrance, the Father appeared absorpt in meditation. Their brutal shouts brought in Miss Dorothy : he appeared paler than usual, but refulgent with light, and the was so overcome with the scene as to be incapable of utterance. I am glad, said the magistrate, that we have caught you at last. “I am doubly contented”, said Cornelius. Leading him into the hall, he was subjected to an examination as to his profession : he begged them previously to understand, that he owed it to justice and charity to maintain an impenetrable silence as to points that might be detrimental to other persons; but as to his profession and his religion, he was prepared to defend it with zeal and modesty. The members of the family were then introduced one by one, and questioned as to their knowledge of the prisoner. They affected ignorance of his person, with the exception of Mr. Thomas Bosgrave, her ladyship’s kinsman (and probably connected with F. James Bosgrave), who manifested the most profound respect and veneration for this confessor of the faith. Miss Dorothy at last appeared, and with a sorrowful countenance took all the blame (if any) upon herself, of harbouring the gentleman : she had invited and concealed him; but under the conviction that instead of violating the law, she was performing an act of Humanity. His mother, a poor Irish woman, aged, decrepid, and bed-ridden, lived in the house, and had hoped for the consolation of beholding her son once more. Would a Barbarian refuse this tribute of natural piety and affection?
Commitments were made out for four, the Priest, Mr. Bosgrave, and two servant men, Patrick Salmon, and John (alias Terence) Cary. After bidding an affectionate adieu to his afflicted mother, and animating her to confidence in a Fatherly Providence, the good Priest mounted a horse, and rode by the side of the magistrate, like a companion and friend. At the venerable castle-gate about five hundred persons had collected. Cornelius saluted them courteously, and they returned the compliment with every mark of sympathy and respect. Trenchard was of a humane disposition : he allowed his prisoner during the fortnight he remained at his house, every accommodation compatible with safe custody. Many flocked to converse with him : amongst others, Charcke, the vanquished opponent of F. Persons, and Sir Walter Raleigh. The latter spent a whole night in discussing controversial topics, and departed with admiration of his talents, and with complimentary proffers of service,
On 30th April, orders arrived from the Privy Council to send up the prisoner to London. Here he was lodged in the Marshalsea, and most inhumanly tortured; but his constancy was immovable. His prison he regarded as a Paradise; for it furnished the long desired opportunity of entering into the Society of Jesus. He pronounced his vows before a Religious, commissioned by F. Hen. Garnet to receive them in the presence of two witnesses. He tells Dorothy in a letter, that his heart is now swimming with joy, for this favour of Almighty God : and when he was “going to die for a moment, that he might live for ever”, to use his own expression, he publicly professed himself to be a Jesuit.
Remanded to Dorchester, he approached the gibbet with all the joyful welcome of a St. Andrew. With his three companions, he suffered there on 4th July, 1594. In a memorandum of Richard Verstegan, the antiquary, I read, “they could not get a cauldron for any money to boyle his quarters, nor no man to quarter him : so that he hanged until he was dead; and was buried, being cut in quarters first”. It is certain, however, that the quarters were exposed for a time, and that the head was nailed to a gallows; and moreover, that by the management of the above-mentioned Lady Arundell, the quarters were by stealth conveyed away, “furtim sublata et honorificentius collata”. The head also came into the possession of Catholics. “Caput etiam venil in Catholicorum potestatem”.
The reader will be as much edified with his Biography in FF. More and Tanner’s History, and in Dr. Challoner s faithful Memoirs, as he will be disappointed with the meagre and defective narrative in p.73-4, of vol. ii. of Dodd s Church History.

  • This conscientious Knight was summoned up to London early in 1581, and committed to close custody for a time by Queen Elizabeth. He died at Isleworth, as we learn from the parish register, 17th January. 1591, but was buried at St. Colombs. His servant Glynn, actually died a prisoner for religion.

  • This most worthy Priest had suffered at Tyburn, as early as 8th October, 1586.

  • F. Gerard was intimate, amongst others, with F. Cornelius. In a MS written about 1607, he stiles him the third martyr of the Society of Jesus in England, (Campian and Briant had suffered before him) adding, “The man was so full of the Apostle’s charity, that with one fervent speech (in imitation of the offer which St. Paul made to be anathema pro fratribus) he expelled a devil out of a person whom he was exorcising. I know the time and place where it was performed; and where another wicked spirit confessed in a possessed person, that this fellow was cast out by Cornelius charity”.

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
R.I.P.

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)
    Pamphlets
  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

Obituary

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
Fiction:
“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).
Education:
“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.
Pamphlets:
“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

Obituary

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 contingencies. 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 responsibility 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
friends.

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 correspondence. 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 colleague. 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 kindness, but interested himself too in the structures 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 educational 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 vocations 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.

PA

Murphy, Jeremiah M, 1883-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/266
  • Person
  • 13 July 1883-17 May 1955

Born: 13 July 1883, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 27 February 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 17 May 1955, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

by 1909 at Oxford, England (ANG) studying
by 1911 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1902 at St Mary’s Canterbury, England (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Murphy, Jeremiah Matthias (1883–1955)
by D. J. Mulvaney
D. J. Mulvaney, 'Murphy, Jeremiah Matthias (1883–1955)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/murphy-jeremiah-matthias-7706/text13493, published first in hardcopy 1986

Catholic priest; college warden; educationist; schoolteacher

Died : 17 May 1955, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Jeremiah Matthias Murphy (1883-1955), priest and university educationist, was born on 13 July 1883 at Kilkenny, Ireland, son of James Murphy, headmaster, and his wife Mary Kate, née McGrath. His parents died while he was young and he boarded at St Kieran's College, Kilkenny, where, although a moderate scholar, he excelled in classics. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1901, studying at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore. In 1904-07 he attended University College, Dublin, graduating M.A. with first-class honours in classics. In 1908 he undertook non-degree postgraduate studies at Oxford under Gilbert Murray and A. E. Zimmern, whose liberal influence is evident in his rather florid essay, 'Athenian Imperialism', in Studies (1912).

In 1910 and 1913 Murphy taught classics at Clongowes Wood and Belvedere colleges, interspersed with theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin. After his ordination in 1916 his health failed, although he taught for some time and spent 1919 studying theology at Canterbury, England. Next year he sailed for Melbourne where he was senior classics master at Xavier College in 1920-22, and rector of Newman College in 1923-53. With another Kilkenny Jesuit, W. P. Hackett, he became confidant and adviser to Archbishop Mannix; this influence may explain what was, for his Order, an unusually long rectorship.

Murphy's Newman years were significant for his contribution to better understanding between Catholics and the rest of the community. He was outward looking, insisting that college students participate fully in university life and not adopt utilitarian attitudes to study. He set a personal example, serving long terms on numerous university bodies, including the council, the boards of management of the union and the university press; for years he was a member of the Schools Board and the Council of Public Education. He encouraged graduates to further research, including overseas study, believing that they should become community leaders. Mannix's opposition to the foundation of a Catholic university, a Sydney proposal of the 1940s, must have owed much to Murphy's Melbourne success. He certainly played a major role, in 1950, in establishing the Archbishop Mannix travelling scholarship.

Always prominent in diocesan intellectual life, Murphy was a frequent public preacher and speaker. He served as chaplain to various bodies, including the Newman Society and the National Catholic Girls' Movement; he assisted the establishment of the Catholic Teachers' Association. Although he never adopted an aggressive or ostentatious Catholicism, he was a successful exponent of ideas to the general public. He proved his abilities as a Catholic Evidence lecturer and, from 1932, in Catholic broadcasting. He gave evidence on behalf of the archbishop to the 1941 parliamentary committee on broadcasting.

Murphy raised the academic quality of Newman by developing a tutorial system across many disciplines, tutoring in classics himself and employing others who later became prominent in professional and academic life. Out of this intellectual ferment grew, in the early 1930s, the Campion Society.

Murphy possessed an irrepressible sense of fun, and, despite a misleading manner of appearing impatient and superficial, was a good listener. When needed, his tolerance and wisdom prevailed. His genial smile and his old-world sense of courtesy were surely taxed, however, by the pressures of increased student numbers and changed post-war expectations. Unfortunately he failed to grasp the architectural importance of Walter Burley Griffin's college design, and under his custodianship the fabric deteriorated and disastrous alterations were made to the dome.

Senior university administrators sought his advice, appreciating his shrewd, penetrating and moderate judgements. He also could be consulted regularly in the front row of the Carlton Football Club members' stand. His educational contribution was recognized in 1954, when the university conferred upon him a doctorate of laws and he was appointed C.M.G.

Transferred rather abruptly from the rectorship to semi-retirement at Xavier at the end of 1953, Murphy died on 17 May 1955 and was buried in Kew cemetery. His portrait by William Dargie hangs in Newman College.

Select Bibliography
U. M. L. Bygott, With Pen and Tongue (Melb, 1980)
H. Dow (ed), Memories of Melbourne University (Melb, 1983)
University of Melbourne Gazette, Mar 1954, June 1955
Xavier College, Xaverian, Dec 1955
Murphy papers (Society of Jesus Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne)
Irish Provincial Archives, Dublin
private information.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Jeremiah Murphy joined the Jesuits, 7 September 1901, and studied in Ireland and Oxford gaining an MA in classics. He later read a postgraduate course at the University of Oxford. After teaching as a scholastic at Clongowes Wood, he studied philosophy at Stonyhurst, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained in 1916, taught in Ireland until 1920, and then was sent to Australia.
He taught at Xavier College for a short time, and was then appointed rector of Newman College 1923-53. He was responsible for the building of the chapel. During those years he also lectured in apologetics, tutored in the classics, was a consulter of the vice-province, and member of three university committees, the University Council, Union and Press Boards of Management and the Conservatorium Finance Committee. He was a confidant of Archbishop Mannix.
In recognition of his work for the university he received an honorary MA degree in his earlier days, and, upon his retirement, an honorary LLD, the highest degree within the
university's powers to confer for outstanding public service. The Queen bestowed on him the honour of Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George
(CMG) in 1953. Two years later he died suddenly at Xavier College.
The fact that Murphy was left as rector of the College for 31 years, in spite of the custom of the Society and the prescriptions of Canon Law, is enough to show the extraordinary position he won and held for himself in the university and general educational circles in Melbourne. He played a leading part in the organisation of the National Eucharistic Congress in 1934, and was secretary to the Papal Legate, Cardinal MacRory. He was one of the pioneers and first speakers of the “Catholic Hour” on radio, and also promoted the National Catholic Girls' Movement.
He was removed from Newman College in the end - not before it was time for his own sake - with a brusqueness that perhaps betrayed a feeling of temerity on the part of superiors. He obeyed but with much sadness. He was a man who was on better terms with those outside the Society than with his fellow Jesuits. He had a remarkable presence that in any company could not be ignored. He gave Newman College a corporate identity in the wider life of the university. He worked with the Loreto Sisters in establishing St Mary's Hall.
He was particularly concerned with the place of the Catholic graduate in a non-Catholic world. He encouraged his students to mix with others and to integrate their spiritual life with the academic. He keenly encouraged the students to develop the natural virtues, and to apply their faith to business and professional ethics.
His personality was an enigma. He often masked under the facade of a forced wit what some felt was a deep desire for friendship. Certain artificiality occasionally caused misunderstanding. In his own field he was the most assured of men and among friends of long standing was intimate and unstrained. His judgment was sound. and he was very tolerant. In many inter collegiate affairs he was outspoken and firm in matters of importance. Like Newman, he man who combined intellectual gifts with great human endeavour.

Note from Wilfred Ryan Entry
He, with Jeremiah Murphy and Dominic Kelly, set the tone for Newman College of the future.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 30th Year No 3 1955

Obituary :

Jeremiah Murphy came to Tullabeg from St. Kieran's College, Kilkenny, with a reputation for classics - he had won a medal in the Intermediate. After the noviceship he was sent to University College, then under the control of. Fr. Delaney. In the days of the “old Royal” = the Royal University of Ireland, which was the predecessor of the National University - the Juniors studied in Tullabeg and went to Dublin only for examinations, but a few of the more promising men were sent to University College to attend lectures. Mr. Murphy was one of that select band, and he soon justified the choice. His career was brilliant; he got first-class honours, if not first place, in every grade up to MA, and crowned his course by winning the coveted prize of the Studentship in classics, as a result of which he was sent to Oxford for a post-graduate course in classics. Here he came to know well such men as Gilbert Murray, Percy Gardner, A. Zimmern.
In our own professional studies of philosophy and theology he showed no special aptitude; the classics had claimed and always held the chief place in his interest.
After his tertianship he fell into bad health, suffering from a tedious and depressing complaint; and for a time it looked as if the bright hopes which his university career had excited would fade out. But shortly after he went to Australia his opportunity came. Dr. Mannix had built Newman College, a Resident College for Catholic students attending the University of Melbourne, of which Fr. Albert Power was the first Rector. A few years afterwards Fr. Power was made Rector of the new Diocesan Seminary of the Werribee, and Fr. Murphy succeeded him as Rector of Newman.
At once he found himself in the position and atmosphere for which his career fitted him. He became an important figure in university life. He was a brilliant classical tutor; as priest and superior he came to have a deep influence on the stream of students who passed through Newman. With the officials and professors of the university he soon became a person to be esteemed for his scholarship and to be liked for his character. He was a man of great charm of manner; of an infectious gaiety and an unfailing flow of good spirits. He was a welcome visitor in every gathering; and he gave Newman a high place among the colleges of the university in scholastic results and in games.
The solid proof of his success is the fact that he held the position of Rector of Newman for over thirty years, and that he relinquished it only because of failing health.
Fr. Murphy's career was fruitful of much good for the Church and the Society; and we are all proud of it. But his many friends both in Ireland and Australia will remember the man rather than the scholar or Rector his sense of humour, his irrepressible sense of gaiety, which communicated itself to all who were in his company. To all who knew him he will remain an undimmed memory, RIP

O'Meara, John, 1898-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/582
  • Person
  • 23 February 1898-14 November 1991

Born: 23 February 1898, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1915, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1930, Leuven, Belgium
Professed: 08 December 1976
Died: 14 November 1991, St Joseph’s Home, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Part of the Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong community at the time of death.

Eldest brother of Michael - RIP 1998; Tommy - RIP 1993

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

by 1928 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) - language
by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1943 at Campion Hall, Oxford, England (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives & ◆ The Clongownian, 1992

Father John O’Meara S.J. R.I.P.

Father John O’Meara SJ, Hong Kong’s oldest priest, who did missionary work in Hong Kong and southern China for almost 60 years, died on 14 November 1991 after a brief illness.

Father O'Meara was born in Mallow, Ireland, on 23 February 1898, into a large family. He was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers and later by the Jesuits.

He join the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1915 and followed the usual course of studies of the time, which, in his case, included an honours degree in history at the National University of Ireland.

He did his philosophical studies in Dublin and went to Louvain in Belgium for theology. He was ordained priest in 1930.

Father O’Meara arrived in Hong Kong for the first time in September 1933 with four companions. Within three days of landing here he was told to proceed to Zhaoqing (Shiu Hing), the Portuguese Jesuit mission on the West River, to study Chinese.

In the following year he moved to the river island mission station of Tianshuisha (Tin Shui Sha), where he gained an intimate knowledge of working in a rural mission.

Later in 1934 he was recalled to Hong Kong and began an important period of his life at the then South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He was first named Vice-Rector, a post he held until 1937 when he was appointed Rector.

In 1935 the seminarians from Fujian Province left Aberdeen when a new regional seminary was opened by the bishops of that region. Their loss was more than compensated for by a large influx of students from Guangdong and Guangxi, as the minor seminaries of those two provinces began to show the results of 10 years patient labour.

With the Japanese invasion of South China, travel to and from Hong Kong became difficult and from 1940 no new students came to Aberdeen.

With the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, a very difficult period began for the seminary and for its Rector, Father O’Meara.

The building was shelled and bombed for three days during the siege of Hong Kong and so severe was the firing that the students and some refugees who had gathered there for shelter were forced to leave on Christmas morning. (Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas day).

During the succeeding three and a half years the seminary teaching staff, under Father O’Meara’s leadership, continued to train priests in spite of persistent visits from suspicious gendarmes.

The feeding of such a large community was a problem solved only by repeated interventions of Divine Providence.

For months there was no wheeled traffic other than military on the only road leading to the city. Food supplies had to be brought by hand, on battered bicycles.

In May 1945, Father O’Meara decided that the seminarians who had not finished their studies should go with their professors to neighbouring Macau, which, being Portuguese, was considered neutral.

The main reason was that it had become impossible to find food. Father O’Meara himself remained with an ex-seminarian and a servant to guard the seminary building from looters.

The war came to an end on 15 August 1945, and in November of that year Father O’Meara welcomed the first new students to arrive since 1940 and those in Macau were recalled.

In October 1947, Father O’Meara was relieved of the heavy burden he had carried for 12 years. He was sent to the newly-founded Jesuit mission in Guangzhou (Canton). There he taught at the Sacred Heart School and did missionary work in Dongshan (Tung Shan) as well as being director of the Legion of Mary in the diocese.

In 1953, four years after the establishment of the People’s Republic, he and the other Jesuits were forced to leave the country.

Back in Hong Kong, he taught at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, for five years until his appointment as Master of Novices in 1958 at the newly opened Jesuit novitiate at Xavier House in Cheung Chau.

He was extremely pleased to have been given such a responsible post in forming new Jesuits at the age of 60. He held the position for 10 years when, in 1968, he began a period of parish ministry.

He was first assigned to the Holy Rosary Parish in Kennedy Town and, four years later, transferred to Christ the Worker parish in Ngautaukok.

He was still vigorous in his 80s when he became chaplain to the St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Ngauchiwan. In the final years of his life, when he could no longer continue this ministry, he became himself one of the old folk in the home.

Father O’Meara had one final ambition, which he did not get to see - to live until the year 2000 and say he had touched three centuries.

The funeral Mass, presided over by Cardinal John Baptist Wu, Bishop of Hong Kong, and assisted by Archbishop Dominic Tang of Canton (Where Father O’Meara spent some of the happiest years of his life), was held at St. Ignatius Chapel, Kowloon, on 18 November at 11am.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 November 1991

◆ 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 Tommy Martin Entry
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs Jack O’Meara and Thomas Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Frs. Bourke and John O'Meara returned from Hong Kong on 25th November for a rest. Fr. Joseph O'Mara, who had returned to the Mission some time ago after a stay in Ireland, was forced by ill-health to come back to the Province. He reached Dublin on 13th January, and is now teaching philosophy at Tullabeg.

Page, Bernard F, 1877-1948, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/796
  • Person
  • 16 July 1877-30 November 1948

Born: 16 July 1877, Khishagur, Bengal, India
Entered: 01 March 1895, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
Died: 30 November 1948, Petworth, Sussex, England - Australiae Province (ASL)

Chaplain in the First World War.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1902 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1908 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1912 at St Wilfred's, Preston (ANG)
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 3rd Cavalry Field Ambulance and Brigade, BEF France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : No 2 Cavalry Field Ambulance, BEF France
by 1921 at St Luigi, Birkirkara, Malta (SIC) teaching
by 1922 at St Aloysius College, Oxford, England (ANG) working
by 1923 at St Wilfred’s Preston England (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-answering-back-2/

JESUITICA: Answering back
Do Jesuits ever answer back? Our archives hold an exchange between Fr Bernard Page SJ, an army chaplain, and his Provincial, T.V.Nolan, who had passed on a complaint from an Irish officer that Fr Page was neglecting the care of his troops. Bernard replied: “Frankly, your note has greatly pained me. It appears to me hasty, unjust and unkind: hasty because you did not obtain full knowledge of the facts; unjust because you apparently condemn me unheard; unkind because you do not give me credit for doing my best.” After an emollient reply from the Provincial, Bernard softens: “You don’t know what long horseback rides, days and nights in rain and snow, little or no sleep and continual ‘iron rations’ can do to make one tired and not too good-tempered.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Bernard Page was born in India where his father was a judge, but from the age of seven lived in Glenorchy in Tasmania, from where he was sent to Xavier College as a boarder. In 1895 he entered the novitiate at Loyola Greenwich under Aloysius Sturzo. In mid-1898 he went to Xavier College as hall prefect and teacher, and appears to have been the founding editor of the Xaverian. By 1900 he ran the debating and drama, Page was a careful and competent photographer, and the photographic record of his time at Xavier is amongst the most valuable photos of the whole Irish Mission. He travelled to Europe, did philosophy at Valkenburg and was sent back to teaching at Clongowes and Belvedere, 1904-07. After tertianship Page served at Preston in England until 1914, and during that time requested a transfer to the English province, which was apparently refused. War chaplaincy followed, including a trip to the forces in Murmansk. He worked in a parish in Oxford, 1921-22, and from then until 1947 he served at St Walburge's parish in Preston. Page never considered himself Australian but maintained an interest in the work of the Society in Australia, and kept up contacts from his Xavier days.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Obituary

Fr. Bernard Fullerton Page (1877-1895-1948) – Vice Province of Australia

Many members of our Province will remember well Fr. Page, who died recently in England, who belonged to the Vice-Province of Australia, was born at Khishagur, Bengal, India on 16th July, 1877 and began his noviceship at Sydney on 1st March, 1895. There also he did his juniorate but for pbilosophy went to Valkenburg. He began his theology at Louvain but completed the course at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest on 26th July, 1910. After finishing his tertianship, he joined the staff at St. Ignatius, Preston and was an army chaplain during the 1914-1918 war. After demobilisation, he was at St. Aloysius, Oxford in 1921 and in 1922 went to St. Walburge's, Preston where he remained until ill health compelled him to retire to Petworth in March, 1948. He was the editor of the Walburgian and was able to boast that even under war-time conditions, publication was never delayed. He was also the author of a Life of St. Walburge, “Our Story : The History of St. Walburge's Parish”, “The Sacristan's Handbook”, and “Priest's Pocket Ritual”. R.I.P.